The Anatomy of the Perfect Virtual Assistant Business
Welcome to the Savvy VA Academy science lab!
For this anatomy lesson, I’ll need you to pull out your metaphorical white lab coats, latex gloves, and safety glasses because we are going to dissect a virtual assistant business to find out precisely what it takes to ensure it functions correctly and has everything it needs; not only to survive but to thrive.
From ‘head’ to ‘toe’ (with not a burst appendix in sight), let’s start exploring what it means to have the perfect virtual assistant business in today's world…
SERVICE PLANS AND CONTRACTS
A smart VA business understands that official clients are vital to business success, which means every single client in a perfect VA business has signed the Terms of Engagement before any work begins.
If the client hasn’t signed yet, the VA doesn't start work until they have. It's their golden rule, and they'd never dream of letting it slide!
In addition to that, a perfect virtual assistant business will have most of their clients on service plans, which is super shrewd, as it means they know how much revenue will be coming in month after month.
They invoice their service-plan clients in advance (on the 1st of the month), and have clients pay for the full month by the 7th.
It means they can sleep easy knowing they have the money up front and they won’t have to waste time chasing payments.
TOOLS AND APPS
A flawless virtual assistant business runs like clockwork because all VAs understand that taking advantage of tools and apps increases efficiency, productivity, and accuracy.
The captain of the perfect VA ship is pro professional development, and the team are no strangers to online tutorials or training courses.
Seeking out new technology, team members always have their finger on the pulse when it comes to new software that will help them automate processes, track time, manage accounts, follow up debtors, manage tasks and passwords, record their screens, capture useful insights in a database and much, much more!
ONLINE PROPOSAL TEMPLATES
A high-functioning VA business never goes past a time-saving template!
They have a perfect templated online proposal on standby that allows them to get service offers out to potential clients quickly.
They know that if it takes them more than 30mins to get the proposal out, that they’re doing something wrong.
The perfect VA business never makes it complicated for a client to get started with them.
(Real life testimony of this point in action: We implemented online proposals in my VA business. They take 15 mins max to personalise, and once we started using them, our conversion rate skyrocketed because we got them out to clients while hiring a VA was front-of-mind. The online proposals are so slick and professional; our clients love the way they look! Implementing these templates helped boost our service and credibility, which directly translated to clients hiring us. We made it so easy for them to sign up; all they had to do was click the link in the email, read over the proposal, then type their name in the 'get started' section).
A stellar virtual assistant business knows how valuable their client’s time is, and more importantly, they understand how vital it is for their bottom line that they prioritise their own time.
How do they do this?
They immerse themselves in the world of automation!
By fully embracing automation such as setting up email rules and connecting apps using Zapier, the perfect VA business has tasks galore on autopilot, meaning they are freed up to focus on more important work.
In a textbook VA business, the whole VA team are automation-savvy, allowing them to complete fixed fee client work in lighting speed and perfect accuracy.
Long gone are the days of snail mail, landlines, and fax machines! The perfect VA business employs smart communication to get the message across.
These clued up businesses use instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, Messenger or Voxer as their preferred method of communication with clients as they love the speed and efficiency with which they can relay info and keep in touch!
Whether the first-class virtual assistant business comprises a team sitting in close proximity, or one that is spread out across the country (or the world!), they all use internal chat tools that allow them to manage teams and communicate with each other without clogging up inboxes with unnecessary emails.
Exceptional debtor management is a must for top quality virtual assistant businesses.
Yep, all VA businesses at the top of their games have a well-documented debtor management process that is followed EXACTLY by the team member responsible.
They know that letting their debtors get out of control can have a detrimental effect on their business, so although their accounting software automates their initial follow-ups (because they all use Xero or another equally intelligent accounting system) the perfect VA business knows when to step in and take action.
They’re not afraid (in the slightest) to drop late paying clients. “Bye, Felicia!”
To add to that last point; the most exceptional of virtual assistant businesses will take debtor management one step further and implement direct debits to ensure they have complete control over when they get paid by their clients.
This smart financial mitigation strategy is discussed with their clients and agreed upon upfront before regular monthly debits are set up to be transferred at the same time every single month.
You’d be correct in thinking that perfect virtual assistant businesses don’t get financial headaches.
VALUE-BASED PRICING PACKAGES
The perfect virtual assistant business has listened to their clients and created value-based service packages that meet their exact needs (i.e. bookkeeping, social media management packages).
Their clients have the option of signing up to service packages that aren’t based on how many hours the VA worked during the month. Rather the pricing is based on the outcomes they delivered to the client.
All in a day’s work for the perfect VA business! They have streamlined, outsourced, and automated to improve their margins without compromising on quality. #winwin
Nothing like the smell of systemisation in the morning to set the perfect VA business up for the day!
These smart VA companies have a documented sales process, team and client onboarding system, pricing guide, even a sales meeting template that helps them know what to say when selling services!
They follow a step-by-step process to get clients started with them that ensures everyone gets outstanding service, feels valued, and that their clients want to stay with them.
BRINGING ON A TEAM
Slight disclaimer: While is possible to have an excellent VA business of one, the next level in VA business perfection is to build up a team so you can work ON your business, rather than in it. Part of running your own winning VA business means you have the flexibility to pick the kids up from school or go on vacation without worrying about how you’re going to cope with a reduction in revenue. Bringing on a team isn't for everyone so if it's not in your goals, skip to the next point.
So… The perfect VA business has contractors or employees working alongside them. The person who started the company now works in a quality control capacity and regularly trains and checks in with their team instead of delivering the services.
They’ve also been rather clever and produced a host of staff induction and business process training videos and documents, which means every new member that joins the team can get up to speed quickly, thus freeing management and other team members from having to spend valuable, billable time repeating the same information over and over.
CLIENT CHEAT SHEETS
The best VA businesses and all members of their teams have a thorough documentation process for every client on their books. This means that if anyone is away from work for a day, a week, a month, or forever, another VA can swiftly and efficiently step in and take over the business support tasks for a client.
Okay, you can now remove your safety glasses! We have successfully been through all 11 points that are essential if you want to create the best virtual assistant business possible.
How does your current VA business stack up?
If you are ready to step up your game and tick off the rest of the points in this anatomy lesson, why not check out the Members Club here to get done-for-you templates, videos, and checklists to fast track your journey to the perfect VA business.
Before you go, I wanted to add one last thing. The ‘perfect’ business is different for everyone. If your business and how you have it set up makes you happy and gives you everything you need, then that’s ultimately all that matters. Go you, and well done.
Never buy into the comparison game. Just do you.
As the founder of New Zealand's leading virtual assistant company, I know a thing or two about how to run an efficient and high performing business. As a creator at heart, I love sharing my knowledge with others and helping budding virtual assistant bring to life their dreams.
Brought up on a dairy farm and attending boarding school from a young age, I am fiercely independent and a confident risk taker.
My number one piece of advice to those getting started on their journey is to consistently take imperfect action and do the hard stuff - the stuff that makes you step outside your comfort zone because that is when your business starts to fly!