Welcome to the Administrative Consultants Association
Begin your journey to financial success in the administrative support business right here!
The Administrative Consultants Association is an online professional community and education resource just for administrative experts. We are passionate about helping each other grow stronger, more financially successful practices that bring us greater personal happiness, freedom and client satisfaction.
Whether you are new or established, this site and all its offerings are geared toward helping you reach your goals for financial success and the freedom of business ownership more quickly, easily and confidently.
Who This Site Is For
If you are ready to stop calling yourself and working with clients like a personal assistant and instead become an administrative expert, this site if for you.
Get the Most from this Site
Read through our entire site, starting with our home page here to learn what Administrative Consulting is all about and get lots of goodies and resources for your business.
Join our Facebook community forum where you can keep up with vital mentoring and educational posts, ask questions and have fun hobnobbing and getting to know your colleagues.
Subscribe to the founder’s blog where she answers your questions and provides free business and marketing advice.
Under the Marketing Tools tab, we provide videos, badges and content you are free to use on your website to better educate clients and show them how you can help.
Whether you are new or established, you can get all the business forms, contract templates and educational guides you need to set up and improve upon your strong, successful business foundations from our Success Store.
If your business doors are already open, be sure to take the annual industry survey and you’ll receive a free copy of the result report once the survey is over.
If you are considering starting your own administrative support business, check out our free business start-up guide.
Who We Serve
The Administrative Consultants Association is dedicated exclusively to Administrative Consultants in solo practice who are serious about their profession and view what they do as a highly-skilled craft. We believe that by helping Administrative Consultants improve their business acumen and run more sustainable practices, we not only elevate the profession overall, we also better serve clients. The stronger we all are in business, the better we then educate the marketplace. As a result, Administrative Consultants will have a wider range of more informed industries seeking our support, which benefits everyone in finding clients and commanding professional fees.
What is Administrative Support?
Administrative support is a niche, specialty, expertise and profession in and of itself. It therefore deserves to have its own organization to represent the interests of just those folks who specialize in skilled administrative support. While much of the information and resources offered here is helpful to all kinds of service providers and business models, our particular passion is helping administrative support specialists in solo practice overcome their unique challenges in earning well, creating successful businesses and still having time for life. If you are an administrative expert, this site and organization is especially for you!
Administration is not an event. It’s not a project that’s done once and never needs to be done again. It’s ongoing behind-the-scenes work and activities that must be attended to throughout the life of a business in order for it grow, run smoothly and profitably, and generate revenue. It’s the absolutely vital work that keeps a business organized, humming along smoothly and moving forward. It’s the backbone of every business and no business can run without it. What you do is that important!
Strategic administrative support, therefore, must also be delivered on an ongoing, continuous basis. The results clients want to to achieve aren’t accomplished working together only sporadically. By working in ongoing, one-on-one collaborative partnership with an Administrative Consultant, clients get someone whose knowledge and understanding of them, their goals, how their business works and what’s important to them grows ever increasingly the longer they work together. That’s what administrative support is all about, and what gives clients the greatest, most cost-effective value and results.
The best way to describe administrative support is that it is the collection of ongoing tasks, functions and roles that keep a business organized, moving forward and humming along smoothly. Understand that administrative support is an ongoing relationship—a symbiotic partnering between client and Administrative Consultant—because the work itself is ongoing. It is not merely one-time or occasional piecemeal tasks and projects (that is a secretarial service), although Administrative Consultants do quite often provide other services and project work in addition to their administrative support.
Take a look at the video below to better understand what administrative support is all about:
What Is an Administrative Consultant?
An Administrative Consultant is a independent professional and business owner who specializes in the expertise of providing monthly, ongoing administrative support to clients in a one-on-one collaborative partnering relationship. Because of their expertise and focus on administrative functions, an Administrative Consultant can also provide clients with advice and guidance on setting up administrative systems, analyzing workflows and improving operations.
What is NOT an Administrative Consultant?
A virtual assistant is not the same thing as an Administrative Consultant. The terms are NOT interchangeable. The reason they are different is because an Administrative Consultant is not an assistant (which is a term of employment, not business) doing anything and everything and does not work with clients like an assistant, temp or substitute daily employee. When you are in business, you are not anyone's assistant. Likewise, Administrative Consultants are not gophers, lackeys, personal servants or valets.
Administrative Consultants are experts (due to their many years of administrative experience) who specialize specifically in the business and art of administrative support (hence the "administrative" part of the term). And because we have such a unique, bird's eye view of peoples' businesses, many Administrative Consultants also offer clients advice and guidance on administrative systems and how they can streamline their operations and improve efficiency and effectiveness (this is where the consulting hat comes in and why "consultant" is part of our term).
