Is your business ready for the summer?
It finally seems like the warm weather has appeared for most of us who have been waiting on summer.
Many of the kids are off school for the summer.
Maybe you are getting ready to go on vacation or head to the cottage on the weekends.
How does summer change the way you do business in July and August?
This is a question that a lot of new VAs don’t really know how to address.
Luckily here are a few suggestions that might help!
Don’t try to keep the status quo.
If you have kids underfoot for the next couple of months, don’t pretend that you don’t. Make sure they have activities in place when you need to work. Plan your work days so that you have focused times to be undisturbed, and focused times to spend with your family. Ensure that everyone is aware of the boundaries and hold everyone to them. You’ll get your work done, and you’ll have plenty of family time as well.
Advise your clients of your out of office time.
There is nothing wrong with changing your business hours at any time, but it’s common to move to summer hours if you like. Make sure your clients know well in advance if you will be out of the office more often than usual. Whether it’s a week or more of vacation time, or taking Fridays off, or simply working a shorter workday, you need to advise them, so they can adjust their work requests accordingly.
Meal planning can be a huge help.
Whether you have little ones who need breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or bigger kids who just need meals and snacks available, meal planning will be your best friend when there is more chaos than usual in your house. Try to not make meals during your business hours. If you can enlist the help of your family to get a week’s worth of meals ready ahead of time, that is amazing. If not, prep the night before for the next day.
Set up an outdoor office.
This is one of my favorite tips, kids or not! Rather than sitting in your office and feeling like you’d rather be outside when it’s nice out, set up an outdoor office that you can work from. You will have the best of both worlds. And maybe you can even jump in the pool in between writing blog posts!
Prepare to get help.
If you normally have a very busy VA practice, you might want to seek some help during the summer hours so that you can get more done, or so that you can take some time off. To prepare for this, make sure you have your procedures written out or checklists for anyone who helps you, so they do things the way you expect them to. Train someone properly if you will not be able to check in on them. It’s okay to take time off, but make sure your business is set up properly first, and everyone will be happy (you, your clients, and your helpers!).
If you need to find someone to help you then an IVAA rfp (request for proposal) will help you do that.
And of course, if you need to prepare for an income decrease, whether it’s because you have to pay to get help, or you are billing less, make sure you plan for that.
Either budget ahead of time so the revenue reduction doesn’t cause you stress. Or decrease your expenses accordingly to keep more of what you do have coming in.
Lots of people don’t feel too much like working when the weather is nice.
Let’s hope for enough rain days to get our work done, and enough sunny days for us to have a wonderful summer!
Tracey D’Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Tracey trains and mentors professional women and men who are brand new to the VA industry or who have been struggling to make their business successful. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to build and grow successful and profitable virtual businesses in the VA industry by implementing systems and smart principles. Contact Tracey for speaking engagements, group training or private coaching at www.yourvamentor.com.
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