Remote Work

How to Start and Grow Your $10K/Month Virtual Assistant Business – Your Ultimate Step-by Step Guide

Here’s a quick stat: 61% of the US workforce have an idea to start a business. However, 92% of those people don’t follow through with it

When asked why, the two major reasons were:

  1. Not enough funds
  2. Lack of knowledge to get started 

Well, if you choose to start your own virtual assistant business, you don’t need to worry about those reasons. This is because, for one, you don’t need any funds to get started. 

Plus, I’ll teach you how to start and grow your virtual assistant business – from start to finish. Hint: you don’t need a detailed business plan to get started. All you need is this ultimate guide. So let’s get into it!

What Is a Virtual Assistant?

Let’s start with the basics. A virtual assistant (also known as a VA) is someone who helps small and mid-sized businesses and entrepreneurs. That’s what an assistant does. 

However, because it’s VIRTUAL, you’ll be helping them through the online world. You might be asking, “Help them with what?”

The answer: Basically anything, depending on the service you want to provide. You can choose to be an administrative VA, marketing VA, social media VA, research VA, bookkeeping VA, and the list goes on and on. I’ll go into more detail about the different types of VAs later on. 

This is what a virtual assistant is at its very core. Pretty simple, right?

Why Choose a Virtual Assistant Business

how to start and grow virtual assistant business
One of the advantages of being a virtual assistant is you choose where and when you want to work

Of all the business ideas, why virtual assistant? Let’s quickly go over a few of the benefits to understand why I focused on this particular business:

  • It’s easy to get started. As I already hinted, there’s no need to create a detailed business plan. You don’t even need much funds. All you really need is knowledge of what to do and how to do it (which this guide will provide). Don’t get me wrong, though. You have to put in the hard work if you want to succeed. 
  • Businesses want VAs. As virtual work is the new norm, businesses prefer virtual assistants to in-office staff. This is because it’s more budget-friendly. Plus, it allows owners to find the perfect VA for their needs, no matter the location. They can hire a highly skilled VA from across the globe instead of settling for a good enough assistant in their city. 
  • There are many services to choose from. The virtual assistant business allows you to go any path you want. Whatever you’re interested in or skilled at, you can build your business around that. The best part is that you can even expand your services as you learn more skills, gain more knowledge, and get new experiences. 
  • It’s the perfect side hustle. You can be a part-time VA while doing your regular job. This way, you can still earn an income while starting your business. Not only that, it’s great for busy stay-at-home moms and students, too. Since you can start small, you don’t need to put all your time here.  
  • You choose your clients and projects. This is one of the main reasons why I advise you to make your own VA business instead of joining a VA agency. If so, you can choose WHO you want to work with. You also choose WHAT projects to do. Besides that, you can decide not to work with a certain client anymore once the project is done or the contract expires. 
  • There’s a big earning potential. I’m talking $10k a month ($120k a year). However, know that these numbers aren’t going to jump straight to six figures. You’ll need to work hard and persistently to reach your earning potential. But if you do, then rest assured you’ll be earning BIG. 
  • You enjoy flexible schedules. You can ditch that 9-5 job that saw you rushing every morning and coming home exhausted every night. As long as you’re able to meet the project deadline, it doesn’t matter if you start work early morning, late afternoon, or even at night. 
  • You set your rates. Did you ever go through the awkwardness of asking a boss for a salary raise? With a VA business, you decide how much your rate is. You also get to decide when you deserve a raise. You’re in total control of your earnings. 
  • Every day is different. Do you easily get bored with routine work? As a VA, you don’t need to worry about that since every day brings a new task. Once you start working on multiple services and projects, you can pick a different task every day to keep things new and exciting. 
  • You get paid to learn new skills. Get this – many clients are willing to provide you with FREE training to help with the project. So not only are you getting paid to do the project, you’ll be gaining new skills and knowledge, too. This will help boost your service pitch to new clients. 
  • You choose where you want to work. In your desk, in a coffee shop, in bed, or even while traveling the world. Since it’s all based online, you’re not stuck to one boring office. As long as you have your laptop and internet, it doesn’t matter where you are. 
  • No dress code. Imagine working in your pajamas! No more makeup, styled hair, fancy dress pants, tight shoes, etc… Ahh the comfort. 

The 15 Steps to Starting and Growing Your Virtual Assistant Business

OK, let’s get to the gist of it. To start and grow your virtual assistant business, you need to follow these 15 steps:

  1. Decide what services to offer
  2. Define your services 
  3. Improve the necessary VA skills
  4. Come up with a rate
  5. Find your first client
  6. Create a perfect pitch
  7. Discuss your partnership 
  8. Sign a contract
  9. Set client boundaries 
  10. Make a schedule 
  11. Deal with taxes
  12. Market your business 
  13. Raise your rate
  14. Outsource your work
  15. Build a VA agency

For each step, I’ll go into deep detail. So buckle up and let’s go! 

Read More: 90+ Places To Find Work From Home Proofreading Jobs

Step 1: Decide what services to offer

As you already know, VAs can offer all types of services. To have a clear path for your business, you need to start by deciding what services to offer. 

Now, it’s crucial to pick a service that best matches YOU. This will make it much easier to persevere when the going gets tough. 

Also, you don’t want to start a business that you have zero interest in. If you do, pretty soon it won’t be any different to struggling out of bed and going to that 9-5 job you hate.  

This is why, when picking a service, you should keep these three things in mind:

  • The service you provide is something you’re passionate about
  • Never provide a service that is outside your skills and knowledge (although you can learn new skills and knowledge to offer more services)
  • Make it something that you’ll be committed to many years from now (don’t just pick a trend that you only like at the moment) 

OK, I’m going to give you a great strategy to help you pick a service. Get a piece of paper and divide it into four parts. 

how to pick a va service 1

In the first section, write ‘What Skills Do I Have?’. This is where you’ll write a list of what you’re great at. 

Beside that, write ‘What Do I Like to Do?’. Here, you need to list down all your passions. 

The third section will be titled ‘What Do I Want to Learn?’. This is where you’ll write down all the tools and tasks you want to learn. 

The last section will be called ‘How Do I Want to Work?’. This is the time to think about your future for the business. Write about what type of long-term clients you want, as well as specific projects you want to work on. 

From there, combine everything and think of the best service that matches your four lists. To give you a head start, I’m going to give you the most common VA services…

General Virtual Assistant 

This is similar to an administrative assistant or secretary. Only this time, your job is all online. 

If you choose this service, you’ll be managing appointments, organizing documents, making phone calls, adding calendar events, formatting documents, responding to emails, sending invoices, creating PowerPoint presentations, and much more. 

As you can see, this is one of the easiest services to offer as the tasks are pretty basic. You don’t need any specific skills or knowledge to get these things done. 

Product Launch Virtual Assistant

As the name suggests, you’ll be helping businesses with their product launches. This will see you running ads, building sales funnels, learning about the client’s business, and all the other necessary steps. 

For this, you’ll have to have good knowledge of advertising. You’ll need to learn how to work a few tools, too. 

Marketing Virtual Assistant

Do you want to help in ways that go beyond just product launches? As a marketing virtual assistant, you’ll work with the business to create a strategy that works. 

Since you’re a virtual assistant, your job will mostly be about digital marketing. Some responsibilities include creating and monitoring ad campaigns, sending out email marketing newsletters, and promoting blog posts and other content. 

If you want to be more specific, you can provide social media VA services only. This way, you know where your focus is. 

Research Virtual Assistant

Do you have a knack for researching on the web? Then you should provide this type of service.

As a “researcher”, your tasks will include finding statistics and data, creating outlines and charts, analyzing business data for improvement, performing competition analysis, and more. Depending on the client you work for, you’ll be doing all types of research. 

Technical Virtual Assistant 

If you’re a tech wizard, then you’ll enjoy being a technical virtual assistant. This type of service deals with tools and software. 

For example, a technical VA can help create great visuals for a business through Photoshop. Or, they can be responsible for making a video ad through Premier Pro. Since these tools and software take time to learn, many businesses are willing to pay big for a technical VA. 

Other Virtual Assistant Services

Here is a list of other common virtual assistant services that you can choose from:

  • Data Entry Virtual Assistant
  • Bookkeeping Virtual Assistant
  • eCommerce Virtual Assistant
  • WordPress Virtual Assistant
how to start and grow virtual assistant business
how to start and grow virtual assistant business

Step 2: Define Your Services 

Next up, you need to define the kind of work you’ll be offering, not just the service. Suppose you choose to be a Marketing VA. That can entail a lot of things. If you’re not careful, your client can bully you into doing other things not related to your expertise. 

So, make a list of things you’re willing to do and not do, as well as tools and software that you know how to use. Going back to our Marketing VA example, you can make a list that looks something like this…

Services I offer:

  • Email newsletter design
  • Live webinar assistance
  • Email automation
  • Promoting online content
  • Creating and monitoring Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads

Services I don’t offer:

  • Event planning
  • Creating graphic designs
  • Doing deep market research

Tools I Can Use:

  • Project Management Software – Trello, Asana, etc…
  • Email Marketing Platforms – ConvertKit, Constant Contact, etc…
  • SEO Tools – SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc…

No, you don’t need a business plan. However, you do need to define your business so you know exactly what to offer your clients. 

Step 3: Improve the Necessary VA Skills

There are a few necessary skills that you need to nail down if you want to succeed. Don’t worry, these are mostly soft skills that you can work on in everyday life. No need to go back to school for these. 

Hint: Never lie about a skill to a client. This will not only make the relationship start on a bad note, it will make your job stressful and the client disappointed. 

That said, here are the necessary skills that every VA needs to be successful…


This skill is VERY crucial. Clients want a VA that answers calls and emails immediately, doesn’t skip deadlines, and doesn’t suddenly disappear without a word. 

If you want to showcase reliability, you should always acknowledge a new task, a deadline, etc… You should submit the tasks on time and without any mistakes. You also shouldn’t lie about your skills or anything else for that matter. 

Good communication

Since you’re working apart, it’s best to communicate regularly. Let the client know your plans for the project, how you’re planning on going about it, and all that. 

Trust me, clients like knowing what their VA is doing. This also shows them that you’re actually working and not just wasting their time and money. 

If you have to miss a deadline, you need to be honest about it. Explain your reasons and give your apologies. For the most part, clients will understand – and will be happy that you told them. 

