Monthly ArchiveDecember 2011
I’ve been hinting about this for a few weeks and have an announcement for you! Check out the video message I’ve prepared for you:
Mindset Sydni Craig-Hart on 22 Dec 2011
I think it’s safe for me to assume that itâ€™s a no brainer that you want more clients. That is why you are started a Virtual Assistant business in the first place, to make a living, helping others while working for yourself. If you are struggling to enroll your first few clients have no more fear. The answers to your business prayers are right here. I am going to teach you three simple tactics that are easy to implement, effective and comes directly from the heart.
When you come into contact with new business owners, you never quite know who may be a prospective client. That is why you need to be on top of your game when you are discussing who you are and what you do as an entrepreneur.
Here’s what you do:
- Talk About The Benefits of Working With Youâ€“ Just the other day I went to get a massage. (I absolutely LOVE massages by the way :-). After this relaxing experience I thought about the many benefits that I received (release of tension, rejuvenation, etc.). So, I wondered if my therapist highlights these wonderful benefits when she speaks about her business. If not, she should, because it’s the reason why her clients come to her. I didn’t go to get a massage because I needed a massage therapist. I went because I wanted to treat myself and feel good. Imagine for a moment that you met her at a networking event and asked her â€œWhat do you do?â€ She might say:a. â€˜I am a massage therapist.â€™
b. â€˜I liberate people from tension, stress and anxiety.â€™Now if you heard either of those responses, which one would make you want to learn more? EXACTLY!Â I chose B as well. Can you see how powerful that is? The same applies to your business.
The people who need your help aren’t looking for a Virtual Assistant. But they would like to feel less frazzled, more organized and to make more money in their business. When people ask you about what you do in your profession, make sure to highlight the benefits so that your prospects can see themselves experiencing the results from working with you. If you say, â€œIâ€™m a Virtual Assistantâ€, you are likely to receive a confused look in response. Instead, focus on the real benefit clients will enjoy in working with you so that your conversation partner will want to learn more about you and even refer you to others who may need you.
- Ask to Keep In Touch â€“ As you progress in the conversation about the wonderful work that you do for your clients, this next tactic becomes very important. Simply say, â€œIâ€™d like to continue this conversation with you, when would be a good time for us to connect again?” Then capture their contact information and let them know you’ll confirm the appointment shortly. When you receive this information, move along to easy tactic number three.
- Follow Up Quickly â€“ Please donâ€™t allow more than 48 hours to pass before you contact the person. I know that you are quite engaging and very interesting, but you have to remember that everyone has a terribly busy lifestyle. With all of the gadgets and activities, people are more distracted than ever. Make follow up your #1 Priority. Let the person know how much you enjoyed meeting them and the conversation you had. And that you look forward to continuing it on DATE/TIME! Your diligence in following up shows your contact exactly how serious you are about your business and how serious you will be about theirs.
The three steps I shared with you are simple to implement, quite effective and are focused on you being of service. The People will be so impressed with the way that you express yourself. They will be excited to work with you and find it easy to say yes to what you have to offer them.
How will you apply this strategy to your business? Share your thoughts with me on the blog or in the LinkedIn group and I’ll offer you some additional support.
Mindset Sydni Craig-Hart on 16 Dec 2011
As you strive to build a successful Virtual Assistant business, I encourage you to not hold back from acquiring new skills and knowledge. Because you are an entrepreneur, you are likely hesitant to experience failure. Those feelings are completely normal.
What will help you to not allow that fear to hold you back is to understand that there is really no such thing as failure. Even if a situation or opportunity doesn’t turn out as planned, there are valuable lessons to be learned. Plus, if you never try, you won’t really know what’s possible for you.
Does the thought of failing prevent you from progressing beyond your comfort zone? Donâ€™t fret, Iâ€™m going to help you S-T-R-R-R-E-T-C-H those â€˜comfort musclesâ€™ and branch out into new territory.
I am sure that you are familiar with the expression â€˜trial and errorâ€™. That is the process of experimenting with various methods of doing something until you find the one that’s most successful. Think about this for a moment. Should your business building efforts be considered trial and error? It may be better to consider them â€˜Trial and Triumphâ€™?
Let me give you an example. Imagine you are looking to use new software to organize your business accounting system. So, you download a 30-day trial of Quickbooks. You have never used Quickbooks before, but you know that you must organize your money matters. During the 30 day freebie, you decide that this software is a bit more complicated than you expected. That is a triumph for sure. You gained new knowledge and decided that you want to go in another direction. Now you have some experience and a better understanding of what you need to build the business that you desire. The time spent can hardly be considered an error. Are you still with me?
This principle should be applied to everything that you do in your business. As you try new software and new marketing strategies you will continue to increase your effectiveness as an entrepreneur and be more valuable to your clients. My goal is really to help you avoid being â€˜stuck in timeâ€™ due to fear of failure.
You are not a “bad business ownerâ€ if you try something new but do not obtain the intended results. Use that new knowledge as fuel that will propel your business forward to prosperity. If your mindset is right, you can turn â€˜trial and errorâ€™ into trial and triumph.
