Motivational BackgroundAre you a virtual assistant, online business manager, graphic designer, web designer, copywriter, etc… struggling to build a successful business that allows you to provide a service you love AND the financial support you need to live?

If you just answered yes, you need to PRINT this article as I share 5 Steps to Building a Successful Implementation Business.

The reason I chose the word ‘steps’ instead of keys, tips or alike to express how to make your business successful, is because I want you to think about or picture the actual up leveling that takes place at each step I mention.  Ask yourself these 3 questions:  “What is required of you?”,  “What is required of the business?”,  “What is required of your process?”  to be successful at each step.

Step #1 – The Mindset

The first step to ensuring you are building a successful implementation business is ensuring you have the right mindset around your business.  I talk to hundreds of implementers a year and am always surprised when they treat their business more like ‘extra’ income or a hobby rather than an operational business.  How you see your business will be the extent of how others will see it, both clients and team.  Your mindset about your business will determine how much money you make, how quickly it grows, what type of clients you attract, etc… What is your mindset about your business determining for you?

If you see your business as an extension of yourself then you will only create what you can see in yourself.  But if you have the mindset that your business is the result of an executed skill set meeting an in demand need,  well then, your business can be anything you desire it to be (regardless how you think or see yourself.)  This is a huge mindset shift because many of us get so caught up in what we do or do not see in ourselves and that limits how we see our businesses.  Set your mind on being a business owner not a service provider.  The service is the product your business sales…

Step #2 – The Model

I cannot tell you how many implementation businesses are trying to build their 1:1 service based business on a 1 to many model.  This simply does not work.  Your model is not the same as what 90% of the business coaches are teaching on how to build a business online.  As an implementer you provide a 1:1 service (even if it is your team who is providing the service this is still the model.) The model that fits a service provider is different than a passive income model (think product based sales) or a leveraged income model (masterminds or mentorships), instead the way to successfully build an implementation model is on systems, processes and proven result based initiatives.

If you want to get  out of the day to day business operations of 1:1 service required of an implementation business you will need to hire someone to provide that service.  Therefore you will need a solid process structure in place for that person to easily follow and provide the same result you have to your clients.   Skip this step and you will work 24/7… develop this step into mastery and there is no limit to what you can build in your business.

Step #3 – The Mastery

Once you have settled on your mindset and your model the MASTERY is where success actually begins to become a reality.  In mastery you learn to manage the time, effort and result of every aspect of your service.  With mastery comes the ability to train others, create solid workable processes, streamline systems or automation to how you deliver your services.  It will allow you to see what is coming and have a better grasp on the ‘potential’ unknowns that slow down production.  With mastery you become a better communicator of both your skills and what is needed to be successful in a given project.  There is a greater since of confidence that lends to you being able to charge more, promise more and produce more.

As you master your craft you will no longer be an implementer but instead a problem solver, the one who generates solutions rather than simply executing tasks.

Step #4 – The Marketing

Time and time again I speak with Virtual Assistants who essentially are having to ‘start’ over… either they have worked with the same clients for a long time and now need to take on new clients or they are new to being a VA and need to take on new clients. Either way the same thing comes out:  I have never had to market myself.  But the truth is if you want to build a business with any longevity at all you will need to master this skill of marketing your services as quick as possible. Again, this does not have to be done the same way as other business models.  You don’t always need to grow a list, but you do need to keep your site up to date and with the most up to date templates.  You don’t need a blog, but you do need solid copy on your site that intrigues the prospect client and shows you know what you are talking about.

Think about your web presence like this… if you were going to hire a housekeeper and went to their house and it was a mess or even less than your expectation would you have them come and clean your house?  Your clients web presence is their house and many times as implementer’s we are the ones who keep it clean, tidy, in good running order… they need to see that from your web presence as well.  Not only your website but also your social media presence is being considered by every prospective client.  IF you are complaining how you have so much on your plate you don’t know how you are going to get through the day, then a prospective client takes a peak at your facebook post, you just lost a client. Could be that was the most IDEAL one you have been hoping for…

Step #5 – The Money

Ahhh the money conversation… seems as implementers we tend to really avoid this aspect of business.  We either don’t charge enough, don’t bother to even bill (invoice) or inflate our value, not giving the client what we promised.  I hear every angle of the money issues from both sides.  This is what I know to be true… if you do what you say you are going to do you can charge what you believe it is worth and no one will ever question you.  If you believe you are charging more than what your service is worth everyone will question you (as you are out of integrity with yourself) or if you charge more than what you deliver on, there will always be a money problem at hand.

The truth is everyone has money issues at some level, we do, they do, everyone does.  Now what to do with it is the question.  If you don’t figure this out you will never really make any money in your business.  If you don’t overcome this issue you will continue to fall in it’s traps.  So what to do?

Make a plan is my answer… know exactly what you need to run your business (include paying yourself), know what you desire beyond your need, come to terms with what you are willing to do to make that money, then do the work and GET PAID.  Ensure you have a solid contract in place with clear expectations of payment (how much, when to be paid by, etc…), then do the work and send the invoice (if you are paid in the rears) or require payment before you do the work.