Great time management 

As you grow your client base, there will be a lot of tasks, projects, and deadlines you need to juggle. To keep on top of things, you must have great time management skills. You should also learn how to prioritize the tasks that have nearer deadlines or those that generate more revenue. 


Yes, I said that it’s good to communicate with your clients. However, it’s not good to always go to them with every single issue you run into. 

No, you need to be resourceful, too. That goes without saying that you should have critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Let’s say you run into a technical issue. Before you reach out to your client, you should do some research first. If you don’t find anything after reading through the first few Google answers, that’s when it’s OK to reach out to your client. 


Unfortunately, it’s so easy to scam clients online. One common example is plagiarizing another person’s work and pretending it’s yours. If you want long-term success, never base your business on unethical things. 

This is one skill that a lot of VAs don’t have. So if you can prove that you work with integrity, you’ll be a stand-out VA that many clients will want to work with. 

Any skill related to your service

Whatever service you’re planning on providing, now is the time to learn a few basic skills for it. If you’re offering Photoshop services, try to improve your knowledge and skill about the software. 

If you’re a Marketing VA, do some research about the marketing industry and what skills are necessary to succeed.

If you choose to be a Bookkeeping virtual assistant, maybe you need to brush up on some math skills or tax laws. And so on and so forth. 

Step 4: Come Up With a Rate

how much a virtual assistant should charge

Another thing you have to prepare before you start looking for clients is your charge rate. Now, you might be wondering, “How much should a beginner VA charge?” 

Here’s a good rule of thumb: Find a balance between a rate that pays for your time and effort but remains competitive enough to appeal to potential clients. 

Here’s another rule of thumb: No two clients are the same. Clients asking for administrative tasks will generally pay less, while more technical or valuable tasks pay higher. 

I know, I know. It’s hard to combine the two rules of thumb and come up with a once-for-all rate. So instead, find your minimum acceptable rate and ask each client what their budget is. 

For your minimum acceptable rate, plan out how much you should earn hourly to be able to pay for all your necessities, business expenses, new expenses (your benefits), and some luxuries. Filter in the fact that you can remove some expenses when you start working from home, such as commuting to work, eating out, etc…

That will be your base rate. Now, when you find a client, ask them what their budget is. If it is above your minimum acceptable hourly rate, EXCELLENT

If their budget is a bit below your hourly rate, then maybe you can accept that, too. However, if it’s a lowball budget, you should state your rate and start negotiating for something that works for you both. 

Hint: It’s also best to include a rate increase or revaluation after 3 months in your contract. This way, there’s always room to earn more if the client is satisfied. Of course, you must let your client know about this beforehand. 

How to come up with your hourly rate 

I did say that you can remove a few expenses when you work from home. However, you need to add new expenses, too (unless your VA job is a side hustle). Since you’re self-employed, you’ll have to deal with your own taxes, insurance plans, and retirement savings. 

This should all be included in your minimum acceptable rate. If you’re confused, here is a great strategy you can follow:

  1. Plan how much you want to earn a year. Let’s say you plan on earning $70,000.
  2. Add up your estimated expenses, including the new expenses I mentioned, as well as internet, laptop, office equipment, and other fees and expenses. Say your estimate comes up to around $22,000.
  3. Add your desired salary to your estimated expenses. So for our example $70,000 + $22,000 = $92,000.
  4. Plan out how many hours you’re willing to work in a year. Don’t forget about vacations, holidays, sick leaves, and hours spent building your business (this includes finding clients, marketing your services, etc…). For our example, let’s say your working hours for the year are 1,500 hours. 
  5. Divide your working hours by the combined number of your desired salary/estimated expenses. This will look like this: $92,000 ÷ $1,500 = 61.33.
  6. Your minimum acceptable hourly rate is $61.33. If you want to add a cushion, you can make your rate $65. 

Other ways to price VA services 

Hourly rates are the most common VA pricing. However, there are some instances where it’s not the best way to go. Say, for example, you’re dealing with a one-time project, such as a product launch. 

If that’s the case, then you might want to consider a project-based package. This means that you’ll charge the client a flat fee for the whole one-time project. 

To set a rate for this, estimate how long it will take to complete the project x your desired hourly rate. If your hourly rate is $65 and it will take 1 week to complete the project, that will come out to $325. 

Another way to price VA services is through retainer packages. This is perfect if you’re working long-term with a client. 

In this arrangement, the client pays a fixed fee upfront (often every month) to retain your services for a specified period. Basically, they’re reserving your time and availability to work for them. Whatever they need during that time, you’ll provide the service for that. 

This is great for you as it will mean consistent payment and instant income. It’s great for the client as their bills will be stable and they know that you reserved time for their needs (make sure to mention these benefits when pitching for a retainer package). 

OK, I’ll admit that asking for retainer packages is a bit more difficult. This is why, if you ever plan on this, you should ask for it after 2 to 3 months of working with the client. You should already trust each other. 

Finally, you can choose usable hour packages. This is similar to retainer packages. This time, you’ll be paid for a set number of hours. 

If a client pays for 20 hours (20 hrs + $65 = $85), you simply need to complete the 20 hours and stop. If there are still more tasks, let the client pay for more hours. 

Plan out the payment process

Yes, even before you find a client, you need to already know the full payment process. This includes how you like to get paid, when you expect to be paid, and where you’ll send your invoice. 

