Tips to Effectively Manage Work Flow

In response to a recent search on our blog, here are some tips to effectively manage your work flow as a Virtual Assistant.

  • Set boundaries. Let your clients know when they sign the contract when you will be available to work, answer emails, return phone calls. Clearly stating these up front creates the correct expectations for your clients and prevents the majority of last minute rush requests.
  • Schedule specific times to check your email. Then close it. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted while working on client projects by new emails that come in.
  • Prepare for each day. Decide at the beginning of each day what needs to be done, prioritize, and stick to you schedule.
  • Use a white board to track client tasks. I note on a white board on my wall tasks for each client with their due date so that at a glance I can see what needs to be done.
  • Use online tools for project management and time tracking. There are a variety of online tools you can use. You can find some of them at 37Signals.

What other tips can you share to effectively manage work flow?

Hourly Service versus Package Rate

I’m finding it more effective to move away from charging for an hourly service and towards a package rate for most of my clients. My clients perceive receiving a higher value when they pay a flat rate for a package versus an hourly rate. There’s actually less risk to the client and it’s easier to sell.

It’s also easier to do the bookkeeping and time tracking. When I sell hours, I have to track my time and charge my client for each minute. However, when I offer a flat rate to send out an eblast, submit articles, or post blog entries, I don’t have to track my time and the client knows exactly what it’s going to cost.

What are some ways you can package your services so that you can offer them at a flat rate rather than as an hourly service?