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Found 25 results

  1. After being a long-time lurker here I have finally opened my VA website and I would appreciate any comments or suggestions: https://solopreneurdesign.com Thanks in advance! Marie-Claude
  2. Hi there, My name is Angela Tyler, I'm a young mom from Fremont, MI. I currently work full time as a life insurance agent for one of the top national insurance companies, and before that I was a hair stylist. I have a great job, but as a young mom I find that being at the office 40 hours a week is taking much precious time away from my family. While browsing online one day I saw a post about becoming a VA and, after reading about the type of work you could do, I was very intrigued. It's become my mission to find my niche and start my own VA business right out of my home. My current website is called Pure Grace http://puregracejewelry.wixsite.com/puregracejewelry. Originally it was meant to be another platform for my small handmade jewelry business, but I decided to expand it into my own blog. Of course, when you're working 40 hours a week it's difficult to find the time to manage a blog. That is why I am hopeful that once I start my VA work and am able to quit my full time job I will be able to maintain my own blog. I plan on creating a WordPress website and learn more about that, as I understand most bloggers primarily use that. As far as years of experience, I am brand new to the VA field. However, I have been working in customer service for almost ten years. I was a hair stylist for eight years so I am great at listening to what people want and turning abstract ideas into something beautiful. For the last year I've worked in an office as a life insurance agent, so I have administrative and secretarial skills as well. Being my own small business owner I am also very comfortable with social media and marketing in that manner. My goal is to VA for a Christian Blog - it's a topic I enjoy writing about, and I am very passionate about that field of ministry. I would love to help with social media management, editing blog posts and even doing some guest posting. On a more personal note, I am from a small town called Fremont, Michigan. We're a farming community with about 4,000 people. This little town is one where everyone knows everyone, we still hold the doors for each other, and there's corn fields lining the roads and a church on every corner. It's home. My husband and I just celebrated our three year wedding anniversary on August 24th. We have two beautiful children, my son will be two in September and my daughter is five - she just got on the school bus for her very first day at kindergarten! This exactly is the reason why I want this venture to be a success. I want to be here when my daughter gets on the bus, and when she gets off. I want to be here when my son is potty training. I want to be home for dinner, and have the availability to meet with bible studies. My home is my mission field, and I don't want to spend any more time away! My hobbies and interests...I love writing. I have been writing since I was a young girl, and have never stopped. Currently I am working on my first novel, which is a fantasy genre novel. I also love riding horses,although I don't have much time to get in the saddle lately (which will hopefully change soon!) Jewelry design has also become a hobby of mine. It started off with beading necklaces and bracelets, but it turned into designing rosaries and prayer beads. Since transitioning into Christian based jewelry my little business has doubled it's sales from the previous year, so I know I am on the right track. I love my little handmade ministry! I heard about VA Networking from Google. Over the past couple weeks I have been reading article after article, learning everything I can before diving in. I searched for "virtual assistant" and VA Networking was one of the first things that popped up. So far I love reading everyone's thoughts in the forums, and I can tell this website will be an asset to my growth as a VA. I'm very excited for what the future holds, and I cannot wait to dive in! Be blessed, Angela
  3. Hello All! I am a NEW VA with LOTS of valuable professional experience from my previous employment. I am confident in my value and those who know me also know my value. In NO way am I patting my own back and giving myself kudos, BUT rather it quite the opposite. I have expressed interest from potential clients, but No clients as of yet. If I was looking for a VA, and not really knowing her potential, but like her experience and background I would be open to a "Test-Drive" prior to buying. I feel this is a WIN-Win for both of us. Benefits to the client are obvious. My benefit: it will put me on the VA map, its an opportunity to prove my value, it will create a valuable testimonial and in turn will attract others to pay for my services. I am sure there are lots of other benefits. I want to offer a "Test-Drive" to a local small business owner but not sure how to propose it or create the details around the offer. So this is where I REALLY need your HELP by giving your advice, suggestions, recommendations and or Resources. I would LOVE to hear about your experience with offering a "Test-Drive" to a potential client. Should I offer my services to a potential client for FREE? How long do I provide services for? 30-60-90 days? What services do I offer? For example, do I do everything on their list or ask what their immediate needs are and provide services for the top 1-2 needs? What are some examples of the dialogue between me and the potential client? In other words, I want the potential client to see the value and benefit of this offer. Thanks so much in advance! I REALLY look forward to reading your replies! Michelle Downing~Virtually Aligned Business Services Virtuallyaligned.com
