My client is the sole proprietor of a flooring company working over a wide geographical area who was beginning to struggle with finding the time to dedicate to the growth he wanted.
He was busy estimating, completing all paperwork and admin as well as overseeing the projects and was no longer able to find enough time to continue with marketing and sourcing new leads to fill his sales pipeline.
The answer to the client’s “growth dilemma” was to look to the services of a virtual assistant, and we were introduced through a local networking meeting.
I asked him a few questions on how he has used my services to grow his business and enable him to focus on project managing:
So what made you look for a virtual assistant?
I was keen to scale the business, but knew that there wasn’t a full-time position to fill – and didn’t want to burden the overheads. I was confident in the lead generation process – and that this could be compartmentalised. The important part for me was partnering with the right company or individual. Key to my search was finding someone who would be personable and had the commercial acumen to identify potential clients, explore appetite, then pass on leads at the appropriate time.
What sort of tasks do you delegate to Cotswold Colleague?
Primarily lead generation and prospecting. Nicki has undertaken research for potential customers, made initial calls to identify the key personnel and followed up with emails and follow up calls. I have also needed help with travel and hotel bookings, small administrative tasks and printing and database cleansing.
Have these types of tasks changed over the course of time?
Not significantly, as Nicki got to know my business more we have been able to refine and improve what works well; to make it even better.
What are some of the core qualities you would look for in a VA?
Trust is a big part of it, and with everyone I deal with within my business, there has to be a human connection. My Virtual Assistant is going to be representing my business by proxy – so I have to be sure that the personality, voice-tone, and culture mirrors my target clients. As a client, it’s important for me to be able to brief in a project, then step back and focus on other tasks in the business. To this end, being a good listener and being able to thereafter work independently and efficiently to a pre-defined process is an absolute staple.
Have you found it easy to delegate work to your VA?
Yes, I believe this has been critical to the success of engaging with Nicki.
So how do you communicate with your VA?
As we’re local, we have face-to-face meetings with a defined agenda to review progress against previously set tasks and a view of headline strategy for my business. In between – it’s a combination of telephone calls, emails or WhatsApp messages. The simplicity of this makes it work so well. It’s not at all arduous.
Time is key, so do you optimise the explanation of a task?
When I first contracted, I sent over an email explaining the company background, headline strategy and day-to-day operations and we have clear discussions followed by email I have to say, it’s been very straightforward as Nicki has a very good commercial understanding that was there right from the beginning of working with her. Such a valuable skill set to be able to contract in.