Don’t Over Invest in Your Business

Mar 17, 2024
The VA Connection: Don't Overspend in Your Business

My husband Greg and I are in the process of moving from Connecticut to Virginia. We began migrating our things on January 29th when we closed on the house. We will be completely moved in, chickens and all, by April 1st.

The distance between our old home and our new home is 415 miles, so there has been a lot of planning, driving, box buying, and packing.

One of the great things about moving is that it requires you to touch every single thing you own, bringing back memories and creating images about how exciting it will be when your possessions are safely delivered to your new home.

One of the not-so-great things about moving is that it requires you to touch every single thing you own, facing past decisions that didn’t work out - like that expensive blazer you only wore once, the Roomba vacuum you never use, and the gigantic doll house you thought you and your daughter would decorate. 

It got me thinking about how easy it can be to spend money on a new VA business unnecessarily when, in fact, being a successful Virtual Assistant can be very economical.

I understand that having a bunch of tools and fancy apps can help quiet imposter syndrome and make you feel like you are in business for real. However, tools that do not solve an actual need overcomplicate the business and get in the way.

When I first started, I had a laptop loaded with Microsoft Office, a phone, a notebook, and a pen. That was all I needed. When I started billing by the hour, I added Toggl. When I decided to move notetaking online, I added Evernote. Eventually, when I had many clients and deadlines to track, I added Teamwork project management software.

I added tools over time as needed and did not purchase them in anticipation of using them. You can get any application in minutes now, so there’s no need to rush.

Here are some guidelines to help you decide where and when to invest.

  1. Notice where you are struggling. If you can take notes and keep them straight using paper and pen, and that makes you happy, stick with it. But if you’re getting confused and feel disorganized, it’s time to look for a new solution. There are a million apps for note-taking. Some are Evernote, One Note, Notion, and Google Keep.
  2. Go Small. Many new VAs think they need to immediately jump into expensive “all in one” software apps for Virtual Assistants like Dubsado, ClickUp, or 17hats. One of those might be a great solution eventually, but when you’re starting out, and for me, even 13+ years later, I prefer to use individual applications to manage my business.

    Evernote is used for notetaking, Google Workspace is used for email, Toggl is used for time tracking, and MailChimp is used for email newsletters. I’ve never found any all-in-one application that does everything well, so why not use the best in each category?
  3. Start with Free. When possible, start with the free version of the tool or app you want to use. After you check it out, don’t be afraid to try another if you don’t like it. There’s no need to upgrade unless you require the additional functionality. To this day, I use the free versions of many applications.

    There is no right or best tool. There is the one you like that meets your needs, and that’s within your budget.

Remember, the most important tools in your Virtual Assistant business are your brain, common sense, and curiosity to figure things out. Start there, and keep your money in your pockets.



If you’re not already a member of our Facebook Group, The Virtual Assistant Connection, and would like to join, here’s the link: