Free Ways to Say Thank You to Your Virtual Assistant

thanks-Nov 27Your Virtual Assistant is an integral part of your business and if you are like me you couldn’t imagine your business without them. Many will talk about how they like to send little tokens of appreciation to their Virtual Assistant, and although very appreciated today I would like to share with you some simple ways to show your Virtual Assistant just how much you value them without having to spend a dime.

Given my years of experience as a Virtual Assistant any one of (or all of) these gestures from my client would have me wanting to continue doing a great job for them. A simple thank you or one of these gestures below meant more to me than anything because they symbolized that my client appreciated me and valued me.

See when your Virtual Assistant feels appreciated and valued then you stay on their “favourite” client list and that’s when the team magic really happens. Let’s get started with some ways to say THANKS.

Tell a friend. Referrals go a long way and your vote of confidence will mean a lot to your Virtual Assistant. A quick note … before you give a referral make sure you know exactly who your Virtual Assistant is looking to work with.
Have realistic timelines. Nothing bothers a Virtual Assistant more than clients who leave everything until the last minute and then expect them to drop everything for you.
Add more tasks or hours to your contract. Each Virtual Assistant has a desired number of hours they want or need to work in a month. It is so much easier for a Virtual Assistant to work with fewer clients so reward them by adding more time to your contract.
Notes of encouragement and thanks mean a lot. A simple thanks for doing this or you did a great job goes a long way. My personal favourite is I love working with you, you make my life so much easier.
Keep paying your bill in a timely manner. It is important to respect your Virtual Assistant by keeping your account with them current and making it easy for them to collect your payment is high on what makes an ideal client for many Virtual Assistant.
See them and treat them as an equal. Your Virtual Assistant is an important part of your team and brings something to the team no one else can. Acknowledge what they bring to the table and treat them as the important person they are. Respect their opinions and ask for their ideas.

Good luck and I would love to hear other ways you thank your Virtual Assistant! Join me over on my Facebook page and share your ideas of thanks!

It Happens When You Least Expect It ….

So for those of you that follow my blog, you know that I have been in a funk lately and was able to turn it around by setting new goals. At the same point I realized that I had been working too hard on my business (if that is even possible), but trying to move it in a direction that I really didn’t want to head. More importantly I was not getting the results I needed from those efforts. I realized it was time to start moving in a different direction and find a new focus!! Well …. you know the old saying “be careful what you wish for!!” …

I am happy to say that although my business looks nothing like I thought it would one year ago, it is a business that I am very proud of today. When I looked at my goals and reviewed what I really wanted (instead of what others expected) I was able to create a new picture for my business and the greatest thing is that picture is actually coming to fruition!!

In the last week I have signed 2 new clients I absolutely love and I have gained 2 new coaching clients. I realized that I absolutely love coaching and this is a focus that I want to work with in the next little while and an area of my business to grow. I think the key to that success has been letting go of what I perceived that everyone else expected from me and getting back to what I wanted in a business!! I lost the attitude that I had to be someone that others wanted me to be and realized I could just be me again!!

I look forward to each and every day and can’t wait to get into my office again … it is a new found love for both my business and my clients.

So the reason for this post is to allow you, my readers, to realize that you and only you can determine what your business goals are and what your vision for your business is!! As entrepreneurs we need to stop looking at everyone else and doing what others are doing or what we think others expect from us. I believe that once you create your own dream and vision you will be excited with the results!!

Four Little Letters Never Looked So Good!!!!

Well today some of my stress was released in the form of a little red sign that says “SOLD”. It is amazing the ways that we hold our stresses and I realized that this stress was effecting a number of areas in my life. I was exhausted, unable to concentrate and taking it out on those around me. One of my clients pointed out to me that I wasn’t my usual cheerful self.

As business owners it is very important that we try our hardest to not let our stresses effect our business – I know easier said than done. When we allow things to effect our business, it is hard to recover from the repercussions. Luckily the ways that I let this effect my business probably will not have a lasting effect (especially if I handle it right over the next few months), but I am still left to wonder what if …

What if I had followed up better with potential clients ….
What if I had spent some more time on social networking ….
What if I had gone to that networking event that I passed on ….

So rather than linger on the what ifs, I am going to turn them into new goals for my business …

I will work on better follow up and follow up with each new lead within 48 hours!
I will try to post at least 3 times on my blog and visit the forums at least weekly!
I will attend at least one extra networking event monthly outside the events I am already attending!

As business owners it is important that we know our faults and recognize when we make mistakes, but even more importantly we must take those mistakes and make them into lessons. Once we realize how not to make the same mistakes again, we will be on the road to creating a thriving business!!

Thankful Thursdays … You Tell Me

We all have a great deal to be thankful about, so what are you most thankful for? I would be happy to post your thankful thursday message with a link back to your web site. Just send your message to yvonne@ableva.com and I will be sure to post it here.

