Being a virtual assistant is all about promoting productivity. Our whole raison d’être is to relieve our clients from the burdens that prevent them from focusing on their core business.
Of course this means that, by their very nature, many of the tasks I am contracted to fulfill are time-consuming. For a VA, as with any one-man-band, too much time-consuming work can lead to problems; I simply will not have enough time to devote to business development and expansion. However, as I’ve been growing my business over the last year, this hasn’t been too much of an issue.
The Start Up Experience
During the first year of trading, almost all of your energy goes into establishing your client list and generating income. In other words, setting your marketing strategy in motion.
Your week is easily filled with networking, blogging, tweeting, having meetings, creating flyers, building websites…But crucially, without clients, you don’t have to worry about fitting these activities around actual billable work!
Then the marketing pays off and you start to win business, which is fantastic. For a while, you are able to carry on as you did before, flitting between marketing and client work as the mood takes you, without any real structure or discipline. You don’t have to be too strict with your schedule, as you know that you’ll be able to fit it all in.
And then, after months of hard work, all of a sudden you get busy. Word has spread about the amazing service that you provide, your happy customers are telling their friends about you and complete strangers begin to recognise your logo. Your weekly “routine” starts to change as, quite rightly, your clients take priority over everything else.
But before you know it, three months have gone by and you haven’t blogged once, your expenses are well overdue and you haven’t shown your face at a networking event in weeks. This is what has happened to me.
Practicing What I Preach
Luckily, being a virtual assistant means I know exactly what to do – practice what I preach! Now that I’ve become established, I must balance my time between billable work and activities which will grow by business. I must learn to not accept anything and everything that comes before me if it means that I’m not going to have enough time to devote to planning, marketing and expansion.
All of my clients have been through exactly the same experience. Somehow, it’s easier to advise them on how to improve their time management than it is to apply the same logic in my own business! But at least they know that I truly understand the challenges they face.
So, with all this in mind, you’ll be seeing a lot more from The Boost Blog in the coming weeks. In fact, to give things a kickstart, I will be posting a blog every week in October. Stay tuned!
Does my story sound familiar? How have you overcome time management challenges in your business? Please leave a comment!