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Nov
15

Houston, Are We Ready for Takeoff?

By

Pebbles Jacobo, All Things VA blogger

Asian Businesswoman Working From Home Using Mobile Phone

Asian Businesswoman Working From Home Using Mobile Phone

In this blog we have worked our way through necessary steps in setting up shop as a virtual assistant. We have progressed through assessing skills, business name creation, and business type development through developing resumes utilizing skills picked up through work and life experiences. Next up in this journey we will take a look at setting up systems. Having your systems in place before taking on clients is crucial, will reduce frustration, increase organization and leap-frog you ahead of other virtual assistants just setting up shop.

So, what do I mean by setting up your systems? Considering the following:

* How do you set up a contract with clients?

* Do you specifically outline what is expected within the working relationship?  If so, do you have a general format/template of your contracts set up?

* What is the standard time-frame of your contract?

* Do you have a probationary or introductory period with potential long term clients?

* Do you have certain policies or procedures which guide your business? If so, what are they?

These are just some examples of systems to set up before bringing on clients. For guidance in getting your business ready to take off, here are my suggestions for the questions posed above.

A search online will provide ample examples from which to develop your contract template. Whether or not to offer contracts is up to you, but my personal experience has shown that it is indeed a good idea. Not only do contracts serve to outline what is expected in your working relationship, but they also, when worded properly, protect you as the business owner. In all my contracts, as added protection for both parties involved, I include a Non-Disclosure Agreement clause. Protection should go in both directions.

With all new clients I want to know if we are a good fit, so I start all new clients off with a 4 week probationary period. In that time you should be able to judge if you and your client work well together. Remember, you are not in the business to work for just anyone who will hire you. You, as the business owner, have the option of turning away clients, too. In pairings where synergies are good, the probationary contract will be followed up with a three or six month contract, depending upon the client’s needs.

Your contract should outline payment details as well as policies and procedures specific to your company or services. Even guarantees should be included in your contract. Do you guarantee task completion within a specific amount of time? That would be something to outline in the contract.

As stated, setting your systems up BEFORE you take on clients will help to reduce possible headaches and increase your productivity.  Below I’ve included a link to download a contract example with many elements to be sure to include in your own contract template.

CONTRACT TEMPLATE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pebbles Jacobo is the owner of A&P Virtual Enterprises, http://apvirtualenterprises.com, which she, with the guidance of her husband, started when she began  working from home as a virtual assistant several years ago. As Content Manager of the leading Christian work-at-home site online, CWAHM.com, Pebbles found herself thoroughly intrigued and fascinated with the world of social media. Her love of social media has grown over the years and she now offers social media marketing, along with a host of services, to her clients, which include speakers, authors and entrepreneurs alike.   This article is free to publish as long as the bio remains.

 

Comments

  1. Write Mom says:

    On entrepreneurship…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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