How does a VA who can only work nights and weekends find clients? I want to take on document formatting work (using Microsoft Office programs) but I don't know where to begin to find clients that need this type of service.
I work full time as well and do my VA business part time. I usually work on my business at night, during my lunch breaks at work, early mornings and weekends. Once you get your first client (which may or may not take months - it did take 4 months for me), you will start to work out how best you can fit your business around your work!
It does take a lot of hard work and sleepless night but it is possible!
I've been part-time and odd hours since I started 8 years ago. One of the things that unexpectedly helped me is time zones. I'm on the East Coast, but about half of my past clients were in zones farther west, which can be handy.
You mentioned you want to do document formatting. That's perfect for night/weekend work because it doesn't have to happen "in real time" to be acceptable (unlike, say, remotely answering a client's calls or managing a client's Twitter feed during an event). As long as you're able to still meet the expected deadline in the end, the work you put into it can happen whenever. The client mostly likely won't even notice the document was last saved at 2:30 am.
In my experience, recommendation/word of mouth is the best way to get clients. That first one leads to another, who leads to another. So start with people you know already. Let your friends and family (and colleagues if that's a safe idea in your situation) know you're open to taking on some extra formatting work. They'll mention you whenever the subject comes up with others.
One final thought. Have you considered business travelers as a target market? Seems to me they might often find themselves away from their trusty admins when they need document assistance. The drawback to that market is, it might be "emergency" work with not a lot of turn-around time (exec's flight lands at 5pm and he needs some last-minute fixes ready in time for his 8am meeting kind of thing?), but if you're willing to do that, perhaps you can work up a brochure to leave with any nearby conference centers or hotel concierge desks and business services rooms.
I don't think it matters (to most clients) when you work - as long as you're good at what you do and get things done on deadline there's no reason why you should even include information about *when* you're working in your marketing or your website.
"Yes, this is one of the perks of being a virtual assistant. I was a part time VA for a drop-shipping business who only asks me to login 2 hours everyday just to do some trackings, seller update and product listings. These tasks do not need a VA to be working for full 8 hours but 2 hours for me is just enough and I still have enough time for a full VA job or even a day job.
Just be patient and you will soon find a client who is a perfect match for you."
I'm currently working part-time (around 20hrs per week) and I find it convenient because I'm at the stage of learning and setting my plan for creating my own business (freelancing on upwork for now), so this suits my endeavors. I wouldn't feel comfortable taking this full -time before I actually launch the biz.