An Administrative Consultant is also not a secretarial service. A secretarial service is a business that focuses on piecemeal tasks and project work, which is the opposite of administrative support. Though they might provide additional services and project work, Administrative Consultants are first and foremost in the business of providing ongoing, continuous administrative support in personal, direct one-to-one partnering relationships with their clients.
An Administrative Consultant is not an online business manager. Administrative Consultants are skilled administrative experts. They work hands-on in personal, one-on-one partnering relationships with their clients. Although they provide actual support and can also provide administrative advice and guidance to clients, they do not manage the client’s business. They are instrumental in helping clients achieve success, but clients are always responsible for their own business’s success or failure.
Why the Term “Administrative Consultant?”
Because it better describes us solopreneurs who are specifically and primarily in the specialized business of administrative support. As a business owner, you are not anyone’s assistant, gopher or flunky. As an administrative support specialist, you are an expert in your own right, and you deserve a more respectable title that more clearly conveys your expertise and how you help clients.
The virtual assistant term only confuses people. It creates misconceptions that make establishing a business-to-business relationship much more difficult than need be and causes a whole host of misunderstandings and misalignment of expectations. The word “assistant” itself inherently puts you in a subservient role in the eyes of clients. The only context they know for “assistant” is that of employee—and we all know how problematic that misconception is! And because of its ambiguity, it has become the garbage dump term of anyone doing anything and everything and, thus, has come to communicate nothing clearly at all. As Seth Godin would say, it’s a meandering generality instead of a meaningful specific.
As an Administrative Consultant, clients immediately understand what your specialty is and see you as a peer and expert. An Administrative Consultant is taken more seriously and receives more professional respect.
What is a Solopreneur?
Contrary to how most people understand it, a solopreneur is not someone who works alone and does everything themselves in their business. As a solopreneur, it simply means that you are the craftsman in your business and the one who works directly in one-on-one relationship with your clients. When clients hire you, it’s for your brain, your critical thinking and your unique blend of skill, experience, expertise, talent and chemistry, and it’s you they expect to be working with. But just as every business owner needs support, so do you. Solopreneneurs often have their own staff and/or independent consultants who support them and carry some of the behind-the-scenes load so that they have more time for working directly with clients and developing the business.
What We Stand For
As an organization, the ACA stands for quality, substance and excellence. Hey, you can’t grow if you aren’t expected to think bigger and do better. We are about challenging administrative professionals to stretch outside their comfort zones, think in new ways, and view who they are and what they do as administrative experts from a completely new and innovative perspective.
We are also about community and providing a space where business-minded comrades can help each other grow in a spirit of camaraderie, not competition. And it really is about communication and conversation. We are motivated by ideals of excellence and a passion for the profession and helping administrative experts grow in their business knowledge and professional self-esteem. This is a heart, passion and soul-driven association.
As an Administrative Consultant, what are some of the things you’d like to achieve?
- A full roster of monthly retainer clients?
- A financially profitable, self-sustaining practice?
- Ideal clients who are enjoyable to work with?
- A business that earns enough money that you could quit your day job?
- A business that earns more than you ever made as an employee, perhaps even a six figure income? (Dare you dream? Yes!)
- To make more money working less hours and with fewer clients?
- The time and freedom to enjoy life beyond your business?
These are ALL things you can achieve with the right information, enlightenment and business consciousness! But make no mistake—most of what you’ve learned and read elsewhere so far is keeping you from doing these things. Hey, what’s the point of anything if the only way you can make a living at it is if it consumes your entire life and keeps you from enjoying family, friends and all those other pursuits that make you a more interesting person and a better service provider, right? Because success is only success when you are both earning well and profiting in terms of time and freedom to also enjoy a full, well-rounded life beyond your business.
And that’s what we’re here to help you with! Those who join our ranks are driven and committed to making their business a success. They are tired of working themselves to the bone and still not making any money. They understand that overcoming these challenges requires them to raise their business consciousness and rethink and redefine their role as adminstrative experts. They want to learn how it can be done better, easier and more efficiently with greater profitability and superior client service. They want to talk about real business and learn proven strategies for marketing, finding clients, navigating the consultation process and setting foundations in their business that will lead to true growth, freedom, financial success and personal satisfaction. If you are ready to be challenged to think in new ways and grow your business to an entirely different level, it is our sincere pleasure to support you.
To your success!
Business Mentor & Administrative Consulting Expert
Danielle Keister is a business mentor, Administrative Consulting expert and founder of the Administrative Consultants Association. I help you ROCK IT in your admin support biz so you can knock the socks off clients, make more moolah AND have more time for life! Subscribe to my blog for straight-shooting, no-nonsense biz savvy in setting up YOUR successful administrative support practice.