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Your Virtual Assistant

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What's something you do to boost happiness (oh, and productivity!)?
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Setting a great first impression as you convert your prospects to brand spanking new clients is everything, this experience sets the expectations and tone of your relationship moving forward. Yet for so many busy businesses, this is an area that tends to be done on the run …

** Did you remember to send invite Sam to the Dropbox folder you’ve(hopefully) set up?
** Are you following John on his social media profiles?
** Have you set up a recurring invoice and monthly report for Emily?
** Did you remind Frances you have an initial Zoom meeting next week and you need his questionnaire back before then?
** Is Paul loaded in your CRM, with the correct tags?

A lot of this can be automated, making the admin time-friendly and efficient. But if you don’t already have a process here’s how we do things here … hopefully it will help you to filter out those prospects who aren’t a good fit for you, wow those who are a good fit with your brand/efficiency/attention to detail, save you time (both now and in the future) and ultimately, delight your new client … not to mention make things easier for your team.

Remember too, the workflow can be customised to suit your business as can the tools. If at all possible use existing tools and software so this process integrates with the rest of your business systems … less is so often more!

Our onboarding process for new clients looks a little something like this:
This screenshot shows the two task templates we have set up in our project management system for new VA clients, we’ve split it into two templates (prospect and new client) as different members of the team are responsible for the two projects. I own the prospect, whereas the lead VA assigned owns the new client project.

Client Onboarding Process

We use a number of tools and systems throughout this and drilling down on the projects above have the notes, attached files and templates each key player needs for that task.

Automation Workflow (for VA prospect process)

* Prospect clicks on through from website or landing page to book a free discovery call [Wordpress, Instapage, Outlook Booking Calendar]
* The prospect is loaded into our project management system and CRM which triggers an email from Mailchimp asking them to fill out a survey prior to our chat [Proworkflow, Hubspot CRM, Zapier, Mailchimp, Survey Monkey]
* Open project in project management system using the project template shown in screenshot above [Proworkflow]
* . Hold free discovery call [Skype, Zoom, Phone, Messenger – prospect preference]
* Send out customised email sequence following discovery call [CRM], resulting in the prospect going ahead with us (hopefully). This sequence includes (in various emails):
- eBooks to help the client outsource the right way from the get-go
- Letter of engagement
- Comprehensive questionnaire (shared with the VA assigned)
- Initial invoice
- Calendar invite for initial strategy skype
- Close ‘client prospect’ project and open ‘new client’ project.

Since setting this up over a year ago we’ve been able to qualify who we work with and once they’re on board we have the information needed for background on the client. Both parties have had the opportunity during this process to be clear and transparent around expectations and new clients start their package with an understanding of smart-outsourcing and confidence around partnering with their new VA or OBM. Win – win!

We’ve customised versions of this process to work for a number of our clients, setting up the project template in Asana, Workflowmax, Basecamp … even an Excel spreadsheet in one case. I really hope there’s something you can use in this article, to wow your own new clients.

If you’d like to experience the workflow firsthand and explore how working with a virtual assistant or online business manager can help you grow your business, simply book your discovery call with me today:
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“Justine, you and your team are: straight forward, upfront, honest, trust worthy, capable, creative and highly productive – you make things happen. Whenever I come across somebody looking to become more productive and effective, who wants people on their team who add heads and hearts not just arms and legs – I always mention your service.”

Graeme Dodd – Alpine View Village


If you’ve set some challenging goals around business growth and work-life balance for 2018 now is the best time to think about how an online business manager or virtual assistant can partner with you to help reach those goals. We manage and/or work in your business, adding our skillset to yours while freeing you up to spend your time where you most add value.

Your VA specialises in making your systems more efficient, your marketing more effective and your brand more consistent, all while stepping up to take some of those routine tasks off your hands so you can achieve more.

If 2018 is the year you want to scale up your business – without scaling up your hours, click here to book your complementary discovery call with Justine.


"The support from Your VA has helped convert our fixed resource requirements into variable costs which means we spend money on resources only when we need to and have “Quality Resources on tap”. In business you rent accommodation, you rent a car, you rent transport providers; so why not rent administration and marketing skills when you need them? Starting with Your VA was easy. Customer experience is the key in every industry and every business these days. Our customer experience with Your VA has been excellent!”

Jag Makam – Zeco Energy

“Justine and her team have helped me out on more than one occasion when I wasn’t sure how we were going to meet deadlines. The turnaround in delivery is quick, the work done to a high standard and Justine is flexible and professional.”

Ellie ter Haar – NZ Pharma LP

“Justine and the team are a valuable support to our small business when we struggle to keep all of the balls in the air – they are always there to assist. The understanding of what we do is amazing and attention to detail is outstanding.”

Anne Warren – True Property Management

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Struggling for time? Set up well, heavily dosed with personality - marketing automation tools really can save your sanity while helping you to reach those goals. Anita Campbell
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How Customer Delight Helped Us Increase Revenue by 133%

At the beginning of 2017 we did a profit analysis on each of our packages, the results were surprising. Our entry level package (then 10 hours per month) was only grossing $100 per month. Why? Because those clients got the same unbillable added value features that our larger clients enjoyed, and adding value comes at a cost.

