Support for VAs

My journey to an Award Winning Virtual Assistant

I’ve been immersed in the Virtual Assistant realm since 2015, and it has been an incredibly rewarding journey. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a path I had initially planned, but I’m delighted that I took the plunge.  Today I wanted to share how I became an award winning Virtual Assistant.

My professional journey began with various administrative roles, culminating in a pivotal period at a small pharmaceutical company starting in 2003.  I had several roles from in the admin team where I ended as the senior administrator. Later, I made a significant shift to the Clinical Team, where I swiftly rose to the position of Clinical Research Assistant. This role took me across the UK and Europe, collaborating with hospitals on clinical trials and providing training on our inhalers.

During this time, I undertook a postgraduate diploma in clinical research.  This was a huge challenge given that I’d swiftly left school with just by GCSE’s.  I loved my role as a CRA however I faced workplace challenges, including navigating through instances of bullying from a colleague, which, upon reflection, seemed rooted in a sense of threat.

Unfortunately, a change in management marked the beginning of another challenging phase. Despite my postgraduate diploma in clinical research, generously funded by the company, a lack of a formal degree led to the belief that there was no longer a suitable role for me. This period of uncertainty left me at my desk for months without direction, a line manager, or meaningful tasks. I felt undervalued, inadequate, and devoid of challenges.

It was my husband, who had been a financial adviser of 25 years, who suggested that we work together.  He loves seeing clients and helping them with all tings pensions and investments however he really doesn’t enjoy the paperwork side of things.  I took a bold step and resigned from my previous position. I began by doing his admin tasks, eventually extending my services to our accountant. Word-of-mouth recommendations from her led me to assist several other clients.  This is how the next chapter of my professional journey unfolded.

The Next Chapter

It wasn’t until 2018 that I started networking – for those of you who might know me in ‘real life’ will know that I’m such an introvert.  I didn’t enjoy going and hated doing the self promotion pieces.  Over time I’ve gained some great friends and clients.  You can read more about making networking work for you in this blog post.

It was during lockdown that I decided to grow a team and introduce some associates.  Calls started to come in  from existing clients asking if I could do their bookkeeping as their support had been furloughed or had decided to close their business.  After turning away a couple of clients but knew I was missing a trick.  I reached out to my friend Catherine who I’d met through networking previously and asked if she was looking for more bookkeeping clients.  It was perfect timing for both of us.

I now have a team of 8 associates.  We can help with everything from social media to website updates, system implementation and improvements, bookkeeping, and then your general day to day admin from inbox management to diary management.

Over the almost 9 years in business, we have helped nearly 100 clients.  From one off projects to ongoing support that various from daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly depending on their needs.  I wonder who will be our 100th client?!

In 2023, I decided to move into the realms of Online Business Management for clients.  This was something I was already doing for a couple of clients but wasn’t charging appropriately for.  It actually feels very similar to my old corporate role so made sense to add this as a service.

I’m super organised, love a notebook, a list and a cup of tea.  I love supporting small businesses and seeing them grow and achieve more.

I love the flexibility that having my own business gives me, if I have to do a little bit of work at the weekend it doesn’t bother me especially if I’ve had some time off in the week.

I’m super organised, love a notebook, a list and a cup of tea.  The busier I am the more I get done.  I love supporting small businesses and seeing them grow and achieve more.

If you have any questions about becoming a Virtual Assistant, I run a programme coming called ActiVAte.  This is a culmination of all the things I’ve learnt over the years.

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