  4. Hi my name is Shauwana and I'm from Trinidad and Tobago. I've been a part time VA for a little over 2 years on Freelancer.com but I have been a full time Office Assistant/Clerk for over 5 year in the Finance and Banking industry. I have also been a Data Entry Clerk for 10 years in the IT and Financial/Banking industry. I have no kids but my older sister's 5 kids make me feel like they are more mine than hers, and I love them dearly. I'm not married and recently lost both parents and the family dog. In my spare time I love to read and write stories and poems and repair broken technology. I'm open minded, excited about life and thankful to God for every day that I awake, because I get another opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small. As I was contemplating my next career move, it was declared that my country was in a recession and because me, along with a few of my other coworkers, were 'new' contract workers (less than 10 years contract work for the company), we were let go. I'm currently looking to build a steady, solid clientele willing to pay what I'm worth, and that is becoming a challenge because I am not in the US and there are VAs from the Philippines and India offering their services for $5 or less an hour. I was thinking about going into business with my other former coworker and having a full service business, but finding the RIGHT clients are hard and being a VA working in Trinidad is practically non-existent. I have a simple website about me and my services for now: bestvirtualassistanthire.weebly.com. Any help or suggestions from anyone would be greatly appreciated.
  5. Hi everyone, My name is Sherlonda. I am a Personal Assistant and have seven years of experience. I am interested in becoming a VA for two reasons. (1) I want a flexible work schedule so I can spend more time with my 2-year-old. The combination of a long commute and work hours, make me feel like the evenings are going by so fast without spending any real quality time with her. So a change is needed. And (2) with so much uncertainty in Corporate America, I eventually want to become my own boss. I don't expect starting a VA business to be easy and the process will probably make me more imbalance until I get it up and going. But I believe it will be worth it. So I look forward to your input and learning from all of you. And hope in time, I can return the favor. Thank you.
  6. **Disclaimer-- I tried checking out the Forum Rules before posting and kept getting an error message, so hopefully this post is within the proper bounds... My name is Nikole Stephenson and I am the owner of my new startup, Computer Blue Media, which offers VA/creative marketing assistance to businesses within the niche of holistic health and wellness (most of my clients currently happen to be therapists). I don't currently have a website yet, but you can check me out on www.LinkedIn.com/nikolestephenson or www.facebook.com/ComputerBlueMedia. My business is very young--I acquired my first client a little over a year ago, my second client last February, and then I had a huge boom in business over the summer and currently have 13 clients in my roster really without even trying and am getting a fairly steady stream of new referrals. All of my marketing has been through word of mouth--I'm very humbled and grateful. The work literally found me rather than the other way around. My focus is on my clients' web presence, so this includes anything from web content writing and blogging, web updates (specializing in Squarespace and Wordpress), SEO, social media management, video transcription (a lot of my clients produce YouTube videos), event marketing, media design (ebooks, downloadable freebie designs, memes, thumbnails, infographics, etc.), email marketing, and so on. It's a lot and I'm finding there are pros and cons to doing it all, so I'm toying with the idea of honing in only on what I feel are my strengths--writing and design. My clients seem to like the streamlined branding that happens when one person handles it all, but it also obviously causes delays in productivity because I'm only one person. I found out about this forum through an email sent out by Reese Ben-Yaacov, a VA I follow online for tips. I'm really excited to begin connecting with other VAs because I'm definitely at a point in my business where I need to either start outsourcing work or consider hiring help. Not to mention, in terms of running a business, I'm totally flying by the seat of my pants. Everything has developed so quickly--I didn't realize I was starting a business until I was suddenly IN IT! Haha! So, advice is always welcomed on my end ;-) A little about me outside of work: I'm currently living in Minneapolis, MN--we recently moved here from SoCal when my partner entered graduate school at the U of Minnesota. We aren't married, but have been together for 5 years and have a 2.5 year old daughter. My interests include fine art (I have a BFA in photography and worked in art galleries for many years before getting pregnant with my daughter), yoga (I'm graduating from a teacher training at the end of this month!), running, reading, and human rights/social justice work. I love doodling, painting, writing lines of poetry that I rarely ever finish, DIY projects, cooking, and, given all of the above, drinking lots of coffee. ;-) So, Hello everyone! It's nice to virtually meet you! I'm looking forward to the VAV seminars next week and to connecting with each of you! Please reach out if you want to connect. Cheers!
