Home – New Forums New here? Share your story Hi all! Virtual Assistant – thoughts anyone?

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  • #1010134
    Lis Sowerbutts
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    Virtual.Assistant, post: 9963 wrote:
    Having said that, my standard fees are outlined on my website for anyone else who may be wondering however are negotiable for simple tasks such as data entry, typing etc.

    http://www.perikai.com

    I was curious and went to your site – I couldn’t get – it told me I needed the latest flash media player from macromedia or I could got the html site – I chose that option and I got file not found. I suggest you get a simple website, based on WordPress (free) – which is easy for people to access. I am running firefox if that makes a difference – if you are looking for web-contact clients – most of use firefox

    #1010135
    Lis Sowerbutts
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    Oh and you have a great hook for most of the world of online workers – you work while the US/UK sleep – its a big advantage -clients love waking up the job done!

    I personally have never been to an in-person networking even – probably I should – it would be different. What I do online is be myself, be honest and transparent, its not the traditional “professional” approach – but it seems to build trust (which was an unintended consequence!) and bonds. When the bad Vic bushfires hit the news I woke to a pile of forums and emails and tweets making sure I was OK – online friends are real friends – but it takes a while to develop the trust.

    #1010136
    zenStudio
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    I checked out the Firefox problem. You’ll find it’s probably just the flash detection script. It’s looking for one version only or something similar.

    Wordpress would be good if you know how to use it, but then again there are heaps of templates available and most web hosts have it pre-installed.

    It would be worth the time to read through the documentation.

    One bit of advice I would give is to lose the flash. A clean corporate layout would be the way to go, with some more information on your services ;)

    #1010137
    Lis Sowerbutts
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    zenStudio, post: 10025 wrote:
    One bit of advice I would give is to lose the flash. A clean corporate layout would be the way to go, with some more information on your services ;)

    Pleeese lose the flash its seriously probably why you aren’t getting web clients – I dusted off IE and tried your site on that – but got bored waiting for it to load – it just hung – and I have a perfectly good broadband connection.

    #1010138
    zenStudio
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    Lis Sowerbutts, post: 10030 wrote:
    Pleeese lose the flash its seriously probably why you aren’t getting web clients – I dusted off IE and tried your site on that – but got bored waiting for it to load – it just hung – and I have a perfectly good broadband connection.

    HEHE dusted off IE, thats great :)

    While I would sometimes make a flash header (header only) for some clients, I usually tend to stear them away. The reason being is I build for search engines and humans and with flash its hard to get that balance.

    Erin, If you need any help or advice with the website, let me know :)

    #1010139
    Virtual.Assistant
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    Lis Sowerbutts, post: 10023 wrote:
    Oh and you have a great hook for most of the world of online workers – you work while the US/UK sleep – its a big advantage -clients love waking up the job done!

    I personally have never been to an in-person networking even – probably I should – it would be different. What I do online is be myself, be honest and transparent, its not the traditional “professional” approach – but it seems to build trust (which was an unintended consequence!) and bonds. When the bad Vic bushfires hit the news I woke to a pile of forums and emails and tweets making sure I was OK – online friends are real friends – but it takes a while to develop the trust.

    Definitely agree with this. Even with the amount of feedback and support from this forum alone I can see you’re 100% spot on with your feelings toward online friends!

    I haven’t considered the possibility of working for international businesses though, simply for the billing side of things. Would it be a tricky aspect?
    Having said that, I work of a night regardless. I really enjoy it so even my Aussie customers wake up to their work ready in their inbox which they seem to really like.

    #1010140
    Virtual.Assistant
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    Burgo, post: 10012 wrote:
    Thanks Erin

    Now I can see there is a real market for VA’s and wish I had have known about VA’s when I has my business’

    I think i said something on another post where Tradies are usually very good at what they do but have no knowledge of Admin Marketing etc This is where i see a good VA helping these Tradies and small business get on their feet and develop the business. Most of these guys just hire a bookkeeper or try to go it alone and thats why so many of them fail.( Doing it on their own)
    Thanks again
    patrick

    ps I am impressed what you VA’s do I have put a post on the Carpet Cleaners Forum / ICAN room to see if we gat any responses if so I will then put it to the other 600 members of the forum.
    I understand we have a number of VA’s here on the forum, so if thre response is favorable I migh try and create a register of VA’s

    Hi Patrick,

    I think that’s a really great idea. It’s funny, I certainly hadn’t considered the tradie aspect of business before. They DO all try to go it alone, don’t they?

    My market focus has been off a few times, as I always see my services being most useful to Soloists and the like, however earlier in the week I had a job for a small retail store.

    I think the only difficulty with tradies might be helping them to understand how to use a VA insofar as they aren’t always too computer minded.

    It might take a different angle as far as communication goes perhaps??

    Erin

    #1010141
    Virtual.Assistant
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    Lis Sowerbutts, post: 10030 wrote:
    Pleeese lose the flash its seriously probably why you aren’t getting web clients – I dusted off IE and tried your site on that – but got bored waiting for it to load – it just hung – and I have a perfectly good broadband connection.

