Further to my previous 2 posts, I have more to add and Tracey’s comment included some of what I wanted to say.
When a client contacts you for a quote you need to project confidence and telling someone nervously that you are new and you’re not sure what to charge, or umm and ahh over charges, will help give them a lack of confidence in your abilities and knowing what you are doing.
What is there to be nervous about? If you know well the services you plan to offer then you know you are going to do a great job for a client. You simply have to tell them what your rate is and how long you think it might take and go from there. So, knowing your rates in the planning/starting phases of your business is most important.
Also, with respect to time with family or anything/anyone else, when a client wants to make an appointment it would help you considerably if you already have blocked out times that are important to you in your diary and calendar.
When I had things to do at the local school, or had to take a daughter to a doctor’s appointment, or anything else, I had these marked in my diary. And if a client asked for an appointment, phone meeting or a delivery to be made, I would always advise if I was available or would simply say “I have an appointment at that time but what about ….?” and gave them another option. This served two purposes – it made me sound busy even when I wasn’t in those early days, but it also gave me a feeling of being in control and not letting clients control my timing or what I was doing.
There is a saying ‘fake it till you make it’ and in many respects this is true. You need to project the image of a successful business owner before you actually experience it.
A long time ago I was taught about the value of visualisation. See yourself where you want to be and it will help project you along that path. Speaking, dressing, thinking, responding in the way you would want to be as a successful business person will help you become that person.
Mixing and mingling with those who are already doing it will go a long way towards helping you on that journey. That’s why the VA forums are so useful. They have lots of information in their message archives to assist you in your research and you learn from your peers about how they handled challenges and moved on. Please note this is quite different to asking people to give you the templates, forms, rates charts, etc that they created for their businesses – you need to own what you set up and create them yourself.
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.