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An epic VA is always looking to trim expenses in their virtual assistant business but sometimes it’s easy to miss the little things that add up quickly, especially over time. Sure, you can always sign another client or take on another project to earn another dollar, but making more money just to stay on top of expenses is an exhausting race compared to just saving where you can.
Creating solid, long-term foundations in your business is the best way to do that, but there are some practical (and fairly easy) things you can do throughout the year to minimize expenses.
Start by adding these checkpoints as recurring tasks to your project management tool, and do it for your clients, too.
That’s one of the coolest things about being an Epic Virtual Assistant: when you find tools and processes that work for your business, chances are they’ll help your clients as well. It’s a fun way to continue adding to the epic value you bring to them.
This is worth doing every month: look for sneaky subscription charges for tools:
This is the kind of thing a bookkeeper won’t notice, even if they’re looking at your accounts on a regular basis.
During this check, it’s worth a quick glance a year back as well just in case there’s an annual membership you didn’t plan on renewing this time around. Those don’t usually happen without notice, but if one slips through it can be a hassle to fix the error.
While you’re at it, look for expenses that maybe you need but not at the same level. Did you upgrade to unlimited data when you used to struggle to get on wifi but now you’re never without a wifi connection? Maybe you might consider downgrading your plan.
As a Virtual Assistant who tests lots of tools so you can recommend the right solutions to your clients, you’ll likely end up with tools that can do many of the same things. Consider which tools are worth keeping and cancel anything you don’t need anymore.
For example, Kajabi is a membership platform that also has email and checkout capabilities. Depending on your (or your client’s) preferences and needs, they may decide to also use ConvertKit for more segmentation and Samcart to create a prettier, easier checkout experience. If that’s the case, Samcart also has a pretty great course platform so maybe Kajabi is redundant.
My favourite software tools are constantly developing, and releasing new features which may replace another subscription you’re paying for. Schedule some time once a month to read all those update emails your software solutions send to you.
One great example: Searchie.io started out as a searchable video hosting service that allows creators to automatically transcribe and add chapters to their videos. Since I started using it, they’ve added the Hubs feature, a user-friendly, pretty online course platform. The latest feature release allows you to record a quick direct-to-camera and/or screenshare video, similar to Loom or Bomb Bomb. Right there, Searchie.io can replace at least two other software solutions.
(Tech nerd moment: Searchie.io recently received a major chunk of investment, which means more development to come!)
Is your email service provider or proposal management system essential to your business? You can often save 20-30% on an annual subscription versus a monthly subscription.
You might not want all of your subscriptions renewing in January, so add a subscription conversion task right now to your project management tool for a month or two down the road.
This applies to your clients as well, and it’s worth helping them out in this area. You might not have access to their bank accounts, but take a peek at their billing settings when you’re working inside their tools. If they’re on a monthly plan, bring it up at your next meeting to help them decide if they should switch over to an annual subscription.
When you do cancel a subscription that you haven’t been using, ask for a refund.
Many services will give you a refund if you haven’t used it for at least the last 30 days, if not the entire time you haven’t used it, and the worst thing that can happen is that they say no.
It can be as simple as, “Hello, I haven’t been using XYZ software for a long time but I forgot to cancel it. Can you please cancel it and issue me a refund?”
Then allow them to work their customer service magic. I’ve done this for clients who got a whole year’s subscription refunded even if they used it for some of that time.
Your virtual assistant clients probably aren’t looking to hire you to minimize their expenses, but they will absolutely appreciate it when your keen eye and proactive solutions can save them money.
Consider adding this tidbit to your discovery calls, or include in your recurring tasks as a major value add.
Find clients who turn into advocates inside my free mini-course, The Epic VA’s Guide To Finding And Signing Dream Clients. You’ll learn: