From the Author
Being a VA is a fantastic way to have a career (without the restrictions and politics that come with large companies) and to combine this fulfilling role with a family balance - whether that means caring for young children or having time for your other hobbies.
The downside however, is that the kind of self promotion, boundary setting and supreme confidence that is required to gain and retain clients, doesn't come easy to people like us, who spend their time happily in the background, just getting on with it. We might keep the wheels of daily business turning at our employed jobs and people know that they couldn't accomplish what they did without our strong, reliable help, but openly `trumpet tooting' about our achievements and how we keep things motoring ahead calmly whilst all around us there's chaos, doesn't feel natural. PAs, secretaries and administrators are largely great `number twos' - excellent at support, a levelheaded sounding board and a `rock' to the people we assist.
However in this industry, we not only have to be all of that, but also an entrepreneur in our own right, as we are out there trying to win business, gain clients' confidence and establish ourselves as VAs. And that's before we get to the `doing the work' part!
In this book I'm not going to tell you how to get a website, the legal requirements for setting up a business or how to act at a networking meeting - other `starting in business' books will cover all of that. This is a practical guide to the unique challenges of starting up as a VA in the UK. You will find if you do further research, that lots of `Real Estate' agents in the USA use VAs to book their advertising, administer their paperwork and organise their diary.
I've tried all routes to market and I've yet to take on one Estate Agent as a client! Therefore this book is written for the British market, acknowledging our unique culture and working practices. I hope that it will provide you with a starting point of how to develop your business from here, provide some new ideas and help you to create something that not only `does the job' but also suits your preferred lifestyle. After all, that's what being a VA is all about.
About the Author
Nadine Hill is a business mum, entrepreneur and marketing expert, with more than a decade's experience in PR for fashion & lifestyle brands then in the motor industry which makes her contacts book more valuable than her jewellery box!
She created The Dream PA, a boutique virtual assistance business based in Yorkshire serving the world in 2004/05 which focuses on assisting small businesses through telephone answering and admin support. Since then she has started to help other people achieve their dreams of becoming a virtual assistant through her popular short courses.
Passionate about getting things done and managing time effectively, Nadine created `The Dream PA Busy Book' which is a personal organiser for busy women. Her own Busy Book is groaning under the weight of all the tasks written in there but Nadine enjoys the juggling act of her life that is lived in Yorkshire, UK with her husband, 2 young children and family cat!