  7. Hello all, Happy to be here,I am Patricia Jennings of sageva.com.I joined the forum last year , but got busy trying to market my services .I specialize in bookkeeping and social media and have been open for business since June. I have not found consistent work just yet ,but still pushing on.If there is any one who feels overwhelmed and needs help I would be happy to assist. In the meantime I am analyzing my business and processes and would appreciate any feedback on my website, which I created myself. Thanks
  8. Greetings from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada! My name is Patrick Conlin, and I'm just starting out in the VA profession on the advice of my occupational therapist. I'm a retired military veteran dealing with a disability which restricts me from working outside the home. I thought it might be prudent to bring to other veterans, an opportunity to participate in this type of career and (or) to use the services to help them with resumes, spread sheets, etc. Am I heading in the right direction with this idea? Your attention in this regard is greatly appreciated. Respectfully yours, K.J.Patrick Conlin, CD. kjpconlin@shaw.ca
  9. Hi there- Dal here, I am planning on launching my new VA business officialy very soon. New name, new website, new skills. My question is whether to add a blog to my website. Is this something important and helpful in starting a new VA business. I like the idea of setting one up where I can post, but what is everyone's suggestions?
  10. Hi everyone. Hope you're having a great week! I have been working as a virtual assistant since 2011. Also I am a very passionate, energetic and competitive individual who continuously aspires to learn more. Any tips where to find prospect clients to develop new skills? Thanks
  11. New VA in the midwest. Excited to see well it is received here. My website is www.xtreme-assistant.com if you'd like to check it out. I have a blog and an email subscription.
  12. If you missed the 11th VAVS conference, then you really missed a treat! In addition to the wonderful roster of speakers, there were lots of little freebies and discounts throughout the week. Being a longtime cheapskate, I began with the Silver membership for $37. But the content was so great, that I upgraded to Gold. I am one of the cheapest people that I know, so if I willingly parted with an extra $77, then it was for good reason. If you are a new VA, or if you are thinking about becoming a VA, then I suggest attending the next conference. Even if you only buy a Silver ticket so that you can participate in the live recordings. It is a great investment. I learned a lot of great lessons this week and am glad that I attended. Check out my full VAVS review here:Twenty Sessions of WOW!: VAVS 11 . cheers, Meghan M. Gray Enterprises www.mgrayva.com **Learning Excel? Check out my post about writing formulas here.**
  13. Hi I am new to this group and new to the VA world. I started my VA business in January of 2015 and am very excited to grow my business and learn new skills. I would appreciate any advice people can give me. I am planning on working with sole entrepreneurs and small-mid-size businesses. Not sure if I need to have more of a target than I that or not? I am offering bookkeeping, social media, WordPress, Admin & general office tasks. I am very excited to be here and grow with all of you. Michele
  14. Hi.... I'm actually new at being a virtual assistant. In fact I'm so new that I'm just getting signed up on sites online in order to find my first VA position. It's always difficult for me to talk about myself, so I'll do my best. I have customer service and clerical skills. I'm currently a full time stay at home mom, but now that the youngest is 7 months (and the hubby is tired of working 2 jobs lol) I need to try and find a part time position to help bring in income. I figured this would be something I could try to do. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I think that's it for now.
