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Cindy Cali

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About Cindy Cali

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 05/22/1947

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  • Location
    Sonoma, California
  • Interests
    Travel, gourmet cooking, knitting, beading, reading, technology
  1. Hi, Stacy, and Welcome! Vacations are important, so don't think that you have to sacrifice personal time for the sake of your clients. You will be a much better VA in the long run if you remember to pamper yourself once in a while. And, yes, that means taking a well-deserved vacation or long weekend now and then. I think many of the other VAs in VANA will agree that planning is an absolute key to handling vacation downtime or emergency situations. You need to have a backup plan in place in the event you cannot, for some reason, meet your commitments to your clients. You may wish to partner with another VA in your geographic area (which is what I have done) or partner with someone elsewhere with whom you have made a strong connection and feel you can entrust your business. Giving clients plenty of advance notice that you will not be available during a specific period of time is essential and can vary in the amount of advance notice necessary dependent upon the client's type of business. Certainly I would say that you should give a client no less than 30 days' notice of an impending vacation and offer to make arrangements to set up alternative services, if the client desires. Be sure to contact your client(s) as soon as you return to alert the client(s) of your return. I wish you good luck in your new venture! Regards, Cindy Cali, Virtual Assistant www.cindycali.com
  2. Dear Rosie, I just finished reading the entire string of postings about this difficult situation. I was so glad to read that you achieved the result you were after. Your method of handling the meeting was impressive. One of the true benefits of being self-employed is the ability to actually "hire and fire" a client. While is it very clear that you enjoy the work with this client (for the most part), there was a certain level of high-handedness being exercised by your client. A good lesson for all VAs, especially newbies, is the importance of the contractual agreement, no matter how small the job or assignment. It is just a good practice to get into by insisting that every client sign some form of a client agreement - especially to ensure prompt payment, to clearly state penalties for late payment, and to specify exactly the work the VA is expected to complete. Nice job! Kindest regards, Cindy Cali, Virtual Assistant www.cindycali.com
  3. In response to your question about cutting back your fees, I believe your rationale for discounted hourly rates for retainer clients is appropriate. Several other VAs have weighed in with the same opinion - don't devalue yourself. The ideal client (isn't that the only one whom we all pursue?) will be willing and able to pay your fee. Those $10 an hour rates make look appealing to a client, but if the end product is unsatisfactory, it is going to cost more to redo or repair it! Cindy Cali, Virtual Assistant www.cindycali.com
  4. Hi and Welcome, Linda I'm a newbie, too, as I just recently joined VANA this past month. I think you will feel even more encouraged as time transpires. Don't be daunted by being 50. I just celebrated my 60th birthday and have only recently made the transition from full time employment as the executive assistant to a school superintendent to a self-employed Virtual Assistant. My best advice is to keep learning as much as you can about the industry and continually polish your skill set. I wish you much success in your future pursuits. Regards, Cindy Cali, Virtual Assistant www.cindycali.com
  5. Hi, Cindy, Does your client already have cell phone service? If so, have you explored having the client add an additional line to his/her service that would be the cell phone in your possession? That way when the client is unavailable, the calls could be forwarded to your number and the charge would go directly to the client's cell phone billing. Usually, second or multiple lines on a cell phone service come at a lower rate than a stand alone cell number. In addition, their service provider may even offer a discounted rate for the additional phone as part of the promotion to add the additional line. If this is not an option, then I would guess that you would have to secure the service, provide the phone, and charge the customer for the monthly costs you incur(as long as it is dedicated only to that client). I hope that this is a helpful suggestion. Cindy Cali Cindy Cali, Virtual Assistant www.cindycali.com
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