Guest blog - Jen Taylor, www.jetvirtualassistant.com
So you’ve gone it alone and set up your own Sports Therapy business – congratulations! It takes guts, drive, and determination to go self-employed as a Sports Therapist and I personally believe that running your own business is one of the most fulfilling ways you can work!!
But I bet when you started your Sports Therapy business, you didn’t bank on how much time would be spent on ‘behind the scenes’ work and not actually in clinic. From dealing with enquiries and setting appointments to handling invoices and payments, there’s a lot to do. That’s before you factor in meeting with suppliers or your accountant. When was the last time you updated your website or posted on social media?
These ‘admin’ tasks have a habit of pushing your working day into the evenings and weekends, and although you are grateful to be busy, the overwhelm can be real and the impact on your personal and family life, significant. Or perhaps you’re so busy, you’re finding that you’re making mistakes or missing things?
This is where a Virtual Assistant can quite literally transform both your Sports Therapy clinic business and personal life... and through this blog, I hope to answer some of the questions you may have about it!
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant is a freelance administration professional, who generally works from home, and supports several clients with their admin tasks. They can be flexible in the skillset they offer to clients or they can have a more niche offering – so social media, or finance for example. Others may have a certain sector they serve, such as legal practitioners or online stores.
How can a Virtual Assistant help my Sports Therapy business?
In so many ways! Think about those tasks that are not directly linked to your clinical knowledge, that detract from your main skillset, and take up too much of your time.
Or do you have a certain area where you aren’t sure what you should be doing, for example, social media? You know you need to be posting and have heard you need to engage followers, but content writing and creating graphics just aren’t your thing and you don’t really know what engaging on Instagram means.
Try doing a quick audit of the tasks you get bogged down with. What could be delegated to someone else if you showed them how.
You know your Sports Therapy business inside out and having a list of tasks you could pass on, even if they would take a little training, with an idea of how long they take you, will be a great starting point to having an initial chat with a potential Virtual Assistant.
Where can I find a Virtual Assistant?
We’re everywhere! Most Virtual Assistants will be on Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin, so you could try a search and see what you come back with. There are also agencies that can supply you with a Virtual Assistant. However, I can appreciate that taking the first steps to delegating some of your work feels like a big step and as with a lot of thing, a recommendation from your network would feel safer.
Trying asking in the Sports Therapy Community or put a post out there on social media asking for recommendations and see what you get back. Before you contact anyone, check out their website and social media platforms – for both reviews and to get to know their personality. Taking on a Virtual Assistant to support your business is personal, so you’re going to want someone you can build a rapport with.
Do I need to interview a Virtual Assistant?
Interview – too formal really for a contractor in my opinion, but you will need to have a chat to make sure their skill set is a match for your Sports Therapy clinic business. Don’t be put off if they don’t have experience of working in Sports Therapy – the most important thing is that they are ready and willing to learn about your business. They are admin professionals, so once you have talked them through the processes you need support with, they are going to be able to fly with it and possibly even make suggestions for streamlining or improving processes. However, don’t confuse your Virtual Assistant with a Business Consultant. They are there to support and possibly suggest, not strategise.
Do I have to give a Virtual Assistant regular work or can it be one-off projects?
This is a conversation to have at the time of an initial enquiry and will vary depending on how the Virtual Assistant runs their business. I run my services as a pick-up, put-down operation, and have never set minimum hours with any of my clients but that’s a personal choice. I have several regular clients who all give me around about the same amount of work each month without the need to formalise it, and I have some clients who use my services just now and again if they are particularly overloaded and I can accommodate this too. However, minimum hours with monthly retainer fees are fairly commonplace within the industry.
Will a Virtual Assistant be as motivated as an employee?
Absolutely and in my opinion, even more so! Virtual Assistants are self-employed and have their business reputations to maintain and grow, and a successful working relationship with a client will often lead to referrals. The personal investment in their work can be greater than that of an employee.
The legal bit
Before a Virtual Assistant starts with you, it is worth having it confirmed in writing the agreed rate and frequency of pay and period of notice required on each side as a minimum. Additionally, check if they have Virtual Assistant Professional Indemnity insurance to cover them. If they don’t – please send them my way as my partnership with PolicyBee means I can offer them a discount code.
How can a Virtual Assistant help my Sports Therapy clinic business grow?
When you started, what vision did you have of your future Sports Therapy clinic business? Did you plan to expand, maybe take on staff, or move into coaching perhaps? Did you become self-employed so you could pick your hours and work flexibly for yourself, so you could have more time with your family?
Whatever your dream or ‘why’ was when you set up your business, with your time-consuming tasks delegated and running like clockwork, you can dare to go there again!
I hope this blog has been an eye-opener for you and if having read it you have any questions, do please feel free to drop me an email at [email protected]
A little bit more about me...
I am from an events background originally, achieving a BA (Hons) in Hospitality Management in 2006 before working in the industry and on high profile events including one for the England Rugby team! I was then a trainer and Curriculum Manager in the hospitality industry for 6 years prior to starting work as a Virtual Assistant during my second maternity leave in 2015.
I now split my week between a part time role in Professional Services at the University of Liverpool and running my Virtual Assistant business from home.
I have worked for dozens of clients as a Virtual Assistant since starting out, including a dental marketing consultant, a haberdashery and sewing school, a private scanning clinic, child sleep consultants, a massage therapist and a well-known scientist!