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How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant Business
Second Edition

How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant BusinessWritten by Janice Byer and Elayne Whitfield-Parr, this NEW book includes information and tips to help aspiring and established VAs with every aspect of starting and building a Virtual Assistant business.

From naming your business, to upgrading your skills, to expanding your business, we have put together everything you need to know based on our combined years in this industry and the input of successful VAs worldwide.

Read more and order your copy today!

Business Building Ebooks

Titles include:

  • How To Respond to RFPs
  • Easy to Understand & Implement Search Engine Optimization Techniques
  • How to Set-Up & Start Your First Blog
  • and many more.

See our Ebooks

Small Business & Web Design Blog

 Since 1999, we have been publishing Virtual Tidbits filled with articles, links, tips and resources to help small business professionals.
Now these articles and more are archived on our blog.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Money on Your Business
by Janice D. Byer, CCVA, MVA
Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services

Most businesses have a budget and need to stick to it as much as possible. However, not everyone will include products and services in their budget that they may feel they can do without if they can get something similar, somewhere else, for free.  

We have all downloaded free software or tried to get other products and services for our businesses that will not cost us anything but there comes a time when we need to realize that we need to spend some money, not always a ton of money, to help build our businesses. We need to invest in our businesses. 

I will admit that when I was in the start-up phase of my business, I did try everything in my power to get something for nothing. I would spend time searching the internet for free software, seminars, books or ebooks, web hosting, etc. I even considered pirated software and knock-offs but soon learned that you generally get exactly what you pay for. Did you know that pirated software producers have a way of putting code into the software to track your movements and that code can actually harm your computer? Unfortunately, I learned the hard way on that one.  

I am not saying that you can’t get some products or services for free that will help improve your business. For instance, we all have some form of Instant Messaging software and generally they are free. They help us keep in touch with our clients and contacts and are usually a much better value than other software that we can get for free.  

Also, some newsletters offer a wealth of information that can help our businesses to grow and you can subscribe to them for free, including my newsletter at  

Marketing your business can usually be done with little or no cost as well. Writing articles, putting them on your website and submitting to online directories requires very little, just your time and effort. Networking can also be just a matter of time. There are some events that have a fee but if it means that we can make some good contacts, it is well worth the money spent. 

There are so many other avenues that we can follow to help educate us, increase our exposure and build our businesses and although some of them will have a cost associated to them, we shouldn’t feel they are not affordable. We may think that we really don’t have the budget to spend on products or services for our businesses but sometimes we should or we could be missing out on a valuable asset to our business. We need to invest in our businesses to help them grow. We don’t have to break our banks on most options but keep in mind that not everything is free. 

Investing in new computer equipment or other big-ticket items are not what I mean. These are a necessity to most businesses these days and I hope you understand that this money needs to be spent on high quality in order to get the best results. We will regret it if we decide to go the cheap route on such items.  

What I am referring to is the products and services that we may think we can do without. They can include the latest software; newest technology; seminars; trade shows; conventions; association memberships; a professionally designed website; coaching help; sub-contracting help; subscriptions to publications; books/ebooks; advertising; professionally designed business cards; and even a little help with our office tasks. These are just some of the assets to our companies that we may not consider to be valuable or that we think we just can’t afford.  

However, these are investments in our businesses that will map out our futures.  

Sure, we can all print our own business cards but have you seen how the ink runs on ink jet printed business cards when they get wet?  

There are free publications which are huge assets to our companies but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t invest in subscribing to paid newsletters and magazines that offer information to help us learn and grow.  

There are seminars and teleclasses that are available that are free and can be quite valuable but there are also some tremendous ones that we may be missing out on if we don’t want to pay a fee to attend them.  

Then there are the larger investments such as the opportunity to exhibit in a trade show or at a convention. There needs to be a lot of thought made regarding whether it will benefit us and our businesses and if the cost is reasonable (as it is in normal circumstances) or way out of our reach. If there is the slightest chance that there will be attendees in our target market or that the attendees know or work with those in our target market, we need to seriously consider the investment. It could mean more clients or more valuable contacts, not to mention the exposure. 

Advertising is also something that many of us are leery about spending money on. Again, you need to think who the target audience is and if you will benefit by sending your message to these readers or viewers. Don’t be afraid to advertise. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results. 

Eventually, we wear out our welcome (so to speak) for the free resources and it is time to invest some money in our future. The old adage, “you need to spend money to make money”, may seem cliché but we have to remember that we may be missing out on some wonderful information and opportunities if we insist on keeping our wallets in our pockets. Not to mention, spending money on products and services for our businesses is a valid business expense.


Janice Byer, owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services, provides professional, creative and affordable virtual office assistance and small business website design. She is a Certified Canadian Virtual Assistant (CCVA) and Master Virtual Assistant (MVA). She is also the author of Surfin' The Net - Docu-Type's Virtual Collection of Links, which is filled with the secrets of her success. Visit her website for more information and to get your copy.


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