Why Work Slow-Down Can Be the Virtual Assistants Best Friend
by Alexandra Amor
Having a quiet time, here are some really good tips to help you build your business up and renew your enthusiasm for it. Just doing one or two items on this business list will help your VA practice and also do you the world of good. Di Chapman
Quiet times in business happen to all of us. They happen to established Virtual Assistants, as well as to those just starting out. The phone stops ringing, your email inbox is so empty you wonder if your internet service is down and you cant think of a make-work project to save your life. The good news is that once youve experienced a few quiet times and learned that they always end, theyll lose their ability to frighten you. But I understand that until you have that experience there can be scary, hairy monsters waiting in the quiet hours when your work has dried up.
Therefore, I want to offer you ten proven ways to banish those monsters, and even turn those quiet hours to your advantage. Using some of the items and ideas from the list below will help not only keep you occupied while business is slow, but they will add to the strong business foundation you are already building. What I am trying to do with this list is maximize the potential in your business so that you do not unnecessarily fall victim to work slow-down when you dont want to.
1. Follow up on old leads. It sounds simple but this number one tip can be a lifesaver and a business-builder. Dig through your contact files (you do keep a list of business leads, right?) and refresh the memory of those you havent talked to in a while. Send them a thinking of you and your business email, mail them a card with your business card enclosed, send them an e-card that announces a new service you are offering. Ensure ALL your leads, old and new, are keeping you top-of-mind when they realize they need virtual support.
2. Clean up something youve been tolerating. Tolerating is a coaching word - it means those undone tasks and buried ideas that we carry around with us, sometimes unconsciously, that can drain our energy. What comes to mind when you think of something you carry around with you mentally all the time? Do you need to complete a business relationship with someone youve been dreading to call? Do you have a pile of paper that needs filing? Is there a page or two of your VA web site that are not complete? Is there some task youve been putting off for months or even years? In order to move forward, we need the energy, both mental and physical, to do so. These things that we are tolerating drain our energy and therefore prevent us from achieving all we wish to. Stop tolerating, even one thing, and youll make room for more success.
3. Call your mother (or your best friend, or your coach or mentor) and ask for what you need. Being a self-employed professional can be a tough row to hoe. Get the emotional support you need to keep going. The person you call (or even better, speak to in person) should be someone you trust with your feelings and someone who can applaud and congratulate you when its needed. Share some of your fears and doubts with this person and then ask them for what you need. Maybe you need them to tell you they are proud of you. Maybe you need them to call you once a week and check in to see how you are. Whatever it is, ask for it. Youll be surprised how much our loved ones want to know what we want from them. With this kind of support in your life, you are much more likely to succeed.
4. Ensure you are ready for new business. One of the best ways to ensure we attract new business is to make sure (thats 100% sure) we are fully prepared for when that business arrives. Do you have a welcome package completely ready to give to a client? If a new client called five minutes from now could you send it to them right away? Are you organized enough to bring on new business? Do you feel on top of your current to dos and your business calendar? Do you have a process in place to bring a new client on board (i.e. a first meeting agenda or a list of questions to ask new clients about what they need from you)? To ensure that you are not unconsciously pushing new business away because you are not ready, make sure that you are able to answer 'yes' to all the above questions.
5. Do one thing youre afraid of. Im not asking you to learn to skydive naked, but there is value in making sure that there are not business-building activities that we are avoiding because we are afraid of them. Choose one thing, even a small one at first, that you are afraid of doing and do it. Are you afraid of joining a networking group? Are you afraid of calling your old boss and asking her out to lunch to discuss Virtual Assistance? Are you avoiding giving a presentation to a group that has asked you? These are just examples to get you thinking; by now your little voice is telling you what your own personal monster-in-the-dark is. By standing up and staring that monster down, walking right into his mouth and dancing around, you will emerge stronger, more confident and more proud of yourself. Take a chance and build yourself up by doing something youre afraid of.