The reason for using associate VAs is actually a part of your contingency plan, so that you can offer seamless and consistent support to your clients, offer services which your clients need yet you don’t have the skills to carry out, and also to help you to boost your income.
There will be situations when you need support, either because you’re not well so you can’t concentrate on the business, you could be attending a conference or training or a networking event, or you could be taking holiday and hopefully you will be taking a holiday. Ultimately in those situations it’s really important that you’ve got the backup of another VA.
There may also be a point in time that one of your clients requires you to complete a piece of work and you don’t actually have the skill set to carry out. Because you don’t want to lose out on the income and avoid having a panic attack, you should ensure you have an associate who does have the skills to carry out that task and stops you from getting into panic mode. Once you have a niche or at least see a pattern in the types of tasks your clients are requesting, make a note to take on an associate who is a specialist in these tasks and it may also be worth your investment to train up to acquire these skills yourself.
Imagine being in the situation where you have a work overload and perhaps two clients urgently require your help at the same time. Of course, you will need to ensure that you are regularly forward planning with your clients with regular updates and when conducting your client reviews, however, there be this eventuality. As you don’t want to let either of your clients down and be seen as having great customer care, having an associate will mean you can share the workload and deliver to both clients on time. Indeed, when you do have an associate work alongside you, it creates a great opportunity to boost your income!
I don’t have enough work to pass on to an associate.
First of all, it’s not about saying to yourself I need to have enough business to pass over work to other VAs, NO NO NO!!! Your purpose is not to be able to make other VAs busier or boost other VA businesses. You MUST have back-up support as part of your contingency plan as mentioned above, otherwise you will let your clients down!!!
Let me give you an example, there was one VA that attended the course and she insisted that she didn’t have enough work to pass over to another VA, that she was just starting out in her business and couldn’t see the advantage and the importance of having an associate. Within a week of completing the course she took on two clients and she was very busy working roughly 30 to 40 hours a week, brilliant!
However, a few weeks later she fell very ill and unfortunately, as she had no associate VAs to support her, her clients who desperately needed support, went elsewhere. Remember that the reason they will come to you in the first place is because they need support in their business. It doesn’t do your business reputation any good if you show that there is no support other than you. If you do have that back-up support then they will see you as being very resourceful, and your client management is obviously then seen as being at a very high level. After all, how important is it that your clients stay with you?
If you need to grow your business and start taking on board associates, what action will you now take that is right for your business?
Love to hear your comments! Remember using an Associate VA role is not a training role.