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Start Your VA Business Workshop

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Welcome Start Your VA Business Workshop Building A Solid Foundation – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Start Your VA Business Workshop


1
Welcome
  • Start Your VA Business Workshop
  • Building A Solid Foundation

2
Welcome
  • Before arrival
  • Write name tags onto cards
  • Check location of fire exits, toilets and
    restaurants
  • Check air conditioning, lights and any background
    sound system
  • Check water, sweets, pads and pens
  • Check enough flip chart paper and pens
  • Check for WiFi connection (for potential doc pack
    sales)
  • Put on tables all additional info workbook,
    UKAVA flyer, our business cards, etc

3
Welcome
  • 0830 Coffee, tea and networking
  • 0900 Start
  • Introductions (Emma and Justine)
  • Housekeeping
  • location of toilets
  • fire exits
  • name tags on desks
  • Mobile off or on silent

4
Welcome
  • Explain handouts
  • Workbook completing the sections as we go will
    give you an individual Action Plan
  • Pens and paper to make lots of notes
  • UKAVA flier discount on membership for course
    attendees
  • Additional Bonuses to be sent by email
  • Our suppliers who we use and why
  • Business Plan Template
  • Financial Plan Template
  • Discount on Doc Packs
  • Discount on VAPN 14.95
  • Quarterly access calls

5
Welcome
  • Agenda
  • 0930 Setting Up The Basics (Justine)
  • 1030 Break
  • 1045 Financial (Justine)
  • 1145 Identity (Emma)
  • 1230 Lunch in restaurant
  • 1330 Client Consultation (Justine)
  • 1415 Working With Clients (Emma)
  • 1500 Break
  • 1515 and Client Management (Emma)
  • 1615 Marketing Course and Professionals Network
  • 1700 Close

6
Welcome
  • Introduce yourselves
  • Your name
  • Where are you with VA business
  • Top reason you want to be a VA.
  • Our reason for starting.

7
Setting Up The Basics
  • 0930 1030
  • Setting Up The Basics - Justine

8
Setting Up The Basics
  • What equipment will I need
  • A space to work
  • A dedicated space, a room if possible or at least
    a corner of one
  • Power and a phone line connection nearby
  • Room for additional furniture, filing cabinet,
    stationery storage etc
  • Free from distractions, tv, washing machine, etc

9
Setting Up The Basics
  • Desk, make sure it is large enough
  • Chair, make sure it is fully adjustable and
    comfortable
  • Filing cabinet and space to store vital
    stationery
  • I have a corner desk with 3 draws, a 2 draw file
    cabinet and a cupboard for stationery. All are
    the same height and depth so I can move them
    around to create more desk space.

10
Setting Up The Basics
  • Telephone with headset capability and answerphone
  • When buying a headset get one with an amplifier,
    try BT Accord 30 with BT Accord 20 headset
  • Telephone number not a mobile - credibility
  • If you want to use a mobile, divert your landline
    to it using BT Call Divert

11
Setting Up The Basics
  • Use either home telephone number
  • Inexpensive
  • If you move house can you take the number?
  • Interrupted evenings
  • A new line just for business use
  • You can turn it off out of hours
  • You know its a business call
  • Additional expense
  • Again, moving house

12
Setting Up The Basics
  • Skype (providing you have excellent broadband)
  • Free Skype to Skype
  • Cheap normal calls
  • Quality can be poor in some areas
  • 0844 number
  • Will provide a free number with switch board
    facilities
  • This then forwards to the number you provide
    (Home, mobile, etc)
  • You can set a whisper so you know its a business
    call
  • You can set it for specific hours so it does not
    ring out of hours.
  • No good for overseas callers
  • Dont use more than one or they WILL all ring
    together!

13
Setting Up The Basics
  • Computer PC, Mac or laptop?
  • Consider how you will be working and which would
    be best for you
  • Macs are generally used less. I have only had one
    prospect ask as they had Mac specific software
  • If laptop, make sure it is on a stand with the
    screen at eye level and use a proper keyboard and
    mouse

14
Setting Up The Basics
  • Use a large external hard drive for making mirror
    back ups and storing large files
  • Well cover online back up when we talk about
    disaster recovery
  • All in one printer, scanner, copier saves space
  • Fax use online fax services from your 0844
    number provider or Efax if required
  • Shredder for confidential documents

15
Setting Up The Basics
  • Additional equipment you may require later
  • Transcription pedal if you offer the service and
    are asked for it
  • Binder, laminator, guillotine again only if you
    need them for a specific job or your own use

16
Setting Up The Basics
  • Exercise
  • Write down what equipment you already have
  • Then write down what equipment you need to get now