In the interim, today I am thankful for all the job and career experiences (both good and bad) that have led me to where I am today. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I believe that I was meant to start my own business. I was able to do that because of all the things I learned in the “corporate” world and through each and every one of the jobs that I held. Each job was filled with practical and personal growth experiences that have made me who I am today.

Some of my prior experiences have taught me to be strong and I am not going to say I haven’t learned really good lessons along the way through trial and error … I believe it is these experiences that allow me to have such a strong foundation to my business and will allow me to continue to have a successful and thriving business.

Thank you Readers

Sometimes I feel like I am simply writing to no one, which is okay too, but I know that there are several out there that are reading what I am writing and are even subscribing to my blog!! So thank you, thank you, thank you … it is for you that I try diligently to write each and every day.

I didn’t think I would enjoy blogging as much as I have, but somehow I got the bug!!! I am excited to have a place to put my thoughts, feelings and opinions and more importantly to have someone that cares to “hear” what I am saying.

So again, thank you and I hope you find value with what I am saying. Please feel free to email me anytime (or post a comment here) on topics or information that you would like to see me write about that would help you in creating a thriving business. My email address is yvonne@ableva.com

Notable Networker

Today at my BNI (Business Networkers International) meeting I was honored by being presented with a notable networker award. I was very touched by this presentation and I must say it was a huge reminder as to what it means to be a notable networker.

Within my group I am definitely not the biggest referrer, but each and every referral that I give is well thought out and I work hard to get those referrals. I have made it a commitment to meet with each of the members of my group and learn as much as I can about their businesses. I know exactly who their ideal client is and I work hard to find them. When I do find them I just love how putting them in touch with someone that can help them makes me feel. It truly aspires to the BNI motto … “Givers Gain”.

I have learned a great deal about networking and referral marketing through my BNI membership and for this I am truly thankful because I think so many of us network in order to get business and stand around waiting for the referrals rather than working to become a good networker.

I’m So Stubborn!!

I don’t know where I would be in business without a supportive family. I truly am thankful to my parents for every lesson they taught me in life … the most important one to never, ever give up. My mother used to say I was so stubborn and would try and try even when faced with an impossible situation to make something happen.

It is that stubbornness that has gotten me through some rough times personally and professionally. I am the type of person that you don’t ever say something can’t be done, because I will prove to you it can!! The people closest to me know better than to think I can’t do something because once I set my mind to something I will make it happen.

I personally think this is a very good quality to have in a business owner and I am so glad to possess it. My stubbornness truly helps me through the ups and downs in business and when I am having a rough day I always hear that little voice on my shoulder saying “You can do it, don’t give up!!”

Happy Anniversary to Me!!

Well it’s hard to believe, but as of today I have officially been in business for myself for 2 years!!!!! I can’t believe how much I have accomplished in the past two years and it just goes to show that all those things that I am a huge advocate of do work … goal setting, time management, scheduling, believing in yourself and accountability partners (to name a few).

Today I would like to thank those that I feel have helped me the most in getting to where I am today:

My REV family, my CVAN family and my VANA family.

My wonderful, wonderful coaches including Becki and Dale Noles, Heather Jacobson and Chris Papastamos – you all helped me at different times to learn to believe in myself and realize I could meet my dreams.

My family and friends (especially my virtual friends).

My accountability partners Sally and Patty

My VA team – all those subcontractors that have helped me with a project in the past.

My Small Business Advisor, Gord.

and last, but certainly not least, and definitely most importantly my wonderful, wonderful Clients

I Was Nominated!!

Today I am thankful that my colleagues have nominated me for the Janet Jordan Achievement Award. I was notified on Sunday by the IVAD (International Virtual Assistant Day) Committee and was so honored to have been nominated. This international award is given in recognition of a Virtual Assistant that has achieved tremendous success in the Virtual Assistant industry during the first five years of business.

I would also like to say congratulations to all the other nominees as I am aware that the committee will have a tough decision ahead of them. If you would like more information about the Janet Jordan award or about the Online International Virtual Assistants Convention please visit their site.

Thank Goodness for Vacations

Well … I am back from a much needed vacation, only problem is that as a small business owner when no one is “watching” out for you the workload that one returns to is quite large!! However, I think I am finally seeing the other side of things.

Today at my BNI meeting, the Business Coach that is a member talked about the importance of having a target market and a niche and I couldn’t agree more. During my vacation I took the time to really review my business, my goals and my plans. I realized that it was time to make a few changes which I am going to implement.

Although vacations are meant as a period of rest, they can be used as something quite different too … a period of reflection. Keep in mind that a vacation or period of rest can be whatever you make it even if it is just a day off, a weekend off or a few hours to recharge your batteries and reflect.

So next time you are feeling close to “burnout” take some time to yourself and reflect … you will be amazed at the results!!