We’re celebrating our 5th anniversary this month, so we thought we’d take the time to reflect on what we’ve learned since starting MOD Assistants. We discussed some of our significant milestones and progress over the past five years in our recent post. Here are some of our biggest takeaways from the past five years.

Lesson 1: First impressions are crucial.

Establishing trust early on is vital to a long-term working relationship. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and we’ve learned that there are small steps to take that can make a big impact. A lot of our business and new clients are through referrals. This is great because referrals are the highest compliment a customer can give you. But it also means that the bar is already set high, and certain expectations are in place. Here are the small steps we take when meeting new clients.

  • Take notes – important because we can’t keep it all in our head, and notes help refresh our memory when we follow-up.
  • Ask questions. When meeting someone for the first time and especially if they own a business, asking questions helps us get a clear picture of what they’re looking for and expecting out of an assistant.
  • Be honest and manage expectations. In business and life in general, honesty is key and a big part of establishing trust. In our opinion, one of the worst things a company can do is overpromise and under-deliver, and we’re no exception. We believe in being upfront about everything from our services, our assistants’ capabilities, and our pricing.
  • Be yourself. Not every potential client is a good fit. We love our clients, and many of them turn into long-term. But we have had a few along the way that were not an ideal match for us, and that’s okay. Sometimes, we switch up the client-assistant pairing, and it works out great. Other times, we realize that parting ways is ultimately the best decision. Either way, staying true to ourselves and our values as a business is essential.

Lesson 2: Be flexible.

Structure and routines are important, but so is being flexible. Our clients and assistants have busy lives, so extending grace and flexibility goes a long way. Clients turn to us to make their lives less stressful. Remaining rigid in our routines and services doesn’t help anyone. Staying reasonably flexible and open to new ideas helps us grow as a business and shows our clients and assistants that we’re on their team.

Lesson 3: Follow-up is critical.

Clients reach out because they’re busy and need help! If they don’t respond after the first attempt, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested. It just means they’re busy and may need several reminders. One of the most requested services is email cleanup and organization, so it makes sense that sometimes we need to keep touching base. We’ve learned to always ask during the initial conversation which contact method a client prefers. We each have different communication preferences and styles, so pinning that down early on is effective in the long run.

Lesson 4: Play to your strengths.

As a personal and virtual assistant company, we’ve learned a lot about playing to our strengths. Clients seek us out because they often need help with something they either don’t enjoy doing, have time to do, or it’s a weak spot for them. Luckily, we have a team of well-rounded and diverse assistants who continually educate themselves, learn new things, and collaborate. When matching assistants to clients, it’s necessary to have a clear understanding of the clients’ needs and our assistants’ experience and strengths.

Running the company as sisters, we quickly realized our strengths and how they align with the business. One of us is more behind-the-scenes and handles things like finances and contracts. And the other focuses on sales, hiring, and working on the business to help it grow. This dynamic has worked out pretty well for us and has played a large part in MOD’s success over the past five years.

Lesson 5: It’s not a competition.

These past five years have taught us a lot about community. We’ve learned that there’s enough space for everyone and it’s not a competition. Being a part of the Denver, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and even virtual communities has given us the opportunity to make new connections, share ideas and information, and cheer on other businesses. When we support each other, we all benefit.

We’ve learned a lot over these past five years and we strive to be constantly improving and educating ourselves and our team. We’re not unique in that we haven’t made mistakes, but our goal is to learn from them and keep moving forward. We’re so proud of how far we’ve come, the clients we’ve served, and the connections we’ve made. We’re excited for the next five years!