Category Archives: Podcast

23Dec/20

Ep 50: To Gift or Not to Gift…

At this time of year the question arises: to gift or not to gift. It comes down to personal choice – but I like to send clients – especially my long term clients – something to show my appreciation for them.

Some places to get gift giving ideas:

Morish Nuts

Edible Blooms

Koko Black Chocolate

Gift Baskets (Australia)

You might also like this episode: Gratitude

Stay safe and thanks for your support this year!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

05Dec/20

Ep 49: The Fraud of ‘Living the Dream’

It’s been nearly 14 years since The 4-Hour Work Week was published – yet the idea that virtual support should only cost you $5/hour persists.

If you’re all about saving money in your business then opting for cheap labour has its advantages – but also inherent disadvantages – and just because they’re ‘remote’ doesn’t make them Virtual Assistants.

Resources:

Jacobin – the Fraud and the 4-Hour Work Week – Meagan Day article

Forbes Article – Michael Schein

Podcasts:

Should Cost of Living Count?

Offshore Freelancers – What Clients Need to Know

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

22Jun/20

Ep 48: Gratitude

Gratitude is something we should all practice every day. Feeling appreciated is important to everyone.

But I’m amazed how little gratitude clients can show to VAs… and conversely, how little VAs can show for clients!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

06Mar/20

Ep 47: Audio Transcription

So… you want to be a transcriptionist because – well, you can type! Isn’t it the same thing? No … it most certainly isn’t! And clients – a typist is not the same thing as a transcriptionist!

In this episode I run through some of the basic skills you need to have if you want to be a transcriptionist, and give clients some tips on what to look for in a professional service provider, and what affects the cost of transcription.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

12Feb/20

Ep 46: 20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years – Pt 2

On the 28th February 2020 I will have been in practice as a virtual assistant for 20 years. In this 2-part podcast I’d like to share with you 20 things I have learned in that 20 years being in business as a VA!

In this episode I cover 11 through 20 of the 20 things I’ve learned after 20 years in business.

You’ll find other episodes referred to in this podcast in the Show Archive.

Did you miss part 1? Find it here.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

05Feb/20

Ep 45: 20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years – Pt 1

On the 28th February 2020 I will have been in practice as a virtual assistant for 20 years. In this 2-part podcast I’d like to share with you 20 things I have learned in that 20 years being in business as a VA!

This episode covers the first ten.

You’ll find other episodes referred to in this podcast in the Show Archive. I refer to Kathie Thomas’s excellent article in this episode and you can find it linked below:

Kathie Thomas – Not Everyone Can be a VA

Part 2 – where I share the second lot of ten things I’ve learned – will be available 28th February!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

02Jul/19

Ep 44: Offshore Freelancers: Thoughts for Our Colleagues

I assume that many of our offshore colleagues want to be a VA for the same reasons we all do: freedom to work when we like, be our own boss, autonomy, travel, childcare or elder care needs, disability. 

Part 3 of our Offshore Freelancers series focuses on our offshore colleagues offering tips on things to consider – primary amongst them understanding what a VA actually is!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

(Image: kiwiqa.com)

Reference Links:

History of the VA Industry

Ep 41: Offshore Freelancers – Part 1

Ep 42: Offshore Freelancers – Part 2

Professional Virtual Assistants – Philippines

Rochefel Rivera – YouTube

Should Cost of Living Count

Worth v Value

No, Not Everyone Can Be a VA – Kathie Thomas

16Jun/19

Ep 43: Interview: STP and Super

Please note this show is for our Australian listeners only.

In this special episode we interview Pauline Pickering, director of Globe Accounting and small business accounting specialist on the new Australian Single Touch Payroll system, and the superannuation guarantee, and discuss any issues there may be for VAs.

The Single Touch Payroll system (STP) may affect some VAs who pay themselves a wage or who have family members assisting them from time to time they are paying. And did you know if you are a sole operator structure you can’t pay yourself a wage? Instead you’ll take drawings.

A recent VA blog post raised the issue that VAs are eligible for superannuation so we discuss this with Pauline and whether this allegation is actually accurate or the information shared is oversimplifying things. Note, if you operate as a company, trust or partnership structure the superannuation guarantee legislation does not apply to you.

(As this episode is an interview recording the audio quality is slightly different to previous shows.)

