If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, about running a business is that creating goals is a challenge!
I find myself asking questions like “Is my goal too big? is it too small? Am I leaving money on the table? Who’s already accomplished this goal? What did they do? Am I good enough?”
Dang. So. Many. Thoughts and Obstacles!
Choosing vs Accomplishing
What I have found is, there are massive differences between choosing your goals and accomplishing them… am I right?
For instance, when it comes to choosing my business goals for a new quarter, I used to include a bunch of hopeful goals. Like “make 7 figures in the next 6 months.” or “launch this online course and make 600k because that’s what she did.” But I found that after months and months of trying wild things, listening to all the experts, and beating myself up over not accomplishing them, I just wasn’t reaching my own goals and that can be so defeating!
.. what’s crazier is that I was growing by leaps and bounds but NOT celebrating each milestone because I hadn’t reached THE BIG milestone.
Celebrate the Milestones
Each milestone deserves to be rewarded. No matter how small it may look right now, it’s worth the pause and pat on the back.
Because of that, I’ve learned that in order to accomplish the goals that we have set for ourselves as small business owners, it’s far better to create a clear path of small goals that lead naturally to big success.
It’s great to shoot high and surround yourself with examples of success (like a business coach or a mastermind). But it’s also just as great to accomplish smaller more achievable goals and celebrate each one along the way!
The Step by Step Process
Here are my 5 easy steps that you can take to accomplish any goal you create for your business or yourself.
STEP #1 – MAKE IT SMALLER
Sure, you may want to start out with big massive goals when first envisioning what you want. However, if you want any real chance of reaching your goals, then you’ll have to seriously change the huge goals, into smaller goals.
Take your big goals and create small goal benchmarks to work toward. You’ll find that the huge goal you’ve created for yourself turns into something easier and more achievable due to the fact you’ve created smaller, more manageable steps.
Example: Your big goal might be to get 1000 email subscribers, but if you set your small goal to 50 subscribers, it’s far easier and more fun to work the goal and celebrate.
STEP #2 – MAKE IT REASONABLE
A properly made goal should probably stretch you to get out of your comfort zone a bit, but not so far that it feels impossible.
For instance, I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t love to add a million dollars to their bank account this year, but if you’ve never been close before, you might be thinking “how exactly will I get there if I’ve never done it before?”
Seeing other people achieve our goals is encouraging, but when we can’t wrap our heads around exactly how someone did it, then the goal because more unreasonable and unachievable. So, you may have to start with a wide variety of more believable and smaller goals.
Once you start creating more practical goals, you’ll see how it can dissect big dreams into smaller bite-sized ones that help you learn and become better along the way.
Example: Going from 50k to 7-figures in revenue a year is a huge leap. But going from 50k to 100k a year may seem more doable.
STEP #3 – MAKE IT KNOWN
To attain your goals, you’ll want to have the right cheerleaders on the journey. Start telling people who are supportive and care about your success with your goal and business. You’ll find that these are the people who will be there when you face challenges.
For the last few months, I’ve made it publicly known that I am hiring more VA’s and am working on processes and procedures for the hiring process. Since sharing this goal publicly, I’ve received countless words of advice and suggestions of where I might find a good VA.
By shouting your goal from the rooftops, you also keep yourself responsible for the goals, which will ultimately help you reach them.
STEP #4 – MAKE IT TRACKABLE
When goals are created into smaller benchmarks, it helps to create some milestones and occasions that have a cumulative effect on the big picture. For instance, if you want to grow your email list to a big goal of 1000 subscribers but commit to the smaller goals of 50 subscribers a week, then write it down and track it!
One service that does this really well on one dashboard is called DATABOX. Tracking your goals will assist you in adding real measurable differences from where you were to where you are right now. Tracking your metrics and growth will let you see how your reset goals at each of the small milestones that you’ve set.
STEP #5 – MAKE IT FUN
Figure out a way to rejoice in your victories. Make tracking the growth you make towards your goals exciting and meaningful. The extra joy you feel, the more successful you’ll be in accomplishing your goals.
The motivation for setting goals isn’t only to acquire them; it is about what you learn for the duration of the journey. Learn to enjoy all the steps along the way. Don’t just celebrate the destination but also make time to enjoy every step leading you there.
You may have a difficult time trusting yourself. Don’t despair. You are not alone. It is something that many people experience, and find it difficult to overcome. When you lose trust in others, you start to lose trust in yourself. Below are some tips to increase trust in yourself.
To help you overcome this problem, you need to focus on key aspects of trust. The first is to have faith in your accomplishments. If you pass off your accomplishments as not being that important, when you need to rely on them, they won’t be there for you. That is sure to interrupt the process of trusting yourself.