Here are a few suggestions that you can take:

  • Choose a reliable money transfer service. My top 4 are Wise, PayPal, Payoneer, and Cash App
  • If you’re charging hourly, a good payment term is 15 days. You don’t want to work too much only to find out that your client won’t pay you. 
  • Pay a few $ for an accounting system. This will make your invoicing so much easier. Two great systems I recommend are FreshBooks and QuickBooks. That said, I completely understand if you don’t want to pay. You can simply do the work manually with a spreadsheet and your digital money transfer service. 

Step 5: Find Your First Client

Now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty. It’s time to start looking for your first client. How exciting! 

But where in the world do you start? Here are a few places where you can look:

  • Job boards. OK, this isn’t the best place to find clients as this is the go-to for most VAs. Competition is tough. Moreover, the clients that you find here are cheap. But still, I know a few VAs who found great clients through job boards. So there’s no problem checking it out. Just one thing – DON’T spend most of your time here. It’s better to look elsewhere. 
  • Your existing network. If you’ve built a couple of relationships in your regular job, now is the time to ask for help. Ask them if they know someone hiring a VA. And if so, could they refer you? You can even reach out to family and friends. Or, why not go online and ask other VAs if they know anyone looking for the service you’re offering? 
  • Facebook groups. Good ol’ social media. You can always rely on it to find great opportunities. Facebook groups are the best place to look for your virtual assistant business. Go over there, type in your niche or service, and join the top groups with many active members. Hint: you need to engage regularly in each group. This way, you’ll be a known member of the community and not just some random person who pops up when there’s a job post. 
  • Your local college. As VA jobs are becoming more common, colleges are now offering VA courses. As you can guess, that will be one place clients go to to find VAs for their businesses. 
  • Reach out to your favorite businesses. Say you really want to work with a particular business. You love their products or services and want to help them succeed even more. Well, you can reach out to that business and ask if they need a VA to help them. 
  • Google. You can’t go wrong with a Google search. 
  • Workshops and events. If you attend workshops and events in your niche, you can find lots of connections there. You might not find a client, but you’ll surely find someone who can refer you to a client. For this, I’d suggest having business cards with you. 
  • Facebook ads. Willing to spend a bit of money? If so, Facebook ads will allow clients looking for a VA with your service to find you. I will warn you, though. If you want this to profit, you need to have some knowledge about how these ads work. 
  • Forums. There are forums specifically catering to VAs. Check out and Here, you’ll be able to interact with other VAs and hopefully find a client or get a referral. 
  • Craigslist. This is a bit similar to a job board. However, at Craiglist, you can directly reach out to a client. 
  • Freelance writing newsletter. If you offer writing services, then this is one of the best places for great opportunities. 

How to land your first client 

OK, I’ve told you where to find a client. Now let’s see how to land a client. 

First up, you need to make sure that you find someone you want to work with. Don’t go with the very first client you find. 

Yes, the paycheck is great, but it shouldn’t be the only motivation. You want to work with a business that you believe in. A business that you will go the extra mile to see succeed. This will make all your tasks worthwhile. 

Gather a bunch of clients that make you feel that way. You can add all their names in a spreadsheet.

💡Hint: You might even want to work under an established VA that you admire. Some of the higher-up VAs are willing to hire as much help as they can get.  

When you have your client list, it’s time to join their online community. You don’t want to reach out to them yet when they have no idea who you are. 

So go ahead and follow them on social media. Comment on their posts. Share their stuff. Sign up for what they offer. Respond to emails. Make yourself known to them. 

From there, you can send your pitch…

Step 6: Create a Perfect Pitch

Your pitch should have a strong argument as to why your services are needed. Make it hard for clients to refuse. More than that, make it stand out. 

Now, to create a perfect pitch, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be familiar with their brand. This is why I advised you to make yourself known first and foremost. Not only will the client recognize you, but you’ll also know more about their business. You can add your knowledge about it to your pitch. Let me tell you, business owners are more willing to hire when they know you’ve been following them for a while now. 
  • Customize your pitch. Never send a generalized pitch. This will not have the WOW factor. I don’t care how many pitches you’re sending out, you must always customize each one. To customize, mention one of their recent posts. Your reaction to a blog post. Maybe you found their social media to be helpful. Or, maybe you have something in common with the owner that you read about on their website. Small details like this will let the person know the pitch is tailored to them. 
  • Focus on the brand, mission, and style. Let’s say you’re trying to work with a big company and you can’t find ways to customize your pitch. In this case, you should focus on the company’s brand, mission, and style. This isn’t as personal, but it will still show that you’re familiar with the company. 
  • Show that you truly want to help. Remember I said it’s not all about the paycheck? If you believe that, then it will be easier to pitch your services in a way that will show you’re there to help. You believe that your service will work well with the business to achieve unmeasurable heights. 
  • Be honest. Don’t lie about your skills. If you do, the client will find it out soon enough. However, this also means that you shouldn’t hold back. If you see that the business is making a mistake in a certain area, tell them about it and how your service can help them with that. 
  • Keep it short but sweet. Yes, you need to highlight your skills and what you can offer. But you have to remember that these people are busy. If your pitch is too long, they might not bother reading it. I say keep it within 2 to 5 paragraphs with 2 to 3 sentences. 
  • It’s OK to name drop. What I mean is that you can tell who you’ve worked with or for. This is especially useful if you’ve worked with someone well within the industry. You can even ask that person to recommend you if ever.
  • Never hard sell. Hard selling is just annoying. You don’t want to be on a client’s face forcing them to get your service or else. No, make your approach friendly, honest, helpful, and soft. 

