Newbie VAs and Clients

As a newbie VA you have to go with the flow and as clients contact you or you contact them you are obliged to do the work they offer, especially so when starting out. As a newbie you can’t afford to turn work down.

1. You need to get experience of the type of work you will do
2. You need to get a feel of how to deal with clients
3. You need to have procedures in place to go through the process of getting work, dealing with the client, and invoicing that client and you need to see if these procedures work, as a newbie this is important.

You have to find a way to make that client come back to you time and again. The aim is for each client not to be a once off client but to become a regular. A way of getting your clients to become regulars is to convince them that you are the VA that can best assist them, let them know you can be an asset to their company, offer them the services/skills they need in a professional manner and convince them you can do the job and you can be trusted. Provide each client with a quality client service so that they will want to stay with you. Treat each client as if they are your only client whether they are or are not; make them feel as if they are. A client needs to feel special and they need to feel that you put their needs first, that is important. If you provide a client with a good service that client will go away and talk to others about that service and that could lead to more clients for you. Word of mouth is a great way for a client who is appreciative of your services to help you spread the word about your business.

Clients look for the following in VAs:
· Your experience and skills, (know your job)
· Your confidence in your job
· Being proactive and assertive (a client will not want a VA that says yes/no)
· Providing a quality service
· Your availability (when are you available to the client and when are you not)

As you start getting a few regular clients then maybe you could turn your marketing towards target marketing. Take a service you enjoy doing and market that particular service towards clients who you know provide this service. Also after working for a few clients you learn which types of clients you would like to work for, use target marketing to find those clients in the services that you want to work with.

Recession, downsizing and virtual assistants

written by Alison Fourie

How are you feeling as a virtual assistant during this recession that is hitting us wordwide?
Is it hitting your business?
What affects has it had on your business?

This is my take on the recession and purely my opinion.

Companies are downsizing especially so with office administration staff, this is not just happening within South Africa but worldwide. This to me opens the way for virtual assistants and transcriptionists to find work. Companies will need their office administration done no matter what. Tasks like company invoicing, accounts, typing, company correspondence, arranging meetings etc. We as virtual assistants can handle these tasks and help keep the company administration under control.

To get these types of jobs it would be wise for virtual assistants to send out company brochures and introduction letters to prospective clients, start with the types of small businesses that could downsize easily then move on to larger corporates, what harm does it do to let companies know you are out there willing to assist in this time of recession.

Clients are contacting me around three to five times a week for quotations so that proves there are potential clients out there looking for support from virtual assistants. They are hearing about us through the continual advertising/marketing we do. But the problem is they are only hearing from a small percentage of us, a small percentage of us appear in advertising everywhere, where everyone else advertises, does there marketing, I don’t know as you are not being seen. To me if I was you I would see that as a problem. A virtual assistant’s aim should be to get her details out there so that corporates, businessmen, entrepreneurs can see her, but this does not seem to be the case. So I would say the veterans of the industry like myself are the ones who are benefiting the most during the recession. The one thing that I can do as I do have a full business of clients is contract work out to newbie’s and assist them this way, but that should not be the way newbie’s find work, they themselves should not rely on veteran VAs to give them work but should go out and look for potential clients. You will not receive full pay for a job that you would if you had the client yourself and as a contractor you will not make much money working for other VAs, so to me that is to your disadvantage. Go and find clients and make the money you could earn. Take advantage of the recession with companies downsizing that are now outsourcing and present them with your details. Get out there and be seen.

The Importance of Procedures

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hi everyone, today I want to talk about the importance of procedures to your business. Procedures are vitally important in any business, but perhaps in a virtual business they are of tantamount importance. A procedure in essence is a plan, and generally speaking, to use the old hackneyed phrase, failure to plan is to plan to fail.I believe any business must start with a business plan. Even if you don’t intend to use it to obtain a loan, it would be something that allows you to clearly state your intentions about what it is that you are trying to do. It’s a mind clearer. And the natural next step (or even included in your business plan) would be to plan your procedures. This means you sit down and think of eventualities and plan how you’re going to deal with them. What are your steps to follow when a query comes in? What are your steps when an order comes in? How are yougoing to invoice? These are things that, I believe, every newbie VA and transcriptionist should document. Here comes the challenge, though. Your first client comes in, followed by your second, and your third. And suddenly, you’re very busy. At his point it is easy to let go of procedures. And this is a danger to your established business. Much as you are tempted to go straight to bed after a 4 hour transcription, do not do so without at least blocking out some time the following day to do your admin. It’s important, because doing it regularly does save you time in the long run, and consider that admin left for two or three days, or longer, can begin to make you feel overwhelmed. Procedures can also be revised, as you get busier or add new services or products to your business. But the bottom line is – stick to your procedures.

Written by Gaynor Paynter, Typewrite Transcription and Typing Services CC, Cell: +27834424689, Web: www.typewritetranscription.co.za