Virtual Assistant Myths
Here is our presentation from Office* 2017 – this year for the first time incorporating the PA Show and the VA Conference and Awards. Many thanks to John Palmer and the BeMyVA team for inviting me to present and launch the UK VA Survey data collection appeal!
We had a really interesting panel discussion and if you weren’t there, you need to book for next year! John asked me if we could explain why it’s important to fill in the survey – over previous years we’ve seen some interesting results which have challenged common perceptions about the industry, so I wanted to share these.
These “virtual assistant myths” shape how our clients feel about using a VA, what we think we can charge and form how we build our business models.
This one is very common – people expect VAs to be mums working at home without any childcare, a screaming child and a washing machine going in the background! It’s simply not true: The number of VAs working like this has been consistently measured at below 5% making it comparable with the number of men in the industry.
VAs are hugely influential with their clients, with many researching and making purchasing decisions – however marketing a product which the VAs need to pay for themselves is often tricky as the majority are working part time and earning under £10k a year.
With the introduction in January of SVA’s new Approved VA rules, we’re really hoping these figures radically alter this year!
- 25% of VAs work without confidentiality agreements in place.
- A third are working with no data backup.
- Over half are not registered for Data Protection with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- A third are working without professional indemnity insurance.
As an industry, we need to clean up our act!
This is something unique which I really love about the VA industry – it’s something we strive to protect and encourage at SVA by sharing as much as possible freely.
Information is power – how do you assess if a VA training course is worth doing? A couple of years ago, we started measuring this and it’s had a really positive response from most VA training companies, and let’s them measure their own success… Little tip for those trainers wanting to improve their rankings: Make sure you hassle your top-performing graduates to fill it in!!!
Most especially, you’ll have seen recent Facebook adverts for “Top 5 In Demand Virtual Assistant Services” which have based their findings entirely on a single VA business… We surveyed over 160 VA businesses last year and our results don’t agree with their recommendations that VAs invest heavily in buying their social media course – Social Media actually ranks below General Admin and Typing as most profitable services.
So finally we have a small favour to ask – can you spare 15 minutes to sit down and fill in the UK Virtual Assistant Survey? All VAs filling it in BEFORE 1st June 2017 get the full survey for free, anyone filling it in after that date gets a headline summary of the results.
To fill in the UK Virtual Assistant Survey online NOW, click here.
Other great downloads from Office:
- https://koffeeklatch.co.uk/product/virtual-assistant-business-basics/ref/sva – Annabel Kaye’s bundle of lgeal documents for Virtual Assistants, a special deal for Office. Make sure you quote “SVA10” @ checkout for your discount!