  15. Hello Everyone! My name is Alia Martin. Last year in May I received my Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Human Services and Psychology. I was going to further my education and get my master's degree in counseling until during my internship I realized I would MUCH rather handle the paperwork, insurance credentialing, billing, and denied claims. Therefore, in September of last year I began my virtual assistant business Virtual Ally. I only have three clients and I am THRILLED to have them, but the time has come where I need more clients. I have no clue how to advertise this to counselors and/or doctors because I have found a lot of them already have their own secretaries. I tried going door to door with my brochure, card, and portfolio, but that didn't seem to work considering I had to give it to their secretaries! I am also married, but separated at the moment with a 3 and almost 5 year old (both girls). The father and I have been separated for almost 2 years, but we are trying to work things out at the moment...TRYING I must emphasize...LOL! So...My MAIN question and what I TRULY need advice on, is HOW DO I GET MORE CLIENTS? Any marketing ideas that I have not tried?? PLEASE HELP!! I am a single mother in distress over this at the moment! I live in Martinsville, VA My website is VirtualAlly4u.com Hope to hear back! Kind Regards, Alia Martin
  16. I retired 3 years ago after 30+ years of administrative assistant experience to agency and dept. executives. I recently started working part-time as a VA. I don't want to work more than 20-25 hours a week. I have two clients that I got thru a social encounter with one of them. They are both new at establishing their speaking/teaching businesses. I didn't know at the time what rate to charge or what they wanted from me - neither did they really. Things just grew over the past 3 months. My rate is $12/hour. But I find they want more specific time consuming work from me - research, contacting guests, venues, updating web pages, emails, etc. They both would like it if I worked10-20/hrs. a week. I felt I should be asking at least $18 an hour. I am willing to work 20 hours for one client but not both. How do I drop one? First reaction from one of them when I mentioned the increated rate and max. 10 hours was that it was a huge leap (it is) and that she wasn't sure yet if she would need me for 10 or 20 hours. I know I didn't do my homework before starting to work. I think I have created a nightmare out of what was to be my dream job. Please help!!!
  17. Greetings, Everyone! I am new here in the forum, but not to providing admin assistance. I have been dabbling for about 4 years, and am now ready to gain more momentum toward a full time gig a few years down the road. I enjoy reading the forum topics and look forward to learning from you all! Kristi Young Dressed To Quill Virtual Business Solutions
  18. Good morning, everyone! I recently graduated from the AssistU VMP Program, and am in my "transition phase" trying to start up my new VA practice! I am so excited to start my VA journey, but I welcome any marketing tips from my experienced predecessors! My story is a bit long and complicated, and always seems to get a bit more complicated , but I try to to get things back on track as quick as possible and adjust as I need to! In a nutshell: I currently own my own in-home dog training business (Dog Training in Your Home), but my 10-year franchise agreement is almost up, so I am in the process of trying to sell my franchise. This means as I transition out of the dog training, I am doing my VA practice part-time as I try to build my client base. Once I sell the franchise, I will want to be a full-time VA . I have a 22 month old son, a husband, and an 8 year old four-legged boxer "child". I look forward to getting to spend even more time with my family (which is why I found this profession), and being able to contribute to our family's income. Thanks for the warm welcome, and I look forward to getting to know more of you! Any advice for a "newbie" is welcomed! Have a wonderful day, Julie
  19. Hello Everyone! I'm so happy to bump in with this website, I have downloaded the Ebook VA start-up too I'm working as a Freelance VA through oDesk, and I'm also a full-time student. Managing my time is really crazy, that's why I'm scouring advices, tips, and techniques on how to become a better and organized VA. I really love my job, and I'm hoping to build my own career outside oDesk, soon
  20. Hi there! My name is Robert and I'm a rising up Virtual Assistant. I started my VA biz for almost a year now and I would like to network with all of you guys. I just put up my website http://robertlagtu.com/ and would welcome any comment, suggestion and criticism. I hope your business is flourishing and you are achieving great business success. Thanks a lot and I'm happy to be part of this network! Robert Lagtu Founder - Virtually Anything http://robertlagtu.com/
  21. Hello all! Brand new to the forum tonight! Just started my VA business at the beginning of October and looking to network, get marketing ideas and hopefully make a few new friends along the way. Hope everyone has a great night! Julie Dunn VA
  22. Hello everyone from Salt Lake City, Utah on this election night! I am new to this forum. I am looking for support with my VA business, marketing advice and networking opportunities. Looking forward to meeting some wonderful people here.