You also need to trust your instincts. You won’t always be right, but you will be more often than not. An instinct is something you feel strongly about and does not come only from experiences.
They come from something internal that no one can truly explain. It’s part of that inner voice that is telling you what to do. You need only to listen. How many times have you said to yourself that you should have listened to your instincts?
You should rely on other people. If you open yourself up to letting others into your life, you will find that you become more trusting of yourself. Whether you like it or not, you need other people.
You can’t know everything there is to know about every subject. Use the strengths of others to supplement what you know. It will take the burden away from you to do everything. That will help open the possibilities to put trust in yourself.
Try to filter out negative information. You get bombarded with this throughout your life. It occurs every day in the news, at work, and in many cases, your home.
The more you learn to focus on positivity in your life, the easier it will be to trust yourself. A good first step towards this goal is to avoid negative people. They work hard to try to bring you down.
Trusting yourself sometimes requires a leap of faith. Take some chances. While you want to be smart regarding the risks of your choices, you don’t want to overanalyze every decision you make. If you do, you will never make any decisions, and you will stagnate. I always tell myself to have faith.
It’s true that not everything will work out the way you plan. But, you will never know unless you try.
The good news is when you are ready to try, many of your decisions will work for you. Trust yourself and have faith.
You’ve decided you wanted to work from home as a virtual assistant. Now what? Today’s discussion is about what to include in a welcome packet. What is it, and do you need it.
Ever since that big decision, you’ve been networking like a fool for your first client: hanging out in Facebook groups, going to networking events, telling your friends and fam to the point you’re starting to feel like you’re bugging people with your pitch.
But a virtual assistant without clients is – well, not busy and you really don’t have a business.
You need a client, and fast!
And then one day, you get that email – someone wants to chat about how you can help their business.
So, you have that discovery call and you’re feeling like you knocked it out the park. You said all the right things and shoot, you even sent a thank you email afterward.
Now, you wait.
You refresh your email countless times, waiting for a response.
But don’t celebrate too much because you’re not done.
There’s something you need to put together for your new client – and that’s a welcome packet.
What is a welcome packet?
The welcome packet is a PDF that contains important information about your business that may or may not already be in your contract.
Is a welcome packet required?
Well, no not really. I’ve just found that having all the necessary information in a separate PDF file is handy not only for you but the client as well. And we’re aiming for simplicity here, folks!
What’s in a welcome packet?
Glad you asked!
Here’s what your Welcome Packet can include:
A personal note from you, welcoming them on board. Start off on the right foot but including a note from you: how excited you are to work with them and how you plan to make a difference in their business, something along those lines. Keep in mind that some clients may be working with a virtual assistant for the first time so you may have to a bit of hand-holding to ease them into the water. It’s okay – a kick-butt virtual assistant doesn’t just do the work: they also educate their clients.
Work expectations. Spell out when you will return phone calls and emails. Do you have a 24-hour turnaround during business hours? Will you make recommendations and offer solutions? Tell your client what they can expect from working with you.
Your office hours. If you don’t spell out your office hours, I can bet my bottom dollar that at some point you’re going to have to talk to a client about working outside of your hours. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. This is where educating a client GENTLY about what a virtual assistant is (a business owner in partnership with the client) and what a virtual assistant isn’t (an administrative worker solely who is on-call and dedicated to their needs only). Make it clear what your hours are and stick to them. For example, my business hours are Monday – Friday, 6 pm-9 pm, Saturdays from 10 am-5 pm. I’m closed on Sundays and the last Saturday of each month. Period. This brings us to the next matter:
How will you handle “rush” jobs? OK, life happens sometimes and things pop up that need immediate attention. No problem. But if it’s happening over and over, then it’s time to put some processes in place to keep that from happening. Planning ahead will save you lots of time and headaches. Discuss and note how you will handle rush jobs. Let’s say the client gives you less than 24-hour notice to complete a project. It’s totally okay to charge a 25% surcharge. Again, make sure it’s clearly indicated in your welcome packet, as well as your contract, to avoid problems later.
How you will handle referrals and if you provide a referral incentive. In the virtual world, referrals are golden. Do a great job, your client will tell someone else and BOOM! You’ve got a new client. But you want to thank them, right? Maybe a gift card or a couple of complimentary hours.
Your business processes: how you will protect passwords and confidential information, etc. The online world can be a scary place with all this hacking foolishness. And your client is trusting you with the back-end of their business. That’s huge! You want to reassure them you’ve got systems in place to protect their confidential information – may be shredding confidential data, keeping passwords private, that kind of thing. Give your client some peace of mind.