It really is that easy… but if you see it as something else, give it an emotional weight, or allow it to revolve around YOU and not the service you provide. Then there can and will be breakdowns in your ability to both generate and collect money.

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Don’t create info products!

by Tina on February 4, 2015

in Info Products

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New Habits for the New Year

by Tiffany on January 14, 2015

in Life & Such

Inspirational quote by ancient Greek philosopher AristotleI am a HUGE goal gal!  I believe the only way to truly stay the course of success is to set goals, long term, short term, attainable and a bit unattainable (whats the old saying if you shoot for the moon and fail at least you land among the stars ;-)  But for this New Year I decided resolutions would not be the plan for me this time around.  Sometimes getting so focused on the future robs us a bit of the present, right now, carpe diem, so with that in mind I decided to set new habits for the New Year rather resolutions, goals, ect… As my habits are mostly business related I decided to share them with you.

Habit #1 – Stop Multi-Tasking!

Having worked online now for the past 6 years I have to say a terrible habit I adopted along the way was one in which I spend a chunk of my day jumping from tab to tab, from conversation to conversation, from system to system.  Well I have decided this is not the most productive way to spend my time.  As well, I am truly convinced this is absolutely the WORST way to create exceptional quality work.  Sure I can get things done.. I do get a lot of things done, but is it the best I can do?  Am I truly giving my absolute best to the task in front of me when it is sharing the brain space and screen space with potentially 3, 4, 10 other things?  I think not!  So I have a plan ;-)

I will be honest, I do not know if I will succeed in this habit or if it is even a realistic expectation but if I can get even a small level in increased quality from my efforts I feel it will be a win!

Habit #2 – Sit Up Straight In My Chair

The truth is I spend about 8 hours a day at my computer.  I have a wonderful Herman Miller chair with ideal positioning etc.. yet if I do not purpose myself to sit up straight and not slump my back KILLS me!  This might be a bit too much TMI but hey, I am in a sharing mood ;-)

So by sitting up and having better posture I hope to ‘feel’ a bit better and ward off some of the symptoms of poor posture – backache, headache, shoulder ache… you get the picture.  Seriously I am not a whiner, but lately I have had to whine about being in pain and that just doesn’t work for me, so I will sit up straight on purpose and enjoy the benefits of proper posture!

Habit #3 – Minimize Social Media

Geeze.. I don’t know when it happened but all of a sudden I found myself being ‘Betty Busybody”, keeping up with everyone, everything!  Well enough is a enough.. I really don’t need to know what my friends kids are doing at the dinner table, what political rant folks are on or how many cute animals can fall asleep standing up.  So new habit is check family friend social media for 15 min in the morning and 15 min in the evening – done!  Work social media I will connect with during the day at a scheduled time as to ensure I am not multi-tasking the check in.. lol see Habit #1.

Habit #4 – Eat Whole Foods – Drink More Water

Do I need to lose 30lbs.. I wont lie it wouldn’t hurt my bathing suit shopping if I did ;-)  But the reality, I don’t really care that much about my weight, however, I do care about eating whole foods.  I want food that has actual nutritional value and will fuel my brain and my body to feel good and enjoy my existence.  So not eating whole foods to lose weight, not interested in setting some never gonna reach, already over it ‘health’ goal.  I just simply want to eat whole foods.  Preferably if and when I can they will be organic.

Secondly to this habit is drinking more water.  I love water, unfortunately I get sucked into what I am doing most days and totally forget to go refill my water bottle (am I the only one?) So I am setting a timer that will remind me to go fill my water bottle and enjoy more water this year.  Whoo hoo… hydration, you would be surprised at how much better you will feel when fully hydrated!

Habit #5 – Finish the Task at Hand

Most of the stress I carry is because I have unfinished pieces of projects or tasks all around me.  This little bad habit is a combination of multi-tasking and being on and off calls all day.  So I tend to start things and generally get them functioning enough to pass along to a team mate but not totally, 100% closed out finished.  This is highly annoying to me and I do not enjoy this in my life at all at this point. So I am instilling a habit of completing all tasks throughout a day.  What this means for me is if I start a task and to hop on the phone for a call that I do not leave my office that evening until I have completed it.  I am hoping this will train me to only start the tasks that I know I can complete and now that I am no longer multi-tasking I will complete it will a much higher level of quality and attention.. yay me!

I must admit my new habits for the New Year are a bit random, but they are what will hopefully meet my very simple goal of 2015:  Feel my best, do my best ;-)

Curious… are you tackling any new habits this year?  Share below…

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Avoid Burnout and Hire Early

by Tina on January 7, 2015

in For OBMs

outsourceAs virtual support professionals we don’t always give ourselves permission to expand.  We think we have to do it all… often because the way we have our business set up requires for us to be the one to do everything.