  23. Hi everyone! I'm a newly signed up member of the forum so wanted to introduce myself. My name is Alexa and I have just recently started my VA company, aptly named MyVirtualPA! I'm still working part time as I need to balance out my income so I'm working on my business 4 days a week and basically whenever I get time! I've already found so much useful information on the forum, there's so much information out there it's a struggle to keep up with everything! I'm hoping to offer website and social media services alongside the usual PA tasks, along with events management and CRM system support. So there's a little bit about me.....other that my VA persona I'm also a newly wed! So it's all new beginnings for me at the moment and very exciting times. I'm looking forward to contributing some of my knowledge to the forum as well as learning all I can from the masses of great information on here. Goodbye for now from a very rainy Manchester VA!
  24. I have posted this in a few other forums but it still needs repeating for new VAs. A common theme with many new businesses is the idea that to get clients they need to start out by charging low fees. There are a couple of significant fallacies inherent with this thought process: 1) if you start really low with a client, it will be extremely difficult to raise your rates to a reasonable amount and 2) do you really want to work with clients that are looking for a bargain rather than a quality, long term partnership? Determining appropriate rates can be a daunting process, it’s true, but it is also a necessary one. Keep in mind, that on top of expenses, as a solo entrepreneur or LLC/LLP, you can anticipate (depending on your state) 35-42% of your NET profit will be taken in Federal and State taxes annually. So the best suggestion is to calculate how much you need to live comfortably, then estimate your annual expenses (figure in utilities, marketing costs, supplies, etc.) and then add 42% on top of that. A 40 hr workweek is 2080 hours/year and there are 52 weeks in a year. However, if you reduce billable time by a two week vacation, the standard 10 holidays and the average 5 days of sick/personal time per year, your annual billable hours come down to 1,880. Example: PERSONAL EXPENSES – annual $14,400 rent/mortgage ($1200/mth) $4,200 utilities ($350/mth – elec/gas, water, phone, cable/satellite $10,400 groceries/gas ($200/wk) $350 prescriptions/dr visit $1,200 auto insurance/plates/repairs $1,000 misc BUSINESS EXPENSES – annual $1,200 office supplies ($100/mth) $900 cell phone ($75/mth) $600 internet ($50/mth) $100 bus/State filing fees (annual) $120 post office box (annual) $1,200 marketing ($100/mth) = 31,550/yr gross personal expenses = 4,120/yr gross business expenses Total Annual Expenses = $35,670 The example above requires that you gross AT LEAST $35,670 to make ends meet. Ideally, you would want at least a 30% profit (10% for savings, 10% tithe, 10% ‘fun money’) so you now need to gross at least $46,371/yr. But, oh wait! You have to pay TAXES on the profit! Your taxes are approx 42%, but of course the more you earn, the more your taxes! So now you need about 116% profit on top of your expenses (‘cuz remember, you can’t write off personal expenses) so you now need an income of $77,047/yr. $77,047 gross profit less 4,120 bus expenses equals 72,927 net profit less 30,629 federal/state taxes equals 42,298 less 31,550 personal expenses equals 10,748 (a little over a 30% net profit) To make the required gross of $77,047/year, at 1,880 hours (40 hour billable workweek) you need to bill $37.04/hour. However, working 40 billable hours per week doesn’t leave the time required for basic admin and business building requirements. It also defeats the purpose of being virtual and setting your own hours! So, to work a 40 hour workweek and cover your income/expense needs (32 hours) and have 8 hours left per week for marketing, networking, etc. your rate would need to be calculated at 1,504 hours/year. The calculation works out to this: Need: $77,047/year to make ends meet 47 weeks/yr = 32 billable hours/week or 1,504 hours/year (2 weeks vacation, 10 holidays, 5 sick days) Billable Rate $51.23/hr ($77,047 ÷ 1504) If you work more billable hours than that per week and put the extra income aside each month, you have padding for the times you don’t have 32 billable hours/week. FYI – after calculating