Pitch sample

Subject: Can I Help You?

Hey [insert name]!

I’ve been hooked on your blog for ages now, and I’ve gotta say, your content always blows me away. Seriously, your passion shines through every post!

I’m an administrative virtual assistant that makes life easier for bloggers like you. From wrangling emails to nailing down social media schedules, I’m here to give you more breathing room to do your thing – create awesome content!

But here’s the kicker: I’m not just here to work for you. I’m here to work with you. Let’s be real partners in this journey, sharing ideas, supporting each other, and making magic happen together. 

Your success is what drives me, and the thought of teaming up with someone as talented and passionate as you? Well, let’s just say I’m pretty stoked about it!

Can’t wait to chat more about how we can make this happen. If not possible, then I just really wanted to say that I love what you’re doing. Keep it up!


[Your name]

Step 7: Discuss Your Partnership 

Say the client is interested in working with you. It’s time to discuss what your partnership is going to look like.

The first thing to do is give them a phone call. This is when you’ll get to meet and talk to the client. You can discuss the service you provide, the client’s goal, the preferred method of communication, what are they looking for in a VA, and all that. 

💡Hint: It’s a good idea to prepare for the call by researching the business/company, coming up with questions, etc… This way, you’ll know exactly how to go about the process. Plus, you’ll be the one directing the conversation. 

💡Hint II: Don’t give your rate just yet. This is the time to ask about the client’s budget. From there, you can do the rate calculation I taught above. 

After the call ends, you can send a follow-up email mentioning everything you talked about. This is also a good time to send in your rate or package. It’s good to have it in written form so you can both read it carefully and slowly. 

Hold up! What if the client has an objection? “Why are your services so expensive?” “I don’t know what to outsource.”

For the first objection, you can provide examples of how you can help generate even more revenue. If you’ve had a client before, you can give real-life examples of how you did this, even with simple admin tasks. 

For the second objection, ask the client what they don’t like doing, what they don’t know what to do, and what is slipping through the cracks. Let them know how your services can help in those areas and more. 

Step 8: Sign a Contract

Everything is settled. Congrats! You’ve landed your first-ever client. Your business idea is now a reality. 

So what now? You sign a contract that works for both of you. And I’m telling you now, contracts are so crucial as legal action is possible if one of the parties doesn’t fulfill their obligations. That’s one worry out of your and your client’s mind. 

What to include in your VA contract

But what if you have no idea what to include in the contract? Don’t worry. As always, I’m here to help. 

The best thing about a VA business is that you can make the contract super straightforward. No need for a lawyer to decipher it. 

That said, here is what to include in your contract:

  • Payment terms. Include your rate, if you’re doing an upfront payment agreement, how you’ll be paid, when you’ll send your invoice, and when you’ll receive payment. Don’t forget to include a rate increase or re-evaluation after several months. Both you and the client have to agree on these terms. 
  • Termination notice. If ever you want to stop working with a client (or vice versa) for whatever reason, a termination notice is important. This is especially for cases where you’re working regularly with them and not just a one-time project. Your notice should include how it’s to be given, who can terminate, how much notice is needed, and payment at the time of notice. 
  • Description of work. Of course, your contract should state what services you’re willing to offer. This is one way to avoid doing tasks that are beyond you. OK, what if you’re not sure about the specific type of work you’ll be doing? In that case, you can write something along the lines of “other tasks as agreed by the client and VA.”
  • Independent contractor agreement. Remember, you’re working as a partner and not an employee. This section of the contract will remind the client that you must be treated as such. Also, this means that you’re not allowed to demand paid leaves and other benefits from your client. 
  • Non-competes or non-solicitation clauses. There are some clients that don’t want you working with their competitors, too. Or, for a non-solicitation, they don’t want you stealing their clients. If your client decides to include this in the contract, make sure you ask questions about it. For the non-compete, try to make it as specific as possible – like make it say that you can’t work for direct competitors instead of a broad industry. 
  • Confidentiality. As with any contract, there should be a confidentiality section. You shouldn’t share insider secrets. This will provide your client with peace of mind. They won’t be afraid to share with you confidential information about their business. 

Contract sample 

This Virtual Assistant Services Agreement is entered into by and between [Client Name], hereinafter referred to as the “Client”, and [Virtual Assistant Name], hereinafter referred to as the “VA”, effective as of [specific start date].

The Client and the VA hereby agree to the terms and conditions outlined in this Agreement for the provision of [Virtual Assistant Services]. Both parties acknowledge and agree to commence work on the agreed-upon start date mentioned above.

The following terms and conditions govern the relationship between the Client and the VA and outline the scope of work, payment terms, termination procedures, confidentiality obligations, and other relevant provisions necessary for a successful collaboration.

