Do You Have What it Takes?

Self-Employment Considerations

Here are some things you need to consider before you decide to start a business. We in no way want to discourage you from following your dream. However, we want you to be aware of these considerations, make sure they are not a problem, or if there is a problem, it’s one that you can deal with and have the solution for prior to that starting date.

Even though your pay rate might be higher if you work at home, which it definitely should be, you won’t have paid benefits, a pension plan, sick days, paid holidays, and other traditional employee perks. You will also be responsible for your own taxes. Let’s examine some of these.

Taxes. You will be responsible for your own taxes. It’s important to be able to put money aside regularly for this. At some point, you will probably need to be paying quarterly taxes. You need to be disciplined to doing this. Many fall into this trap. You will be receiving a check for the work done. If you continually spend that full amount, come tax-time, you won’t have the money put aside that you will need to pay your taxes and then your wonderful business becomes an overnight nightmare.

Insurance. For many you don’t need to worry about insurance, as you will be covered under your spouse’s plan. However, if this is not the case, then it is a consideration that you want to address prior to starting your business. I know many insurance plans for a couple and one child can run $500.00 to $600.00 a month. That is a major expense. We go more into detail later on in this book. However, for this chapter, this is another consideration.

Time. You have to be disciplined. Many find it hard to leave work when it is only a few feet away or right down the hall. Most of the time, you can still hear the phone ringing and the tendency is to go look and see whose calling. What if you didn’t finish something? Can you let it go and enjoy dinner with the family? These are things you want to address. You’ll find that those “just a few minutes” add up. Soon you’re spending the night in your office and your family is feeling neglected.

Family Support. Your decision to be self-employed is something that you should discuss in detail with all family members, not just your spouse, as it does affect everyone. Naturally, more time should be spent with your spouse. Don’t get defensive. Keep in mind that although this is your dream come true; to them this is a paycheck that isn’t coming in, a different lifestyle than they are accustomed to, and perhaps sacrifices that they aren’t ready to make. If you go into this as a team, your chances of success are all the greater.

Are you VA Material?

With the right motivation, most CAN succeed (especially with the help of Virtual Assistant – The Series) However, if you’re of the opinion that, “Well, I own a computer, I have access to the Internet, and I own a few software programs with a printer—I can be a virtual assistant, everyone else is doing it,” then you have to question the motivation for becoming a VA.

The dream of owning your own business and the freedom that comes along with it can sometimes cloud the reality that we might not be choosing the right business to start. Now is the time to do some real soul-searching and determine if becoming a VA is really what you want to do in life. A better way to look at it is to ask yourself, “If money were no object, am I choosing a career that allows me to do what I love to do?” Further, when you choose to start your own business it should not be considered a hobby. Yes, you might start part-time, but the commitment and desire for being a long-term viable business is highly important. If you don’t take your business seriously, how can you expect others to do the same?

The virtual assistant industry is rapidly expanding and the desire to become a virtual assistant is fast becoming reality for a great many people. For this, we are thrilled. But, how many of those businesses are still around after six months, a year, or even two years? Did those who didn’t make it take their business seriously? Did they constantly improve their skills, seek the proper training, and partake in the necessary networking opportunities? We have to remember that other professionals rely on us to help their business grow. Are you ready for that responsibility?

Not only do you need to have the skills to handle the services you will offer, but you must also have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Let’s first take a look at the characteristics of an entrepreneur:

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