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About westcoastway

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  1. Hi, thanks for the support. As it turns out, the piece was also run in the following Canadian papers including the Financial Post: June 5, 2010 – The Star Phoenix –Virtual assistance offers flexible option http://www2.canada.c...61-d81fc419aa50 May 29, 2010 & June 11, 2010 -Edmonton Journal – Virtual assistance offers flexible option http://www.edmontonj...7477/story.html June 11, 2010 – The Windsor Star –Virtual assistance offers flexible option http://www.windsorst...7477/story.html June 14, 2010 – The Financial Post- Don't Dismiss Virtual Assistants http://www.financial...0590/story.html June 20, 2010 – The Province –Layoff was a blessing http://www2.canada.c...11-9731aead8b71 June 30, 2010 – The Ottawa Citizen– The virtual answer http://www.ottawacit...html?id=3218378 Here's hoping it does something positive for the entire industry. It would have been great if my references to the wonderful Canadian virtual assistant associations had been included ... or even my company name But, I'm grateful for the coverage. Happy Canada Day everyone!
  2. Hi everyone, I was interviewed a few weeks back and an article has appeared in today's Ottawa Citizen featuring information about me and the virtual assistant industry - Caitlin Crawshaw, Canwest News Service June 30, 2010 - The Virtual Answer http://bit.ly/de0qU9. Cheers, Karen
  3. Hello fellow Wordpress.com users! I have a great tip to share with you about how to create a social bookmarking widget for Wordpress.com. When I first started my Blog it was one of the first Widgets I wanted to install, but to my horror there was no Share This Widget to be found. There is if you're using Wordpress.org, but not for us .com users. Not one to give up easily, I scoured the Internet and test several 'solutions' until I came across Get Social. It's a super easy and fast way to insert a Share This bar in each post. Best of all - it's FREE! Get Social Have fun! Cheers, Karen
  4. Hi Deb, desktop publishing is one of the services we offer. During the 10 years I've been in business, I've tried a few different models for rates. The last several years I've settled on 'per hour' no matter the project. Most of our contracts tend to be long-term ongoing projects, so flat rates don't really work. I'm confident in the value for money we provide and that self confidence seems to assure clients they're getting excellent value. Also, once they understand that it can end up costing them more money based on having to build in contingencies when quoting on a per project basis, they welcome the option to be billed by the minute for exactly how long it takes. I'll grant you, that the per hour approach may not always illicit an enthusiastic response from potential clients, but ultimately I've found we both come out better in the long run. Myself and my associates are getting paid appropriately for the time we put in and our clients are only paying for the time it takes to complete the project or task. You can also offer an estimate, but with the understanding that the time will be billed by the minute for however long it takes; be it longer or shorter than the estimate. At the end of the day, providing virtual services is a trust based venture for both the client and the provider. Your clients need to trust that you're doing your best for them and will get the work done as efficiently and professionally as possible in order to provide them with value for money. After all, you wouldn't be in business for long if you didn't provide excellent service at a fair price. Hope that helps and best of luck. Cheers, Karen
  5. Hi Tawyna, the group is on LinkedIn called Vancouver Consultants (South of the Fraser) and there are currently 56 members. So far, I've been to two meetings and about 8-10 people showed up. It's nice that the meeting location is close in proximity and the size of the group allows for a more intimate exchange of information. There are always a few good laughs and the information has been useful; I've made a couple of very interesting connections already. Details of the group/meetings: Next Meeting Wednesday April 14th at 4:30pm. Who should attend: Management consultants of any discipline, contract managers or executives, independent “business to business” marketing or sales entrepreneurs seeking contracts in the Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley. Job hunters looking for positions in the 100K plus range in the Metro Vancouver or Fraser Valley. (but please no business to consumer individuals). The Objective: To exchange information relating to the corporate and business world in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas. To build confidence in self marketing. Socialize with others with the same interest and maybe just maybe have a little fun. When: Every second Wednesday in the month at 4:30pm The next meeting is Wednesday April 14th . Where: The Board Room of the Family Golf Center at King George Highway and Colebrook Road near the junction of #10 highway and King George in South Surrey. (5228 King George Highway) Surrey, BC V3S 9M1 Meeting Agenda and Purpose Following great recent meetings Lyndon Olson or David Kennedy will chair and will use the following agenda The purpose of the meeting is to develop a better understanding amongst the group and share in some fellowship. • Introductions o Current role/position and value-add statement – 2 minute elevator pitch o What are your goals/expectations – 1-2 minutes • Roundtable Discussion Topics o Current market and business environment – What are you seeing? o Current challenges – What obstacles and issues are you witnessing? o Expectations of South of the Fraser Group – How can the organization benefit you? What would you like to see for future meetings? o Other topics – What else is on your mind? o Future meeting dates/times Cost There is a charge of $5.00 towards the cost of room rental. Want to attend or want to stay informed? You can simply show up but it would be appreciated if you would let David Kennedy know in advance! 604 685 9494 Please also join our on line presence at Linked In and you will receive reminders. http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1954144&trk=myg_ugrp_ov Possibly! Can you send me more information regarding same? Thanks
