“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
How do you create a pathway to become be the entrepreneur you always imagined you could be?
You know, the one who’s successful and works hard while also enjoying the fruits of their labour.
What if we told you there are maps for that and they can help you to plan your business growth and add a virtual assistant team to help.
Entrepreneurs are often described as those who takes financial risks to launch a business, assuming full responsibility for the outcome. Becoming established and finding stability and growth can be difficult and takes time.
But it is also very possible.
And So, It Begins
At first, you’re satisfied to reach a full client load and enjoy receiving referrals. After a while though, you start feeling overwhelmed with the feeling that there aren’t enough hours in a day.
If only there were a clone of you.
You then begin to explore how you can grow your business without sacrificing quality or control.
Automation might be the answer to a certain extent, but you’ll need more people power as well.
It also becomes clear that the next hurdle is deciding what to delegate, and how.
Deciding How to Grow
This is the complex part. Do you start looking at larger office space and hiring staff? Buying extra equipment and software? Understanding the legalities of related employment, tax and insurance issues? Or do you hire hit-and-miss freelancers floating around the internet?
Nope. None of the above. Hit pause and stop for a minute.
It all begins with establishing the exact process that you onboard new clients and provide them with your product or service.
Setting Up a Framework
Map your customer’s path from the moment they become aware of your business through to the moment they complete a transaction and receive follow-up care. This process is ‘customer journey mapping’.
The benefit of doing this is that you can understand the roles, processes or tasks required. You can identify potential trouble areas or growth areas. You might also put in place efficiencies to make the workflow more seamless.
Which tasks have the most ROI? Can you add a virtual assistant process to increase revenue in this area? You can then decide which background tasks are best to automate.
Creating a Blueprint
As a follow-up to the customer journey, a “service blueprint” might provide you with some extra insights.
These include areas in which one or more virtual assistants can provide support. Some may perform “frontstage” work interacting with clients. Other virtual assistants might work on “backstage” actions in systems maintenance or administration.
Below is an example from user experience consulting firm, Nielsen Norman Group, which shows a service blueprint. It displays how your customer’s journey looks when you factor in their interactions, transactions, communications, onboarding and follow-up experiences.
Don’t be mistaken into thinking this process for mobile and computer applications can’t be useful for so many other reasons.
Understanding your product or service, customer journey and service blueprint allows you to plan the most beneficial roles in your operation.
Identifying the Team Roles and How Virtual Assistants fit in
Having mapped out the details of the interactions between clients and personnel, you can start thinking at a more granular level. Here are some points to keep in mind when determining the roles within your growing organization:
- Identify processes and tasks to replicate for growth
- Inventory the skills and tools each virtual assistant will need to execute the process
- Test early processes and training methods with one or two virtual assistants
- Create documentation and guidelines
- Prepare training materials
- Ensure quality and organization by using project management systems
- Add more virtual assistants as required, and appoint team leads if called for
- Communicate your goals and objectives
Looking for Opportunities
Matching your marketing funnel with your customer journey and service blueprint can also uncover opportunities for improvement in your conversion rate.
Where are the strengths and weaknesses? How do you build on the strong-points while addressing the weak-points? How can a virtual assistant maximize the performance of each area?
The customer journey begins at the top of the marketing funnel when they’re first made aware of your business.
Consider virtual assistant roles that might include customer acquisition through content marketing, social media and advertising activities. You might also need some help with event planning tasks for local engagement.
In the conversion stage, ensure there’s a smooth client onboarding process with the right mix of planning and personnel. This communicates your business’ expertise, building confidence through the early stages of the client relationship.
It’s a well stated fact that keeping an existing client is easier and more cost effective than acquiring a new one. Keep your current customers happy by providing exceptional customer service.
Using real representatives is important in keeping customers satisfied. Submitting them to an endless automated system when they’re already frustrated will create more problems than it solves.
Although these steps seem fit for larger scale businesses, the insight enables any entrepreneur to get a view of their business and customer experience.
Working with a company like Canadian Virtual Gurus lets you to add virtual assistants in step with your growth, based on your developing business needs.
Contact us and learn how a virtual assistant can boost your business growth!