Virtual Assistant Industry News from My Virtual Assistant

Latest News and Press Clippings from My Virtual Assistant:

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A Note About Our Founder

25 Things You Can Delegate Today

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Justine Curtis is the director of one of the UK’s most successful virtual assistant businesses My Virtual Assistant which is now recruiting a team of virtual assistant licensees. She is the founder and chair of The UK Association of Virtual Assistants (UKAVA) which offers free resources and information to its subscribers and an online Directory of members offering virtual assistant services.

Justine is the author of Setting Yourself Up As A Virtual Assistant and now passes on the benefits of her vast experience of the VA role to aspiring and progressive virtual PAs as a co-founder of the VA Success Group the UKs premier virtual assistant training and mentoring company.

Press and Media Coverage

Please find below a selection of interviews and articles in which we have been featured and quoted.

CNBC Business Magazine - June 2011
http://www.cnbcmagazine.com/story/next-june-2011/1387/1/

The Times  - 2nd June 2010
http://www.my-va.com/times010610.pdf
 

BBC Radio 4 ‘Women’s Hour’ - 12th January 2010
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2010_02_tue.shtml (starts at 31 minutes)
 

Independent on Sunday - 21st November 2009
'Virtual' way to beat jobless blues
 

London Evening Standard - 26th October 2009
VAs are the new PAsTaking Virtual Working To The Extreme
Virtual Assisting on the high seas!
 

My Virtual Assistant and UKAVA Assists BBC Live and Learn and Gets New Start Up on the Road to Success
Called upon by the BBC to give expert advice to a new ‘Virtual’ start up.
 

Why You Need A Virtual Assistant
Do you need another hour in the day? An extra pair of hands? Another right hand?

Taking Virtual Working To The Extreme

My Virtual Assistant and UKAVA founder Justine Curtis was recently given the opportunity to realise a life’s ambition to take part in the ARC yacht race across the Atlantic. As a marketing and PR expert, Justine was invited along to keep the world informed of the boats exploits by way of a blog and to liaise with the press both at the start of the race in Gran Canaria and at the end in St Lucia on behalf of green energy company Voller (www.voller.com).

Blogging on the ARC with Pugwash

Justine is the Director and Business Development Manager of My Virtual Assistant (www.my-va.com) a company offering PA and business support services to entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the UK. She is also joint founder of the VA SUccess Group virtual assistant training company (www.vasuccessgroup.co.uk) and the founder of the UK Association of Virtual Assistants, (www.ukava.co.uk) an organisation set up to raise awareness of the role of virtual assistants (VA’s) and provide information and advice for both VA’s and their clients.

Voller Energy, a company that develops portable fuel cells, offered Justine the exciting opportunity to take part in the 2007 ARC Race. A fuel cell had been installed on their yacht ‘Emerald’ for testing purposes and Justine’s role was to feed back throughout the race on the fuel cells performance and general conditions of life at sea under blue water racing conditions. Whilst this was a great opportunity, it would also mean 4 weeks away from her desk and Justine was keen not to let her existing My Virtual Assistant clients down or leave her business unattended. Although there was a satellite phone on the boat and therefore an Internet connection, all be it a very slow and expensive one, what she actually did is what every virtual assistant advocates, she handed over all the work that she could to another virtual assistant.

Justine said ‘It worked brilliantly, I spent a little time before I left going through all the possible scenarios with my associate VA Carol and putting together a cheat sheet of everything she might need to know and then left her to it. While I was away I had a temporary email address that I could check each day and if anything cropped up out of the norm, Carol could ask me what to do. It meant I could relax and enjoy the trip without worrying what was happening with my business or that of my clients and when I came back, for the first time ever after a break, everything was in order and I only had a days worth of email to deal with instead of the usual bursting inbox. Now I know why my clients appreciate leaving their businesses in capable, professional hands!’

The race was an eventful one with very rough weather conditions, many boats being damaged and several abandoned but Vollers ‘Emerald’ made it to St Lucia relatively unscathed and the fuel cell performed brilliantly. The crew had an exciting crossing learning to catch fish, cook, eat and sleep on a boat that’s constantly lurching from 45 degrees one way to 45 degrees the other and enduring a series of shocks at 7Gs. They were delighted to finally arrive all in one piece to an eagerly anticipated rum punch and just in time for Christmas.

To read the blog of the crossing visit: http://blog.mailasail.com/emerald

Resources: Justine Curtis is the founder of My Virtual Assistant, a virtual office service operating across the UK, providing virtual office support, personal assistance, secretarial services, administration and business support services remotely from its UK based office.
For more information visit www.my-va.com

Justine is also the founder of the UK Association of Virtual Assistants (UKAVA) an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the role of virtual assistants and providing information and advice for both virtual assistants and their clients. For more information visit www.ukava.co.uk


My Virtual Assistant and UKAVA Assists BBC Live and Learn and Gets New Start Up on the Road to Success

My Virtual Assistant and UKAVA founder Justine Curtis was recently called upon by the BBC to give advice to a virtual business start up taking part in their Live and Learn series. As a successful virtual business owner herself, Justine was asked to pass on the benefit of her experience and expertise to a young mum setting up her own virtual marketing company.

