Monthly ArchiveNovember 2011
Business Management Wil Hart on 25 Nov 2011
Commercialism has ingrained into our culture the idea that whatever we want we can obtain quickly, abundantly and easily. Commercial geniuses try to convince you that you can “Lose weight FAST!” “Fall in love INSTANTLY!” And the ever elusive, “Get rich NOW!”
I truly believe that as you build your Virtual Assistance company, there is a magic pill that you too can swallow. The cool thing about this magic pill is that it is tried and tested. It’s called doing the work. That’s all folks!
Doing the work is the only thing that is going to allow you to build the successful business that you desire. Along with doing the work, you are going to have to combat laziness and discouragement.
Laziness is the quality of being unwilling to do the work and expecting the easy way out. How might this trait manifest itself in your efforts to build your business? Perhaps you come across a software, technology, or set of tasks of which you have no previous knowledge. What effort do you put forth to learn what you need to learn to complete the project and make progress? The answer to this question is an indicator as to whether or not you need to develop a more pro-active approach to doing your work.
It’s great to learn from those that have paved the way before you (which is why I encourage you to get fully involved in the Executive Assistant to Virtual Assistant! community.) You can also learn by investing in training, coaching or reading a book. However, it is your choice to learn the necessary skill. Doing so will require an investment of your time, energy and in many cases financial resources. But more importantly, once you learn what you need to learn, you have to put it into action and do the work! Simply increasing your knowledge is not going to help you be more successful.
Applying what you learn and doing the work, however, is the key to success.Â As you seek to implement what you learn you may make a mistake along the way. That’s OK. Everyone does. (I have personally made EVERY mistake an entrepreneur can make – and that hasn’t stopped me from being successful.) Even if you make a mistake or something takes longer than you expected, that is how you learn. You can then make adjustments and do better next time. It’s part of the process. So don’t allow a tendency of being unwilling to do the work stand in the way of the success you deserve.
Discouragement is a loss of confidence or enthusiasm. The magic pill of doing the work can help you to overcome this challenge and reach success at a quicker pace. In your business, there will be situations that cause your confidence and enthusiasm to wane. It may be the loss of a client, a financial setback or a goal that you did not accomplish. It is understandable that you might feel deflated by such disappointments. However, the magic pill of doing the work will allow you to triumph over such feelings.
Yes, doing the work you need to do will enable you to find new clients, to create new sources of income and to accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself. This in turn will increase your vitality and your outlook for your business.
There is no substitute for the magic pill of doing the work. It does not matter how many advertisements that you see for losing 20 pounds in a matter of days or for getting rich within a few months. The essence behind any successful endeavor is putting your hand to the plow and getting things done! Success, however you define it, is manual, not automatic. You are the creative force that drives your Virtual Assistance company. Even if you purchase a software, a training course or attend a seminar; you are going to have to put in the work to make your goals a reality.
Are you ready to swallow the magic pill?
If you entered a contest that challenged you to enroll one new client next week, how would you go about doing so? Imagine that the stakes are VERY HIGH. The prize, $100,000 if you could just get one new client to work with you in your business. Would $100,000 be enough to get you excited about prospecting for clients?
I hope that you are excited because this is a reality. If you work feverishly to get in front of your ideal clients, you can truly operate a $100,000 business! But, don’t allow the money to be a barrier for you. Think about why you started your business in the first place. What made you excited about being an entrepreneur? That is the very energy and zeal that you need to employ when you are marketing your solutions to the people who are already looking for you.
I want to share with you the strategies that we have used to build two successful businesses. First, I want to offer a disclaimer. If you do not perform the work that needs to be done, you will not get new clients and thus build your business. Fair enough? Good! Let’s get started:
- I tapped into my warm market: That tactic is how I got my business off the ground. I simply told my friends, co-workers and associates that I was starting a Virtual Assistance company. It was fascinating to them that I was going to do the same work that I had been doing for more than a decade using the freedom of running my own company. I sent a letter to everyone that I knew and set coffee dates with others. I did whatever I could to get the word out about my new business. This was my first ever marketing campaign and my company was born. Continue Reading »
Business Management Sydni Craig-Hart on 17 Nov 2011
When you are in start-up mode, it’s important to pay close attention to the numbers in your business. You will absolutely need to invest money into your new enterprise in order to set it up properly and build a strong foundation. However, there are three categories that could prove to be money-pits if you are not careful. I am an expert in the field of making mistakes and learning from them. Thus, I’d like you to learn from where I went wrong in the early days and avoid making the same mistakes.
- Start-up Costs
The first mistake I see many new VAs making is not calculating an accurate amount for start up costs. (I actually made the opposite mistake and spent too much money!) Starting a successful Virtual Assistant business doesn’t require tens of thousands of dollars in capital, but you will HAVE to invest money to get started. So resist the urge to think you can build this business on a shoestring budget.Â If you miscalculate the start-up costs of your business, this may lead to you owing a lot more money than you begin to earn.
Consider what technology you will need to purchase. What are the monthly operating expenses? How long will it take to turn a profit? Knowing this will give you an idea of how much money you should have saved for the first six to twelve months after you open your doors for business. Not counting the costs may in turn cost you a lot of money andÂ unnecessary frustration.
Please do not start your business thinking all of your money will go directly into your wallet. When you had a corporate job, your company happily deducted taxes for you. Who is going to do that for you now? You guessed it. YOU.
It is YOUR job to make sure that your company is set up so that you will receive the best tax advantage. With that said, you are also responsible for setting aside the proper taxes so that you do not get caught in a whirlwind of back taxes and trouble with the state and Federal authorities.
Hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is one of the best investments that you can make as a new entrepreneur. She will help you to avoid many tax pitfalls, keep you updated on your local and federal tax law and help you to file your taxes appropriately and on time. Even if you decide not to hire a CPA on a permanent basis, I highly recommend meeting with one once or twice to setup the financial structure of your business correctly. You don’t want to tackle this on your own, rather you want to create the best possible situation for you and your family.
- Marketing Costs
“But, I can’t afford a marketing budget.” Have you said this before? If so, I only have one question for you, ‘How can you stay in business if you do not grow your business?’ I say this with so much care and warmth for you: You can’t expect to hide behind your computer, hoping clients will show up at your door payment in hand. It simply WON’T happen.
The whole point of going into business for yourself is for you to help other people while being the source of your own income.
But, if you do not invest in prospecting, how will you earn money? Anyone can start a business. Smart entrepreneurs know the importance of investing in their marketing. Marketing creates awareness for the solutions you provide and attracts prospects. Having conversations with prospects is what converts them to clients. It’s service clients that generates revenue and builds your reputation. None of this will happen if you don’t market what you have to offer.Â It would be useless to open the doors of your brand new business only to have zero customers walk through them. Plan to set aside funds to learn how to market your business, create your materials and implement your marketing plan. You’ll need to focus on marketing almost daily, especially in the beginning.
Take the time that is needed to get your business off to a great start. Do the proper research so that you can have a realistic number for your start-up costs. Get a CPA involved in your business as soon as you get started to avoid a ‘tax mess’. Understand that you will need to do marketing for your business and that will cost money as well. Be ready for this expense by setting up a marketing budget. Avoid these pitfalls and you will find your new business is profitable, successful and debt free!