7 Little Tweaks That'll Transform Your Virtual Assistant Business
Whether you have just started your VA business, or you’ve been up and running for a while, believe me when I say that there are always improvements you can make.
Don’t stress though; many of them are things which you can implement in a flash.
These seven little tweaks I’ve come up with are the definition of small, yet mighty! Implement them in your virtual assistant business and get ready to reap the rewards.
1. Up the client communication.
Most virtual assistants fall short in their communication with clients. Unfortunately, clients aren’t mind readers, and neither are you.
All sorts of issues arise through a lack of communication including errors, eroding of trust, and clients feeling unsure of what's going on.
The way to get around this? Up the communication and put a stop to all the guessing and assuming.
Results from this quick tip should include: saving time (because you'll be doing things right the first time), happy clients, and ultimately, more referrals.
So, what do I mean by up the communication?
Well, definitely don’t send an email every hour and clog up their inbox.
The best advice I can give is to ask them what the most efficient method of communication they prefer is, and use that.
I like to use the voice feature on WhatsApp with my clients because it’s quick, personal, and leaves no room for spelling or grammar errors or typo-induced misunderstandings.
Then give them updates on where you're at with things, what answers you need from them, how you are tracking with hours used, reminders and letting them know when you've completed a task.
Communicate more than you think is necessary and it'll be about right!
2. Implement service plans.
A very savvy VA business tip! Offer monthly plans to clients so they need to commit to use your services.
This is brilliant, low-cost way to improve your cashflow and help with forecasting, as you'll know exactly how much money you have coming in each month.
To give you a guideline and somewhere to start, my service plans range from 10 to 60 hours per month.
You still have an hourly rate, BUT clients are rewarded with reduced hourly rates when they commit to a minimum number of hours. The more hours each month, the lower their hourly rate!
3. Invoice in advance.
Off the back of that last tip, with set service plans, you can invoice in advance! Set hours and a fixed hourly rate mean your clients know what they’ll be paying and you know what you’ll be getting, so no issues with invoicing ahead of the service being provided.
Invoice on the 1st of the month for the month ahead and watch your cashflow improve!
As the business owner, you now get to set your terms! So be brave and choose when to invoice, what the due date will be, and how your clients will pay.
4. Put clients on direct debit.
You need to do whatever it takes to make sure your clients pay what is owed.
Save unnecessary time chasing payments by putting clients on direct debit where possible.
It's not unreasonable to expect payment in exchange for your services so don't settle for late payers, or worse still, non-payers! They will kill your business.
Side note: A client once owed me $15k and it significantly hurt my finances. Luckily, with persistence, I got them to pay but it was a real lesson for me. I let it go on too long and I didn't have them on direct debit!
Find a direct debit system so you can have control over the payments or set yourself up to accept credit card payments. (PayPal, Stripe etc.)
Most invoicing systems have an online payment option you can use too. Just remember to incorporate the fees for these services into your rates and plans so you're not out of pocket.
The biggest takeaway here? You need to be in control; not the other way around.
5. Use LastPass to store and keep track of passwords.
You know how much of a nightmare remembering passwords is just for yourself, so you can imagine that once you start needing to remember your clients' passwords, and you’re logging in and out of multiple accounts, things can get ugly.
For this reason, you need to use a secure, trusted password vault like LastPass. Your client won't be happy if you have to ask for the password more than once (nor if it falls into the wrong hands!)
As your VA business grows you'll need to ensure you have control over team access to passwords too, and LastPass is an excellent option for this.
Security and efficiency should to be top priorities in your VA business, so get LastPass, and you can stop clogging your brain up with password info, and ensure login processes are streamlined, and professional.
Bonus - Using a tool like LastPass is also a nice selling point to share with potential clients, who will appreciate knowing their private information is secure.
6. Use Google Sites to host cheat-sheets for each client.
Virtual Assistants live and breathe efficiency; our entire job is to make lives easier for our clients.
With that being said, it’s time to up your cheat-sheet (aka operations manual) game!
If you’re hoping to grow your virtual assistant business to more than just yourself, a key part of your operations of will be documenting the processes for how to do tasks for your clients plus a whole bunch of other info that you gather from them over time (airpoints number, favourite restaurant etc).
That way as your team grows, and you need to delegate tasks, handover to a new VA team member becomes a slick process.
No need for the new VA to ask your existing client a million questions – the cheat-sheet makes the changeover seamless!
Plus, if the assigned VA goes on holiday, a back-up VA can use the 'cheat-sheet' to see how to undertake tasks and provide the cover.
The best way we have found to host the cheat-sheets is by using Google Sites. It makes the document accessible on any device, ensures the content is searchable and allows access to be controlled.
The benefits of using a 'cheat-sheet'?
Client work is done consistently and accurately, you will have less downtime training new team members on how to complete client work, and fewer questions coming back to you (as the virtual assistant business owner) once you start allocating work to new VA team members.
7. Get a task management system that both you and your client can access and collaborate in.
Clients love having visibility over the projects and tasks they have given you. Especially in the beginning as you are getting to know and trust each other.
Remember that a lot of trust goes into the client/virtual assistant relationship, so giving clients visibility of tasks and progress is an excellent way to build this.
Not to mention, being organised and providing clients with an easy way to assign you tasks is just efficient business and good service.
I hope that some of these tweaks resonated with you and you feel inspired to make them part of your business.
The investment of time and money is small for most of them, but the payoff has the potential to transform your virtual assistant business.
Presenting professional, efficient, sleek business process efficiency will not only save time and help you do your job, but it also enhances your clients' perceptions of your business and leads to happy clients and more referrals.
Have you downloaded the FREE 7 Step Guide To Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business? Click here to access.
As the founder of New Zealand's leading virtual assistant company, I'm an expert on how to run an efficient and high performing business. As a creator at heart, I love sharing my knowledge with others. Brought up on a dairy farm and attending boarding school from a young age, I am fiercely independent and a confident risk taker. With a love of snowboarding in winter and wakeboarding in summer, the outdoors is where I find joy, but nothing beats running around with my boys of 6 and 5 and have an immensely supportive partner who is also my best friend.