Admin for now, but not forever

We had a client leave us last month. You may wonder why we think that is a good thing, let me explain…

We started with this client 7 months ago. She was feeling overwhelmed with the administration for her business and felt unable to move ahead with ideas she had to grow and improve her business. She felt tied to her mobile phone and was constantly dealing with calls and queries into the evenings and weekends. She wasn’t able to step away from work fully and enjoy her young family and equally she wasn’t able to move ahead with her business. She was very frustrated.

Along comes Coastal VAs… The first step we took was to separate her work email from her home email. We also changed all her calls to action to “Email us” instead of “Call us”. We encouraged all her existing clients and new contacts to use email as their first point of contact and, as we were now managing the work email, clients soon found they got a quick, thorough answer if they emailed. Within a few weeks our clients mobile was her own and her evenings and weekends free from constant work calls.

We helped our client put together regular and comprehensive email updates for her clients including billing reminders with information on how to pay online. We changed her invoicing from invoicing in arrears to invoicing in advance and very quickly improved her cash flow and reduced the stress of “chasing the money” that all small businesses face. At the same time, we encouraged her to raise her prices, which she did with no complaints from clients and no loss of business.

With all this running smoothly, we turned to marketing the business to new clients. We put in place a regular and simple marketing campaign using a combination of Email marketing and Facebook (our client’s preferred social media). This allowed our client to expand her offering and steadily recruit new clients to the business.

So why did she leave?

The answer was that, as happens in life, her circumstances simply changed. A shift in her situation meant that she had more time to do her own administration coinciding with the need to reduce her expenses. We completely understood… we’re mums and business people too 😉

Our main objective when we transitioned the work back to our client was that she be able to move ahead with all the advantages of the systems we had put in place for her. We provided her with an outline of where we were with different projects, a guide to the things we did for her and some video instructions for her on how to do her invoicing and marketing.

Half way through the first week of doing her own administration she said “I miss you guys already”. But, she persisted and soon got into a good routine with the work.

One of the best moments for me was after she did her own invoicing for the first time using the system we had set up for her. She had been outsourcing her invoicing for years as she had never felt able to do it. She said “I did everything you outlined in the video: created new invoices, added clients, marked things as paid…. I actually found it quite satisfying.”

So, we are a month on now and things are running smoothly for her. She has had us back for a few hours, just to help with some marketing, but she is now primarily doing all her own work. She’s using all the new systems we introduced and she knows where we are if she ever gets stuck.

So, our first client left us … and it was good!