The Secret Diary of a Virtual Assistant
As a VA, no two days are the same. Which is part of the reason that I love what I do. My work is so varied, and I have the opportunity to support multiple clients, all with different businesses and diverse needs.
Here’s The Secret Diary of a Virtual Assistant…
Today has made me nostalgic as I’ve been working with the first client I got as a VA. I started helping them out with office admin and quickly realised that I loved it. As a result, I’d found my dream job!
Fast forward three years and they’ve quadrupled their client base and moved to a larger office to accommodate their growing team. So they need even more admin support now and I help them keep on top of paperwork, invoices and quarterly bookkeeping. Both of our businesses have transformed in the last three years and it’s lovely to see how far they’ve come.
It’s time for my networking group, and my turn to give a 5-minute talk on ‘The Benefits of Outsourcing’. It goes well.
Working from home can feel isolating, but networking is a great way to meet interesting people and grow my business, and it guards against cabin fever. Plus, as a lot of my work involves personal and confidential information, it’s important that clients like, know and trust me. So, it’s no surprise that I get most of my clients from word of mouth.
In the afternoon I do some training with a client who is struggling with Excel. He’s already very proficient but is having issues copying across formulae, so we have arranged a two-hour tutorial. I solve the issues for him and he really enjoys the session, so books another tutorial for next week.
A huge envelope arrives with three months’ worth of receipts and invoices from a regular client. I spend the day sorting them into date order and account type and adding the transactions to a spreadsheet and online accounts package. Because there are some queries on the expenses I email my client at the end of the day.
I do love a spreadsheet, and my clients love it that I can take this hated job off their hands. I get a buzz from putting things in order, like making sense of numbers, and have huge amounts of satisfaction when they all add up.
Making Tax Digital is making life a little harder for some of my clients. One of my regular clients sells products and services. I usually do their bookkeeping on a spreadsheet but, with the arrival of Making Tax Digital, their accountant has moved them onto QuickBooks.
With their new accounts package, they can add details of the stock items, send out sales receipts and receive alerts when stocks are running low. However, my client doesn’t have the time or inclination to add supplier details, product descriptions and prices into QuickBooks. So my job is to do that to get us ready for a stock check next week.
The morning is spent transcribing a good quality audio file and saving it to PDF for my client to send to a third party. With various speakers and accents it could be tricky, but it was recorded in a quiet room with no paper-rustling or traffic noises, so that’s a relief.
I receive an email reply from Wednesday’s expenses queries so I can finish processing the receipts. I make sure all paperwork is filed in date order, labelled and the online bank transactions are reconciled. Job done! My client is so pleased I’ve completed this task for her.
A client I’ve worked with before has asked if I can provide holiday cover for their e-commerce shop. This involves answering emails, processing orders, updating stock lists and informing customers once goods have been dispatched. I send off a “yes I’d be delighted’ email and mark the dates in my diary.
I was overwhelmed by the admin side of running my business and wanted to be able to delegate and concentrate on the parts of my business that need the most attention. I have absolutely loved working with Judi. Her attention to detail, spotting things I could easily miss, and efficiency has been a dream. If you are a small business and trying to do everything yourself, a VA is essential. It’s like a three-ton weight has been lifted. It’s been amazing having Judi on board!Dr Sophie Rumbelow
I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the life of a VA. If you’d like to give your most hated jobs to someone who’ll do them cheerfully and efficiently, you can contact me today.