Your VA business may have started out as a sideline to your main job, or a hobby you played around with, whilst seeing if it was something worth pursuing. No matter how you started your VA business, there comes a time when you need to step up and take it seriously if you want it to be financially successful and viable as a business.
Because, if you don’t start to take your business seriously, you’re going to end up getting frustrated with your lack of growth. Not only that, but everyone you interact with is going to feed off that vibe and your frustrations – and that’s not good for business. As we mentioned in last week’s blog, taking your business seriously is about learning how to hold yourself accountable for your VA business success.
So how do you know if it’s because you’re not taking your VA business seriously? Could it just be everyone around you is just, well annoying? Well, here’s 7 clear signs that you need to up your game and get serious.
#1: You haven’t got separate personal and business bank accounts
When you first start your VA business, you don’t necessarily need to start with a business bank account – especially if you’re not sure whether you’ll get the business up and running. However, I believe you do need to keep your business and personal funds separate. Many banks offer new businesses free banking for the first year and it’s certainly worth signing up for one of these options when you’re first starting out.
#2: There are no legalities in place for your VA business
At a bare minimum, you need to be registered as self-employed. Other legalities include getting business insurance and adhering to current data protection and GDPR standards. There’s also strict regulations over what documentation you have to show on your website – such as cookie and privacy policies – so you’d need to adhere to these rules. I’d also recommend you always use contracts for your clients, to help protect both parties, too. This is why I cover legal structures and contracts within the VA Mastery Course and also include legal templates for VAs, in the enhanced version of the course.
#3: You have no clear plan
If you want to take your VA business seriously, you need to know what you’re aiming for and how you’re going to get there. This can be a simple one-page document or a fully-fledged business plan – what’s important is you have goals to follow and plan to make them happen. This is one of the fundamental pillars of good business – when I was a VA one of my clients used to describe your business plan as the satnav to your business and basically it ensures you are off to a great start and will get to where you want to go!
#4: You have no boundaries
When you’re not taking your business seriously, there will be very few boundaries in place. Often this means you’re not working to the best of your abilities, but also that others aren’t taking your business seriously either – including your friends, family and clients. If you want to take your VA business seriously, set yourself set working hours and let everyone know when you are (and aren’t!) available!
#5: Everyone else is to blame for the state of your business
You’re blaming everyone and everything for your business not being where you want it to be – but not taking responsibility for it yourself. This is a sure sign that you need to step up and take responsibility for your business. If your business isn’t where you want it to be, take ownership for your part in that and get a plan in place to turn it around.
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#6: Clients are getting let down and disappointed
If you’re not taking your VA business seriously, your clients are likely to suffer. This can manifest as missed deadlines, shoddy work or even a general feeling that you’re just not into them or their work. A successful VA business needs to be run by someone who truly values their clients and can produce a high standard of work – regardless of whether they’re ‘in the mood’.
#7: You’re not charging what you’re worth
This final sign is a little controversial, but I believe if you don’t value your work, you’re not valuing your business. There are no official industry standard VA rates, and the Society of Virtual Assistants has a great blog – “Minimum Prices for Virtual Assistants” on why they haven’t just set a standard. For me, what’s more important, when it comes to charging rates, is that you’re charging what you believe you’re worth. That may not always feel comfortable for you, but it absolutely must be something you take seriously in your business.
Helping you take your business seriously
If your business is bumbling along and you think you might benefit from some regular support – our peer to peer membership might be exactly the thing you are looking for. Remember, I have been there and done this, I know what it is like to be at home working alone, trying to build and grow the VA business when really all I wanted to do was brainstorm issues with other like-minded VA business owners. I wanted to be able to chat at the water cooler or in the Ladies loos but instead, I felt isolated. Perhaps you feel this too. If you would like to join us in the VA Membership – now is your chance to join.