Hello from Manchester


#1

Hi everyone
I am so pleased to find this group. I am not even a newbie, if there was a stage before newbie, then thats me. I only recently found that about the Virtual Assistant career and it instantly sounded like something I have been working towards the last 20 years.

However, before I get the balls rolling to make the jump I would really appreciate any advice you can give me, such as:

  1. Do I need to up skill? I was a secretary/PA for about 10 years and a marketing/business development professional for the last 10.

  2. What do you think about working for a Virtual Assistant company? Setting up on my own is a bit scary and wondered if anyone had worked for a VA company before setting up on their own.

If there are any VAs out there in Manchester/Cheshire that would be happy to meet up and share experiences, I would love that.

I hope to hear from you.

Emma


#2

Hi Emma

Welcome!

I think it sounds like you have lots of relevant of experience. I think that is the benefit of working as a VA, there is a client out there that needs your particular set of skills and all VA’s are different due to their experience. That being said, I love learning new skills, and it is never a bad idea to learn something new. Perhaps if there is something you want to learn you could invest some time in that?

Lots of people build a client base/business whilst still in employment and some find it less scary by doing it that way. When it takes off you can leave employment and know you have a good start and regular income. I don’t have experience of working in a VA company so can’t comment on that.

I am based in the South West so wouldn’t be able to meet but I am sure there are lots of VA’s in your area that will. I have met a few local VA’s through networking and I found sharing their experiences of the local market really helpful.

Good luck with everything!

Kirsty


#3

I think confidence is the main thing which is the scary bit of starting to be a VA - I have been one for over a decade, I make a very nice living at it (my area was recently voted one of the Top 10 trendiest neighbourhoods to live in the UK!) - and have had to do so from Day 1 as I was a singleton when I started! I’d probably do some sales or business training rather than secretarial skills training myself.

But let me assure you:

People DO make a living being a VA, and they make a GOOD living being one - see post here.

That’s not to say it’s easy… and whilst it’s tempting to join a VA franchise or a VA company, there’s no current British Franchise Association members who offer a VA business and we know of at least one VA franchise which has been ripping off a large number of VAs - be very, very careful and READ OUR GUIDE ABOUT VA FRANCHISES.

Certainly there are many VAs who will outsource to newbies - you should keep an eye on the facebook groups and the forum as jobs do pop up from time to time. Or have a look on bigger VA’s websites as they will usually have an application process on there somewhere.

Hope that helps!
Caroline


#4

Forgot to say - there’s the North West VA hub on Facebook!


#5

Thank you so much for your advice, it is very much appreciated. I have lots to do but it feels like the right path.

Thanks again!


#6

Hi Emma,

Welcome - Caroline has shared some awesome advice with you but one other resource you might want to look at is the Chester and North Wales PA network who do a lot of work in that area and have a number of awesome VAs among their members.

Take care
Amanda


#7

We so need to collect all these regional groups into one place… Little project for next week I think!!!


#8

Thanks Amanda, I’ll definitely be adding that one to the list, there seems to be loads of forums / conferences which is really encouraging and inspiring me to get going!!