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Thank you

Gwen Backhouse

      Gwen Backhouse

I just wanted to say a great big thank you for donating to the Society of Virtual Assistants; you have made a big difference, and we are very grateful for your support.

We get emails all the time about how useful the SVA is to UK virtual assistants - if they need info on a particular problem, or just to gauge how other virtual assistants are finding the market at the moment, the SVA is the first place they go to.  And it's free... But this is why it's free:

I feel very strongly that ALL virtual assistants should be able to get the help they need to delight their clients and reflect well on the industry as a whole.

It is expensive keeping it free - there are hosting fees, software fees, time spent on the administration of the organisation, the administration of new members and events, the annual UK VA Survey, not to mention website updating and newsletters.

Your donation/purchase goes towards keeping it free and making it better for all UK virtual assistants.

Society Of Virtual Assistant projects this year:

  • Redeveloping the SVA website.
  • Setting up a Discord server for SVA Members
  • Updating the directory of approved VAs for clients
  • Reorganising the way the SVA is run and setting back up as a CIC.
  • Promoting the UK Virtual Assistant Awards
  • Collecting and collating responses for the UK VA Survey
  • Looking at the Approved Trainers Scheme and updating it with help from trainers in the industry.
  • HMRC campaigning so they continue to understand how UK VAs work, particularly with regards to IR35 regulations.
  • GDPR compliance guidance
  • Sponsoring, attending, supporting and having a presence at UK VA Conferences and industry events around the UK to speak to as many VAs as possible.
  • Collaboration Not Competition - welcoming ALL UK VAs, regardless of their business set up or bank balance!
See also  One Of Those Weeks.

Should you have any queries, please get in touch with me on [email protected]


  1. Joanne Hawkins on 29 November, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    I am a newly formed VA and looking forward to establishing an exciting business. I hope to find and maybe assist others that are starting out like me.

    • Sharon Crowley on 12 December, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      I am a new VA looking for my first opportunity and any advice and tips you could give would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hayley Cawkwell on 14 July, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      I am wanting to start my own VA business. From being an experienced Secretary, PA, Admin Manager to NHS clinical services manager, I have over 28 years experience within these roles in a number of sectors.

      I am looking for advice on how to start and get up and running with minimal outlay. A number of companies are wanting around £3k start up costs.

      • Caroline on 25 July, 2019 at 11:05 am

        Check out how long they were actually VAs before offering the training… Really, no one trading less than 5 years should be considering themselves an expert, especially as historically those who move into training rapidly, also exit the industry rapidly.

        There are a number of VA Training Courses we are happy to recommend: https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/approved-va-trainers/
        Make sure the one you choose is on the list!

  2. fiona burton on 2 January, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Hi, I am looking to become a va, and I trying to get as much information as possible at the moment. I am concerned about giving up my job until I am established but also that my current job takes up a lot of time and energy and whether I will then have enough time and energy to dedicate to setting up my Va business. Does anyone have any advice on this, as to how long it took them to set up and what sort of income you can expect in the first 6 months?? Any advice or opinions would be really helpful.

    Thanks Fiona

    • Caroline on 2 January, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Fiona

      This one is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string… If you’ve got lots of energy and time to put into setting up, you’ll get there faster than someone who only has a few hours a week… Generally I recommend having at least 20 hours/week available to set up your business – and some of those hours need to be within business hours, not just evenings/weekends. Think how much time you spend watching TV, catching up with friends…Could you get up an hour earlier or set aside an hour a day before dinner?

      One thing you might find useful is the UK VA survey (click on VA Products link above) which has loads of information about what is typical for UK VA businesses.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Tor Riley on 17 January, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Caroline
    I am finalizing my website and am preparing to launch as a VA. I look forward to using this site invaluably and to a (hopefully) fantastic year ahead. Thank you for the information and user friendly site!

    Tor Riley

  4. Rebekah on 10 February, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Hi Caroline

    I’m just setting up as a VA and will be going live from 1 April…very exciting! Your information has already been a massive help – thank you, and I will continue to obtain your valuable advice particularly with regards to set-up / legal etc prior to finalising the “pretties” such as logo / website etc – here’s to exciting fast moving (hopefully) times!

    Thank you so much


  5. Jane on 28 April, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I have been a PA, secretary, office manager, administrator, all my working life. I have now chosen to freelance as a VA. Despite all my experience, I know I don’t know everything, and I appreciate that going it alone is very different from being employed. So joining a community of VAs to exchange ideas, knowledge and to help each other is a no-brainer!

  6. Elise on 22 May, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Having held various secretary/PA/Executive Assistant/Office Manager roles during my career, I’ve recently launched my own VA business. I’ve been keen to become a member of the Society of VAs to join a community of like-minded souls with whom to share ideas, information and inspiration! I look forward to working with you all over the time to come.

