How to Start a Profitable Virtual Assistant Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

To start a profitable virtual assistant business, identify your niche and target market, set up a website, and market your services on social media and online platforms. Virtual assistants can provide administrative, creative, or technical services remotely to customers worldwide.

With the increasing demand for remote work and digital services, starting a virtual assistant business can be a lucrative career option. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to start your own successful virtual assistant business. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a freelancer looking for additional income, or someone looking for a career change, a virtual assistant business can offer the flexibility and freedom you desire.

Follow these steps to get started on your journey as a virtual assistant business owner.

How to Start a Profitable Virtual Assistant Business: A Step-By-Step Guide


What Is A Virtual Assistant Business?

Defining Virtual Assistant Business

A virtual assistant business is a type of business that provides administrative assistance, creative services and technical support to clients, without being physically present at the client’s location. The services provided include bookkeeping, social media management, customer service, content writing, graphic designing, and more.

A virtual assistant business is run by a virtual assistant who can work from home or remote locations and communicate with the client online.

Who Can Start A Virtual Assistant Business?

Anyone with strong administrative, technical or creative skills can start a virtual assistant business. A virtual assistant must be organized, detail-oriented and able to manage time effectively. Additionally, good communication skills, self-discipline, and a passion for helping others are essential to start and run a successful virtual assistant business.

This business is great for people who want the freedom of working from home or remote locations while still being able to manage their time and income.

Advantages Of Starting A Virtual Assistant Business

Starting a virtual assistant business has several advantages:

  • Low start-up costs: Unlike traditional businesses, starting a virtual assistant business has minimal start-up costs. The main investment is a computer, internet connection and some software tools.
  • Work from anywhere: A virtual assistant can work from anywhere in the world as long as they have access to the internet and a computer.
  • Flexibility: With a virtual assistant business, you can choose your working hours, clients and type of work. You can work for multiple clients simultaneously and still be in control of your schedule.
  • High income potential: As a virtual assistant, you can charge hourly rates, project-based rates or monthly retainer fees. With experience and a reputation for quality work, you can increase your rates and earn a high income.

Demerits Of Starting A Virtual Assistant Business

Starting a virtual assistant business has some demerits:

  • Isolation can be challenging: Working remotely can be isolating. Virtual assistants have to work alone, communicate with clients online, and rarely work with colleagues.
  • No job security: Virtual assistants don’t have job security as their business depends on their client’s needs. If a client’s business situation changes, they may lay off their virtual assistant.
  • Overworking: Virtual assistants have flexible working hours, but they may work more than 9-5 as they deal with clients across different time zones. It’s imperative to keep track of time and balance work with personal life to avoid overworking.

Starting a virtual assistant business can be a profitable venture with many benefits like flexibility and high income potential. However, it also has demerits like isolation, no job security, and overworking. Nonetheless, with proper planning, time management, and resilience, virtual assistants can achieve success in this business.

Step 1.1: Define Your Services

Choosing The Right Services For You

As you begin to define your virtual assistant services, it’s essential to consider your skill set and what you enjoy doing. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Define your niche: Determine the services you will offer as a virtual assistant, such as customer service, social media management, email management, or graphic design.
  • Consider your expertise: Highlight the skills you have that make you stand out, whether it be your ability to optimize seo or your proficiency in managing spreadsheets.
  • Look at the market: Check out other virtual assistant services to see what they offer and identify any gaps in the market that you can fill.

How To Distinguish Your Services From Others

One of the biggest challenges as a virtual assistant is standing out from the competition. Here are some tips to help distinguish your services:

  • Develop a unique proposition: Identify what sets you apart from other virtual assistants in terms of skills, experience, and personality. Highlight these points of difference in your marketing.
  • Showcase your work: Highlight past projects completed for clients, include testimonials on your website, and create a portfolio of work samples.
  • Focus on a specific market: Consider targeting a specific type of client or industry that others may not be focusing on.

