SVA Premier: Summer Slumps and Winter Troughs

If you’ve been a virtual assistant for a while, you’ll start to recognise some annual patterns within your cashflow, but as a newbie VA it can be quite scary to go from work coming out your ears one month, to a desert of tumbleweed the next month!

So how do you avoid hitting the brick wall of inactivity during those quiet periods?  Or is this the time to recharge your batteries?

Not all virtual assistants want to be busy during the holidays – and in fact I know quite a few who relish the chance to spend more time with their families, especially when school is off.  But how do you keep the cash flowing, when you aren’t in the office?  Here are Top 5 Tips:

Tip 1: Plan in advance

If you find that your workload is “see-sawing” from one extreme to the other, you need to plan in advance so that during quiet periods you schedule promotions, newsletters and tweets to be used when you don’t have time for marketing during your busy periods.  This one simple thing will safeguard your business from feast or famine conditions.

Tip 2: Use your downtime to develop customer relations

Your client may be on holiday, but use that extra time to think about how you could develop the relationship with that customer.  Learn more about their industry, think about how you could improve processes, put a meeting in the diary for the week after they get back – they’ll have lots of work for you!

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Tip 3: Spend the time improving your skills

Especially with social media, learning new skills can be too time consuming during busy periods, so you stick with what you know.  Learning a new skill could open up a whole new range of clients to you, increase your hourly rate and delight your clients!

Tip 4: Recharge your batteries

I’m very guilty of this – I’ll stay in the office working simply because it’s not time to go home, utterly ignoring the fact that when you’re busy you’ll often stay working until very, very late, missing out on meeting up with friends, watching Eastenders, eating proper food with vegetables etc.  Take some time off when you can to balance out the times when you are working like a dog!

Tip 5: Connect with your fellow VAs

I am constantly amazed by the knowledge which VAs collectively carry around in their heads… Pretty much any technical question I have, I can go ask them and someone will know the answer!

Spending just an hour having a coffee with your fellow VAs can reconnect you with your passion, give you top tips on getting new clients and also on what the latest gadgets and gizmos are.  (Check SVA Events page for meetups in your area – and if there isn’t one, invent one!).

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