The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant – Pt. 2
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.
Last week in Part 1, we covered the first four (4) key areas of focus a successful VA business needs.
- Know Your Client
- Finding Your Niche & Monetizing It
- Foundational Business Documents
In this second part of the series, we’ll cover the remaining key areas of business that every VA, regardless of niche or services needs to do to think like and act like a business owner.
Networking is not a new topic for the AVA. We blogged about the importance of networking before you need to last August. Networking has been a proven way for VAs to gain clients. Networking – even when you don’t need to – opens up more opportunities than you could have ever imagined. Other perks to networking, besides clients, could be being asked to join a board, giving back to your community, collaborating with peers in your community, and so much more. Networking is a great way to future-proof your business.
What type of relationships are missing or do you want more of in your business?
6. Setting Boundaries
Boundaries are not just for the client. They are for you as well. Managing your business is different from managing your workload which means you need to have a different set of boundaries for your business. Your work, life, and business boundaries should all fit – integrated together. Clients will only treat you the way you allow yourself and your business to be treated. There is a way to communicate your boundaries professionally and in a way that feels safe for you and the client.
Is it time to create new boundaries? If so, how will these be communicated professionally to your clients?
7. Growing & Evolving Your Business
Whether you want to grow your business, keep evolving it, or both, it won’t happen by accident. Growth that is not planned is not easily sustainable and almost always leads to burnout. Go back to your original business plan and first determine what areas you are ready to grow and which areas you have changed direction. Create a new plan that fits your current business vision. Noting that creating a new plan and vision doesn’t always come with how you’ll accomplish your goals. That’s okay! Keep in mind that what worked in the past may not be what will work in the future. Growing and evolving is a process and one that should be considered in every business because it’s the challenges of growing and evolving our business that keeps us engaged and excited about the future!
What is still working and what is no longer working in your business?
8. Keeping Up With Technology
There is no shortage of software and technology to learn. Remember you are your first client so you must enjoy using the technology first. Before you learn new software and purchase something new, remember to ensure you are up to date with what your current platform offers, including integrations. Come up with your favorite platforms and don’t be afraid to turn away clients who don’t enjoy your favorites. Remember you have to work in them, not the client. Determining your client’s technology needs is a learning process, one which can be accomplished through networking or through surveys.
How much time have you set aside to research how your client’s technology needs will be impacted in the next year?
All the work you put into the business of being a VA will translate into having the lifestyle you want. The more attention you give to the details of your business, the more attention you can give to yourself.
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