At one point in our lives we have either sold a product or convinced someone to hire us for a particular service, either for money or any valuable trade.
In this day and age, the word entrepreneur has evolved into being just a person or entity who physically trades, or offers a service to a person. The internet has paved way for e-commerce, digital marketing and online jobs, which made most Filipinos to leave their employment and stay at home to create an enterprise of something that they have a creative knack of, or something that they just love to do.
This is true for VAs who chose to avoid the daily traffic travelling to and from work. Armed with a laptop (or desktop), a reliable internet connection and the skills from previous work experiences, the number of Filipino virtual assistants have increased in the last two to three years and have set shop in the comforts of their homes.
In their own right, Virtual Assistants are entrepreneurs. As opposed to being paid as an employee, VAs become individual contractors wherein a particular task is considered a Job Order that needs to be fulfilled. And in an unconventional way of providing a service to a clientele without physically being present, their output is being delivered through the wonders of the internet.
There are a lot of informative and self-help articles that will guide aspiring virtual assistants to determine whether or not they are fit to join the bandwagon – the Do’s in order to become successful. However, as we run the course of being entrepreneurial in the true sense of the word, let us talk about the DONT’s and correlate them with the VA industry.
Never give up early, and not without a fight.
All successful businesses have been established at a certain period prior to getting on top. Large scale enterprises like SM and National Bookstore have been in the retail industry pre and post WWII and are now a household name. That goes the same for a virtual assistant. We all start from somewhere, and if you stop just because it’s taking a while before you get your initial client or your next client after your last, then you have seen nothing yet. The VA Handbook states that you have to constantly market yourself in order to get clients, thus, your income can be erratic. Patience is indeed a virtue when it comes to this industry, but when it does pay-off, the reward skyrockets.
Mediocrity is a NO-NO.
Innovation is something that is important for an entrepreneur, as competition arise every second. If you are a VA, you have to make sure that you know more than just the basics. You cannot do things just how they are when you first learned them. Enroll in online classes that would add more value to your skill sets and to update yourself with current trends in order to be ahead of the competition. Lifelong learning is a major element for success.
Don’t ever think that you are indispensable.
Just as how there are an average of about 361,000 babies are born on a daily basis. more and more people are venturing into being a virtual assistant. And just as how there is an increase in numbers of rising entrepreneurs and startups, it is deem important that your deliverables will always exceed the expectations of your clientele, and maintain a network of clients so that you will never run out of jobs in case you have been let go.
Never burn bridges unless extremely necessary.
For a VA, your client is your boss, thus whatever the boss says, you follow. However, there are some instances that would require that your working relationship end. It is important for a virtual assistant to ensure that his or her clients will give a positive feedback about the work you have done. But in reality, there are some VA-client relationship that goes south, thus, a burned bridge. You should avoid to the best of your ability not to have an ugly break-up with your client as reviews matter. But what if your client would ask you to do something that is beyond your principles? Never worry, Forbes has listed five (5) special cases as to why you can end a relationship without going back and still feel good about it.
I can add a lot more to this list but in reality, the list doesn’t actually end. One thing is for sure – the DONT’s are as equally important to understand as that of the DOs. To be successful, you have to see things both ways, value every learning experience and enjoy the journey.
Are you ready to start your own enterprise as a Virtual Assistant? Do you have what it takes to be a VA-preneur? Click here and find how being a VA can change your life.
Contributor: Anne Marie Pedro