17
Setting Up The Basics
  • What software do I need?
  • Windows, the most recent STABLE version
  • Microsoft office suite, Word, PowerPoint,
    Excelmost recent version
  • Virus protection software

18
Setting Up The Basics
  • Specialist software only when asked for it
  • Accountancy packages - Sage, QuickBooks
  • Project management software Prince 2
  • Graphic design software Photoshop, Paint Shop
  • Web design software Dreamweaver, Net Objects
  • PDF conversion softwareOnly buy when asked for
    it as you may never use it, or when you need it,
    there is a more recent version

19
Setting Up The Basics
  • Exercise
  • Make a list of all the software you currently
    have
  • Make another list of the software you will need
    to buy now

20
Setting Up The Basics
  • Preparing for disaster - What could go wrong?
  • Equipment failure computer, broadband or
    telephone line
  • Flood, fire, etc
  • Illness or family crisis
  • Lack of knowledge or expertise

21
Setting Up The Basics
  • Equipment failure - Computer
  • Firstly, make a mirror copy of your hard drive
    on a back up hard drive.
  • A mirror copy means all your emails, programmes
    and files are backed up and you can reload the
    whole thing onto a new or repaired computer.
  • Links to suppliers of these can be found in our
    Resources Guide.
  • In addition you should back up online as well.
  • If your house burns down your external hard drive
    will burn too!
  • We recommend Carbonite and theres a link in the
    resources pack to a free trial

22
Setting Up The Basics
  • Equipment failure Broadband
  • One reason you might want to consider a laptop
  • You can pick it up and take it to your nearest
    café or hotel lobby with a wifi connection,
    divert your landline to your mobile, and carry on
    working as normal
  • Alternatively, look at options to collect your
    email using web mail and set up a file sharing
    system so you can access or your clients files.
    Then you can head off to the local internet café.
  • Theres a link to recommended systems for web
    mail and file sharing in the Resources Guide.

23
Setting Up The Basics
  • Equipment failure Telephone
  • Call and/or email all of your existing clients to
    explain and give your mobile number
  • Alternatively, if you still have a broadband
    connection you can set up a Skype number and give
    them that
  • Dont forget to keep hard copies of all your
    contacts details and dont rely on your telephone
    or computer address books.

24
Setting Up The Basics
  • Fire, flood and other disasters
  • If you live in an area that is prone to flooding,
    keep as much as possible off the ground hard
    drive, files, etc.
  • If you suffer a fire, all will not be lost if you
    use an online back up system. More information
    about this is contained in the Resources Guide.

25
Setting Up The Basics
  • Illness or family crisis
  • The VA Professionals Network
  • You can forge good relationships with other VAs
    through the VA Professionals Network.
  • This is a group of professional Vas who are
    established and committed to building their
    businesses.
  • You can give access to each others file sharing
    systems and client information and agree to cover
    for each other in emergencies or even holidays.

26
Setting Up The Basics
  • Lack of Knowledge or Expertise
  • You will be asked on occasion for services that
    you are not able to provide through lack of
    knowledge or expertise.
  • There are three alternatives
  • Take additional training to improve your skills.
    We have a range of courses we can discuss with
    you.
  • Network with other VAs in the VA Professionals
    Network so you can pass the enquiries on, perhaps
    for a fee.
  • Subcontract to VA Task Masters

27
Setting Up The Basics
  • You will find the Resources Guide covers a whole
    host of information about all these services and
    systems
  • Theres information about gaining access to your
    email from any computer, online back up systems,
    file sharing systems, Skype and lots more.
    Theres also information about the VA
    Entrepreneurs Network and other training courses
    so you can improve and add to your skill set.

28
Setting Up The Basics
  • Exercise
  • Write down 3 things specific to you that might
    get in your way.
  • Spend a few minutes thinking about and writing
    down what solutions you can introduce to pre-plan
    for them.

29
Setting Up The Basics
  • What do I need to do from a legal standpoint?
  • If you are starting as a one person business, you
    have two options, Sole Trader or Limited Company.
  • There are pros and cons for both systems and it
    is worth speaking to an accountant about your
    individual situation to see which is best for
    you.

30
Setting Up The Basics
  • Sole trader
  • This is the simplest and cheapest way to get
    started.
  • Its free to register
  • You have to register with HMRC as self employed
    within three months of issuing your first invoice
  • You can continue to also be employed by another
    company.

31
Setting Up The Basics
  • Keeping records and accounts is straight forward
  • You have to keep records of income and expenses
    to complete an annual tax return
  • You keep all the profits (apart from the normal
    tax)
  • You are personally liable for any debts the
    business runs up.

