When it comes to home businesses, one of the primary hurdles to overcome is balancing business with home life. Inside of that hurdle is another one — balancing business clients. It is important for a virtual assistant to learn how to schedule clients appropriately so that nothing falls through the cracks.
The key to growing a business is to bring in more business. This can be done through acquiring more clients in need of a virtual assistant or increasing the amount of work done for each of your existing clients. Either way, this task requires a detailed schedule.
Some virtual assistants will schedule work first and then work around the clock to get it all done. The problem with this scenario is that work often encroaches on family time. You’ll find yourself sneaking off to the office to get more work done when the kids are asleep or in the middle of the night when you should be getting some much needed rest.
This type of schedule is clearly overloaded with work. Extra time outside of the set aside business hours is needed to complete everything. That doesn’t sound like good business practice. If you got sick or had an emergency that took you away from work, your business would suffer and so would your clients.
Keep a master schedule. This schedule can be created on your computer and then blown up to be posted on the wall. Begin by defining family time and business hours. Even if you had a store setup you’d close at a certain time. No one wants to man the desk all night long.
Stick to the defined business hours of operation. At five or six o’clock in the evening, shut it down. Let your virtual assisting clients know what your hours are. This will be a bit tricky for international clients but can be worked out according to the time difference. It may require you to start earlier in the morning.
Any family events are also included on the master schedule. When taking on new clients, you can look at the schedule as a glance to see where they will fit. Resist the urge to bump a family planned event in favor of work. If you do it once, you will do it again. Just like your clients’ time is important, so is your family.
Create a more workable and profitable schedule by asking clients to enter into contracts for a specified amount of time per month. This way, they know in advance how much time they have for work. Anything beyond this time is up to the virtual assistant’s discretion since they have other clients.
Start off slow to create a workable schedule. Overloading yourself is always trouble in the long run.