When you go into business for yourself, it is important to build and maintain a mindset that you are more than an employee to your clients ... you are a business owner that is collaborating with them on their business.

This can be a difficult place to break through, particularly if you come from the corporate world, but it is so important to keep tabs on where your mindset is regarding your business.

Even when you do start working with clients, as a Virtual Assistant you are taking a service role or a support role, and at times, boundaries can start to get crossed and sometimes you may get treated like an employee. It can be a difficult thing to manage your mindset at these times, to be sure that you remain a business owner working with another business owner.

Here are a few tips to help you integrate your strategy and business plan with a positive and strong mindset:

Treat your business like a business. When you set up your business, be sure that you treat it as such. You should have regular business hours, you should have an up to date 'shingle' (your website), and you should plan to make money to provide your services. If you constantly give away your services for free, you will not get ahead and that can lead to resentment. See the value in your own services and go out there and find people who want to work with you! When you treat your business like a business, clients will see it that way also.

Make your own business decisions and stick to them. While it's great to ask around for advice, once you decide to do something in your business, don't waver on it. Make a decision and stick to it. If you decide to change the way you do something because it isn't working for you, that's fine, but always be sure to have a plan of action that is yours. Hold yourself accountable to work through it. If you have boundaries set up, honor them. If you have policies in place, adhere to them. Clients will understand as long as the rules are always clear.

Develop strategies and procedures in all areas of your business. Set up a strategy for everything you plan to do - service offerings, networking, bookkeeping, sales calls, follow up, conflict resolution and so on. The more you have written down the more you will have to refer to. By developing strategies and procedures, you will be more prepared to deal with every situation that can arise. Really think everything through! Nothing speaks louder to a client than having the answer for them when they ask.

Analyze results in each area of your business. Sometimes our best business plans don't work out the way we expected them to do. It's important to analyze the results of each area to see if they are working for you. If they are not, revise and then analyze the next set of results. Analysis will help you to identify weak areas in your marketing or business plans and it can help you tweak your business to keep it on the path to success. If this means letting go of a long-time client, then so be it! When you find the strategies that work well for you, repeat!

Strive to stay in integrity to your business and in your business. Your business will always be an extension of yourself. By being in integrity you will be able to give more of yourself to your clients, which is who they are 'buying'! Be honest and open with your business practices, pay your bills on time and deal with conflict as it arises (or before it does!). Be authentic, be you, and just get out there! Your clients and potential clients will find you when you are!

Stay positive! Remaining positive when things go wrong, or don't go exactly according to plan, is probably the most difficult thing to manage about your mindset. Maybe you have a client who hasn't paid on time. Maybe you have had hardware or software problems. Maybe you are finding it difficult to sign clients. There are challenges in owning a business, and you will get through them faster by maintaining a positive attitude. Seek help when you need it. Fix what gets broken. Steer your ship when it starts to go off course. You can do it!

How are you managing your business mindset? I'd love to know how - send me an email.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D’Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey’s free ebook “3 Way To Get The Clients You Want!” at www.yourvamentor.com