I came across a blog post where a Virtual Assistant was talking about an issue she was having with a client who wanted to do something in a certain way that she knew wasn’t the best way, and would actually cause the client more problems.
Instead of guiding this client–as an expert should–away from a particular way of doing something that would neither serve the client’s purposes nor be an efficient use of her time as a service provider, she abdicated her role as the administrative expert, commenting, "But as she is the client, I do as she asks."
People, it’s called customer SERVICE, not servitude.
If a client wants to do something that is neither productive nor helpful, and especially when it will not help them achieve the end result they are looking for, it is certainly your role to inform them and guide them otherwise. If you don’t, you are neither serving the client nor being a partner to them. You are merely being a lackey who isn’t truly helping them achieve their goals.
And another thing, don’t allow client’s to spin your wheels. It’s not just the client’s business that is involved here. It’s your business as well. In the end, the client’s business is certainly theirs to do with as they please. It’s also the client’s perogative to ignore your best counsel. If they want to take steps backward in their business, that’s up to them. But that doesn’t mean you should allow them to take you with them, especially if engaging in certain work or a way of doing something is counterproductive and has a detrimental impact on your business or your processes.
It’s okay to say "no."
Let them know that while you certainly respect their decision to do a thing a certain way, it’s not something you are willing to do for them as it’s an inefficient use of resources in your business.
It’s not your "job" as a Virtual Assistant to do everything single thing a client asks. It’s also not your obligation to perform any work that does not fall in line with what you deem as acceptable on a professional level in your business. And it’s certainly within your rights as a business owner yourself to decline those things in which you don’t want to participate.