1. Payment Terms:

  • The agreed-upon rate for services is [insert rate] per [hour/week/month].
  • Payment shall be made [weekly/monthly] via [preferred payment method].
  • Invoices will be sent on [specified date] of each billing cycle.
  • Payment is due within [number] days of receipt of the invoice.
  • Both parties agree to re-evaluate rates and terms after [number] months.

2. Termination Notice:

  • Either party may terminate this agreement with [number] days’ written notice.
  • Notice of termination shall be provided via email to [email address].
  • Upon termination, any outstanding payments for services rendered or vice versa shall be settled within [number] days.

3. Description of Work:

  • The Virtual Assistant (VA) agrees to provide services including but not limited to:
    • Email management
    • Social media scheduling
    • Other tasks as agreed upon by the client and VA

4. Independent Contractor Agreement:

  • The VA operates as an independent contractor and not as an employee of the client.
  • The client shall not be responsible for providing employee benefits or paid leaves to the VA.

5. Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation:

  • The VA agrees not to engage in business activities that directly compete with the client’s business during the term of this agreement.
  • The VA agrees not to solicit clients or customers of the client for [number] months after the termination of this agreement.

6. Confidentiality:

  • The VA agrees to maintain the confidentiality of all proprietary and sensitive information shared by the client.
  • Confidential information includes but is not limited to business strategies, financial data, and client lists.

Both parties acknowledge their understanding and acceptance of the terms outlined in this agreement.

Client Signature: ________________________

VA Signature: ___________________________

Date: _________________

[Insert Contact Information for Both Parties]

Step 9: Set Client Boundaries 

As you finally start working and earning, it’s important to set client boundaries. And yes, you should do this very early on so it’s easier to establish (I’m saying on the first day at the job). 

Since a virtual assistant business is all online, it’s very possible to be overworked. You might feel like you need to respond to that email even during the weekends (or your client might feel that way). This will lead to stress and burnout. We don’t want that.  

But what boundaries should you set to avoid this? Here are just a few basic ones (you can add to the list depending on your situation):

  • Business hours. Sure, as a virtual assistant, you can work whenever – morning, afternoon, night. However, it’s wise to set business hours for yourself and let your client know about it. This way, you won’t feel pressured into answering an email when it’s your me-time. 
  • Communication. When you have 1 or 2 clients, it’s OK to use different kinds of communication channels. However, when you start working with multiple clients, it will be hard to keep up with who prefers calls and who prefers emails and all that. This is why, as early as now, set your communication channel. 
  • Fee schedule. Let’s say a client needs something urgently. Maybe they ask you to complete a project this week instead of next week as they said. Don’t let them bully you into changing your schedule. Instead, give them an option to pay an extra fee for the hassle. 
  • Average response time. Did you ever try sending an email and waiting forever to get a reply? It’s not pleasant, is it? Well, you don’t want to give that same treatment to your clients. This is why you should set an average response time. Tell them that you’ll get to them within 24 hours, not including the weekends. You should ask them to do the same for you. 
  • Clear scope for projects. Before you accept a client or project, you should always know in detail your tasks, what’s expected of you, and the deadline. This is what you’ll discuss during Step 7. You don’t want to do more than bargained for (or less). If you can handle more complex tasks, it’s a good idea to ask for an extra fee or a higher rate. 

How to fire a client

Let’s say a client doesn’t respect your boundaries. Or maybe you just want to stop working with them (for whatever reason). Let me make a quick interjection here and tell you how to fire a client the right way. 

For one, you need to make sure it’s time to cut ties. This is especially true if you’ve grown a healthy relationship with the client or if you’re earning most of your income from them. 

My number one solution to know is if you have negative emotions towards the client or your work. Boredom, burnout, procrastination, dread – these are emotions you need to be aware of. 

Remember, you started your virtual assistant business to do what YOU love. If you no longer love or enjoy it, that’s a sure sign you’ve lost the plot. 

If it’s really time, you should always follow your termination notice on the contract. If the contract said you need to give a 2-weeks notice, then give a 2-weeks notice. If you need to fulfill the hours for your up-front payment, then go ahead and complete the last tasks. 

You also need to keep a healthy relationship. Let’s say your relationship wasn’t the smoothest. Maybe the client became overbearing and demanded more work for the same pay. Even so, do your responsibilities well until it’s time to leave them forever. 

It’s even a good idea to give them a referral. Maybe you know a good VA that can help them out. 

Ending on a good note will show that you’re professional. Not only that, you may want to work for the same client later on in the future. Or, even better, you may want them to give you referrals. 

Step 10: Make a Schedule

As you juggle your day-to-day tasks, you can become more productive with a schedule. This is very helpful if you have several clients already. 

I don’t have much say here. I mean, every VA has a different schedule that caters to their work hours, tasks, goals, whether they’re full-time or part-time, and whatnot. 

What I will say is that you should try to make your schedule as detailed as possible. Include the time you wake up, eat breakfast, exercise, relax, check your emails, and look for more clients. This structured day will help you get more done. 

Of course, the beauty of a virtual assistant business is that you can change up the days. Maybe for Tuesdays, you can start work late and spend time during some errands, or go out for a run. It’s up to you!

💡Hint: As you juggle more clients and tasks, you need to set realistic deadlines. This way, your schedule won’t be jam-packed every day. You can be honest about other projects, too, if one client’s deadline is the same as another client’s deadline. Remember, you’re a freelancer, not an employee. 

