When you’re a new virtual assistant, it can be confusing and stressful trying to figure out everything you need for your business.
On top of that, money is tight, right? You may not have snagged your first client yet so free is sweet, sweet music to your ears!
I’ve been a VA since 2014 so I’ve tried tons of different programs and tools. Today I’ve gathered the best free tools out there so you don’t have to waste your time finding the right ones.
This article may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through the link, I get a small percentage at no additional charge to you. See my disclosure for more info.
1) COLLECT MONEY
PayPal is the way to go when collecting money from clients.
- You can send customized invoices for free (no need to buy fancy software with a monthly fee).
- You can set up recurring invoices and send reminders for unpaid invoices.
- Your client can pay with their PayPal, credit, or debit card.
You’ll have to pay transaction fees when you get paid (2.9% of the transaction within the US +$.30). Why pay a fee when a client can send a check for free? Because it’s easier, faster, and more secure!
2) CREATE FORMS
Typeform is what I use to create the online forms that I send my clients.
You simply create the form, send the link to your clients, and they fill in their answers.
Forms you’ll need for your business:
- “Work with me” to get details about their business needs before chatting with them.
- “Intake” to get details you’ll need to do their work.
- “Feedback” to hear what they thought about working with you, see if they have any suggestions to make your service better, and to get testimonials.
3) SCHEDULE CLIENT CALLS
Acuity Scheduling is what I use to eliminate the frustrating back and forth “what works for you?” emails between me and my clients.
You’ll set up your availability and send your scheduling link to your clients. They choose a date and time that works for them and BOOM. Done.
- Time zones are automatically adjusted for you (this is a biggie!)
- Clients can cancel and reschedule appointments themselves.
- Easily add scheduled appointments to your Google Calendar.
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4) STORE PASSWORDS
LastPass is where I store passwords for my own business and my clients’ businesses.
- It’s a secure way for clients to send you private info.
- It makes it super easy to log in to all the sites you’ll need to access.
- There’s an app that you can install on your phone so that you have access to everything.
- Clients have the option of making their login details visible or not.
5) CLIENT MEETINGS
UberConference is similar to Skype, which is what I used to use. Someone I hired for my business uses this tool for our meetings and I really like it!
- You choose whether you want to do a video call or a non-video call (I got you introverts!).
- You can record meetings.
- You can share your screen.
- You can share links, etc. in the chat box.
- You’ll get your own meeting link that doesn’t change meeting to meeting.
- Having meetings through UberConference solves the problem of long distance phone calls.
6) SEND CONTRACTS
HelloSign is what I use to send my contracts. Under the free plan you can send up to 3 contracts a month. If you send more than 3, there’s a monthly fee.
- Upload your contract, sign it, and send it to your client to sign.
- You’ll receive notification when they sign it.
Not sure what your contract should say? I have templates for you!
Not sure how to use HelloSign? I have a video for you!
7) CREATE DOCUMENTS AND SPREADSHEETS
Google Drive is what I use to store my SOPs, client notes, quotes….the list goes on!
- Everything is saved to the cloud automatically (you don’t have to hit save constantly).
- You can share files and folders with clients or vice versa.
- You can collaborate with a client and everything is updated on both ends, unlike a Word Doc.
- You can save images and files.
- There’s an app so you can access folders on your phone too.
8) PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Trello is my life, yo! I use it every day to keep tabs on my to-do’s, client work…everything!
- Organize and prioritize your to-do’s in an easy, visual way that’s fun.
- Create boards, lists, cards, checklists – it’s an organizers dream!
- Link to your Google Calendar, upload images and files, and more!
- There’s an app for your phone too, so you can view your to-do’s on the go.
Want to learn more about Trello? I have a mini-course for you (with templates!)
9) FILE SHARING
Dropbox is what I use to save my files instead of saving them directly on my computer.
- You can sync Dropbox to all your devices and when you make a change on one, it updates all the rest.
- You can easily share files and folders with clients and vice versa.
- You can share large files (instead of sending them through email and having download issues).
- Sending files is much more secure than email.
- It’s a popular file storage tool that lots of businesses use.
- You can send files to anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.
- You’ll have 30 days of file recovery and version history.
I use it so much that I’m on the Plus plan, but the free Basic plan offers 2GB of space which held me over for a while. If you sign up through this link, you’ll receive 50 MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 32 GB). Whoo hoo!
See! You don’t need to spend a ton of money to start or operate your VA business. All you need are a few free tools to get you started! You can always upgrade later, but I’ve used some of these for years, because they meet my needs perfectly.
From collecting money to getting testimonials….Systemize Your Biz will show you how to set up the basic systems in your business. It’s organized in a step-by-step fashion so you can simply go through each module, set up your systems, and be DONE.
For a limited time, you can pre-order Systemize Your Biz for just $55… that’s 30% OFF! After pre-order phase, the price goes up to $79.
Course launches on December 7th.