Targeting Your Customer’S Needs

It’s crucial to understand your target customer’s needs to tailor your services to meet those needs. Here are some ways to identify what your potential customers need:

  • Conduct market research: Identify what types of virtual assistant services are in demand and what common pain points clients face.
  • Develop a customer persona: Create a fictional representation of your ideal client, including demographics, pain points, and motivations.
  • Offer a personalized approach: Tailor your services to each client’s specific needs, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all package.

Step 1.2: Defining Your Target Audience

Defining Your Ideal Client

Before starting a virtual assistant business, it’s important to identify your ideal client. This will help you focus your marketing efforts and tailor your services to better suit your client’s needs. Here are some key points to consider when defining your ideal client:

  • Segment your market: Divide potential clients into groups based on their industry, budget, and needs.
  • Define demographics: Age, gender, education level, and location.
  • Assess their needs: What services do they require? Are they looking for a specific niche?
  • Evaluate budget: How much are they willing to pay for your services?

Understanding Your Client’S Needs, Budget, And Expectations

Understanding your client’s needs, budget, and expectations should be an integral part of your virtual assistant business. Here are some key points to consider when defining your client’s needs:

  • Communication: Understand their preferred communication method and respond promptly.
  • Flexibility: Be willing to adapt to your client’s expectations, needs, and budget.
  • Quality: Always provide high-quality work and meet deadlines.
  • Pricing: Offer transparent pricing and explain all the services included in your pricing package.

Developing A Workable Strategy

Developing a workable strategy is important when starting a virtual assistant business. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Setting up a business plan: Identify your services, target audience, and marketing strategy.
  • Offering competitive pricing: Offer services at a competitive rate without compromising quality.
  • Branding: Establish your brand by creating a unique logo, website, and social media presence.
  • Network: Join professional organizations to connect with potential clients and learn about new trends in your industry.
  • Continual learning: Virtual assistant work is constantly changing, so make sure to stay up-to-date with current trends and learn new skills regularly.

Step 2.1: Creating A Business Plan

Importance Of Creating A Business Plan

Before starting your virtual assistant business, it is essential to create a business plan. A business plan outlines your goals, vision, mission, and operations and serves as a roadmap for your business’s success. Here are the reasons why creating a business plan is critical:

  • Helps you define your business goals and objectives
  • Provides a clear direction and focus for your business
  • Helps you identify potential challenges and obstacles and come up with solutions
  • Provides a framework for decision-making and prioritizing tasks and resources
  • Helps you secure funding and investors
  • Helps you stay on track and measure progress
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Defining The Structure Of Your Virtual Assistant Business

Defining the structure of your virtual assistant business is critical to its success. Here’s what you need to consider when structuring your business:

  • Determine your business name and register it, along with any necessary licenses or permits
  • Decide on the legal structure of your business, such as a sole proprietorship, llc, or corporation
  • Define the services you will offer and your target market
  • Determine your pricing and payment policies
  • Establish your brand identity, including your logo and website
  • Determine your operational structure, such as your working hours, communication channels, and mode of service delivery
  • Identify your competitive advantage and unique value proposition.

Steps In Creating A Business Plan

Here are the steps to follow to create a solid business plan for your virtual assistant business:

  • Conduct market research to identify your target audience, competition, and industry trends.
  • Define your business goals, objectives, and vision. What are you looking to accomplish in the short and long term, and how does your business align with your values?
  • Develop a marketing plan that outlines how you will reach your target market, including your pricing and promotional strategies.
  • Develop an operational plan that outlines how you will deliver your services and run your business effectively, including your systems and processes.
  • Define your organizational structure, including your roles and responsibilities, staffing requirements, and management structure.
  • Develop a financial plan that outlines your expenses, revenue projections, and cash flow analysis.
  • Consider the risks and challenges that your business may face, and develop contingency plans to address them.

Remember, creating a business plan is not a one-time task. You should review and update it regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective for your business’s changing needs and goals. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to creating a profitable and successful virtual assistant business.

Step 2.2: Naming Your Virtual Assistant Business

Understanding The Impact Of A Business Name

Choosing the right name for your virtual assistant business is crucial. It can impact your branding, marketing efforts, and customers’ perception of your services. A name that is easy to remember, recognizable, and resonates with your target audience can give your business a significant edge in the industry.

