Jump to content
beccanoles

VANF Needs Your Help :)

Recommended Posts

Guest

First, I should preface my comments by saying I am only playing devil's advocate here to make sure we are thinking about this from all angles, including that of an outsider looking in. And second, I still 100% agree that we should do everything possible to honor and uphold the reputation of our industry as a respectable and profitable one. At the same time we must also permit as much dynamism as possible. It is a delicate dance but it is important. So ....

 

Here is my question: How do we provide some definition & guidelines around being a VA (or at least a VA/aspiring VA on VANF) without appearing to precisely prescribe how one should conduct his/her business? To give some context, I imagine it will probably be a long time before you need a "license" to practice virtual assistance (if ever). And in every industry there are always those who undercut the competition, relying on volume to make a buck. And in the VA world, the volume proposition won't work very well unless you plan to expand into a large operation. But then you are moving into a different organizational culture completely.

 

Which brings me to my next point: I think there are many organizations out there providing guidelines, certifications, etc. We need to now continue the work of instilling a culture of prosperity and true business ethic into the profession ... and I profer that this might be lacking on the whole in some regards. Personally (I know I am going to get slammed for this one) I think that the VA profession struggles in many respects simply because the vast majority of VAs are women. And many women have a propensity to disproportionately rely on their egalitarian, diplomatic, empathic tendencies instead of using a bit of logic to substantiate their marketing plan (ie. price, promotion, service plan, etc.). I think we talked about this on another post but I can't help thinking these things are coloring the profession, and not always in a good way. Ok, shoot me now. I am a feminist, truly. But I calls it as I sees it.

 

I don't know if this is pertinent to the discussion or not. But what keeps coming to mind is that no matter what we say or do here, there will always be those VAs who insist on charging too little, who insist on underbidding to get a client, who do not understand how this hurts themselves and the industry as a whole. This will go on forever in every industry sector. But over time there will be a shake out. As with any relatively new industry that holds few barriers to entry, you have a flood of people hanging a shingle out calling themselves VAs, whether they are qualified or not. However, it is our conduct on forums like this and out in the community that will show the world (and our prospects) we mean business and in business you always get what you pay for.

 

Karri

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sooo wet behind the ears, I have nothing to add but will cheer you on from the sidelines and concur with Karri and say BRAVO!! applause.gif Like anything in business or elsewhere, the unqualified, unscrululous and unprincipled will be weeded out after time. The fact that this thread is taking place demonstrates that this infant industry will align itself to the high road. I am extremely honored to take part in this thread, even though I can't augment the ideas already out there at this time. I hope someday to be a more active participant in these discussions but for now...I learn!

 

Rita

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Therefore, we are in the process of creating a "Code of Ethics" for the VA Networking Forum and would like your input

 

How's our code of ethics coming along? There have been some really great suggestions so far. Here's one I would like to add. Seeing as it's a Code of Ethics for this forum, I think we should have something about the way we treat each other as fellow VAs. Something along the lines of if someone has a problem with anything I say or do that they would address it to me directly and not mull it over with someone else where I am unable to defend myself. Maybe it's just that old fashioned Christian value treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself. Anyway, I'm sure one of you more eloquent posters could word it better than I.

 

Yvonne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here goes what we have sofar:

 

Ethics of a VA

 

* We promote the virtual assistance industry with the utmost professionalism and give of our knowledge freely to new and existing VAs and the general public.

* As Virtual Assistants, we will maintain the highest ethics and honesty in all dealings with clients, colleagues and the general public.

* We will seek to deal with colleagues, suppliers and employees in a fair and equitable manner, and maintain the highest standards of personal conduct to bring credit to the virtual assistant profession.

* As highly ethical Virtual Assistants, we only take on projects that are within our abilities. If a project is not within our ability, the client will be notified immediately and we will provide recommendations for other highly skilled Virtual Assistants.

* Client information will be held in the strictest of confidence and will not be shared with others or used for personal gain.

* We highly value each client relationship and will not place one client above another.

* We will make a commitment to possess and increase the required knowledge, skills and training to be proficient and relevant in the provision of services.

* We are honest about our intentions and never misrepresent our skills, peers, or our profession as a whole, whether to networks or to prospects, clients, and the community at large (virtual or otherwise).

* We will not knowingly be a part of any illegal or unethical activity.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Snoodrey

Karri,

 

I think you also speak well for us as males. I'm not sure what Rob or others would echo, but it appears that competition is the bottom line...no matter if you're male or female. I am the first to admit that many admin positions I applied for here in Saskatoon I did not get...not because I was not qualified...but because I was a male. I get the perception from businesses here that they would prefer I was a female for the kinds of admin positions I am applying for. I've told my wife a number of times that if she had my background, I doubt she would have seen the challenges I've seen. And yet even at Palliser (Rob, I know I just swore again), they were moving my wife into office work and she had NO background in office work. Meanwhile, I was in recycling and was getting tired and sick of factory work there and needed to move on. As well, with jobs on the line...I knew mine was next to go...so I saved them the chance of being laid off.

 

I have looked at what I should start off at as honest rates. I was looking initially at $15 per hour, but was encouraged to pump that up by another $10. Some charge somewhere around $50 or more already...so I only know that I need to charge enough so that I can make my cut...and not to underestimate what I can do. As a new member of PREVA, I feel that I need to step up more and explain more about what I can do for realtors...as well as other businesses. Often, businesses here in Saskatoon are so small that they do everything themselves, and unless I can really step up, I won't be able to justify to them why they should consider my services.

 

So while not as many men are in this Virtual Office business...and I wonder how many families discourage men who would be ideal for this to consider this as I have been by some in my family...maybe this is not a traditional JOB like people would expect men to be in. But as I get more into VA plans and prepare for my first client, I am realizing that one thing that bonds us as VA's is at some point or another, we are all in the same boat. We have to be careful to not put cutting our rates above covering our bills and letting our morale suffer. And I am learning more about what I can and should be doing to keep my skills up to standards so that I will be of more value to potential clients. So initially, to draw in potential clients, there is the temptation for anyone...including those of us who are males in this industry. Every industry has certain standards to adhere to...and if we don't try to earn business and compete with others, sometimes we can easily end up compromising ourselves and what have we gained by this?

 

I think that as males we end up getting hurt by clients or potential employers when we are not equally considered for a variety of administrative opportunities. I've been dealing with this for over some time now since moving here...and at some point it should really not be an issue. I'd like to think that I have the credentials to succeed...and that should not be a limitation...just as my learning disability should not be a limitation to doing what I know in my heart I am more than adequately skilled at doing. And the last time I checked...I thought getting trained for Office Specialist Certification was not the same as cutting the grass! Maybe you have other experiences, Rob and others. We need to be sure we are all on the same page here as much as possible, because we can all be affected by how we are perceived by others, even for those of us who are legitimate. I can see where you are coming from Karri...but that is a universal issue I can completely identify with as a new VA.

 

Gerry T

Kenderdine Virtual Office World - Saskatoon, SK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Want to Become a VA?
    Invest in The VAC!
    How Do YOU Startup A

    Virtual Assistant Organization Association
    Upgrade Your FREE Account & Receive Today...
    * Access to Our Bus JOB Board *
    * Group Coaching & Training*
    *Training Tracks*
    * Private Mastermind Area *
    * Business Templates *
    * Contracts & Forms*
    * Plus VAinsider Perks! *
    UPGRADE HERE


    Virtual Assistant Organization Association

    Virtual Assistant Organization Association







    HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.