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CEO – Are You Acting Like One?

CEO – Are You Acting Like One?

Acting Like the CEO in Your Business?

 

(This post is written with humor and fact. You decide which is which.)

 

Are you running your VA business as a business? Most of us would answer ‘yes’ to this question right away. If you’re NOT you should ask yourself why you aren’t. Aren’t you the CEO?

We get up every morning and we do our client work. We bill our clients once a month usually, sometimes they pay for their service up front.

But that’s not the whole scope of actually running a business. (It’s not?)

It’s a big part of it, of course, but there is much more.

So How Do YOU Act Like a CEO?

Whether your only income is coming from your VA business, or you are working a job and launching or running your VA business part-time, are you devoting your full attention to the details of building a successful business? (I can hear you mumbling under your breath!)

Do you have a daily plan of action that helps you move your business in a profitable direction? Or do you just get up every day and do client work?

A business mentor or consultant might call a business that you are not giving your full attention to, a hobby.  (I can’t believe she just said that out loud!!)

It’s not fun to hear, but it might be the truth. Is it true for you? hummmm?

When you seek help to build or grow your business, the first thing your mentor will do is take a quick assessment of your mindset as the owner of your VA business.

If you don’t have the right mindset, no amount of planning or grunt work you do will help you find success.  (But I want to be a success!)

Get Into Your Groove

Consider these questions right here:

  1. Do you know exactly how much money your business is bringing in each month?
  2. Do you know how much money is going out each month?
  3. Do you have a business plan and/or marketing plan?
  4. How many clients do you have, and do you have a pipeline of prospects?

These are some of the things that are important to consider right out of the gate. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you aren’t acting like a business owner. (OH NO, how did SHE get into MY head?)

Keep in mind at this mindset stage that the actual pieces of these questions are not the important part – it’s the assessment of where your mindset is that is key here. I call it putting on your CEO hat.

Answer those questions honestly and you’ll know if you have the right frame of mind right now.

Do you need to make adjustments to how you are thinking about your business? Because NOW is the time!

Here are a few tips to help:

Approach each day as the person who makes the decisions in your business. To think like a business owner, you have to think about your decision making. Everything is a decision. (You’ve got that right sister!)

Be confident in the decisions that you make. No one knows your business like you do. Weigh your options and then make a choice. (OH NO I have to make a choice?)

Don’t worry about making mistakes. (Do I make mistakes?) As long as you are monitoring the decisions you make, and ensuring things are going in the direction you had planned, you are doing fine. (OKAY)

It’s Called Pivoting

Change course when necessary. If something doesn’t go as planned, identify why that is, and then change direction to keep your goal or strategy on track. (You know this is easier said than done right?)

Think about driving from your house to the mall. If you use a driving app like I often do, you can see where there is congested traffic ahead, and you can change your route so that you don’t get stuck in the traffic. (So easy for YOU to say!)

Your business is the same. Keeping an eye on things daily helps you to avoid the big problems. (Because BIG problems are exactly what I don’t want!)

Let’s Talk Money

When you see that you aren’t going to have enough revenue in any given period, you must make it a priority to go out and find a new client. (Oh geez, why can’t it just be easy!!)

When you see that your expenses are getting out of hand, you must analyze them and do what you can to keep as much money as possible. (Yes, because I’d rather spend MY money on new clothes! LOL)

You will always need new clients at some point, so recognize that a pipeline is essential to the longevity of your business. (What is this pipeline you’re talking about? I don’t need oil! LOL)

Doing the client work is just a part of your business. If you only focus on that, you will lose the most important piece of being able to shape your business the way you dreamed.

Put that CEO hat on and you will start to see more success and pretty quick too.

Ok, so the point of this article is for you to see that you really need to up your game. You need a plan of action as well as the desire to have a business. You need to be the CEO of your business.

Need help with that? Contact me, yes you should really do that, and let me help guide you into that role of CEO. I have a super great deal for you where you can show up and get all the support you need.

Come on…it’s not THAT hard!

 

Business Tips for Summer Productivity

Business Tips for Summer Productivity

5 Great Business Tips for Summer

 

1) Develop An Organizational Business System

If you don’t already have an organizational system for your business, now is definitely the time to start. Different people work best with different systems, so, unfortunately, I can’t tell you which type to use. But, here’s a cool business tip for you.  Paper or Plastic – I mean Digital! lol  Some people like paper systems, because they can cross items off their list as they complete them. And some people like digital planners because they can send their lists to their phones, i-pads and have them on their computers.

Google Calendar can be a mix of both because you can set appointments online and then print out your calendar as well. You can also view it from your phone, and have reminders go off on your phone and computer too.

Personally, I like the feeling of crossing things off a to-do list, and I like to see them, so paper is what works for me. But like I said, everyone is different. Find what works for you and go with it! Here’s a FREE PAPER TO-DO LIST you can use if you like paper.

2) Start Planning

The first step in taking time off in your business is to start planning for it.  How much time do you need to take off?  You need to know how much work you need to do in advance so that your business doesn’t fall apart when you take the time off. This is such a great business tip.

Let’s say you want to plan for a two-week vacation. Well, if you blog 3 times per week, that’s 6 blog posts. You’ll also want to plan for your Twitter and Facebook status updates, as well as any promotions you are going to do before taking off on your vacation.

On the other hand, if you are going to be working a reduced schedule, you need to plan for that, as well. For example, if you normally work 20 hours per week within your business but need to cut it down to 10 hours per week in the summer, it’s time to figure out how much you need to do each week, so you can start working extra now to make up for it, and to make sure you schedule the most important tasks in your limited hours. This little business tip is GOLD!

When you figure out how much work will need to be done, don’t feel overwhelmed. We’re taking this one step at a time. You don’t have to do everything in one night.

Look at the big goal and work backward. Using the first example of someone who is going on a two-week vacation, let’s say you have four weeks before you leave. Well, if you wrote two extra blog posts for the next three weeks, you’d have the six you will need, plus one extra week to schedule your Twitter and Facebook updates to let people know when new posts are published.

3) Work Smarter

Now is the time to start working smarter, not harder. Like I said earlier, you can write posts now, and schedule them to publish later. I for one think this is an excellent business tip!

If the idea of writing extra blog posts gives you a big case of blogger’s block, start doing the following:

  • Reuse old content  – Take the content that is already on your blog and re-use it in a new way. Some examples include “Top 10 Lists,” where you list the links to some of the best tips you’ve previously written.  If you don’t write tips per se, you can still use that idea and just call it a “My Faves” post where you list the links to some of your favorite previous blog posts.
  • Get Readers to Create Content  – Get your readers to help you create some content! Ask a question and ask them to answer it!
  • Guest Posts  – Ask some of your favorite bloggers to guest post on your blog! You can ask them to write an original blog post or ask for permission to post one of the posts that was previously written on their blog.

4) Technology

When it comes to taking time off during the summer, technology is your best friend! All the major blogging platforms let you write posts now and schedule them in advance. Your email newsletter service should be the same way.  It would be impossible for me to know the facts on every single service out there, but all the ones that I know allow you to create your newsletter now and send it later.

HootSuite (https://www.hootsuite.com/) allows you to schedule social network updates, such as Twitter and Facebook. I use the free version, and it works just fine! Once you schedule your blog post and have the link for it, you can sign in to HootSuite and schedule an update with the post title and link on the publish date. It’s like you are right there, publishing it live at your computer, even though you are out on your vacation!

5) Delegate

Delegating can be hard. Really hard. It’s kind of funny – you start a business because you want to be your own boss, but it can be really hard to start bossing other people around. Doing that requires letting go – and your business is a lot like your baby and putting that “baby” into someone else’s hands can cause you lots of anxiety and worry.

But eventually, you’re going to have to learn to trust, and start letting go…

You can let go in small steps. Let someone write your newsletter. Get someone else to answer your customer service questions. Have someone else post your items to your Etsy shop… Let someone else do what you are comfortable with. When the world doesn’t fall apart, let them do another task. It all depends on what your goals are.

So, where are you supposed to find these people? Well, you can hire one. Look online for a virtual assistant. You can go to sites like elance.com and guru.com, where you can post your job opening, and qualified people can “bid” on it.

These people will tell you how much they would charge you to take on the job. Now, don’t just pick the cheapest one. Look at their past work references! Just because it’s “cheap” doesn’t mean it’s good, and just because it’s “expensive” doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Look at their past work and let that be your guide. Of course, you can also send a shout-out through Twitter or Facebook and see if any of your “friends” are interested in a side gig.

