Front End vs. Back End Services
What You Need to know!
Believe it or not there is a difference in the type of services you offer in your VA business.
I call them Front End Services + Back End Services and I want to take you through what they are in this blog post.
Now… this post is actually related to a post I wrote on why you want to stop calling yourself a Virtual Assistant.
If you haven’t read it yet, you can do so here.
The main point of that post was to point out that SO many people get hung up on what they call themselves instead of focusing on how they help their clients.
When you call yourself a Virtual Assistant people assume (right or wrong) that you’re an admin.
But what if you’re not?
I wasn’t an admin and I didn’t offer any type of administrative skills.
It’s not that I couldn’t – I didn’t want to because admin skills keep you tied to your desk or computer during certain hours of the day.
I started my business because I wanted FREEDOM an admin skills would not give me that.
You see… when you offer administrative type services (aka Front End Services) you usually need to be available during specific business hours for your clients or their clients.
You’re basically like the front desk for their office – you’re just virtual.
I didn’t want that – I wanted to do the work on my schedule.
I wanted flexibility and that is what Back End Services gives you.
The ability to work when you want, on your own schedule.
You just need to meet your deadlines.
Besides… when I started my business I wasn’t available during so-called business hours because I had a full time job.
So… the only work I could do, needed to be deadline driven and around my schedule.
Besides, I’m a systems junkie + techie and those are the type of services I wanted to offer – what I call Back-End Services.
So… just to recap the differences between Front-End + Back-End Services…
- Front end services are administrative type services where you need to have “office hours” or availability during the work day for your clients or their clients.
- Services such as answering phones or email, scheduling appointments, anything customer service related would be a front-end service.
- Back end services are the techie + system type services where you can work when you want and just meet your deadlines.
- Services such as WordPress, Mail Chimp, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing or really anything under the Digital Marketing umbrella.
- Anything technology or systems based.
My focus is on teaching the back-end systems and skills which is different from most other VA Trainers + Coaches in the VA Industry.
I do this for a couple of reasons:
- It’s my passion – I love it!
- It’s what online business owners aka clients need.
I would estimate that somewhere between 75 – 80% of the people starting a VA business have an administrative background of some sort. Like a PA or EA for instance.
While those skills are valuable, clients are looking for MORE than admin skills.
They are looking for people that can set up the tools, technology and systems that run + automate their business.
Clients can do their own admin work (answering their phone, schedule appointments, take care of their own customers) but they don’t know how to work the tools or systems that run their business.
Now, I’m not saying clients should do their own admin work – they shouldn’t – they should focus on what they do best.
But… push comes to shove and they don’t have the budget to hire help, they can do those things themselves.
What they can’t do is log into the back of their WordPress site, or send out an email using Mail Chimp or edit a video.
These are back-end skills that most clients don’t know how to do or are afraid to.
There is a much larger demand for back-end skills and they pay more!
Plus… it’s much easier to specialize in a specific skill or system which makes it easier to market your service and get clients.
One other difference between offering front-end + back-end services is how some of your clients might view you.
They may look at you as more of a consultant, someone they can brainstorm with as they grow their business.
It’s just a perception – I’m not saying that admins aren’t consultants.
But for some reason the word “assistant” has less value than “consultant” – especially to those of us from the corporate cube farm.
Oh… one other quick thing, just to clear up any confusion.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term OBM – it stands for Online Business Manager and they are NOT the same as Virtual Assistants.
They’re more what I call an Operations Manager – they help run a client’s business, focusing on the day to day stuff.
Many of them focus on back end services + skills but they don’t usually do admin type tasks.
You can find out more about OBM’s at onlinebusinessmanager.com.
I hope you now have a better understanding of front-end and back-end services and the differences between them.
Keep in mind, that these are my definitions or categories.
So… if you’re looking for skills that will give you the freedom to work when you want from where you want, then I’d recommend specializing in back-end services.
If you’re not sure what is considered a back-end service, feel free to comment and I’ll be happy to help.
Thank you for reading my story!
All comments + questions are welcome.
I’d love to hear from you.
If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.
HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:
- What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant
- Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business
- Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan
- Virtual Assistant is NOT a Title
If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.
Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!
I’m Susan Mershon and I started The Techie Mentor ™ in 2013 to teach Virtual Assistants my no fluff approach to the systems and skills they need to build + run a successful business. My focus is on teaching you the high end skills clients want and the systems to take those skills and offer them as a service professional.