Creating Goals

Creating Goals

 

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.

 

Download a FREE GOAL WORKSHEET HERE

 

What to Include in a Welcome Packet

What to Include in a Welcome Packet

The Welcome Packet

 

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.

And wait.

You refresh your email countless times, waiting for a response.

And then it happens — you get an email. You’ve got a client!

Whoo-hoo!

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.

TRELLO BOARD

Using this Trello board will make all the difference to you once you get started.

So, I hope this information helps you. Let me know if you need anything else.

Here’s to your success!

 

 

 

What Have you Done for YOU Lately?

What Have you Done for YOU Lately?

What Have you Done for YOU Lately?

 

So maybe you’ve been thinking about starting your virtual assistant business, but things keep getting in the way. Or, more accurately, you keep LETTING things get in your way. Today’s let’s talk about just What Have you Done for YOU Lately?

I’d be interested in what you have to say so answer this question in the comments below.

Ask yourself this question:

Is it something you really want for yourself?

Then, please stop putting yourself last. YES…LAST!!

 

If you’re ready to do something for YOU then I invite you to join me in my private Facebook group.

 

In the group, you can find out things like:

 

  • How to go from employee to a confident entrepreneur
  • Deciding on your services
  • Narrowing down your target market
  • Figuring out your rates

 

You’ll step away from the group with confidence and clarity for your business. And you’ll be ready to rock it!

 

So, if you’re ready to do something for YOU, let’s get started!

 

Click here to get access: Facebook Group You’ll want to go to the Units section to access all the great information that’s located there.

 

Come on, what do you have to lose?

 

 

3 Strategies – Reach Your Goals

3 Strategies – Reach Your Goals

3 Strategies to Help Reach Your Goals

 

 

Are you where you want to be in your virtual assistant business right now? Today we’re going to discuss how you can use 3 Strategies to Help Reach Your Goals.

 

Because every successful business owner needs goals, am I right?

 

So, did you set goals at the beginning of the year, only to tuck them away and never look at them again? Oh my gosh, you didn’t do that, did you?

 

If you did, don’t beat yourself up about it.  Today is a new day, so course correct and start working on what you really want your business and life to look like.

 

Here are 3 ways you can start working on your goals right now:

 

Set Goals

 

I don’t believe it’s ever too late to create goals and a plan to achieve them. Yes, some people do like to take some time at the end or beginning of the year to work on their goals (I’m one of those people.) If that’s you—or you want it to be—continue to read this article to help you with your own plan.

 

There is really no “right” time to work on this kind of thing. I think it’s less important when you do it and more important that you just do it, get started, and keep checking in with yourself along the way.

 

That’s how I like to tackle it. Yes, I create goals for myself at the end of the year, but then I keep them somewhere I can see them every day. I work on tasks that will make those goals happen. And then I regularly check in to see if I’m making progress.

Start the Day with Intention

 

I have a quick and easy way that I start my day so that I’m in the right mindset and stick with tasks that will help me reach my goals. I’ve always wanted to be that person who starts their day out with meditation and then takes 20 minutes to journal, sitting in a quiet space with a cup of coffee.

 

But let’s face it—that’s not my life.

 

First of all, I’m NOT a morning person. As much as I’d like to be, I’m just not and that’s ok. But here’s what I do when I start my day. First, I grab a cup of coffee and then get on Facebook on my personal profile to welcome everyone to a new day. This has become a ritual that I started a couple of years ago and everyone knows that if I don’t do that morning post, something is definitely up with me. They get worried and ask me if everything is ok.

 

After breakfast and getting myself ready for the day I go to my office to really begin my day. One of the first things I do is open my personal email to look for my email from “Notes from the Universe”. I love my “Notes” because they are so perfect for my goals and intentions for my business.

 

If you need a little more help to switch your mindset around to that of a successful entrepreneur, you can try this:

 

Changing from an Employee Mindset

 

Believe That You Can

 

If you want one more way to really tap into making things happen for you, I highly recommend you have a “Goal Journal”. Here’s where you can put all the goals that you can reference to keep you on track. I go through mine every quarter to make sure I’m doing what I need to do to get to where I want to go. This is a valuable tool you can use year after year.

 

So, here’s a quick recap. Set goals. Work on them daily. Start your day with intention. Believe that you CAN achieve your goals.