Another option is to find an intern. In most cases, interns do not get paid, but they should be learning something. So, you might be working with someone who has never used Twitter before. That’s okay. You can teach them! Yes, it will take more time, but you are getting work done for free, so you’re going to have to trade some time for that exchange. There are so many virtual assistants in the marketplace these days that will jump at the chance to be an intern. You can offer a testimonial for them to include on their website in exchange for the work they provide to you. Such a great idea!

Ready for More? Sign up below to get my Newsletters so you can get more business tips in your mailbox!

 

5 Steps to Find your Passion for Happiness

5 Steps to Find your Passion for Happiness

So, Just What are the 5 Steps to Finding YOUR Passion?

What is PASSION? Let me explain it to you. According to Merriam Webster, “passion means intense emotion compelling action. Passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable.”

If you want to live your best life and find happiness, then you need to find your passion and follow it. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It actually isn’t that hard you know. So it’s surprising that so many people don’t do it. They seem happy to just exist rather than living a life of happiness and success.

Am I right?

How many people do you know that just sits on the sidelines and does nothing to create a life that is passion-filled? I bet you don’t even have enough fingers and toes! lol

So, here’s what I’ve got for you today. I know, it’s so simple that a 3rd grader can do it because they actually can still dream!

To change your life for the better and create a future,  check out the easy five steps below.

 

Step 1: Dream Big

Everyone has big dreams. Even YOU! What have you done with yours? Do you think about them, act on them or hide them away?

If you want to find your passion and purpose, then it’s time to dream big. I mean REALLY BIG!!

So here goes, get a piece of paper and a pen. List all of those big dreams you’ve had from childhood to today. No matter how wild or funny, write them all down. Go ahead, I’ll wait!

NOW:

Which of those dreams resonates most with you? Which makes your heart sing and inspires you the most? Is it realistic and achievable?

If you’ve set your sights on being the first full-time resident of Mars, then you’ll probably need to take another look at your list and find something that is more realistic and achievable but almost as exciting to you! What? You mean I need to dream bigger than this?

Remember, your big dream doesn’t have to be outrageous or huge. It just needs to be big enough to push you out of your comfort zone. And YOU need to be willing to commit to making changes in your life so that you can achieve it. You need to want it. It needs to spark desire and passion in you. You get it right?

 

Step 2: Set Goals

Oh no…I dread this one! Once you’ve decided what your ideal or dream is then you need to set goals. Your end goal is what you want to achieve; your dream.

There will be other, smaller goals, that you will need to achieve along the way. You need to note these down as well.

You still have your paper and pen right? You mean you threw it away already? What’s the matter with you silly? Now you have to go back to Step 1.

 

Step 3: Plan Your Way

Ok, now that you know what you want and need to achieve, it’s time to plan what you need to do to get there.

Think about what action you need to take, resources you will need and anything or anyone that can provide help and support. That might even be ME!! You never know right?

 

Step 4: Take Action

You know what you want, what you can expect from yourself, how you can achieve it and the steps to take. Right? So…It’s time to take action.

Remember you are looking for a passion-filled life. One that fills you with excitement, joy, and success. You can’t just want it, you have to do something to make it happen.

 

Step 5: Live Your Best Life

Once you’ve started taking action on your goals and plans you will find that your life starts to improve.

Instead of dreading each day you’ll look forward to it with excitement and anticipation.

Your best life is the one that gives you happiness, success, and achievement through living your passion and purpose.

If you want to find and live your passion, then you can follow the five steps above. You can do it on your own or you can give yourself a helpful boost by using a coach or mentor.

And I can help you with that because I’m getting ready to launch my NEW MENTORING PROGRAM. So you’ll want to stay tuned and watch closely for the BIG Announcement….coming soon!

What is a Mentor-Do I Need One?

What is a Mentor-Do I Need One?

How to Choose a Mentor

What is the definition of a mentor? According to Merriam-Webster, it’s “a trusted counselor or guide”. So, a mentor is someone that motivates you to keep you accountable to yourself and provides guidance. Here’s how to pick the best mentor for your upcoming year…

Who Inspires You?Mentor

Start by thinking about who regularly inspires you. Maybe it’s the speaking coach that’s crushing it with her products or the crafty mom who turned her blog into a thriving business that supports her family.

It’s OK if you choose a mentor in a different niche. For example, you may choose a mentor who sells makeup online, even though you’re a brand designer for local businesses. Just because you’re in separate industries, it doesn’t mean you can’t be influenced by her.