On the other hand, a poorly chosen name can lead to confusion, lack of recognition, and hinder your marketing and growth efforts.

Tips In Choosing A Business Name

Finding the perfect name for your virtual assistant business can be overwhelming, but with the right approach, it can be a fun and creative process. Here are some tips to help you choose an effective business name:

  • Be clear: Make sure your business name reflects your services and what your clients can expect. Avoid using vague or misleading names that can create confusion and misunderstandings.
  • Keep it simple and memorable: A memorable business name can make your brand stand out from the competition. Short and uncomplicated names are easier to remember and more likely to stick in the minds of potential clients.
  • Consider your target audience: Your target audience can influence the type of name you choose for your business. Consider what resonates with them and what they’re looking for in a virtual assistant.
  • Use descriptive words: Incorporating descriptive words into your business name can help potential clients understand what you offer. Words like “efficient,” “reliable,” and “professional” can give a sense of your services’ quality.
  • Think about longevity: A name that can stand the test of time is essential in building a long-lasting brand. Think about how your business name will sound in five or ten years.

Registering Your Business Name

Once you have selected the perfect name for your virtual assistant business, you need to register it to make it official. Here are some essential steps you need to take to register your business name:

  • Check for availability: Before registering your business name, ensure that it’s available and not already registered by another business.
  • Choose a structure: Decide on the legal structure of your business. You can register your virtual assistant business as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (llc), or corporation.
  • Register your business: Register your business name with your state government to make it legal. You may also need to register for taxes and obtain any necessary permits and licenses.
  • Protect your business name: To protect your business name, consider trademarking it. This can prevent other businesses from using a similar name, preserving your brand’s unique identity.

Overall, when naming your virtual assistant business, consider how it will impact your brand, resonate with your target audience, and stand out from the competition. Once you’ve found the perfect name, take the necessary steps to make it official, protect it, and start building a profitable and successful business.

Step 2.3: Legalizing Your Business

Starting a virtual assistant business comes with legal requirements that you must fulfill. Failure to adhere to them can take a hit on your business’s credibility, leading to adverse effects such as losing clients and penalties. This section outlines the key things you need to do when legalizing your va business.

Registering Your Business With The Government

Registering your business is the first step towards legalization. Consider a suitable legal structure for your business, such as sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or corporation. The type of structure you select determines the number of taxes you pay and the degree of liability protection offered.

Here is what you need to do:

  • Register with the relevant state government agencies and obtain a business license permit.
  • Obtain an ein from the irs for tax purposes.
  • Trademark your business name with the uspto if you are planning to expand your business widely.

Understanding The Legal Requirements

A virtual assistant business’s legal requirements vary depending on your location. Some of the critical legal requirements include:

  • Creating a contract between you and your clients outlining the scope of work, fees, and project timelines.
  • Incorporating privacy and security measures to safeguard client data.
  • Complying with taxation requirements and filing tax returns on time.

Hiring An Accountant And Lawyer

Creating a relationship with a business accountant and lawyer is essential in any business setup. A business accountant will aid in creating a feasible budget plan, calculating business taxes, and reduce tax liabilities. A lawyer, on the other hand, will guide you through legal processes, ensuring you comply with state and federal laws.

Here are the crucial points to consider:

  • Work with a certified public accountant (cpa) experienced with small businesses.
  • Hire a lawyer specializing in corporate law. Ensure that they have the relevant qualifications, certifications, and work experience.

Ensure you exercise due diligence when finding a qualified accountant and lawyer to represent your business.

With a clear understanding of the legal requirements and a plan in place, you can legalize your va business and operate it confidently.

