The 5th step in this 7 step process is getting the financials right. Getting your finances right can be the difference between being effective and successful in your VA business and failing.
Talk to an Accountant
Personally, I spoke to an Accountant in the pre-launch phase, to determine whether Your Executive Secretary should be a Sole Trader or a Limited Company as this can alter the decisions you make about your finances. Most Accountants will offer a free consultation.
Even in the early days as you start launching your VA business, it is very important that you know your numbers and have a system for keeping accurate records on what goes on. A lot of VAs struggle with this area, as it feels a little like throw a feather in the wind and see which way it blows – thats how to do your finances! No be honest and realistic with yourself, this is your business.
Create a Sales Forecast
If you started out in your business without a business plan then go back and create one NOW!
Without this you cannot determine where you want the business to go, and therefore, you certainly cannot forecast what you want to achieve financially. I know it is a hard thing to do. Once you have the Business Plan, you then need to create a Sales Forecast. It doesn’t need to be a complex document, but you need to ensure you record what financial target you want to reach annually and quarterly. Personally, when I set a sales forecast for my VA business, articulating what I wanted to earn, I was far more accountable and started achieving the figures. Whereas without, well….. can I avoid answering that one!
Fees and Charging
How do you feel about charging? There are some VAs who start out by not charging at all in order to gain experience, some will charge an extremely low hourly rate in order to be competitive then, you have some VAs charging higher rates – charging their worth. I never advise anyone to start out by giving their services for free UNLESS it is in exchange for someone’s service or product with the same or greater value, which is called bartering or a trade.
By charging a low rate with the view you will be seen as competitive will result in you offering your service for not much return and working long hours to achieve your desired income. You may possibly be seen as desperate, not offering quality, attract the wrong type of client who doesn’t value your service and may even pay you late and or not at all. It can also lead to resentment as time progresses.
Remember “Like attracts like.”
Your research is critical here to knowing your target clients and what the services they are likely to want/need and what they are prepared to pay.
If your niche is a specialist service you provide, then you could charge a different or premium price for that service.
Clients want a VA who values their own business and will create the right impression for their clients by wanting to make a difference. As I mentioned before, like attracts like!
Next week, we talk about Networking and how it doesn’t have to feel scary.
Amanda Johnson of Your Executive Secretary Limited is a licensed Trainer of the VACT. If you would like to book yourself on the next Taster Session in your area then please click here or if you would like to book a free 30 minute breakthrough call then click here.