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To Niche or not to Niche... that is the question

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

I’ve spoken with countless VAs pre-launch who feel they’ve failed before they’ve even started simply because they do not have a niche. More often than not, what’s happened is that they’ve spoken to some well-meaning person who has told them that in order to become a success they simply MUST have a niche.

Just to be clear, when we’re talking about niches in the VA world, we’re referring to a specific market segment that has unique needs and preferences. For example, a VA might niche into the Allied Health area and target a specific type of client (Allied Health Practitioners), or they may niche into the Legal Sector providing paralegal or legal administrative support.

For some new VAs, there is incredible clarity around where their specific niche or area of expertise lies, and that’s great.

Here’s the thing though: while it’s great to target a specific industry sector, or to provide a niched service (and effectively become “the expert” in that area), there’s a downside, and that is that it can take time to build a client base in a very specialised area.

My advice to new VAs just getting their business off the ground is to be prepared to cast your net a little wider in the early stages of your VA business.

That may mean that whilst your aim is to niche into a specific area such as Real Estate / Property Administration, Allied Health Administration Services, or Legal VA Services, you could also consider offering a more generalised admin service which will appeal to a wider “audience”.

Don’t ever forget that no matter how institutionalised you feel, your foundational administrative skills are always going to be transferrable across different industry sectors with a little fine-tuning.

Oh, and I should mention here and now that providing general administration is absolutely 100% okay.

When I started, I had no real idea where I wanted to focus my energy. What I did have in my favour was loads of experience gained over many industry sectors from the entertainment industry (television and music) to legal secretarial, real estate, specialist medical, even stockbroking. And to be honest, I loved all of them.

It was probably more about the fact I absolutely loved administration and that’s what lit me up. The reality was that I had learned a lot over the 20+ years I’d worked up until starting my own VA business.

What was especially true for me (and possibly for many other start-up VAs) was that my primary objective when I started out as a VA was to bring in the dollars. That translated into me more often than not saying “yes” to any work request (within my area of expertise), which meant I would often do work that I wouldn’t dream of doing today. Sure, I had the skills, however, I didn’t particularly love the work I had agreed to undertake.

At the end of the day, though, it brought me valuable cash flow, which allowed me to build a business that eventually gave me choice in terms of future work I took on. In short, it was a means to an end, and it was something I was more than willing to do in order to get ahead quickly.

Because I’ve had that experience, I totally understand that new VAs will often opt to do something similar in order to get their financial wheels turning, and that is definitely nothing to be ashamed of. As long as you have the skills to provide the service, it’s absolutely okay.

Eventually - like me - you will be in a position where you can consider specialising your service offering, and can build a picture of what your ideal VA business might look like and begin to put some focus and energy on building and developing those unique skill areas that light you up (and that you’re good at).

Whatever you do, let me reassure you, it’s okay. Remember, this is your business, and providing you have the skills required to deliver the services, you can frame it up in whatever way takes your fancy.


If you are unsure about what services you could provide as a VA, get in touch with us by emailing and we can jump on a quick call with you and help you gain some clarity!

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