  7. Clare Barton on 15 June, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I’ve just relocated from East Midlands to Kent, and although lots of my work is virtual, a lot of clients relied on my being relatively close, so this site will be invaluable to develop the virtual side more.

  8. Tanya Daye on 1 July, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I very much look forward to reading all the articles and information available on this site. Regardless of your secretarial background, you can never learn enough about how to be a Fantastic VA.

  9. Kate Mynard on 14 October, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Your website is great – very informative. Looking forward to learn more about the industry and to interact with other members of the VA community.

  10. Christine Bagshaw on 17 October, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Caroline,

    Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your web site for the wealth of friendly down to earth information and advice.

    Like many others on this page, I’m also just setting up as a VA and even though I think I’ve taken on board lots of good advice and instruction, am finding the process a little daunting but exciting at the same time!

    Here’s to success!

    With thanks,

  11. Debby Marcy on 4 November, 2012 at 9:04 am

    When I first started thinking about being a VA two years ago, the SVA was a great source of information. Now that I am established, I reread the tips and advice that the blogs and the articles give. I recognise so much of what I have found out about the business, including the pitfalls.

    I definitely recommend it for those colleagues who are thinking about starting as a VA, and I know there will be advice for me to help me go forward with my own business if I need a bit of inspiration. Thank you!

  12. Sarah on 9 November, 2012 at 1:31 pm


    I am literally just starting out and like some others hoping to combine this with full-time work until – who knows! It’s great to use your website and it inspires me every lunchtime when I treat myself to a quick read for some inspiration.

    Best wishes

  13. Joanne on 29 November, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Hi, I am currently working but looking to set up as a VA. Quite daunted by the prospect and not sure what I exactly need but am going to use the site to find out more. One thing I am puzzled about it how people that offer audio typing get the audio work given to them? Also how do people give the work back. May be quite silly questions but would appreciate any help and advice. What a fabulous site and so nice to know that people try to help each other rather than the usual “dog eat dog” attitude. Many thanks.

  14. Janet Hipkiss on 1 February, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I started a part-time business in May 2009 – not really sure what it all entailed. With the help of Caroline and her team, I am now a full time VA and have started to specialise in the technology side of business.

    I’ve gone far since those scary days in May 2009!

  15. Angela on 26 February, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I am considering offering a Virtual Assistant service basically after helping a couple of local businesses as a favour as I thought they needed help! In return, one of the businesses suggested I consider being a VA. I’d never heard of it! So at the moment I’m doing lots of research, reading books and trying to understand some of the technology involved in backing up information etc.

    I’m from an administrative, marketing and business development background. Lots of skills have been acquired during my 25 years plus working life, so hopefully I will have enough to offer the paying client.

    So far your website has been invaluable and I look forward to learning even more from the fellow members. I will be purchasing your Survey document shortly, so hope to get a bit of guidance from that!

    Here’s to the challenge ahead!

    • Caroline on 26 February, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Good luck Angela – it sounds like you have a great basis for working as a VA!

  16. Jan Ford on 12 May, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I’m in the process of being made redundant after 26 years working in London as an Executive Assistant in a corporate bank. After a few weeks at home on gardening leave the thought of starting back on the rat race in London doesn’t appeal so am thinking about the VA option. I’ve obviously got lots of questions and worries (such as paying the mortgage!) so this site will hopefully be valuable to help me decide if it’s for me.

  17. Emily French on 10 August, 2013 at 6:54 pm


    I’m wanting to embark on a career as a VA, initially on a part time basis to build up my business. I’ve been working for local government in various administrative/personal support roles supporting senior managers/Heads of Service for 14 years. At the moment I’m working full time as a Project Management Officer. During my career I’ve successfully completed a NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration and an Executive PA Diploma with Pitman Training, what other qualifications do I need? I’m a bit daunted by how I put this into reality, can anyone give me some advice/hints & tips on where to start? Would anyone offer mentoring to help newbies like me?

    I look forward to hearing from you or any one from the network.

    Many thanks

    Emily (fledgling VA)

    • Caroline on 11 August, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Hi Emily

      Well you’ve ended up here which is a great place to start! Have you had a look at our “Top 10 Tips for Becoming a VA” article (https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/2011/03/20/top-10-tips-for-becoming-a-va/)? There’s no formal qualifications really, but you should be comfortable selling your services and marketing yourself… which isn’t the easiest when your roles have been mainly admin based!

      Hope that helps – and good luck!

  18. Terri on 23 January, 2014 at 10:38 pm


    I am currently a self employed bookkeeper and am wanting to also provide VA services as I feel more interested in that line of work. I am very organised and I love spreadsheets and diaries 😀 I am glad that I found this website and feel that it will be very useful

    Terri 😀

  19. Leah on 25 March, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I am hoping to build up a VA business having worked within a PA and secretarial role for the past 14 years. I am excited about building up my business but really not looking forward to the whole marketing and “selling myself” side. I tried setting up a different type of home business a couple of years ago and failed because of this. I look forward to being able to get some good advice and learn some new skills from this website.

