Kathy Colaiacovo, President
Welcome to the 2015 – A New Year a New You!
The focus of this issue today is Business Planning. Some people wonder – especially Virtual Assistants – "Do I Really Need a Business Plan" many wonder.
My answer is yes as long as you don't keep the creation of it as a crutch that keeps you from actually starting your business. From doing work.
Business plans are vital to business success because they turn the ideas in your head into plans on paper – into reality. Business plans make you think deeply about your business and services and turning them into something REAL.
A business plan will keep you focused with the business support activities you need to do -- the services/products you will offer, the type of client to market to, pricing, and then the supporting activities needed for your business. It's like listening to yourself the steps to make your business a success.
Writing a business plan is not an easy task. If you include the main parts, it takes a lot of thought, planning, thinking, rethinking, and making sure you have covered everything needed to succeed. (Forbes.com has a great article on the 10 parts to include in your business plan).
Keep the plan simple at first and add in more details later - whatever it takes to get it started. It will become a living document that you change and adjust as the business grows.
Look for other great advice from the articles in today's IVAAcast to help keep you on track to following through and achieving your business plans and goals as you seek to build your business.
Wishing you Virtual Success in 2015,
WORKING WITH A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
What Do You Really Want This Year?
By Tracey D'Aviero
With the new year upon us, it's a great time to reflect on our business from last year.
Did you earn as much money as you wanted to? Did you work with only great clients? Did you only do things you love to do? Or maybe you just want to be better organized!
If your answers are all 'yes', that's amazing! Great work!
Most of us will say no to at least one of these things. And that's where we need to make a plan to grow our business.
Business planning is one of those things that you either love or hate. But it's necessary, whether you want to do it or not!
It's extremely effective in helping you plot your path to success, and should be mapped out as much as possible.
At the beginning of the year, you want to think about your goals and put real action steps in place to achieve those goals.
Do you want more clients? What kind of clients do you want? What services will they buy from you? How will you find them and sign them? How much will they pay to work with you? Define some specific goals around how many clients you want to work with, and how much money that translates to. Then build a plan to go out and sign them.
Do you want more revenue? How do you charge your clients now? If you track your time as hourly, how do you bill them (please don't say by the minute … ugh!)? Can you move to retainers with clients? Can you expand your service offerings? Do you need to build/grow your team? Write it all down and do the math. You will probably find it's much easier than you expected to grow your revenue.
Do you want to change the services you offer? Have you gotten some new training that you want to implement? Or are you changing gears to bill by project or retainer? Or, do you want to get new training or experience and are looking to build a plan to implement those new services this year? Map it all out so you can see clearly what you are doing for clients now, and what you would prefer to do – and plan a strategy to bring those changes in.
Do you want to be better organized? Make a list of everything you are doing on a daily basis – like a journal. Don't leave anything out. Do this for a week and then look back to see how you are spending your time. What is working for you? What is not? What type of organizational system works for you? Is it online or pen and paper? There are so many ways that you can make small changes to your everyday routine (like scheduling social media time, timing when you pick up email, or even only taking scheduled phone calls) that can make you much more organized and definitely more productive. Identify your time suckers, or the things that you can do better, and just make one change at a time.
Business planning is simple when you break it down to the specific things you want to achieve. Pick something to work on and then start to develop your action steps to help you reach those goals. Get support or help if you don't know exactly how to figure out those steps. You don't have to know how to do it all – the plan is the starting block! Ask yourself what it is you really want, and then use your resources to make it happen!
To continue to stay successful you need to plan for the future of your business. You've heard it before here, it's the standard old '3Rs'. No not the old ones you may have heard in school:
Reading | wRiting | aRithmetic
We are talking: Rejuvenate | Reignite | Revitalize
Rejuvenate you and your business with time away, learning new skills.
Reignite and get the passion back in your business or discover what your passion is.
Revitalize you and your business - kick it up a notch.
Join us in Myrtle Beach from May 4th to 7th … for a little Beach time, Buddy time and lots of Business time!
Ok, enough of the alliterations! Check out IVAA Live summit website for all the action. We have an exciting line up of speakers on the website! There is something for every VA out there – we promise you will go home Rejuvenated after Reigniting your business and Revitalizing your life! Your Success makes us Smile… Join us and let's Do IT – Make 2015 the Banner year for your Virtual Business!
Take advantage of the Early Bird pricing and save yourself $100! Register before January 31st!
STAFF WRITER BIOS
Tracey D'Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Her mission is to provide education, inspiration and motivation to Virtual Assistants to help them build and grow successful businesses. She teaches teach them business and marketing skills and strategies, and mentors them as they implement those skills. Visit www.yourvamentor.com to learn about upcoming VA training programs and to pick up some great free resources.