Who you work with is everything.
Choosing the right client for you is not an easy feat. We make it easier by offering a few suggestions based on our expertise with matching world class personal assistants with NYC’s busiest and brightest people.
1. Your availability. The first factor to take into account when looking at a prospective client is your current availability. It is important to always be aware of how much of your time you can offer to support your clients. They rely on you to be there when they need you, and overloading your schedule could mean stretching yourself too thin and allowing tasks to fall through the cracks. You need to know yourself and be aware of how much of your time you are willing to give to your clients.
You can have three clients and work 60 hours a week, but that is not a sustainable long-term lifestyle. Your clients hire you to be there for them, especially during those weeks when they need extra support. If one of those three clients needs you full-time for a week while they are moving, that means your other two clients will not get the same level of support.
2. Your client’s needs. When you discuss with your client what projects and needs are pushing them to seek support staff, take good notes so you have a clear picture of what your workload will look like. If anything on that list doesn’t fit into your skill set, evaluate how prominently that task will be in the scope of work. If your client needs support for a move and you have no experience facilitating a large-scale move, then that project is better left to an assistant with a little more experience.
As a personal assistant you will always be learning new skills and have new requests, so there is absolutely room to take on new challenges. It’s important to not bite off more than you can chew so the quality of your work does not suffer. For example, learn how to manage small renovations before renovating an entire apartment.
3. Project duration. Some clients have time-specific needs. Often people will hire support staff to assist with moves, event planning, and household renovations or organization. Sometimes these clients will learn from working with you that they want to continue to have an assistant to free them from certain tasks. When short term clients approach you, have a good idea of their timelines and the project duration. If you’re not interested in working with a client on a project basis, then let the client find a better match.
4. Your expertise. Turns out, no one is good at everything. If your strengths lie in household management, you will be happiest and thrive with clients that need that kind of support. If managing renovations is what makes your heart sing, seek clients who are looking for someone to fill that role.
It’s tempting to say yes to every client who comes your way, but knowing your strengths and weaknesses will enable you to look at a potential client and their needs and say that it’s not the right fit. Being unhappy with your work often leads to a dip in quality. It’s not fair to you or to the client to go into a role that isn’t a good fit.
5. Personality match. The final factor to consider in choosing the right clients is one that can take the longest to master, but once you do you will find yourself immediately able to discern if a client is right for you or not. You should always put your personality into your work, since we put the personal in personal assistant by working closely with our clients.
Think about the people you work best with. What are the common traits? If you always work best with a busy entrepreneur, then choose clients who hold similar lifestyles and your work will flourish. If managing households for socialite stay at home moms is where you find yourself happy, then focus on long term relationships with these types of clients. When you start working with a new client who fits into your niche, you will find yourself happier, more productive, and have an extremely satisfied client.