What it’s like to run an online Virtual Assistant (VA) business

Insights from one of our favourite VAs

This year has seen more and more people working from home due to the pandemic. For many, it was a new concept, and they had to adjust to a new way of working. For others, like my crew, it was something we’d done for a while.

The virtual assistant industry has been around for over 15 years now. In the beginning, while the internet was still firing up (do you remember dial-up?), there weren’t many known VAs.

But over the past few years, the VA industry has boomed. And perhaps that’s because a VA is more than an admin person. A VA is, in a huge nutshell, a person who works remotely offering a service.

VAs can offer services like general admin, transcription, reception, copywriting, social media management, online business management, graphic design, course creation and so on.

With people now working from home more, and others wondering what it’s like to be a VA, here are my insights into what it takes to run a successful VA business.

What is InkBlotVA about?

I started InkBlotVA around 2 years ago, and specialise in virtual administrative support for small business owners who need more time to get everything else done. We tell our clients to ‘go out and be superstars, doing what you do best’, while we work behind the scenes to take care of all the business admin.

Over the years, I’ve experienced all the usual growing pains of a new business. And as any parent of a toddler knows, at 2 years old, you’re ready to take on the world! I now manage a team of 3 Australian VAs based in Brisbane and Perth.

Running a VA business allows you to work with a range of clients. And even better – you get to choose who you WANT to work with.

We work with a variety of clients including the lovely Hanna of Off-Site Reception, a career strategist and speaker, a business advisory company, a fantasy-mystery author, an SEO and web design company and an allied health professional company.

To build your VA business, it’s essential to get involved with others

I’m a big believer that to grow your business; you need to be networking. Face to face networking is always great, but these days, there are so many online groups that you can get involved with.

Some of the ones I love are:

  • Virtually Yours – a network of VAs where you gain access to jobleads and training, but more importantly, you can forge amazing friendships with other VAs, bounce ideas and get support.
  • Hot and Healthy Academy – a group who focus on Women in Business and the kind of work and life issues that come up while you’re running a business. From mindset to finance to managing your time and scheduling (what I do). The community is super supportive, and there are no silly questions!
  • The Digital Visibility Toolkit – an online group that helps you to be seen, be found and grow your business online. Meeting up every week, digital experts meet up to discuss timely topics, and there is the occasional guest speaker or a business in the spotlight.

There are so many groups you can find online if you start looking. Find ones that suit your business and join them.

And it never hurts to have a side hustle to your VA business

Honestly, no one ever really gets rich from running a VA business, but you can make a comfortable living. Being a VA is definitely not a get rich quick thing. Many VAs run side projects. Like me!

I realised that one of my specialities lies in being super organised and scheduling my day, week, month etc. As a result, I used the quiet period of this year to create an InkBlotVA planner. It’s been a passion project for many years, but I’ve been able to use InkBlotVA to launch it into the world.

And by the world, I genuinely mean global! #soproud.

So, my point here is – if you have a side hustle dream that you can also relate to your VA business, go for it! Make your dreams a reality (and earn that passive income too).

Special offer!

Our Christmas sale is on until the 17th December so you can grab your copy for $45+ postage.

Check it out here.


In business, you’ll always have highs and lows

This year has been equal parts great and sucky. We were building a stable business, a global pandemic hits and the stable business feels like it’s smeared all over the pavement. But we had to shake it off.

We took some time to look at projects we had swept aside and voila – the planner is finally up and selling.

And as the year improved, our clients all returned to their business, and our business model is still valid. There’s been no pivot for us!

Our crew are all living in the now, living well and learning to handle the way the world has changed in recent times. We’ll continue to grow the business and work with more and more clients.

There’s never been a better time to tell the world about the VA industry as so many people are now working virtually and have become VAs without even realising it!

And here's my bio


With over 14 years’ experience working in admin roles, Carly started InkBlotVA in early 2019. In the words of the swoon-worthy Mr Darcy, Carly says she was ‘in the middle before I knew I had begun’. The rapid growth of her business proves her dedication and natural business know-how when it comes to getting the job done. Clients love her integrity, her sense of humour and her flexible approach when it comes to looking after their business.