what I needed to earn, I compared it to the going rate for my ‘job title’ and ended up charging a higher rate. However, I was then confident that I would be earning enough even if my billable hours weren’t at the minimum 32/week and I knew the minimum hours I had to bill to make ends meet were actually 2% lower than 32 hours/week. On an average year of 1,504 work hours, 2% works out to 30 hours of ‘lost’ billable time; good padding for the lean times. Obviously, this is a very simplified example and doesn’t come close to figuring out accurate expenses. It’s just a demonstration of all the financial considerations you need to make when setting rates. The best way to start is to build budgets (both personal and business) so you have a better idea of your actual estimated annual expenses. Keep in mind that if you work a full time job as well as your personal business, it still doesn’t mean you should undervalue your services. I work a 9-5 job but my virtual bookkeeping business rates are the amount I will continue to be charging once I drop the 9-5 and go full-time virtual. Also consider that you will need to pay taxes on your business income and, depending on how your business is set up, it MAY throw your 9-5 income into a higher tax bracket, as well (solo, LLC/LLP income is considered personal income by the IRS, rather than as a separate entity). If you are a solo or LLC/LLP you need to plan on making regular tax deposits based on BOTH your 9-5 AND personal business income. And don’t forget that because you are virtual the rates in your area don’t have anything to do with the price of tea in China! In other words, if your geographic area rates are relatively low, market to an area that will not blink at YOUR billable rates. If your local rates are $25/hour but you need to make $45 (or more), try marketing in a large metropolitan area. It’s a mental shift, but learning to think more globally than locally will help with the ‘comfort zone’ of charging higher rates and still allow you to earn a decent living, virtually.
  25. Hello all. I'm a newbie to the forum and have been browsing through topics for the past few weeks and have found that the posts help me stay focused on my goal...to become my own boss. I've been working in business administration for about twenty years now, primarily in the medical field. Currently, I work for a management company of medical imaging offices. Over the 10 years I've been with the company, I've seen many changes and have worn many hats. My position with this company has evolved into a virtual manager of the imaging offices we manage. The company has shrunk to the point that we felt no need to pay rent on corporate office space and now I work from home. Home for me has changed. Four years ago, my job moved my family from Missouri to Florida. My husband and I were not interested in purchasing a home in Florida for many reasons. After my daughter graduated high school last year and moved back to Missouri for college, my husband and I decided to sell everything and live in our RV. By doing this, I've been able to travel to the imaging offices I continue to manage and spend a good block of time (a month or two) to aid in outstanding projects and in general keep up employee morale. It seems more effective than flying in for a day or so. Like I said, I now work from my RV, where ever I may be. Even when traveling and if an urgent project comes up, I've been known to have my husband stop at a rest area and I crank up the internet and get busy while he rests and gets ready to drive again. Although I have been very fortunate with the flexibility of my schedule with the current company I work for, I know that I must move on due to the continued shrinking of the company. In looking at what I can do and what I've been doing, starting up my own VA business simply makes sense. I already have the set-up and experience, I simply need to get in gear and begin working for myself to network, market, and obtain clients. For months now, I've been thinking about the idea, but something was holding me back. I have to get out of the mindset of working for others and transition to the mindset of entrepreneur. I have obtained my tax id and working on my website. I am glad these forums are out there and look forward to getting to know you better. Thanks, Gayla
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