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We’ve Moved and Other Big Changes!

November 17, 2009

Chief Virtual Officer blog
You’ve probably noticed I haven’t been around much the last few weeks. We’ve been busy creating the Chief Virtual Officer website and blog. Our goal is to help new and aspiring virtual assistants now that they are business owners and no longer employees.

We’ve launched our new website and blog! All the great information you found here can now be found at the Chief Virtual Officer blog. In addition to my blog posts, we’re adding blog posts by two additional business coaches, Joel D Canfield and Jerry Kennedy. Joel is my husband and business partner. Together we offer coaching for virtual assistants. Jerry is another business associate and has been a sales trainer for many years. So come on over and join in the conversation.

How Many Clients Do You Have?

October 22, 2009

A business broker I know suggested I write about the danger of a virtual assistant having only one client. Many virtual assistants would agree that they want more than one client. However I do know of VAs that only have one client because they get 20-40 hours work each week from that one client. That’s wonderful!

The one drawback to having just one client is – what happens if you lose that client? You’ve just lost your entire business. So even if you are working 20-40 hours per week for one client, consider adding a couple of smaller clients to your client base.

You may think you can’t take on additional work when you’re already working 20-40 hours per week for your one client. This would be a good time to get to know another virtual assistant that would be willing to sub-contract for you. There are other advantages to building a relationship with another virtual assistant also and we’ll discuss that in a future post.

Virtual Assistants Meetup

October 20, 2009

We live in a virtual world. As virtual assistants, for the most part, it is not necessary to leave our home office to do our work. Yet there are some cons to working solo in this environment. It can be lonely not to have the comaraderie we once had in an office setting. We no longer have the ready access to a fellow office mate to bounce ideas against and get instantaneous feedback on our work. Sure we can get that from other people online. But the connection is not quite the same.

Virtual assistants in many areas are creating meetup groups at Meetup.com. They meet regularly with one another as a group at a local setting. Here they are able to exchange ideas, brainstorm, and get encouragement to help them in their businesses. Some have other people come in and speak on topics that are of interest to the group and can help them develop their businesses.

I belong to such a group that meets in Roseville, Caliornia each month. The Northern California Virtual Assistants Meetup Group usually meets the fourth Saturday of each month. We’ve had a business coach come in and speak to us; someone else came in and spoke about their time tracking software; another coach came in to speak on getting out of our comfort zone; another came in to discuss our motivation in selling our services; another is coming to discuss organization and productivity tips.

Perhaps you can find or create a similar group in your area so that you and other virtual assistants have a way to brainstorm ideas and grow your businesses. Let’s work together to grow the virtual assistant industry.

Our Virtual Book Tour Continues

October 15, 2009

Several bloggers have already hosted interviews of our book, The Commonsense Entrepreneur- Becoming an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee and we greatly appreciate that.

We’re being hosted today, October 15, 2009, at this blog (thank you Lee):
http://myofficeassist.org/blog/2009/10/15/the-commonsense-virtual-assistant-becoming-an-entrepreneur-not-an-employee/

Other dates are:
10/23 – Rachel Rasmussen
http://rescuedeskblog.com

10/27 – Janine Gregor
http://yourvirtualwizard.com/Blog.aspx

Come join us on the tour and leave a comment.

Writing Your Business Plan for 2010 to Increase Productivity

October 15, 2009

It’s time to start thinking about the New Year. Are you just starting out in business or have you been in business a while? Either way, each year you should consider writing a new business plan.

Your business plan does not need to be lengthy and complicated. It should include specific goals, strategies and actions you can implement on a daily basis. Having a written business plan with specific daily actions can increase your productivity and grow your business.

So let’s get started. The Canfield Kennedy InstantBizPlan.com website has a free report you can download – 6 Mistakes That Could Destroy Your Business . . . and How You Can Avoid Them. Go download your free report and get started on your 2010 plan now!

The Adventures of Vanessa Andruz, Virtual Assistant

October 14, 2009

Today I have a visitor. I’ve interviewed Vanessa Andruz, Virtual Assistant.

Tell me about yourself
I was an Executive Assistant for many years, but when I turned 50, I realized I was so tired of corporate politics…you know what I mean…so I decided it was time for a change. I researched different career paths, but none really seemed to “fit” until I found Virtual Assistance. I set up my VA business, and I’ve never looked back!

Why did you have these e-books written?
I did a LOT of research when I was setting up my business – such as what kind of business structure was best for me, how to set up my home office, how to determine my rates, the best ways to market my business and how to get over my fear of networking. It was hard work and took a lot of time. So, to save others all that research, I put what I learned into a series of e-books I call The Adventures of Vanessa Andruz, Virtual Assistant.”

What is the series about?
It’s all about how to become a Virtual Assistant. The first e-book, Vanessa Has a Dream, describes how I left my job and decided to become a VA. It’s an unbelievable story, but I swear my adventures are as real as I am!

In the second e-book, Vanessa Becomes a Virtual Assistant, I discovered my company name – with a little help from the Universe and my mother – created a business plan template, and chose a business structure. As a bonus, I’ve included a link to a downloadable version of my business plan!

The third e-book is called Vanessa Sets Up Her Home Office. It’s full of practice advice on choosing the right office equipment and supplies for a VA business. There are research notes about computers, fax machines, scanners, ways to access the internet, and lots of good stuff. I even take my readers on a trip to my local office supply store in Washaketa, Wisconsin. What a fun place to shop!

My latest e-book, Vanessa Determines Her Services, Niche and Rates, includes a list of 300 services that VAs can provide – with the appropriate training, of course. I was amazed at how versatile VAs can be!! There’s also a downloadable Client Contract template.

What do you want the readers to get out of the series?
I hope that telling my story will give new Virtual Assistants the guidance they’re looking for when starting their own business. And I hope they enjoy the “personal touches” that I’ve included in all the e-books.

How can the readers contact you if they want further information?
They can email me, and I’m also on Facebook.

How much does your e-book cost?
Vanessa Has a Dream is free! Vanessa Becomes a Virtual Assistant is only $2.95, while Vanessa Sets Up Her Home Office and Vanessa Determines Her Services, Niche and Rates are very affordable at $4.95 each.

Where can the readers purchase your e-book?
They can find all of the books in my series at http://www.VanessaAndruz.com/Products.html.

Vanessa, thank you for stopping by my blog.

You are very welcome. Thank you, Sue, for having me.

About the Author:
Melodee Patterson of Short-term Solutions is a VA who, much like Vanessa, got tired of the corporate life and struck out on her own. She’s enjoying her role as chronicler of Vanessa’s amazing journey. (She does ask that you refrain from calling Vanessa a “fictional character.” Apparently Vanessa is a bit touchy about that fact.)

Vanessa Andruz

Vanessa Andruz

Book Summary:
The Adventures of Vanessa Andruz, Virtual Assistant series is not only full of practical advice for prospective Virtual Assistants, it’s also a fun story. You’ll meet Vanessa’s parents who live in Sedona, Arizona, where her mother reads auras for a living; Vanessa’s friend, Marci, an insurance adjuster unlike any insurance adjuster you’ve ever met; and Vanessa’s ex-husband, Mark, currently living with his “beach bunny” in Cozumel! Check out the series today.