What You Actually NEED When You Start Your Service-Based Business

service-based business virtual assistant Sep 09, 2020

When you first start working online as a virtual assistant or are creating a service-based business, there are many things you will need to consider. I’m here to go over what you need, and even more importantly, what you don’t need, to help you get started today.

What you need to get started

There are so many programs & resources that you think you may need to get started, but there are really only a few that are totally essential. Here are my top recommendations for any new service-based business provider:

Payment processor – You need a way to take payments from clients! Probably the most commonly used online payment processor is Stripe, which is used by millions of business providers of different sizes worldwide. Sign up for Stripe here. Another alternative is PayPal, however, be wary of this platform as it doesn’t protect service providers if there’s a dispute with the client. The best bet is to stick with Stripe.

A business bank account – It’s very important for tax and accounting purposes to keep your personal and business bank accounts separate. You can use the same bank, that you use for personal banking, for your new account, but just ensure all purchases for your business are made through your business account.

Employee Identification Number (EIN) - In order to set up your business bank account, you'll need an EIN. This will register your business with the IRS. Get your EIN here.

A Calendar Booking Tool – When it comes to booking calls and meetings with potential clients, you’ll need to have a calendar with you at all times. A good, free option is a booking tool like Calendly, where you can input your availability, and it then allows clients to choose the date and time they’d like. Sign up for your free Calendly account here

Contract – Any time you are exchanging money, even if it’s as small as $1, you want to send a contract. My favorite place to find contracts is The Contract Shop. They use lawyer created templates that you can purchase and update with your information. Click here to visit the Contract Shop. To get a 10% discount, use the code BLAKE10 at checkout. 

There are also a few tools available to make the process of sending your contract and invoice seamless (like Dubsado). However, if you don't have much money coming in yet, don't invest in those until you are ready. Instead, use free tools like HelloSign that you can use to send a contract to another person to get them to sign it. Click here to sign up for HelloSign

What you don’t need

Now that I’ve covered the essentials you do need, it’s important to note the items you don’t need. While these may be nice to have further down the line, you certainly don’t need them to get started.

Website – There are plenty of ways to find clients without having your own dedicated website. By using word of mouth, social media and freelancing sites, you will be able to find your first client without worrying about a fancy website.

A Logo – As you don’t need a website or any form of company advertising just yet, you don’t need to worry about a logo to begin either. This is another nice touch to add down the line, but it’s not worth delaying starting your business while getting a logo created. 

Pretty Colors/Branding - Although you may want to spend all of your time deciding what your color scheme and company logo should look like, I would wait until you’re more established. This honestly doesn't matter at all to your potential clients - they just want to work with YOU. Focus on what you can offer as a service-based business provider, as this is what your clients are ultimately going to hire you for.

I hope these tips today help you to take the leap and get started as a virtual assistant or service-based business provider. 

If you are looking to learn more about getting started in your VA business, I break all of this down in more detail with my free masterclass that shows you how to grow a service-based business to $3K months without burning out. Click here to get instant access today.


After more than 10 years in corporate marketing, Steph decided that she was ready to go full force in her virtual assistant biz to help other entrepreneurs automate & organize the backend.

The end result? $10K+ months, completely booked out & ready to teach other women to do the same thing!

What began as a tiny dream to eventually help other moms stay home with their kids, turned into an obsession that she's fully invested in as a business coach.

Today, she helps service providers start and scale their done-for-you businesses without burning out.

Steph also has an insane obsession with Chipotle & Amazon Prime. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband, little boy and pup.

Click here to get instant access to a free training that shows you how to scale a service-based business to $3K+ months without burning out.

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