Step 3.1: Creating A Home Office

The Importance Of A Home Office

Having a designated workspace is crucial when starting a virtual assistant business. It’s important to separate your working environment from your living space not only to maintain professionalism but also to increase productivity. Here are some key points to consider when creating your home office:

Choosing The Right Workspace

Your workspace should be comfortable and conducive to productivity. Here are some key things to keep in mind when choosing the right workspace:

  • The area should be quiet and free from distractions such as tv, pets, or children.
  • You should have easy access to all the tools and resources you need to carry out your duties.
  • The space should have sufficient lighting and air circulation for optimal work conditions.
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Outfitting Your Home Office

Now that you’ve chosen your workspace, it’s important to outfit it with everything you need to work efficiently and effectively. Here are some things to consider when setting up your home office:

  • Invest in a comfortable and supportive chair and desk.
  • Ensure that you have all the necessary equipment such as a computer, printer, phone, and internet connection.
  • Choose the appropriate decor to create a welcoming and professional environment.
  • Organize your workspace and keep it clean to increase productivity and reduce stress.

In the virtual assistant business, your workspace is the foundation of your work-from-home career. Take the time to create a workspace that is professional, productive, and comfortable to set yourself up for success.

Step 3.2: Finding A Great Team

Knowing When To Hire Staff

If you’re a virtual assistant (va) looking to expand your business, knowing when to hire staff is crucial. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Workload: Are you consistently reaching your maximum workload capacity? Are you turning away clients because you don’t have enough time to take on more work? If so, that’s a clear sign that you need to hire more team members.
  • Expertise: Are there specific tasks that you’re not skilled in or don’t enjoy doing? Hiring staff with expertise in those areas can help your business offer a wider range of services that meet your clients’ needs.
  • Growth goals: Are you looking to take your business to the next level? Hiring staff can help you expand your services, take on more clients, and increase revenue.

Contracting Employees Vs. Freelancers

Once you’ve decided to hire staff, you’ll need to determine whether you want to hire employees or contract with freelancers. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Contracting With Freelancers:

  • Pros:
  • More flexibility: You can hire freelancers for specific projects or tasks, rather than committing to a long-term employee.
  • Cost-effective: Freelancers typically charge by the project or hour, which can be more affordable than hiring an employee.
  • Wide talent pool: You can access freelancers from around the world, giving you access to a diverse range of skills and expertise.
  • Cons:
  • Lack of control: You may have less control over the freelancers’ work processes and schedules.
  • Potential quality issues: Freelancers may have less accountability or consistency in their work than employees.

Hiring Employees:

  • Pros:
  • More control: You have full control over the work processes and schedules of your employees.
  • Consistent quality: Employees are accountable for their work, ensuring consistent quality for your clients.
  • Long-term investment: Hiring employees can be a long-term investment in your business’s growth and success.
  • Cons:
  • More commitment: Hiring employees comes with more long-term commitment and financial investment than contracting freelancers.
  • Legal obligations: Hiring employees requires complying with labor laws, benefits, and taxes.

Managing Your Staff

Managing staff is a crucial part of ensuring a successful virtual assistant business. Here are some tips for effective staff management:

  • Clearly define job roles and expectations upfront to avoid confusion and miscommunication.
  • Establish clear communication channels, including regular check-ins, meetings, and progress reports.
  • Set expectations for work quality and deadlines, and provide feedback and support to your team to help them meet those expectations.
  • Treat your staff as valued team members by providing fair compensation, benefits, and opportunities for growth and development.
  • Use project management tools to help you stay organized and manage projects with your staff more effectively.

By following these tips, you can build a strong, effective team of staff to support your virtual assistant business and help it thrive.

Step 3.3: Setting Up Your Online Presence

Developing A Website

Creating a website is crucial when setting up your online presence. Your website is the online storefront of your virtual assistant business. In today’s digital age, a website is the first place people will look to learn more about your business.

A well-designed website can give potential clients confidence in your professionalism and expertise.

Here are some key points to consider when developing your website:

  • Choose a domain name that is easy to remember and reflects your business’s niche.
  • Determine the purpose of your website and create content accordingly. Will it be a portfolio, a blog, or a landing page?
  • Keep your website design simple and user-friendly. Use colors and fonts that reflect your brand and make sure the layout is easy on the eyes.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-responsive to ensure that those on mobile devices can navigate through the site easily.
  • Include a call-to-action button on your website, and make sure it’s visible and inviting.

