Welcome to the world of Freelancing or Virtual Assisting. You have taken the plunge and opened up a business that services such a wide variety of clients, the doors opened are endless. The potential for success and cash flow is limitless. But, as a Freelancer or Virtual Assistant, have you set boundaries with your clients or with your services?
Not sure what we mean? Well, lets put it this way.
There are many many many ways that you can service your clients, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. By setting up your packages properly, you will be able to choose the essential services and skill sets that set you up for success. The point is not over work-overwhelm yourself that you either overbook yourself where the deliverables don’t get completed on time OR you end up saying yes to something that you had no business in agreeing to as your skills aren’t there to deliver them properly.
I have been guilty of doing just this – agreeing to a research project that involved more than just reading a few quick google articles to complete. Handed it in, only for the client to be supremely disappointed and still have to get the task done by someone else – therefore costing them more money for the same work. I ended up rebating back the money for the lost time in compensation but it meant that I worked for free – all because I should have said NO. But in my eagerness to please, I ended up not completing it to the standards I’m used to.
So take this lesson that I learned, and implement it in your business.
There are many ways that you can say NO to clients, without losing money or missing out on skill-building opportunities. Here are a few tips on how to say NO to clients for a variety of reasons:
Overbook your calendar that you don’t have time to sleep:
Don’t forget, the reason you became an entrepreneur – control of your schedule. I would have to say this is reason #1 to say NO. If you look at your hours you wanted to work in your week and you look at the list of deliverables – and you ask yourself “When do I get time to sleep?”.
Self Care is more than massages and manicures – it is also making sure you don’t overbook and burn yourself out.
Priorities… yours, theirs and others…
Saying No oftentimes, similar to the sleep issue, means prioritizing family over needing to work. There are reasons you became an entrepreneur, as mentioned before, was to choose your own schedule and yes, on the start you have a lot of hours to put in to grow your pipeline and get your name out there. But, saying No to clients can include the need to be at the dance recital, hockey game or just a date night with your significant other.
Saying No might be a good reason to have grown a Referral Network?
One Idea, before you say no, have you thought about going to your network of VA’s/Freelancer’s and see if anyone else would want to do a one-off project? By outsourcing that task, you not only get to keep the client and the business, but you also get the work done by someone who knows how to complete the task! By Subcontracting that out, that person gets work, you get paid a bit as well for the work. Networking would be a great way to build a TOOLBOX to be able to handle these requests.
It’s not all about the skills you have, but the skills you know about in others as well!
These are just a few reasons/ideas on how to handle saying No. You needn’t feel guilty for doing it, your clients if they are reasonable, will understand and support you in this. Maybe, even be super appreciative of your honesty. Otherwise, why would you be working with them?