Welcome to the Administrative Consultants Association

Begin your journey to financial success in the administrative support business right here!

Danielle Keister. Business Catalyst. Founder of the Administrative Consultants Association.Hello! My name is Danielle Keister (pronounced Kī-ster, not KEE-ster, but please call me Danielle). I am the founder of the Administrative Consultants Association.

I'm here to teach you how to kick business butt, get better clients (and take great care of those clients) and start making the kind of money you and your family deserve.

With just a computer, today's technology and your administrative skills and experience, you can start your own online administrative support business. Join the ranks of over 30,000 people worldwide who perform their service and take care of clients while contributing to the economy, supporting their families, and living life on their own terms—all from the comfort of their own home.

I've been in the administrative support business since 1997 when I officially took out my business license after doing this work on the side for many years.

My expertise comes from an administrative background spanning 30+ years (wow, time flies!), nearly 20 of those running my own administrative practice where I specialize in supporting solopreneurial lawyers in business, intellectual property and entertainment law.

Since 2004, it's also been my privilege and honor to be a highly-regarded business expert and mentor in our industry. Besides my business savvy and straight-talking, no-nonsense style, I believe people are attracted to the authenticity and integrity of my expertise. I teach people as someone who still actively owns and operates a successful practice.

I'm all about better life through better business. When you take great care of your own life and business needs first, you'll be able to knock the socks off clients taking greater care of them in the process.

In 2005, two inescapable facts compelled me to start the ACA:

  • All the information newcomers are inundated with upon entry in the industry doesn't show them how to truly be business owners. It only shows them how to keep being under-paid assistants except that now they do it from home. That's certainly not why any of us started our businesses.
  • Most people in the industry are earning less than $10,000 a year. Who can live on that?! And it's not because they can't earn better (they absolutely can!). It's only because all the initial information they get out there keeps them stuck in employee mindset and working with clients in ways that do not lead to healthy, profitable and sustainable business and financial success.

I've worked tirelessly since then to provide a higher, more sophisticated level of business information, education and resources to help colleagues build financially successful businesses so they can take far better care of clients while also building the business and life of their dreams.

About the ACA

The Administrative Consultants Association (ACA) is an online professional community and resource center specifically for those in the administrative support business. It was founded in 2005 by Danielle Keister.

Our mission is to inspire, educate and support Administrative Consultants in growing stronger, more financially successful practices that bring greater personal happiness, freedom and client satisfaction.

We're here to help and serve anyone who is in the business of working in collaborative partnership with clients in an ongoing administrative support relationship. Anyone in the administrative support business can benefit from our resources, information and business products and training.

So what is an Administrative Consultant, anyway?

An Administrative Consultant is a solopreneur who works personally with clients in a collaborative, one-on-one relationship of ongoing administrative support. We're the administrative experts who keep our clients' businesses organized, humming along smoothly and moving forward.

I see conversations in our industry occasionally where it's clear some people don't understand our use of the term "consultant." They mistakenly think all consultants do is advise.

However, we use the term "consultant" conjunctively since we are both service provider and trusted advisor to our clients. That's because while we are first and foremost in business to provide administrative support, as administrative experts we also guide and advise clients on their administrative systems, set-ups, tools and business operations. That's the advisor part of it.

Hence: Administrative + Consultant. See how that works? ;)

For that matter, what is Administrative Support?

Administrative support is a niche, specialty, expertise and profession in and of itself. Administrative support is also an ongoing relationship, not a one-time or occasional drive-by project (that kind of business is called a secretarial service).

Administrative support is the collection of 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 backbone of every business and no business can run without it. What we do as administrative experts is that important!

Strategic administrative support, therefore, must also be delivered on an ongoing, continuous basis. The results clients want to achieve aren’t accomplished working together sporadically on a piece-meal or one-time project basis. 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 business-strengthening value and results.

Holy moly! We even have a video! (You are free to display it on your website, too.)

Okay, how do I get started?

I'm so glad you've asked! The Administrative Consultants Association is THE authority on the Administrative Consultant business, and I LIVE to help people get started (or do better, as the case may be). Here are the next steps I recommend:

  1. Read through the entire ACA site page by page. This will give you a better grasp and increase your sensibility around the concept of providing administrative support as a business and administrative expert (not an assistant).
  2. This includes reading the ACA Client Guide. Understanding how clients are properly educated about our industry and working with Administrative Consultants will also help you in setting up your business.
  3. Once you've done that, check out our free online start-up guide to Start Your Biz.
  4. Download our free business resources.
  5. Subscribe to my blog. It's a fantastic resource (I started it in 2005, so it should be!) where I provide a wealth of free guidance, mentoring and advice to the industry at large. Check out the categories in the right sidebar for just about any topic you can imagine. It's also where you can submit your specific business and marketing questions.
  6. If you have a specific business or marketing question related to your administrative support business, hit me up at Ask Danielle.
  7. Like the ACA Facebook page to connect with others and keep up with other useful insights, resources and links that I post there.
  8. If you are still employed, this is a great time to begin laying your business foundations and getting those important pieces in place such as your contract and website and determining some basic standards, policies and procedures. When you're ready to do all that, or you're already opened or established but want to improve your business, the ACA Success Store has everything you need, from the practical, foundational forms, tools and contract templates to learning guides that will teach those all-important business skills of marketing, pricing and packaging, consulting with clients and practice management.
  9. And if you need personal, one-on-one business guidance and advising, I can help in a laser strategy break-through session.

Are you excited?

This is such a rewarding, fulfilling business and lifestyle. I pinch myself just about every day in gratitude and marvel at how it affords me the ability to live exactly how I please while doing work I love that is meaningful and truly helps people and improves their businesses and lives.

It's a portable business so the start-up and overhead costs are minimal. And being that it's portable, you can live and travel just about anywhere and still run your business wherever there's Internet. I lived in Europe for awhile and lots of people never even realized I'd left the States, that's how smooth and imperceptible the transition was.

You get to set the standards, choose who you work with, and be the master of your own financial fortunes. Invest in yourself and the right tools and learning to run your business smartly and profitably and there isn't anything to hold you back!

I'm so pleased you've chosen the ACA to share in your business journey, and I look forward to getting to know you.

Goodness + Success to You!

Danielle Keister

Founder & Industry Mentor

Administrative Consultants Association