01 Mar Remaining the Boss of You and Your Company
It’s a hot topic amongst my colleagues and other Outsourced PA’s at the moment, so it’s one that I’d like to touch upon in this blog.Staying in Control.
Working with multiple clients for almost two years now, has taught me a great deal about people, companies and how they operate.I’ve got an insight into what has helped me and my company and some of the challenges we have overcome.
When you are faced with many different clients, all with different expectations, personalities and cultures, it’s often a challenge to ‘fit in’ when you work alongside them.Being adaptable and flexible is one of the great skills that hiring an outsourced PA brings, but how can you ensure that you are not taken advantage of, or that, you, as a business stays in control of your clients and not the other way around?
In this blog, I’ll (hopefully) be offering some advice and tips for others on how to make sure that your clients don’t get the better of you.
- Set expectations before you start
Make sure that the remit given to you from your client is clear and concise and that both parties know what is expected.If this is ominous in any way, then it allows for one side to take advantage.This is not a hard thing to initiate before any work is undertaken but it becomes very tricky to go back to the remit of works once the work has started.
- Ensure your contact is clear and watertight
Once you have your remit/scope of work agreed with your client then lay everything out in a contract.This needs to include payment terms, any other terms and conditions, your scope of works, termination and notice period guidelines and it must be signed and dated from both parties before any work is started.
- Timescales for jobs and Service Agreements
In your contract above, it’s a great idea to include timescales and service level agreements for the scope of works you are undertaking.This will include how long on average a job will take and what the client can expect.Sometimes it clearly make take longer and other times it may be done quicker, but if a general service level is agreed upon then this sets expectations beforehand.
- Terms and conditions
Make sure you add any other terms into the contract, no matter how small they might be, this might be things like, you must sign a non-disclosure agreement, that you are entitled to holiday, that you don’t work after 6pm.Add in everything that you can at this beginning stage, so everything is clear.
- Opening hours
Set yourself hours and stick to them!Add them into your contract so it’s not ambiguous.If you work outside these hours, then this is your choice – not your clients!
- Regular feedback meetings and two-way communication
So, now that the contract is signed, and everything is clear work can begin.Hopefully there is no ambiguity now that a contract has been signed.
A wonderful way of ensuring that any issues that arise are dealt with quickly and easily is to ensure you have regular contact and honest communication regularly with your client.This ensures that you are both on the same page when it comes to what you are doing, how you are doing it and what you both expect.
- Stick to your guns
The contract issued at the beginning made everything clear.If you are still being asked to do things outside of this agreement, then you must raise it as soon as it arises. For example, if they ask you to do extra work, then use your discretion as to how you manage this.Don’t start to waver when it comes to your rules, otherwise your client will know they can take advantage and sadly, some will.
Above all, remember that you are the expert at what you do, and they have hired you for that reason!
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Our flexible and cost-effective solutions are perfect for private individuals, start-ups and small business owners and we will get you organised – whatever your business – to free you up to concentrate on what really matters. We are can come to your workplace, your home, or your place of work from our own offices.