Business Management Sydni Craig-Hart on 09 Dec 2011
If you are currently employed with a company working as an Administrative Professional and are wondering how you are going to transition into your own home-based Virtual Assistant practice, the thought may have crossed your mind to start your business part-time. This likely led to a number of other questions, such as “how do I get started,” “how will I balance my job, family and business?” and “can I really do this and be successful?”
The good news is that you can create a profitable, successful business that you work in part-time. You and I both know of many individuals who have been able to maintain two or even three sources of employment simultaneously. It would be no different if you were to choose to start your Virtual Assistance practice while you maintain your current job.
There are a few things that you will need to consider if you are going to start a part-time Virtual Assistance business such as:
- What is my current situation? As with any endeavor in life, especially when there is a demand on your time and financial resources, it is imperative to consider your circumstances as they are and not how you want them to be.
- How much financial support can you dedicate?
- How will your part-time Virtual Assistance business affect the time that you spend with your family?
- Will your quality of life improve or be impaired by taking on this challenge?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. The point is to honestly assess where you’re at and what needs to happen in order to make your endeavor successful.
- Who will I serve in a part-time capacity? I’m asked all the time, “Will clients be interested in working with me if I’m only available part-time?” And the answer is Yes! Why is that? It is because when and how you work isn’t really their concern. Remember, they are looking for solution to a problem, not a Virtual Assistant. So when you focus the client relationship on solving their problems, are clear about your availability and meet the agreed upon deadlines, WHEN you actually do the work is a non-issue.
We currently have three VAs who work on our team. They each have different circumstances and different schedules. When they do their work for us is not something I worry or care about. Once a task is assigned, I just want it delivered on time and as we agreed. What this means for you is that you’ll want to focus on providing services that aren’t necessarily time sensitive (that have to be done during normal working hours). You do this by matching your skill set with what the client is looking for and then honoring your commitments.
- How will I manage my time and clients? Time is our number one resource. We all enjoy the same portion of it each day. You, as a part-time VA will have to determine how you will use your allotment of 24 hours. First, be mindful that you do not need to tell your clients that you only work part time. Every day, you treat your employer as your biggest client, right?
When you enroll a client on a part-time basis, they only need to know that the agreement that the two of you made will be honored. Therefore, even in a part-time situation, make only commitments that you can keep. This means not over-committing yourself or making promises you can’t keep. Be honest about what you can do and you’ll quickly build trust with your clients, that will likely lead to more work and referrals to others in their network.
Is pursuing a part-time VA business the right goal for you? It can be if you honestly assess your current circumstances. Decide whether or not you have the time to commit to building your business. You also need to determine if you have the financial means to support your business. It is also important for you to be realistic in your commitments to clients. Â Many are getting this accomplished. By reviewing the points mentioned in this article, creating a plan and taking action, you can start a successful part-time Virtual Assistance business too!
There’s a lot we can learn from consumer spending habits this time of year. Did you notice how many emails you received about “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” offers? Retailers are stocking their shelves, running special deals; truly they are doing all that they can to attract more customers to buy their goods. Yes, retailers are moving full speed ahead in order to increase their business.
Many other types of businesses, however, do not maintain the â€˜retail mentality.â€™ Especially serviced based businesses like Virtual Assistance. They may tend to think, â€œoh well, this is a slow time of year. We will pick back up in January.â€
Please tell me that you are doing all that you can to develop the â€˜retail mentalityâ€™. You should be â€œstocking your shelvesâ€ and â€œdoing all that you can to attract more customers.â€
How can you, though, move full speed ahead and ramp up business so that you hit the ground running come January 1st?
Here are 4 action steps for boosting your business NOW instead of later.
- Create Your Money Map for 2012: If you want a clear path on how to create more success, more profits and more freedom in your business, I invite you to join me for a two-part LIVE webinar course on how to create a marketing masterpiece. Click here to get access to your best year ever. Even if you choose not to join our profit-boosting program, please make sure that you make plans for how you will conduct your marketing program.
- Set SPECIFIC Goals: How well did you do with accomplishing your goals for 2011? I certainly hope that you reached them all. If you have, that is a sign of good planning. And you should set new goals for yourself, stretching a bit beyond what’s possible. If you didn’t quite achieve all that you set out to, use where you are now as a starting point for what you can achieve in 2012.
- Strategize: Setting goals is one thing. Charting the course to accomplishing them is quite another. Can you imagine saying that you wanted to lose 45 pounds, but then choosing not to exercise or change your eating habits? That wouldnâ€™t make sense. The same principle applies to your business. If you donâ€™t set goals and outline how to accomplish them, you won’t find the success you’re looking for.
- Implement: THIS is the MOST important step. Take an honest look at your business. Are things going the way that you would like? If not, are you doing everything within your power to make good things happen? If not, you can choose to change that. Starting…NOW! Commit to taking the necessary action. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to be consistent.
It is my greatest hope that you succeed in developing a successful virtual assistant business. Donâ€™t slow down right now! This is the time to go all out and boost your business. I would be happy to help you do that. Be sure to develop and maintain the â€˜retail mentalityâ€™ through the end of the year so that you will have a strong start in 2012.