Since I became a VA five years ago, I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories of computers crashing and client files getting lost or destroyed. It’s a definite risk for anyone working from home and there are plenty of offsite backup programs which will automatically backup your chosen files in case your computer dies or if you suffer a home fire or flood.
My Recent Experience
At the end of August my 15-year-old daughter underwent surgery. Prior to that we spent two weeks undergoing various tests and visiting a number of doctors to get a diagnosis and plan of action. Needless to say, when you, your child, or anyone in your family is having a health crisis, the last thing you want to think about is answering emails or finishing projects.
In my case, I was fortunate enough to have some VA friends who were able to handle the simple projects for me, such as email management and creating PowerPoint slides. These are people that I have outsourced to in the past and I knew they were careful with what they produced and would follow my clients’ instructions. In essence, they cared about their finished projects as much as I do and I was comfortable giving them this work on such quick notice.
Fortunately, most of my clients were very understanding and patient and they also appreciated that I had a backup plan in place. This made it easy to not think about work for three weeks so I could tend to my daughter (and her prognosis is very good, thankfully!)
The Importance of Business Networking
I can’t stress enough the importance of networking! If I hadn’t met these VA friends online over the last few years, my business would have come to a complete halt. When you’re faced with an emergency, the last thing you want to do is interview people. Most likely you won’t ask the important questions and you’ll make a rushed decision on who to hire, which could backfire if they do a poor job.
While it’s very easy to hide behind your keyboard, just doing your own thing, networking and “meeting” other people online is vital to any type of service business. Yes, other VAs are your competition but there’s no reason why you can’t learn about that person, know their skill sets, and determine through simple conversations if they have the same work ethic and quality concerns that you do. You just never know when you’ll need to call one of these competitors on short notice.
I got my networking start at Solo Masterminds 5 years ago and still visit there multiple times a week. Come join me!