  20. Lynnette on 26 April, 2014 at 12:34 pm


    I am in the process of setting up as a VA and came across the Society of Virtual Assistants site. The wealth of information and experience expressed are priceless. I would welcome any hints/tips on how to make a success of my venture, especially with regards to formal contracts etc??

    • Caroline on 27 April, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Lynette

      If you click on the LEGAL section, there’s lots of help there and we also have 2 contract templates for sale under VA PRODUCTS too.

      Hope that helps!

  21. Colette on 28 April, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I have just come across this website….fab!! I am just hoping to start up business as a VA, would you be able to advise me on ways to advertise on your website.



    • Caroline on 28 April, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Colette

      Glad you are finding it useful! We don’t really have advertising opportunities as such – if you would like to write an article we can link back to your site. It would need to be of use to VAs or their clients rather than a sales pitch though. We also feature VAs who abide by our code of practice on the FIND A VA page. You have to be an active standard member first and will then be invited to join – there’s no charge for this.


  22. Kitty on 17 September, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Caroline

    The website is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing all of this extremely useful information. I’m happily working as a PA in London at the moment, but am really interested to find our more about becoming a VA, as it’s something I would definitely like to consider for the future. I’ll start reading 🙂

    Thanks again, Kitty.

  23. Gill Gibbeson on 17 November, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Caroline
    I have just started my own business as a VA after a number of years working as a PA in various guises. I am looking forward to the flexibility this will bring and a varied client base. Many thanks for the website which I have already found invaluable. I believe that we fulfil a very important role and it is good to join an organisation such as SVA which promotes excellence.

  24. Lynne Thomas on 16 March, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Great site and looking forward to getting know my way around it and finding some fantastic hints and tips to get my new VA business off the ground 🙂

  25. Pam Craik on 2 April, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Wonderful informative website!!! Amazingly put together with invaluable tips to help anyone succeed in the VA business! My bedtime reading starts tonight!

  26. Monica on 27 September, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Caroline,

    I am a newly formed VA and just literally launched my own Website. I am looking forward to get as much advice and information as possible from your web site as it is certainly needed at this time! Do you have any initial suggestions i.e. must read…?
    Many thanks,
    Monica 🙂

    • Caroline on 27 September, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Our Top Ten Tips (top post pinned on the front page) is a great place to start!

  27. Ruth Disney Evans on 13 October, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Hi! So pleased I’ve looked at your website and found someone who has put this together for all the right reasons. I’m really looking forward to being a part of this community 🙂

    • Caroline on 16 October, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      We flog some stuff (as otherwise I’d be broke!!) but mainly the magic happens when you get VAs together and they start talking… and talking… and never stop!

  28. Colleen on 11 September, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Caroline, I’ve just joined your group. I am working at the moment but would like to start working as VA from home. I love being a PA but feel like I would use my skills and time better working for myself. I don’t want to leave my job yet until I feel confident that I can bring in the clients and earn enough to support myself. I have the time during the day and in the evenings and weekends if there is a need. Advice and support would be very much appreciated to get me started.


  29. Carol Ann on 28 January, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Hello Everyone,

    Today I have been researching the types of work that I could potentially perform as a VA. I am excited to explore this site and learn from other members who have been working from home for awhile. I want to begin working 20 hours a week, as I am not currently employed. I am interested in knowing what kind of income I could reasonably expect the first year. Also, for those who have put together a website, is it okay to use a free WordPress site or what sort of website would you recommend? Thank you!

    • Caroline on 29 January, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Carol Ann –
      Actually that’s one of the questions in the UK VA Survey – how much can you earn if working part-time? It’s £35 and you can grab your own copy here: https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/va-products/
      But to answer your question, you will probably earn a little less than average per hour and for 11-20 hours per week the average is £14,803 per annum turnover.

  30. AM on 5 May, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Hello everyone!

    Having left my corporate life after 20+ years, I took the plunge to set myself up as a VA – thank you to Caroline for this great site (which gave me the courage to take the plunge in the first place!).
    Am looking forward to learning more from you and developing myself as a person.

    Thank you 🙂

  31. Jenny on 10 June, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Hi, I have just joined and looking to become an approved virtual assistant. I’ve been trading in my business since last August and specialise in admin & bookkeeping. I’m looking forward to the knowledge ad insights i will gain from this community

  32. Helen Cooper on 18 August, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Everyone
    I have recently become a VA and I am really excited about the future and excited about becoming a member in here and look forward to gaining more knowledge and hope I can be of help with you too.

  33. Miriam on 21 November, 2020 at 9:43 am

    I’ve taken the plunge and decided to set up my own VPA business. After 20 years of working in administration I feel very ready to take the next step in my career and I’m super excited. I’m looking to learn about good practice and any other hints and tips along the way.

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