The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant – Pt. 1

Business of Being a VA Pt. 1

The business of being a virtual assistant is first and foremost a lifestyle business. Whether your lifestyle needs more freedom and flexibility, more challenges, more money, or all of the above, starting a VA business takes thinking like a business owner. Otherwise, you will easily fall into the employee mindset trap and start working like an employee again. 

 

With all the noise around and the narrow focus on our pain points, there are still eight (8) key areas of focus that you have to consider and give time and attention to daily to run a successful VA business. While in the beginning, the focus is usually on getting clients, that is only one area of running a successful business. 

 

In this two-part series, we’ll cover the eight (8) key areas of business that every VA, regardless of niche or services needs to do  in order to think like and act like a business owner. 

 

1.  Know Your Client 

Whether you refer to this as your client avatar, target audience, or ideal client you must know your client. It’s not enough to know your services could serve any client. The fact is that not any person would pay you for your services and that means they are not a client. 

Knowing your client is more than niching. As your business grows and evolves your clientele will grow and evolve as well. Knowing your client, what they want, what they expect, and anticipating those needs is your responsibility as a business owner. No business can thrive without intimately knowing its clients. 

How much time do you spend thinking about what your clients will want and/or desire in the next year? 

 

2. Finding Your Niche & Monetizing It

A key factor in finding your niche is building on knowing who your client is. Your clients might all be in a similar field, need the same services, or simply share the same mindset. 

All successful businesses have a niche. You can bank on the 80/20 Pareto Principle literally and statistically. It’s a statistic that 80% of what you get comes from 20% of what you do. Also, 20% of your clients will spend 4x the money to get something far better. This can increase your revenue by 50%. There are numerous 80/20 principles at work in every business. 

While niching can be frustrating and even seem as though you’re playing small, possibly not using all your talents – that is false. When you have a niche and you’re #1 in your market, you’re earning more money and continuously growing your business. “Almost all the money and growth comes from companies that are #1 in a market and growing 10% or more per year”. 

If your niche isn’t being monetized, then it’s time to look at where you’re spending your time and energy 80% of the time. 

When was the last time you reviewed how your time is being spent and what your return on investment is? 

 

3. Foundational Business Documents

We can all agree that if you’re a business owner you have documents to prove it. This applies to virtual assistants as well. While you may be a contractor to your client – you must see yourself as a business owner and that means having your foundational business documents in place. 

  • Business Plan – The primary purpose of a business plan is to create the vision of your company on paper so you know what you’re doing. It’s from here that you can plan all other facets of your business. If you don’t have a plan for your business, how can you expect to have a plan to be successful? It doesn’t happen by accident. Keep in mind that your business plan doesn’t have to be a long, exhaustive document. It can be a simple one-pager. 
  • Pricing Sheet – If you don’t know your prices when you’re speaking to potential clients, you are not in the business of being a successful VA. Most importantly, if you’re guessing because you haven’t done the work of setting your prices you’ll lack confidence which is a major factor in running a successful business.
  • Proposals & Contracts – The main objective of the project proposal is to get the client to buy into and get excited about your services. While it’s common for most VAs to have a contract in place, many VAs lack proposals. This is a big mistake because you’re immediately placing the client in charge by not taking control of the scope of work and expectations. Remember you don’t work for the client. You work with them. 
  • Onboarding – Knowing how you’ll be onboarding the client, as well as the time it takes is something every VA needs to have a plan for. You can’t start your work and begin to deliver on your services if you don’t have everything you need from the client. To let the client onboard you is to put them in charge. 

Your foundational business documents lay the foundation for a successful virtual assistant business. 

How often are you reviewing and updating your foundational business documents? 

 

4. Consultations

It’s during the consultation process that so many VAs lose potential clients. They lose clients by not seeming interested because they had no interesting questions, agreeing with everything the client has said but not offering up any expertise, and by not offering a proposal at the end of the conversation. Whether you offer free or paid consultations, mastering them is a process necessary to learn. You’ve done too much work on the backend to lose them now. Even if the potential client comes from a referral, you must treat this consultation as you would any other. Every consultation should end with a verbal proposal and a written proposal within 24 hours. 

Are your consultation questions systematized and synced to be automated with your proposals?  

 

You might think this is a lot of work (and there’s more which we’ll cover in the next blog). However, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Putting these items on your calendar for review a few times a year will ensure your business is running successfully. 

 

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