There was a time when partnering with someone in your own industry would have been considered totally bizarre, but these days, “competition” has been replaced by “co-opetition”.
Cooperating with other virtual assistants to help build your business is smart marketing. The truth is, not every client is going to want to work with you, and you are not going to want to work with every client. There could be a mismatch of skills to needs, a disconnect in working habits, or even a difference of opinion in how things should be done. No matter what the reason, you simply can’t work with everyone.
When you join the Golden Horseshoe Virtual Assistants Group or a similar association, you gain access to other VAs who can potentially serve clients who aren’t a good fit for your own business. The combined skills and strengths of the group will be far greater than yours alone. In addition, you can learn a great deal by working with other virtual assistants, even if you’re not new to the field.
Here are a few ways to work with and benefit from relationships with virtual assistants:
Some virtual assistants work as part of a multi-VA firm. A multi-VA team is usually started by a solo VA who gets too busy to handle all the work on his or her own and decides to bring other virtual assistants on board.
Even VAs who prefer to work independently may occasionally subcontract a particular task or project, when one of their regular clients has a need they lack the skills or time to fulfill.
Subcontractors may or may not work directly with the client, but are paid by the contracting VA.
An alternative to subcontracting is to work independently and refer work to others when it falls outside your skill set or you are too busy to meet the client’s deadline. Once the referral is made, the client deals directly with the referred VA.
Regular participation in your VA association provides a valuable opportunity to learn about your colleagues’ specialties so you can make appropriate referrals or find a subcontractor who can meet your client’s needs. And of course, it also allows others to learn about you so you’ll be more likely to come to mind when they require assistance!
No matter how you do it, working with other virtual assistants to build your businesses side-by-side can be a profitable venture. Always be open to the opportunities around you and you’ll start seeing more of them available than you can ever have time for. Then show those clients how well you can get the job done while continuing to build your thriving virtual assistant practice!
Have you ever partnered with another VA? What benefits did you experience?
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