I thought it might be interesting for you to read a real-life example of what I do for my clients, so this weeks post is a case study.
My clients set up their carpentry business 5 years ago. After periods of huge growth in quick succession, they quickly grew their operation from just the two of them in a partnership to a limited company with 6 staff. When I announced that I was setting up as a Virtual Assistant they got in touch to see if I could help them and I jumped at the chance.
Expecting a period of further growth, my clients wanted to improve the processes that they had in place. In addition to this, they wanted to have someone organise the administration and finance for their business so that they could focus their time on managing their work projects and marketing their services.
The Goal? More time spent on their business, doing what they love and are best at and less time at their computer spent doing admin, which they dislike… to put it politely.
What I did to help my client
Firstly, I met my clients to take a thorough brief and we then spoke a lot in the first few weeks that I worked with them. We each gave feedback on what was working well and I was able to ensure that they were getting what they wanted to achieve from my time.
This is what I have taken on over the past two months for this business:
- Email and post management.
- Debtor control/invoice chasing.
- Regular bookkeeping, so that my clients have a clear visibility of their liabilities and financial position at any given time.
- Working with their payroll provider to submit the monthly Payroll.
- Working with their accountant to submit the monthly CIS returns.
- Preparing quarterly VAT returns.
- With the assistance of an HR advisor, put employment contracts in place for all of the companies staff.
- Ad hoc duties, including dealing with the company insurance, management of the company vehicles, liaising with the company accountant for year-end and tax planning work, administration relating to staff including holidays and more.
The biggest benefit to my client
The main task I took on when I started working for my client was the management of the staff timesheets. Their staff recorded hours on a weekly basis on an excel timesheet, the time was then recorded on separate costing spreadsheets for each project.
The system had its flaws, one of the main ones being that it was admin heavy, but it also had weaknesses when it came to time not being recorded properly. We wanted to put a process in place so that extra work completed was easily identified. We also wanted to make sure that it was easy to work out whether a job was profitable. Finally, we wanted to make the process of recording time easier for the staff, client and also myself!
I put ‘Projects’ into place for my client, as my client was already using Xero it was a very quick process to use this add-on. I prepared training documents for my clients and also for their staff. My suggestion for using Xero reduced my billable hours but it made the process easier for everyone involved, as well as reducing the risk of errors. I am also now able to produce reports quickly for my client based on the profitability of a job, as well as calculating the value of work in progress, which has previously been a headache for my client.
What my clients think
“Hearing that Kirsty had a solution for the nightmare that we had been having with timesheets was music to our ears. Since Kirsty has taken on the admin for our business we don’t know how we coped without her before. Kirsty’s services have paid for themselves and we are looking forward to the next period of growth for our business, rather than worrying about how we will manage.”
I am delighted to know that I have been able to help my client. Not only have I saved them time and allowed them to get their focus back on the growth of their business, I have also put in a process that is going to make any future periods of growth easier to manage.