The Pivot Series: How to Expand Your VA Brand with An Online Store

Who doesn’t like finding another way to make extra money?

Who doesn’t like making money from home?

A great way to expand your virtual assistant business is to start an online store to passively (somewhat) create another stream of income for yourself. The reason why I say it’s sort of passive is because you do need to put in a lot of work initially to get everything started but, once everything is set up and running well, you can kind of sick back a little bit and watch the revenue come in. This will only happen if you put in the effort that you need to.

Having online store gives you the freedom to sell your products from anywhere at any time. Unlike a brick and mortar, you don’t need to physically be in any specific place to get your product sold. Starting an online business also gets rid of the usual overhead costs you would expect when having a physical store. Overall, an online business gives you the freedom to make some extra revenue from the comfort of your home. Much like your virtual assistant business, or any online business you may have started.

One thing I will say is, starting an online store can happen overnight but, starting a successful online business takes much more time than that. The effort you put into your online store is what you will get out of it. Let’s just take a quick recap of my online store I started back in 2020. I thought I did enough research and soon realized that whatever I thought I did wasn’t good enough. I started an Etsy store and decided to sell coffee mugs and office supplies. I found something called Printify that provided the product and would put your design on everything and ship it all out for you. That meant no shipping or packaging anything on your end which was great! However, I probably made 6 or 7 sales in a year. I had the Instagram page, promoted and even paid for ads but nothing was clicking. So, I shut down went back to the drawing board, studied more about marketing on social media and decided digital products were probably the best avenue for me. Digital products are great because there isn’t a physical product. You don’t have to ship or package anything. All you need is an idea and Canva to get started. This alone still isn’t enough to create a successful business. The store isn’t up and running yet because I want to do a little more research before, I open up again. I want things to be better than they were before and done correctly this time.

There are a few things you need to know to start a successful online business:

  1. Do your research!

If you think you’ve done enough research, you probably haven’t. Research and research some more after that. If you don’t have a solid plan, then you’re already starting off on the wrong foot. Research your product idea, your target customer and how to market yourself. Research which ecommerce platform would be best for you to get your business up and running.

2. Pick a product or service that you would actually buy

Don’t ever sell something you wouldn’t buy because that’ll fail from the start. How can you successfully sell a product or service to someone that you don’t even like? Make it make sense please. Also, selling something you don’t like will end up making you hate what you’re doing. It won’t be exciting, and it’ll just be a quick way to make some money. You have to be passionate about what you’re promoting for your business to be successful.

3. Promote

Take time to research ads and marketing. Really understand how to position yourself online so that the customers come to you. You have to be persistent with this or it just won’t work. I feel like more of your time should be spent here since it’s where most of your sales will probably come from.

4. Start slow

Please start off with one product. It’s easy to get carried away and start branching off but master one product first before you start dabbling in others. When you get the marketing and your first product right, branching off into another should be a breeze. You don’t want to burn yourself out trying to promote a million things when the first one isn’t doing well (yet).

Take your time when it comes to starting an online business. It can be an amazing stream of revenue for you but only if you take your time and really do your research. It is not going to happen overnight by any means. It truly takes time for any kind of business to become successful and profitable. Do not give up or get stressed out because you’re not making 10k a month after two minutes of promotion. Try not to compare yourself to all of these people you read about in blogs or see on Instagram and YouTube. Go at your own pace and create something that you love that other people will easily fall in love with.

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