You cannot – I repeat – you cannot be an expert in everything. The ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ saying immediately springs to mind, as if you spread your knowledge and skill too thinly over a broad range of topics, it’s difficult to achieve expert level in any of them. The best way to offer a range of good quality services to your customers is to build a team around you with a variety of tried, tested and trusted skills.
It’s not easy relinquishing control of your client work to others if you’re used to working alone, which is why it’s so important to build a team of people you really trust. In a community like the APVA Members Club, you know that the other members of the group have met a specific list of accreditation criteria, which includes:
- Public indemnity insurance
- Public liability insurance
- Cyber insurance
- Appropriate terms and conditions of business
- ICO registration, etc.
Having all of these in place in your VA business can demonstrate professionalism and a commitment to responsible business practices, so finding potential team members who already meet APVA’s membership criteria gives you one less thing to worry about when it comes to growing your team! Of course, it’s also really important to check that you get on too – even the most efficient VA might not be the best fit for your team! Do you have a similar sense of humour? Do you share the same work ethic? These are helpful things to establish in conversations with a potential team member before you take them on. It’s also worth speaking to trusted peers to find out whether they can recommend anyone who would be a good fit for your business.
When you’ve found team members, it’s incredibly important to ensure that you formalise the working relationship with associate contracts and agreements – these help to outline the responsibilities and expectations of both parties, and help you work together more effectively and safely.
Working with a team can be incredibly rewarding – not only do you have colleagues you can share your workload with (and the highs and lows of your working week), but you can increase the range of services you are able to offer, helping your business to remain competitive and relevant. You’ll also be able to support each other through holidays and illness, helping to spread the workload – something that’s incredibly valuable when you’re used to manning the fort single-handedly!