This is a good question!!!
I’ve recently been networking around my local areas – Orpington, Bromley, Sidcup and Bexley – and every meeting I go to there are at least 2 Virtual Assistants or business admin support, usually more. It’s great to see so many making a good living from working at home and helping businesses with their admin. That’s the great thing about the VA community is that we are quite a collaborative bunch. We like to help people (otherwise we’d be terrible at our job!) and so if you ask me about work in an area I’m not skilled in, I will recommend one of my contacts who I know is skilled in that area.
There are so many VA’s out there, so why should I work with you?
The fact of the matter is that each virtual assistant will have their own journey that led them to become a VA. (You can read my story at my previous blog). And on that journey, they will have developed a unique set of skills. You should work with me if I have the skills that you need for the function you want to outsource. You can see my skills listed on my website. I understand business owners are busy people. You know your business inside out and have honed best practice over a number of years. However, you can reach a plateau and be unable to grow unless you outsource some work to someone.
But how do I know what process to outsource?
I’ve written a blog post to help you with that question, but essentially I recommend you look at your business as a whole. Break down all the processes in your business and separate into what you like doing, what only you can do, and what you don’t like doing. My recommendation is to focus first on the things you don’t like doing. Then you can research for a VA that is a specialist in that area. You don’t have to limit yourself to only one VA. You could have someone that has a call answering service and one that does book-keeping. It’s what works best for your business.
I need general admin skills so how do I narrow my search?
A generalist or what some might call traditional Personal Assistant service is someone who will check your emails, book calendar appointments and keep you on track to achieve your targets.
I recommend you look at the things that are important to you in your business, your values and ethics etc and ensure your PA shares your values. You do need to ensure you like their personality and you get along with them – having someone that irritates you will not bring out the best in you and your customers and business will suffer as a result.
As a virtual assistant, I provide an enhanced service compared to a traditional PA – I will only charge you for work on your account when there is work to do. If there are no emails to check then I will focus on a different client. This ensures you get value for money. I don’t need to be co-located with you to be efficient in these days of technology – most things can be done online. However, I think it is essential that you build a relationship with the client so I like to work with local businesses who can pop in and see you, or at least have video conferencing so you see the person.
Why I am a great asset to your business.
- I am a bubbly character with a great telephone manner – this is essential when managing customer service on your behalf and I can quickly build a rapport.
- I have excellent computer skills which make me efficient when completing your tasks.
- I have a well-developed writing style which helps when writing emails on your companies behalf.
- I have complete discretion and respect any confidentiality due to my many years of working for the Police and in Human Resources.
- My biggest asset is that I care about people. I want your business to succeed so I will go out of my way to be helpful, suggest improvements and make your business efficient. I would rather you get value for money for my services than bankrupt your business.
But don’t just take my word for it.
Please check out my references and recommendations below.
Laura Pescod, Head of Planning Met Police Katrina is highly organised and efficient with a friendly and positive attitude. She pays meticulous attention to detail and works well to tight deadlines and under pressure. She is highly creative in her thinking problem solving with innovative solutions. I would have no hesitation in recommending Katrina.
Lisa Dayman, virtual assistant Katrina is incredibly organised, with meticulous attention to detail. She is extremely personable and I would thoroughly recommend her to anyone requiring admin services.
Malcolm Tillyer, ex Borough Commander Southwark Police. Katrina was my PA during my time as Borough Commander of Southwark, London. She also led a small team of administrative staff within the Borough Commander’s Office. She was an outstanding PA and provided exceptional support. She is a natural leader and possesses excellent communication skills. The quality of her written reports and minutes of meetings was of particular note – I cannot recollect a time when they needed amendment.
Karina possesses common sense and initiative in abundance and can be trusted to deal with confidential and delicate issues with the utmost discretion and professionalism. Her excellent interpersonal skills enabled her to defuse situations and to deal effectively with challenging and confrontations callers to the office.
Katrina demonstrated the ability to consider options for dealing with difficult scenarios, making fast time and effective decisions. She regularly delegated tasks and actions to senior officers and other members of staff – rightly earning the respect and confidence of colleagues at all levels.
In summary, Katrina is a loyal, hard-working, confident, articulate, and loyal individual whose personality makes her a joy to work with. She possesses the skills and experience necessary to excel in her chosen profession.
Paul Warnett I worked with Katrina over several years in the Metropolitan Police Service and in doing so was able to witness first hand her professionalism and competency in her roles. Katrina worked as a PA with access to many sensitive documents and conversations and throughout maintained absolute discretion. She was privy to high-level meetings where accurate minute taking skills were essential. I would have no hesitation in highly recommending Katrina as a valued employee with an excellent skill set.
Anne Germain I can completely recommend Katrina’s professional work. She is able to complete any contract requiring attention to detail and to time constraints. I will contract her in the future having had the experience of her working directly for me in the MPS.
Graham Flood-Hunt, Doctoral Researcher I worked alongside Ms Summerfield for a number of years. She led the administrative team which supported a key police specialist operations command. Her attention to detail, ability to quickly tackle problems, before they manifested and can-do attitude was impressive. Ms Summerfield demonstrated time and time again excellent inter-personal skills communicating clearly and appropriately with those at every level of management. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking a reliable and trustworthy individual who operates with integrity, initiative and professionalism.
Mike Thomas, Head of Benefits Realisation, Metropolitan Police Service. I worked with Katrina for several years in a busy portfolio office environment. She is hardworking and professional and has a very positive attitude. Katrina is an experienced Resource Manager and has knowledge and skills in HR and recruitment. I recommend Katrina as an honest, trustworthy and reliable person. When the team was under pressure, Katrina always made the extra effort to get work done on time and to a high standard.
Del Smith, Transformation Directorate, Metropolitan Police Service Having worked with Katrina over a number of years I feel well placed to say with confidence that anyone hiring her services will get a talented, helpful, trustworthy, knowledgeable, diligent individual, able to deliver to your requirements. It’s Katrina’s expertise and experience in so many areas, as well as her work ethic, that makes her stand out from the crowd. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire Katrina, and neither should you.
Dee Jennings, retired Business Manager Katrina Summerfield has worked for many years in a responsible position in a highly pressurized environment. This involved working to short deadlines producing clear and precise documents in a timely manner. She was responsible for the financial management of a number of budgets of a busy section and is able to produce accurate financial information. Computer literate in word, excel and powerpoint Katrina Summerfield is reliable, efficient and industrious. She is self-motivated with excellent communication skills. Her discretion in all matters can be relied upon at all times.
Amanda Webster-Robbins, PA I worked with Katrina for a number of years at the Metropolitan Police working at a very high level dealing with very complex matters. She was highly organised and very efficient and extremely reliable. Despite the heavy workload she always remained positive and prioritised her work accordingly. She is very personable with a good sense of humour and first-class IT skills.
Bob Ramsay, retired Trainer Katrina worked with me in the capacity of a training administrator She provided efficient monitoring of class lists; replied daily to telephone and email enquiries; assisted with preparation of training materials including PowerPoint presentations; updated the database to record successful training. Her friendly nature meant that she was a delight in the office and her strong work ethic meant that a busy training unit was well organised. I wish Katrina every success in her role of Virtual Assistant and would have no hesitation in recommending her services.
If you have any questions or want to talk to me about how my skills can help your business, please email me to arrange a free 1-hour consultation at email@example.com.