Real Talk

When clients suddenly cancel

This week on the blog I want to share something very real, very visceral and very difficult that has happened to my business in the last 6 weeks.

You might wonder why I want to share something challenging but I firmly believe that, the more people are honest about the ups and downs of running an online business, the more reality we will find in each other. The internet is full of the shiny happy endings, the big £K months, but I’m interested in the journey, not the destination.

Which is why, today, I want to share with you that my business lost 65% of my retainer 1-1 OBM / VA clients in March 2021.

Yup.

65%.

A huge chunk of my regular income was dropped with short notice (all within contractual terms, I must add).

My clients’ situations, businesses, growth, developments, reductions in their budget, having to shut due to the pandemic and decisions that all made perfect sense had the knock on effect of not requiring my services anymore, which I absolutely support and understand on each individual level.

But I would be dishonest if I said to you that it wasn’t a shock. A big shock and a big knock on my own income, as you can probably imagine.

However, I didn’t wallow. I promised myself that I would not panic, make any rash decisions or quickly take one more 1-1 OBM clients to replace this loss of earnings.

And you may ask “why?!”

The answer is because of my strategy and business plan for 2021 that I have been working on with my coach. 

You see, my plan has always been to make more space for 1-1 Mentoring and Coaching clients. I’m looking to start a prestigious coaching qualification and, to allow me to do this, I knew that I would need to expand my 1-1 Mentoring and Coaching clients, thus reducing my 1-1 OBM and VA client work. This was always on the horizon for me and something I wanted to happen but when the decision was made for me that this was happening NOW and much sooner than I’d anticipated or planned for, I must be honest and admit that I did feel a bit discombobulated.

Part of this reality is that I’ve had to re-evaluate my outgoings. I’ve, so so sadly, had to reduce the support that I receive from my A* team. This is a business at the end of the day and I know that to be sustainable and to allow me to work and have the impact that I aim to have, it needs to be profitable and I feel I’d be a patronising, dishonest Mentor to other VA and OBM business owners if I didn’t share the difficult with the brilliant.

So I guess I just wanted to share this to remind you that anything can happen in business at any time, but the thing that we have ownership over is how we react to the thing. 

We cannot control the uncontrollable but we all have, within our grasp and capacity, the opportunity to reframe seemingly difficult situations and problems to open up opportunities that will allow us to – perhaps- try different things. 

Please let me know if you have any questions, thoughts or comments about this blog post. It’s probably my most honest and vulnerable yet and I’d welcome your reactions. You can pop me a personal email: natalia@nataliasanders.com or DM me on Instagram. Always supporting you.

Natalia x

More from the blog:

What is ‘at capacity’ anyway?

What is ‘at capacity’ anyway?

What is meant by the term 'at capacity'? As VAs, there is a lot of talk online, in networking forums and social media about reaching or being at "capacity" but I know that, for many, this term can be confusing. It basically means that your client rosta is full and you...

Workflows and Rainbows

Workflows and Rainbows

If you’ve listened to the Clear Desk Podcast then you will have heard me discuss the importance of providing your own Virtual Assistant business at least a ten hour retainer every month. I firmly believe that you need to dedicate time to grow your own business, both...

MORE FROM CLEAR DESK HQ

The Clear Desk Podcast

The Clear Desk podcast explores the value, support and huge range of opportunity that outsourcing in your business creates.