Lynsey Cowan formed Elite VA in November 2014 after taking time out to travel the world. During this time, Lynsey not only fulfilled her love of travelling but she stopped to experience the employment sector in Sydney, Australia, working as a Recruitment Consultant before continuing on with her adventures.

On returning from overseas, Lynsey knew she wanted to set up her own business. So after spending time researching options, she discovered the role of a Virtual Assistant and how they support SMEs to achieve their goals. It sounded like an exciting industry she wanted to get stuck into.

With over 20 years’ experience in the corporate world and 10+ years working in a variety of support roles, including PA to CEO and PA to Chairman, Lynsey has the necessary skills to offer her clients the top notch Virtual Assistant solutions they deserve.

And what a successful first year she’s had!

We’re delighted to be able to congratulate Lynsey after recently finding out she is a Finalist in the BeMyVA Awards for Best Newcomer VA 2015. The awards ceremony takes place on Friday 20th November in Windsor – we wish you the best of luck!

Read on to find out more about Lynsey and her VA business.

Did you do any specific training before you opened for business and was it useful?

Prior to launching my VA business, I enrolled in the VIP VA Mastery Course with VACT, and their modules and the experience and support of Amanda helped underpin my business.

How did you find your first client and what was the first job?

My first ever client started four years ago, doing bookkeeping for my best friend’s husband. I never once thought that four years later I would be supporting many other clients like him…I have never looked back!

Have you developed a niche area and what is it?

My niche I think pretty much fell in my lap. Over the past six months, I seem to be drawn to coaches, authors and speakers. This is something of great interest to me and just love working with creative people, love their energy!

How many clients do you work with now?

Currently working with 13 clients. Some are on a project-related basis but the majority are on monthly retainer contracts within a variety of industries, with the main one being coaches.

Do you work alone or with other VAs/employ someone?

Currently have a team of Associates to help me with client requirements, it’s truly amazing to have the support there to help clients reach their all-important goals.

What has been most difficult thing about growing your business?

The most difficult thing I guess is, and I’ll be honest here, my work/life balance. I’m still working on it, but it’s a work in progress!

Tell us something about a typical day and what kind of work you do?

Typical day is waking up before the birds (early riser), I review client’s social media profiles and schedule any posts or newsletters. A normal day would consist of client calls, project-related work and the odd bit of networking thrown in for good measure.

I love the variety of work you can get from clients as a Virtual Assistant which makes every day a challenge, stepping outside your comfort zone at all times!

What’s one thing you’ve done that’s made a client absolutely delighted?

Prior to a client’s online product launch, I worked to 1am to repair an issue with MailChimp. The client was absolutely thrilled that I was willing to do put in the extra hours to ensure the launch kicked off without any issues. One very happy client.

Do you have any funny stories/anecdotes about jobs you’ve done?

Just recently I was preparing a newsletter for a client, had sent it to the client for final proof read. We were close to scheduling it via MailChimp when I realised I had slightly misspelt a word in the newsletter. The word was meant to be shift and I had missed out the ‘f’.

Can you imagine if I hadn’t noticed that and scheduled the newsletter out to her 1,000 network!!! Oops – close one!

What are your favourite applications/gadgets that you couldn’t live without?

I could not live without Asana (amazing project management tool, Dropbox/SugarSync, Hootsuite for scheduling all posts and MailChimp for newsletters.

But my absolute favourite right now has to Canva – so much fun!!!

What do you enjoy most about being a Virtual Assistant?

I absolutely love being a VA. Being your own boss and the variety of work you get from clients challenges me every day! But having amazing like-minded VAs on hand to support you in your time of need or offer useful advice I must say has been invaluable within my business.

This week, I was absolutely delighted to learn that I am a Finalist in the BeMyVA Awards for Best Newcomer VA 2015!!!

What do you enjoy least about being a Virtual Assistant?

Working from home can be a tad lonely, but if you schedule in client call’s one per day and ensure you have some form of networking scheduled into your week – I can guarantee will soon settle that boredom!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / or you would give to others about growing your business?

Get yourself a business mentor, having a business-savvy mentor on your side supporting you every step of the way has been absolutely invaluable to my business.

There are so many options out there but make sure you do your research to ensure you get the best possible fit not only for you but for your business.

What do you think are the most important qualities a VA should have?

Flexibility, first-rate communication skills, patience and determination to succeed.

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