4 Really Smart Questions Asked by New Virtual Assistants
Okay, I’m a self-admitted introvert.
But the new virtual assistants in my mastermind group want answers.
So sometimes, I go live in the group to answer their burning questions.
I tell my students to get outside of their comfort zone, pitch their services in order to jumpstart their virtual assistant journey.
And boy, do they ask questions. I love it! They come prepared with their list of questions and I’m surprised that I don’t hyperventilate from feeling anxious. The students are my friends, even if they are on the other side of the computer screen.
On a recent live session, there were a few questions that came up. There are no stupid questions, especially if you’re just starting out. So, here we go - four questions that came up in the mastermind group live session.
#1 Do you have to have an EIN?
EIN stands for Employer Identification Number and it’s used in place of your social security number. You truly don’t need one but with the whole issue of identity theft going around, it doesn’t hurt to have it. The EIN takes the place of having to share your social security number with clients. It only takes a few minutes to apply and get one. Once you get it, make sure to print it as a PDF and keep it in a safe place. Plus, you’ll need an EIN if you want to apply for a business bank account. Go to irs.gov and apply . And if anyone ever wants to charge you to get an EIN, tell them to go kick rocks - it’s free.
#2 Do you have to be an LLC or what’s recommended as a starter?
Most virtual assistants start out as sole proprietors. It’s easy to start this way because it doesn’t require any paperwork. However, note that if a client is unhappy with your work and they decide to take legal action, your personal assets are at risk. Remember also to pay your employment taxes, which can be high as a sole proprietor.
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a different type of business structure and if you live in the United States, you should check with your state for specifics.
Owners of an LLC are called members. Most states also permit “single-member” LLCs, those having only one owner. The main difference between a sole proprietorship and an LLC is that an LLC will protect your personal assets against any lawsuits. When in doubt, seek the advice of an attorney or accountant to figure out which structure is best for you and your situation.
#3 When you do contracts with a client, do you have a certain time frame of working relationship written in the contract or do you sign one each year?
Good question! Here’s the thing: as a virtual assistant, you are a business owner, which means you get to decide the terms of your contract. Sweet! If you want to make sure to have recurring income, you might want to opt for a longer term. For services like social media management and Pinterest management, it’s best to have at least a 6-month contract minimum. Never work without one! I don’t care if it’s your mama’s best friend’s cousin from church - don’t do it! Another tip - have the client sign the contract first and then you sign it.
#4 How do I spot a scam?
One of my mastermind students was so excited because someone had reached out to her on LinkedIn with a job offer.
And as much as I wanted to tell her to proceed with this, I just couldn’t. Because “Luis Roberto” or whoever it was just trying to scam her.
How can you tell?
That jacked-up email address. I’m pretty sure Sodexo, an international food and facilities management headquartered in Paris can afford emails with the sodexo.com suffix. Not outlook.com. No way, no how. Go take a seat, Luis Roberto.
Misspellings and grammatical errors. “If you choose to accept this position, please reply this email with a brief letter of acceptance.” What an awkward sentence! It hurt just typing that. Have you heard of spell-check and grammar check, Luis Roberto? Oh yeah, this phrase really stinks: “The agreement between you and me…” Huh? I thought the offer was from Sodexo? Now it’s an agreement with good old Luis Roberto? I don’t think so!
When in doubt, visit the company website and do a search for the position. And really — if it sounds too good to be true, well, you know the rest.
- Asking you to cash a check and send the proceeds somewhere.
- Asking for bank account information.
If you’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant and want to join the mastermind group, we’d love to have you. Not only do you get live training sessions, but you’ll also get:
A Private Facebook group -- you'll get to hang out with other virtual assistants, supporting each other and celebrating your wins. Plus, I'll go live each week with updates and trainings to help you in your journey.
Ask Me Anything - Stuck on something? Send me your questions through Facebook Messenger and I'll answer them!
Accountability - To make sure you get the most out of the mastermind, we'll have weekly accountability threads to keep you on track.
Live Group Call Every Month - Let's get together and chat about what's happening and connect with others in the group.
Exclusive Training and Resources - Want to learn all you can about becoming a virtual assistant? You'll get access to resources, swipe files, workbooks, action plans and video trainings. A new training will arrive each month.
Guest Experts - Mingle and learn from folks who care about your business and want to see you succeed. Once per month, we'll learn something new from a guest expert.
Blog Posts, Social Media Graphics and Updates - Each month, you'll have access to fresh content you can share on your social media accounts. No more trying to figure out what to share. It's all done for you!
I hope this post helped you and let me know if you have any questions that have been on your mind about starting a virtual assistant business. I’d love to help. Until next time!