Are Your Business Policies Documented?

Business Policies

Have you taken the time to document your business policies AND share them with your clients?

I know many business owners that have not documented their policies or shared with them with their clients. This can cause potential problems…

For instance, let’s say that you charge an “urgent fee” for last-minute tasks or projects. Now, you may have told your client but they may not have “heard” you or understood exactly what an “urgent fee” is or when they would be charged one. Imagine their surprise when they receive an invoice that includes an “urgent fee” of $75.00 (just an example)! They could be very unhappy to find out that you charged an extra fee to have their work completed by their last-minute deadline.

I highly recommend that you take the time to document all of your business policies AND share and discuss them with your clients. In your first meeting – go over them in detail, make sure they understand them and address any questions or concerns at that time. This way, there are no surprises. Add them to your Welcome Packet!

If you’re not sure what to include in your business policies, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Business Hours – include whether you work weekends or nights.
  • Rush or Urgent Fees – if you charge a fee for last minute tasks please be sure it is clearly documented what constitutes a “rush” fee and how much you charge.
  • Referrals – do you give existing clients a discount if they refer someone who becomes a client?
  • Average Turnaround Time – this is key for Virtual Assistants; what is the average turnaround time to complete tasks. Be sure to document that all tasks are different depending on complexity but you can give include an average.
  • Emergencies – how do you handle life’s emergencies? Do you have someone who covers for you while you are out of the office?
  • Holiday Schedule – what holidays do you or your team observe?

Your business policies is a living document. Be sure to schedule time monthly or quarterly to update it. Don’t forget to send the new versions to your clients and discuss any changes with them the next time you meet.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your comments. Please take a moment to leave me a comment and share your thoughts.

Please share if you know someone who might benefit from this information.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy your day – Susan

PS – All of these items should be in your contract as well. I have the separate document since we all know no one reads the fine print on contracts.

PPS – If you are a Virtual Assistant and are confused about what goes into a Business Policies document – check out my VA Business Template Bundle.

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Written by Susan Mershon

Susan Mershon started The Techie Mentor™ in 2013 to teach Virtual Assistants her no-fluff approach to the systems and skills they need to build and automate a successful business.

With a strong base in project management, Susan brings her love of systems and teaching to offer in-depth training and mentoring to new and experienced Virtual Assistants.

She’s taught over 5,000 students her unique systems and strategies that focus on offering high-end skills that give you the freedom to work when and where you want.

To learn more about The Techie Mentor™ and the systems and skills she teaches without all the fluff or hype go to The Techie Mentor website.

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10 Comments
  1. Vena Jensen Blitsch

    Great suggestions, Susan. What do other VA’s do if you don’t have someone that can cover for you?

    • SE Mershon

      Hi Vena,

      Thank you for comment. I recommend reaching out to other VA’s that you know from working together on a team or someone you have a relationship with to discuss the possibility of being Trusted Partners. It does take time to find the right one and so worth it when you need them.

  2. Kim

    Great advice Susan!

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Kim!

  3. Chrystal

    Great article! I use a Terms and Conditions page at the end of my client contract

    • SE Mershon

      Thanks Crystal. I have them in my contract as well but most people don’t read the fine print. So to avoid any hiccups I created a separate business policies document and send it in my Welcome Packet to new clients.

  4. David Wander

    Good points, but all of your tips should be included in your contract. This way you can refer your client back to your contract and you have it signed off on.

    • SE Mershon

      Thanks for commenting David. They are also in my contract! Clients usually don’t read the contract they just sign it – that is why I have a separate document that I can send and review with them.

  5. Rhonda

    Great advice, Simple and insightful! Do you recommend listing this on our website as well or just in the client documents?

    • Susan Mershon

      Hi Rhonda, thank you! I would just include it in your client documents as part of your welcome packet 🙂
      Susan

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