Have you taken the time to document your business policies AND share them with your clients?
I know many business owners that have not documented their policies or shared with them with their clients. This can cause potential problems…
For instance, let's say that you charge an “urgent fee” for last minute tasks or projects. Now, you may have told your client but they may not have “heard” you or understood exactly what an “urgent fee” is or when they would be charged one. Imagine their surprise when they receive an invoice that includes an “urgent fee” of $75.00 (just an example)! They could be very unhappy to find out that you charged an extra fee to have their work completed by their last minute deadline.
I highly recommend that you take the time to document all of your business policies AND share and discuss them with your clients. In your first meeting – go over them in detail, make sure they understand them and address any questions or concerns at that time. This way, there are no surprises.
If you're not sure what to include in your business policies, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Business Hours – include whether you work weekends or nights.
- Rush or Urgent Fees – if you charge a fee for last minute tasks please be sure it is clearly documented what constitutes a “rush” fee and how much you charge.
- Referrals – do you give existing clients a discount if they refer someone who becomes a client?
- Average Turnaround Time – this is key for Virtual Assistants; what is the average turnaround time to complete tasks. Be sure to document that all tasks are different depending on complexity but you can give include an average.
- Emergencies – how do you handle life's emergencies? Do you have someone who covers for you while you are out of the office?
- Holiday Schedule – what holidays do you or your team observe?
Your business policies is a living document. Be sure to schedule time monthly or quarterly to update it. Don't forget to send the new versions to your clients and discuss any changes with them the next time you meet.
Thank you for reading. I hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to leave me a comment; I'd love to hear from you.
PS – If you are a Virtual Assistant and are confused about what goes into a Business Policies document – check out my VA Welcome Packet! It includes a Business Policies Template that is full of examples.