Business Planning and Development

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Old 01-19-2008
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Company name: VBSSi dba Curve Conscious
 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Default Working from home while still working full-time
I have a question for veteran VAs as well as newbies. I am currently building my practice while still holding down a full-time job. How did you manage to juggle the two? Suppose you have a client that needs support during working hours. Did you do work for these clients while at work? Or did you inform your prospective clients that you would only be available to do work for them in the evenings? Not sure what I should tell prospective clients when speaking to them for the first time.

Looking forward to your input.
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Old 01-20-2008
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Company name: Ciboney Virtual Solutions
 
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Location: Grenada, USA
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Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
In all honesty I cannot say how possible it is to juggle since I started full time in my practice. In my opinion, supporting a client that needs support during your working hours will be quite a challenge. Since you are not yet full time, the best way to approach a situation like this is to let the prospective client know your hours of availability and see how willing they are to work around your schedule.
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Old 01-20-2008
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Company name: The Virtual Office Goddess, LLC
 
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Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
Repeat posting BTW just signed my 4th client, have a meeting wed. about my potential 5th!

I, too, still work a "9-5" job while getting my VA business going strong enough to support my household. I devote 6am-8am and 8pm-9pm M-F and 8am-noon on Saturdays to "The Virtual Office Goddess, LLC"; it's understood at home that I am "working" those hours and not to be disturbed. I also check emails/posts at lunch time and on breaks during the day. This makes for a long week but, that's what it takes to run your own business in the beginning!

I have been "officially virtual" for approx 7 months and am (hopefully) going to sign up my 4th client next week. Each of my clients is only 4-8 hours/month of billable work so I devote the rest of my "Goddess" time to marketing, networking, etc. while maintaining my 40-hour full-time job so that my hubby and I can continue to eat.

Once I am up to 20 hours/week on top of my 9-5, I will go full-time virtual and offer 25-30 hours/week to my current employer as a VA (that way, if they decline, I'm not TOTALLY dead in the water for finances )

I anticipate working 60+ hours/week for at least the next 3 years if I want to get my practice solid and develop "Goddess" into a good living. I hope to find a part-time assistant at that point to take over the "drudge work" and let me go back to working 40 hours/week and still be able to live comfortably.

Let me know if you have any questions about working full-time while building your practice; I'll answer what I can...
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Old 01-20-2008
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Company name: VBSSi dba Curve Conscious
 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
Thank you for both of your responses and congratulations Office Goddess on signing a new client.

Did you let your clients know that you still work full time? If so, how do they feel about that? I was thinking that I'd have to train my clients to expect a 24-28 hr turnaround time, since I'd be working in the evenings.
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Old 01-20-2008
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Company name: VBSSi dba Curve Conscious
 
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Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
Oops, I meant 24-48 hour turnaround time in my previous post.
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Old 01-31-2008
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
I'm still working f/t and doing my VA business p/t. I do like Lily does, work the VA in the evenings. That's all I can do until I get enough coming in to go f/t.

I would screen the work as much as possible and decide if you can do it in the time frame you have at night. I wouldn't say anything to the client unless I really had to tell them. So long as I can get the work done in the time they require it and meet their deadline, then why do they need to know whether I do it during the day or at night?

My feeling is the less said the better sometimes. I don't want to plant a seed in their head that I can't do the work just because I'm not working as a f/t VA, or that I have too much on my plate. I'm very honest and open with people, but I don't think they need to know every detail of my business, unless I can't meet their deadlines, then yes I need to tell them my hours are limited. Just my thoughts.

Blessings,
Lisa007
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Old 01-31-2008
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Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
I started part time in the beginning. I made it a point to take on clients that were comfortable with my hours. From the very start, I've held strong to the principle that I only have to work with the clients I want to work with. If they needed someone 8 to 5, I simply told them my availability, asked if it worked, and declined the work if it didn't.
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Old 02-08-2008
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Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
I had this question, too.

Whether or not to staright out tell a client I have a 9-5. I lucked out with my latest client.

They are local and wanted me to come into the office to meet initially. Thank god they're open 'til 6, so I just skirted around the fact that I had a 9-5.

It's copyediting work, so it doesn't really matter timewise as long as I have a good enough turnaround on the project...

So, the topic thankfully never came up. But I agree with lisa, I'm not going to tell them unless a time-issue comes up and I'll have to be forthright that until I have enough business income, I'm committed to a 9-5 position.

But my 9-5, I'm hoping I can cut down to 30 hours a week eventually, especially if the work keeps coming in like it has been lately.
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Old 03-13-2008
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Company name: More Time Virtual Assistance, LLC
 
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Posts: 82
Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
This is a topic that greatly interests me, since this is what I plan on doing for a while once I get started!

Today was a particularly stressful day at work and it worried me a little bit about what it will be like coming home to a whole other job! Then I calmed myself down and reminded myself that it's all part of the master plan and all worth it and I can do anything I put my mind to!

If anyone has anything more to say on the topic of starting your VA business while still working FT, I'm all ears! I just can't read enough on this topic! If anyone knows of articles or anything on the net, please point me in the right direction! Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2008
Txfarmgirl
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Default Re: Building a VA practice while still working full-time
This was a great topic to start because that is exactly what I am going to do once my business foundation is up and I start marketing for clients. I have approximately 2 years before it will probably become neccessary for me to leave my full-time job. Although, I am lucky because I'm off by 330 M-F. The kicker is that right now.. all the rest of the time is devoted to my children.. ballet, softball, track, etc.

I LOVE my job, and I thought this was the perfect solution to keep on doing what I'm doing even if circumstances require me to stay at home. It sounds like a lot of hard work, but I know in the end it will really be worth it.

Thanks for the time sharing your experiences!

Shannon
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