Since the start of 2023, we’ve been warned about an economic downturn or a potential recession on the horizon. It’s been months of teetering on the brink of that scary “r” word. We can all probably agree that it’s not the most fun twist to the rollercoaster we’ve been on these past several years.
Naturally, many are worried about their job security and planning for how to weather the storm (if it comes). If you find yourself in that position, keep reading as we share strategies for virtual assistants to become recession-proof.
You May Be More Recession-Proof Than You Think
We don’t want to be all doom and gloom here!
The great news for virtual assistants is that you may already be more prepared for a recession than you think. We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” referring to the idea that spreading yourself out is less risky and protects you if something goes awry. If you’re a virtual assistant who has various clients or you work across different industries, you may already have some security in your favor.
However, there are still some things you can do to proactively prepare for the future.
1. Strengthen Your Client Relationships
A strong client relationship is worth more than gold. If you have established a strong rapport with your client, you may be lower on the list when they consider where to make cuts. Plus, a client who really enjoys working with you is more likely to refer you in their network and potentially open up new opportunities.
So go the extra mile for your client and find some ways you can offer your very best service. Show up for them and remind them of the rockstar that you are!
2. Consider a Different Niche
There are few industries that won’t benefit from a virtual assistant. If you’re struggling to find prospects in your niche, take a step back and consider other niches to which you could transfer your skills. Perhaps you’re a bookkeeper in a creative industry but can bring that to a professional industry with a little bit of contextual training.
Thinking beyond a niche, can you bring your skills to a different project entirely? Maybe this is the time to develop a course, write an eBook, or open up your schedule for clients who would like coaching or mentoring. When you deconstruct your skills, you’ll find that there are a ton of opportunities for a virtual assistant – even during a recession.
3. Market Yourself Continuously
The unique thing about the virtual assistant industry is that there is likely to be a very high demand for VAs during a recession. As businesses scale back full-time positions, they may hire a virtual assistant to stand in until things level out. Now, with that comes increased competition in the VA pool which is why it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re marketing your services.
Conduct an audit of your online portfolio, LinkedIn profile, and professional social media pages. Now is a great time to create some case studies to display the amazing work that you’ve done this year and to reach out to clients to collect some testimonials.
4. Learn New Skills
Most virtual assistants are learning constantly. Now is the time to lean into this superpower!
As we mentioned earlier, many businesses will hire virtual assistants during recessions. The VAs who are strategic and prepared for this can absorb some of the new work that will appear in the market.
Consider the skills that you already have that can be leveled up. Perhaps there’s a new software or platform that you can master (we’re looking at you ChatGPT). Or maybe you can use this time to learn an entirely new skill or earn a certification.
Professional development is never a waste of time. Investing in focused training now will not only give you a competitive edge in the current landscape but also for years to come as you continue your career.
5. See the Opportunity
During a recession, many will focus on cutting costs and keeping the bottom line as slim as possible. We’re not here to knock anyone’s strategy, but we’d encourage you to look at the flip side and see the opportunity for growth. Virtual assistants are highly skilled and versatile which means there are many possibilities for work. The key here is a mindset that’s open to change and growth.
We’re big believers in turning life’s lemons into lemonade. Whether or not a recession comes, these steps for becoming a recession-proof virtual assistant will help you level up your game to bring your best self to the final months of this year.
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