32
Setting Up The Basics
  • Limited Company
  • You are not liable for the business debts, unless
    you have given a guarantee
  • The companies finances are separate from your own
  • You are paid a salary as an employee of the
    company
  • Useful if you are earning enough income that
    would take you into the next tax bracket as you
    can make tax savings using corporation tax

33
Setting Up The Basics
  • You need to register with Companies House, an
    accountant can do this for you
  • You need to submit your accounts to Companies
    House annually
  • You will need an accountant to audit your
    accounts annually
  • There are links to more detailed information in
    the Resources Guide

34
Setting Up The Basics
  • Do I need to register for VAT?
  • If your annual sales are over 67,000 you must
    register for VAT
  • If they are under that figure it is optional
  • If you register for VAT you can reclaim the VAT
    spent on the business equipment and supplies you
    purchase
  • You also have to charge VAT on all invoices you
    issue to clients

35
Setting Up The Basics
  • Consider if your potential clients are likely to
    be VAT registered, are they likely to be billing
    over 67,000 a year?
  • If they are they can reclaim the VAT on your
    invoices so it wont make a difference to them
  • If they are not, it may make you more expensive
    than your competition
  • Again it is important to speak to an accountant
    about your specific situation

36
Setting Up The Basics
  • What insurance do I need?
  • If you are working from home there are two
    insurances you should consider.
  • Public Liability Insurance and Professional
    Indemnity Insurance
  • Using your car for business purposes Business
    Class 1 insurance

37
Setting Up The Basics
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • If you are considering accepting business
    visitors to your premises or home, or you are
    considering visiting their premises you will need
    Public Liability Insurance
  • It covers any damages or awards made as a result
    of injury or damage caused by you or your business

38
Setting Up The Basics
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • If you are offering a professional service you
    should take out Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • It protects your business against compensation
    sought by a client if you have made mistakes or
    are found to have been negligent in some or all
    of the services that you provide for them
  • Links to more information can be found in the
    Resource Guide

39
Financials
  • 1030
  • Break back here by 10.45

40
FInancials
  • 1045 1145
  • Financials - Justine

41
Financials
  • We will look at
  • How Much Can I Earn?
  • Whats the market rate?
  • How much do I need to get started?
  • How much do you want to earn? Hours v outgoings
  • How can I earn more than that? Extra skills,
    packaging, expanding

42
Financials
  • Business models
  • Solo/Partnership/Associate VA/Employees or Office
    Based
  • Getting Paid
  • Invoicing terms
  • Credit control

43
Financials
  • Whats the market rate?
  • 20-35 per hour for average skilled VAs.
  • All general PA services can be charged at this
    rate.
  • Those charging less generally do not survive or
    operate as a hobby business.
  • Address the employee mindset of comparing this to
    an employee or temp rate.

44
Financials
  • Overcoming the negotiation
  • Package your service into blocks of time.
  • The more you buy, the less per hour they pay
  • Starter Package 300pm (inc 10 hrs)Executive
    Package 580pm (inc 20 hrs)Business Package
    850pm (inc 30 hrs)
  • In this scenario, when you are asked what do you
    charge you can reply from 300 per month.

45
Financials
  • How much do I need to get started?
  • Two main things to consider your personal costs
    and those of your business
  • What are your personal monthly outgoings?
  • Mortgage, bills, food, gifts, clothes,
    insurances, car, etc.
  • What is essential and what can be put on hold?
  • Gym memberships, weekly bunch of flowers, daily
    latte, etc.
  • Have survival savings for at least 6-9 months.
  • You dont want to become desperate as this will
    put off prospects and you will not enjoy your
    business

46
Financials
  • Business start up costs
  • What do I need in order to start my business?
  • Computer, desk, printer, training, etc
  • What equipment or services do you need to rent?
  • Telephone, broadband, insurance, etc x 6-9 months
  • Include provision for marketing and networking
    costs for your business for 6-9 months
  • Add these all together start up costs

47
Financials
  • How much do you want to earn?
  • Replace your full time income and work part time
    hours? Earn six figures year on year?
  • How many hours do you have available. Max 25.
  • Bear in mind that you have to allow time for
    running and marketing your business you will
    not be able to sell 40 hours a week.

