20 Things Learned: Be Flexible!

Lesson 6: Whilst a niche is good… be flexible!

This is especially important when you are starting out because all work is good work.

The most important thing you can have is a satisfied client – even if that client is another VA. You’re after testimonials. Testimonials are one of the best tools you have for the success of your business – and I don’t mean references from employers – and I have seen those on websites of VAs.

Being an employee is NOT the same thing as being a business owner. Once you have happy clients you get referrals and in my business about 98% of my new work comes from referrals.

You may know your niche but struggle to find clients in it. I’ve spoken to some new VAs in exactly this position and when I’ve asked them to tell me what that niche I’ve had difficulty understanding exactly what they mean! Perhaps they have defined their niche too narrowly. Or perhaps there are limited prospects in that particular niche.

So start doing other things in your skillset to build your experience and confidence. Subcontract. Volunteer. I’ve seen a few VAs close up pretty soon after they start their practices because of inflexibility. I’ve heard a few times: “This is what my practice does, this is the sort of work I want to do, and that is the ONLY sort of work I do”. Consequently they refuse clients who ask them can they offer something else – even though they have the skills for it.

So be flexible – even if it means charging a bit less for the other type of work. All work is good work when you are starting out.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com

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