As a VA you are chief in charge of being your clients’ A team – but what about when it comes to finding the right team for your VA business?
In her guest blog, VIP VA member and author Kathy Soulsby shares her experience of building a mega-successful brand supported by a team of her peers.
“When I started work as a VA, I fully expected to mainly work with 1 or 2 person businesses. After all, it is this type of set up that I felt was most in need of a small amount of support. Bigger companies, I thought, would have employees doing the type of tasks I can do as they had more staff and therefore more work to do.
However, in my five years as a VA I’ve now worked for several companies that have employees and I now work with an amazing team of VAs to provide diary support to the partner team at a consultancy that has well over 200 staff across 5 worldwide offices.
I was lucky enough to have an old contact get in touch with me when they were in need of a different kind of support. They had (still have!) employed PAs that are based in the London office. What they were finding was that the onsite support team were being pulled into all manner of ad hoc tasks as they were there on the ground. This was leaving proactive diary management as a slightly poor relation as people in front of them were harder to ignore!
Unhelpfully, at the time they got in touch, I’d just taken on a new project and was at capacity. However, I have the VIP VA mastermind members club as a fabulous resource of experienced, talented and professional VAs that I can call on when I need them! I knew what experience I wanted and what skills. I also had a clear idea of the type of personality that would fit well with this client. They are an energetic, fast-paced but fun bunch. So I approached a couple of members I had in mind to see what capacity they had – one was taking some time off over the summer, the other was happy to leap right in. We had a long chat and then both met up with the key stakeholders from the client.
Sure enough, they absolutely loved her – she’s proactive, she’s smart, she’s very fast and frankly, she gets shit done. More meetings went in diaries which improved their business development and the partners were able to get headspace back to focus on the stuff that they are amazing at.
Two months later, with things getting rather busy for one person as we took on more, we suggested adding more resource. And, you’ve guessed it, another stellar VIP VA joined the team to take some of the load.
After 3 months they came to us and asked if we could look after more people. Cue a million post-it notes stuck on walls to work out how this could possibly work!
Six months down the line, we are now an established team of six VAs with this one client. All but one of these VAs is a VIP VA member and we’ll coax her round in the fullness of time I’m sure! We currently look after 10 partners, including the founding partners and provide support for their recruitment and associated functions. We each have our own responsibilities so we can get to know the partners that we work with really well but as we’re providing a service, we all also cover each other for holidays and during busy periods.
As a team, we communicate internally with Slack and have all found that it’s really great fun being in a team again – albeit a virtual one! We get all the good bits of corporate life – fast-paced diaries, back up from others, plenty of variety with the benefits of freelance life!
Being a part of VIP VA has enabled me to get to know a brilliant group of people really well and understand them and their skills. Working with a VIP VA member you know that you’re getting someone who takes their business seriously and is committed to doing an amazing job for the end client. “
If you want to connect with Kathy, find out more about her business or buy her AWESOME book Virtually Painless – you can do so here: www.personallyvirtual.co.uk