48
Financials
  • Exercise
  • How much do you want to earn?
  • How many hours do you have available per week?
  • How much do you need to be earning per hour to
    achieve your goal?
  • Example on flip
  • 25 hrs pw x 40 wks 1000 working hrs per year
  • 20 per hour 20,000 per year (gross)
  • 100 per hour 100,000 per year (gross)

49
Financials
  • How can I earn more than the basic VA rate?
  • What skills do you have that are not standard for
    a PA?
  • You should all have great organisational skills,
    great time management, etc. But what else?
  • Examples
  • Web site design HR Lifestyle Management
  • Event Management PR Accountancy

50
Financials
  • You may already have additional skills that can
    be charged at a higher rate
  • If you dont have any additional skills, what
    would you be interested in learning?
  • What other skills could your potential clients
    want that could be offered by someone else?
  • Examples Coaching, web design, event organising,
    telephone answering.

51
Financials
  • Exercise
  • What additional skills do you already have?
  • 5 minutes
  • What skills would you like to learn?5 minutes
  • What additional skills would your clients need
    that you can offer through a third party5 minutes

52
Financials
  • Research rates charged by specialist companies
    for these skills and charge the same
  • Establish a learning programme to continue your
    education dont get left behind
  • Package your premium services to avoid the rate
    comparison.
  • Work with others and charge a commission or
    finders fee!

53
Financials
  • Four basic business models
  • Solo Virtual Assistant
  • Partnership VA
  • Associate VA
  • Office and Employee team

54
Financials
  • Solo Virtual Assistant
  • Just you with no back up holidays, illness,
    etc.
  • Exchanging your time for money
  • When you have reached capacity with your hours
    you cant earn any more money
  • When you lose a client you lose a sizeable chunk
    of your income

55
Financials
  • Partnership Virtual Assistant
  • Two or more VAs working together either remotely
    or in an office running one business
  • Great for cover for holidays and emergencies
  • Possible conflict over direction, rates, clients,
    etc.
  • Great for sharing ideas, victories and general
    back up

56
Financials
  • Associate Virtual Assistant
  • Can be used just for reciprocal holiday/emergency
    cover
  • Can be used as sub-contactor - VA Task Masters
  • Can then offer a wider range of services or even
    just act as a Business Development Manager
  • Certain VAs specialise in this as they are happy
    to take a lower rate as they are handed the work
    on a plate BUT be careful who you select and have
    a solid contract

57
Financials
  • Office and Employee team
  • Massively increased overheads and liabilities
  • Continuity of service for your clients
  • Larger range of services can be offered, call
    handling, mail forwarding, etc
  • Unlimited client capacity
  • Work life balance what are your motives for
    starting your business in the first place?

58
Financials
  • Getting paid
  • Charging in advance for time is normal
  • Charging in arrears for additional time and
    expenses
  • Make sure you have your payment terms written
    into your contract or terms and conditions
  • Stick to your payment terms

59
Financials
  • Methods of payment
  • BACS easiest and most used
  • Standing order not flexible
  • PayPal instant payment by credit card, fees
    apply
  • Cheque

60
Financials
  • Credit control
  • Have a credit control policy and stick to it
  • On the due day, make a friendly call
  • After 7 days send a letter
  • After 14 days send a second letter
  • After 30 instigate debt recover procedures

61
Financials
  • Consider incentives
  • Discounts only apply if invoices are paid on time
  • Interest charge on late payments
  • Standard is 3 over BOE base rate, however, you
    can put what you like in your Terms and
    Conditions and charge that
  • Include the name of your debt collection company
    in your Terms and Conditions

62
Identity
  • 1145-1230
  • Identity - Emma

63
Identity
  • Creating business identity crucial for successful
    business
  • Helps you to stand out from the crowd
  • Identity or branding will be included on all
    marketing materials
  • Best to spend time now getting it right from the
    start

Create your perfect VA business
64
Identity
  • Target Market
  • Need to spend some time identifying who you want
    to work with
  • Important to think about this now so that all
    your marketing material will talk to them
  • We are only touching the surface today to help
    with creating your identity and branding

Create your perfect VA business
65
Identity
  • Exercise
  • Make a list of
  • All the different industries you have worked in
  • People in your life that you respect
  • Industries you are interested in

Create your perfect VA business
66
Identity
  • Where will I find clients?
  • Most common question when starting up
  • Not going into great detail here as marketing is
    another course entirely tell you later how you
    can learn more
  • Finding clients depend on what your target market
    is going to be
  • Give you some ideas to get you started

Create your perfect VA business
67
Identity
  • Networking
  • Most effective way to get clients but can take
    longer
  • Online and well as face to face
  • Majority of business will come via networking
  • Word of mouth referrals
  • People recommending you and your services
  • Look at who you know now old employers,
    friends, family, neighbours, colleagues

Create your perfect VA business
68
Identity
  • Website
  • People finding your website
  • These types of clients can be more demanding
  • Will want to start quickly
  • Directory listings
  • Free online directories
  • UKAVA directory with clients looking for VAs

Create your perfect VA business
69
Identity
  • Exercise answers will help when creating your
    marketing material
  • Business name can be specific to target market
  • Tie in tag line with target market

Create your perfect VA business
70
Identity
  • Name
  • This is where things get very personal!
  • Name is first step to creating your brand
  • Some people trade under their own name, others
    use company name
  • Justine and I use company name
  • Need to come up with something you believe in

Create your perfect VA business
71
Identity
  • Is name already being used? Do some research when
    you get home - details included in resource pack
  • Is domain name available? Dont want domain name
    too long and should be easy for people to type
  • What will name look like as domain name? Need to
    be careful look in workbook page 4

Create your perfect VA business
72
Identity
  • Is name easy to say on telephone? Practice
    answering the phone in the name to see how it
    sounds
  • Is name relevant for your business? Youre not a
    dentist or doctor so make sure you dont include
    this in your name!
  • Is there scope for expansion as both you and your
    business will change dont limit yourself (only
    do office administration, what if you wanted to
    do telephone answering or event planning)

Create your perfect VA business
73
Identity
  • Exercise
  • Brainstorm some potential names for your business
  • Get feedback from group

Create your perfect VA business
74
Identity
  • Tag Line
  • Tag line is something that reflects what you do
  • Use your tag line to introduce yourself to people
    who ask what do you do
  • Keep it short and simple so rolls off your tongue
  • Mine is I work with busy business owners who
    want to focus their valuable time on the money
    making activities for their business

Create your perfect VA business
75
Identity
  • Other examples include
  • I shoot people for a living photographer
  • Treasure hunter and I help clients find all the
    hidden gems in their finances accountant
  • Your spine is fine when it is in line
    chiropractor
  • Fairy godmother cleaner
  • The Tooth, The Whole Tooth and Nothing But The
    Tooth dentist

Create your perfect VA business
76
Identity
  • Logo
  • Go with professional logo to create the right
    image
  • Dont have to spend a fortune on logo design, can
    get good logo for under 100
  • Look at what colours mean to people to bear in
    mind for your own branding page 5 in workbook

Create your perfect VA business
77
Identity
  • Branding Basics
  • Once you have your name, tag line and logo you
    can start to create your marketing materials and
    create your brand
  • Brand is what you create so people recognise you
    and understand what you offer
  • Key is to be consistent in all you do make it
    easy for people
  • Use same colours on everything you do

Create your perfect VA business
78
Identity
  • Marketing Materials
  • Going to look at different ways to get your
    message across to potential clients
  • Exercise
  • Write down list of materials you want to create
    for your own business
  • Feedback to group suggestions for flip chart

Create your perfect VA business
79
Identity
  • Business cards
  • Pros
  • Must tool for attending networking events
  • Gives relevant information about you
  • Cons
  • Costs if you change contact details
  • Everyone has business cards so need to stand out
    from crowd

Create your perfect VA business
80
Identity
  • Website
  • Pros
  • Perfect place to showcase your services
  • Can talk to non local clients
  • Cons
  • Can be costly if no experience of website design
  • Need a professional looking website matching brand

Create your perfect VA business
81
Identity
  • Leaflets
  • Pros
  • Perfect tool to explain more about services
  • Can be cost effective marketing tool
  • Cons
  • Once printed, cant change anything
  • Little used marketing tool so might not get
    benefit

Create your perfect VA business
82
Identity
  • Information Pack
  • Pros
  • Great opportunity to answer potential clients
    questions
  • Tell people what you want them to know
  • Cons
  • Very few people make effective use of pack

Create your perfect VA business
83
Identity
  • Client Welcome Pack
  • Pros
  • Opportunity to explain how you work
  • Set expectations from the start for working
    together
  • Cons
  • Very few people make effective use of pack

Create your perfect VA business
84
Identity
  • Branded Stationery
  • Pros
  • Opportunity to get brand in front of people
  • Look professional in all correspondence
  • Cons
  • Dont use letterheads, compliment slips as often
    as you would think
  • Once printed, cant make changes

Create your perfect VA business
85
Identity
  • Promotional Items
  • Pros
  • Right items could keep your name on target
    markets desk
  • Cons
  • Can be expensive if dont choose right item
  • Need to be creative so people dont throw away
    item

Create your perfect VA business
86
Identity
  • Press Releases
  • Pros
  • Perfect way to help generate free publicity
  • Format needed to tell story to press
  • Cons
  • Needs to be a good news story, not advert
  • Other stories are competing for space so need to
    stand out