Your subcontracting process, if applicable. You may get to the point where you become so busy with work that you’ll need to bring on a subcontractor. Or, maybe you don’t have the skill set to complete a project. Let your client know how you will handle this type of situation (the subcontractor will do the work, but you will check it over thoroughly to ensure it meets your approval). Remember, this is YOUR business on the line.
Invoicing process. This little nugget of information is probably in the contract you sent to the client, but it doesn’t hurt to share it in the welcome packet. Reiterate your hourly rate/retainer amount, when you will send an invoice and when payment is due.
Your contact information and how you prefer to be contacted. I’m cool with getting texts from my client so they have my cell phone number as well as my email. Maybe that won’t work for you so tell your client your preference.
Add in a get-to-know-you sheet: the client’s address (so you can surprise them a gift from time to time), birthday, spouse/children info, if applicable.
Isn’t some of this information already in my contract?
It’s highly possible. But let’s think about this for a second: most people don’t thoroughly read contracts. We should but we don’t. We read the most important part – how much we’re making/paying and kinda skim over the rest. The welcome packet outlines IN A SEPARATE DOCUMENT a lot of what’s in your contract. The difference is that your client will probably read your welcome packet.
You don’t want any excuses (“I didn’t know that was in there because it’s so buried in the contract!”) Nope, we don’t want that!
What else do you need to bring on a new client? Well, I’ve got that all outlined in a Trello board. If you don’t know I compare Trello to Post-Its on steroids! Seriously, I can’t get enough of Trello because it will keep you super organized. If you don’t have a Trello account, you can get a free account here.
Here’s one of my Trello boards and you can see that it’s all about tracking everything for your client. Just go ahead and purchase this board when you’ve got a minute because it will save you so much time in the future. You just copy the board for each client and you’re set to get busy!
This Trello board is dedicated to onboarding or bringing on your first client. It outlines, step-by-step, what you need to do for your client. Just remember to copy the board for each client using their name.
How to market your business is critical to your business success. That’s our topic for today’s post. I’ve added some steps for you to work on that are pretty easy.
Here’s what you should be doing to stay top of mind and current with your network:
Send two emails a day to people you know to stay in touch. You’re not selling to them, just checking in to say hello.
Try to get together every week with either one new person that you’ve been introduced to, or one close business friend you haven’t seen in a while.
Offer free, 15-minute discovery calls, by phone or Zoom, to anyone who’s interested in working with you.
Once a month, write an email newsletter with relevant content and send it out to everyone you know.
Regularly post excerpts of your newsletters to social media.
Once a month, you should attend a networking event to meet new people.
Keep your LinkedIn profile current, including adding every new person you meet.
You may think this is a lot of work, and way too time-consuming to fit into your day. But, it’s not really!
Once you have the system set up, it takes far less time to run than the time you spend worrying about generating business! Getting clients is always on top of your mind, but you need to do these steps to create a steady flow of clients.
Another Way to Market
Try using Facebook and Instagram to post content on a regular basis. You need to get noticed on social media, but you don’t have to be on every platform to get noticed. Also, don’t consider this selling, it’s just marketing to do the work for you.
Just make sure that you are consistent with what you create and post valuable content, not just fluff. Anyone can do that and it might get you followers but not clients. Also remember that even when you have a steady flow of clients, you’re always going to need to market yourself.
Today’s topic of discussion is all about clients – the time I didn’t have any. Yes, we all have to start somewhere when we first create our virtual assistant businesses. You will need to have a steady flow of clients (buyers) to actually make money. I started off with very few contacts and zero leads. But with some hard work, I successfully landed my first two clients!
I was doing the happy dance every day. This is when I realized that I really could do this thing! It really increased my confidence level and I was on a roll.
Then The Axe Fell
But soon I got a bit caught up in focusing on just working for just those two clients. And then it happened…one of those clients closed up their business and moved on to something else.
Suddenly I was worried about everything! Where was I going to get another client?
Freak Out Time Ahead
I was flat freaking out, not sure how to get more clients into my business. Was it over for me? And that’s when I knew I had to do something about it – and fast! And that’s when I also decided I’d never ever be in that position again! Never…ever!
So I made a plan with my options and here’s what I did.
I started marketing myself in Facebook groups. I started writing more blog posts, doing more videos, and helping others.
And before I knew it, I had several clients lined up to work with. All it took was the determination to not quit. To move forward and look for other clients. So that’s the solution when you need clients.
Put yourself out there, don’t quit, and be determined. If I can do it, I know you can too!
Your Solution to Finding Clients
I would love to help you become more confident in your business. That’s why I offer 1×1 mentoring to other business owners. You don’t have to do it all alone, I will help with whatever you need help with.
Here’s where you’ll find information on my mentoring service Get ALL The Deets Here. Then sign up for 1 session or multiple sessions, it’s up to you.