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The Virtual Assistant Handbook: Insider Secrets for Starting and Running Your Own Profitable VA Business Paperback – 2 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lean Marketing Press (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905430566
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905430567
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nadine Hill is a busy working mum ("Is there any other kind?!") who has a fascination with time management which borders on the obsessive! She loves to find more effective ways of doing the daily juggle whilst enjoying the journey and has lots of practise through raising her two children, managing her small business, being a best-selling author, running her home, public speaking and finding time to get to the gym!
Nadine lives in Yorkshire, UK with her husband, two young children and two mischievous cats! You can learn more about her at www.NadineHill.com

Product Description

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!

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rintu Basu on 6 May 2009
Format: Paperback
When I read this book I did so with some trepidation because I didn't think I was in the target readership for the book. I have used VAs in the past and not quite got the results I wanted and the nature of my work means I come across people wanting to start working for themselves all the time. My goals for reading this book were to get some insight into the world of VAs, how I could use one more effectively and more ideas around a business that is different from my own that I could use for myself and others.

I got all of my objectives and much more from Nadine's book.

Let me start with the one thing that would have made the book even better for me and that is to add some male angle to the work. I guess Nadine didn't because her target readership is female but I couldn't help thinking that there must be a man somewhere that is starting or running a VA business. Anyway this is a mute point against everything that is thoroughly brilliant about this book.

The writing style is conversational with relevant stories, experiences and anecdotes throughout. This made the book an easy and enjoyable read as well as extremely informative.

I think one of the best features of this book is how specific it is, i.e. it is for VAs starting and running a business in the UK. Within this Nadine speaks from personal experience and it is quite clear she is an extremely capable business woman as she gives good business advice that you can apply to any business. Even though I am not in the VA business I found myself taking notes about things I need to do or check about my own business whilst reading this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline Long on 30 May 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a former secretary and have considered becoming a VA. I would recommend this book as it covered every aspect of what a VA would need to know in order to operate not just as a VA but as a business. I particularly liked the author's description of what character traits VA's typically have. For those new to this type of work, this provides an insight into the importance of these qualities and whether they have them.

A good practical guide.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Thomas on 11 May 2009
Format: Paperback
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to turn your talent for organizing and administrative skills into a business, then this book is for you.

For those who are not yet familiar with the term, being a Virtual Assistant (VA), allows administrative and secretarial work, traditionally carried out at set times in an office, to be based remotely from the employer or client, hence the term `Virtual'. A way of working that is becoming increasingly popular in the UK for small to medium enterprises, whilst allowing individuals to have more freedom and flexibility in the way they work.

I found this handbook very easy to read, portable and packed rich with content on a variety of subjects ranging from; marketing to common mistakes to avoid. The chapters are very comprehensive and well organized.
I especially liked the chapters on how to set fees, juggle clients and stay ahead of the game, highlighting the author's experience and success in this work. I was also pleased to see some interesting case studies of how others made the leap to successful business owners, including their perspective on this emerging industry.

Aimed mainly at the UK market, this book does not claim to be a complete guide, yet I would highly recommend it.
An honest and invaluable reference guide for anyone wishing to consider and make a success of this type of business.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jo Parfitt on 6 May 2009
Format: Paperback
I found masses in this book that will help me in my own small business of publishing consultancy. It is upbeat, accessible and full of great tips and advice for any budding or current VA. The takeaways here on pricing, finding a niche and marketing were very valuable indeed. I shall be recommending this to all my fellow small biz owners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cakemaker on 17 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written and informative, with the author writing from her own experiences. Case studies helpful, too. However, with a good background of the workplace and administrative procedures I did find myself thinking at times that I hadn't learned as much as I had hoped, so probably more useful for those with less knowledge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Ford on 21 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even if you're only toying with the idea of becoming a VA, this book is well worth a read as it gives plenty of insight into what is required and involved, and I am sure will assist enormously in taking a decision of whether or not to "go it alone". Money well spent I'd say.
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By Michelle on 8 July 2013
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as I am thinking of a way to earn a living while living in a foreign country. I was hoping this book would give practical advice or a step by step process of legal set up, tax issues and perhaps some systems that the author used. None of this was provided. Also I found the order a bit all over the place - talking about marketing before we have even got around to thinking about the business. There are better books for business understanding and marketing and this book sadly did not give enough information on setting up as a VA.
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