Hi everyone, today I want to talk about the importance of procedures to your business. Procedures are vitally important in any business, but perhaps in a virtual business they are of tantamount importance. A procedure in essence is a plan, and generally speaking, to use the old hackneyed phrase, failure to plan is to plan to fail.
I believe any business must start with a business plan. Even if you don't intend to use it to obtain a loan, it would be something that allows you to clearly state your intentions about what it is that you are trying to do. It's a mind clearer. And the natural next step (or even included in your business plan) would be to plan your procedures. This means you sit down and think of eventualities and plan how you're going to deal with them. What are your steps to follow when a query comes in? What are your steps when an order comes in? How are you going to invoice? These are things that, I believe, every newbie VA and transcriptionist should document.
Here comes the challenge, though. Your first client comes in, followed by your second, and your third. And suddenly, you're very busy. At this point it is easy to let go of procedures. And this is a danger to your established business. Much as you are tempted to go straight to bed after a 4 hour transcription, do not do so without at least blocking out some time the following day to do your admin. It's important, because doing it regularly does save you time in the long run, and consider that admin left for two or three days, or longer, can begin to make you feel overwhelmed.
Procedures can also be revised, as you get busier or add new services or products to your business. But the bottom line is - stick to your procedures.