Business Planning and Development

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Old 05-08-2008
-Amy-
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Question How did you get started?
I've noticed that most of you have a full time, successful business and that is absolutely wonderful!

My first question is, is this something you eased into...trying it out part-time at first?
Or
Is this something you jumped into with both feet and hoped for the best?

If you did do it part-time, did you have a full time job (not working from home) as well? If so, how on earth did you find time to do this part-time?!

Since I have a full time 40+ hour a week job, I would only be able to start my VA business as being part time. But I just can't seem to find the time to fit it in.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
Amy,

I am just getting started also and actually work 2 full time jobs. I am lucky though in that there is some down time at one of my jobs that I can research and form my business plan.

If I were you I would start out by doing lots of research and taking good notes of what you want to do, then make a list of your priorities and start working on those and marking them off as you go. A list is crucial though when you are restricted on time.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-08-2008
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Company name: The Virtual Office Goddess, LLC
 
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Default Re: How did you get started?
I STILL work a 9-5 and Goddess has 4 clients (I started a year ago in June). I currently work on Goddess from 7am-8:30am and 7pm-9pm M-F and 8am-noon on Saturdays. Sundays are generally sacrosanct (but not always!)

I hope to eventually go full-time with Goddess but can't do it financially at the moment. However, Goddess is bringing in approx $300/month at this point which REALLY makes up for having no life!
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Old 05-08-2008
-Amy-
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Default Re: How did you get started?
that's very interesting! I will have to take that into consideration
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Old 05-08-2008
Rushgrl
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Default Re: How did you get started?
I'm going to jump on Amy's band wagon (so to speak) with these questions instead of starting a new thread with the same exact questions.

I feel so confused too, Amy. I too, work a 40+ hours work week and I'm single and have no one to fall back on for insurace or income.
I'm just not sure how/where to get things started but I want to so bad that I can taste it.

I want to be my own boss for a change!! I want to say what projects I will and won't do and I want to NOT be treated like poop anymore!!
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
I STILL work a 9-5 and Goddess has 4 clients (I started a year ago in June). I currently work on Goddess from 7am-8:30am and 7pm-9pm M-F and 8am-noon on Saturdays. Sundays are generally sacrosanct (but not always!)

I hope to eventually go full-time with Goddess but can't do it financially at the moment. However, Goddess is bringing in approx $300/month at this point which REALLY makes up for having no life!
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Old 05-08-2008
-Amy-
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Default Re: How did you get started?
oh I totally understand rushgrl. The only thing I have going for me is that my husband has his own insurance. It's not through a company or anything. So, I could always just be added onto his (especially since we are planning on starting a family in a couple years or less). Thats it though! I have over a 30 minute commute to work everyday so it would be very very hard to get up extra early in the mornings and work as well as working when I get home. When I get home at night, I clean, wash laundry, do the dishes, make dinner...etc etc. Anyone who has a dirty husband knows what Im talking about lol. So I just don't have any time
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
Hey girls just remember...start off one step at a time and don't give up!
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
Originally Posted by candctroll View Post
Hey girls just remember...start off one step at a time and don't give up!
Baby steps. Ok...I'll just keep repeating that to myself when i get overwhelmed with the thoughts.

Just like Dory in Finding Nemo with her "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." I'll repeat, "just take baby steps, just take baby steps..."
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
too cute. I love Dori off Finding Nemo. I think I am going to just sit down in my spare time and think about what services I can offer etc etc. I would ideally like to find a reliable company to work for full time and then if I feel confident in what I do there (working from home) I would be able to ease into my own business since I would be home all the time. That would be the way I would want this all to work out right now haha. Any suggestions or referrals anyone could give me would be absolutely wonderful!
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
For me I had been researching this industry and another one for a year previous to starting. A higher power stepped in and made me pick one when I got laid off in February '07. Since I didn't have the cash to put up for the other industry (personal chef service), I decided to do this and honestly - haven't looked back. I'm glad I didn't go into personal cheffing. I enjoy so much more cooking casually for friends and family.

I went through a few weeks of depression after the lay-off, but eventually kicked myself in the butt, joined a bunch of forums, got myself educated, and got this party started!

A little over a year later I have an almost thriving business (still looking to fill a few more hours per month), I know the direction I want to set this business on for the next 5 years, and I finally (FINALLY!) finished my *^$*&#^* Business Plan (what a pain the bodonkadonk THAT was!)

I think anyone that's serious about this business will do well. Perserverence and a good sense of humor are the two best assets you can have.

You have to have perserverence to keep on approaching potential clients, improving your marketing, getting better at networking, and perfecting your overall business outlook.

A sense of humor will keep you from rocking in the corner and sucking on your hair.
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
I also work full time and have 3 children. I plan to work my business to supplement my income with future plans to go full time.

