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Business Management &Marketing Wil Hart on 11 Dec 2013 03:00 am

Use The Caterpillar Method Of Business Growth

Monarch life stagesThere are so many examples in the insect world that can help you with building your Virtual Assistance business. Stretch your imagination for a bit and try to think as if you were a caterpillar.

Have you ever wondered if a caterpillar looks forward to becoming a beautiful monarch butterfly? As a human, we can sit back and thoroughly appreciate this fascinating process.

Even people who find caterpillars icky or creepy, likely find immeasurable beauty in the monarch. Do you find it lovely?

Why should you consider thinking like a caterpillar?

The monarch butterfly has 4 stages of its life. What stage of your Virtual Assistance business are you in? What is your BIG PICTURE goal? I hope that you look forward to creating a business as gorgeous as the monarch (but with a longer life-span).

Phase I – Foundation

If you are in the start up phase of your business, you are likely trying to figure out how to set up your business legally and put systems into place. That is excellent! Think about the steps that will help you to progress to the phase where you are ready to work with clients. This is the foundational stage where you are working on choosing a target marker, developing your marketing collateral and stabilizing your business presence.

Marketing plays a big part in this phase because you will need to learn what to say to a potential client or referral partner. Learn to be concise, clear and inspiring is imperative. Skillfully talking about the problems that your clients experience, how you resolve those problems and help them to benefit is the key component to your marketing message. Mastering this will determine if people want to work with you or refer their contact sphere to you.

Don’t fret over this. It does take practice. You will always improve over time as long as you practice!

Phase II – Working with Clients

When you are at the point of working with clients things get serious! You now become really accountable for helping someone else’s business to succeed. This is both exciting and scary when you are trying to get into a groove. Think of it. Now you are really accepting payment for managing some aspect of another persons’ business.

This is where you will navigate through building systems around getting client work completed. It is also important for you to create your own processes for meeting with prospects and enrolling new clients. After working with a few clients, you will get the “butterflies” out of your stomach and become a pro at building your business.

Phase III – Become Profitable

At this stage you know how to work with clients. The key now is to become adept at highlighting your marketing message. You will be doing more marketing and meeting with more and more prospective clients.

Because the cost of starting your own Virtual Assistance business is relatively low, it shouldn’t take long for you to become profitable. “What is profitability?”, you may ask. The formula for calculating your profitability is this:

Gross Profit = Total Revenue – Expenses

The goal of every business is to turn a profit. This is what made you excited about becoming a Virtual Assistant in the first place. You no longer have the compensation glass ceiling because you determine what your time and effort is worth. Be sure that your business is profitable so that you can go onto the next phase.

Phase IV – Expanding Your Business

Please do not confuse business expansion with hiring employees! You can however, hire contractors to help you with certain aspects of your business. It is also beneficial to you and to your clients to expand your network of services. Included in your network can be a graphic and web designer, other Virtual Assistants, social media marketing specialists, travel agents. The list is endless. Consider the services that you offer and connect with other business owners who complement the services that you offer. This is an excellent way to build referral network as well.

It may be beneficial to your network for you to combine efforts and sell service packages together. This is a great way to expand your business with minimal effort.

No matter what phase of your business you are in, be sure to work towards your BIG PICTURE goal. The caterpillar looks forward to becoming a beautiful monarch butterfly. What do you want your Virtual Assistants business to look like 3, 5 or even 7 years from today? If you don’t know, it’s time for you to start thinking like a caterpillar. Let me help you with your business focus. Join me for a very special seminar that is taking place this week!

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