This is a Virtual Assistant case study and interview with Mum of 3, Shirley Cottam. Based in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, Shirley set up her business, Virtual Office Box after being made redundant whilst on maternity leave so she could spend more time with her ten-year-old daughter and seven-year-old twins.
Every Virtual Assistant needs to have legal contracts so they don’t get sued or screwed. Clients expect you to have them and they’re there to give both you and your clients peace of mind if it all goes south. It may start out all rainbows and fairies but client relationships can sour – and you do not want to find yourself naked without a contract!
Before I start I want to make it crystal clear that I absolutely adore my Mum. My Mother is absolutely awesome. She had me when she was really young, she escaped an abusive relationship to raise me, she always has my best interests at heart and she’s funny, kind, caring and fun. Her voice sounds like a tinkling bell and I love her to the moon and back…
One of the reasons people become Virtual Assistants is so they can fit work around their family life. Because I don’t have any children I asked my VA Handbookers Facebook group how they handle childcare whilst running their business so you could gain an idea of how they manage their day and see how freelancing would fit your current situation.
Early in 2017, I decided to ‘properly’ invest in my business. I wanted to up my game and to do that I knew I needed to learn from people who were better than me. So I bought a 2-day ticket to the Expert Empires event in London. I wanted to see Gary Vee and Ryan Deiss and didn’t spend that much time researching the other speakers… big mistake.
Recently I spent the day watching remarkable people give remarkable presentations at TEDx Brighton. I always make time for events like this because I love exposing myself to new ideas, they make a huge difference to my life and business, and I always come away from them enlightened and full of inspiration. And this one was no different.
Like a handshake, a business card can say a lot about you as well as the type of business you operate. Because it’s often the first point of contact for potential clients and therefore needs to create the right impression, I’ve put together a list of the most common mistakes I’ve seen when collating cards so you don’t unwittingly make them.
Unless you live on the moon, I’m sure you’ve heard of the changes to the new EU data protection laws, commonly known as the GDPR. These changes came into force on 25th May 2018 and affect every business whether it’s in the EU or not – so that means you AND your clients. Here’s what you need to know and how to comply.
If you’re looking to set up your own VA business then you may be thinking about buying my DIY VA course. The course not only shows you how to become a Virtual Assistant but also provides lifetime support and advice once you are one. Here are some FAQs about the course and why I think I’m the right person to help you.
Although I’ve written about how to say no to those negative saboteurs called naysayers, what I haven’t done is give you examples of the things they might say to you so you know what to say no to. Whether you’re on the receiving end of a negative comment or the one thinking them yourself, it definitely helps to have a good response ready.