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Never say can’t about your business

I hear a lot of negativity out there regarding business these days and I have to say that most of it is unfounded. In fact, I am doing more business, not less. Sometimes business comes at me so fast I have to turn down jobs. What am I doing differently?

I try to send out at least one request for proposal (RFP) per day. You have to find a place where you can get a continuous stream of RFPs to apply to. This can be a networking group, a VA group, that has a formal RFP program open to only  members. This can be a mastermind group or even your local chamber of commerce. The point is join something, participate in something, an get the word out about what you do.

I try to connect to at least one new person a day. I do this by answering blog posts, forum discussions, or just talking to someone behind me in line at the grocery store. I have business cards that have things on the back and front, and I give them out. Business cards do not do anything inside your purse or inside the box they came in by your desk.

I have at least one appointment per day to talk to a possible new client by phone or skype. Due to always submitting referrals, even if I am busy, I am always talking to someone new. I just up my prices as I get more full, this way I can outsource if needed. The truth is, if you do not eventually outsource some things, you won’t be able to grow. Of course this can mean outsourcing house work, or it can mean hiring a personal chef, not necessarily the VA parts, but I am sure some of that can be outsourced too.

I ask my clients to refer me and give them something in return, even if just a thank you! This is very important, you can give them a free hour for each paid contract referred by them, or something else entirely. A card is always nice.

I ask for feedback and accept feedback regarding my work. This can be difficult for some but it is important that you ask for honest feedback occasionally. Check in with your clients and just ask. Send a survey, or just ask them for feedback.

I communicate with my clients on a regular basis. Keep the doors open for communication. It is true this can get out of hand, but offer some form of regular communication, help your clients feel connected to you in some way and you will keep them longer term.

My proposals and contracts are professional and give options to the client. Send your proposals by attachment, do not type them into the email window. Once finalized send the contract by PDF or by mail.

I never say I can’t do something, I say “this is outside of my scope of services, but I can recommend someone for that if you’re interested.” Then I only recommend people I know are good at what they do. By referring others, you can bet they’re refer someone to you too.

I under promise and over deliver. This means that you specify in your contract less than you’re actually willing to do. Then make sure you do extra over and above the contract. This makes you invaluable to the client, but it also leaves you open to do a bit less when needed.

I try to stay within my niche instead of allowing it to creep outside of m niche…. OK,  disclaimer here, sometimes I fail in this, but I am trying and you should too. I still have clients who started with me before I became “officially a VA” and I do things for them I won’t do for anyone else. Why? Because I have a niche and I want to stick to it. It is what I am good at and what I love doing. I did not become a VA to be miserable.

I push myself outside of my comfort zone, daily.  Try something new. Write a different type of article for article marketing. Participate in a conference, volunteer to do something. Raise your hand. Be involved.

If you’re not earning a living from home as a Virtual Assistant yet, why not?

About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website http://www.barrypublishing.com.

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