You’ve done it! You put in your two week notice to that back breaking corporate job and are now working full time online. (Happy dance! Happy dance!)
You have gone through Esther Inman’s 90 Day VA program and are officially your own boss! Gone are the days of micro managers, rushing from meetings to meetings, stressing over sick days and losing out on vacation time.
As you begin working online, you are flooded with projects and clients. Yet, the more work that comes in, the more money seems to go out.
What’s the deal?
You did not get into this laptop lifestyle to work more and get paid less. You may not be aware that there are things you are doing that are wasting time and money. Check out these 5 strategies for working less and making more as a Virtual Assistant.
1. Avoid Scope Creep and Be Honest
Even the sound of the phrase, “scope creep” can run goosebumps up your arm. Scope creep is the dreaded thing that wastes money, time and satisfaction on projects when conditions are not originally stated.
Simply put, scope creep occurs when deliverables of a project expand. This can happen intentionally and unintentionally for many reasons, but ultimately can lead to unlimited revisions (aka your time), depletion of budget (both yours and your clients) and extended or unmet deadlines.
Nip scope creep in the butt, RIGHT AWAY!
Before you begin any projects, be honest with yourself and your client. Little requests can add up! Be upfront and prepared for expanded proposals by framing your responses around these two replies:
- “(The new request) is going to have (this specific) impact on time/budget.”
- “Let’s take a look at the priorities… Can we replace (this priority) with (that priority)?”
2. Outline Your Statement of Work Right Away
You are so excited to start working online remotely with new clients that you jump right into it. Fast forward a week or two and you are all over the place, unorganized, working additional hours and stressed to the MAX.
In order to make more money while working less, you need to outline your statement of work first and foremost! Everyone involved needs to have clarity and a visibly defined agenda with deliverables set.
The best way to outline your statement of work is by following these two steps:
- Lay out what is involved in your statement of work. The more transparent you are with your client in the beginning, the more equipped you will be to handle any bumps in the road.
- Define what is not involved in your statement of work. The more upfront and authentic you are from the beginning, the quicker you will be able to save yourself from scope creep in the future.
Tip: Do not give any kind of a pricing quote unless you have ALL the details ironed out first.
3. Factor Your Time or Work
Think you can live off your profit margins? Sorry, no can do. You need to put money into your bank account every month and pay yourself. (GASP!)
If you are not factoring in your time for the work you are doing, you will run on the hamster wheel of less money with more work. You need to run a cash-only online business and stop throwing everything to your credit cards in order to succeed.
Expenses can add up quickly when you own your own business. Get paid what you are worth. (And you are worth a heck of a lot more than you think!)
4. Up Your Rates
Believe it or not, it is normal to raise your rates every 6 months. Every business (online or not) will reach a point where they must grow or remain stagnant. When you find yourself turning away work because you have reached max capacity, it is time to up your rates.
- Hourly: You bill for every hour that you work.
- Retainer: A retainer is set up on a per-period basis such as monthly or bi-weekly and has a set amount of hours earmarked for your work.
- Project-based: A lot of web or graphic designers work on a project based pricing module where they offer set packages and charge a fixed price for their services.
- Task-based: Similar to Project-based pricing but for smaller tasks performed.
You do not want this passion of working online to turn into resentment because you are drowning in work and not seeing your bank account go up.
BONUS: Education provides value!
More often than not, clients will view education or certifications as an added bonus. The more you know, the more diverse your skills and the more money you can be charging.
5. Be Aware of Your Mindset or Get a Mentor
Your mind is so powerful. But your brain can only fathom what you allow it to. A bad habit that can kill a person’s dreams is this cycle of negativity based on how they were raised, the last few years of their life, what they see on TV as “normal” etc.
According to Money Mindset Mentor, Brie Sodano, “We have 3 primary resources in our life: our time, money and mental energy. If you add time and mental energy together, you get money if you direct it in an income-accumulating way.”
Our internal voice tells us, “You can’t do this,” “You are only worth X-amount” etc. and this harms of confidence.
Need help with money, debt or business? Check out this interview with Brie Sodano where she walks through the cycles and habits of unhealthy money behaviors. Mentors are a wonderful outlet to have when you are growing your business.
A lot of people are unsure about working online because they are not confident and cannot see their potential of success. Esther Inman, CEO of Virtual Assistant Internship’s 90 Day VA program helps you build your skills to become more confident in your professional pursuit to land online jobs!
If you have already taken the 90 Day VA skills-training program and need support to scale and expand your business, Esther offers a group coaching program called Propel. Propel is designed to help you scale your online business into six figures (and beyond!) Apply to the application only online course, Propel today!
“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.” (Denis Waitley)
Remember to treasure your journey and celebrate all the education and time you have put into becoming a virtual assistant. Now it is time to take hold of your life by working less and making more!
Still unsure and in doubt?
Sign up for the 90 Day VA free intro class to see if it’s right for you.
Created by CEO and Founder, Esther Inman, military wife, mother, online educator, and world traveler extraordinaire she created this program to help women all over the world become a better version of themselves.
This program is an online self-paced program that will help you gain and expand your VA skills, experience, mentorship, and the ability to work on an actual portfolio.
Check out the FREE CLASS where we talk you through the most important steps. If you feel you are ready to take the lead in your life and join the world of remote workers, check out our 90 DAY VA program!
About the Author:
Tori is a working mama that is excited to take her VA career live after she completes 90 Day VA. She enjoys social media, blogging, website design and management. Tori has worked in the technology, health and wellness as well as the beauty industry for the past 5 years helping small businesses evolve their digital footprints. Tori is a self-taught Adobe Cloud professional.
She holds a Bachelors Degree in Interactive Web Management and Marketing. She also has a Google Ads Search Certification. Passionate about helping others feel confident, she founded “that mama” a brand that celebrates every mom! (@iam_thatmama). When she isn’t working, Tori enjoys hanging out with her family – her hubby, 2 kids and their dog in Wisconsin. She likes anything fitness, fashion and she’s a big foodie!