This particular client type came via one of my team members in 1997. She’d been offered a role but was unable to take it on and forwarded the details to me. I looked at the job spec and realised that this was something I would love to do and I’d been doing it already in managing a team of VAs. So I applied for the role, was interviewed (don’t often get interviewed for looking after clients but in this case, was necessary) and accepted.
The role? Association Management. Managing a membership based association from my office. It meant reporting to a committee once a month at their meeting, taking their minutes, producing reports, maintaining the membership database, organising networking events, sending out flyers to members, sending out membership renewals annually, doing the banking, answering phone enquiries and so on. It even included occasional travel when participating in annual conventions being organised in other states. This was a role that was made for me! I love organising, I love being able to just get on with the job without someone hanging over my shoulder and I loved the variety of all the things that needed to be done. Even just setting up systems or improving on what I’d inherited from the last person in that role. They’d done a good job but things change, technology changes and there is always room for improvement. Additional to that, it was a 12 month contract, renewable, and meant a regular monthly income.
That particular position lasted for 2 years – until a change in committee, and a change in ideas and the organisation and I parted ways, but it whet my appetite for this type of work as it’s consistent, I know what’s expected of me and I know that my skills are appreciated.
Today I run 3 NFP (not-for-profit) associations as well as the VA network I founded. It is good work and I enjoy it. It gets me out of the office periodically to attend committee meetings and member networking events, so I get to meet other people and learn about various industries. I also still travel to other states periodically to attend meetings or conventions. So, if you’re a VA looking for regular work that you can put your teeth into, or perhaps you are a member of an NFP that needs someone to run the association for you, then this type of role is ideal for a virtual assistant.
An additional advantage to the association is that they do not have to rent office space, purchase equipment, furniture or software and it therefore cuts their monthly costs considerably. They only have to pay out $$ per hour (or a monthly rate, whatever is decided upon), plus expenses (stationery, postage, phone, etc) for their association to be managed by a VA. KMT