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Doreen Patrick

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About Doreen Patrick

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    Regular Member
  • Birthday 01/04/1971

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  • Location
    Woodridge, IL
  1. Great thread! I have been burned not once, not twice, but three times by other VAs. (I'm starting to question my scouting abilities!) The ideal associate would: *Not overstate her abilities. *Not take on a project and then fall off the face of the earth. *Always be in contact with regard to problems and progress. There is a high level of trust that goes in to a VA to VA relationship and it's important for both sides to honor that. I work with a few VAs that I trust implicitly and with a click of a mouse, I can send a project and I know it will get done. I posted something similar to this thread in another forum, execpt I stated "what not to do". I know there are a lot of newer VAs that want to subcontract, however, in the future I am only going to wotk with VAs that come to me as a referral. While I believe in giving people a chance, if a VA has truly proven herself, she will no doubt be a referral from someone.
  2. Isn't that the best! A good word goes a long way and you never know what it may bring in the door! Congrats!
  3. For Immediate Release Doreen R. Patrick, MVA, ACS, CIVA Virtual Business Partners 630-541-2433 www.virtualbusinesspartners.net vbpmailbox-vbp@yahoo.com Virtual Assistant Tell-All eBook on Getting Clients Woodridge, IL – February 28, 2008 - Virtual Business Partners is pleased to announce the publication of their new eBook, The Virtual Assistants Guide to Landing 12 Clients in 12 Months which has just been released and is for sale on their company web site at www.virtualbusinesspartners.net/resources. Doreen Patrick, owner and founder of Virtual Business Partners, explains that as a member of various virtual assistant forums, two of the most frequent information requests from forum members are information about how gain clients and what marketing techniques are used to get clients. After having learned from veteran virtual assistants before her, Doreen realized the opportunity to be able to give back to these organizations and its members by publishing her first eBook; a tell-all on how she went from one client to having a successful full-time business within one year with over 12 clients. Doreen explains, “Giving back to the communities that were an integral part of my business success was something that I have always wanted to do and I hope to be able to inspire other virtual assistants like those that have inspired me.” Patrick plans to release future eBooks and reports designed especially for virtual assistants and may also be adding teleclasses and seminars to her virtual assistant tool kit. Virtual Business Partners is a virtual office practice that specializes in sales, marketing and administrative support to businesses and business owners in a variety of industries. Visit Virtual Business Partners at www.virtualbusinesspartners.net or call 630-541-2433 for more information.
  4. In the US, we are predominently an import based country. A lot of what we consume comes from overseas. I think the concern is that jobs are created when things are in demand, needed and wanted and those jobs do not exist here anymore. In the news today, GM is offering a buy out to ALL US employees to hire cheaper labor, that's 74,000 people. While the article did not say that they would oursource overseas, I think it's quite normal to feel a bit protective of what we have here in the US, given the fact the the markets are down and the dollar isn't as strong etc. Each day it gets harder and harder to compete because someone somewhere can always find something cheaper, but is that a bad thing, maybe not. Educating our clients and potential clients in realizing the value they will receive working with you will set you apart from the pack. There are people that are looking for help purely on cost and we can't change that; but concentrating on the problems and pain points potential clients have and providing a solution will ultimately win in the end!
  5. Congrats!! You are no doubt going to be successful!
  6. ...is not reactive, we're proactive!
  7. Hi Cynthia, I would have to agree! I would charge your hourly rate for the time you are required to be in the office for the 9 - 3 project and then do exactly as Dana explained! (Your client would have pay an employee for the same time period if he/she were in house.) Be careful about the rate. Do not let your client decide on how much you should mark up. I offer a referral program and offer a certain % on the first month's invoice for any associates or contacts I am introduced to by a client. If a client refers any of their clients to me, I offer a certain % for the life of the contract as long as they remain a client of my client. That way I don't have to "reduce" my rates for anyone and not have to worry about who I am charging what to, especially if two of those people know each other!
  8. I am so sorry to hear you are going through that. I have worked as an admin assistant / executive assistant my entire life. Although I had great jobs and decent money, I was starting to loose sense of who I was and for years of feeling "dumbed down" all the time, meaning, "Oh she's just the assistant, let me talk to some who can really help", or "Can you get me coffee?" My last position was the tipping point. Myself and two other co-workers were passed over for two, not just one, but two advanced positions outside of being an admin. I had worked so hard, crossed-trained and even mentored with the person who was being promoted so I could be primed. The company decided to hire outside people and I found out about that in a staff meeting, where I was taking minutes. Imagine the disbelief and anger when I had to transcribe those minutes! They didn't even tell me before they announced it to everyone!! The politics and cliques were a joke so I decided to leave. I must stress though, be sure you leave on good terms and don't say word one about the atmosphere, you never know when you need a reference! I still keep in touch with my old company and I have even been back to train someone, I have been referred a client, and imagine their surprise when I decided to "promote" myself to President (of my very own company)! I must say that I was able to leave because my hubby has a good job. Think it through thoroughly before deciding to quit. I know this may not be a great option, but have you thought about temping for a while? That way you can have solid chunks of time to really focus on your business while still bringing in money. Another VA that I know is doing just that and it is working really well for her. I know its hard, but you have to separate yourself from your j.o.b. The greatest revenge is success so I wish you lots of luck and inspiration because I have truly been where you are now! I'm not sure if this helped, but you are among friends here!
  9. I'd be happy to send the document to anyone who requests it. Feel free to email me so I can reply back with the attachment. I am always open to more addtions and suggestions to the report. This will be a work in progress for a while! I won't take a single dime for it either :-) The info I get here is priceless! This is the least I can do to give back!
  10. This is a great thread. I have had this happen to me also! I would get a client that needs 10 - 20 hours and they end up using about 6 hours for the entire month. I would offer discounts and the whole nine yards only to be left with a small receivable for the month. Now I only discount retainers over a certain amount and that's it. I also offer a referral program and I include that as well. One thing that has worked for me is that whenever I quote a prospective client I include something like this: Hourly Rate / Retainer Includes: * No additional phone charges for calling projects. * No additional fees for basic office supplies. * No additional charges for any local or long distance calls. * No commission or bonus for appointments made. * No additional charge if work or project falls in to a Saturday queue by our planning. * No payroll taxes. (Feel free to add/change/delete your own company policies.) The clients seem to like "seeing" what they are getting. I have also authored a document with several other VAs that talks about projects a VA can complete in one hour or less. It's not that we rush through their projects, but is shows them what they think would take hours to complete, in reality would take an hour or less. (In our document, we listed over 75 actual projects that we have done that have taken an hour or less to complete.) This document along with the above really walks the walk and justifies the rate question almost immediately.
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