Sorry, I didn’t mean to mention chocolate.
But there’s a colourful analogy to share which may help you develop your VA career and business.
Picture a box of Quality Street.
The flavours of the tiny chocolates inside can be recognised instantly by their shape and the colour of their wrapper.
Everyone has their personal favourites.
So many to choose from, including Strawberry Delight. Toffee Finger. Caramel Swirl. Chocolate Coated Fudge. The Green Triangle (Hazelnut Noisette). Coconut Eclair. Orange Crème.
Which of these do you like best?
It’s also fair to say many people have at least ONE flavour in the box that they do NOT like – or would rather avoid.
So what has all this talk of chocolate got to do with running a VA business, I hear you say.
I’m going to share this analogy and you can let me know if it makes good sense.
Imagine the box or tin of chocolates as an assortment of services a client or prospective client might ask a VA to do.
For example, it might look like this.
- Write a report (Coconut eclair)
- Create a spreadsheet (Green Triangle)
- Put together a PowerPoint presentation (Strawberry Delight)
- Send the same message, but customised, to different people (Toffee Finger)
- Create an Infographic (Chocolate Coated Fudge)
- Sort and summarise a set of data (Orange Crème)
- Produce an eBook (Caramel Swirl)
When you first start out as a VA, you will probably find yourself being asked to do a wide range of tasks.
All the flavours of the tin (those you love and those you are less sure about).
Clients, fairly or not, tend to have certain expectations. They will want you to:
- Know the core essentials of Microsoft Office
- Be competent with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
- Understand their brief and be able to deliver on time
- Be trustworthy and reliable
- Have the ability to solve problems and make their life easier
It’s a fact of life that some VA’s can struggle at first. They have the heart to do well but not yet the skills and experience to manage or cope.
In the more extreme cases, clients find the person they hired goes AWOL and incommunicado.
That’s definitely not good for either party.
Sometimes it just means VA’s are working all hours under the sun – often juggling that with raising a family as well. That can leave even the most motivated professional short on sleep, energy and focus.
The VA market is expanding and the number of professionals offering services is rising.
How you start and serve your first few clients can be the difference between sadness and success.
Reputation in this business is everything.
The way to become competent, confident and calm under pressure is to learn the necessary skills. Get to know the basics inside out so you don’t even have to think about how to do it.
That’s what I teach in my online training courses for Microsoft Office.
When the ‘how do I do that?’ is answered and in the bag, you can focus on making the best job of each task.
And you’ll know the most efficient way to work – creating more time to impress your clients or make space for more business.
That’s the smarter way to go.
As your clients get to know what you can do (and how well you do it) they may see that you are particularly strong with specific tasks or types of work.
You, too, may notice there are things which you love doing most or excel at.
This may lead you to becoming more of a specialist VA.
The expert at spreadsheet analysis.
The expert at report writing.
The expert at infographics and graphic design.
The expert at creating social media posts.
The expert at collaborative communications.
You may find your clients (or yourself) choosing selected wrappers from the chocolate box.
And having to deal less often with the flavours least to your taste.
Wherever you are at and in whatever direction you choose to go, one theme must run through everything you do.
That theme is quality.
To your VA success (whichever street you are in).
P.S. If you are keen to improve your skills, take a look at my range of online training courses for Microsoft Office.
Learn in your own time. Where you want, when you want.
Lifetime access so you can refresh your mind any time you need to...
… and if you know you need to cover ALL the essentials in Microsoft Office you may find Tomorrow’s VA Hub (also known as ‘The Full Monty’) is right up your street. Quality, of course, guaranteed.