I have been musing lately about my two businesses. I run a face to face IT Training Business – The IT Training Surgery and am setting up an online portal to deliver short sharp training sessions to VAs – tomorrow’s VA
I was thinking about the way my main business runs and then started to think about the correlation between my business and that of a VA. I have a lovely VA who helps me with my social media and admin and we also needed a process to determine how we work together.
Here are some of the questions that as a business owner you need to answer. I will add in supplementary questions that relate to both a VA and a Training or Coaching business.
How does your business work?
Do you know how your business works? Where your clients come from and crucially what the steps are to turn that enquiry into a paying client?
This whole journey can be turned into a process. See the questions that follow. These apply to any business however there are a few that are very specific.
A business process makes things much easier
Could be via email or a phone call – where do you log this?
You respond and possibly send some information or direct them to information on your website.
Then a bit of back and forth and then maybe a few meetings and then down to business.
Once you have agreed to work together what happens next? Do you have a process for handling the booking?
Does your new client know what to expect? What is included or excluded?
Do you have proper Booking Terms?
For example, The IT Training Surgery has formal booking terms which are issued to clients at the point where training dates and costs have been agreed. It states all manner of things, what is expected, what the costs will be, what the payment terms are and the cancellation or postponement policy.
Working with Associate Trainers
If I am going to trust associates with my clients, then I want to make sure that we have a good basis of understanding of what is expected. Each associate trainer has a contract and then for each piece of work we issue a Work Order (you might call it a Purchase Order or something else). The Work Order covers the requirement and the amount to be paid for that piece of work.
Working with my VA
I have a contract with my VA as well an overall contract that sets out how we will work together and then again Work Orders for larger pieces of work. We agree how we will work together and what that constitutes.
Cancellation of training
For The IT Training Surgery we have a cancellation policy. It states when charges will be made in the event of cancellation.
When is it triggered?
Is there a cancellation charge?
Postponement of training
What happens if a client wants to postpone a training course? Do you have provision for that?
Delivery of training
If you are a training company do you make the training requirements clear? Such as a room to train in and freedom from interruptions? Does your client know what to expect?
Post delivery of training
Do you offer post course support?
Is there a defined follow up system?
How do you know your training has been successful?
Delivery of Admin work
If you are a va – when does your client expect the work by? Do you agree deadlines in writing before each piece of work or do you have a general agreement?
Do you have the relevant documentation, Insurance, Policies?
How do you cover holidays/sickness
How do you communicate with your client?
Do you ask clients to refer you on to others who could use your services? This applies equally to both training companies and VAs, in fact it applies to everyone who runs a business.
All of these are steps in a process and you may or may not have documentation to help.
For example – do you have a system to store the names and addresses of the people you meet and those who call? If you do, do you comply with the GDPR?
What other documents do you have, or might you need? – Booking Terms, Terms of Service, Cancellation Policy etc.
Where did I get my legal agreements?
I use KoffeeKlatch to provide my contracts. They have lovely agreements in plain English. I have my trainer associate contract and my VA contract from KoffeeKlatch. They also do a range of other types of contracts and terms you can check them out here.
How can your software systems help with this process?
Do you have anything to add to the questions I have asked?
p.s I am an affiliate of KoffeeKlatch and I may earn a small commission for any contracts that you purchase via the links on this page.