You’ll remember that last week I wrote about the client of my VA pal who was insisting the VA create a back-up plan for when the VA was on vacation, was ill, or just needed some other sort of personal time.

Since last week, several people have written to ask me why it would be a big deal to do as the client requested and provide the required backup, and/or backup plan. Let me see if I can add to what I shared to make this more clear.

As I said last week, it’s certainly each Virtual Assistant’s decision about whether to provide short-term care for clients in case of an absence. There’s no right or wrong here, and you need to do whatever is best for you. And that was the point of last week’s Moxie—you do whatever is best for YOU. A client shouldn’t be permitted to dictate what that is. But let me take that even further.

Don't ever accept the responsibility that a client wants to abdicate.

I have always been very vocal about my own view that it’s not your responsibility to create a backup plan for your client. It’s the client’s responsibility. Just as you are 100% responsible for your practice, the client is 100% responsible for his/her business; making you responsible for what doesn’t belong to you is abdicating responsibility for the business, and that should never, ever be.

If something happens to you—short, or long-term—the client needs to be able to have his/her business continue on without you, and without interruption. This is, btw, one of the reasons why I urge my coaching clients to NOT provide coverage for time away from their practices; clients should always be able to “manage” without them for periods of time. Creating opportunity for the client to step up and “run” the business, doing things not usually part of his/her business days while you are not working is one way to make sure the client knows exactly what’s going on, and how things actually run. Clients may balk, but really, it’s good for them to do this now and then—it’s amazing what they learn about what’s going on in their businesses that they aren’t aware of (both good and not-so good).  And while you can (and I think should) certainly help make sure a client has the information and tools needed to do that in your absence (creating a procedural manual for your client that includes all the big picture and detailed stuff, too, is one appropriate way to be very helpful), the responsibility for the creation of a backup plan and finding a person to cover for you if the client doesn’t want to do it, really belongs to the client.

So what’s your choice on this? I’d love to know that, and how you came to your decision…feel free to leave me a note in comments! :)