We were lucky to catch up with Kacey Eckelberg recently and have shared our conversation below.
Kacey, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Often outsiders look at a successful business and think it became a success overnight. Even media and especially movies love to gloss over nitty, gritty details that went into that middle phase of your business – after you started but before you got to where you are today. In our experience, overnight success is usually the result of years of hard work laying the foundation for success, but unfortunately, it’s exactly this part of the story that most of the media ignores. Can you talk to us about your scaling up story – what are some of the nitty, gritty details folks should know about?
Thank you for having me! I am excited to share my story and hopefully inspire business owners who may be struggling.
Let me start by saying I have not had a need for marketing my business. My client base at Go Virtual Associates has been growing rapidly every month which means my business operations have been as well.
The secret weapon to scaling my business is leading with compassion. Yes, getting results is important too but let me explain!
Compassion is rare in a lot of workplace settings so that is a trait I want to bring to the table! Making genuine connections is extremely important to me. The relationships with my clients aren’t just about doing the work and going through the motions, it’s treating their businesses as an extension of my own. No one will care about a business as much as the owner because that’s just how it is! It’s my job to put them at ease and build that trust – especially with the reputation that surrounds virtual assistants.
No matter what, I keep my clients happy. People are going to talk about you. You can’t control what they say but you can control what you do. If you have happy clients, they share you with other business owners in need because they know you will take great care of them.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Absolutely! I currently live in a small town just north of Orlando with my husband, a Marine Corps veteran, and two dogs, Pip and Bennet.
My background is in the cosmetology industry and administration. When first moving to Florida, I worked at a cosmetology school for about 1.5 years where I learned most of my manager and client relations experience.
I left that position in fall of 2019 and took a couple months off to decide a different career because I no longer felt fulfilled. There had to be more to life than working to live! During my hiatus, I quickly adapted to having a flexible schedule and decided that’s something I did not want to give up. That is when I took a leap of faith and signed up for a virtual assistant program (with a huge nudge from my husband).
After my completion of the program, I joined Facebook groups for virtual assistants which is where I landed my first job doing social media for Go Virtual Associates (my current business) and helping the owner with her client load. As the months went on, I gained more experience and was given more tasks as I earned her trust. About a year and a half later, the owner wanted to focus on other opportunities and gave me the opportunity to own Go Virtual Associates.
Go Virtual Associates has been owned by me since January 1, 2022! Since then, I’ve hextupled the income stream, hired a virtual assistant, and made many business connections with fellow virtual assistants and small business owners.
Go Virtual Associates offers marketing and graphic design services. When explaining what we do, I like to say we are a business owner’s best friend because we are there at every step of the way. Many entrepreneurs come to us with an idea and we put it into action!
I’m most proud of my relationships with my clients. We have fun! I’m so thankful for their love, support, and trust in me.
What sets us apart from other businesses like us is our drive and passion for helping small business owners. We make professional-level services available to small businesses that are just starting out and might not have the funds to pay thousands of dollars per month for a marketing firm. Everyone should have the chance to make it big and that’s what Go Virtual Associates is here for.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
Referrals! If you haven’t joined a networking group, you should find one and join it right away. Go Virtual Associates would not be a business today if it wasn’t for our networking group. Join lots of Facebook groups as well. There are so many out there to choose from!
When meeting a potential client, the first instinct many people have is to start selling them and saying yes to everything. Do exactly the opposite – educate, have an open conversation, and give constructive feedback.
How do you keep your team’s morale high?
I absolutely love having a team! The best way to keep a team’s morale high is to lead by example and understand that nothing is beneath you. Your team will love working with someone that doesn’t solely delegate, is right there with them in the thick of things, and encourages them along the way.