 

What are your thoughts? Have you tried any of the strategies above?

 

Leave a comment and let me know what works for you.

 

Pitfalls You Should Avoid

Pitfalls You Should Avoid

3 Client Pitfalls Virtual Assistants Should Avoid 

Not every virtual assistant job is easy or simple. Some projects start well but as you work, you encounter problems that feel overwhelming. The good news is that while it may seem like a big deal now, many of these problems can be solved quickly and efficiently once you know what to do. Today’s topic is all about the 3 Client Pitfalls Virtual Assistants Should Avoid. Goodness, you mean there are things we should avoid? Absolutely!

Pitfall #1: Scope Creep

A big pain point for VAs is scope creep. This is when the client asks you to do more work than the original amount you agreed upon. For example, you’re designing a book cover for a client. She wants you to design bookmarks with the cover on them, too. 

You may be tempted to accept this extra work without saying a word. But what you should do is renegotiate with your client.  Scope Creep

Keep in mind that most clients aren’t trying to get extra work out of you when they make a request.

They just don’t understand how much additional time and effort these extra tasks will cause you.  

One of the best ways to handle scope creep is to talk with your client.

Tell your client that once the cover is completed, you’ll be happy to begin a new project for the bookmarks. 

Pitfall #2: Not Getting Materials

A common pitfall that VAs encounter is not getting needed materials from a client. It might be that they haven’t sent you their logo, copy, or login information. The way to handle this issue is to send a short message to your client and let them know that you’ll have to charge an extra fee because you don’t have the resources you need.  

Give them a clear deadline in your email. Say something like, “If I don’t receive XYZ from you within the next week, then you’ll be charged an additional $25” 

Most clients will quickly find the files you need when they get this message. 

 

Pitfall #3: Extensive Revision RequestsSet Limits to Revisions

Your client might love your work on Tuesday but ask for several large revisions on Wednesday. This is a common problem when you’re working on a project that requires approval from several people. 

For example, the marketing manager may love your graphics. But the sales team leader wants to change the colors or suggest different fonts. 

You can handle revision requests by communicating clearly. Tell the client that the first round of revisions is covered but after that, you’ll be charging $XX for each hour of work.

When clients understand that they could be charged extra, they tend to limit revisions.  

 

New to all this stuff, we get it!

If you’re a new VA, you might think you should offer free, unlimited revisions. But you don’t want to make this mistake. Otherwise, you risk working on the same project for months or even years to come. Meanwhile, you keep waiting for the end of the project so you can get paid. 

If a client feels strongly about a revision, then they’ll pay your additional rate without complaint. A good client understands that your time is valuable and never wants to take advantage of you or your skills. 

Most virtual assistant problems can be easily solved with a simple conversation, whether by email or phone. You can stand up for yourself calmly and professionally now that you know what to do. 

Now that’s what we call WINNING !!

 

What is a Welcome Packet?

What is a Welcome Packet?

What to Include in a Welcome Packet

 

So, you’ve decided you wanted to work from home as a virtual assistant. That’s awesome!  So what the heck is a Welcome Packet? Continue reading below and I’ll explain it all to you.

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 family 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 really a business.

You need clients!

And then one day, you get an email – someone wants to chat about how you can help their business.

Whoo-hoo!

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.

And wait.

You refresh your email countless times, waiting for a response.

And then it happens — you get an email. You’ve got a client!

Holy Moley!

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 of the necessary information in a separate PDF file is handy not only for you but for 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 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. Which brings us to the next matter:

 

Important Facts to Add

 

  • 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 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 okay to charge a 25% surcharge. Again, make sure it’s 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.

All the important facts

 

  • 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.

 

Whew…that’s a ton!

 

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 kind of 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, you can get all that outlined in a Trello board. If you’ve been around these parts for a while, I compare Trello to Post-its on steroids! Seriously, I can’t get enough of Trello because it keeps me super organized.

A Trello board dedicated to onboarding every new client is a must. You can set it up step-by-step, include what you need to do to ensure a smooth start to your working relationship with every client.

 

GET YOUR CLIENT TRELLO BOARD HERE

 

So, I hope this information helps you. Let me know if you need anything else.

Here’s to your success!

 

 

 

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