    Lis and Mark – Flash is gone!

    I’d never had an issue with it before but both of you sharing the same opinion promptly had me wave goodbye my little intro and skip straight to the important stuff.

    Thanks for taking the time to look and give me the feedback you guys, it’s so helpful. I have to say I am just LOVING this forum!

    – “Dusted off the IE” lol

    Erin

    #1010142
    JayDee
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    [alittleofftopic]The problem with offshoring I find the remote workers/companies are very eager to get your business and will tell you that they do this and they do that, they have this qualification and that. However, when you see the result it can be of low quality. If things go wrong they are reluctant to actually tell you as well. When time is spent working with these people they can develop towards being average workers at least but it just doesn’t happen at the click of your fingers. My experience anyway. [/alittleofftopic]

    #1010143
    kathiemt
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    Hi Erin, and welcome, and hi to the others as well.

    The Virtual Assistance industry has been around since the mid 1990s and was first established in the US and here in Australia. I run a network of Virtual Assistants from my base in Melbourne and we were the second network in the world. Today there are around 30 worldwide. I have members in 18 countries and we services clients in probably several more countries.

    The Asian countries jumped on the bandwagon a few years ago and many of them are ‘agencies’ with virtual employees targeting the same clients as VAs but there is often quite a difference between the way they operate. Important that people understand VAs are self-employed business owners and as such, have a vested interest in their clients’ businesses. Whilst you can get ‘cheap’ VA support the truth is that often you do get what you pay for.

    The VA industry is working hard towards developing the industry via educational programs, conferences, certification and so on to ensure that our industry runs at a high level of professionalism.

    There is a good market for the VA industry here in Australia and overseas and I’ve been personally supporting clients fulltime for over 13 years and have been in business for over 15 years. My main client base consists of business coaches, professional speakers and authors but I used to look after not-for-profit groups for around 10 years. My specialities are databases, newsletters, websites, blogs, social networking tools, etc. In the past I’ve done bookkeeping (but dropped that once the BAS system came in), transcriptions, Powerpoint presentations, etc.

    A number of my VA team are members here at the forum and I’m sure you’ll get to meet some of them over time.

    #1010144
    Lis Sowerbutts
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    Virtual.Assistant, post: 10067 wrote:
    I haven’t considered the possibility of working for international businesses though, simply for the billing side of things. Would it be a tricky aspect?
    Having said that, I work of a night regardless. I really enjoy it so even my Aussie customers wake up to their work ready in their inbox which they seem to really like.

    I work in US$ – its the international language of the ‘net! I use paypal accounts which aren’t perfect but are a cheap way to receive and spend funds without having to have a local US$ bank account. I believe you don’t charge GST for overseas clients – but I haven’t hit that threshold yet (the ATO couldn’t tell me BTW!)

    For the rates you are quoting on your site – I would just assume they were US$ for international clients …

    #1010145
    kathiemt
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    Re international clients, it hasn’t been a real problem. Occasionally I might get someone who can’t access Paypal because they’re in a country it’s not set up in, but usually it’s ok. I also have a secure merchant account through http://www.eway.com.au and linked to my bank account so I can process credit cards online for clients or they can fax to me (I don’t encourage them to send it via email) and I process it for them. However, that’s not much different to Paypal processing credit cards online but it means the money gets to my account later than sooner. Has been working fine for many years though.

    I’ve been servicing clients in the US and UK and have in the past had clients from other locations and no, you don’t charge GST to overseas clients.

    I always charge in AUD but assist clients with the currency calculations if they need it – something that Paypal will do for them anyway.

    #1010146
    Barb
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    Hi Erin,

    I’ve just joined the forum as a VA in the Sth Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. I started my business about 18 months ago after my first daughter was born so I could work from home, however my business hasn’t really taken off as I would’ve liked, which is a little disappointing.

    My target market is local, small to medium sized businesses, although having said that, clients that I’ve worked for haven’t all been “local”, which is fine. I like the idea of working “face to face” with people. The main obstacle I find is getting myself known and marketing my business to gain clients. I’ve been quite lucky that I’ve had some clients who have “found” me on the Internet through searches, but I can’t rely on this.

    Can I ask you, what have you found works best to market / advertise your business?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,

    #1010147
    WAHM
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    Hi Erin,

    Welcome to the forums.

    I just tried you website addy and your site appears to be down and went to a Host gator site.

    #1010148
    kathiemt
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    Barb, post: 21081 wrote:
    Hi Erin,

    I’ve just joined the forum as a VA in the Sth Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. I started my business about 18 months ago after my first daughter was born so I could work from home, however my business hasn’t really taken off as I would’ve liked, which is a little disappointing.

    Hey Barb, I live not far from you now. Recently shifted to Selby. Happy to meet up with you sometime. I occasionally have my VA team here for social get-togethers just so we can see each other face to face.

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