Justine is the owner of My Virtual Assistant (www.my-va.com) a company offering PA and secretarial services to entrepreneurs and small businesses virtually from her home in the UK. She is also the founder of the UK Association of Virtual Assistants, (www.ukava.co.uk) an organisation set up to raise awareness of the role of virtual assistants (VA’s) and provide a one-stop shop for information and advice for both VA’s and their clients.

The BBC’s Live and Learn program focussed on Claire, a young mum setting up her own virtual Internet marketing company. At the time she was introduced to Justine by the BBC, Claire was in the initial stages of setting up her company and was keen to learn the next steps, how to build her client base and how to let the world know her business existed. In a filmed meeting that took place on a chilly day in February 2006 in Basingstoke, UK, Claire was given the opportunity to ask all her burning questions. Justine freely gave advice about how to approach previous and existing contacts, how to network for new contacts and various organisations that could help her. She also gave advice on the importance of marketing your web site when your business is ‘virtual’ and how best to go about it. At the end of the meeting Claire took on board the advice about networking and began by taking Justine’s business card in case she thought of any more questions she’d like to ask in the future.

The whole interview can be seen on the BBCs Live and Learn series, presented by Melinda Messenger, and can be viewed on BBC Interactive by ‘pressing the red button’.

Resources: Justine Curtis is the founder of My Virtual Assistant, a virtual office service operating across the UK, providing virtual office support, personal assistance, secretarial services and administration services remotely from its UK based office. For more information about Virtual Assistants visit www.my-va.com.


Why You Need A Virtual Assistant

Are you overwhelmed running your business? Are there not enough hours in the day? The more your business grows, the more administrative tasks you have; the more time you spend on administrative tasks, the less time you have to generate new business.

How much is your time really worth? Is it worth £50 an hour or £100 an hour? YOUR time is most valuable because it is your responsibility to generate new revenue for your business. Doing small and often trivial admin chores yourself does not really add value to your business and the sensible solution is to delegate those less profitable tasks by hiring someone more than capable of carrying them out, but who’s hourly rate is somewhat less than your real financial worth. So what’s stopping you?

You may have a multitude of reasons that prevent you from hiring a full time personal assistant. You may not need a full time, or even part time employee but just require someone for occasional or limited hours. Then there are the employers responsibilities, employees are entitled to sick pay, maternity leave and paid holiday and often seek generous benefits packages. It is estimated that the true cost of an employee is over double and often up to triple the cost of their annual salary in terms of benefits and liabilities.

Significant for some potential employers is also the loss of privacy and space - are you working from home or have limited office space? You may not want an employee working from your home or simply not have the room for an additional employee in your office or all the equipment they may need.

Wouldn't it be perfect if you had an assistant that was always ready to work for you, but only when you need them? Working from their own home or office, using their own equipment? Meet the Virtual Assistant (VA), an invaluable new work force that provides a practical solution for small businesses owners. A VA frees up your valuable time so you can concentrate on the important things that only you can do in your business.

There is no need to share office space or even for your VA to live in the same town or city. Work assignments are communicated through email; telephone, fax or post and Web-based tools such as instant messengers and online calendars and planners are also often used as a means of keeping in touch.

Because your VA is self-employed, and invoices you only for the actual hours worked or by tasks completed, and is dependent on referrals and steady work flow from existing clients, s/he can be the perfect solution for a busy small business or entrepreneur. When you hire a VA you get all the benefits of outsourcing - no employer liabilities, tax and benefits issues, coupled with the loyalty and steadiness of a company employee.

With a VA, you have someone to whom you can delegate. Your VA can return telephone calls, answer e-mails, and draft letters for you. They can deal with your post, run your marketing campaign, design your next presentation, book your doctors appointment and even remind you of your spouses birthday and source the perfect gift if necessary! VA’s are already computer trained, and can assist with your specific needs from traditional office support services to highly specialised areas including web page design. You can also equip your VA to go beyond administrative support to client development and marketing support.

You can easily justify a virtual assistant in terms of your greater productivity and your greater efficiency. You need to be the leader in your business and your VA will insure that you focus on what is important, rather than urgent. Your VA can also lend "size" to your company, which will impress potential clients.

As more and more businesses move their marketing and communications to the Internet, VA’s are becoming the obvious solution to staffing issues. For an hourly fee often less than the cost of temps or the real cost of employees, businesses can take advantage of professional assistance and a variety of skills at the click of a mouse.

Resources: Justine Curtis is the founder of My Virtual Assistant, a virtual office service operating across the UK, providing virtual office support, personal assistance, secretarial services and administration services remotely from its UK based office. For more information about Virtual Assistants visit www.my-va.com.