  6. Hi Patty & Tawnya, sure, I'd be happy to talk to Patty about becoming a blogger for your Blog for clients - Patty, please contact me at your convenience to discuss how I can contribute. Thanks for your kind feedback on my updated site designs. The saga of the design process is something better shared over a cup of tea, or perhaps a martini. Long story short, after nearly 10 years of taking care of my own web site needs, I finally outsourced it. I ended up having to completely design the look & elements myself providing specific instructions to my web 'designer' for code creation to get the results I wanted. Although they're credited as "designed and developed by" in my sites' footers, they developed it, but absolutely did not fulfill the promise of design skills. So, to answer your question, the design is almost all mine with some elements provided by a fantastic graphic artist who had previously re-designed my logo, business cards, and brochures. At my request she created some similar design elements that I could incorporate into my site. Et voila! I'm branded - ha! Definitely a 'live and learn' experience lending itself nicely to upcoming blog posts about customer service and delivering on service promises which will be aimed at helping others avoid similar issues. Thanks again for the warm reception and I look forward to meeting you soon. Cheers, Karen
  7. Hi everyone, I've been a member of VANA since 2007 and started my company in late 2000, I think before the term Virtual Assistant had been created. It's thanks in part to VANA that I was able to apply on and win RFP's that helped continue building my company. If you're not at a membership level where you receive RFP's, I highly recommend it. I've been in Victoria, Vancouver (Surrey), Castlegar and am now back in Vancouver (Cloverdale) - thank goodness this kind of business is so mobile. I wanted to pop in and reintroduce myself as a few things have changed since I first started my company. It's been a busy time up until the last half of 2009 when my clients' clients started to dwindle and of course, that created a domino effect for my workload. I saw this as an opportunity to take a breath and begin to check in more often with my networks, tap into some social media and complete work on refining my company's goals & services and having that better reflected in our public profile. We still offer VA (or as I now call them, Virtual Worker) services through our Virtual Workforce division at www.virtualworkforce.ca which remains a valuable source of revenue for my company. Over the last five years, we substantially expanded our services into executive level services, from project and operational management up to CFO and CEO services. Lengthy research and networking has shown that these services are growing in demand particularly for our preferred target audience of SMB's. But, what's truly exciting to me is that late last year we finally formalized the consulting process to create and manage virtual workforce integration strategies. We inform companies about the benefits of virtual contract workers/VA's and then assist them through the integration process. This new focus has taken my love of this industry and combined it with my love of teaching and helping others to succeed. Our consulting division, www.westcoastway.com, is now focussed solely on bringing information about this amazing industry directly to companies. We are a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade and are enjoying the opportunity to share this innovative business practice with companies who've never heard of this method of getting business services. We decided on a Blog over a newsletter so it could be more interactive and encourage discussion about this amazing industry. WestCoastWay's Blog is dedicated to sharing as much information as possible with our target audience of corporations/SMB's about a variety of topics to do with the virtual workforce industry: communication, technology, tools, HR, etc. We do accept guest Bloggers, so do let me know if you'd like to share information with our readers, your business bio will appear at the end of the post. Also, if you have a relevant Blog, I'd be happy to look at doing a reciprocal BlogRoll listing. So, anyhow, thanks for your time and I look forward to checking in more often and helping grow this industry to new heights. Cheers, Karen