Create your perfect VA business
87
Identity
  • Newsletters
  • Pros
  • Good way to keep in touch with contacts and
    clients
  • Cost effective marketing tool
  • Cons
  • Need to deliver when you say you will
  • Needs to be regular (weekly, fortnightly or
    monthly) to be really effective

Create your perfect VA business
88
Identity
  • Articles
  • Pros
  • Opportunity to showcase your expertise
  • Can submit to various article directories
  • Cons
  • Not good option if dont like writing
  • Competing with others so need good content

Create your perfect VA business
89
Identity
  • Blogging
  • Pros
  • Search engines love blogs
  • Great place to share your articles and opinions
  • Can have a blog for free
  • Cons
  • Need to be done regularly (at least weekly)

Create your perfect VA business
90
Identity
  • Business cards and website are essential basics
    for your business
  • Vital for getting message out there
  • Others are optional
  • Recommend you go with free options after basics
    articles, blogs, press releases, information
    packs

Create your perfect VA business
91
Identity
  • Business Cards
  • Vital for networking
  • Can get free business cards but these dont
    create right impression
  • Get some professional cards printed but in small
    batches (250) you can then change design if
    necessary

Create your perfect VA business
92
Identity
  • Must include
  • Your name
  • Company name
  • Contact details (landline a must and mobile)
  • Email address
  • Website
  • Tag line

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Identity
  • Make use of all space provided so use the back
  • Some ideas include
  • Calendar
  • List of services
  • Call to action (what you want people to do)
  • Be creative and do something that people will
    remember

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Identity
  • Website
  • Vital tool for all VAs as something you need to
    get set up as a priority
  • Set up website with visitor in mind
  • Design and copy should always be about them, not
    you
  • For first website, keep things simple and have
    only a few pages

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Identity
  • Home identify their problem and offer solution
  • About Us showcase your expertise
  • Services how you can help people but dont list
    everything
  • Frequently Asked Questions provide answers to
    put potential clients at ease
  • Links useful links for your target market

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Identity
  • Contact Us telephone number, email as well as
    address and registration number if limited
    company
  • Dont just have a form, some people prefer to
    talk to people
  • Remember that website is work in progress I am
    currently working on my fourth version!

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Identity
  • General Tips
  • Dont use free email address (Hotmail, AOL etc)
    as doesnt give right impression
  • If limited company, need to include registration
    details on all materials including emails
  • Set up email signature so all your emails have
    tag line and contact details as minimum

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Break
  • 1230
  • Lunch location
  • Back here for 1.30pm sharp!

99
Client Consultation
  • 1330 1415
  • Client Consultation - Justine

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Client Consultation
  • Why offer a telephone or face-to-face
    consultation?
  • How did they hear about you?
  • What do they already know?
  • Is what they think they know correct and is it
    true of your business?
  • Employer/Employee scenario
  • Avoiding the interview

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Client Consultation
  • Gaining the respect of the prospect
  • The two-way interview
  • I am a professional business owner, not a temp!
  • A chance to prove your worth, before addressing
    your price

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Client Consultation
  • FREE Consultations
  • Raising their hand without obligation
  • A chance to develop relationships
  • Establishing trust

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Client Consultation
  • So how do you set up a client consultation?
  • If following up an email, offer a choice of dates
  • Have set times each week where you conduct client
    consultations and schedule them into your diary
  • Instils respect for your time
  • Shows that you are busy you have to fit it into
    your diary They will feel it is important if they
    have to schedule it into their diary

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Client Consultation
  • In the meantime
  • Gives you time to research the prospect and their
    company in between
  • Prepare your process and questions in advance
  • If called on the telephone, do it now - BUT,
    establish the value of your time

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Client Consultation
  • Exercise
  • Write a list of things that you would want to
    know about potential clients before session

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Client Consultation
  • Name and Contact information telephone numbers,
    email and website
  • Business type what industry do they work in
  • Products / Services, target market
  • Size of the company

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Client Consultation
  • What do you say and do during a client
    consultation?
  • Take control from the beginning by pre-framing
  • Dont let the prospect start by asking you
    questions
  • Dont become the interviewee
  • Avoid how much do you charge until much later

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Client Consultation
  • What I would like to do during todays
    call/meeting
  • Id like to find out a bit more about you
  • I will explain what I do, how it works and the
    packages we have available
  • I can answer any questions you may have
  • We can go through the next steps

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Client Consultation
  • This sends a powerful message that you are in
    control you are not a subordinate
  • Takes some of the pressure off of them
  • You are the expert in what you can do to help
    them
  • They may not be sure what they need to know
  • So what do you want to know about the client?

