I started earlier this year to plant some seeds in pre-treated soil and containers. I don’t have much faith in this method, because for me it’s a hit-or-miss activity. I’m either very successful with many tiny plants or they die from cold or overwatering.
Even though my last name is Plante, that’s “plant” with an “e”, it doesn’t mean that I have a green thumb. I have to work just as hard as everyone else to ensure my plants will grow and give something back to me in the form of veggies, fruit, or flowers.
Running a virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, is just like gardening. Some of the seeds I sow will not bloom into clients or prospects, but some of the seeds will not. I have to treat all seeds the same and wait to see which ones will grow and prosper, so I can pay more attention to them.
One of the problems I have with seeds is that they don’t all grow at the same rate. Sometimes, it takes 3 months for seeds to start growing, where other seeds are starting to open in 2 – 3 weeks. Keeping an eye on the moisture in the soil and the amount of sunlight they receive is key to continued growth.
I do the same thing in my virtual assistant business. I nurture every potential client. Sometimes, I have to wait months for them to become interested or refer someone to me. Some clients start right away and see the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant versus hiring a permanent employee.
Business owners all have their own way of communicating. While some want to keep in constant contact with me, others are content to touch base once a month. I try to accommodate everyone’s tastes, while still maintaining contact. If they need someone or they know someone who needs someone, I WANT to be that someone they contact.
Just like planting the seeds, I never know if the seed will prosper, but I still give it my utmost attention. Most of my time is spent networking and trying to attract potential clients, not really doing the work. That’s the easy part. Sitting at my computer and assisting my client’s business to grow.
By the end of this month, I will know which seeds are growing strong and will produce results for me. I will also know how many potential plants I’ve lost. The key is to figure out why I lost them and how to change the way I care for them.
I do the same thing in my business. I try to do my best, but hard economic times contribute to some potential clients backing away from taking advantage of my services. Like growing plants, they don’t know if a virtual assistant is right for their business and they’re not willing to take the time to see if it will work.
In another month, the landscape in my yard will look completely different. Flowers will be in bloom, trees and shrubs will be full of leaves and buds, and I will be picking some vegetables from my garden.
I hope my virtual assistant business will be blooming as well. In any case, I will continue to put in the effort necessary to be proficient for my clients and my business.