There’s a lot of information on the web about starting a virtual assistance practice and it’s quite easy to get sucked into the promise of working less hours for more money and taking time off whenever you feel like it.
Realistically, when you’re getting started, you may end up working more hours and having less time on your hands than you did when you were working for someone else. And, if you don’t get your pricing right, you could end up working for less too!
That’s not to say that working less hours for more money and taking time off when you want is a pipe dream. It can become true if you get it right. But there are a lot of factors to take into consideration which I won’t go into today.
What I can tell you with hindsight is that I fell into three major traps when I started up.
Firstly, I knew how much I needed to earn to survive, but that was about it. I didn’t sit down and look at the figures properly.
Secondly, I didn’t have a...
High achievers – in both the online world and in the corporate world – generally have positive attitudes, know how to take action, and know how to ask for help. They are also not afraid to bring in coaches to help them improve their leadership and planning skills.
Who wants to be around pessimistic people? Having pessimistic coworkers is bad but having a business owner or department head who is constantly finding fault in other people’s work or who is always pessimistic about project outcomes is a sure way to send morale plummeting.
Luckily a mindset coach can help the pessimist turn their negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
Taking action is not necessarily an inborn trait but it’s certainly a skill that can be learned.
High achievers don’t reach their level of success by overthinking their business plans or by waiting for opportunities to present themselves.
Those are quick ways to stall your business.
Instead, high earners learn to develop the...
Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had a global impact. It has disrupted all our lives in some way or another. Holidays have been cancelled, cruise ships unable to dock, the general public asked to self-isolate and many thousands of people now having to work from home.
Let’s be honest, working from home sounds like a dream. You don’t have to put up with crowded commutes, you don’t have to sit in a noisy office, and you’re not tied to 9 – 5 office hours.
What you can do is have a leisurely breakfast, get your household chores done then start work. Heck, you can even work in your pyjamas if you like. Yahoo!
If you’ve never worked from home it sounds like fun, right?
But, is that really the reality?
I’m not going to lie. It can be fun, initially. Especially if it’s only for a few days. Most people can cope. But if it goes on for weeks, things can become very different.
As the great Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
With all the moving parts of a business to look after, it’s no wonder that some things fall through the cracks affecting your business growth and bottom line profits.
Let’s examine 5 mistakes that will diminish your profits if not fixed right away.
1. Inconsistent Marketing
It’s just not enough to publish one Facebook post or a couple of tweets every week. Likewise, ignoring your email list is also detrimental to your business. If you don’t keep up with a consistent marketing plan, people will forget your name, will forget how they ended up on your email list, or forget why they’re following you on social media. These forgotten people need to be won over yet again and they need to hear and see your company name on a consistent basis before they decide to spend money on your products or services.
2. Failure to Automate
Are you stuck in the old school way of doing...
It seems the current popular advice for growing your business is, “You need a coach,” and you’ll see dozens of people hanging up their coaching hat, advertising for clients.
But the term “coach” is extremely broad and general so the key to hiring the right coach is knowing what you’re looking for and what TYPE of coach to hire. After all, you wouldn’t hire a college rugby coach to bring the school’s football team to a league game, would you?
Every coach has their own niche – much like your business serves a particular niche – and within those niches, every coach has their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s look at some of those niches in full detail.
Mindset coaches focus on your brain’s mindset, how you think and feel about your business and your life; and how to turn any negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
Mindset coaches do not solely focus on business; if you’re unhappy with any...
It was a normal day in the office. We were a team of three back then and would take it in turns to answer the phone.
A call came through. It was an enquiry. The enquirer wanted to know if they could use our office address to receive their post. The call was transferred to me.
It wasn’t an unusual request. I have been asked about this a few times over the years. My stance has always been this. Unless I have worked for a client for a long period of time and know them well, then my answer is always no.
I took the call anyway.
It started pleasantly at first. The caller explained that they were an estate agents and were thinking about opening an office in the small town where I was based at the time. Their current office was approximately 30 miles away from mine and they wanted somewhere for their post to be delivered whilst they found a new property.
Alarm bells started ringing in my head.
It didn’t make sense to me why they would want post delivered to my office if they had...
Are you trying to learn everything about everything in an effort to save money? Sure, it’s tough to admit you need help but if you continue being everything to everyone, you’ll burn out and resent your business.
Years ago when I was first starting my business I was in an online conversation about the importance of choosing a niche for your business rather than just saying, “I want to serve EVERYBODY.”
Of course, you want to make money so instinctively business owners tell themselves that it’s better to appeal to more people than a selective few. But somebody in the conversation responded by saying, “Do you want to be known as Walmart or do you want to be known as Neiman Marcus?”
The point is Walmart appeals to everyone, but they depend on the sheer volume of customers to make their profit.
Neiman Marcus (designer goods), on the other hand, appeals to a very specific demographic which has the disposable income to spend and they don’t...
Good business coaches are able to look at a company objectively, ask pertinent questions, and guide the owner through the process of creating a plan for future growth. Consider a business coach your objective third party, the one who can sort through the processes that work and those that don’t work and help mold the company into a profitable entity.
For any business owner with an online presence (and EVERY business should be online!) there are many passive ways to build income streams into your website and products that will bring in extra money while you focus on serving your current customers. Passive income is good and will help your bottom line while you actively market your business. You’ve invested good money into your business and your website; why not make it work harder for you?
1. Affiliate Marketing is a simple way to make commission by recommending products or services to your audience. This process is similar to telling your friend or neighbor about the...
Certainly you’ve heard the old adage, “Time is money.” If you’re a business owner, your time is valuable because you have valuable knowledge to share with your audience. Your time is best used catering to those customers and clients who need your knowledge instead of struggling over some back office tasks that are not customer-related at all.
The time you spend doing these non-customer tasks is money that you’re not earning back. So why is it you still find the need to do everything in your business yourself, instead of investing some of your money on a virtual assistant or in software that will help automate certain business processes?
Outsourcing to Grow Your Business
Outsourcing tasks to a virtual assistant or biting the bullet to hire a business coach can be scary, especially if you’re already on a tight budget or have limited clients. But in the long run, hiring these experts to handle tasks they are experienced to handle will make you money...
I’d love to tell you that my ambition was to start my own business. That it was something I had always wanted to do.
But it wasn’t.
Starting my own business was born more out of necessity than fulfilling a dream.
The truth is I founded my company because...
...I was being bullied at work.
Not just by one person either. In the end it was a group of women. It came as quite a shock. I’d never been bullied at school or college. I was always one of those kids who had lots of friends, made friends easily, just fitted in.
I’m not going to go into details, let’s just leave it at it got to the stage I ended up crying just about every day when I left work, and sometimes at work, hidden away in the ladies.
It finally came to a head one evening when I'd got back from a particularly horrendous day and my husband found me sat in the car outside our home sobbing my heart out.
Sounds dramatic, but if you've ever been badly bullied, you'll understand.
The choice was I...