Do You Have To Offer Lots Of Services?

By October 7, 2009 Marketing 10 Comments

Have you ever wondered whether you have to offer LOTS of different skills and services when you’re looking to work from home?

Here’s an article I wrote about how I found my first client when I started out freelancing from home offering ONE service:

Audio Transcription – How I Found My First Client

As you can see, I had no problems finding my first client when I was only offering one service, so there’s no need to think that you need a huge list of skills to offer before you can start out. There are always going to be clients who are looking for what you have to offer. They don’t necessarily look for someone who can ‘do everything’ if they only need help with one particular task.

As you gain confidence with your Virtual Assistant business, you can always add to your services gradually and at your own pace. You can take training courses in your spare time – there’s no pressure. For example, I got really interested in web design and desktop publishing, so I took a few courses, got alot of practice in (I volunteered to do a couple of websites for not-for-profits in my local community) and then started offering those as a service.

You might want to add any kind of services you want later, such as organising events, making travel arrangements, designing Powerpoint presentations…the opportunities are endless.

The point I’m trying to make is that the opportunities are there for you to design your Virtual Assistant business just how you want it. Just don’t delay actually starting it though, just because you only have one skill to offer right now. You CAN find clients when you’re only offering one service, and the earlier you start actually working in your freelance business, the better!

What are your thoughts on this? Any stories to add?

10 Comments

  • Nha says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I think that you are insightful and versatile and committed once at the time to something which you set to do. I have a variety of skills also but where can I market them? I offer my services by advertising them on ethnic newspapers and have some regular jobs however they have not paid me well enough or I am lacking confidence to ask for more. What do you think I should do in order to get more work and higher pay? I am worried about going to the mainstream advertisement companies lest I have to pay a lot for their promotional services, even though the cost is worth paying when you start to have a few substantial orders.

    I have a qualification as a BA in Chinese and Politics, Social Work (10 years as community worker), then as a Master of Multimedia, however I end up working as a freelance interpreter/translator and graphic designer/sign writer. All in all I don’t earn enough as perhaps I have been self-displined enough to go by myself.

    Can you provide me with some clues on how to receive more work and a higher pay, while of course I need to spend my own time more effectively.

    Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards

    Brett Do

  • stew says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Yes, offering one service can actually be all you want to do IF you have decided to become the best provider for that service. WOM can do wonders.

  • donna says:

    Lisa, I did it again, I said what I don’t have, financial backup. My God will supply everything I need like He’s always done. That was really negative, please forgive me. I just need to believe. I know better. And with all this information online, God is telling me you don’t always need finances, so stop saying what you don’t have, oh ye of little faith! I apologize for the negative. Thank you for all the information and I will pray for the finances I need to get this done, in the meantime I will pray over my flyerts, put them out there and wait for the business and income to come in.

  • Susan Dagg says:

    Hi Lisa

    I totally agree and do not forget there is lots of help out there if you get stuck people love to help. I suppose i am very lucky my husband is a analyst programmer and knows lots of answers to the usual questions that i get asked about IT.

  • Liz Price says:

    I have recently started my business. I am focusing on my local physical area for now as opposed to the web, although I have set up my website. My question is this: How do I decide what service(s) to focus on? I actually have tons of stuff I can do, and I haven’t focused on one thing.

    Should I focus on just one thing in the beginning, even if there are many things I can do?
    Thanks for all your help Lisa!

  • Hi, Lisa

    Its great to be good at one thing and promote that one thing, so that you don’t loose focus. However, I enjoy multi-tasking, I enjoy different streams of income so that if one lacks somewhere I have another to pick up the slack, I enjoy the variety that is just me. I offer the Virtual Professional Services, but I also do Community Involvement, and offer Specialty Services as well. And, I enjoy it all. About the Finances aspect-I agree more positive then negative and God will supply. There are alot of free and affordable ways to get your Business out there, just have to be creative and consistant.

  • Alison Baugh says:

    Hi Lisa

    As always you offer great advice to get us newbies and maybe those flagging going. I have finally got my website up and with the time it has taken and other software problems, feel that should really be the end of my working life and I should now be entitled to a very prosperous retirement – some hope!!! In reality the real work starts now in finding clients and it seems daunting. May be just offering one service that you really know well will give confidence, at least in the beginning. But I have looked at local rivals’ sites and they seem to offer “everything” – there is the fear I cannot compete with them. Some positive words or just a kick up the **** may be needed.

    Thank you Lisa for all your suggestions and support.

  • miles says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  • Debbie Forte says:

    Something that has worked for me is to partner with another person. In doing so, we have become a source of referrals for each other. She is a full charge bookkeeper and specializes in working only with QuickBooks clients. She doesn’t do anything else but that. At times, she is asked by her accounting clients if she can provide other services to them. That is when she refers them to me. While I am proficient in QuickBooks, I made the decision to concentrate all my efforts on the other areas of my business and to refer all of my QuickBooks clients to her. We both very much appreciate the referral business.

  • Andrew Jones says:

    Hi Lisa
    Andy Jones calling
    how are you?
    so sorry that is has been such a long time since I have emailed you
    I do hope all is well with you and your loved ones

    the question for your expert advice is as follows
    with in the virtual PA business is there a niche for medical document translation?
    if there is how does a person who wishes to get in to that niche do so
    what it is
    is that a dear friend of mine who lives currently in Palma
    who already does translations for local companies where she is now
    is finding it difficult to make ends meet over there
    so she is looking to move to UK
    our family are putting as much of the costs in our hands providing she can get the permision to emigrate the problem is that she is actually Argentinian she does have Spanish residency
    so if after all of that she can get what is needed if any thing from the authorities
    and can move
    needs to have work lined up over here or a business to support her over here or that can come over here with her
    so I thought of your VPA business guides
    and thought To ask you directly
    about this challenging situation regarding medical document translation
    kindest regards
    may Jehovah bless you and your loved ones
    Andy and Family

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