MOST VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS FORGET TO DO THIS
So many of my gal pals have been hit HARD by a nasty flu bug this winter! I truly feel for anyone who has spent the night playing 'nurse' to a sick kiddo only to discover that the virus has jumped ship and is now wreaking havoc with YOUR stomach like nobody's business!
It brings back wretched memories of the time I was super sick and had to finish a project for a client deadline. I sat on the phone with a tech support person in a feverish sweat...trying to desperately not to hurl my cookies. It was truly awful BUT...it did teach me a valuable lesson:
Virtual Assistants should have a 'back-up' plan...and most V.A.s forget to create one when they start their business.
What will you do if tomorrow you wake up violently sick...or perhaps you become injured and can't work?
After my 'sick' experience...I came up with a few ways to keep things running smoothly, even if I find myself unable to work.
- First, I like to keep a network of other Virtual Assistants who I know and trust, that can call upon to help out if I suddenly find myself down and out with the flu. These are V.A.s who do great work and I would feel totally comfortable handling my client's projects if the need should ever arise.
- I also make it a point to be sure that my clients are well-informed about ALL aspects of a current project. They know exactly what's been done and what still needs to be completed. They have been given their passwords and login information for all the software and sites we are using. If anything happens to me...at the very least, they have access to everything they need.
- I also have a backup plan with my hubby...he knows the names and numbers of all my current clients. If I were to suddenly be unable to work...he would be able to inform them immediately.
- It should be clear to your customers from the start about what will happen if you end up on queasy street or get hit by that proverbial bus, so it's a good idea to have this mentioned right in your contract. Customers and potential customers have every right to ask you how you will handle 'sick days' and you should be prepared to answer them confidently.
Last but not least...I feel that it's only partially your responsibility to have a backup plan. You should definitely create one as a courtesy to your clients and to keep your stellar reputation. But, your clients should have their own back-up plans in place too. No business should be relying on you so heavily that they would be unable to function without you. Every business owner should have their own 'backup plan' ready in case their V.A. is suddenly unable to provide services to them.
My own gastrointestinal distress only lasted about 24 hours...but I took it as a big 'hint' from the universe that having a 'backup plan' was something I really needed to address.
So... what's your backup plan?
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