This is the first in a series of client case studies, in answer to the many blogs and forums I’ve seen that ask the above question. There is a great deal of interest in VAs but not everyone is aware of the VA Industry. There are a multitude of places you can seek a Virtual Assistant, but sometimes people still don’t know where to go.
Often asked: Virtual Assistants – I do not know much about them, how they work, where to find them and what they charge. Anyone here have more info?
So, I thought I’d provide the answers here from clients who do use VAs to support them in their business or personal lives. The first interview is with Lorraine Pirihi, a long-term client of mine. I asked her a series of questions and these are her answers.
Q. Please tell my readers a bit about who you are and what you do.
I’m a Productivity Expert, speaker and author, and specialise in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs organise their time, their systems and their marketing so they make more money and also have a life.
Q. When did you realise you needed admin support for your business?
Once my business started to grow. I wanted to free my time to work on my business and only do activities that I enjoyed. Bookkeeping and basic administration are definitely not what I wanted to do.
Q. What type of support did you originally obtain?
Bookkeeping, database set-up, general typing – on an irregular basis.
Q. Is the support you receive today the same as then or has that changed and if so, how?
It is now constant. You are a permanent member of my team.I now have database management, PowerPoint design for my presentations, product creation ie. e-books, e-courses etc. Website maintenance. E-zine set-up, broadcast emails.
Q. Do you have more than one VA supporting you, and if so, perhaps you’d like to give a brief idea what the difference is?
I now have 2 VA’s. Yourself who does the bulk of my work around 15 hours a week and Charmaine Simpson who has recently been added to my team. Charmaine’s key role is submitting my articles to on and off-line publications, special projects and additional work when you’re overloaded.
Q. How did you find out about this type of support?
I found you myself. I attended a networking breakfast years ago and saw your business card so grabbed a copy and phoned you to find out what you do.
Q. How long have you had your current VA? (Feel free to name who they are)
You – 12 years.
Charmaine Simpson – 3 months approximately.
Q. Anything else you’d like to share?
My business would never be where it is today without the support of my VA. You cannot run a profitable and thriving business without support . If you’re doing everything yourself, you’re crazy. You need to free up your time to concentrate on business development and improvement, not keep busy on $20+ an hour tasks.
Note from Kathie:
I should add that Lorraine, as a productivity expert, teaches her clients the value of outsourcing so they can concentrate on the real things that make them money. So she definitely walks her talk and practices what she preaches. I’ve seen her business grow over the years and together we’ve learnt and shared a real lot.
Thank you Lorraine for sharing your experience with my readers.
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.