How Virtual Assistants Can Earn More Money by Spending Less

The lesson was…your bottom line is more than just your revenue. It is all well and good to bring in six figures, but a little less impressive if you spend more than half of that money on “expenses”. Training and tools are good, but so is investing in your business or actually bringing in more money. But the effect of the “waste” goes beyond just not having the money, the opportunity costs multiply the loss. Over years, that $10 a month subscription could end up being very expensive.

Here are some places where most online workers could plug up some holes in their business budgets.

Subscriptions and Monthly Continuity Programs There are many tempting offers out there for masterminds, monthly support groups, newsletters, web-based tools etc. Some bill monthly, but some of the trickier ones bill yearly or every six months. I try to pay for most of my subscriptions through paypal so that I can easily discontinue the subscriptions I no longer need. I also do a quarterly audit of all my subscriptions to ensure that I am still using the ones I am paying for.
Payment Gateway Fees Online fee processing fees can really add up. Once you have an established online business, it pays to shop around for the best deal on payment processing. This often ends up being a standard merchant account rather than paypal. As part of a quarterly review, you should look at the fees you are paying and make sure they are as low as they can be.
Web Tools Many web tools (such as shopping carts, article submission services, audio services, etc.) charge a subscription fee for you to use them. Many are worth their fee many times over. But, you should review all tools every couple of months to make sure that you are not paying for tools you are not using.
Not Giving Yourself A Raise Even in tough times, small business owners (especially virtual assistants) need to raise their prices to keep up with increased cost of living. The key is to give advance notice to clients and to raise rates in small amounts on a regular basis.
Affiliate Income Virtual Assistants and other home business owners are constantly recommending tools for their clients. Many of these tools come with affiliate programs where you can earn some extra money for referral. The client doesn’t pay any more for the tool and you can earn a (sometimes hefty) percentage just for passing on a heartfelt recommendation.
Time Tracking It is also very easy to lose money by not billing your clients for your actual hours worked. One of the easiest holes to plug is to start tracking all those “quick favors” and “quick replys” that sometimes turn into real projects.

Differentiating Yourself From the Competition

When you’re a hotel owner, the details, whether it’s the amenities or how the staff are dressed, set you apart from your competition and impact your business. Particularly when you’re in hospitality, you’re guest centric 24/7 and you know that while every guest is important, some are pickier than others, especially when it comes to details such as hotel supplies. Some people notice the architecture and the character of old world hotels and spa hotels while others pay attention to the details that are the hotel supplies and amenities within their hotel room. From the door to the wall and the floor to the ceiling, the smallest details may be the icing on the cake of a great trip or the last straw on a bad trip.

Being ever mindful of the details is critical as they define your business. In markets where the hotels are aplenty and competition is steep, paying close attention to everything from the hotel supplies in the guest rooms to the water in the pool becomes critical. Triangled toilet paper ends, fan-shaped towels and complimentary toiletries enveloped in wash clothes are just a few creative touches found in many hotels. People choose a hotel from among many hotels because perceived value as well as offered hotel supplies and amenities. When guest rooms look like the pictures and the hotel and the room are well put together, people are generally pleased. Additionally, when everything, including the amenities, is as promised, the traveling public are happy guests.

Many hotels have a signature amenity, service or slogan for which they’re known. These include complimentary room service, personalized bathrobes, fresh baked cookies at check in and curved shower curtain rods and other hotel supplies. The overall goal is to stand out from the competition and create staying power in the minds of consumers. While people may not necessarily choose hotels for the signatures, amenities and hotel supplies, they’re all indications that hotels pay attention to details and truly care about what you, as the valued guest, think. These same hotels tend to pay more attention to their guests’ opinions and work to accommodate requests, wants and needs in the form of amenities.

There are many factors that go into a consumer’s decision when it comes to picking hotels. Location, rate, amenities, service and hotel supplies are weightiest among them. Most people will select an area with a city, the Back Bay in Boston or SoHo in New York, for example and then begin reviewing hotels. People review the details that are important to them, such as dining options, amenities, services and hotel supplies provided. Although some people appreciate being attended to promptly, others will defer to fellow guests while other people still care not about service but are very particular about the hotel supplies and amenities in their room.