When I opened my VA business almost 6 years ago now, I hit the learning curve with full gusto.  Creating an almost impossible pace in which to sustain a healthy work/life balance.  I was up early and to bed late.  After all, I had to get the work done AND I was kinda in the learn as you go, so there wasn’t much room for down time.  Unfortunately, once I passed the learning curve and begin to move into a bit of mastery, completed the Online Business Manager Certification Training and began working as an OBM I kept that same pace.  Somehow I had convinced myself that working 12 – 14 hours a day was the only way I would be able to keep up with everything.  That was a lie!  But there did come a point when I needed help, I would love to tell you that I jumped right out there and grabbed it when I needed it, but that is not the truth.  The truth is I hit burnout… big time.  It almost cost me my business as well as my relationship with all of YOU! I almost quit… so my words of wisdom from this experience is simply:  Avoid Burnout and Hire Early!!

I know what you are thinking… “I can’t afford to hire anyone”,  “I don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s work”,  “I don’t have time to train anyone I can barely run and pee now”, “I don’t know anyone to hire”…

Okay so you may not be thinking that, but those are the thoughts I was having when I hit burnout and realized my only hope was to hire someone.

Hey Tiffany “Avoid burnout and hire early!” If only someone had told me that I could, that I should, that it was the best next step… maybe they did and I just didn’t listen (that is always possible.. I am a bit headstrong), had I done so though it would have saved me so much time, money and precious hours of sleep!

I know that the prospect of hiring your own assistant can be a bit scary, even seem impossible.  But if you want to truly serve your clients at the highest level and continue to generate a revenue that supports your personal goals, you may need to hire someone to help implement the tasks that you have out grown or that can easily be processed and accomplished by a new person.  For me these where all of the recurring tasks that my clients needed each week.  Tasks that truly took no thought and just simply needed to be done the same way every week ie:  sending reminders for programs or posting recordings.

You would be amazed at what 10 hrs a month of recurring tasks off your plate could create for you… sanity and/or sleep, time with your family, a new client, higher quality work in other areas, etc… Once these tasks come off your plate (and get out of your mind, so you don’t have to carry the burden of there execution) you are able to regain your focus.  Do the work that is truly needed by you and only you, create balance back in your life and allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of building your business while assist in building your clients.

When I hired my first person to work with me… truly I had hit that stage of burnout that you either fight or flee… and although everything in me wanted to flee, I chose to fight.  My first step was to get my own VA and train her.  How did I do this… well I looked around my life and I basically thought “who is in my life right now that

a) has a much higher potential then they are offering themselves?

b) that I want to spend a lot more time with than I do right now?

c) is super detailed and inquisitive (because I am so lacking in detail I knew I needed this person to be able to save my butt with details)?”

Lo and behold the person was right there already in my life.   Can I just say, hiring her was one of the very best decisions I made for my business.  She now has her own full practice VA business and is still to this day mine and now Tina’s right hand.

Sure it was a slow start… I think I only paid her like $200 a month when we got started as I didn’t have a lot to offer.. but those where the first 10 hours to my freedom!

So this is me saying :  HEY (INSERT YOUR NAME HERE) “avoid burnout and hire early!”

Need help with this?  Check out our Team Based Business Training here:


You decide!This is the time of year to layout the PLAN, to determine the strategy, to write it all and check it twice… to find out if you are naughty or nice… sorry a bit caught up in the moment, well kinda.  See what I want you to know is this:  ultimately YOU ARE SANTA and YOU get to DECIDE on the gift that your business is to your life!

You get to decide who you work with, ideal clients or just folks who can pay an invoice.  Businesses that you are strongly passionate about their messages or work that ultimately you love doing.  However, you want it you are Santa and YOU get to decide

You get to decide if you want to work a few hours a week or a full time position, if you want to work nights (because you are bit of a night owl and everything flows better after 9pm) or you want to work early mornings and enjoy the sunrises.  YOU are Santa and YOU get to decide.

You get to decide if you want to work from the couch in your PJ’s or a home office in sweats… if you want to work in an office building or at Starbucks or if you want to work at each of those places different days of the week (or each, everyday of the week) YOU are Santa and YOU get to decide.

You get to decide if you want to build websites, submit articles, manage launches or oversee projects, if you wan to spend 4 hours a day answering emails or making sales calls… the good news is YOU are Santa and YOU get to decide!

See when it comes to the GIFT of your business, you and only you get to chart the coarse and make the decisions.  Too many times I have conversations with virtual support professionals who simply are NOT enjoying the business they have created, it is not a gift to them but instead a burden they carry.  One of the first things they learn with working with us is ultimately it is your decision how you work, who you work with and the work you choose to do.  I wanted to give you permission today to make the decision to have the business you truly want to have.  To set the terms on your desires and too pursue the clients, hours, work you love and want to do.

So if Santa gets to choose the gifts to bring the boys and girls, then just know for your business YOU ARE SANTA and YOU GET TO DECIDE!  

So go.. make your decision and enjoy the benefits of this beautiful gift you have given yourself called:  Being an Online Business Manager, YOUR WAY on YOUR TERMS!


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