You have officially launched your virtual assistant business, but you have no idea what to do next to keep that business running. Here’s how to transform your new business into a simple, profitable and sustainable success.
You finally got around to registering your business, documenting your policies and processes, setting up your website, and you’re ready to book clients. What’s next? If you have no clue how to keep your business running, this is for you!
The next step is to get visible, get clients and get paid! You need clients, bookings and revenue. And, you need them fast!
Here are 4 things successful virtual assistants do to ensure that the business runs as smoothly after launching.
Let's dive in!
Mistake #1 Fail to Finish Your Marketing Plan
Your virtual assistant business lives and dies by the numbers. In other words, you need bookings and income in order to stay in business. For that to happen, you need to hit your marketing goals. That means you need a good marketing plan and strategy. If you’re struggling to get your new virtual assistant business up and growing, chances are it's not lack of funds, but it's a lack of a solid marketing plan and strategy is non-existent or wasn’t going to work from the beginning.
Most virtual assistant businesses start with a marketing budget of $500 or less. That kind of money is probably sitting in your bank account now. To stretch your marketing budget you might have to do a lot of the work yourself and be quite creative in coming up with solutions to different challenges you face, but it’s not impossible.
A strategic marketing plan for your virtual assistant business will likely include having a website or landing page, blogging, and some local advertising (offline) mixed with social media marketing (online). Those marketing tactics tend to give you a better return on investment. While a classified ad, Google Adwords or a listing on Google my Business, can bring in the initial foot traffic you need for those important first sales, referral marketing, or word of mouth is free and can be well worth your efforts if you own a home-based business, as well.
Plug yourself into the blogosphere in your niche. Consider doing some guest blog posts on high-traffic blogs or podcasts. These are reliable methods for getting some exposure for your business and traffic to your website. It also opens the way for natural backlinks to your site, which are useful for SEO purposes to help you rank better in the search engines.
Take action: Finish Your Marketing Plan
Mistake #2 Fail to Tackle Your Backend
Once you’ve got your marketing plan out of the way, it’s time to tackle the backend of your business. A lot of brand new virtual assistant businesses don’t have a solid client onboarding process or customer service department in place to handle the bookings and new clients that hire them. Instead, they are completely reactive and wind up scrambling to get deliverables out the door. Instead, take the time to map out the entire service process from client intake all the way through to delivery of the work product and post-project customer support.
The client experience before and after rendering the service is an important aspect of long-term sustainability. You can probably handle this yourself initially, but once the business starts flowing and growing, you’ll need a full-time person dedicated to this aspect of the business in order to keep your clients extremely happy and to turn them into loyal customers for your business.
Take Action: Tackle Your Backend
Mistake #3 Failed to Scale and Hire
Scaling isn’t something you think about when your office is literally in your living room or spare bedroom. Whatever you do, make your business scalable. Home-based businesses often have a hard time with scalability because the business is run out of the person’s home.
Usually, scaling issues can be solved by having a system and process in place that is easily replicated – like a franchise model. If you can break down your business into defined, easy-to-replicate tasks, then aspects of your business can be outsourced, allowing your business to get more done with fewer internal resources or better without being present.
Outsourcing your client experience or relying on an automated CRM workflow system, for example, might be necessary as your virtual assistant business takes off. Scaling basically means hiring someone or an entire team that can take over those tasks for you when you grow beyond a simple one or two-woman operation.
Mistake #4 Fail to Automate Whatever You Can’t Outsource
Automate whatever you can’t outsource. Automation helps you achieve the freedom lifestyle you hear other VA’s constantly talking about. Automation is freeing up your time as well as enhancing your scalability. Just because you own a virtual assistant business doesn’t mean you need to be married to it. Your goal should be to own the business, and have others run it. That is the true definition of success. Working harder instead of smarter won’t lead to business success.
What can you automate? If you find yourself sending the same emails over and over again, stop sending them manually and develop email templates or automate the delivery schedule of those emails. Focus on making the business as productive and efficient as possible, as this is a likelier path to profitability.
There’s a certain kind of satisfaction you will get from knowing that your business will run just fine regardless of whether you show up for work or not. Automation is that missing piece of the puzzle that will not only give you lasting success, but control over your business future.
Take Action: Automate Whatever You Can’t Outsource
Choose 1 and Take action
Look back at the 4 mistakes we went over, choose the one that is currently affecting you the most, and take action on it!
And for a whole lot more help with your virtual assistant business, check out The Client Experience That Pays workshop presented by our Expert of the Month Shequana Hughes, the CEO and System Strategist at Business Balance Systems LLC.
For six years Shequana has made it her mission to help mom coaches, consultants and service providers create business balance. Shequana recently launched the Business Balance System software, an all-in-one marketing and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Born through chaos, but transformed into growth.
What does the system include?
Click the link here to register and watch the complete workshop in our video library.
This work shop is part of our Expert of the Month Series to help you level up in your skills and get on the road to becoming a profitable virtual assistant.
What are the biggest mistakes you could have avoided in your Virtual Assistants? What can you add to this list? Share in the comments below.
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