With all the bumps in the economy these days, i’m hearing some buzz among online support folks (virtual assistants, online business managers and the like) along the lines of:
“If my client’s business is struggling – doesn’t that mean they’ll have to let me go?”
Au contraire! Your services are needed more than ever because of these challenges.
Now I am no economist – heck, I barely pay attention to the news at all, never read newspapers – but my take on how these challenges affect us small/home-based business owners is this:
We need to step it up a bit, take a good look at things, let go of what isn’t working and get creative with how we serve our markets.
I’m certainly not the only person saying this of course, this is the basis of alot of the business advice out there right now – and for good reason. Those who are adapting are growing, those who are resisting are stagnant and struggling.
But I do want to make this clear – this applies to us as virtual assistants, online business managers and virtual support folks as well.
I believe quite strongly that regardless of what we are hired for – be it customer service, to build a website or to full out manage the business – our intention is the same. We need to always be focused on how we are helping to grow our client’s business.
This is always important, but it even more so important these days.
If you find yourself in fear of ‘losing your clients’ or are seeing some of your clients struggling I want to ask you:
What are you doing to help grow your client’s business?
Let’s put on our thinking caps shall we? It may not be as hard to do as you think. A few ideas:
- If you take care of customer service you actually have a pretty unique perspective on the business. You are in direct contact with potential and existing clients. What are they asking about? What are they upset/annoyed with? Share this with your client – these can be clues to potential new revenue streams. Also, what about people who have inquired but not purchased – can you put together a follow-up plan to reach out to these people with some kind of special offer? Being on the “front line” of the business is a very powerful place to be, you can truly make an impact here.
- Look to streamline, simplify and cut the fat. Where is the business leaking money? Most businesses are, and being in the role of ‘doing’ you are most likely the one to see where alot of this is happening. What tools are being used in the business – are they all necessary? Is your client paying for stuff they aren’t even using? Is there perhaps a new tool/software on the market that might be better? What about processes – what are you (and other team members) doing that could perhaps be done better? Saving time that can be put towards other business-building activities. Come up with a plan to ‘plug the leaks’ and share with your client.
- What can you take off your client’s plate? Freeing them up to focus on new business building opportunities… We talk about this alot in the Online Business Manager Training – one of the best things we can do for our clients is take stuff off of their already full plates. Give your client a tap on the shoulder and say “hey, I noticed you are really busy… why don’t you let me take x, y, z off your hands? I’d love to help”. This is music to your client’s ears, let me assure you! Chances are they didn’t realize you could help with x, y, z or in many cases they are so on autopilot it never occurred to them to let it go. I can hear the sigh of relief from your clients already….
What else can you do to help grow your client’s businesses? Post your comments below…
And for the business owners reading this – don’t be shy in sending this to your team and/or having a discussion about it. Chances are they would love to step it up and see how they can help… they just might need a little nudge from you.