Running an efficient business involves having streamlined processes in place. If you happen to be scratching your head and wondering what the heck a streamlined process is you’re not alone. In fact, if you had asked me a couple years ago I wouldn’t have had a clue!
Let me break it down for you: A process is a list of steps taken in order to achieve a goal. For instance, if your goal is to get a new client set up and working with you, you’ll want a client intake process. This process might look similar to this:
- Prospective client fills out “work with me” form on your website
- The both of you set up a time to chat about the client’s needs
- If you’re a good fit you’ll send your contract and first invoice
- Once the client signs the contract and pays their invoice, you’ll get their passwords & get to work
One way to make this and other processes streamlined is having the right tools to get the tasks done efficiently. This is where I geek out! I love discovering new tools to make things run smoothly.
Below you’ll find my top tool recommendations for your VA business.
My Favorite VA tools:
Typeform -This program allows you to create attractive questionnaires for prospective clients. It’s also a great way to send surveys to your clients to get their feedback and testimonials for your services.
Satori – There are lots of appointment scheduling software out there, but Satori is my fave. It’s a little pricey, but if you’re bringing on new clients continuously it’s worth the money. It will even automatically send your contract to your new client, saving you some time. Timetrade & Calendly are two others that are popular. It’s best to find one that will convert time zones for you since your clients could potentially live anywhere in the world. When a prospective client wants to schedule a call with you, just send them the link to your appointment scheduler! It reduces the back and forth emails figuring out the best time for the both of you.
Google Calendar – Use this to keep track of tasks, meetings, and important dates. You can also have separate calendars for you and your clients and use filters to see different calendars at different times. Attach your Google calendar to your time scheduling software and you have a streamlined system!
Skype – Great for face-to-face meetings with clients!
Docracy – I recommend Docracy to create your contracts and send them to your clients (if you use Satori you won’t need Docracy – see above). Not sure what your contract should say? Check out my contract templates to get an idea!
PayPal – You have to get paid somehow! Paypal is secure, user-friendly, and a lot of people use it.
Harvest – You can track your hours and send invoices to clients. There’s even a feature to automatically send recurring invoices to retainer clients.
LastPass – This program will keep all of your passwords in one vault that requires a single password to access. This way, you don’t have to remember or record every password for you and your clients! Your clients can also securely share access to various sites and accounts without revealing their passwords.
Google Docs – This is an online storage system that allows you to organize your business documents and spreadsheets and share them with others. I use this to store my SOPs (my business processes), blog post drafts, marketing spreadsheets, etc.
DropBox – Another amazing online storage system. As a VA, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of documents for your own business and your clients’ businesses. Organization is vital! Plus, you can share folders with your clients, which eliminates the time consuming task of attaching documents to emails.
Canva – This is my favorite free program for creating graphics for websites, social media, or blogs. They have templates that make graphic design a breeze for non-designers!
Outright – I love this for accounting and tax organization.
Those are the main tools I keep in my VA toolbelt! As you grow into your new business, you’ll get a good sense of what works for you and your clients, but this should be enough to get you started!
Are you interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant but don’t know where to start? Check out my previous article 5 Steps to Starting a Successful Virtual Assistant Business.