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Virtual Assistant: Cheap Labor or Valuable Team Member?

Sutton Creative Studios is growing our team, and along with growing our team we need to make sure there is a steady supply of work for the team to work on. I enjoy scrolling through proposal requests, so this is one of the tasks I perform (cough cough, despite the fact that I would tell all of you to hire a team member responsible for client development and marketing). Scrolling through the administrative sections on sites like oDesk and Elance it is obvious that there are two ways people view a virtual assistant: cheap labor or valuable team member.

I want to make one thing clear – Sutton Creative Studios does NOT contract out cheap labor. If that is what you are looking for… Go somewhere else. 

5 Reasons You CAN Afford a Virtual Assistant

Hiring support within your business, whether a full-time, in-house employee or a virtual, part-time consultant, can be scary for any business owner. One of the biggest concerns is often, “How will I be able to afford to pay them?” Because I hear these questions all the time, I’ve prepared a list of the 5 reasons you CAN afford a virtual assistant. Read on…

5 Reasons to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Breathe in. Breathe out. I know this simple task can be hard to remember as a business owner. You get so wrapped up in all you have to do that you forget to breathe. Yup, I’ve been there too. Because it’s not good to forget to breathe, I’ve prepared a list of 5 reasons to hire a virtual assistant. Trust me; As a business owner you NEED to read this article.

Virtual Therapist

If you are an individual starting a new virtual assistance business, I want to warn you: Try as you may to avoid it, at some point with many clients you will become a virtual therapist.

5 Steps to Building a Successful Virtual Assistance Business

books, papers and studies by husseyLately I’ve been networking in quite a few Facebook and LinkedIn groups, particularly those comprised of virtual assistants. You would be surprised by the camaraderie in these groups, especially considering that we’re supposedly competing for work. Rather than being standoff-ish, however, we help each other out. We cheer for each other when somebody land a first (or another) client, and we provide insight about invaluable tools and applications. Because of my active participation in these groups, several members have asked how we built our business to where it is today. Because of this, here are my “5 Steps to Building a Successful Virtual Assistance Business.”

1. Start Out Humble. Let’s face it. Even if you’ve been an executive or administrative assistant for the past 15 years, you don’t have virtual assistant experience. The people you are marketing to, all over the world, don’t know you from the next person, and you need to know that. Sacrifice your high-paying hourly rate until you can build a reputation. That’s what we did, and now we’re making more than we had ever hoped!

2. Find Your Niche. Without us even realizing it, our client base suddenly became predominantly marketing consultants. I honestly didn’t even realize this until earlier this week when I was working on our clients page of our redesigned website. We were good at what we did for our initial marketing clients, and they spread our name. Then those people spread our name and the rest is history. I’ve told Dave more than once that if I could go back 15 years and choose a different college major I would choose social media marketing. Unfortunately I then realize social media marketing as we know it today didn’t even exist back then. I feel old.

Preparing for the Future

In my work with my clients, I very often see that they are more concerned about the current state of their business than they are about preparing for the future. Their personal future. It’ scary.

Be Prepared by CalsidyroseAgain, I’m not talking about marketing and who their next customers and clients will be. I’m talking about insurance. Health insurance, long term care insurance and life insurance. And lastly, their will.

Too many people coast from one day to the next assuming that everything will be ok. Not to be a downer, but this is unfortunately not always the case. From a case of strep throat to a car accident to death, life has its hiccups, and as business owners we must be prepared for them.

Pleas to Prioritize

Business Graphics 8 by DaVinciSDear (Potential) Clients,

As your ever loving and faithful virtual assistant, I write to you today in frustration. Many of you don’t know what your priorities are or what you/we/I should be concentrating on. When you call/write me and tell me something urgently needs to be done today I WILL bump all YOUR other items down to take care of it. I will not argue with you, as most of you like to get to the point and on with your day.