Many trainers have little enough time on their hands to plan and deliver their lessons/training sessions, never mind keeping up with all the administration needed to ensure the smooth running of their courses. The needs of trainers in many different disciplines is generally very similar; whether providing classes on a by term basis (for example many Yoga and Pilates teachers, children’s activity providers), multiple module courses (for example dog trainers, art teachers) or single sessions (for example Office training, H&S courses).
One of the problems for trainers in using traditional models for administration support, i.e. hiring an individual, is that the workload tends to be high at certain points like the start of term but low at others like during summer holidays when many people are away. Add to this all the hidden costs with hiring an individual (see our previous blog article on this topic) and that your business becomes dependant on a single person who will want to take holiday and on occasion need time off sick, then the idea becomes less appealing. The alternative is to find a virtual Personal Assistant (PA or sometimes known as a VA) services company who can provide time flexibly on a when needed basis, has relevant experience and is not just one person.
A virtual PA is a person who works from their own office, normally on a hourly basis, for a number of different clients. They tend to come from a variety of different corporate environments and have significant business experience from which their clients can benefit. Even better, is a group of virtual PA’s working together who can provide holiday and sickness cover for one another so that you do not have a single point of failure (and knowledge) in a specific individual.
What are good tasks to delegate to a virtual PA?
If the thought of trying to delegate fills you will a sense of being overwhelmed, take a deep breath and relax. A good virtual PA team will be able to talk through how your business works and advise how to prioritise those tasks would be of the most benefit to yourself while being straightforward to handover. They will also have the right experience to make the process easy and should pick up the tasks quickly (not burdening you with endless questions!). The following is not suppose to be an exhaustive list, but a start for 10.
- managing mailboxes, handling incoming enquiries, sending out course programme information, taking bookings, issuing registration/enrolment forms, collating return information, issuing joining instructions and follow up surveys.
- manage your payments/course fees, issuing invoices, receipts, reminders etc.
- following up with leads, maintaining customer lists (CRM) for follow-up marketing.
- writing and sending regular e-newsletters to keep your clients up-to-date, and encourage further bookings.
- proof-reading documents, for example training materials.
- social media management, including regular posts.
- website updates with new course information, dates, writing regular blog articles.
- finding, negotiating with and booking venues.
We have experience in supporting a wide variety of businesses including Pilates studios, children activity providers, personal coaches, holiday lets, Retreat venues and dog trainers! We have experience using a number of different booking software packages including MINDBody software.
If you are interested in finding out more about our services at LR Business Services please contact us.