The full time part won't be for a while but I'm good with that for now. My job is flexible enough to allow me operate my business sometimes during day. I'm just getting started but only time will tell.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-09-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
I got started after seriously taking a look at where I was at and where I wanted to be. Corporate life was limiting and presented fewer and fewer challenges. With that said, having that drive and passion really turned up the heat for me to succeed. I was still working full time as I put the pieces of my business together. About four months later, I had quit altogether. However, I will say that thankfully, my husband has a good job and we were able to rework some things for me to do this. I always want to be realistic when I respond to posts like this. It can be discouraging to think that there a lot of VAs who can just up and quit their jobs, but a lot of times that is not the case. A lot of families and VAs that I know depend on dual incomes so for them it's not feasible to be able to quit upon inception.

But I what I will say that it is STILL very doable! Building your business while still working is a great way to move things along and still maintain your income stream. Once things start to happen, some VAs are able to transition to part time, while others are able to jump ship from their employers altogether.

Taking a look at your business plan and your expenses are the first places to start. From there you will be able to ascertain fairly quickly, the best approach to getting your business off the ground!
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Old 05-09-2008
-Amy-
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Default Re: How did you get started?
you all have certainly been helpful!

Doreen...I took a look at your website and I was very impressed! Seeing other peoples work and how they have set up their business really helps me find things I know that I can do that I had never thought of offering my services for.

I need to sit down and write out a business plan as well as services I can offer. Apparently there are more than I had even thought of!
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Old 05-09-2008
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Default Re: How did you get started?
Amy,
I also asked a version of this question when I first joined the forums about a month ago. Knowing that there are those that work full time and then work part time to get their business going or that there were others who had done that but were able to transition to their VA business full time was very informative to me.

I completely understand where you coming from...my commute to work is about 40 -45 minutes not including the pick up or drop off of my son at daycare. I'm only working 37 hours a week and it's still kicking my butt.

For me, I just found there was no extra time to get things going, stay sane, and not be completely ignoring family and home when I wasn't at the full time job. I'm happy to say that I've decided to just take the plunge and am leaving my full time job next week to be able to devote myself to my VA business fully. I am fortunate that me and my family are in the position financially to take be able to take on doing it this way but I recognize that is not possible for everyone. So mostly, I just wanted to say I can relate to what you are saying and going through. It's hard to stay at the day job when you are really just excited about wanting to go off in your own direction. You'll find this forum is a great wealth of information and support. Sharing just your small steps here are warmly recognized as the accomplishments that they are.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-09-2008
-Amy-
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Default Re: How did you get started?
See, with my husband and I just bought a house, it would be extremely hard for me to quit my full time job and just plunge into my own business...which makes me sad It's not that we couldn't afford it (considering my husband does work for himself at times as well), its just that things would be tight, and we can't take the chance of either one of us not having work and not having money coming in that week or month. The whole reason Im trying to start this business is so that I can stay home and actually be able to afford to stay home and have children in the next year or so. My little time clock is ticking lol so Im very anxious to have children. I've dealt with children my whole like, including being an assistant teacher while I was in high school since I would get all my work done before 10am! But I will also need to bring home around what I make now in order to have a house, and be able to stay at home and have children. Soooo, I guess I just have a lot of thinking to do But I am finding this forum extremely helpful with all the questions I have!
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Old 10-22-2009
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Default Re: How did you get started?
Amy,

I see your post is from May 2008. I'm wondering, since I'm in the "seriously thinking about becoming a VA also" phase, did you do it? Are you a VA now?
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    #18 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2009
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Default Re: How did you get started?
There seems to be quite a few of us in the same boat. Since the Magical Wand doesn't seem to be working.................I guess the 'just keep swimming" advice is the way to go for now.

PS - If I get the magical wand to work - I will be sure to share!
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Old 11-01-2009
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Default Re: How did you get started?
Amy,

So what happened? How did everything turn out?
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    #20 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2009
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Default Re: How did you get started?
I worked in a commercial real estate office as well as worked assisting commercial brokerag owners with training their residential Agents to sell commercial real estate. So I had/have a great relationship with my propsective clients. I massaged those relationships to actual clients until I had enough income from my VA company to cover my overhead. It's been two months since I quit my job and it has been the best decision I ever made. I even managed to get my old company to become a client! Which was awesome and a true blessing. I get up at 5 a.m.every morning and usually work until 4 or 6. I work more hours then I did previously but it dosen't feel like it. I can stop and eat lunch with the kids at school or take the evening off and go to the beach (I live in Florida).

Said that to say this I would advise you to gradually work yourself into this so you can continue to eat three times a day! Your to PTO for social networking and get your to do list together and tackle two subjects a day until your done.

Good luck!
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