In any profession there are good workers and there are bad workers. Even in the virtual world, bad habits can sneak in and undermine your efforts to run a successful home-based business. Here are some habits to avoid so you do not end up a virtual casualty.
Virtual Assistant Bad Habit: Show Up Late / Leave Early
A common misconception many virtual assistants have is that they can work (or not work) whenever they feel like it. Yes, you are your own boss, but that does not mean working only two days a week, three hours a day. Knocking off early to play nine holes of golf may work occasionally, but it should be the exception not the rule.
Virtual Assistant Bad Habit: Blame Others
This gives a whole new meaning to, “the dog ate my homework” but the same principle applies to working as a virtual assistant. Take responsibility for your actions. Do not blame the print shop, your computer, or your dog for your own shortcomings. Your clients will respect you more for owning up to your mistakes than trying to pass the buck or, worse yet, lying about it.
Virtual Assistant Bad Habit: Too Many Personal Phone Calls
Many virtual assistants experience that awkward moment when they have to tell friends and family that they have a “real job” working from home and are not available to chat all day long. Spending too much time on the phone for personal reasons will derail your day, sending your deadlines into a tailspin. During your business hours, keep it professional.
Virtual Assistant Bad Habit: Too Many Sick Days
Many of us are guilty of taking a “mental health” day when working for someone else. However, as the owner of your own business, the only one who suffers when you do this is you. Do not shrug off commitments and deadlines simply because it’s a beautiful day outside. Clients will not respond well to this attitude, and you may soon find your self with more time on your hands than you would like.
Virtual Assistant Bad Habit: Turn In Late Assignments
Clients rely on you to complete assignments in a timely fashion. Continually missing deadlines will destroy your credibility and professionalism. The golden rule here is, “Deliver what you promise, and don’t promise what you can’t deliver.”
Virtual Assistant Bad Habit: Turn In Sloppy Work
Along with turning in late assignments, delivering sloppy work will hurt your business and your bottom line. Most clients would rather wait an extra day for excellent work than accept a shoddy assignment. Remember, your work reflects on you. Do not ruin your reputation by giving less than your best.
Virtual Assistant Bad Habit: Poor Communication
Without proper communication, you cannot build rapport with your clients. Keep them apprised of your progress on long assignment through status reports. Ask questions if clarification is needed. If an unexpected delay pops up, let your client know as soon as possible. Do not work in a bubble.
Virtual Assistant Bad Habit: Poor Time Management
Perhaps the most difficult challenge for a virtual assistant to overcome is poor time management. Especially when working for more than one client, it is extremely important to balance your time in order to complete assignments on deadline. Do not fall into the trap of working 24/7 because you do not know how to plan your days. Ask for help if you need it, and don’t burn yourself out.
Avoiding these bad habits will put you on the path to success in your virtual assistant business. Remember, in order to be successful you must work your business like a business, not a hobby. Take yourself seriously, or no one else will either. Now, stop surfing the internet and get back to work!
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