Top 10 Tips for Becoming a VA

SVA put together 10 baby-steps to becoming a VA – a must-read for any aspiring assistants! Continue reading

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Want to balance work and motherhood? Here’s why it doesn’t add up…

how we work

I read this article in the Guardian recently.

Essentially this mum was sidelined when she returned to work after having her child and feels that employers don’t value mothers. I fundamentally disagree with her – employers *do* value mothers which is why they collectively groan when a women gives them the happy news that they are going to be a mum.

I can see this from both sides, both as a business owner and as a mum. As a business owner, I am going to have to pay out handsomely for your ability to procreate… here’s why: Continue reading

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VA Conference and Awards 2015.

On November 2015, the Beaumont Estate Conference Centre will hold the The VA Award Grand Finals. However, after speaking with and getting feedback from VAs it has been decided that this year the VA Awards are going on the road!

Regional and National Awards ceremonies will be held in conjunction with other events, up and down the country. For more information please check the VA Conference and Awards Website.

This new structure will allow the talents and variety of virtual assistant roles to be showcased to the business community.

Awards include:

Best Newcomer VA (Under 15 months in business as at 31st March 2015)

VA of the Year (More than 15 months in business as at 31st March 2015)

Outstanding VA – Category Specialist Awards (Categories to be announced.)

If you are interested in entering the awards, please e-mail First closing date for entries will be 15th April 2015.

Please spread the word and support this valuable new initiative, in order that the enormous benefits Virtual Assistants bring, may be shared with the wider business community.

Regular updates can be found on Twitter, if you follow @vaconference and @bemyva .







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Book Competition: Work From Home – Judy Heminsley

WFHIf you are thinking of starting a business from home, there’s an element of risk… I vividly remember the first day in my new business trying to set up the broadband and reaching for the phone to call IT – only to realise I WAS the IT dept!

A small dilemma – but Judy Hemlinsley deals with the nitty gritty of setting up effective systems alongside some of the other complaints I often hear from VAs about working from home – loneliness, lack of motivation, distractions, procrastination… I don’t think it’s a side that often gets discussed and yet I’m willing to bet that lack of human contact is one of the top reasons people give up being a VA!


T&Cs: You must be UK based and only one entry per person – winning entry will be randomly chosen on 31st March 2015.

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FSB Report into Home Working

The Federation of Small Business recently launched a big study into home working in Scotland… obviously more relevant to those north of the border, but nevertheless an interesting read when you look at the headline figures!

  • Home working is worth £19 BILLION to the Scottish economy.
  • 1 in 5 people employed by the private sector work from home.
  • Business services (i.e. like being a VA!) make up 12% of the home based sector.
  • Over half (54%) have been trading for more than 10 years.

You can grab more on the report here:

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Dealing with a difficult colleague

There’s a lot of responsibility resting on modern professional’s shoulders. Not only do you have to be a successful, skilled and hardworking individual, you also have to act the part, regardless of how many curveballs get thrown your way.

Continue reading

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SEO Magic

A VA asked me today how she could get more hits to her website, it had been up for several months and was averaging just a few hits a day… Now firstly whilst this seems a bit rubbish, it’s actually not unusual for a VA website – here’s the average number of hits our members get:

How many unique visitors does your website get per month?

View Results

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Secondly there are a few nifty shortcuts you can do… Continue reading

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Society of Virtual Assistants January 2015 Newsletter

Hi there,Virtual PA-233

Over Christmas you may have noticed the forum being down – our database ran out of space (all those millions of posts!) but it has now been fixed and you should be able to log in as normal on

We’re still 50 entries short on the SVA Survey – we have over 1,400 members and just 70 have filled it out… If you haven’t managed to get it done yet, please can you take 15 minutes to help the industry and give us a snapshot of where you are? It’s disappointing to get such a low turnout when we do put a lot of work into it each year.  Unless we get a statistically valid result of 10% of the industry, we can’t publish the results.


Caroline Continue reading

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Lean In – book giveaway

Lean in book

If 2015 is your year for blossoming into a confident business woman, this book is a great first step.  Written by Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook fame, it examines why women aren’t succeeding in business when they are getting better marks than their male counterparts at school and university.

For VAs, I think it also poses some real questions about work:life balance and our value in the home.  I swear by the end of it you will be pushing rubber gloves at your significant other and heading out to a networking event (or at least signing up to Lean In’s inspiration Facebook group, which I highly recommend!).

We have a beautiful hardback book to giveaway…


T&Cs: You must be UK based and only one entry per person – winning entry will be randomly chosen on 30 January 2015.

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IYOTSA 2014: From here to the next 30 years…

As part of the International Year of the Secretary/Assistant 2014, participating organisations are developing themes for their members in order to raise awareness of Secretaries and Assistants throughout the world… This month is:

From here to the next 30 years…

All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.
– Brian Tracy Continue reading

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Office* Voted Best PA Event of the Year!

Fresh from the success of its fifth edition last month, office* has been crowned ‘Best PA Industry Event’ 2014.  It won the popular vote at’s Members Voice Awards, which were announced on 21 November.

Having already won widespread support from across the UK’s PA and office manager community, with 86% of surveyed visitors rating the 2014 show as excellent/good, office* can now count many of’s members amongst its legion of fans.  According to, a total of 7,649 votes were cast across its six award categories.

Please click here for the full article.

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