As any business owner knows, the way you run your business, reflects who you are as a person – and it’s no different for a VA business. There’s an unspoken VA etiquette that most Virtual Assistants use to run their businesses in an ethical, congruent way; it’s what makes a VA business tick. But what are those overriding unspoken etiquette ‘rules’?

The VA industry is a close-knit one

It’s important to realise that the VA industry IS a close-knit one. Why is this important? Because it’s the overriding factor behind the etiquette used by most VAs. VAs often know other VAs. Not only do they know them, they interact, converse and share stories and experiences with other VAs – whether they’re good or bad stories and experiences.

Collaboration is key, not competition

The VA industry as a whole, is therefore built on collaboration, not competition. This is what makes the VA industry stand out from other industries – it’s good to interact and know other VAS. Not only can you swap knowledge and information, it’s also an essential way to help you run your business smoothly. Want to go on holiday? How will you manage clients when you’re ill? These are questions that VAs need to know the answer to – and most times, that answer involves having the backup and support of another VA.

Respect each other

With the industry being so close-knit, this inevitably means you need to get on with other VAs. You have a responsibility to respect other VAs. As with any business, you’re not going to get far, if you spend your time undermining or complaining about other VAs. If you’re going to bad mouth others, there’s a good chance it’s going to get back to the person you’re talking about. Not only is this bad business generally, it’s something that also has a huge responsibility attached to it – as others are going to get drawn into it, have an opinion and take sides – and you could end up looking like the school bully who’s alienating and victimising others.

Pinching clients?

If you’re respecting other VAs, it obviously goes without saying – you don’t pinch their clients. However, there’s also a flip side to this. If you’re so worried about other VAs pinching your clients, you’re not going to be focusing on giving your clients the best possible experience. You’re also not going to be respecting other VAs, if you’re constantly worrying and assuming that, if you build a better relationship with them, they may just pinch your clients! And that leads to my final etiquette point…

Focus on building good relationships

Whether you’re looking at the etiquette between VAs, or the relationship between you and your clients, just focus on building good relationships. By keeping your focus on this, you’ll be running a business authentically, showing who you are and respecting other VAs and your clients (not to mention yourself!), at the same time.

The unspoken VA etiquette rules really amount to being a good, kind person. If you’re running your business by being authentically you, you’ll have all the tools you need, to not only adhere to the VA etiquette rules, you’ll also be doing what’s needed, to make your VA business tick successfully!

What are your thoughts around VA etiquette? Do you think it’s something we all need to be aware of and what can you do, to help raise the VA standards generally? Why not share your thoughts and opinions, in the comments box below!

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