Outsourcing your Business Processes to a Virtual Assistant: What You Really Need to Know

The truth about finding and working with virtual assistants with No Bullshit Over the years I’ve seen a lot of information published about outsourcing your business processes to virtual assistants and other virtual professionals.  Some of the information is good. A lot of the information isn’t. There are a lot of reasons why so much … Read more

How to Train Your Virtual Assistant?

Over the weekend I stumbled across a video on YouTube entitled “How to Train Your Virtual Assistant” posted by a virtual assistant service company.   Just the title alone set all kinds of alarm bells off in my head.   I’ve mentioned before that although you may need to give direction and communicate clearly, there should be … Read more

Virtual Assistant Survival info has moved!

If you’re a virtual assistant who has come to view Clerical Advantage as a favorite resource site for the industry, you may have been a bit baffled lately.  On Black Friday, not only did the VA Survival Guide become unavailable for purchase, the VA Survival section of the blog was inaccessible as well.  What the … Read more

What if There was a Business School for Virtual Professionals?

(Psst…interested in starting a business as a virtual assistant? There’s a special offer at the bottom of this post. If you’re the impatient sort you can click here.)

Do a search for ‘how to become a virtual assistant‘ and you’ll get a slew of information provided by a variety of sources from Entrepreneur .com to some obviously uninformed authors who are looking to increase traffic to their website by using a popular search term.  In fact, the search I did for this post 10 minutes ago returned over 5 million hits.  Sounds like an abundance of information available at your fingertips doesn’t it?

Sure.  That is if you want to spend thousands of hours sifting through tons of inaccurate information and just plain nonsense.  Oh and don’t forget, if you’re doing the search in the first place you most likely don’t know what is valid information and what’s not.  You could spend all of those hours only to find yourself  more confused that you were before you started reading.  Trust me, I know.

I hear from wanna-be, new and struggling virtual assistants and virtual paralegals every week wondering how in the world I built a successful business.

I started out like many of the rest of you, with perhaps two major exceptions.  One, I was unemployed and desperate.  And two, I had some experience running my own craft based business way back in the dark ages; otherwise known as my twenties.   The desperation gave me the motivation I needed to do the trial and error thing over and over and over again.  If something didn’t work, I had no choice but to try something else.  The craft business experience gave me a tiny bit of business owner knowledge of things like business structure, licensing and registration that I wouldn’t have had a clue about otherwise.  Truthfully, the desperation was a bigger benefit, but those two items are the only things I may have started out with that other virtual assistant wanna-bes  might not have the benefit of.

So how did I build a successful business? 

Read moreWhat if There was a Business School for Virtual Professionals?

Yes, I’m a Virtual Assistant. No, I’m not Siri. I’m better.

As if there wasn’t enough confusion out there regarding virtual assistants, along comes the iPhone 4S.  The S, I’m guessing, stands for Apple’s version of a virtual assistant and ‘her’ name is SiriArticles and blog posts have been singing her praises, absolutely amazed at the way she answers their questions and requests.  I suppose some virtual assistants might  be irritated.  After all, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to distinguish ourselves as high level professional administrative support and now a scrap of artificial intelligence gets added to an iPhone and appears to muddle the issue once again.

Or not.  I think it’s a chance to set ourselves apart even further.  

Read moreYes, I’m a Virtual Assistant. No, I’m not Siri. I’m better.

Why You Should Re-think That Low-Cost Virtual Assistant

I’ve had a lot of small business people who need help with their business tell me that my rates were too high.  Heck, I’ve even had a person or two tell me I was crazy to charge that much when anyone can go to one of the freelance websites and find an army of virtual … Read more

Why You Shouldn’t Hire Your Virtual Assistant on Guru.com

I recently read an article by Ryan Lee called “The REALITY of Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants”.   He makes a great point about waiting until your business is ready for a virtual assistant rather than simply getting one because some ‘guru’ tells you to in their book(s). But he also included a few items that I felt the need to comment on, both on his post and now here in this post.

The first thing that concerned me was all the talk of hiring a virtual assistant. While technically I suppose using the word to describe finding a virtual assistant is correct usage, I feel it can cause incorrect expectations in the client/virtual assistant relationship.  Why?  Many business people ‘hire’ with the expectation that the virtual assistant is an employee rather than an independent contractor.  I’ve written here before about the differences between an employee and independent contractor and how important it is to not blur the lines.  And sadly many virtual assistants aren’t very good at pointing out where that line is or at reminding clients why that line exists.  I feel part of my service is to make sure that my clients don’t have to worry about the IRS accusing them of being my employer.  And although I’m sure I’ve lost a few potential clients because of it, part of my introduction packet explains my business policies to remind them that they are collaborating with another business professional, not employing me as part of their own business.

Read moreWhy You Shouldn’t Hire Your Virtual Assistant on Guru.com

Are You Charging (and Getting) What You’re Worth?

I bet you thought you’d missed out on the Finding & Claiming Your Value Webinar. Surprise!  As I mentioned in my post earlier today, I just returned from two weeks in Maine due to a death in my family, 7 days of which I didn’t do anything business related at all.  Needless to say, it has jammed up my schedule a bit.

Because of that, the webinar has been rescheduled (I know, I know….again!) to give me a little time to catch up.  The webinar will now be held on August 10th at 1pm ET.  This webinar is for you if:

Read moreAre You Charging (and Getting) What You’re Worth?