Here’s my short-n-sweet list of the top mistakes often made by new (and not-so-new) Virtual Assistants. Your success depends on how well you can avoid these bad business practices:
1. Not Charging Your Worth – In this economy too many VA’s are slashing their rates to try and compete for clients. Competing on price just doesn’t work…there will ALWAYS be someone charging less than you (I have even witnessed VA’s offering services for – -eek- – free) A VA who charges too little is perceived as desperate, inexperienced or just plain bad. By charging your fair worth you are showing the world that you are a valuable commodity, that you are highly sought-after and that you provide higher quality services. At the end of the day you want the quality clients who are willing to pay your proper fees!
2. Letting Fear Hold you Back from taking Action. – Have you ever heard the saying “The rewards are always outside of your comfort zone”? Well it’s true! Do something for your business that scares you every day and then be amazed at your new successes!
3. Not Treating Your Business Like a Business – Do you think Steve Jobs took time out of each day to fold laundry, throw together a casserole for dinner and keep an eye on his two-year old while trying to build his business? It’s not likely. The point I’m trying to make is: if you want to have a successful, money-making, full-time business, you have to focus your time and energy on your business and act like a CEO. Becoming a Virtual Assistant can also be great part-time work for those of us who want to balance our time with family…but be mindful of the fact that it will take a lot longer to become established and you will only be making a ‘part-time’ income.
4. Not investing in yourself & Your Business – Even in the corporate world of 9-5 jobs, employees are sent on courses to keep them equipped with the latest skills. A Virtual Assistant must also invest in herself and her skills if she wants to become a highly sought-after consultant. Everything in life needs an upgrade now and then: your Atari game console was really cool in the ’80’s but there comes a point when you had to upgrade to a Playstation. In much the same way your VA skills have to be occasionally ‘upgraded’. Think of it as an investment rather than an expense.
5. Not having focus. – If you don’t know what you want to happen in your business then how can you possibly make the right decisions to get you there? Knowing exactly where you’d like to see your business next week, next month and next year, allows you to stop ‘thinking’ about what to do next and ‘take action’ towards your goals instead.
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