re·li·a·ble  (r-l-bl) adj. 1. Capable of being relied on; dependable: a reliable assistant; a reliable car. 2. Yielding the same or compatible results in different clinical experiments or statistical trials. When you are working your virtual assistant business, do you endeavor to come in and leave at specific times?  Are you available when you state?  When you quote a job do you let the client know you’re approaching the top threshold? Being reliable is being trustworthy. Your clients trust you will complete their work on time and within budget. Your colleagues trust you will do the things you say you will do. I once had a client who initially sent their work ‘offshore’, believing that the low price and the ‘we work while you sleep’ slogan would take care of the project both timely and affordably.  They were wrong; the client was entirely unhappy with the project and contacted me to fix it. I think it would have been simpler for me to start fresh and complete the project from scratch but they wanted me to work with what the client received back from the offshore company.  Honestly, it was terrible. The project demanded I go line by line and correct where needed – which was extensive. My point is sometimes less is not more.  Being reliable, but not the cheapest is often the less expensive way to go. I had another client who was completely floored by the cost of their supposedly affordable assistant and contacted me to simply provide an honest assessment of how long a project should have cost. That’s not easy to do especially since no two assistants are the same. In the end, I got opinions from several VAs I trust and we averaged out the cost and the client was still significantly overcharged. Here’s some on Reliability: State your hours of operation and stick to them.  If you aren’t available on a certain day, have a calendar your clients can see so they don’t have to wonder. Email them with your calendar periodically, especially if you have out of office appointments. State your rates to your clients and stick to them.  If you feel the project will require more time than you originally estimated, be sure to let your client know.  Follow Through!  If you say you’ll do something, do it! If someone is making their plans based on what you said you would be doing, be sure to complete your part as soon as possible to not delay the project. Your credibility is crucial to building your business. If you aren’t reliable, you aren’t credible and your business will not survive.]]>

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