As part of our series of specialist VAs and their unusual niches, I interviewed Patty Dost whose niche is particularly relevant to any VA who doesn’t like “selling” to clients who don’t understand what a virtual assistant does. What struck me about Patty’s niche is that I know lots of VAs who would find this ideal!
Patty Dost, 47, Indiana
What first inspired you to become a VA?
I worked in a Corporate position and the business decided to close this particular location. While searching for a position, I found Virtual Assistance and decided to take a look at it. It was perfect so that I could work from home and be here for my son. It’s been even better because my daughter and grandson live with us now, so I can be here for him too.
What did you do before becoming a VA?
A little bit of everything actually. I worked as an old-fashioned soda fountain attendant (or what everyone called a ‘soda jerk’); was a receptionist, assisted with accounts payable/receivable, shipping/receiving, and sales in a puzzle manufacturing plant; worked as a bodyshop secretary and wrote estimates for a dealership; was as salesperson for a rental car company; was a receptionist, sales assistant, general manager’s administrative assistant, human resources administrative assistant, payroll administrative assistant, benefits administrative assistant, and plant manager’s administrative assistant for a microelectronic manufacturer.
Describe your niche and why it works:
My niche is being the VAs VA. I do various projects/tasks for VAs and their clients. This includes making hair appointments for the VA to updating their calendar to doing their newsletter to working directly/indirectly with their clients and assisting them with their newsletters, blogs, websites, powerpoint presentations, spreadsheets, etc. It works because a lot of VAs need assistance with their personal/business items and, if they have a lot of clients, I can also assist them.
Is this a growth area?
Most definitely! VA businesses are growing so there’s always a need for someone who is good at a number of different things.
What’s the best thing and the worst thing about your niche?
The best thing about my niche is that I don’t have to explain what a Virtual Assistant is and what they can do since I work for VAs. It’s also great because there are VA conferences so I can go and meet my clients. The second part of this question is difficult because I can’t think of one bad thing about my niche. That’s why I enjoy doing what I do and working with such awesome people.
How do we find out more?
http://www.timeisoftheescents.com/theVAsVA.htm (the VAs VA ebook)