Why Do They Inspire You?

As you consider who might be a good mentor, ask yourself why certain people inspire you. It may be they have something you want like a big business, a good marriage, or a great sense of style. It could also be something they already are like an artist, an entrepreneur, a speaker, or a novelist.

Getting clear on why someone inspires you is important. Once you know, you’ll understand yourself better and what it is you want to create more of in your own life.

How Can You Learn from This Mentor?

You can begin learning from your mentor right away. Read her blog and sign up for updates. Watch her video episodes and take notes on the nuggets of wisdom that capture your interest. Follow her on social media and check in on her profile a couple of times a week.

Study what works for your mentor and what doesn’t. Pay attention to how she structures her time and uses her energy. Note her goals and see how she reaches them and what tools she uses along the way.

How Will You Engage?

As you’re learning from your mentor and soaking up her wisdom, don’t forget to engage with her. Comment on Facebook or reply on Twitter. Let her know how much you appreciate the fact that she’s sharing her journey with others just like you.

Look for ways you could hang out with her, whether online or in a virtual space. Sign up for her webinar or attend the conference she’s speaking at. Watch her live streams on Facebook or take her courses.

So, let’s review.

  1. Find someone that INSPIRES you.
  2. Why do they INSPIRE you?
  3. How can you LEARN from her?
  4. How are you going to ENGAGE with her?

Finding a mentor doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. In fact, there’s probably at least one women that you already admire and can learn a lot from! Yeah…ME!

Mentor

Transform your year with the help of a business mentor. Discover how by signing up here.

 

Perspective-How to Sell High Priced Packages

Perspective-How to Sell High Priced Packages

The Real Way to Sell High Priced Packages

Do you have the right perspective? Want to know what keeps a lot of service providers and coaches from charging what they’re really worth?

It’s that all-too-common belief that “I am not a salesperson.” Combine that with a healthy dose of “It’s rude to discuss money,” and you can see why it’s just easier to keep your rates low.

It’s time to think of your services from a different perspective!

Not only will you see things in a clearer light, but selling suddenly won’t feel so…salesy.

Here’s how traditional pricing discussions go which is soooo boring!

You talk to a potential client, and you explain what you can offer, how your coaching or service works, what he or she can expect (how many calls/emails, phases of work, length of contract), etc. And then you say, “My rate is $XXX.00.” OMG – simple right?

Your client either says yes, no or (the kiss of death) maybe. LOL…

So now…Let’s turn that around and rather than focus on what he or she will get from YOU, take a look at what she will achieve when she hires you.

For a business coach, this is easy. Talk money!

  • How much more profit will your client make when she hires you?

Example

If your coaching fee is $1,000 per month, but you can show her how to increase her sales by $3,000 per month, then your price is inconsequential. She’ll earn it back three times over, not only while you’re actively coaching her, but for the rest of her business life.

Now, who wouldn’t jump on that with both feet? I know I would if I was looking for a coach!

What you’re doing here is not talking about the cost of your coaching, but rather the cost of not hiring you. Because if she doesn’t work with you, she’s losing $3,000 per month. See how that works?

What about other kinds of coaches or service providers though?

The same applies, you just have to find a way to show your clients the cost of their inaction.

If you’re a life coach, inaction (to your potential client) might mean years of feeling unhappy and unfulfilled

  • Imagine what it might be worth to your client to lift that depressing burden forever?

The same goes for health and wellness coaches.

  • Can you add 10 years to the life of an unhealthy, overweight man? That’s priceless.

What about dating coaches?

  • For someone who’s been unlucky in love, in and out of one bad relationship after another, the promise of a man (or woman) who will love and cherish them is worth nearly any price.

You just have to paint the picture…ahaa…I know, right? You didn’t realize painting was in your future, did you?

What will life/business/love look like without your coaching services, and what can it look like with you? Same goes for Virtual Assistants and any type of Virtual Service Provider.

Once they see the difference, pricing becomes nearly irrelevant.

So, you see…it’s all about perspective! How do you feel about this? Let me know in the comments below.


And, if you’re looking for someone to help you with your perspective, I can help you with that too. Contact me and let’s set-up a call to chat.

 

Easy Pricing Strategies to Determine Your Rates

Easy Pricing Strategies to Determine Your Rates

Easy Pricing Strategies to Determine Your Rates

Pricing strategies are something you need to learn in your business. This might just be the most stressful decision(s) you ever have to make: what to charge?