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Reference Links:

Globe Accounting Pty Ltd

Globe Accounting Facebook

ATO – Single Touch Payroll

ATO – Contractor example for employers

ATO – Superannuation entitlements for contractors

ATO – Employee or Contractor Table

ATO – Contractor v Employee Decision Tool

ATO – Superannuation Eligibility Decision Tool

STP Solutions Vendors:

Xero

Easy Payslip (free trial)

Lightning Payroll (free trial)

Reckon (3 variations)

CloudPayroll MICRO (free trial)

ePayroll Micro (free trial)

GovReports (free trial)

10Jun/19

Ep 42: Offshore Freelancers: What Clients Need to Know

We continue our offshore freelancer series with this episode focused on helping clients understand the differences between local and offshore support, and highlight some of the things you might not have thought about when choosing the offshore option – including a breakdown of a real life example of one outsourcing company’s costs.

(Please note: This podcast refers to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – this agreement is now defunct after the US withdrew, and was replaced by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) of which China is not a member.)

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

(Image: kiwiqa.com)

Reference Links:

History of the VA Industry

Outsourcing Company Ad

Outsourcing Company Costs

Episode 41: Offshore Freelancers

27May/19

Ep 41: Offshore Freelancers – Why you needn’t worry!

Offshore freelancers aren’t new – and they aren’t going anywhere.

There is still some fear locally surrounding offshore “VAs”. If you buy into that fear, you will always view freelancers from emerging economies as a threat to you and your business.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

(Image: kiwiqa.com)

22Feb/19

Ep 40: Changes

Something all business owners need to face from time to time is change.

As Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: “The only constant in life is change”.

How you respond to those changes will determine your success – or failure – in business.

Shows referenced:

Business Peaks and Troughs

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

08Feb/19

Ep 39: Should Cost of Living Count?

We hear it a lot when there are discussions around VA rates. That your cost of living should factor in … but how much of a role should it really play?

References:

Starting a Business in Vanuatu

Other shows about rates:

What Do I Charge

Let’s Talk About Rates

Worth v Value

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

28Jan/19

Ep 38: Worth v Value

As globalisation makes it easier for clients to connect with service providers outside their home countries, today’s VA really needs to work smarter to attract those clients, and taking a look at their perceived “worth” and then focusing on client needs is a good place to start. Provide value and your worth will increase.

Referenced shows:

Let’s Talk About Rates

VA Trainers – Do Your Homework

What Do I Charge?

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

08Nov/18

Ep 37: Let’s Talk About Rates Baby

There are always lots of discussions around rates in the VA industry. How to charge. What to charge. Charging enough. Not enough.

In this podcast I cover some recent discussions around rates, things to think about when setting your rate, and whether your experience in an office and your location need to be taken into account.

I also mention Nina Feldman’s handy pricing worksheet during the show, which you can find here:

Pricing Worksheet

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

26Sep/18

Ep 36: VA Training – Do Your Homework

Previously I’ve said that I didn’t think it was necessary for VAs to have training – however with the evolution of the VA industry and so many new VAs coming from little to no experience in an office or admin environment, and others straight from school, getting training in running a business, or a specialist niche area, is probably advisable for some. However, not all trainers are alike. You have to do your homework and ensure you’re getting what you pay for! Do your research and ensure your trainer knows what they’re talking about! Check their background and credentials before you part with your money.

Remember: the VA industry is unregulated and there is no over-arching regulating/certifying body … therefore NO training can be “certified”. Getting a certificate at the end of a training isn’t the same as that training being certified. The articles I mention in the podcast are linked below:

I also include reference to what I consider legitimate, valuable trainers and organisations.  I’ve included links to those below:

For specialist Author and Speaker Assistant training visit here.

This should be plenty to get you on the road to a successful VA practice!

History of the VA Industry infographic – find it here.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

22Sep/18

Ep 35: The Evolution of the VA Industry

The VA industry has been going since the early 1980s! Since I began my VA journey back in 2000, the industry has certainly evolved and changed significantly. Back then we had a fledgling industry forged primarily by women who had come from years working in administration, secretarial, PA or EA roles, whereas now there are many types of VA. This means that clients need to be clear on what they’re looking for to ensure they partner with the right VA.