So we re-evaluated and instead of having 10, 20 and 40 hour packages moved to 30, 60 and an OBM service. More hours meant we could have more of an impact across their business (becoming strategic partners as well as task doers), make more improvements to their work-life balance and ultimately had a happier team and clients.

That said, the transition wasn’t easy. Not initially.

PROBLEM: Some of our smaller clients didn’t have a need for more hours, their business wasn’t there yet.

SOLUTION: Use our existing relationship to transition (most of) these clients from 10 and 20 hours to 30.

The How To Part:

** Be constantly thinking about how you can delight your clients and add value for them. Some ideas:
- Send them a random act of kindness or freebie at their busiest time, something like a free coffee voucher with a witty comment like “When life gets busy get coffee”
- Spend some time looking for an article, resource, app or industry news which you think they’d be interested in. Email this link to them with a quick note on why you think it would be of interest.
- Know what they personally are interested in. Fishing? Maybe send them a fishing magazine.
- Pick up the phone or send them a text just to say “Hi, how’s your day going?”
- Send them a thank you card, in the post!

** Resolve complaints with grace and speed. Thank your client (if applicable) for bringing the issue to your attention and let them know the changes you’ve put in place to prevent the same mistake occurring in the future.
** Keep your clients involved in change. In this case I sent out a newsletter stating we’ve crunched some numbers, looked hard at the reasons why we are in business (know your WHY!), talked to our team and held one-on-ones with a number of clients. As a result, rather than being a VA company who does what we’re told, we want to be your partners across your business. By increasing hours in packages, changing some of the features of our packages, we can now do this, and we’ll be in touch with each of you individually in the next 2 weeks.

Some transitioned immediately, we’d built the trust in our relationship already so they knew we talk the talk. Some were never going to be interested, I’d done my VA homework and did handovers with another VA I respect and was confident these clients would be happy with. The balance, we had one-on-ones and came up with a plan to get their business to the point where our new packages were viable. We set goals for revenue, put in a timeline and strategy to meet those goals – and for all but 1 client, within three months we’re making big changes for them under the new model. The last client took longer – but we got there.

To recap; delight your existing customers (any way you can, constantly), be transparent and show them the value in an up-sell, finally work with them to make the transition (and be flexible). This exercise increased our revenue from Jan to November 2016 t0 2017 by 133% (profit increase isn’t quite so healthy but that’s another post!)

So before you put all your efforts into lead attraction, take a look at your existing clients. What could you do to upsell across your services, tweak your existing service or create a new service to add value for your clients.

If you’d like to be delighted with a partner working with you to increase your own revenue, let’s chat:

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The holiday season is not the time to take a social media vacation. via Entrepreneur
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Are you a hands-off entrepreneur?
Are You A Hands-Off Entrepreneur? What If ….

Are you a hands-off entrepreneur, or does the very thought make you shudder?

I had an initial strategy meeting with a new online business manager client this week, we discussed his goals for 2018 and derived a ‘what if’ scenario. My client (let’s call him Rufus!) has definitely not been hands-off. Like most entrepreneurs his business has revolved around him and the decision to take on an online business manager was a big step, but one that helps him realise his dreams of scalability and rapid growth.

So … the ‘what if’s’.

We brainstormed a wish list of how his life would change if he truly became a hands-off entrepreneur. They included:

* By concentrating on creating content for his subscription based membership, he could meet deadlines and have the headspace to submerge himself in the creative process – no distractions.

* If he wanted to take a spur of the moment holiday or long weekend, he could. If he wanted to go on a school trip with his daughter, he could.

* He’d spend more time at the strategic level of his business with time for consistent BD (thus fast-tracking his growth).

* Income would increase, not his hours – because he’d be outsourcing all operational aspects of his business.

* He’d have a better handle on his business as a whole due to dashboard management reports – easing his mind while transitioning to hands-off.
* There would be a better company culture as his staff are empowered with more responsibility while more appreciated by a less-stressed Rufus.

These were the main points he wanted to drive change for, and we’ve established some SMART goals and strategies to help realise these next year. Rufus was initially worried about losing control of his business, but with management level reporting and good communication his control actually improved once not micro-managing.

It was also a brilliant strategy meeting for me, often by listening to challenges our clients are going through (and just as important, the dreams they want to achieve), it gets me thinking.

Above we’ve listed some of the WHY to being a hands-off entrepreneur, for ways you can achieve this I’ve included some resources on the HOW below:

* Partner with us (duh!), we’ll use processes, strategy and (outstanding) support system so you feel comfortable and still in control while transitioning to hands-off.
* Mandi Ellefson of The Hands-Off CEO has some great articles on how to recover hours you can then re-invest back into growing your company.
* The Suitcase Entrepreneur is full of resources helping you automate and systemise your business to give you more time, more money and ultimately, more freedom.
* Michael Hyatt’s ‘Lead to Win’ podcast will motivate, educate and keep you on the straight and narrow!
* The guru of outsourcing, Chris Ducker has a treasure trove of resources in his blog.

What’s your wishlist looking like for next year? In a perfect world, what will your days look like … and what needs to happen for you to achieve this?

Here’s to an amazing and transformational 2018 … for you, for Rufus … and for me too!
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