It seems like only yesterday we were busy mapping out our 'perfect 2020'...when just a few months in we were ALL hit with a global pandemic to mess with our lives!
The good news? Most of us are getting used to the 'new normal' and with that in mind, it's the perfect time of year to start planting the seeds for an INCREDIBLE 2021.
Antsy to get started?
Here are a few steps you can start taking RIGHT NOW to set a solid foundation for the next 12 months...
1. REFLECT. Take some time to think about 2020 and make note of the things that 'worked'. What made you giddy with joy? What actions brought in money? What experiences made you feel successful? How can you bring MORE of that into next year? Also, reflect on what DIDN'T work. These will obviously be things you'll want to avoid for 2021.
2. DREAMSTORM. It's weird, but most people have a tough time articulating what they really want. We all say things like 'money, health and...
I have some exciting and aggressive business goals this year...one of which is to continue growing my practice as a Virtual Assistant Coach and V.A. Course Creator, helping people who want to start a new V.A. business or expand their existing practice. Last year, two of my coaching clients asked me an interesting question:
How many clients do you have?
The answer changes for me from month to month and year to year, but the truth is: The most clients I have taken on at one time was 7-8 different business owners. And at my lowest? This always surprises people: I had just TWO clients.
Are you wondering which was better? The truth is, there were good parts and bad parts having LOTS of clients and also to having very few. If you are just starting out or thinking about scaling up or wondering if it's better to seek out a smaller number of prospects...there is no 'right' or 'wrong' number of clients to have, but there ARE pros and cons to consider.
I've been debating about whether to share this secret on my blog ...actually for years. I think the time is right, so here goes:
I've been working as a full-time Virtual Assistant since 2011 (that's over 9 years now!!) and I've had many, many clients come and go over that time. It always surprises me (and I think it would honestly surprise a LOT of people) to know that I often make more money as a Virtual Assistant than some of the clients I'm serving.
Over the years, I've occasionally been tasked with jobs that require me to see a client's financials...and I've been shocked, to discover that when it comes right down to it...I'm sometimes taking home more moola than the 'Big' clients.
Of course, this is not ALWAYS the case. Sometimes I make WAY less than the people I work for. And sometimes I have no idea what my clients make since I've...
If you're looking for a step-by-step action plan here...then you might as well hit 'ESC' and shut down this blog post immediately. You won't find the secret formula here, because I believe whole-heartedly that there is NO STEP-BY-STEP ACTION PLAN that is guaranteed to take you from zero to V.A. hero.
The way that Jane Doe started her Virtual Assistance business last year, may not work for you this year. You have incredibly different skills and talents and experiences than her. The online space changes drastically from year to year. There's different software available. Luck also plays a part when it comes to predicting success here and there too. So in a nutshell, Jane Doe's step-by-step action plan to start a Virtual Assistant business may not work for you AT ALL.
So I am here to tell you - there is no step-by-step plan, but you CAN start your Virtual Assistance practice right now, today, with one EASY step:
That 'thing'? It...
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.
If I had to pick the one question I get the very most often from new Virtual Assistants, it would most definitely be the good 'ole:
"How do I find clients"?
I thought it would be fun to share the EXACT things I did to get my very first few clients way back in 2011 (yes, I've been around that long). Of course, some things have definitely changed since then...but many of these ideas are still working for me today as I get inquiries from potential new clients every month.
OK, I have to be FULLY HONEST here: I don't usually tell anyone I found my first client on Elance (which is now called Upwork). Why? Because the competition was FIERCE and the money I made was LOW. Like way low. Like way waaaaay low. It took a lot of time to apply for a handful of jobs AND I dropped my rate to a pitiful $10 per hour. Now that I've been a Virtual Assistant for 9+ years I know, without a doubt, that I cannot make a living with such a low rate. So while I don't...
Over the last 9+ years, I have connected with MANY Virtual Assistants at all levels of creating a V.A. Business. Some have flopped and 'virtually' disappeared from the industry. Others have become super success stories, growing 6 Figure practices, and KILLING it in the online world. What did they do differently?
The most successful Virtual Assistants I know don't jump into their day willy nilly wondering what they'll work on first, how they'll spend their lunch hour, and which project they'll 'feel like' working on. They start each morning by deciding on priorities, reviewing deadlines, and building a solid plan for the best way to spend their time.
You might think the highest paid Virtual Assistants spend all their time doing client work...after all...that's what we get paid for! But the biggest players in the V.A. world know that it's...
As a Virtual Assistant AND Mama, I often get asked:
"Is it really possible to run a successful Virtual Assistant Business from a home office while you have kids at home? How do you do it? "
I have run a full-time Virtual Assistance Practice since 2011 with THREE KIDDOS AT HOME. I have researched countless blogs and advice for Work-at-home Moms, and this is what I've learned:
To heck with all the advice. Really.
You do you...even if it goes against everything the 'experts' have told you about entrepreneurial parenting. Even if it's a little crazy.
How do I do it? Here are some of my own tried, true, and tested tips and techniques for managing a Virtual Assistance Business with 3 kids at home:
1. Always let your phone go to voicemail. Never pick up that call while kiddos are home - even if they are in a seemingly quiet state. If you make this mistake, your kids will know instantly. War will break out and your caller will be...
I'm often asked by women if they can really make a living working from home as a Virtual Assistant. They usually tell me about their past careers, education, and skills. They want to know if their particular concoction of work + life experience will make them a successful Virtual Assistant.
I don't know.
Honestly? Any person from any background with any amount of experience can become a successful Virtual Assistant or be a crap Virtual Assistant. A good Virtual Assistant is one who is:
A successful Virtual Assistant knows how to stare fear in the face and bring it down like a warrior princess in the fight of her life.
For those in the startup phase of their Virtual Assistant Businesses, finding that oh-so-perfect name for your business can be a challenge. We worry. We think. We stress. We think more. We ask for opinions online. We ask for opinions from friends. We read-up on what the big business coaches have to say. We need it to be cool and catchy and to tell people what we do. We need to check trademarks and registries and domains. We don't want it to be too similar to another VA...but we definitely don't want to be too different from other VA's either. Before we know six weeks have passed and we still haven't committed to the 'perfect' name. The truth is: Your name is just one teensy-weensy-itsy-bittie-bit of your business. Does it even matter? Not that much. Seriously...it doesn't. Which brings me to my BEST TWO TIPS for choosing a business name: