Got a question about Dallas Does and the services we can help you with? Here Rochelle breaks down the hows and whys for you…
How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a Website and Business Manager?
A long time! When most of my friends were getting extra pocket money doing the ironing or picking up a paper-round I was working for a local mechanic doing his paperwork after school and in between classes. I’ve always loved systems and processes and improving on them, and knew I was destined for an office job of some sort from a very early age.
Fast forward 20 years and my CV includes employment at every level up to management, in every business size up to global corporate and working on my own up to teams of 30, so I would say I have a fair bit of experience in the workplace!
I have tried and failed (god I hate that word!) a few times at running a business myself. I am very “middle brained” so my creativity and technical ability thrived when starting and growing my personalised leisure-wear company Comfort Junkie in 2010, and then later The Baby Gift Company, selling bespoke items in reusable packaging. The variety, the collaboration, the creative freedom that I got from launching a new design or product got me completely buzzing, but I massively over estimated the costs involved and I made a huge loss (financially, and in personal confidence) with both.
They say everything happens for a reason and in 2012 as I was closing Comfort Junkie, the part-time job I was holding down for some regular income offered me a full time position. I jumped at the chance and looking back I can see this is a pivotal moment in both my career and personal life (as I met my husband there!). Career wise it took me down a road of product, e-commerce and website management that I had dabbled in already and I quickly got involved with every project, team and system I could. It reignited my love of Lean and Six Sigma that I was coached in as a school leaver and I soaked up the information and expertise available to me like a sponge. I went on to spend an incredible 5 years at the company.
That was, until there were big changes in the set up and I was made redundant. I had given a lot to the company and was compensated well, but it was still a kick in the teeth when they enforced a non-compete clause in my contract (yes, despite getting rid of me!) that meant I was not allowed to approach any businesses in the industry for 6 months. Ouch. As the main breadwinner, by now I had a family to support and I promised myself then that I would never allow myself to be in a position where my life was in someone’s hands like that again.
And so Dallas Does was born. It began as me on my own picking up assignments marketing myself as a “VA” but I quickly realised it wasn’t “assistance” my clients needed, it was direction, management and help fixing problems they were just accepting. It has quickly grown to a team of 4 “virtual managers” who support other business owners create and manage smart business processes and flourishing careers.
Why am I telling you this? BECAUSE I AM YOU! I HAVE BEEN YOU! I am the single mum, the married mother of two, the junior, the manager, the freelancer, the designer, the juggler, the one no one listens to, the decision maker, the breadline, the breadwinner and I’ve felt the highs and I’ve suffered the lows. Whatever point you are at in your business we understand and can help you grow. I am sure of it.
This has turned in to a bit of a bio, and I am sorry if you are asleep at this point, but I wanted to share with you my story. If you are still reading, I hope you found something in it that spoke to you xx
Who are your clients exactly?
Our clients work in a wide range of industries; we have worked with accountants, global publishers, IT programmers, personal stylists, pub owners, authors, breweries, dentists, beauticians, aesthetic practitioners, personal trainers, bloggers, healers, colour therapists, fashion designers, estate agents, online magazines and business coaches!
We have been able to work with and successfully support each and every one of these clients – and enjoyed doing so!
What happens if you haven't yet worked with people in my field?
Good question – but from the list above I hope it shows that obviously whatever we can do with a client, it is transferable and can be applied to many different businesses, regardless of their profession or stage they are at
How are you and your team different from a “VA”?
With the internet and modern technology VA’s – or Virtual Assistants – exploded in popularity in recent years and are a fantastic way to connect business owners with remote administrative support to help their business without sitting in an office together. That’s great, and definitely a ‘reactive’ service we can offer with our wealth of experience, to clear down a backlog or help implement something you instruct us to do - but sometimes a more senior role is necessary to be taken and this is where we come in. We can do as you ask, but we can also listen to your issues, suggest, find and implement solutions, tell you about apps and software you didn’t know existed, proactively take control and manage you and your business.
So if anything, call us VMs :)
What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?
All types, honestly! We love and respect all hard-working business owners and will do all that we can to help you get or stay on top of your game. That said, we do have a few requirements in terms of expectations. We would love to get things moving quickly to get the best out of your time with us, so we ask that you book your onboarding call with us so we can get all the information we need and there are no blocks in us trying to work for you.
What exactly can Dallas Does do for me?
The projects we have worked on have been so varied that as cliched as it sounds, it is probably easier to say what we can’t do for you! I know that is probably a little vague, but we consider all projects and assignments and are yet to work with a client that we couldn’t deliver on. Anything with website, social media, marketing, automation, system, design, advertising, process, management, CRM, email marketing, newsletter, event, blog or project in the title and we are listening. Anything that doesn’t, we can still hear you out and see what we can offer.
Will I recover the investment I put into my business processes and systems?
Of course, how could you not? The question is really “How long till I…” - Let’s think about this sensibly for a moment; Firstly, think about how much your time is worth, and then how that time could be better spent. (It doesn’t always have to be better spent making money by the way, it could be spent better on family time, for example.)
If you have a task in place that is taking up 3 hours of your time each week – invoicing perhaps – and we help install and configure a cloud based accounting software that automates everything thus eradicating the need for those 3 hours each week, you can easily work out how quickly you will notice your return on investment. It may take some time, but it is quantifiable, and we can help forecast this for you before we commit to anything. The last thing we want is for you to walk away from us not feeling the true value of what we can offer.
What results can I expect?
The results will be obvious, exciting and life-changing for your business now that you have got the right team in your corner. We work tirelessly to ensure all deadlines and expectations are exceeded. We can’t wait to work with you, but I need to be very honest and say we are not here to make fake promises and give you unrealistic expectations.
We have never guaranteed results (we don’t have a crystal ball, otherwise we could be eyeing up next week’s lottery numbers!) but we can tell you that everyone we have worked with has seen a very significant impact in the way their business runs, their website performs, their enquiries increase, the sales go up, their time and money is saved and their profits surge. So we are definitely doing something right!
How will we work together?
Dallas Does will keep you updated on progress and issues throughout any projects and where client management is involved we will send you a summary at the end of each week detailing where we are at with onboarding, financing, complaints or any other query we are dealing with. We can also give you a summary of emails responded to and the time it has taken. We use a variety of methods to communicate with you and once you are set up fully, any actionable task for us goes through our ticket system. This ensures all queries are dealt with fairly and in a timely manner in accordance with your retainer terms. We will give you the details of how to raise a ticket once you have confirmed you would like us to work together.
Actually, while we are on the topic of response time, it is probably worth me talking about our packages. We will never scrimp of service – it is A Grade regardless of the retainer package you are on, but the way we tweak our offering to meet your budget is by the amount of time we have to respond to your request.
Unless you are paying the Ultimate or a bespoke retainer, we can’t promise to respond to everything the same day. It would not be fair to jump your requests ahead of those paying a premium for an immediate service. Check the terms of your package and be realistic with your expectations of when something will be actioned. Calls must all be pre booked, details of which will be sent when you come on board with us.
OK, I know what we need to focus on. How do we get started?
Great, I am so excited for you that you have recognised that without taking this first step at delegating and outsourcing the issues you are having within your business, things with remain the same. I see nothing but good things in your business’ future with a dedicated and enthusiastic team behind you - and a whole lotta positive vibes thrown in for good measure!
You can get started in 3 easy steps:
1) You will first be asked to sign our terms of business (via Adobe Sign), that confirms you understand and appreciate our ways of working and how we do things.
2) You will then be sent your first invoice requesting your first month’s retainer, by bank transfer. Payments are made in advance for the month of service you require, which is how we are able to offer you complete flexibility with your packages.
3) Once this has cleared, we will arrange your onboarding call to make sure we have everything we need from you in order to take control of any systems, passwords, authorisation codes, that sort of thing. This call can save months of wasted time going back and forth with wrong password or blocked access from an unrecognised IP address, so spending this 90 minutes or so having you on hand while we ensure we can at least log in means you can finish the call safe in the knowledge that we are ready to go!
If I'm not sure I'm ready to get started on my big “wish list” projects, can we start off slow on some easy admin bits that I just don’t have time to do, so I have some time to think?
Absolutely! You could hire Dallas Does for some admin and website amendments at a lower level retainer and then, when you are ready to give those larger projects some brain space, we can get things started. This is actually a nice way to get things moving, as we get to know each other, how we work and how we both like to communicate, earn each other’s trust and respect before moving on to the larger projects when investing in your business.
What if I sign up to working with you, and I need you loads at first but then after the big projects I don’t need you as much? Am I stuck in a contract paying for hours I no longer need you for?
OK, this is the bit we really feel sets us apart. We have listened to our clients and tweaked the packages we offer over the years to end up with a real gem of a proposition. With just a month’s notice, you are able to adjust the level of support you receive from us.
If we are being super real, we kind of want you to need us less; it means we have done a great job of making your business run more efficiently and you have grown to the point of needing full time members of staff. This is a great day for us and one we genuinely strive for!
OK, I'm ready to do this for myself, but I have a couple of additional questions. Can I call you?
Of course, I am happy to go through any questions you have. Click here to book a call with me 😊 I look forward to hearing from you.