 

I mention Julie Hoflin’s (Your Versatile VA in British Columbia) infographic in the podcast which highlights the difference between what she terms Offshoring (‘the tasker’), Outsourcing (‘the side hustle’) and Contracting (‘the professional’). You can find it here.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

18Jun/18
Most people don't get started because of fear

Ep 34: How I Got Started

Recently a question was asked on a group I belong to, “What’s your reason for not starting your business?” The primary reason for most people not getting started was fear: of failure; not being successful; not being good enough.

Here I share how I started my business back in February 2000 in the hope it will help others get the courage they need. Back then, VAs really were a completely novel concept here (especially in Queensland) (and not confused with offshore call centres), when we didn’t have 99% of the apps and technologies available today, and when we were operating on dial up internet. {gasp!}

 

Resources:

Some of the organisations I mention in the podcast no longer exist. Here’s one to consider joining:

VA Directory (A Claytons Secretary) – including VA Trainer

VA Classroom – if you’re after specific training

Podcast: Five Tips for Starting Your VA Practice

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

14Jun/18
Work life balance is it a myth

Ep 33: The Myth of Work-Life Balance

The Courier Mail ran an article about an NBN commissioned study highlighting that many small business owners who had begun their business in the hope of achieving work/life balance were no longer living the dream. The nationwide study of 700 business owners with fewer than 100 employees shows they want to work half the hours they are. This desire for work/life balance is behind many start-ups – but I think we should be aiming for work/life integration – especially those who are home-based self-employed.

 

Resources:

National Museum of Australia – Defining Moments in Australian History – The 8 Hour Day

The Courtier Mail – Small Business Owners Lament the Loss of Work Life Balance

 

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

31May/18
How do clients find you if you don't market yourself

Ep 32: You Are Your Best Marketer

Do you rely on family and friends to help market your business? Do you feel ‘miffed’ if they overlook you? I think we all go through that – especially start ups – but no one knows your business like you and no one can market you like YOU!

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

02Apr/18
quality clients who pay your rate

Ep 31: Good Quality Clients Who Pay Your Rate

A listener asked for a show covering how to attract good quality clients who are willing to pay your rate, and won’t try and bargain you down. This is probably the second most asked question by VAs in particular – after “How much do I charge?” In this show I share some tips from my own experiences, as well as some from industry legends Sharon Williams and Kathie Thomas.

If you have your own tips to share, please do so in the comments!

 

Links:

OIVAC – http://www.oivac.com

The 24 Hour Secretary – http://www.the24hoursecretary.com

Alliance for Virtual Business – http://www.allianceforvirtualbiz.com

VA Directory – http://www.vadirectory.net

Elizabeth Mary Hancock – https://www.elizabethmaryhancock.com

 

Other Episodes referred to:

Ep 5 – Getting Clients

Ep 15 – What do I charge?

Ep 19 – Client Purchasing Decisions

 

(Image: Getty Images)

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

07Mar/17

Ep 30: Brand Damage Online

We have discussed damage to your online reputation in other podcasts, but in this show I give you a real life example of one online retailer whose post on her Facebook business page resulted in some potentially serious damage to her brand.

 

References:

Women’s March:

https://www.womensmarch.com/mission

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Women’s_March

 

Previous Podcast:

Ep 23 – Are you killing your online reputation

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

30Sep/16

Ep 29: More on Continuing Education

This is a short follow up podcast on continuing education. It’s so important as a VA to keep up to date with latest trends in tech so you can help your clients and keep ahead of the game.

 

Conferences to consider:

OIVAC

Australian VA Conference

 

(Image Credit: Jeshu John)

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

13Sep/16

Ep 28: Peaks and Troughs in Business

If you’re going to go into business, you need to understand that there will be peaks and troughs. Business ebbs and flows. So what do you do to help you through those low points?

 

Some useful network links:

Australian Virtual Assistants Association

VA Directory

Alliance for Virtual Business

International VA Association

 

 

(Image Credit: Jeshu John)

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

01Feb/16

Ep27: Can They Do That??

There have been some discussions on various forums for VAs about cheap labour providers offering services for $5 per hour or less and usually these relate to offshore providers. But it seems there is now a new breed of contractor offering services for this price right here in Australia. This raised the question “Can they do that??”

 

Related to this topic:

You might also like Episode 15: What Do I Charge?

 

Resources:

I refer to the ATO’s employer -v- contractor tool. The link is here:

https://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/Employee-or-contractor/

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

11Jul/14

Ep 26: Your Digital Legacy

It’s not something we like to think about but as the saying goes “None of us are getting out of this alive”. But when we do shuffle off this mortal coil, what happens to the digital footprint we leave behind in social media spaces, blogs and websites?