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Client Consultation
  • Exercise
  • Write down what you want to find out during
    session

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Client Consultation
  • Short and long term goals
  • What are they struggling to complete / lack
    skills for / dont like doing?
  • Describe a typical day
  • How many hours are you anticipating working with
    a VA?
  • Have you ever worked with a VA before?
  • Is this ongoing or a one off project?

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Client Consultation
  • Dont interrupt their flow with solutions
  • Make notes of what they need help with
  • Keep asking what else
  • Review the list where can you help them
  • Turn their problems around and feed them back as
    a benefit of using your services

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Client Consultation
  • Diary management so you never miss another
    appointment
  • Travel planning so you can relax knowing its
    all taken care of
  • Book keeping so your invoices are issued and your
    bills are paid on time
  • This proves that you have been listening and that
    you are the solution to their problems

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Client Consultation
  • Exercise
  • Write down what you want to tell potential
    clients about you and your business

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Client Consultation
  • Your USP what makes you different
  • I specialise in / I work with / I have experience
    of
  • Your standards / what you expect from your
    clients
  • Availability / payment terms / contract
  • How you add value to clients
  • What will working with you allow them to do?

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Client Consultation
  • Explaining how it working with a VA actually
    works
  • Explain how you share files and diaries
  • Explain the benefits of using your online system
  • Are you outsourcing any of the services they have
    requested, and if so, how does that work?
  • If they require services such as call handling,
    mail forwarding or registered office services,
    how does that work?

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Client Consultation
  • How will you manage the relationship?
  • How will you keep in touch and how often?
  • Explain your rates and packages
  • Explain your payment terms and conditions
  • Tell them about your insurance and
    confidentiality agreement
  • Ask if they have any questions

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Client Consultation
  • Next Steps
  • Do you want to work with them?
  • If letting them down, thank them for their time
    and let them down gently
  • Give them valid reasons for your decision
  • Offer alternative VAs if you know of any that
    might be suitable
  • If not, refer them to an online directory of Vas
    such as the UKAVA at www.ukava.co.uk

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Client Consultation
  • New Clients
  • If you do want to work with them, what happens
    next?
  • Can offer trial period if they are unsure
  • Send out welcome pack (contracts, tcs see Doc
    Packs)
  • Send your first invoice if you charge in advance
  • Follow up call in one week

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Client Consultation
  • Teaching your new client how to delegate
  • New clients rarely come with a list of tasks or
    if they do, its usually just the tip of the
    ice-burg of what they could be delegating to you
  • Most clients just know they need help
  • Get them to keep a record of all the tasks they
    perform over a week, with start and finish times
  • Go over the list on the follow up call and see
    what they can delegate to you.

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Client Consultation
  • This exercise should give a clear idea of what
    tasks they can delegate now
  • And how much time they will now have free from
    delegating those tasks and of course, how many
    hours they will need you!

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Working With Clients
  • 1415 1500
  • Working With Clients - Emma

123
Working With Clients
  • This is the ultimate aim for our business to
    work with clients
  • There are tools out there to make life easier
  • Need to work out how you want to work with
    clients before you get too many
  • Spend some time now getting everything in place
    so when clients come along, you are ready to work
    and earn money!

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Working With Clients
  • Telephone Answering
  • Popular service with clients
  • Recommend you offer it to clients
  • Lots of competition from local and national
    companies
  • Room for everyone and can be source of good
    income stream
  • Two ways of doing service DIY or referral

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Working With Clients
  • DIY
  • You are answering the calls as well as marketing
    the service
  • Need to be around to answer the calls
  • Restricts you to office and what networking
    events you can attend
  • Need to be around Monday Friday, 9 - 5
  • What happens when sick / holiday

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Working With Clients
  • Use Callagenix where they have a dedicated VA
    service offering and you rent lines for clients
    and dont have to get any equipment
  • Could go down VOIP route but need to have good
    and fast internet connection
  • Keep it simple and dont invest in equipment
    you never know what direction your business will
    take

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Working With Clients
  • Referral Based
  • Offer service but dont actually answer the calls
    yourself
  • Find a trusted partner that you pass all clients
    to and they answer calls
  • You receive commission on calls for your clients
  • VASG will be offering a solution for this shortly

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Working With Clients
  • Google
  • Offer variety of free resources
  • Documents share documents
  • Calendar use for diary management for clients
    and can share with others
  • Groups if working with teams of people as way
    of communicating with everyone

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Working With Clients
  • Bascamp
  • Online subscription based software
  • File sharing
  • To do lists
  • Message boards
  • Time tracking
  • Project management software