  • You’ve got the competition to consider…yikes!
  • Your own skill set, and what you perceive to be your skills (yes, this is different from the former for most of us)
  • What your market will pay, your location, and a host of other variables.

Working it out can feel like a hurdle you can’t quite get past.

Of course, there are some strategies you can employ. One popular method is to use a plain ol’ calculator (if you still use one of those). Here’s an interesting article on rates used in 2017. Please understand…this is only a guide, so don’t think you need to use this information explicitly or your business will go down the tubes!

Having a general guideline will quickly tell you what you need to be charging to reach your income goals, and it’s a great place to start.

But what about all those other questions? Creating a solid pricing structure requires you to do a little more digging. Clams anyone? Yeah, in all seriousness with your starting number in line, take a look at the following:

Your Competition:

This might take a little detective work since a lot of coaches and service providers don’t publish rates. But if you pay attention to their websites and social media, ask a few discreet questions, and get on their mailing list, you can figure it out. I show my rates as “Starting At” prices because every job is usually different.

Be realistic about who exactly your competition is though. Don’t undervalue or over-sell yourself. In other words, make sure you’re comparing yourself to another provider who shares the same skills, market, and tracking record, rather than simply looking at who you strive to become. Kinda important…you can’t charge say $100.00 an hour if you’re just starting out…duh!!

Your Skills:

In some fields, this is easy. There are certifications and educational programs that allow you—by virtue of having achieved them—to charge a certain rate. If you’ve followed this path, then pricing will be easy for you. If not, take a solid look at what you can legitimately claim as a skill. Just remember, this is your business so don’t think that you have to settle for charging less than your worth.

Look, too, at your track record. Have you proven yourself by helping former clients (and do you have the testimonials and case studies to show for it)? Have your former clients moved on to bigger and better Service Providers after working with you? These are all reasons to consider a higher price range than you might have first thought about.

Definition

rate1 rāt/Submit noun plural noun: rates 1. a measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against some other quantity or measure. “the crime rate rose by 26 percent” 2. a fixed price paid or charged for something, especially goods or services. “the basic rate of pay” synonyms: charge, price, cost, tariff, fare, levy, toll; fee, remuneration, payment, wage, allowance “an hourly rate of $30” verb 3rd person present: rates 1. assign a standard or value to (something) according to a particular scale. “they were asked to rate their ability at different driving maneuvers” synonyms: assess, evaluate, appraise, judge, estimate, calculate, gauge, measure, adjudge; grade, rank, classify, categorize “they rated his driving ability” 2. consider to be of a certain quality, standard, or rank. “he rates the company’s stock a “buy.”” synonyms: consider, judge, reckon, think, hold, deem, find; regard as, look on as, count as “the scheme was rated effective”

Your Market:

In the game of setting rates, it’s your market that has the final say. As any first-year economy student can tell you, the price of anything lies where what the buyer is willing to pay meets what the seller is willing to accept. This is an interesting fact, just ask any other Service Provider on the market today.

If your goal is to give newbies a helping hand and lead them down the path to success, that unfortunately means you can look forward to low paying gigs. That’s not a bad thing—everyone has to begin somewhere—but it does need to be acknowledged.

If, on the other hand, you’re target market is more established and economically stable, then a higher fee isn’t just warranted—it’s a must. They will expect a higher price, and will not find value in the lowest-cost provider of anything, whether it’s coffee beans or business coaching. LOL!

Finally, don’t forget that pricing is never set in stone. It’s flexible. If you find you’re attracting the wrong market (or no market at all) you can always change your rates. Working too hard for not enough return? Raise your rates.

It’s your business. You get to call the shots. If you are allowing your clients or other Service Providers to decide what your rates are going to be, you are only doing yourself a disservice. This is such a HOT TOPIC right now. Do your research, but DO charge what you’re worth!

If you ARE looking for a Service Provider please contact me HERE. I would love to help you with your business.

Please comment your thought below. I would love to hear what you think!

 

Art of the Discount-How to Never Lower Your Rates Again

Art of the Discount-How to Never Lower Your Rates Again

Art of the Discount

What…A DISCOUNT? Are you kidding ME? How can I stay in business if I’m giving a discount? I can hear you now grumbling, sighing, telling yourself that well maybe if I did that, I’d make some more money, I would have more clients…and so on.

