During Covid-19, I have seen a number of Virtual Assistants set up their business and unfortunately make some common mistakes, You see, for many Virtual Assistants, running your own business is probably the first time you’ve been self employed. Making that switch from employee to business owner can be quite a learning curve. And, as any business owner will tell you, it’s inevitable that you’ll make mistakes along the way. (It’s part of the rights of passage of being a business owner.)
However, many of the common mistakes most Virtual Assistants make can be easily remedied – but only if you know what to look for. So help yourself and your business out, by having a read through of the following 10 common mistakes most Virtual Assistants make and seeing if any ring true for you and what you can do to overcome them today.
#1: Playing the short game and not the long game
One of the top mistakes Virtual Assistants make is failing to plan. If you want to be in business for the long game, you need to know where you’re headed and how you’re going to get there. This helps you know how many clients you need, the services you provide and how you monitor and track your business growth.
#2: Not charging your worth
Undercharging is another common mistake – and it’s not just something that affects new VAs either. Established VAs often have a wealth of experience or specialised skills that they’re not charging enough for. For both new and established VAs alike, you need to be charging your worth – don’t let your lack of self belief or confidence stop you from doing that.
#3: Being vague with your pricing
When you’re vague with your pricing, you’re turning potential clients away. I recommend putting your prices on your website. If you struggle to talk about your prices, you can refer potential clients to your pricing page and talk them through it. Being clear on your pricing will benefit both you and your clients. Check out this blog post for help with showing your prices on your website.
#4: Neglecting the fundamentals of a VA business
If you’re running a business, you need to have the right foundations in place. This includes insurance, contracts and registering with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for data handling and protection. It’s important to have a business plan and within that a marketing plan – if you don’t know where you are heading, how will you know that you have arrived. This links very firmly to point one above.
#5: Ignoring the numbers
You need to learn to like numbers, when you’re running a business. The numbers help you see if you’re on track with your goals and plans (playing the long game!). So you need to become numbers focussed. Look to track leads, track clients, track income, expenses, number of clients, social media followers, levels of engagements etc. [Here’s a useful blog on the things you need to track in your business.]
#6: Avoiding stepping into the CEO space
Step up as the CEO of your business. If you avoid doing this, you’ll always be stuck in the Do’er mindset. It’s much more productive and beneficial to your business, if you allow yourself space to step back and work on your business, not just in it.
#7: Having no website or social media presence
As a business you need an online presence – and that includes social media and a website of your own. Far too many Virtual Assistants make the mistake of thinking they don’t need an active presence online and then wonder why they’re struggling. And when you do have your website and social media accounts set up – use them! Because having them and not using them, is just as bad as not having them at all. So stop lurking on social media!
#8: Being scared of the finances
Any business needs cash flow to survive. Don’t be scared of dealing with your business finances – you need them. Know what money is coming in and going out each month, understand how much you need to set aside for tax and National Insurance, and regularly track your figures. And don’t be scared of hitting the threshold for VAT either – it’s a good thing!
#9: Not being visible in your niche
A common mistake most Virtual Assistants make is not being visible in the right places. It’s great attending networking events of joining a new Facebook or LinkedIn group, but if it doesn’t have your ideal clients in there, it’s just a distraction. You need to be visible where it matters – the places where your niche hangs out – so you can promote yourself more effectively. I often suggest being in a group for a couple of months and then reviewing the engagement and success. Some groups you might join for support or education, while others because your ideal client hangs out there – know what you are there.
#10: Having no call to action for people to be able to talk to you
If someone arrives at your website or on your social media profile, what next? Can they easily contact you and reach out? There are so many great VAs out there that aren’t making it easy for their ideal clients to get in touch. So check out your website and see if it’s really obvious how clients can get hold of you. Check that you’re letting them know what they need to do, to do that. Is your telephone number and email address on every page of your website – I include mine in the header and footer of the site so it can be seen irrespective of where the person is on the site.
Have clear calls to action on all of your social media accounts too – and regularly remind potential clients of how they can get in touch with you.
Many of the common mistakes most Virtual Assistants make can be easily rectified. But the key to rectifying them is knowing that you’re making them. By reading through the above 10 steps you’ll have identified the mistakes you’re making and need to remedy, to help your VA business out. You can then create an action plan to implement the changes you need, to eliminate them from your business. If you’d like to understand some of the mistakes Virtual Assistants make on starting out then check out this blog too!
In business it really helps to have access to the right support and advice – a quick and easy way of getting that is to join the VA Membership. It’s a monthly membership site that gives Virtual Assistants affordable and practical support (over 100+ hours of training webinars, swipe copy, templates etc) and expert help weekly to build and grow your VA business. That weekly help is through the form of weekly group coaching calls, weekly co-working sessions, and a private support community. You’ll find all the details on VA Membership, here but it would be awesome to welcome you in.