What is a Virtual Assistant

When I first started on my journey to becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA), lots of people said to me ‘What’s a VA?’

Google describes a VA as ‘an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client’s office. A VA typically operates from a home office but can access the necessary planning documents, such as shared calendar, remotely’.

This DOES describe a VA… but it sounds so clinical, doesn’t it? I see a VA being so much more.

First and foremost, can you resonate with any of the following?

  • Are there parts of your business you hate doing? (That’s ok you know! Just because it’s YOUR business, it doesn’t mean you have to love every single part of it)
  • Do you feel like you are drowning with the volume of what you have to do EVERY day, week after week?
  • Do you struggle to rest, relax or even sleep?  
  • Are you missing out on family time or time with friends because you have work stuff to catch up on?
  • Do you wish you could just have some TIME?

So, which one are you?

Let’s break the VA world down…

Running a small business takes A LOT of hard work, determination, and time. Running a small business is REWARDING and AMAZING but it comes with a heavy workload. It’s repetitive. You are the CEO, the financial director, the social media manager, the content planner, the decider, the do-er, the maker. All the above can be overwhelming and there are only so many hours in the day.

A VA will take those parts of your business that you just can’t stand doing…and do them for you. Basically, they will get sh*t done!! What a relief hey? To know that those things that have been sitting on your to-do list since FOREVER will now get done, but you won’t have to do them. Win win!!

A VA will have passion. A passion for your business. They will be your biggest cheerleader and supporter.  They will champion you, encourage you, show you different ways of doing things – enabling you to see the wood through the trees again. A VA will have the inside knowledge about exciting systems and up to date apps and software to streamline your hefty old excel spreadsheet or know how to schedule your social media posts more efficiently.

A VA will ultimately save you time AND money! How? Because you only pay for what you use. Plus, there are no overheads. As Google rightly pointed out, a VA will ‘operate outside a client’s office’. I work in my own little cushy office so you don’t need to provide one, or buy my stapler or the all-important highlighter.  There’s no payroll or HR expenses, no NI or pension contributions. You don’t pay for my holiday or sick pay and if I go to the loo, it’s on my own time, not yours! All work completed is recorded via a time tracking app. Clever huh!

A life without enjoying an ice-cold G&T at the pub with a mate on a balmy evening, or getting together with family to celebrate a birthday, or seeing your kid rock at their hobby…that’s not a life, not one I’d like to lead anyway. I know first-hand life is short, so my passion is about making it work on ALL levels.  They say the term ‘work-life balance’ is dead in the water…it’s outdated. It may well be, but it’s the term we all know, understand and strive for. Personally, for me, my kids and my family are at the top of my priority list. They are my world, and I am not ashamed to say I am not going to let any part of that slip by because of work. It’s all too precious and disappears way too fast. I have always done what I’ve needed to do so that I can be both a mum and do my job. When I work, I put my all in. 150%. I’m a hard worker and learnt early on in my self-employed career how to manage and juggle all that life throws at you. It’s a crazy juggling act – I know, I get it. I am right there with you learning how survive. But it’s about managing it all and for the most part, I do but not without some help!

Let’s take a couple of examples – Ironing. OMG…I HATE ironing With. A. Passion!! But there are people out there who actually quite enjoy it (I just don’t understand the concept! Ha!) and do it for a living. That’s a sensible outsource right – because well let’s face it, life really IS too short to do ironing. Or what about hiring a cleaner? Weekends are about enjoying your weekend plans, not about spending your precious 2 days dusting and hoovering. Bore! There are people you can hire to take that burden from you. Outsourcing your business is no different. It’s about giving parts of your business to someone who knows what they are doing and offers a service to make life easier for YOU. Giving you back your TIME!

Time. A word that can drive us up the wall right?! There just aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes are there. It too disappears so very quickly, like sand running though your fingers. Time doesn’t just mean using it towards personal things, it can also be about managing your time more wisely and constructively within your business. Do you wish you could spend more time on the one part of your business that you REALLY love doing, that makes you a bit excited?? …But uh oh, unfortunately, there are 23 DMs in your inbox which are all asking the same question…ugh. Or being on the PC creating an invoice is frustrating the hell out of you, you just want to get on with your job. The bit you are REALLY good at! Now, wouldn’t that be nice!

Being a natural people pleaser, the VA business I run is professional yet friendly. Knowledgeable yet not afraid to say, “I don’t know” then work my tooshie off to find out how to do something, I’m excited by new technology, yet I love old school, traditional manners, respect and being a real person behind the business. I feel confident to say I don’t have an ‘ideal client’. There’s no box I can put a small business owner into. Everyone is so uniquely individual. But I LOVE and stand strongly by my core values and believe the best relationships work when those core values are respected and held dear by both parties. I will go the extra mile, and attention to detail was stamped on my head years ago by an old boss (she taught me well).

This has not been taken from the pages of a teaching book. It’s been written BY a small business owner FOR small business owners. And I know all this because I am you! I have run a small business for the last 8 years and I KNOW how it feels. But I also know help is out there, and you don’t have to look far to find out more!

How does the VA world feel now? Do you feel a tingle of ‘I want some of this’?

Click on the link to find out more! https://sterling-virtualassistant.co.uk

Until next time, Clair x

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