In a previous post, we made a detailed guide on how you can start a Virtual Assistant (VA) business. From the tips you need to do to build your portfolio, to the next step which is spreading the word about your services are detailed there. You can check it out here.
However, even after the details we provided, it’s still unclear for some people; a majority of people still have questions about it and in this article, we will be giving answer to some of the most common questions about starting a virtual assistant business.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in starting a virtual assistant business
I know that there are a couple of questions that some people might have as regards starting a virtual assistant business. There are questions about the profession itself or some complex questions that revolve around the specific money-making of the business.
We are here to address all of these based on the things we wrote and based on the current legalities that our country has.
What’s better? To be a freelancer VA or join a company/agency?
Just like in any type of job, you have to exercise your skill in being a VA, too. As a matter of fact, it takes a lot of effort and time to fully understand and to cope with the mechanism or how a specific VA operates. That is why it is always a strong recommendation to join an agency or a company first to try and tackle the job and for you to see if it’s really for you.
Joining a company or an agency will allow you to get a better idea on how you can fish clients and how you can create your own market. However, it has its downsides as well. Of course, being in a company or an agency, your working hours will be set by them. Meaning, you will not have your own time for your job.
So, it is a recommendation to test the waters first before you take the leap. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
But isn’t it better to just set up a company?
Given the answer stated above, it’s better to start out as a worker first, either a freelancer or a VA for an agency. But, if the question is setting up a company, it’s best to start out as a freelancer first.
In addition to that, setting a company up would require spending on a space (office) and on different incorporations like permits, registrations, etc. You have to be ready for these.
Overall, you first have to learn how to handle the job at a worker-level because you won’t be an effective leader or owner if you have little to no idea on what you are doing.
How do clients pay VAs?
They’re your client so it needs to be in accordance to how they pay other VAs before. All that matters is their convenience, not yours. Remember, you are the VA and you’re in a contract. Wouldn’t you want to have a smooth flow of projects?
So, you will get paid depending on the convenience of your client in paying you. It can be through bank transfers, it can be through deposits, it could be through PayPal, whatever your client dictates.
Do I still have to pay taxes even if my job is home-based?
This is a simple question but a handful of people still want to deny the fact that we need to pay taxes. Yes, even if you don’t physically attend to work, even if you are just home-based and you have your own client, you still have to pay your taxes.
A person who earns any kind of income has the duty to pay the correct and the appropriate amount of taxes to the appropriate branch of the government.
If you are in dire need of knowledge on how you can register as a taxpayer if you are self-employed or if you own a small or medium business, you can check this link out here.
What if my client is delinquent? What can I do?
Let’s face reality – things like these really happen. These things don’t only happen in businesses, it also happens in jobs and different professions because that’s how business works.
In the event that you have a client who is neither responding to messages nor paying the necessary fees, the first and most important thing you have to do is to make them aware about it. Give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe, they’re just trying to find a way how to tell you their shorted, or maybe they totally forgot. What can you do? Send them a concise and private email.
You can tell them that until you receive necessary fees to push through with the project, work or operation will be suspended for the time being. A client who knows what they’ll lose will understand and will make a way for them to provide the payment. However, be careful and don’t be too generous and understanding of the time period.
For example, give a client at least two (2) weeks or fourteen (14) days. If they still haven’t made necessary payments, immediately erase off the arrangement.
This is why one of the most important things in starting a virtual assistant business is to create a contract.
Yes, a contract will be the only basis of your agreement. When a client signs a contract, they need to have full understanding of what the situation is and how important it is for the both of you to meet requirements that will be written in the contract itself.
Service Level Agreement
This agreement, which also needs to be part of the contract will discuss the details of the project, the work standards, and the delivery. This is imperative for the VA because this will be the designed time-period of the delivery of each phase of whatever project and other particulars.
Memorandum of Agreement
Unlike the Service Level Agreement, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) talks about the provisions of the engagement of the operation. This will outline the mode of payment, conditions of the project, the length of it, and the basis for pre-termination and completion. Meaning, the memorandum of agreement or the MOA will be the sole basis of a project in terms of the operation.
This part, lastly, talks about the proprietary assets to both the VA and the client, as well as the technologies that will be induced in the project that will take place. This outlines all of the information needed for the project.
So, to generally conclude, the questions that are commonly asked in regard to starting a virtual assistant business are just out-of-the-book common questions that most people fail to realize and regard.