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SVA Newsletter: October 2010

Hello again,

I’ve been busy connecting with some very cool people this month.  Firstly the Girl Geek Dinner in Glasgow on the 12th – what amazing women!  I’m not a big fan of women-only networking as I find it quickly descends into a mothers meeting of epic proportions, but here was a collection of women who run their own businesses, are highly skilled and who love Star Wars (these are my kind of people)!

Next, one of my lovely clients introduced me to Henrietta of Miss Jones www.missjones.org.uk a must-use resource for all PAs.  The best bit?  It’s free!  Make sure you join up.

Got some really cool new clients starting this month too, so busy settling them in and getting things running smoothly.  Two of them are using our Smartsheet system and reminded me that it’s still not that well known so I’ve written a little bit about it here.

Have a great month!


Make sure you get paid!

Sally Blewitt posts her first guest blog – on making sure you get paid.  As Sally points out, it’s not just the money, it’s the principle  of having to work for free!

We’ve heard some horrible stories about scammers targeting naïve VAs to get free work off them, make sure you don’t fall into this trap.

See also  Marketing Friday: More tips and tricks for Virtual Assistants

Read more >>>

Help SVA: Looking for Start Up VAs

Our popular series on Start Up VAs continues – not only has this proved invaluable to the VAs who volunteer to tell us a little bit about their business, but also to everyone else as more experienced VAs share their experience of starting up and how they dealt with the challenges.

For example, I never knew you can link your broadband through your electrical circuit.  And I’d never have known either had one of our newbies asked about it in their Start Up Journal.

More info here >>>

Book Reviews – the round up

The MultiVA Business

This is one for the more experienced VA who is looking to expand their team.  I’d never heard of this one until it was recommended to me, and despite having been working as a multi VA for a couple of years, it taught this old dog some new tricks!  Highly recommended even if you weren’t a fan of Michelle’s marketing book (I found it a bit simplistic) but this one is gold-standard!

Instant Cashflow

This is my go-to book when the pennies are squeezed tight.  Every business owner should have a copy on their bookshelf.  Billionaire Brad Sugars is a cult-like figure, but he talks good common sense – if only I was smart enough to always do it!  That’s why having this reminder to hand is a good idea.

See also  SVA Premier: The VA Course for UK Virtual Assistants

World’s Leading VAs: Recommendation from Patty Dost

For those of you who missed Patty’s profile a little while ago under our Unusual Niches series, she’s “The Virtual Assistant’s VA” working solely as an outsourcer for other virtual assistants.  If you aren’t keen on sales or being really proactive about getting new work, this might fit you perfectly.  Patty reveals all in her book The VA’s VA.

Smartsheet – a what?

Event Planning ToolVAs don’t have the luxury of being able to pop over and pick up a file from their boss’ desk.  So we use shared workspaces to make sure we’re working off the most up to date file.  Smartsheet is a step up from that – essentially it’s a giant spreadsheet with file sharing capabilities, discussions, calendars and reminders.

There are loads of different project management tools like Basecamp or Google Docs.  The difference is Smartsheet is secure and is very flexible in the way it manages data.  I get to work the way I want to, rather than the way the software provider wants me to.

For VA specific templates, including SVA’s own ones, click here to see what it can do.

Hot Posts

A round up of the hot posts is available on Twitter or click on the Forum and see what everyone has been up to!


  1. Karen James on 29 November, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Caroline

    I bought the Instant Cashflow book after I saw your recommendation. It’s a fantastic book – full of some excellent ideas. It’s motivated me to draw up a proper calendar of activities. Thanks for recommending it.

    Warm regards

    • Caroline on 29 November, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      Glad it was useful Karen – I like it because it seems to have something for everyone. You can just pick up a few ideas or sit down and write your whole business plan using it. A lot of people are very anti-Brad Sugars, but the man sells a good dose of common sense!

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