I don’t know why, but for the past few days, I’ve felt liking partying. Yes, partying and it’s not even near the holidays. I’m on a tight budget due to the cost of advertising for my business, so I constantly try to think of ways to vent my party cravings and still stick to business.
I decided to invest in some marketing materials. It sounds dull and boring, but preparing a Welcome Packet for potential clients is fun, useful and can be creative. I just bought a new logo, so I am excited to post it everywhere. I feel like my business brand has been strengthened by having a visual to go along with my website and other documents. Here it is:
The colors of my website and business cards are brown, orange and gold, so I went with those colors. I visualized this party craving as a chance to practice some practical planning as if I were having a party.
As any party planner knows, a party needs a theme – my business – Virtual Colleague, LLC, color scheme – brown, orange, gold – my website colors, and party favors – my handouts with information.
My first document is About Me and describes my work experience and what my virtual assistant business can do for clients to make them more successful. My second document explains my virtual business in detail. It covers some of the problems and issues facing small and medium-sized businesses in today’s economy and lists all of the expenses that I can save for my clients. It explains the pluses of a virtual assistant and invites them to contact me for a free consultation.
My next document is my Policies and Procedures statement. I use this document to set some ground rules for any businesses seeking my services. I cover hours of operation (so my clients will not call me at 6 a.m.), the holidays I want to have off (and I list every holiday, so there is no confusion), and my billing procedure (which is explained in 5 steps), again so there is no confusion.
I did not include a general proposal for work, because each potential client has different needs and I want to provide specialized services to each of my clients. I also did not provide a copy of my contract for services. I feel that the Welcome Packet is an introduction to me and my business services. I don’t want to come across as too strict or inflexible, so I will leave those things until after the free consultation and I know the potential client is serious about working with me.
Planning is one thing, but actually pulling it all together is where we separate the professionals from the amateurs.
By the time I purchased the folders (and I couldn’t find brown ones, so I settled for black), created each document, proofread each and corrected any errors, printed them down, ordered stickers to place on the folders, gathered some of my brochures and business cards and filled each folder with all the items needed, I felt my party craving disappearing.
I settled back and reviewed all of my hard work. Those Welcome Packets look great! Now, I’m ready for action. My next step is to find networking places, where I can hand out my creations and hopefully get some business.
Now that I have the “party favors” (my Welcome Packets) taken care of, I can concentrate on my business description that I use, when I meet someone for the first time.
Being a virtual assistant encompasses many of the administrative skills that most of us possess. Being virtual allows me to prioritize and organize my time and efforts to be ready for any networking or marketing opportunities, when they present themselves.
This “party exercise” was a great way to satisfy both my business and personal needs and to keep me focused and creative.