You can find some more great articles on this topic at New Scientist.

For an online memorial off Facebook check out Heaven Address.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

27Jun/14

Ep 25: Do you Brand Your Car?

Following on from our podcasts about your online reputation – what about your reputation in real life? If you brand your car or your clothing with your business name or logo your behaviour and that of your staff is always on display. Are you giving the best impression?

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

13Jun/14

Ep24: Are You Killing Your Online Reputation – Part 2

In the second part of Are You Killing Your Online Reputation I talk about dealing with colleagues online and share some guidelines for avoiding the pitfalls of social media.

Have you noticed a decline in the way people treat each other online – especially colleagues? We seem to be more focused on the ‘drama’ than supporting and sharing. This was evidenced in an online space recently where a question asking for help received no replies at all, and one talking about the bad behaviour of a third party elicited over 50 comments including (well meaning?) offers to ‘bad mouth’ in return. Share your comments – but please don’t mention specific people or businesses!

(Did you miss Part 1? Find it here.)

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

30May/14

Ep23: Are You Killing Your Online Reputation – Part 1

Everyone seems to be using social media these days but are you careful about what you post … all the time? You probably won’t ever know who or how many people are watching/following you. If you use social media for business promotion, you must be careful you are on-brand all the time.

It’s amazing how many people don’t think about the damage they can be doing online to their reputation. Once it’s online, it’s online forever!

Thanks to Sharon Williams of The 24 Hour Secretary for sharing her 5:3:2 rule with me!

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

16May/14

Ep22: Putting the ‘Social’ Back into Social Media

Social media seems to have lost something over recent years – being social. And we seem to have forgotten that Facebook is a tool – a service provided to us for free, but people complain about how it’s “always changing”. Are we too focused on the drama and have lost the ability to be social in this new ‘faceless’ age of communication?

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

02May/14

Ep21: Social Media a Waste of Time

You often hear business people refer to social media involvement as ‘wasting time’. Is it? Is social media a waste of time? Maybe it depends how you’re using it.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Tip:

Here’s a great tool for helping you get on top of your social media posting!

Meet Edgar

25Apr/14

Ep20: Admin Work Unskilled?

I heard a client once refer to administration or clerical work as “unskilled”. Is it? Is that what the general public think? What do you think? Share your comments below!

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

11Apr/14

Ep19: Client Purchasing Decisions

We can’t win every job – but just because you miss out on signing a client who goes to a competitor doesn’t mean you lacked the skills necessary to do the job. In a lot of instances it can have nothing to do with you at all!

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

31Mar/14

Ep18: Missed Opportunities

The release of the film Saving Mr Banks saw a golden opportunity for market engagement missed by a local small business. How many opportunities will you miss out on this year because you’re focused on making money over engagement?

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

23Mar/14

Ep17: AVAC 2014: 15 Key Takeaways

On 14 and 15 March 2014, Australian Virtual Assistants gathered for the Australian VA  Conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. I thought I’d share the 15 key takeaways for me from the conference!

My number 1 takeaway probably gives away my age and stage of life really! LOL!

What were your takeaways? Add them to the comments below!

(My first podcast using Audacity …. I may have a bit more learning to do!)

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

05May/12

Ep16: Knowing When to Leave

Sometimes VA/Client relationships don’t work out. You need to know when things are heading south and that it’s okay to leave.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

15Dec/11

Ep15: What Do I Charge?

One of the biggest issues facing new VAs – and even an issue that comes up from time to time for existing VAs and anyone in business – is what do I charge? New VAs usually start out by doing a bit of market research, checking out what other VAs are charging and then go from there. But there are a few key things to bear in mind that will impact on the rate you charge.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

11Nov/11

Ep13: Carbon Tax – Australia

Australia now has carbon tax legislation with a carbon price double that of the rest of the world. This episode doesn’t discuss the pros and cons, but does encourage small business to use its voice.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

17Jul/11

Ep12: Today’s VA Magazine

On this show I talk to Renee Chapman from the Admin Chick who, on 12 July 2011, launched an Australian-first: Today’s VA magazine! Renee is an inspiration to all newbie VAs – having only been in business for a year she saw a need and filled it! Today’s VA is the quarterly magazine for the Australian VA Industry, and at just $5.50 per edition it’s great value.

