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Hello everyone!

I've just joined the forum today having found it through extensive Googling and Facebook searching for resources so posting an intro before I dive in and start looking at the forum.  A little bit about me:

My name is Shannie.  I am based in London in the UK and have been working from home remotely for coming up for a couple of years now.  However, this has been doing copywriting and CV writing, not VA work.  It has become apparent to me that doing this type of work as I have been, through agencies / other companies is never even going to start paying the bills so I am looking to set up on my own.  I am still in the very early stages and don't yet have a website set up.

In terms of personal info, I have been married for a couple of years but have been with my now husband for 19 years.  He has three grown children, the eldest of whom got married themselves this year.  So at home it is just us and our very large dog at the moment!  In terms of personal hobbies I love cooking and baking, reading and walking.

On the work front, for many years I was a Payroll Manager, running teams of up to 27 people across multiple sites, responsible for payrolls across the globe, (although largely in the UK), for tens of thousands of individuals.  That came to an end through redundancy and I then spent about 4 years working in various consultant finance, training and process improvement roles.  This may sound like a strange step from what I was doing previously, but my previous experience all tied in with that and I made a conscious decision to step away from payroll management.

In terms of expertise, I am seeking to leverage my accounts management and processing, (finance rather than sales), process improvement, data management (I was always considered an Excel super user in previous employments), analysis and project management skills.  I would love to keep up with the copywriting and CV writing but if I do this it will direct rather than through a provider as currently / previously and I suspect it would be best to keep this separate from VA services so that may be a potential 'add-on' for the future.  

Currently a little overwhelmed with what I need to do, when and in what order.  Also quite scared at the thought of the networking and marketing aspect as this is something I've never done, although from what I can gather this is common amongst us newbies!

If you've managed to wade through and read this far, thank-you!  I am looking forward to getting to know everyone and hopefully becoming an active and useful part of this community!

Shannie x


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Hi Shannie, welcome to VAnetworking. :D Sounds like you have a lot of experience behind you! Where are you at right now so we can help move forward. 

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Hi Danielle

Thank-you!  I'm really at the very beginning.  I have been self-employed for a little while so am set up with HMRC from that perspective and because of what I was doing previously have a good set-up at home from which to work, i.e. desk, dual monitors, decent laptop running Windows and Microsoft Office, and printer.  However, that's about it!  I need to sort out business email, what my business name should be, (a few ideas but how much does it really make a difference?), storage options for client data, (best online/cloud options), accounting software, time management and tracking solutions, ICO registration, insurances, possible different / diverted online phone number, etc., plus of course the marketing side to actually get some clients.  I'm hovering between do I set up a website now or do I wait and see.  I'm conscious that not only is there a cost involved, but that I could spend a significant amount of time on that which might be better spent getting that critical first client.  I'm also a little lost about the best way to initially get that first client, i.e. networking online, networking through local options, (don't know what those might be yet), setting up a FB page, through LinkedIn, etc., etc. 

As I say, brand new and a little overwhelmed at the moment but also very excited about the possibilities!  😊  I intend to spend the next week or so reading the literature and advice available and then dive in and get started with getting some of this all set up.  However, all advice gratefully received, of course!  

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Hi Shannie and welcome! You are in the perfect spot to get the support and help you need. This forum has a wealth of information in it in every area to help you get up and running, you just have to search and hunt it down. 

I think the first thing you should do is to get a online presence so you can send prospective clients there to check you out. Plus it makes you more credible and clients need to trust before they buy. Easiest and free way is setting up a Linkedin Account. 

I can't say this enough to those just starting out but it also helps to invest in a training organization for VAs like our VAinsiders.com to help give you the support and coaching you need to push you business into startup mode. You might also want to look at my VirtualAssistantCareer.com program which includes a Wordpress website.

Share your linkedin profile with us once you get it up and running. :)

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