Our final consideration for taking your VA practice to the next level is, Number Twelve: Put a Professional Foot Forward
I know some of you are not going to believe this, but for the first seven years I was in business, I got up every morning and put on business attire whether I had a meeting outside the office, or not. This may seem silly, but I believe it allowed me to walk the walk. If I wanted to be a business owner, an entrepreneur, I needed to look like one.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I work from home and many times am in my jammies or just jeans and a t-shirt, but that’s only since I can honestly say I have strong enough self-esteem to be able to project a positive professional persona without actually wearing the business attire.
To this day, my family always teases me because even at family functions, I’m very smartly dressed. Not a business suit, obviously, but clean, pressed, and well-dressed. No more jeans, cut-offs, and very seldom do I wear shorts, because I never know who I’m going to meet where, and how much of a business woman would I appear to be with no make-up, tattered jeans, and a halter top?
It really is about projecting a professional persona at all times. I even go so far as to smile before I pick up the phone – you’d be amazed at how many people compliment me on my telephone voicemail message. They tell me I ALWAYS sound so happy – who wouldn’t be, I’m a successful entrepreneur.
I met one of my best clients standing in line at the supermarket. I happened to still be wearing a name badge from an earlier event (I wear them sometimes even if I don’t have an event- because it’s a great way to open a dialog), and she asked me what a Virtual Assistant was. You just never know who you’re going to meet where, and you want to look the part of a successful business owner, even if you’re barely making ends meet.
Give it a try for the next 30-days. Get up every morning and dress as if you were heading out to meet the perfect prospect, and put a smile on your face and keep it there when you answer and converse on the phone. I even do that with my family – and my negative friends. It makes it very difficult for them to not think more positively.
I think you’ll find that you feel much more professional and successful ; if you dress for the part.
So these are twelve of the things that I have identified as the things that hold us back from creating the business of our dreams. Even if you only incorporate one or two of my suggestions into your business you will be building a strong and healthy business that will serve you for years to come.
As we have touched on previously, you are totally in charge of, and responsible for, everything that happens in your business. So what are your expectations? What do you hope to achieve? What do you do to stay current with the industry? Do you know or understand where the industry is headed?
Think big, this is not just about making a buck. It’s about leaving your mark not only as an entrepreneur, but as a VA and a part of the Virtual Assistance industry.
Jeannine Grich, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker and VA Business Coach, specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). Visit: http://www.VAbizcoach.com; or contact her at: http://vabizcoach.com/contact-us/.