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.
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.
And then it happens — you get an email. You’ve got a client!
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!
Why To-Do Lists Work
Are you using to-do lists throughout your day? If not, you may miss out on one of the most powerful productivity tools. It doesn’t matter if you use the old-fashioned notebook, pen, or a to-do list app on your phone. Below, you’re going to find out Why To-Do Lists Work.
There are three reasons why they work so well to keep you productive all day long.
To-Do Lists Make You Plan
Suppose you need to plan your day when you sit down to make your to-do list. You’re looking at everything you’re working on and deciding what you need to take care of today and in what order.
Depending on how you make your list, you may even think about what items on your list have the highest priority. The simple task of creating a list makes you work out many things in your head ahead of time. Sometimes this alone will help you stay more productive throughout your day.
To-Do Lists Keep You Focused
Having that list in front of you or next to you as you work away will help you stay focused on what you need to work on. And will help you to accomplish things throughout your busy day. We are all dealing with distractions. It’s easy to lose focus and get sucked into meaningless tasks and conversations.
With your list, you know at a glance what you should be working on, and if you make yourself get into the habit of not calling it a day until each item on your list is taken care of, you’re less likely to allow those distractions to take over big chunks of your day.
They Give You A Feeling Of Accomplishment
Checking off an item on your to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment. For some, this is more effective when they can cross something off a piece of paper. For others, clicking the little checkmark on the app does the trick. Try them both and see what works best for you.
Take a moment to appreciate how much you’ve gotten done each time you check an item on the list. Then use that feeling of accomplishment to power you through the next thing. Rinse and repeat, and before you know it, you’ve made it through another highly productive day.
If you’re not in the habit of using daily to-do lists, I hope this encourages you to try it seriously.
Please list five things you want to get done before you call it a night today.
See how that goes, and then get in the habit of working from a daily list starting tomorrow morning.
Check out this fun site for some added punch for your to-do lists.
4 Distractions That Drain Your Focus on Your Goals
There are plenty of distractions in the modern world. They take away your focus and your energy and can stop you from having the life you want. Below are 4 Distractions That Drain Your Focus on Your Goals.
If you’re not hitting your goals, maybe it’s time to look at your main distractions and do something about them.
Here are the most common distractions that are likely stopping you from living your best life:
- Social Media
It won’t surprise you to hear that the biggest distraction for most people is social media and the hours it eats out of the day. Take a quick look at your Instagram feed or Facebook, and before you know it, you’re mindlessly scrolling through what looks like other people’s perfect lives.
It’s time to take stock and decide how much of your life you want to spend watching what other people are doing. Set some boundaries about when and how long you will spend on social media. Take a look at your “friends” and see if they’re people you want to know.
- Smart Phones
Smartphones are great tools, but they can quickly become a huge distraction. Look around and see how many people are walking down the street with their eyes glued to their phones. Think about how long you can go without checking your phone. Try leaving your phone in your purse or your pocket when you go out for a meal. Leave it at home when you take the dog for a walk.
Another tip is to cull some of the apps on your phone. Work out what you need and delete the rest. And remember mobile games are one of the biggest time-sucks.
Think about how you want to use your time and be strategic about how you use your phone.
<strong>How To Focus</strong>
Build up your focus stamina. Each person may start off with a certain amount of time… 1) Reading is a great way to build up your focus. 2) Multi-task less. Though many people think that multitasking is a great way to accomplish goals more… 3) Pick the right time and place. Though you may not have the luxury of choosing when to start…
- Online Watching
How much time do you waste watching meaningless YouTube videos or binge-watching box sets? These might feel like simple, relaxing things to do, but if you’re not careful, they can drain as much time as social media.
Keep focused on how you want your life to be and make decisions about how much recreational TV you want to watch.
- Negative People
Giving your time away to negative people can be damaging to your success. Yes, that’s right! You can probably name the people at the office or in your life who drain you of energy and who take up a lot of time with their complaining, attention-seeking, and neediness.
If there are people around you who are undermining your chances of meeting your goals, you need to set some healthy boundaries and get out of their orbit.
Look for positive, high energy people who will support you and cheer you on.
We can help you with that!
How to Work Through Your Fear While Creating your Business
Have you ever had a moment while building your virtual assistant business where a giant wall of fear jumped up and stopped you? That’s FEAR!! Yeah, we’ve all been there. So what do you do when your worries get the better of you? First, don’t freak out because that won’t help you! I’m going to show you how to work through your fear below.
Let me tell you a quick story:
Everything becomes a considerable concern whenever you start something new in your life. You think all the “ugly thoughts,” and they. Are. Real! Not going to lie to you because it will happen. Because it happens to everyone, everywhere in the world.
But YOU are not alone. These are mindset issues that every new business owner goes through. We’ll discuss that in an upcoming blog, but for now, read the first few things you can do.
GET PREPARED Y’ALL!!
Follow the “FEAR” path below, and let’s try to calm those nerves, ok?
Fear #1: Can I start a virtual assistant business?
The first thing you need to do is to assess your skills. Do you have skills that can turn into services? Is there a market that needs the help you want to provide?
Here’s what you do. Please take a piece of paper and fold it half length-wise so you have two (2) columns. On one side, put a title called SKILLS, and on the other side, title it SERVICES. Now, please take 10 minutes and write down everything you know how to do under the Skills Column, no matter what it is.
On the other column under Services, write down something you could do with that skill.
Here, I’ll make it easy for you: DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET HERE.
Fear #2: What do I do when setting up my virtual assistant business?
The first thing you want to do is to carve out some time to work on your business. Could you put it on your Google Calendar? What? Don’t you have one? Then get one by creating a Google Email Account. Go on; I’ll wait for you right here!
Once you have your calendar set up, go and block out several days where you could work on your business. At least a couple of hours at a time seems to work best. When that time comes up on your calendar, please honor it. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish once you do this a few times.
FOCUSED TIME WORKS BEST!!
Fear #3: How do I get clients? Do I have to sell, sell, sell?
Instead of selling, learn about using a relationship marketing strategy. It’s more about finding where your target market hangs out, showing up there, listening to their needs, getting to know them, and sharing what you do to help them.
We’ll talk more about this later. You can join our group to connect with other virtual assistants HERE.
Fear #4: How do I avoid losing momentum or feeling lonely?
You want to get peer and mentoring support. Networking with others going through the same thing as you is very beneficial. It will help you work with those who are further along than you on the path, learn from them, and ask for advice.
The best thing is to connect to other people who are either already in business or are just starting.
Here are a few resources to keep you on track. Check them out.
12 Fears to Overcome
Fear of Failure
How to Use Fear
Fear of Failure in Business
Join us in our group below for inspiration and additional tips.
Virtual Assistant Facebook Group: Our free, private Facebook group is just for virtual assistants to collaborate.