Definition

dis·count ˈdiskount/Submit noun 1. a deduction from the usual cost of something, typically given for prompt or advance payment or to a special category of buyers. “many stores will offer a discount on bulk purchases” synonyms: reduction, deduction, markdown, price cut, cut, rebate “students get a 10 percent discount” verb ˌdisˈkount/Submit 1. deduct an amount from (the usual price of something). “current users qualify for a discounted price” synonyms: deduct, take off, rebate;

How to Never Lower Your Rates Again

It’s happened to every service provider and coach at one time or another—probably more than once.

You offer a proposal or contract, only to have your potential client respond with, “That sounds great, but I can’t afford it.” Wawawa…

So what do you do?

For a lot of coaches and service providers, their first response is to lower their rate. After all, they reason, she really does need my help. Plus its good karma, and she’ll talk about me with her friends, and refer business to me later. Unhuh…

Maybe, but more likely than not. What you do end up with is a client who takes far too much of your time. For less money than you deserve. You wind up resentful, and wondering why you aren’t earning the living you know you’re capable of.

Sound familiar?

I want you to make a promise to yourself right now that you will never again lower your rates to appeal to a client. Doing so devalues your services, makes the client less likely to follow through, and worse, makes you feel terrible later. You are listening to me, right?

Now, I’m not saying you can never offer special deals

But I do want you to change how those offers are made. Here’s how it works.

If your coaching package includes:

  • 1 45-minute call per month
  • 1 email per day
  • 1 in-person meeting per quarter
  • and 1 mastermind retreat per year

And your potential client claims to not be able to afford your asking price of $1,000 per month, rather than offering to reduce the price, you offer to reduce the price and the package. Right? 

So the offer you make to her now includes everything BUT the mastermind retreat. Or everything BUT the in-person meeting every quarter. Doesn’t that make sense?

You have not lowered your rates so far that you feel used, but at the same time, you’ve worked with her to create a plan she can afford. It’s a true win-win for both of you.

The same technique can be used for any type of coach or service provider unless you’re charging strictly by the hour. If that’s the case, take a look at how you can reduce the number of hours you need to invest while still providing value. Yes, sounds simple no?

For example, rather than offering four one-hour calls, change your plan to just two calls, with email follow-ups. She’ll still get plenty of value, and you’ll free up some time by inviting email questions rather than blocks of time on the phone. This is so simple…right?

So, the next time you’re asked to reduce your rates for anything, take a close look at how you can also reduce the work you’ll be doing. That way you’ll never feel as if you’ve been taken advantage of, and your clients will still get great service.

Speaking of providing service…I can do that for you. Contact me here. I would love to help you provide quality service to your clients. It’s so easy, just fill out the form and once I receive it, we can set up a 15-minute call at no cost to you. You know, if you’re over-worked I can find some solutions that will help you find the time to enjoy your life as well as get you out of overwhelming tasks that keep you burning the candle at both ends.

BTW – Do you have a website for your business? You might want to take a look at purchasing my Content Marketing Guide. It will help you put your content in all the right places. Yup…it will! And…at only $7 Bucks…it’s a real steal. So go ahead and get it…and get your content out there.

Please leave a comment below and let me know if these suggestions are helpful to you and your business.

Need to Raise YOUR Rates? Let Me Check Into That!

Need to Raise YOUR Rates? Let Me Check Into That!

Stop! Before You Raise Your Rates…Do This Instead

 

In every entrepreneur’s life, there comes a time when you simply have to raise your rates. Yes…it’s true! I know..it’s hard to discuss your rates.

Maybe you’ve been in business for years without a pay increase. Or, maybe your skills have recently improved through a new training course or certification.

Or you just want to attract a higher caliber of client. Yup…I just confessed to this the other day. (Hanging my head…but unashamed!)

Rates Definition

rate [rāt] NOUN rates (plural noun) a measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against some other quantity or measure: “the crime rate rose by 26 percent” a fixed price paid or charged for something, especially goods or services: “the basic rate of pay” · [more] synonyms: charge · price · cost · tariff · fare · levy · toll · fee · remuneration · payment · wage

Whatever the reason, it pays to have a plan in place before you make your big announcement. So, here’s the plan…you do have a plan right? If not…

Here’s where to start.

