As a VA do you ever get fed up with clients who have had a previous bad experience with a VA? Or clients that don’t want to pay your rates because they can pay $5 from an overseas alternative?
As the trend for flexible working and creating online businesses has grown hugely over the past few years, in turn so has the number of VAs here in the UK. Unfortunately, for every professional highly skilled VA, there are many more who lack any real business set up – many working without contracts, without proper insurance or data protection cover or simply don’t really have any idea of how to support businesses effectively.
It’s not only frustrating but gives the UK VA industry a bad name and even poses the question ‘what is a VA?’ In fact, it would sometimes seem that anyone with access to the internet and some good marketing patter can set themselves up as a VA and gain clients. But without the genuine skills to be able to support a client it can be a risky business for anyone hiring them. So, how do clients and VAs alike know who to work with or where to find them? It’s a minefield!
Roll back the clock to Summer 2015 in a London bar over a bottle of Chablis (of course that’s how all the best plans come to light!) and Amanda Slack & Charlotte Wibberley were sharing their frustrations around the constant mistrust from clients who have ‘had a really bad experience with a VA’; the incessant plugging of overseas ‘cheap as chips’ VAs as genuine alternatives to their professional skillsets, constant personal development and dedication; the difficulty when finding great Associate VAs to support their own businesses and anger at being let down by those Associates taking on tasks they truly didn’t have the skillset to deliver but weren’t honest from the outset.
They thought that if they were finding it difficult to hire professional VAs to support them, then of course clients were finding it twice as difficult and that was their lightbulb moment!
What if they could create a community for likeminded high performing, highly skilled UK based VAs to come together? To network, knowledge share and grow together. And, even better, what if they could help business owners find the perfect VA to support them?
… and so VIP VA was born.
Back to today, and Amanda and Charlotte are on a mission to bring together all of the high performing VAs in the UK. They will link VAs from within their vetted community with the business owners who will value the huge benefits they’ll bring to their businesses and guarantee the client a great experience along the way.
They will coach and work with those VAs who aren’t quite ready to ensure they build successful and sustainable businesses to support their clients in most effective way possible.
They also want to change the face of the UK VA industry and the perception of what a VA actually is:
Charlotte says “In what is a rapidly growing society of virtual freelancers the phrase ‘virtual assistant’ for some still conjures an image of the lowest of the low, bottom of the food chain general office dogs-bodies. Or ‘glorified typists’ as one ex-client so boldly deigned to suggest. Yes I did say EX-client!
It’s our belief that VAs are not Virtual Assistants. Yes we’re Virtual but what we do for our clients’ businesses goes so far beyond the “Girl Friday” tasks of yesteryear. We’re highly skilled freelance professionals, investing in our own businesses and our own personal development and skills to facilitate the growth of our clients’ businesses.
We are Vision Accelerators.”
If you’d like to find out more about joining VIP VA please visit www.vipva.co.uk