Thinking about making the leap but not sure if you can afford to?
Here are my three tips for making the transition from PA to VA that ensure financial security whilst you are building your business…
With the growing lack of flexibility in corporate roles and PAs feeling undervalued, it is no wonder that many of us dream of working for ourselves. You love the idea of working the hours and days that suit you, working for passionate clients that value you, killing the commute and not having a cap on earning potential.
However, many VAs wait until they’ve left full-time employment BEFORE they start building their client base and business… and that’s a risky avenue to go down, particularly if like most you are relying on your income to pay your bills.
If you’re thinking about making the transition from employed PA to self-employed VA, here’s a simple three step strategy to ensure the financial transition is a smooth and relatively risk-free one.
#1: Build a client base
Whilst you’re currently being paid a regular wage from employment, you have the ideal opportunity to lay the foundations of your own business, with minimum stress and anxiety. It makes sense to lay the groundwork whilst you have job security in place.
It’s an excellent idea to begin to build your client base and awareness of your new venture whilst still employed –and this can be achieved by working on your days off, evenings and weekends, if your current lifestyle allows for it.
That way, once you make the leap from employed to self-employed, you’ll already have a network of potential and even existing clients to work with – and will have built a positive reputation for yourself, gained valuable experience, testimonials and possibly even referrals along the way.
#2: Gradually cut down your hours
By using your employed time productively and building your own client base, you will then be in a position to start gradually increasing your self-employed hours and decreasing the hours spent in paid employment.
It may be worthwhile talking to your employer and advising them of your plans to go self-employed too, so you can come up with a mutually agreeable plan and timescale to gradually make the switch. This will also ensure they are happy and supportive of your decision – as some employment contracts have a clause that prevents you from working in competing industries etc. – this can cause you problems when marketing to your new clients.
#3: Building a financial safety net
Working through the previous two steps will help you to start creating the groundwork for your business. However, it ’s probably a good idea to have money put aside to help make those first 3-6 months of self-employment as risk-free and stress-free as possible – so look to save the equivalent of 3-6 months’ worth of employed income and this will help take the pressure off and build the life you really want and not the one you have to take!
Please also remember, prior to earning ANY money from your self-employed business (whether or not you are still in full-time employment), you NEED to inform HMRC of your change in business status. That way, you won’t get hit with any associated fees and nasty fines for not paying the correct rate of National Insurance or Tax!
Finally, you also need to inform your home insurance company of your intentions to go self-employed, if you intend to have clients visiting you in your home. This usually involves simply writing to them, so they have a note on file.
Of course there is much more to think about than the financials. If you still want to make the leap from PA to VA then join me on my webinar where I go into far more detail about EXACTLY what is required to get your VA business off the ground and give authentic examples of what is looks like in practice based on my own experiences including the good, the bad and the ugly!
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