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Most people don't get started because of fear

Ep 34: How I Got Started

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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

 

 

Work life balance is it a myth

Ep 33: The Myth of Work-Life Balance

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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

How do clients find you if you don't market yourself

Ep 32: You Are Your Best Marketer

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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!

quality clients who pay your rate

Ep 31: Good Quality Clients Who Pay Your Rate

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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)

Ep 30: Brand Damage Online

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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

 

 

Ep 29: More on Continuing Education

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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)

Ep 28: Peaks and Troughs in Business

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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)

Ep27: Can They Do That??

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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/

Ep 26: Your Digital Legacy

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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.

Ep 25: Do you Brand Your Car?

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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?