If your VA practice has slowed down due to the unsteady economy, your thoughts may be turning to how you can bring in more revenue, or even replace some of the clients who may have faded away.
Either way, if you are good with numbers and have at least some bookkeeping experience, here’s an easy way to not only get the word out about your VA services, but expand the services you offer to a wider audience at the same time. All without any hard selling.
The Plan in a Nutshell
Offer to tale on some of the financially-based tasks for your existing clients who seem to struggle or dislike handling them themselves.
While this doesn’t sound sexy, it’s something that 95% of all small businesses really need help with, whether they know it or not. The fact is, the vast majority of small businesses are NOT keeping adequate or organized financial records.
Some of them have SERIOUS problems with their books that may cause a HUGE problem for their bottom line, and even get them in A LOT of trouble if they ever get audited (something that is happening with more frequency these days…Hey, the IRS is looking for more money too!)
But you can save them from this peril!
For your clients, keeping up with financial records is a lot like going to the dentist. We all know we SHOULD do it to avoid BIG problems later, but many of us do not eagerly anticipate our next dental checkup. It’s not a favorite activity.
Over time, if we’ve neglected our teeth, when we start to feel pain, we KNOW we need to get help pretty quick. But it is often only when we are introuble that we take action.
The same can be true for your clients with their financial records.
Your clients probably already know that they need help with keeping their records up to date and organized, or should add a layer of security and convenience by going paperless. But they may not be reaching out for the help they need.
Not only can we help clients who have neglected their books and are close to trouble because of a looming a tax deadline or some other “urgent” need to get their books straight, but we can also help clients who have been attempting to handle their books themselves (and will ultimately get themselves into trouble).
Simply by taking an interest in their success and be willing to lend a hand. Proactively and gradually take on small tasks that will not raise what they’re paying you significantly (at least not right away).
Your goal is for them to say, “Ah! That is a load off my mind.”
When this ocurrs, your client may be easily convinced to turn much or if not all of the bookkeeping work over to you, since you have already proven you are invested in their success, are reliable and they already trust you.
While this tip definitely helps if you want to expand your service offerings into virtual bookkeeping, in principle it can apply to any additional services you could readily provide your existing (or past) clients that you KNOW they need and will help them make more money, save money or escape pain.
Using this simple strategy, or some variation of it, will position you as a top-notch expert in your clients’ eyes and make it easy for them to sing your praises and refer your services to their peers.
by Gabrielle Fontaine, PB