How to be more productive 

You want to get as much done in as little time as possible. This will not only allow you to get more clients and earn more, but it will also make you a reliable VA. 

My number one advice is to automate whenever you can. There are so many tools and apps that can make life much easier. Also, you don’t want to depend too much on a manual spreadsheet or your memory. 

Another way to be more productive is to ask questions. You don’t want to spend your time on a project, only for it to come back with lots of fixes needed or to find out that you did more than expected. That will waste a lot of your time. This is why, when you’re confused about something, always ask the client about it. 

You’ll also become highly productive if you stick to your strengths. That means that you only accept tasks and projects that you’re good at. You won’t need to spend time on a learning curve. 

It’s a good idea to batch your tasks, too. Suppose you need to post on social media for 3 clients. Don’t focus on one client and their tasks and the next client and their tasks. 

Instead, batch tasks by type. So if you need to post on social media for all clients, do it all in one go. 

Use one system for all your clients. It will waste a lot of your time if you use Asana for this client and Trello for that client. This is why you should make it clear to your clients that you only use one system to keep everything in order. This will also make it easier to manage tasks, deadlines, and more. 

Say your client doesn’t use that system. Well, you should still use the system for their tasks, deadlines, etc. for yourself. For the client, you can update them through email or whatever their preferred communication channel is. 

What’s more, you should plan your day the night before. What did I say about having a detailed schedule? Well, you should make this schedule the night before so you don’t have to include “make a schedule” in your schedule. 

One last thing. You should work when you’re most productive. This is when your energy levels are highest. If you’re a night owl, then make your work hours at night. When your energy is high, you will naturally be able to get more things done. 

Tools and apps you can use for productivity

For project management:

For scheduling:

For timekeeping, invoicing, and bookkeeping:

For security:

For organization:

For social media scheduling:

For others:

Step 11: Deal with Taxes

Here’s one downside to starting your own virtual assistant business. Yes, you’ll have to do your own taxes (scary!). 

To help you, here is a broad description of how to deal with your taxes:

  • Keep records of your income and expenses
  • Learn about your tax obligations as a self-employed individual
  • Determine your filing status
  • Report your income
  • Deduct business expenses
  • File your tax return
  • Pay your taxes

I’m no tax expert, so I advise that you find a qualified person who can guide you in this. However, I do know this important aspect of taxes – KEEP TRACK OF YOUR INCOME AND EXPENSES. Trust me, it will avoid so many headaches. 

I also do know that you need to save at least 30% of your gross income for tax payments. Here’s a calculation that you can use:

  • 30% goes to tax savings
  • 10% goes to business savings
  • Pay all your business expenses
  • The rest is your paycheck

Let’s say you earn $5,000 a month. $1,500 goes to your taxes, $500 for your business savings, $1,000 for your business expenses, and $2,000 for your paycheck. 

What if you have irregular income? It’s best to keep everything in a buffer savings account and only pay yourself a set amount every 2 weeks (like a salary in a traditional job). 

And no, you shouldn’t pay yourself more if you earn more during the month. You need to make sure that you save up to pay your set salary, your taxes, and other expenses when tasks and income are slow. 

Step 12: Market Your Business 

You’ve already established your virtual assistant business. It’s not just an idea or side hustle now – it’s a business that’s in full-blown operation. 

Because of that, you don’t want to have to be the one approaching clients all the time. Imagine having to craft pitch after pitch, besides working on your tasks and projects. 

Instead, you want clients to approach you. You want these potential clients to be sold on your services even before speaking to you. 

How do you do that? Here are some ways you can market your business:

  • Ask for referrals. This is the number one way to get more clients without pitching. Of course, to ask for referrals, you need to ensure clients are happy with your work. You should make them feel important by regularly checking in with their personal lives or business, too. If so, they’ll be more than willing to help you. 
  • Create a portfolio with examples of your work, what services you specialize in, the results you generated for clients, and more. 
  • Make a website so clients can find you through SEO. As they type in your services in Google, your website will appear on top if you implement good SEO strategies. Know this – the first few websites that pop up are trusted ones. This means a potential client looking for a VA will choose your business over the others. 
  • Post on social media with relevant hashtags. This can be your personal social media or business social media. Either way, using hashtags is a great way to direct people interested in your services to your account or posts. 
  • Run a Facebook ad and interact in Facebook groups. If someone likes what they see, they will reach out to you to ask more about your VA business. 
  • Network, network, network. Go out and meet people. Attend industry workshops and events. Don’t forget to hand out your business cards, too. It might seem old-fashioned, but it’s still an effective way to get your name out there. 
  • Offer free educational opportunities. You can start a blog about VAs, or host webinars or Facebook lives for the services you offer. At the end, always give a call to action to check out your services or email you for details. 

Step 13: Raise Your Rate

As your virtual assistant business starts to grow and grow, you can ask for a higher rate from your clients. 

If you’ve included a salary increase or re-evaluation in your contract, it will be easier to get that raise. But what if the client didn’t agree to it?

