Virtual Assistants! And small business owner operators! Do you have a database? You do? Do you use it?
I’m a keen advocate for networking, both online and offline, as it’s important to keep meeting people and to keep letting them know you exist. You need to be visible – not invisible. What amazes me is that people go out and network, and most of them admit to wanting new work, but then you rarely hear from them afterwards. What are they doing with my business card, and the cards of others they collect? Do they not use them or do they store them away for a rainy day?
Waiting for a rainy day, read ‘no work’, is not the time to start using your database. You should be priming it long before then.
I’ve just gained a number of new clients all in one week. Lucky! you say. Luck hasn’t got anything to do with it but work does. I’ve been working on these people for some months now and keeping in contact, via a regular newsletter, occasional emails or even a card in the post. I keep in contact – that’s the key. And I can only do that if I’m using my database.
Don’t wait till things are quiet to start working your database, make it a regular activity alongside of all your other regular activities. Someone I heard once called it ‘feeding the funnel’. Whatever you call it, your database is important to your business and past, present and prospective clients should be in that database.
So now you’re thinking about having a database, what program will you use and should it be online or on your computer? Well, there are tons of different programs to use so it really depends on what end result you want as to which one works best for you. But with respect to computer and online – you should have both! People can self-subscribe to your newsletter or blog, or whatever you do online to keep in touch and also unsubscribe. Not everyone on that online list needs to be on your computer database. However, once they’ve had personal contact with you or have become a client, then they should be on your computer database too. So it’s very realistic the two databases will be quite different and that’s not unusual.
And who is going to spend the time doing all this? Your Virtual Assistant of course. And if you are a VA but data entry isn’t your thing, then there’s no reason why you can’t outsource to another VA. Your database is an important part of your business and can literally be your lifeblood. So don’t ignore the potential it holds for your business.