When we open our VA business the intention is usually to find our own clients and work with them, by ourselves, as a contractor.
But sometimes the idea of becoming a subcontractor for someone else’s team comes along.
Perhaps we find networking more difficult than we thought.
Perhaps we are not fond of the sales part of being a business owner.
Perhaps we are looking to get more experience than we currently have.
Perhaps we only want to work part-time.
Whatever the reason, subcontracting is a good option for many Virtual Assistants.
While I usually recommend subcontracting for a short or fixed period of time only, there are many VAs who are happy to use this as their main business model (and that’s okay too!)
Some advantages to working on someone else’s team:
- Start work immediately
- Get experience
- Get exposure
- Learn new systems
- Learn how to manage multiple clients
- Decide what services you want to offer in your own business
But it’s important to not just be a task-doer in any position.
Here are my best tips for being a great subcontractor:
Treat the primary contractor as your client. By implementing a client-VA relationship with the primary contractor, you will build the skills necessary to work with your own clients, and you will also gain a lot more trust and respect from the VA whose team you are on.
Keep meticulous billing records – this is their business info as well as yours. The multi-VA business owner needs to be able to bill their clients at the end of each month, and your information is a very important piece of the profitability puzzle.
Learn their procedures and abide by them. When you are working with someone else, it is essential to do things their way, whether you would do the same in your own business or not.
Ask what the budget is for the time allowed on any task or project. This helps the communication procedure between you stay clear, and gives you the best expectation for what the task entails.
Work efficiently but not fast – your work should be final, the same as if submitting to a client. Don’t make the mistake that your multi-VA owner is there to check your work. You should make sure that you always complete things as though there was no middle-man.
Deliver your work on time. As with working with clients, under promise and overdeliver. Always do your best work and get it done on time, or early. When someone runs a VA team, there is a lot of people and task management.
The easier you can make everything on the VA you are working with, the better your relationship will be, and it can add up to more work for you.
Working with a team is a great way to build your business.
By making sure that you treat them as any other client, and being meticulous in communication and delivery will help you to get the experience you want and the stability that you need to build your confidence.
And maybe even build a team of your own someday!
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.