A Virtual Vision
When you say you are a ‘virtual assistant’, the word ‘administration’ is usually what springs to mind. Someone to take care of diary management and emails, finish the PowerPoint presentation, or sort out the Word report or Excel spreadsheet. That’s where the notion of a VA all started and which forms the basis of a lot of virtual assistant businesses today.
To be honest, when I left the corporate world in 2012 to become a full time VA, this is what I thought I would be doing in my business and how I would be supporting my clients. The traditional role of a PA, built on a foundation of good administration processes, freeing my clients of the tasks that drained their time and energy, they didn’t enjoy or what took them away from what matters most to them in their business.
That is exactly what I do. But I also do so much more too. Just admin? I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Becoming A Real Asset
I started Virtually Does It in the evenings and weekends at the end of 2010, just with one client who I supported alongside my day job. Our working relationship started out on a very administration based footing, but didn’t stay that way for long. It soon became apparent there was a real need for not just this traditional support, but also a sounding board for new ideas, a confidante, a project planner and motivator to keep the business evolving and achieving goals. The more clients that I worked with as my business grew, the more I realised that from the small business owner to Global CEO, this present, proactive and involved approach to support their business soon became a real asset to them.
The modern world of work and the support that’s needed to work in it as an entrepreneur today have become much more three-dimensional. It’s no longer about sending a task to be done and then returning that task completed on a very functional level. Yes, there are of course elements of that, but to me it’s about supporting that business and that person as a whole.
It soon became clear to me that working in that one dimensional way, just doing tasks and sending back, felt really disconnected and I felt like I was only doing the absolute minimum. In some cases, it didn’t seem right to stop there. I knew I could offer more and, client willing, would love to support my clients in a different way to hopefully make more of a difference.
Start Speaking Up
When I started to ask more questions, respond more fully to emails and make suggestions on work that was being done, new platforms we could try and ways of doing things differently and better, my clients were over the moon that they had support across all aspect of their business if they needed it. Some would say ‘I didn’t think to ask as I thought you only did admin!’.
It takes confidence to go from what’s assumed you will do with your badge as a VA, and go that step further to do what you feel is needed, especially when you’re running your own business which can be scary enough on its own! We’re business owners too, providing a valuable service that we can put our own VA stamp on! I’m so pleased that I stepped outside of just admin, I’m learning so much, work with fantastic people and my business knowledge and confidence has grown because of it.
When I think back to what I thought my virtual assistant business would be when I first started, I can’t imagine working like that now! I feel privileged that my clients have really brought me into their businesses and their lives and the way I work has meant it’s never just admin.
Learn more about Katie and her business by visiting her website!
Latest posts by Katie Macdonald (see all)
- Working with a Virtual Assistant: It’s Never Just Admin…. - October 19, 2016