Visit: http://www.theadminchick.com.au and follow the links to subscribe.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

29Apr/11

Ep11: Multi-VA Practices

Lots of virtual assistants are starting up team pages on their sites where they show the members of their “virtual team”. This is often referred to as the Multi-VA Practice. But could these VAs be opening themselves up to tax and oncost problems down the track? And what about the members of these ‘teams’? Turns out … potentially.

Tools referred to in the podcast:

The ATO’s Employee/Contractor Decision Tool

The ATO’s Superannuation Guarantee Eligibility Tool

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

14Apr/11

Ep10: Q&A With Ken Phillips

The 80/20 rule continues to be a source of concern for many VAs and sole traders. Following podcast #9 I had a Q&A session with Ken Phillips of Independent Contractors Australia to help clarify further what the current rules are as they apply to solopreneurs. Don’t forget to catch Ken’s presentation at OIVAC on Friday May 20 8.45am Australian Eastern Time when he’ll be talking about Contractors versus Employees. If you miss the presentation you can still register and you’ll be provided with a copy of the recording.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

30Mar/11

Ep9: Sham Contracting

The current Australian Government is conducting an enquiry at the moment into sham contracting – but what is it? This episode looks at what sham contracting actually is, discusses how it relates to virtual assistants and solopreneurs and also looks at PSI legislation and the often misunderstood 80/20 rule.

Links referred to in the podcast:

http://www.fairwork.gov.au

http://www.contractworld.com.au

http://www.ato.gov.au

http://www.business.gov.au

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

04Oct/10

Ep8: Business Tax Changes

Over the past few months I’ve been blogging about some pretty scary proposed tax changes for small business – and independent contractors in particular. Should you care? In this show I discuss what the changes are, what’s been going on behind the scenes that you may not have known about, and what you can do as a small business owner to have your views on the issue heard – before the proposed changes move into legislation and you miss the chance to have your views heard.

Resources and Links referred to in the show:

Australian Financial Review Smart Company

ICA Summary

ICA boilerplate letter

Parliament of Australia Whos Who

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

03Sep/10

Ep7: Saying No to Clients

Something many business owners struggle with is saying no to clients. They are worried they might be perceived as unprofessional, unhelpful, or run the risk of actually losing clients if they say no. In the final part of our 4-part series I look at the importance of setting boundaries in your business – and for yourself – and why saying no is something we all, as business owners, need to do from time to time. And that’s okay!

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

20Aug/10

Ep6: Keeping Clients

In the third part of our 4-part series I give you some ideas on how to keep clients. The majority of my clients have been with me since shortly after I began my practice in February 2000. I share my tips on what Iâ??ve learned about how to keep clients coming back. It’s not as hard as you think!

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

06Aug/10

Ep5: Getting Clients

In the second of our 4-part series we look at how you can get clients – one of the hardest things for any business owner to do! We’ll talk about where you can find them – both on and offline.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

24Jul/10

Ep4: 5 Tips for Starting Your VA Practice

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by newbie VAs is how to get started. In this first part of a 4-part series I’ll share my top 5 tips to start your VA practice.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

23Jun/10

Ep3: Doing Business the Feminine Way

Are you a woman in biz? Why is it that we’re expected to run our businesses like men? Is it possible to retain your goddess femininity and still be a businesswoman? Join us Thursday 24 June at 11am Aust EST when our guest Marina J shares her secrets for running your business the feminine way! And how doing so just might get you the success you want and a stream of clients to your door. Interactive Q&A in our online room – http://bit.ly/6qRkky Free event but seats are limited so mark your diary. And please be sure to register for the event ahead of time here: http://bit.ly/bdWmVU If you have questions you want to pose but can’t be in the live Q&A please go to our Show Comments page and post your questions there: http://bit.ly/9D787s AUST: Thu 24 June 11am Eastern US EST: Wed 23 Jun 9pm US Pacific: Wed 23 Jun 6pm

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

16May/10

Ep2: VA Coaching Club and OIVAC

We welcome Kathie Thomas of www.vacoachingclub.com and Sharon Williams of www.oiavc.com who share there thoughts on continuing education and some great resources for online learning. (Continuation from Episode 1)

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

06May/10

Ep1: Importance of Continuing Education

Education and training is so important for small business owners and sole operators – yet it’s one aspect that many business owners let go. But it’s also one area they shouldn’t overlook.

 

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show