Managing a virtual assistant business (or any business for that matter) involves monthly or annual expenses that you need to consider and record against your income.
When you're just starting out, it's important to keep these expenses at a minimum so that you can avoid a significant loss, whilst attracting your first clients.
As a business owner (and a self confessed tech-nerd!) I’ve tried and tested hundreds of online tools and chosen the top 6 that I believe are essential, yet affordable tools for setting up and managing a virtual assistant business.
Many of these tools can be used not only to manage your own business, but to service your client’s as well.
Free with a gmail account or US$5 per month
Email is essential for communicating and collaborating with clients as is an online calendar for taking bookings, therefore Gmail and Google Calendar are at the top of my list!
Also, with GSuite you get access to Google Hangouts (great for communicating by video), Google Drive (a cloud-based storage system where you can share and store all your files/folders) as well as a YouTube account, Google Analytics and Adwords - all for just $5 per month.
Free or from US$10 per month
An online booking tool just makes client appointments a streamlined process. Acuity Scheduling integrates with Google Calendar so that you can manage your appointments in your live calendar.
Starting from US$9 per month
Toggl is affordable time recording tool. You can download the tool as a desktop app, as well as connect it to your browser. It's free for the first 30 days, giving you the opportunity to try before you buy.
Free to setup, various transaction/bank fees apply
Most people have a personal Paypal account which they use for shopping online, but in order to get paid by others you need to upgrade to a Premier or Business Account. This is free to do and just involves completing a form and providing copies of your ID for money laundering regulations etc.
Once you've upgraded, you can send invoices to your clients, request payments, set up Paypal buttons and all for a fee of 2.9% plus US$0.30 per transaction.
Free or optional upgrade
I LOVE this graphic design tool! With a free account, you can create social media images, business cards, presentations, PDFs etc and you don't even need to be a graphic designer. Canva enables non-graphic pros to create their own images with ease.
They have an option to upgrade to Canva For Work which offers some additional features, but not essential for new virtual assistant business owners.
Free or US$10 per month Awesome plan
Buffer is a social media management tool which is free to use for 1 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ profile. The free plan also allows you to schedule up to 10 posts per platform, so it’s a great tool to schedule your weekly posts in advance.
If you upgrade to the Awesome plan you can schedule more posts per platform and add more accounts, such as Pinterest and additional Facebook Groups and Profiles.
From US$12 per month
Squarespace has made website development accessible and affordable for everyone. Unlike Wordpress, there's no additional themes or plugins to purchase. Squarespace websites provide all you need for a basic site, with a blog and newsletter sign up box.