9 Programs You Will Use In A Virtual Assistant Business

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Squarespace

You need a website.

Simple as that. And Squarespace is user friendly and has a ton of tutorials to check out if you help. Choose your template and have fun with it. Once I grew and began using more systems, I was able to integrate those right into my website and it grew with me. My first website was built on flavors.me. It was easy and it was cheap. But easy and cheap is what the website looked like. Now, when I find the time, I play with my website and toy around with other templates. There isn’t as much customization as WordPress but i find it much easier to work with. Squarespace works seamlessly with Mailchimp and I am able to embed my scheduler online so it’s all good. Works great for me and my needs. And the more I grow, I know Squarespace will grow with me. Buy your domain on GoDaddy and then go ahead and get Squarespace.

G-Suite

You will want to set up an email account for your new business.

You can start out with the free gmail account but it’s worth it to splurge and grab your business email if you own your domain. I pay $10.63/month and I have unlimited storage in Google Drive. I’m sure I don’t even use all the bells and whistles but it’s totally worth it for the email alone. virtualassistant@gmail.com just doesn’t have the same professional ring as caitlin@caitlinkularski.com does. No comparison.

Acuity Scheduling

Because you should have an online scheduler.

Not only does it make your life easier but it’s also FREE. I pay for an account now (it’s only $!0/month) because my clients need automated reminders and I use other features of it. When starting out though, the free account is completely sufficient for your scheduling needs. Simply put in your availability and appointment types and you will never again have to ask “Does Friday at 1pm work for you?”

Mailchimp

Because all the hype about a mailing list is legit.

You’ll want to grow a following so you can constantly wow people with how much you know about the online business world. Now, I have to be completely honest here and tell you I’m horrible at this part. My email list is under 100 people and most of them were transferred from a failed joint venture. But I’m working on it. Mailchimp allows you to easily set up email sequences to go out when subscribers join your list. It’s free up to 2,000 email addresses. Once you grow, you may want to consider using a more robust email system that can track more. In that case, I suggest Converkit.

Trello

Because you’ll want a task management system.

I use Trello for my own business and my clients’ as well. I create a new Trello board for each client when we start and I put all sorts of great stuff in there. There’s a list for communication, one for each task like newsletter, blog, podcast, social media, etc. As I’ve grown into an Online Business Manager, Trello has grown with me. I’ve tried other systems like Asana, Basecamp, Freedcamp and Monday.com but I always come back to Trello.

Canva

Because you’ll need to create graphics at some point.

If you plan on having beautiful imagery for blog posts, your website or plan on creating a logo, you’ll want Canva. It’s free and you can do a lot without the technical know-how of Photoshop. While there is a lot more you can do with Photoshop, Canva definitely has its advantages and provides opportunity for creating gorgeous graphics that are consistent with your branding. I’m a huge font-lover and they have a great library of fonts that you are free to use but you can also upload your own purchased fonts in the branding area. They also allow you to keep different color palettes at hand so you don’t need to keep copying and pasting hex codes in when you need a specific color. They have built in stock photography and vector graphics that are great to use and you can do just about anything in the program.

Lastpass

Because you need a password for EVERYTHING.

Ahh, passwords. Although helpful, they can be a huge pain in the ass. How many times have you had to click that “Forgot Your Password?” link? I have, too many times to count. Add in your client’s passwords and you’re a glutton for punishment. Sure, you could keep them in a handy Google Spreadsheet but that’s not exactly secure, especially when you are adding people to your team. This is where LastPass shines. Used as an extension on Chrome Browser, simply sign in ONCE with LastPass and then store all your passwords and log-in info in your master account. Since it’s free to sign up, I also invite all my clients to make free accounts if they don’t already have one. This allows them to securely share all the passwords I need to work with them, without actually knowing what the password is. Not only is this is great for your memory but for your clients’ peace of mind, as well. Not everyone is thrilled with sharing passwords on the interwebs and I don’t blame them. LastPass is a secure way to keep that info handy and it’s easy peasy to change if you need to.

Boomerang for Gmail

Scheduling out emails is a whole lot easier.

Going on vacation and need to send out a reminder to a client or colleague while you’re away? Easy! Schedule that bad boy in for the date and time you want it sent and forget about it. Boomerang does the rest. It’s pretty easy and straightforward to use and comes in really handy when want to follow up with clients/potential clients after a discovery call.

Toggl

Track your time and productivity

I’ll admit that I don’t use Toggl for all it has to offer but I do find it useful in tracking my time. It’s free and allows me to create reports to see how much time I am spending on a particular task or client and track those results over time. I use the free version and it works just fine for me. It has a desktop app and mobile app so it’s super convenient to use. You can also download or print reports and share them with your clients to show them how much time is being spent on a particular task or project.