I have an opportunity to speak to a group of people about my virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague, LLC. It is not a group of business people or potential clients. It is a mixed group, mostly administrative professionals. At first, I was reluctant to take up this offer, but as I consider what I will be covering, I think it will be a great way to network.
If I were speaking to a group of business people or entrepreneurs, my objective would be to convince them to use my services, Virtual Colleague, LLC and why using virtual assistants are so cost efficient. With this diverse group, my object is simply to plant the seeds of growth for my business.
While anyone can take advantage of my resume package, my services are geared to small and medium-sized businesses that want to save money on employee costs, while still getting the work done.
I’ve prepared a PowerPoint presentation about my company, Virtual Colleague, LLC.
and I take the listener through the steps from the beginning of the idea to actually start my own virtual assistant business, through every step in the process, and to my present level of business. I also talk about my business plans for the future and what I hope to achieve.
I don’t accept public speaking offers very often, so at first I was very nervous about doing this. Now, I am so happy that I accepted this speaking engagement. It made me review how and why I started my business, the ups and downs of decision-making and dealing with the outcome of those decisions.
It also helped me to see the progress I’ve made. I didn’t know much about virtual assistants and how they worked, but through my thirst for knowledge and my willingness and determination to succeed, I have gained so much information in many areas.
I have also learned about so many free software programs that help with all kinds of projects and blog work. The interaction with many online groups and forums has given me the simplest, fastest, and most accurate education, I could ever have. There is so much out there to learn and use.
One of my biggest hurdles is networking. This is the lifeline of every virtual assistant. It is free and the best way to meet potential clients. It is something that I loathed doing, until I read a book on the subject. The author gave examples of how to network and this really got me on my way to accomplishing this monumental task. I’m still working on it, but it becomes easier every time I do it. Accepting this speaking engagement is one way of networking on a large scale. I will have everyone’s attention.
As I go through my slides for my presentation next week, I recall how many sleepless nights I spent, because I was afraid that someone would steal the name of my business before I got to the attorney to register it.
I also remember how excited I was to go out and buy all new software and equipment for my new business and then 1 month later, the house fire destroyed all of it. I had to start all over again.
I remember tapping into my friends and former co-workers to get some business. I started by doing resumes for them. It was exciting to meet with my potential clients. I had my paperwork all in order for them to sign. I thought it would be a smooth transaction.
One of them met with me for an hour only to tell me that she thought I would do it for her for free, because she thought I needed the practice. Another one’s check bounced. Another one asked for an estimate. I gave her a deep discount, because I knew she was laid off from work and I’ve never heard from her again.
These “setbacks” made me re-evaluate how I conduct business and not rely so much on friends, but rather reach out to the public and find my ideal clients.
I also remember the clients I did have that signed and paid me with no hesitation. They also helped to promote my services by telling everyone about my skills and what a great job I did for them. It made me realize that I could make this business successful.
I am now rehearsing for my presentation and I’m thankful that they asked me to present, because it gave me the chance to look back and see all of the progress I’ve made. It’s only been 9 months, but I’ve come a long way.
My advice for all virtual assistants,
“Network, network, network.”