Creating A Social Media Presence

Social media is a powerful tool for virtual assistants to attract potential clients. Platforms like linkedin, twitter, and facebook can help you connect with your target audience, showcase your skills, and build credibility in your industry. Here are some tips to establish yourself as a social media presence:

  • Create profiles on social media channels that align with your target audience.
  • Determine the purpose of each platform and create content accordingly. For example, linkedin can be used to showcase your professional experience, whereas instagram can be used to showcase your creative skills.
  • Use relevant hashtags to attract potential clients and increase visibility.
  • Consistently post valuable content like blog articles, tips, and engaging graphics that are relevant to your niche.
  • Engage with your audience by responding to comments and direct messages, and participating in group discussions.

Incorporating Seo Practices To Draw Traffic

Search engine optimization (seo) is the practice of increasing your website’s visibility in search engine results pages. By incorporating seo practices into your website, you can attract more organic traffic to your site. Here are some tips to help optimize your website for search engines:

  • Do keyword research to find out what people in your niche are searching for and incorporate those keywords throughout your website content.
  • Optimize your website’s meta titles, descriptions, and headers with keywords.
  • Utilize internal and external links to connect relevant content on your website and increase domain authority.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-responsive to improve user experience.
  • Regularly produce fresh content such as blog articles to demonstrate your expertise and attract more visitors to your website.

By following these tips, you can set your virtual assistant business on a path to success. Remember, your website and social media platforms are essential components to developing your online presence and attracting potential clients. Incorporating seo practices can help draw more traffic to your website and increase your reach.

Step 4.1: Marketing Your Business

Marketing Your Business

Marketing is a crucial component of any successful virtual assistant business. You must get the word out about your services to potential clients. There are many different marketing strategies that you can use, but the most effective ones are centered around three primary approaches: social media, networking, and referrals.

Using Social Media To Promote Your Business

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your virtual assistant business. It allows you to reach a vast audience, increase brand awareness, and establish a strong online presence. Here are some tips to consider when using social media for your business:

  • Choose the right social media platforms based on your target audience, industry, and goals.
  • Create and maintain professional accounts that reflect your business’s brand and values.
  • Post regularly with relevant content related to your services, industry news, and informative articles.
  • Engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and reviews.
  • Leverage social media tools such as ads, sponsored posts, and influencer partnerships to increase your reach.
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Networking is an essential part of building a successful business. It allows you to connect with other professionals in your industry, build relationships, and gain referrals. Here are some ways to network effectively:

  • Attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows to meet and connect with other professionals.
  • Join virtual assistant groups and forums to exchange ideas, advice, and updates on industry trends.
  • Volunteer your services or skills to nonprofit organizations, local charities, or community events to gain exposure and build your network.
  • Offer informational interviews to other professionals or potential clients.

Creating A Referral System

Word-of-mouth referrals are valuable for any business, and virtual assistant services are no exception. Here are some strategies to create a referral system:

  • Provide excellent customer service and deliver quality results consistently to your clients.
  • Ask satisfied clients for referrals, and reward them with discounts or promotions.
  • Partner with other professionals or businesses that complement your services to create a mutually beneficial referral system.
  • Offer a referral bonus program to incentivize clients to refer new clients to your business.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively market your virtual assistant business and attract new clients. Remember to be patient and consistent, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches to find the ones that work best for your business’s unique needs.

Step 4.2: Scaling Up Your Business

Understanding When To Grow Your Business

As a virtual assistant, deciding when to scale up your business can be tricky. Here are a few key indicators that it might be time to consider expansion:

  • You consistently have more work than you can handle by yourself.
  • You are steadily receiving new client referrals.
  • You have a solid client base and stable income.
  • You have identified areas for growth and opportunities for diversification.
  • Your skills and services are in high demand.

However, it’s important to remember that scaling too quickly can also be detrimental to your business. Be sure to carefully evaluate the timing and logistics of expansion before making any big moves.

Knowing When It’S Time To Outsource Services

Outsourcing can be an incredibly helpful tool when it comes to growing your virtual assistant business. Here are some signs that it might be time to start delegating tasks:

  • You’re feeling overworked and stressed.
  • You’re struggling to keep up with administrative duties.
  • You’re not able to focus on projects that you’re passionate about because of time constraints.
  • You’re losing business because you don’t have the capacity to take on new clients.
  • You don’t have the skills or experience to handle certain tasks.