First:

Take a look at your current clients. Will you raise their rates as well? ummm… If the answer is no, then you have to consider if keeping them will be worth your time. Or, if you’ll feel resentful at the amount of (lower paid) time you are spending with them.

Resentment can build up, so be wary of this. It’s better to raise their rates than providing substandard services due to hidden anger. YES, you can actually get angry over this situation.

If the answer is yes, then you have to prepare yourself for potential fallout. And this is a reality you need to face, right? Simply put, there are some clients (you likely know who they are) who will balk at a price hike. What??? How dare they right? I’m just sayin’ it could happen!

They’ll threaten to leave. They may actually leave. OMGoodness! Are you prepared for the hit your wallet will take should that happen? Now…what do you have to say about that?

Next:

Consider when your rate increase will go into effect. Today…tomorrow…next week? This might be different for each client, depending on when/how they’re paying you.

A client who is on a package plan might not see an increase for 3 months or more, while a monthly client might be shocked to find his or her rate is going up in a week. Please don’t do this to them, or the word might get out and you will lose all your clients. Especially if they’re from referrals! OH NO!!!

Please – give your clients at least a 30-day notice of the increase. They will need to budget for a higher expense and just might shop around for a new virtual assistant if they choose to. Remember…they can do this…so don’t be surprised if they do.

Finally:

If you’re a little flexible and want to gain a few new clients, you might think about creating a last-minute offer. What a great idea huh?

Announce that your rates are going up on [whatever date], then offer to let X number of new clients lock in your current rate if they sign a contract right now.

Sure, you’ll still be working at your old rate, but with a few new clients on the roster, your cash flow will definitely improve. This is SMART thinking if I do say myself.

The most important thing to remember about rate increases is this:

You have to feel good about the prices you charge. If you think your rates are too low, chances are good that they are.

Raising them will not only make you feel better, but it might just let your current and prospective clients know the value of your services as well.

So…what do you really think about raising your rates? Let me know in the comments below won’t you?

Hope you enjoyed reading…

Let me ask you this…do you need a Virtual Assistant? If so…you can contact me here. I’d be more than happy to chat about what type of services I provide. Just need to fill out a little ol’ form. Thanks…I appreciate that!

4 Tips on How to Discuss Rates Like a Pro

4 Tips on How to Discuss Rates Like a Pro

How to Discuss Rates Like a Pro

Does the topic of money make your mouth dry and your hands sweat? Mmmm…Do you dread that point in a conversation when someone says, “So what do you charge?” Oh, how I hate this and I’m sure you do too! Just what ARE your RATES anyway?

So, you are not alone in this situation. Because most of us have difficulty talking about money—especially when it comes to quoting rates for our own work. Honestly…just what are you worth?

If you’re going to be successful in business, you have to get over it. Yup, you heard me right! GET OVER IT! 

So, here are a few of my suggestions:

1) Practice

The first rule for declaring your rates with confidence is simply to practice. Talk to yourself in the shower. Tell your dog what your rates are. Stand in front of your mirror and say, “I charge $XXX.00 per hour.” Or…”I have 3 different packages you may select from.”

The more you say your rates out loud (not in your head) the more natural it will be for you.

2) Smile

Even if you’re on the phone or writing an email, smile when you say your rates. Your tone of voice changes when you smile (as does the “tone” of your typing) and that tone can convey confidence and authority, not to mention professionalism.

3) Avoid Being Indecisive

Listen to yourself as you speak to potential clients. Do you say things like, “Well, normally I charge…” or “Actually, my rates are…” or “Do you think that $XX.00 will work for you?” REALLY???

These (and others like them) are all indecisive ways of talking that do not instill confidence in your client, and worse, they make you sound like you don’t believe in yourself. This is true, and you should except that fact my friend.

Rather than squeaking out a timid, “Um, I charge, like $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say, “My rate for VA Services is $1,000 per month. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…

4) Be Silent

When we’re nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.

But guess what? He or she is just as uncomfortable with the silence, and psychologically, the one who speaks first is at a disadvantage. So when you’re talking pricing or rates, please avoid the urge to fill the silence (especially because you’re most likely to try to justify them) and let your potential client take the time to respond.

Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? Nope! But being able to share your rates in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you’re confident in your skills, and consequently, that you are the right virtual assistant for them.

Speaking of…I know the perfect VA for you…ME! You can contact me HERE! I would love to help you with your business. And yes, we will be discussing my Rates and you can see what services I offer HERE!

