Because I recommend you set up your VA business alongside your regular job, one of the questions I get asked a lot is “when should I leave my job to solely focus on being a Virtual Assistant?”. Although there are as many answers to that question as people asking it, in all honesty, it boils down to one simple thing:
When you have enough clients.
People seem to think everything has to be perfect before they jump in and set up their VA business and, although I appreciate you need to bring home the bacon and feed your family if you wait until everything’s ‘perfect’ then you’ll never become a Virtual Assistant.
If you’ve read my growing number of case study interviews, you’ll see that some VAs just leapt into the abyss and others grew their businesses slowly – so there’s no set path or way of doing this.
I was lucky that I had few outgoings and no family to support so only had to worry about myself, but I also knew that even if I had to pick up a part-time job for a while, there were enough people in the world that could hire me and I just had to focus on finding them.
I believed then as I still believe now, that finding clients is completely down to me.
Here are some things to consider
- How much money do you need to live on each month?
- Do you have three months of that amount saved?
- Do you know what your skillset is?
- Do you know how and where to find clients?
- Do you already have some clients?
- Have you asked them for testimonials for your website and LinkedIn profile?
- How disappointed would you feel if you didn’t even try to see what you could achieve?
Don’t wait forever
Don’t over-think it, just focus on finding clients.
As long as you can cover your outgoings for at least three months whilst you focus on getting more clients then you might as well just go for it.
Many VAs say they wished they had started earlier and that they regret waiting for everything to be “perfect” before they began talking to their contacts about how they could help them.
Wait until you reach tipping point
Once you’ve found a few clients and start fitting their tasks around your full-time job, there’ll definitely come a point where you can’t physically sustain working a full-time AND a part-time job at the same time. That’s when you’ll need to make the decision to take a leap of (well researched) faith.
Wait until you can feel that point coming then dedicate as much time as you can to getting more clients.
I even have a guide that shows you how to get clients. The method I use is so successful it’s actually now the ONLY thing I do when I want a new client.
Getting clients isn’t actually as hard as you think it is.
Fortune favours the brave
Only you know the right time to leave your job, but remember that time passes quickly and you don’t want to suddenly look up and find you’re 80 and didn’t realise your dreams. On one hand, freelancing might not be the right thing for you, but you should remind yourself that nothing worth having comes easily or everyone would be doing it!
I’ve personally always believed the saying “leap and the net will appear ” because it’s happened every single time I’ve leapt. I’m not going to be so arrogant as to try to talk you into doing something you feel isn’t right for you or that you consider reckless, but research thoroughly, know how much you need to live on, decide how much you want to do this, find your courage… and then just step forward.
Resources and action
* Some VAs just throw themselves in and others start gradually. Gain some inspiration and advice by reading some interviews with established VAs to see how they got started, what services they offer, how they find their clients and what they’d do differently if they had to start again.
* Get my free hourly rate calculator on the Downloads and Training page to look at your outgoings and see how much you need to earn each month.
* Have at least three months worth of income saved to act as a buffer.