  8. Hi Tawnya, I hadn't heard of the IAAP, thanks for the PDF's, I'll look into it. I recently joined the Vancouver Board of Trade as we're working hard on bringing information about this industry to companies to try and effect change from the inside out. So far, the reception has been great. Very few have even heard of this industry, but I'm beginning to generate quite a buzz. I'm also working on a proposal to put on a seminar for BoT members sometime in 2010 and the interest is high. I'm working with a published author out of the states who will be Skyped in for the seminar as well as a couple of other experts from the technology industry and a CFO offering their services as a virtual contract worker. I'll keep you posted if you like. I also attend a monthly meeting called Consultants South of the Fraser that meets at the golf course just under King George @ Hwy 10, our next meeting is April 14th if you're available. Cheers, Karen
  9. Tawnya, I think this is a fantastic idea, especially for those of us on the West Coast. So much in this industry seems to happen on the East Coast and I'm all for continuing to build our industry's momentum on this Coast. Plus, it will give others the opportunity to visit beautiful Vancouver. Having attended conferences in various industries throughout Canada and the US, I'd like to see something with some real substance to it. Speakers and panels who provide sound business advice, tools and ideas on building our industry. I was at a Vancouver Board of Trade this past week and not one of the people I spoke to had even heard of this industry; however, regardless of their industry, each person I spoke too was excited about the idea of having virtual contract workers (VA's) help with their business support needs. There is so much potential out there for us if we can increase the profile of the virtual workforce industry. Is there a way we can open up a session or two to our target audience to help showcase what we do and how it can help their companies succeed? This would help with promotion of the event as well as capitalizing on all the effort that will go into putting on an event like this...might as well see if we can get some potential clients in the room, so to speak. Let me know if I can help. Cheers, Karen
  10. Hi Tawnya, Thanks. I'm also in South Surrey, Cloverdale to be exact, on the Langley border. I look forward to meeting you in person along the way. Cheers, Karen
  11. Thanks Patty. I appreciate that. Now, if I can just get my ShareThis widget working, I'll be one happy camper. Hope you have a great week. Cheers, Karen
  12. Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed the Olympics as much as we did on the West Coast. Of course, Canada proving that they do, in fact, OWN hockey was the highlight for me. Anyhow, I just wanted to pop in to let you know that I’m inviting guest bloggers to submit articles on my new virtual workforce strategy Blog. Please visit my Blog to see if you think your contirbution(s) would make a good fit. If you’re interested, here are some details to help focus your piece(s): I’m looking for articles relevant to virtual workforce strategies. Topics can include: technology, HR, efficiency, cost savings, environmental benefits, flexibility, innovation, and virtual workforce tools (virtual meetings, information sharing, and communication). Content should be no more than 500 words and include keywords as well as relevant links. Blog titles should be simplistic (keep industry jargon to a minimum); below 40 characters; attention grabbing; meet a need; descriptive and contain keywords. Target audience is corporate decision makers and should reflect a virtual workforce that ranges from administration to our main focus of mid-upper level management (project and operational management, special projects, etc). Blog posts are promoted through our Facebook fan page, Twitter and LinkedIn. WestCoastWay’s Blog: http://bit.ly/9G1OtQ Please contact me if you have any questions or would like more information. Cheers, Karen www.westcoastway.com - Helping companies develop virtual worker strategies www.virtualworkforce.ca - Providing virtual worker business services VANCOUVER, BC CANADA Direct: 778-571-0372 or Cell: 778-888-9235 Fax: 778.574.4101 Electronic Documents Act, the communication above, along with any attachments, is confidential and intended only for the individual(s) named. Please notify the sender immediately if you received this e-mail in error, and delete this message and any attachment(s) from your system. "Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this e-mail"
  13. Congratulations JudyAnn, that's a great accomplishment! All the best for your continued success. Karen
  14. Hi Becky, this is my first time on the VANA Forum and I'm so pleased to be able to offer you some encouragement and support. I've been a VA since 2001 and have found my confidence level seems to be in sync with my success. I've learned to embrace even the smallest success to help keep my confidence up. After having worked as an employee in the Communications field for years, I've recently discovered through a new client that my skills and abilities surpass what I even thought they were. I think when you come from being an employee where you tend to be more pigeon-holed into how good you "should" be; it can be easy to forget how "great" you really are. Spread your wings and fly; if you really think about it, you'll likely realize that not only do you know how to do what you do, but that you're REALLY good at it too. This confidence with inspire the same in your present and future clients. Also, my business began to take off within weeks of volunteering on an association committee, maybe try that. It gives you a "safe" place to provide those services you know you do well and it's a great feeling to give back to the great orgaizations who support us VA's. Cheers, Karen
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