Creating Your Mindset For Business

Creating Your Mindset For Business

Creating Your Mindset For Business

When you think about the highest earning business coaches, people like Ali Brown, Carrie Wilkerson, and Marie Forleo, what comes to mind? Charisma, experience, and expertise are often at the top of the list. Do you think they have the proper mindset?

Would it surprise you to know that those are not the most important characteristics? In fact, while those things do help attract and keep an audience, there’s one thing that is absolutely critical to their success, and you can’t even see it. It’s their MINDSET!

Mindset

It’s true. In everything you do, whether in business or in life, your mindset is the determining factor when it comes to your success.

Your business plans are no different. Without the right mindset, you will forever be attracting and working with clients who are:

  • deserving and lovely
  • are less than your ideal client
  • and might have problems when it comes to their ability to pay

So before you can realize your dreams of four- or five-figure clients, you have to do some internal work. You have to make some changes to your own mindset. To be more in line with what the top earners in your industry already do and feel.

Mindset

mindset ˈmīn(d)set/Submit noun the established set of attitudes held by someone. “the region seems stuck in a medieval mindset”

Changing Your Attitude 

One thing charismatic and personable people have in common is a good attitude. Think about it; you’ll never see Carrie Wilkerson or Paul Evans complaining about how the kids are sick, “again!”! Or that the cable repair guy is 40 minutes late, or even that the car blew a tire.

Instead, you see their expressions of gratitude in everything. If the kids are sick, they’re grateful to have a business that allows them to stay home and play nurse.

If the cable guy is late, they’re grateful to have 40 extra minutes. They will just read a book instead of watch television.

And if the car died in the middle of running a week’s worth of errands, oh well!  They’re happy to have found a mechanic who does great work at a reasonable price.

If you find yourself complaining—even in your head—turn your attitude around. There’s nearly always something to be grateful for, even in the worst situations.

And when you can rethink and revise your attitude for the better, you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll attract a better audience, too.

Attitude

at·ti·tude ˈadəˌt(y)o͞od/Submit noun a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior. “she took a tough attitude toward other people’s indulgences” synonyms: view, viewpoint, outlook, perspective, stance, standpoint, position, inclination, temper, orientation, approach, reaction; More a position of the body proper to or implying an action or mental state. “the boy was standing in an attitude of despair, his chin sunk on his chest” synonyms: position, posture, pose, stance, bearing “an attitude of prayer” NORTH AMERICANinformal truculent or uncooperative behavior; a resentful or antagonistic manner. “I asked the waiter for a clean fork, and all I got was attitude”

Growing Your Confidence

Here’s something else top-end coaches have in common: confidence. Yes, they believe in what they do. They believe in their own ability to help others achieve the same thing. So they walk on stage or join a webinar filled with the knowledge that what they are about to say will change the lives of those who are listening.

It’s not cocky or arrogant, it’s just confidence. And if you don’t have it yet, you can take steps to increase it.

Start by asking yourself, in any new or uncomfortable situation, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Of those worst-case scenarios, resolve what you have control over, and let the rest go.

So if you’ve agreed to speak in front of a small group of business owners, and your fear is that you’ll flub your speech, practicing beforehand will greatly improve your confidence.

Next, get inside the head of someone who is confident in what you’re about to do. Walk onto that stage as if you’ve been doing it for years, and not only will you feel more confident, but you’ll be more confident.

You can use the “as if” attitude in everything from creating a new product to closing a sale. Whenever you feel your confidence failing, just remember to act as if you’ve done this successfully hundreds of times.

Confidence

con·fi·dence ˈkänfədəns/Submit noun the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. “we had every confidence in the staff” synonyms: trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction “I have little confidence in these figures” the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. “it is not possible to say with confidence how much of the increase in sea levels is due to melting glaciers” a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. “she’s brimming with confidence” synonyms: self-assurance, self-confidence, self-possession, assertiveness;

Just like how the person you’re talking to on the phone can hear a smile in your voice. Your potential clients can sense your mindset also.

And, if it’s not up to the standards of the top earners in your niche, you’ll struggle to make the sale. Just work on your attitude and confidence levels. Then watch your income soar.

I certainly hope you enjoyed reading this article on “Creating Your Mindset For Business“.

If you need help with your business contact me HERE. I would love to help create your successful business.

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