Well, here are other ways you can earn more:

  • Offer a specialized service. While you work, let’s say you also take time to improve a certain skill – maybe it’s a tool or writing. As you offer your usual services, you can ask the client if they want your specialized service. For that, they’ll have to pay extra for it. Later on, you might even want to change your job title to “project manager” or “copywriter” instead of “just a VA”. 
  • As for more work. Instead of looking for new clients, why don’t you get more work (and more pay) from your current list of clients? This will also show the client your eagerness to help them succeed. 
  • Raise your rate with each new client. You don’t have to ask your clients for the same rate. If you’re already a pro at your service, you can add a few more $ to your rate when you secure a new client. No one will know. However, this isn’t a good idea if the client came from a referral. Chances are, they already talked about your prices. 
  • Ask for a raise. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a raise from your client. Let’s say you’re even better at what you do now and/or you’re responsible for more tasks. They will probably be willing to do it if you’re a friend, a reliable worker, and you’ve already helped them generate more revenue. 

Asking for a raise sample 

As you grow through my sample template, keep in mind these key points:

  • Show your value
  • Make it personalized
  • Show that you care about them and not just their money

Hi [Insert Client Name]!

I’ve been reflecting on our partnership lately and can’t believe that it’s been a year since we started working together. 

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our achievements in [mention specific tasks or projects you’ve worked on and how they succeeded]. Your dedication to [mention something you admire about their work ethic or vision] has been truly inspiring, and I’m grateful to be part of your journey. 

To grow my virtual assistant business, I want to offer even more value to those I work with. For that, I need to increase my rates to [insert new hourly rate or package rate] on [insert date].

I really want to keep working with you as I enjoy the tasks and our working relationship. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about these changes. 


When you should NOT ask for a raise 

When you ask for a raise, you need to make sure you’re at your best. You’re performing as expected or better than expected. I mean, imagine asking for a raise when you keep missing deadlines, making mistakes, etc. 

That’s a given. But there are more unique reasons not to ask for a raise. The first one is that you love the work of a specific client.

Say you know this client is just starting out. They won’t have the funds for your new rate. Well, if you love working for them, you can hold off on your raised rates for the time being. 

Another time when you should not ask for a raise is when you need a client. Suppose your biggest paying client left you. That will make it tempting to raise your prices. 

However, that might just mean other clients leaving you. You don’t want to lose any more income. This is why it’s a good idea to find a replacement before asking for a raise. 

If you get lots of other benefits, it isn’t fair to ask for a raise. Maybe the client gives you free coaching, access to courses and training, and even referrals. 

This won’t make you earn more, but it will add value to your skill set, knowledge, and overall business. In turn, you can ask for a higher rate with other clients. 

Step 14: Outsource Your Work

Want to level up your business even more? You can start earning passive income by outsourcing your work. 

As you gain even more clients and tasks, you might feel trapped into work, work, work. You started a virtual assistant business to be free, but it doesn’t seem that way anymore. On the other hand, if you let go of some clients and tasks, you won’t be earning your top potential. 

What should you do? Hire a subcontractor. This other virtual assistant will do the work for you while you pay them a commission. 

If your subcontractor has a different set of skills, you can even offer that service to your client and let them do it. More work means more income. 

💡Hint: If you don’t want to lose money, you should charge a much higher rate than what you give your subcontractor. Remember, their payment will need to be added to your list of expenses. 

💡Hint II: If you don’t want to ruin your name, you should make sure that your virtual assistant is reliable, skilled, and has all the other necessary VA skills. You may need to set aside some time to train them and check out their work before submitting. 

Sure, it will take a bit of work. However, in the long run, this will allow you to earn more passive income. You’ll have more time for expanding your business and hobbies. 

Step 15: Build a VA Agency

OK, you can stop at Step 14. But if you want to go even further with your business, why not turn it into a VA agency?

Your business won’t be just about you anymore. It will be about a whole team of VAs that work together to provide the best services. Unlike a subcontractor, each VA will have direct contact with the clients. 

Now, a VA agency has its pros and cons. You need to weigh the good and bad to see whether this is the path you want your business to take. 

 Let’s first look at the cons:

  • It takes away your creativity. If you got into virtual assistant because you wanted to be creative and work directly with clients, this will hinder that goal. 
  • You’ll have to undertake management and administrative work. Managing a VA agency will see you doing more managing and admin work than helping out your clients and their needs. 
  • It will change the dynamic of your business. This is expected. I mean, it’s not just you now. There are many more virtual assistants that you need to keep up with. 

Here are the pros:

  • The income potential is limitless. Since you’re a group that works together, so much can be done. You can find even more clients and tasks and it won’t be a burden. 
  • You’ll have a healthier work-life balance. Since not everything falls on you, you’ll actually be able to have a lot of free time. Think of it as when you just started your virtual assistant business, with few clients and tasks. Only this time, you’ll be earning 10x more. 

Are You Ready to Start Your Virtual Assistant Business?

Tired of that boring job that sees you working 9-5 every day? Do you want to turn your life around and start your own business?

If so, consider a virtual assistant business. It costs almost nothing (sometimes nothing at all!) to get started. Plus, now you know everything you need to know on how to start and grow your own virtual assistant business. 

So what are you waiting for? Don’t worry about the “What ifs…” The best thing to do is get to WORK with Step 1. From there, let the other Steps follow through.

If you’re persistent, you’ll soon be earning more than you ever imagined. And, you’ll be doing something you love, too. So best of luck!

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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