Many virtual assistants experience overwhelm in their businesses. Every small business owner knows that there are fluctuations in business. There are also unexpected ebbs or flows that can cause overwhelm.
Have you ever been called by a client to discuss a project? You know what I mean.
If you're like me, you plan your day and know what your workday looks like from one day to another. This is the only way that I know I will have enough time to do everything for both my clients and myself.
How do you manage it? First, consider how your schedule looks. If you're on your own, trying to meet the client's needs while keeping your schedule and sanity in check, we'll assume that you don’t have any 'help'.
Relax! Breathe! It's a wonderful place to be!
First, let's get to the point. You must set deadlines for the work and let your clients know when the final work will be delivered.
Add the project(s), to your calendar,... set time for them, and make sure your deadlines are clear... and meet them regardless of cost.
You must finish the work on time if you have agreed to do it. You must set deadlines and allow yourself sufficient time to complete the work.
To help the client complete their work, create checklists. You can check off each task as it is completed so that you know what's left to do.
This checklist is particularly important when you have to 'fit in' work into an existing schedule. If you can allocate time for it, a checklist will prove invaluable.
You must deliver the work on time. Respect the client and yourself by doing this.
It is easy to squeeze in things when you need them, but it is important to evaluate whether it is possible to do so - sometimes it is not possible if you are already very busy.
Recently, several of my 'old' clients called me with new projects. They wanted them completed as quickly as possible. They were informed that I would fit them in due to my busy schedule with client work. They were happy to hear that I had set realistic deadlines and knew when they would get their work.
I created my checklists, worked on the projects when I planned to and was able to complete them all on time.
It was great to be there for them when they needed me. I also appreciated the opportunity to do extra work that I didn't expect.
What do you do when they tell you they have an urgent need? This is a judgment call.
If any of my clients said my deadlines were unacceptable, I would have had the heart to reject them. I don't recommend that anyone pressure you into taking on or completing work. But, it's your decision because it's your company.
It doesn't make any sense for me to do this. To provide the best service possible and get the best results, people need to organize themselves.
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This can be a hard decision to make, but it is necessary to keep your business running smoothly and keep clients happy.
The answer to the question "How quickly can you do this?" is... "Let me check my schedule." The answer to the question "How quickly can you get this done?" should always be "Let me see my schedule." :-)