Introduction - PLEASE READ FIRST


Me neither! Nor do I have a “Shetland” on BBC1 accent that needs subtitles!


Oh I do like that though… Good programme!



I think that Google Calendar takes a lot of beating, especially since it’s free!

It has so much potential, and clients can dip into the diary you create for them wherever they are, using a mobile or laptop.

I love the reminders you can select, especially the SMS texts before an event.

Hope this helps.



Hi Everyone
I am a newbie, having just started up a virtual PA business in Ireland.
I am from London originally, but moved to Ireland a year ago. My husband decided to retire, and so we moved to his home town in Donegal. It’s peaceful and beautiful, and a great place to work on a business.
I am currently looking for clients and have had some postcards made up, which I am planning to place in suitable outlets.
I have had two businesses before, but not in this line of work. My background is somewhat eclectic, so the diversity that I hope this venture will bring should suit me.
Please contact me if you want to discuss anything, as I will always give assistance, so that others can learn from my mistakes or my opinions.
Clare Gallagher


I’m thinking there should also be a bit on the new forum for remote VAs… We’ve got a few on islands, up hillsides, etc. Clare, so you are in good company!

Good luck with the marketing campaign - don’t forget to follow it up or even just pop in yourself to drop the postcards off!


Sounds like a great excuse to visit Glasgow!
Thanks for the welcome.


Welcome to The Admin Tree, my name is Karen and I am a Virtual Personal Assistant based in West Sussex, UK. I provide a freelance administration service to support small businesses, sole traders or individuals who need that extra resource from time to time.

Would be great to hear any tips and advice to help build my business.
or follow me on twitter @theadtree


Hi Karen

Take a peak at the main site - there’s a sticky post on the front page for newbies and loads of stuff under the marketing category too.



Hi my name is Ann. I have been a part-time VA for 3 years working around young children. However, my youngest has recently started school and I have relocated to the Moray Coast. Getting ready to relaunch in a new location starting with building my own website ( Getting there… My target market is Artisans, crafters and authors. Looking foward to insights from the forum. My biggest challenge at the moment is slow broadband speeds in a rural location.


Hi there! I am a new VA, however I have had a great deal of experience in Administration through my previous job at IBM. I held Global and European level roles, so I have experience in developing and presenting presentations and reports at very senior Executive level. I’ve also led projects and conducted Business Analysis as part of LEAN projects. I am also a certified LEAN practitioner.

I’ve been targeting my business at local SMB’s, there does not seem to be anyone else in my immediate area offering this type of service, so I thought I would have a reasonably clear run at the market, however I have not yet had any bites. Apart from friends, I have received 10 unsolicited ‘Likes’ for my business Facebook page, but none have resulted in business transactions. I have also set up a Twitter account and Website, so I am ready, willing and waiting!

How did other people manage to get their first clients?


Sounds awesome Kirsty. I would have thought if you can market yourself well, LEAN practices should earn you some top paying clients!

My experience started using where I found a battle ground of thousands of people each vying for one job :slight_smile: However, after about 5-6 weeks I found my first client (significantly dropping my desired fee to get him), but I still have him and we’re not on Odesk anymore and after he found out how brilliant I was (cough cough!), we negotiated a more reasonable rate (although that is still lower than my ideal now).

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going down the Odesk route, although there will likely be more clients there who will see the value of LEAN as it is an international forum. LEAN is American, so there’s much more knowledge of it over there than there is in the UK. I realise that’s not your only skill of course :slight_smile:

The only clients I’ve ever recruited without Odesk have been through face to face meetings, personal recommendation and an ex-colleague! I did get a nightmare client through a paid Gumtree advert, and also one in the Dominican Republic who needed something doing locally. Personally, it’s not worth the money you spend on advertising. When you’re starting up, the value is in YOU. Attend networking events, any event that puts you in the place of talking about what you do (the British are excellent at doing that!) and engage people in what they’re doing. Show your knowledge and interest and then hit them between the eyes with a killer suggestion for how they could save money by using LEAN, and you’ve got them on your books before you can say “I’m a LEAN mean VA machine”… probably…

Share a link to you website!



Thanks Ed, I hadn’t even heard of Odesk, but I do have an interview with a VA company for part time work on the 20th. They can’t guarantee regular work, but I thought even if I get a few clients through them, hopefully I will will get some good feedback that I can then publish on my own Facebook page / Website

Hopefully all my links and website are now appearing in my signature now! javascript:emoticon(’:wink:’)


:smiley: marvellous idea - good luck!!


Hi my name is Kate and along with my friend and colleague Sarah we are setting up our own VA business in Gloucestershire. Between us we have over 20 years of experience in working in Finance, Office Manager and PA roles and have decided to take the leap into setting up our own business. We both currently work part-time in a job share role for a university so are already used to working with each other. We are going to try and set up our business along side working. Hopefully it will take off and will enable us both to leave our current employment and concentrate more on our own business. I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who has done a similar start up. We are both looking forward to a really exciting year aged.


Hi All,

Just thought I would introduce myself. I’m Emma, based in South Wales. Been trading as a VA since September 2014. How is everyone? Looking to connect on SM


Hi All,

Just thought I would introduce myself. I’m Emma, based in South Wales. Been trading as a VA since September 2014. How is everyone? Looking to connect on SM


Hi Emma,



Hi to all my fellow VAs - a little bit about me! I am at the tail end of setting up my VA business - Visionary Virtual Assistant and came across SVA during my hours of research, the site has been extremely helpful to me. I have over 25 years in administration and was made redundant early in the year, I was also quite unwell and during this time decided on this venture. My previous role was as a Division’s Manager, managing committees, conferences, staff and everything else in between. I have 3 children, one grand daughter and another one on the way. During the day, my two cats (Belle & Peppa) are always around to ensure that I stay focused.


I’m sure there are several hundred cats who have VAs as their slaves… It seems quite common!!!


Hi all,

I’ve spent the last couple of months getting my VA business set up and today my website finally went live after months of preparation!

I opted to take Voluntary Redundancy earlier this year whilst being on Adoption Leave deciding that the 2 hour commute each day wasn’t something I’d welcome with a little one back at home in nursery. I’m planning on working part time (3 days per week, plus some evenings and weekends as and when the workload demands). It’s been a challenging couple of weeks trying to get things off the ground… as I’m sure you’ve all experienced!

I’ve attended a Networking event and have a few more lined up. I’m also promoting through Social Media. To all those experienced VA’s out there, where do most of your clients come from? Word of Mouth, Social Media, Local / National Adverts or some other means? Acquiring clients is my immediate focus (and challenge!).

Alex Weatherly
Virtual Business Support Services