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Working With Clients
  • Client Spot
  • Online subscription based software
  • Calendar / email reminder
  • File sharing
  • To do lists
  • Time tracking
  • Project management software

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Working With Clients
  • Time Tracking
  • Always recommend online solutions where possible
  • There are number of free resources which is good
    enough for VA
  • Paymo
  • Toggl
  • See which one you prefer and get an account

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Working With Clients
  • Dictation
  • Telephone line dedicated to dictation that
    clients call to record their work
  • Client use dictation machine, upload to their
    computer and email file to you
  • Dont invest in any equipment until you know how
    much work you will do
  • Express Scribe for transcribing work

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Working With Clients
  • Emails
  • Log in to webmail account with their log in
    details
  • Set up POP3 account in your Outlook (settings via
    clients website host company)
  • Also recommend you get email account in your name
    so you can represent client professionally
    (yourname_at_client.co.uk)

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Working With Clients
  • Once you start bringing clients on board, you
    will start to receive work via emails
  • Need to organise yourself so you can work
    effectively
  • Create folder for each client and have sub
    folders for particular projects, work
  • Make use of rules to move emails to relevant
    client folders

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Break
  • 1500 1515
  • Break back by 3.15pm sharp!
  • Trainers put Feedback forms on desks.

136
Working With Clients
  • 1515-1615
  • Client Management - Emma

137
Client Management
  • Once you have signed up clients, its really
    important that you look after them otherwise,
    they may go elsewhere
  • This becomes very important once you have more
    than 1 client
  • By managing the client, you are also managing the
    relationship which reinforces you as partner and
    not employee

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Client Management
  • Feedback is really important so that you both can
    learn and grow
  • Need to know what is working and what can be
    improved
  • Remember that feedback is 2 way thing
  • Shouldnt be negative or focusing on what isnt
    working

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Client Management
  • Exercise
  • How are you going to keep in touch with clients?

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140
Client Management
  • Client Satisfaction Survey
  • To be used with PAYG clients to check they are
    happy with work
  • Send part way through project or at end
  • Use the survey to ask for feedback on particular
    areas of your business
  • Template available in Document Packs
  • Could also make use of online surveys

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Client Management
  • Weekly Activity Report
  • Use with package clients only
  • Let clients know what work has been completed
    during the week
  • Update on hours worked so they know what time is
    remaining
  • Give relevant comments or recommendations

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Client Management
  • Catch Up Calls
  • Need to happen on regular basis with all package
    clients (weekly / fortnightly)
  • Schedule same time each week
  • Opportunity to discuss short term goals and
    identify necessary actions

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Client Management
  • Client Monthly Review
  • Use with package clients only
  • Need to schedule time with client recommend
    monthly basis
  • Use time to discuss longer term goals so you can
    create action plan
  • Use catch up calls for ongoing work

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Client Management
  • This is not an appraisal, it is opportunity to
    discuss upcoming projects
  • Remember to give feedback to clients on anything
    that needs improving
  • Have standard questions to go through
  • This cements partnership relationship and gives a
    value added service
  • Clients appreciate this process

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Client Management
  • Policies Standards
  • You need to create policies and standards for how
    you are going to run your business
  • Recommend you create policies and procedures for
    everything
  • Some to think about include
  • Disaster recovery Justine has already talked
    about this

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Client Management
  • Client intake what happens when you take on a
    new client
  • Complaints unfortunately, you will still have
    to deal with some complaints
  • Corporate style font, email signatures
  • How often will you reply to emails
  • When will you check your emails throughout the
    day or only twice a day

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Client Management
  • How will you operate if still working in a job
  • How will you answer calls
  • What call diversion system will you use divert
    to mobile, call answering service
  • What diary system will you use for you
    appointments
  • How will you work towards your goals vision
    board, written goals, action plan

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Client Management
  • How will you record client tasks notepad,
    spreadsheet, project management software
  • What filing system will you use
  • How will you record important client information
    passwords, user names, confidential information
  • When will you review your prices

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Working With Clients
  • 1615-1700
  • On Monday you will get an email from us with
    links to all the Resources we have spoken about.
  • Next step now you have a solid foundation is the
  • VA Marketing Course
  • Covers You and Your Skills Your USP
  • Establishing Your Niche
  • Where to start, What works, Creating Your Action
    Plan
  • Online Course - Do it from the comfort of your
    own home, in your own time
  • Normally 97. Book within the next 7 days and you
    get it for 75
  • Details will be sent with the email

150
Working With Clients
  • 1645-1700
  • Feedback forms
  • Tick the box for the Marketing Course
  • Please give us your comments
  • Thank you very much and good luck!
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