Another six months have flown by and I'm very pleased with the way my business is going. I'm keeping very busy and have a constant stream of work from one of my clients which is keeping me on my toes.
As a result of setting up administration processes for a client's Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Centre programmes, he asked me to attend a meeting with him and the ILM External Verifier. It was an interesting day out and I was able to answer questions on how the administration for the centre was run, and how the processes worked between the team as we are all based in different locations. The ILM were impressed with the "virtual" aspect of how it was all controlled and how smoothly it worked.
The e-learning courses I'd been working on previously have now all been completed and are up and running including a switch to a new provider so extra work has been involved in learning a new system and inputting the course material.
I've also been assisting a friend of mine who turned to me for help when she decided to buy an on-line business selling wool. Faced with the daunting task of taking on a website that was already up and running, with little knowledge of how it worked, I've been supporting her by working out what needed to be done and how to do it. An element of trial and error was involved but after a few sessions she was confident enough to start uploading photographs and changing pages and is now very excited about making her first sale.
I can't believe my business is nearly two years old - I feel very lucky to have a job that I really enjoy and it's satisfying to know that I'm creating more time for my clients by providing them with my Virtual Assistance.
The latter part of 2010 has been very busy, I'm working more hours than usual which is great with Christmas coming up!
My clients are training regularly Internationally so there has been lots of flight and accommodation bookings to be made and arranging for Visas to Nigeria, Russia, Saudi and China. I'm helping to keep them on top of assessment marking and grading that they are involved in for an Internationally recognised HR and Development professional body by creating a database to record submissions, returns and passes in accordance with specified deadlines.
I've also been involved in recruiting a trainer for sector specialised training Workshops in London and Basingstoke including placing the advert and conducting telephone interviews and putting forward the successful candidate to the client.
I'm looking forward to 2011 and seeing what the year brings - if it turns out to be as rewarding and interesting as 2010 then I will be more than pleased.
Despite the economic downturn, it's been a good start to 2009, February and March being particularly busy months, helping a client set up a system for recording and tracking assignments for the ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management)programmes he runs both in the UK and the Middle East.
I've joined The Women in Business Networking Group for Warwick, who meet on a monthly basis for lunch and networking and through this have met a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and professions, so it's been a very worthwhile experience.
I know times are hard for a number of people at the moment, lots of cut backs and job losses, but it's even more important now than ever, to make time for business development, and hiring someone like me to take on administrative tasks, gives you those extra few hours a week to increase your own business, and at a fraction of the cost of employing a full time secretary.
I'm looking ahead now to Spring and Summer and celebrating being in business for a year - it's one of the best decisions I've ever made - long may it continue.
I've met some very interesting people through the Women in Business Networking Group and have taken time to meet up with several members to find out more about their business and to share more detailed information about mine. I've helped one of the members with the formatting of numerous Policies and Procedures, and visited another at her home office to help resolve some queries with computer applications and to give her some advice on electronic filing structures.
One of my clients has been looking into using e-learning for an International client, so I've been getting to grips with the system he has chosen and am busy creating the on-line courses from the material he's provided which has included generating quizzes to test the candidates knowledge. It's been quite time consuming but very interesting work and we are both very pleased with the result.
I've been running my Virtual Assistant Business for six months now and am thoroughly enjoying the experience of being my own boss, it's also great to have such a good work life balance.
I've learnt a number of things along the way and come into contact with some very interesting people, so although I work from my own office I don't feel like I'm isolated.
During this time, I have helped clients update their websites to keep the content fresh and live, helped to put training workbooks together for management development courses, updated presentation material for training workshops and been on trips to Milton Keynes and London to get documents legalised. I've booked flights, car rental and chauffeur hire for clients on European and International travel.
I've also been assisting a client by proof reading new brochures and giving feedback on content and layout. I seek out news articles each week to help keep a client up to date with matters of interest within their field of speciality and notify them of any webinars they might like to sign up to.
Regular calendar and business contact updates for a client are proving very helpful and it gives him more time to concentrate on other areas of the business.
The work has certainly been varied, and I'm building good relationships with my clients, learning about their businesses and how best to support them, including establishing some excellent ways to make working Virtually as stress free and simple as possible. It's great to feel part of my clients' team whilst remaining independent.
I'm looking forward to the next six months and growing my client base further.