Recently, I posted a request in a Facebook group I belong to for virtual assistants and entrepreneurs. It was a pretty simple request to talk to anyone who had a specific type of research experience. I need a dependable assistant for a short-term project that could turn into ongoing work.
I made my request and asked members to private message me if they were interested in talking.
Those who responded on the thread with, “I can help,” were not considered due to the fact I wanted them to private message me. A clear indicator they couldn’t follow a simple request.
Beyond that, I was curious to see how many responses I would receive.  I got quite a few; some good, some not so good.

Do you have a website?

The first question I asked, before booking a call was, “What’s your web address?”  To say I was surprised at how many didn’t have a site is an understatement. My assumption was that most would. You know what they say about assumptions.
The website question was my first level of elimination of those I would even consider working with.  If they didn’t have a site, I wasn’t interested in going further. Harsh? Maybe, but I run a business and when I invest money in professional services, I want to know I am getting a true professional.
I was actually shocked at how many didn’t have a site. As someone who has been in business for 26 years, I am a firm believer that a website is a must-have for anyone who works online.
When someone says, “I just haven’t had time to create one,” what this tells me is that perhaps they are not viewing their business as a business. Or, if they say, “It’s too expensive.” What? What this conveys is a lack of professionalism that is likely causing them untold amounts of business.
The plumber with the broken toilet, the shoemaker whose kids have no shoes really doesn’t make sense when it comes to someone who claims to do web work, social media, etc and does not have a presence.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a site. You don’t need all the bells and whistles. There are plenty of cost-effective solutions.
If the budget is tight, utilize LinkedIn. Develop a highly robust profile until you are able to take things to the next level.

Investments are Necessary

There are investments one must make in their business and in my “old school” opinion, a website is a really necessary resource to convey many aspects of what one does, testimonials, portfolio, etc.
People may not think it matters but the question you might want to ask is this, “How much business am I losing that I don’t know I’m losing because I am not bringing my A Game to the party?”

It’s My Opinion

Granted, my opinion and experience is just that; mine. Yet, as an entrepreneur who has hired VA’s for everything from design work, shopping cart set up, customer service, phone calling, interview bookings, product development support, membership program back-end development, affiliate partner assistance, book launch support, live event support, and lots in between, take it for what it’s worth.
I do believe social proof goes a long way and a website does lend itself to a level of social proof that conveys you are in this 100%.