If you are a solo Virtual Assistant, having a trusted partner or partners is a must.
So, what is a Trusted Partner™?
A trusted partner is someone who can step into your business and essentially be you when you want or need to take time away from your business.
Why do you need one?
What happens when you get sick or have an emergency and need to be out of the office for more than a day or two? Your clients may have tasks or deadlines that need to be handled. Do you have someone who can step in and assist your clients?
I remember when I got a nasty bug that laid me up for a week. I was worried about the looming deadlines and my client’s needs. I actually lost a client during that time because she had a product launch and I was unavailable. She needed someone to help her so, she found another Virtual Assistant to fill in and complete the tasks.
After I got back to work, I decided I needed to find a partner who could step in and handle my business when I was unavailable. And the Trusted Partner™ was born!
Where do you find one?
I reached out to a few colleagues that I had worked with in the past and asked them if they would be interested in being each others “Trusted Partner™“. These were Virtual Assistants that I had worked with on a team or who had done sub-contractor work for me.
The most important thing is to find someone you know and trust who has similar skills to you. That way they can handle any of the tasks that may come their way.
How do you use them?
Once you’ve found your partners, be sure to let your client’s know about them and how you are using them in your business.
I introduced my “Trusted Partners™” to my clients and explained how the entire process worked. My “Trusted Partners™” were only for filling in for me when I was unavailable for extended periods of time (3 days or more) – not for any other reason.
Be sure to add the exact process for working with your “Trusted Partners™” to your business policies document and discuss it with your clients. This way they are clear on how and when to use them. Also, add your Trusted Partners™ contact information and skills to your business policies document.
Having a Trusted Partner™ gives your clients peace of mind knowing they have someone they can reach out to if they need anything while you are unavailable. It makes a huge difference between keeping and losing clients.
Here is a quick checklist to help you get started finding your Trusted Partners™!
Trusted Partner™ Checklist
- Reach out to people you trust. These can be people you have worked with on a team, met on social media or were in a course together. I recommend finding two or more.
- Be sure they have similar skills as you. Remember, they are going to be stepping into your business and acting as you while you are unavailable. This means that they need to understand how you run your business.
- Decide on whether or not you are going to pay your partners. Sometimes we paid each other, other times we just bartered for each other’s services. This is something you need to work out together. And, be sure to get it all in writing!
- Work with your trusted partners to create the process you use when an emergency happens and you have to be out of the office.
- Train your trusted partners in how you work with clients and the tools that you use (great time to have an operations manual).
- Add the trusted partner process to your business policies document and share it with your clients.
- Make an introduction to your clients and make sure they understand the process for working with your trusted partners.
Do you have a Trusted Partner™? What do you think of the idea? I’d love to here your comments. Please take a moment to leave me a comment and share your thoughts.
Thanks for reading!