In these challenging times, everyone is looking at ways to boost their income.
That is no different for the smart VA, whether you’re just starting out or already well established with a good base.
If you’re going to treat what you do as a business – and you should be treating it that way – there are a number of ways to boost your income.
I’ll be sharing SEVEN ways in this two-part feature. Three here and four in Part 2 next time.
Before I get to the tips and suggestions, remember that income is only part of the money equation. The other part is the expenditure.
The more you have coming in and the less you spend, the more you will have in the bank.
Keep an eye on your finances…
When times are challenging, every pound, dollar or Euro counts. Even small adjustments to your spending can make a difference. If you’re missing your regular trip to the café, for example, just consider how much you have saved because of lockdown.
Even when the cafes reopen, one less coffee out a week could mean more than £125 saved each year. It might not sound much but just think what you could spend that amount on. (HINT: that amount just about covers a premium 365 Business Standard subscription for a year).
Boosting your income is not just about getting money in. It’s about using your money wisely. With purchases for your business, ask yourself the questions: do I really need this? Can I get it for less elsewhere? Do I need to buy new or would used suffice?
Remember, anything you save now can build into a handy buffer sum.
Money for a rainy day. Money for a holiday (when those are more possible). Money for ‘just in case’ or emergencies. Money for unplanned repairs on your car. Money to reinvest in the business when you know you can afford it. Money to treat yourself or your family. Money to reward yourself for getting a new client.
I’ll get to my first round of tips to boost your VA income in a moment but take note of this important point next.
Don’t forget to set aside a portion of your income for your tax and national insurance. Otherwise, you could be landed with a nasty surprise from the tax people. Typically in the UK, that portion is about a third of anything you bring in but do check what level it is for you, in your part of the world. Every country is different.
By the way, a little tip if you feel you can manage it.
You could choose to ‘tax’ yourself at a higher rate. For example, set aside 40 or even 50 per cent of your income as you go. When your tax bill arrives you will be able to pay it with ease – and have a lump sum spare. Now go treat yourself for that tremendous self-discipline during the year. Or leave it in and watch your reserves grow.
That’s enough about expenditure and keeping the tax people happy. Let’s turn to how to make YOU more money.
Here are the first THREE of seven ways to boost your VA income.
Boost #1 – Get New Clients
This can be the hardest thing for some VA’s but it is at the core of generating income. It’s something you have to learn if you’re going to run a serious VA business – and make it more than a part-time or pocket-money ‘hobby’.
If you know your target market or niche, go find the type of people or companies you love to work with.
Work out where they ‘hang out’ and start connecting.
They could be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram. They could be at a business networking event or in an online community. They could be someone who listens to a talk you give, a webinar your deliver, a podcast you record. They could be someone who reads your blog, book, e-book or magazine article.
Ask your existing clients if they know someone who might benefit from using your VA services. Set up a referral scheme.
Make sure your website and marketing efforts are up to date, consistent and relevant to your audience.
Boost #2 – Get Clients to Buy More Often
Another way to boost your VA income is to get people to buy more often from you.
If you are already doing regular pieces of work for a client, see if you can add more value and secure a more consistent income. Create a services package or a monthly retainer offer.
You know your client. Put yourself in their shoes. What challenges do they have? Is there something else you could help them with that they haven’t yet considered? Propose a deal that both provides a solution for them and brings in a little extra for you.
Working with one boss, manager or director in the company? See if another leader would welcome some additional VA support.
Boost #3 – Increase the Average Client Spend
If you are working with a client and providing some admin support for them, explore the potential to offer additional services.
For example, they may do some social media, but you know you could help them to improve it – or to expand their online activity to another platform or channel. Broach the subject. Offer a suggestion. Make a proposal.
Take a look at your other clients (past and present). Do a little research. Is there something they are missing that you could offer to help them with?
Let’s say someone pays you £500 a month for your current services. You offer an additional service and charge £600 instead. That’s an extra £100 per month. That’s £1,200 more in your account for the year. Get two clients to take that up and you’ve doubled it to £2,400 in 12 months.
How is your business looking now?
It’s not all about landing the big client or taking on huge projects. You can seriously boost your income by implementing small changes, making tweaks to your service offerings and getting creative.
Let me know if you’ve tried something and found it worked really well. I love hearing your success stories.
And watch out for Part 2 of this feature, with FOUR more ways to boost your income.
To your VA success.