The relationship between a client and a remote virtual assistant can be best descibed as a partnership, as both of them need to work together to make it a mutually benefical relationship for either of them.
In order to get the best possible output both need to collaborate and work together towards the success of your business. However, at the end of the day, it is the client who needs to take more ownership of maintaining the relationship, as they need it to succeed more than any of their employees.
Thats why being a good client, matters a lot.
Being a good client goes beyond just ensuring their salaries and payments are credited on time. It means trusting, delagating and being pro-active towards the needs of your virtual assistants.
Which brings us to our next question, what defines a bad client?
Are bad clients late paymasters or those who dump umpteen number of tasks on their virtual assistants, and expect them to pull up a miracle everyday. No, it goes much beyond all that. Late payments, multiple tasks are expected and seldom define a bad client.
This blog, aims to give you a better insight on what differentiates a good client from a bad client and how you can be a good client to your virtual asssitants and team.
Of course, one could be profound and say that money isn't everything. Still, if we're being realistic, money is a driving factor for anyone when they're looking for work. It's the thing that pays the rent, buys the groceries, and even the occasional ticket to the movies. So, we can't discuss clients without talking about money.
All entrepreneurs want the best possible service at the lowest price possible. However, the best talent is a product of people investing their time and money into education and constant upskilling. So it's obvious that if you're looking for a quality employee, you will need to do your homework before you set your budget.
For example, a bad client looking for a bookkeeper would set the price at whatever they feel they can afford, expecting the best talent and getting frustrated when people refuse to work with them.
On the other hand, a good client does their research, learns about the industry standards, and sets a realistic budget for the quality of work they expect. They understand that quality bookkeeping is not an expense but a necessary investment for the future of their business. This makes them seem more professional as an employer and saves time interviewing unnecessary applicants.
Additionally, the sign of a good client is that they negotiate with their potential employees and are respectful of their rates and pricing. While bad clients focus on finding the cheapest, fastest hire, good clients are more concerned with ensuring they get the best person for the job, no matter the price.
Understandably, business owners would want to cut costs wherever possible in the early stages of their business. A virtual assistant is an excellent alternative for entrepreneurs who can't afford a full-time employee. They work on a contract basis and are paid hourly, so you pay only for the work you need to be done.
2. Feedback, advice, and suggestions.
In a utopian world, all entrepreneurs would be masters of all trades, possess all the skills needed to run a business, and have the time to complete all these tasks independently. But in the real world, business owners usually have a great business idea. Still, they need help to turn their vision into reality.
Business owners might be great managers, but there are a lot of different elements that keep a business running smoothly. There's administrative work, customer service, marketing, accounting, website design, sales, and so much more. And your business needs all these departments to function properly for your business to grow.
As much as entrepreneurs would like to be experts in everything themselves, it's simply not possible, and that's why they hire people to help them grow their business. However, even after hiring, they refuse to accept their advice and feedback on how to improve business operations. This is counterproductive to both their performance and also business growth.
Yes, it's true that it's the client's brand and idea, but the people you hire are experts in their field, and there's a reason they are brought into the company. Business owners need to be open to their advice and spend time working on practical strategies that will result in business growth.
A bad client would try to make everything work their way without listening to their employee's opinions, feedback, or advice. Their main objective is to establish that they know more than everyone. However, this will make employees feel like they aren't valued and might even make them unmotivated.
A good client's primary goal is company growth. They are aware that they aren't an expert in any field and have hired professionals to help them. Therefore, they will welcome any ideas to help them improve their business with open arms. They will be keen on asking questions and learning from their employees and their industry expertise.
For business owners, staying involved in every project and tracking its progress is essential. This is important because it lets them monitor each team member's contribution, check if the project is going on track, and prevent any errors before it's too late. However, while business owners must take part in overlooking each project, trying to control every aspect of the project might be harmful.
It's understandable that entrepreneurs only want the best for their business and therefore think they know the best way to do things. Maybe they've learned it from other people in their circle running their own businesses or even at their previous place of employment before starting their own venture. But, micromanagement will actually negatively impact the success of all their projects.
How do I know if I micromanage?
A lot of times, entrepreneurs don't even recognize that they are micromanaging their employees. Consider the following -
- Do you always feel like you need to take the lead on every project?