When considering outsourcing, take time to evaluate your needs and find the right fit for your business. Consider outsourcing services like social media management, content creation, and bookkeeping to help alleviate some of the workload.

How To Manage The Growth Of Your Virtual Assistant Business

Managing the growth of your virtual assistant business takes careful planning and a strategic approach. Here are a few steps to help ensure that your expansion is successful:

  • Define your goals and objectives for growth.
  • Create a detailed plan for scaling up your business.
  • Hire the right people with the skills and experience necessary for your business’s success.
  • Implement processes and systems to improve efficiency and streamline operations.
  • Continuously evaluate your performance and adjust strategies as necessary.

Remember to take your time and make measured decisions when it comes to growing your virtual assistant business. With the right approach, you can scale up your business and achieve incredible success.

Step 4.3: Maintaining Your Virtual Assistant Business

Starting a virtual assistant business can be a profitable venture. However, it takes more than just setting up a website and offering services. Maintaining your virtual assistant business is important to ensure that it remains competitive and successful in the long run.

In this section, we will explore three essential elements for maintaining your virtual assistant business.

Keeping Up With Technological Advancements

In today’s fast-paced world, technology is constantly evolving which means it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and advancements. As a virtual assistant business owner, it’s crucial to invest in the right tools and software that can make your life easier while providing better services to your clients.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Stay updated on the latest software and tools in your industry, and invest in those that make sense for your business.
  • Consider subscribing to newsletters and blogs that provide industry-specific updates.
  • Attend webinars or conferences to learn about new trends and stay current with industry news.

Employee Management Strategies

As your business grows, you may need to hire employees or contractors to help you manage your workload. Here are some key points to consider while managing your team:

  • Clearly define your expectations so everyone is on the same page.
  • Create a strong company culture so that everyone feels like they are part of a team.
  • Communicate regularly with your team to ensure that they are aware of updates or changes in the business.
  • Offer professional development opportunities to your team to help them grow their skills.

Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

Satisfied customers are the backbone of any successful business. Here are some tips for ensuring your clients are happy with your services:

  • Communicate regularly with your clients to understand their needs and expectations.
  • Always deliver high-quality work on-time without compromising on quality.
  • Be open and receptive to feedback and implement changes accordingly.
  • Offer exceptional customer service and personalize your approach to their needs.

By implementing these strategies, you can maintain a profitable virtual assistant business that will provide value to both you and your clients. Remember, a successful business takes time, effort, and a willingness to adapt to changes to stay ahead of the competition.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Start A Profitable Virtual Assistant Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

What Is A Virtual Assistant Business?

A virtual assistant business is a remote work setup where an individual provides administrative support to clients.

How Much Can You Earn As A Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistants typically charge hourly rates ranging from $20 to $75, with an average of $45 per hour.

What Skills Do I Need To Become A Virtual Assistant?

To become a virtual assistant, you need skills such as time management, organization, communication, and proficiency in technology tools.


In essence, starting a profitable virtual assistant business requires a bit of hard work, patience and determination. Following the guidelines on creating an effective pricing strategy, developing strong branding, marketing and networking strategies, while creating a culture of high-quality work and reliability can set you on the path to success.

Understand that you may face challenges in the beginning, but remaining focused on your business goals will see you through. With the increasing trend towards remote work and virtual offices, there’s never been a better time to launch your virtual assistant business.

The step-by-step guide we have outlined in this post can be a valuable resource as you take your first steps towards becoming a successful virtual assistant entrepreneur. Keep learning, expanding your skills, delivering impeccable work, and you’ll surely reach the heights you’ve set for your business.

About the author

Gias Ahammed (Mr. Future Proof) is an experienced and successful blogger, technologist, and visionary in the field. With a deep passion for exploring new technologies and embracing the future, Gias strives to stay ahead of the curve and understand the potential of emerging trends. He believes in the power of technology to transform lives and is dedicated to bridging the gap between innovation and everyday life, making it accessible and beneficial to all.

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