Working as a Virtual Assistant is very exciting and can be lucrative when it’s done right from the start. But when new VAs set off on the wrong foot, running a VA business becomes challenging and frustrating.
Here are the 3 of the most common mistakes new VAs make when they start out. Avoiding these crippling mistakes will speed up your business success rate.
Mistake #1: Working without a plan
Let’s think about it differently. When you want to take a vacation, do you first
- Think about where you would like to spend your holiday;
- Look at the dates that will suite you and your family best;
- Set time aside to find the best accommodation and make the reservations up front;
- Fill the car with fuel or buy the plane tickets;
- Pack the right type of clothes?
Or do you just decide one day: I’m going on vacation right now. Gather everybody. Jump into your car and start driving without really knowing where you’re going?
Off course you don’t.
To prevent the holiday from turning into a disaster, you’ll probably do some planning upfront.
It’s the same with business. To ensure your business do not turn into a nightmare, it’s better to create a plan that will ensure you’ll reach the place where you want to be in future.
Creating a plan doesn’t need to be difficult. Your first plan simply needs to include
- What services you’ll focus on (and here the emphasis in on ‘focus’ because even though you might be able to do a whole lot of things, you cannot focus on all of them).
- Who needs those services the most? Who you would like to work with?
- How you will reach them?
- How much income do you want to generate on a monthly or annual basis (because that will tell you how many clients you need to enroll every month).
And when you make your plans, don’t just do it in your head – write it down. Put it on a piece of paper or somewhere on your PC where you can access it daily, so you won’t forget about it.
Mistake #2: Putting the cart before the horse
One of the biggest benefits of having a VA business is your ability to work remotely with clients. For this reason, many new VAs believe they first need to get their online presence in place.
Well, contradictory to this belief , the most important thing you need to do when you first start out is NOT getting a website online or setting up your social media presence or designing a logo for your business.
Although all of these things are important for the long term success of your business, don’t focus on them in the beginning… because if you do it’s like putting the cart before the horse and then your business won’t go anywhere fast.
The most important thing you need to do when you first start out is to get paying clients.
This will give a much better return on your time investment because when you enroll clients first (even when you don’t have a website, yet) you start earning an income. And when you have income, you have more options and can make better long-term decisions to benefit your business.
Mistake #3: Waiting for clients
As said in Mistake #2, many new VAs focus their start-up time and energy on getting online and using online marketing tactics to get clients.
This include things like creating a website, writing blog posts or doing guest blogging, completing profiles on online job boards, posting status updates on various social media platforms and online groups, and spending time in online forums.
Then they sit back and wait for potential clients to get in touch.
Well, although online marketing tactics and strategies are great for any business, it takes time for online strategies to produce great results – time that new VAs don’t have.
With online marketing, you do not have much control over who will get in touch, when they’ll get in touch and how many people will actually get in touch.
So, instead of relying on online tactics and strategies in those first critical months (where you have to wait for clients to get in touch), rather focus on marketing where you have more control over the potential results.
Have courage to go out, to meet people and to speak to them in person or over the phone. These direct marketing strategies put you in control of your results and often leads to many more clients in a shorter period of time.
Getting clients doesn’t have to be tough. It can be easy and fun if you follow the right processes and create marketing momentum in your business… right from the start!
To Your Success