- Do you take over other people's tasks because "it'll be better/faster if I just do it myself"?
- Do you dread delegating?
- Even after delegating, do you oversee every single aspect of the project to ensure it's going the way you want it?
- Do you feel there's no one more equipped than you to perform these tasks efficiently?
If the answer to all or most of these questions is yes, you're probably a micromanager.
Micromanagement always carries a negative connotation in the corporate world, and rightfully so. Not only does micromanagement defeat the purpose of hiring employees, but it also keeps entrepreneurs away from core business activities. Additionally, it leaves the employees feeling unmotivated and undervalued. It will decrease productivity and negatively affect the quality of work, as employees will feel that nothing they do is good enough.
A bad client will try to take charge of every project and not give their team the time and space to execute projects efficiently. Furthermore, they will try to impose their methodologies on the other team members without letting them contribute anything meaningful to the project.
A good client is more focused on being a leader than a manager. While they are also involved in projects, they know when to let go and trust the team they hired to do a good job without constant monitoring and supervision. They believe in letting their employees come to them when they have issues that need to be resolved instead of always hovering over them to ensure the project is going according to plan.
4. Onboarding and communication.
The reason business owners hire is so that they don't have to do everything themselves. However, once they hire an employee or a freelancer, they expect them to be prepared to start the job from day one.
It's important to understand that after hiring, every employee must undergo an onboarding period to let them understand their role. Only then will they be able to do a good job.
Consider, for example, that a business owner hired a virtual administrative assistant to help them with routine administrative tasks. However, post hiring, they say they are too busy to train them or even communicate what tasks need to be done. Then the virtual assistant would find themselves lost and clueless about what needs to be done.
Now, you might say that this might seem like micromanagement, which we advised against in the previous point. However, giving employees time to do their tasks differs from not briefing them about how things function within the company. Think about it, an employee cannot perform their role well if they don't know what they have to do.
After their onboarding period, entrepreneurs don't need to monitor their employees every second. But a quick 10-minute meeting every few days will help the employees to communicate updates and developments in the projects and gives employers time to answer queries and delegate more tasks for the coming days.
A bad client does not take the time to communicate their expectations to their employees and expects them to do everything without guidance. As a result, they do not guide their team on how to perform tasks and get frustrated when results are not what they expected.
On the other hand, a good client is someone who leads by example, demonstrates how to accomplish tasks, and is there to answer any queries. They can adequately communicate their expectations with their employees and have regular meetings, no matter how brief, to get updates on projects and offer help when required.
Small businesses and startups are fast-paced working environments. Often there are tight deadlines and last-minute changes that need to be done. And these emergencies don't always happen on a weekday. For example, sometimes, you will need them to make a presentation for a meeting approved the following morning or a payment that needs to go through to a vendor on the weekend. Other times, it might even be a timely response through email or a phone call to offer you much-needed assistance.
Business owners often take these things for granted just because operations run smoothly and seamlessly. Still, they don't fully know the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure there are no hiccups and all deadlines are met on time.
Showing appreciation for employees' hard work can boost their confidence, make them feel seen and valued, and make them feel that their efforts don't go unnoticed. And it doesn't take a lot of money or time to show appreciation and gratitude. Many business owners think appreciation means bonuses and expensive gifts, but it can be as simple as a heartfelt thank you note/email, a shoutout in the next office meeting, a coffee gift card, etc. When it comes to showing appreciation, it's usually more about the thought than the gift itself.
A bad client thinks working weekends and extended hours is a part of an employee's commitment. Hence, they fail to show appreciation when their team goes out of the way to ensure their business runs smoothly. This may hinder productivity as employees will feel their hard work goes unnoticed.
A good client pays attention when their employees go out of their way to ensure business growth and ensure their appreciation for their employees is known. They don't take their employee's dedication for granted, which results in a mutually respectful and beneficial professional relationship.
Happy Employees Make Successful Businesses
Every business is different, and every employer has their own strategies and approaches to dealing with employees. However, it always helps to know that a successful business results from a collaborative work environment and the employer plays just as important a role as their employees. We hope you enjoyed this article and will try to apply the qualities of a good client to all your future employees.
If you would like to grow your business with the help of Wishup's talented team of virtual assistants, click here to book your free consultation, or drop us a mail at [email protected].
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