Several weeks ago I was a “panelist” on a free call hosted by Virtual Assistant Forums. Each of us were asked to share our thoughts on what we felt was important to becoming a successful Virtual Assistant.

Over the years I’ve spoken to many business owners, many of whom have expressed frustration with previous Virtual Assistants. There seems to be two recurring themes within those complaints.

  1. Saying they know how to do something and in reality they don’t (maybe a case of: “Faking it till you make it”?)
  2. Poor communication – not responding in a timely manner, literally “disappearing” for days at a time, etc.

It’s incredibly easy to throw up a shingle and call yourself a Virtual Assistant. With no formal agency monitoring our industry there is no true recourse for those who have bad experiences.

Over the years I’ve operated with these five “R’s” as part of my personal manifesto:

  • Resilience: It’s easy to become a Virtual Assistant. Finding clients can be a struggle. There will be days you want to quit.
  • Reliable:  Reliability builds trust. Clients expect consistency.
  • Respect: Respect your skills and work within those areas where you truly shine.
  • Rewards: Reward those who refer you new business.
  • Relationships: The pinnacle of everything. We must nurture them – whether by sending rewards for referrals, thank you cards, a shout out on social networks, linking to someone else’s blog post, commenting on a post, tweet, etc. Do it…and you’ll reap rewards.

What does it all really come down to? Integrity. Operate your business with integrity. It’s the only true win-win for everyone.

PS: There will be another free call on Thurs. Feb. 7th – Topic: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Virtual Assistant. 

Photo credit: Photoxpress user: rphotos