With the New Year comes a fresh start, new faces and many exciting opportunities. The first new face has arrived at myPA, my name is Mizzy. I am the new apprentice at myPA; I’m a little older than most apprentices at the age of 21.
I had a very early introduction into the working world at an age of 14 in part time work. I floated around the hospitality industry with little direction from my peers, and where I wanted to be in the future. Then I heard about myPA.
I knew this was my opportunity to expand my horizons and escape a world of lack of sleep, I literally begged for this job! I have been at myPA for just over 2 weeks now and have been introduced to so many exciting opportunities and learnt an unbelievable amount. So far I have been doing General Admin, Formatting, some Marketing and Social Media, which I love. I have also found a talent for Credit Control which never crossed my mind until I came to myPA.
There have been a few struggles but with Julies help, and in some cases me helping her, it’s been a breeze. I’ve just arranged my business administration course and I’m really looking forward to it. The main thing I’m looking forward to is doing some more formatting and definitely audio typing as I love order and organisation and nothing is better than perfection.
So I look forward to working for you and your business.
Events Management is one of the most exciting services that myPA Virtual Services has to offer. It gives our Virtual Assistants the chance to combine all of their skills to achieve a successful festival, event, conference or any other creation our client has to offer. We are at hand to organise ideas, venues, transport and guest lists. The benefit of employing a Virtual Assistant is that we already have the contacts you need.
Events Management is a task that needs to be undertaken by an individual who possesses key qualities. myPA Virtual Service has concluded that there are 5 main qualities to look for in a successful Events Manager. Organisation is vital in any aspect of management as it allows you to plan, prioritise and monitor tasks indefinitely. In addition to this, Time Management will mean you are able to plan your time correctly and will be able to deliver every aspect of the event successfully. Time is valuable and being behind on one small task may mean jeopardising the whole event. Your client needs to trust that everything will go according to plan.
Attention to detail is a sought after attribute that many business owners value. Virtual Assistants tend to already apply this skill to their work due to working with a wide variety of clients. It means an individual is able to go above and beyond in the detail of a project. This in particular will be an excellent skill when organising parties, weddings or any special occasion. You also need to ensure that you are approachable for your clients. They need to know that they are able to ask anything of you and are able to trust you with their big day. This means you are polite, well-mannered and appropriately dressed. The final quality that will ensure your event is contingent is being skilled in problem solving. You will need to be at hand to make quick decisions that will stop or prevent problems. This will involve taking control and trusting your decisions. Events Management is myPA’s Service of the Month. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further details.
When I started my business I became very strict with myself about what I did and when. As time has gone by these good habits seem to have disappeared and a more lackadaisical approach to my day has crept in. Like many business owners I find that I work, circa 60 hours plus per week. There is just never enough time in the day!
I was trying to explain this to my Osteopath yesterday (I had a migraine for 5 days and needed to get rid of it and my neck felt knotty. I was also becoming cantankerous.) and stated that being self-employed meant that you are always on the go and thinking about the business. He was very kind and said
“I see. So what you are saying is that your clients are important, your business is important but you are not. In which case why are you here?”
Now try to follow that! I will be honest; I found it very difficult to answer the question. I know I am important to my business. After all, without me, there is no business! My clients are also very important and I never want to let them down. So where in this equation do I come?
A + B = C
(Me and my business) + Clients = Paying my bills
The simple fact is, if I take me out of the equation there will be no happy clients, no happy bill payments and no happy me. I am going to have to take care of me. I therefore need to give myself an ultimatum. Treat myself as the most important asset my business has. The only way I can do this is to treat myself as a client. Schedule time for my new client, look after them as I would a paying client and treat me the say way I treat my clients. Gone are the 60+ hours per week, gone are the working through lunch and graze on any food lying around the office, gone are the working on Saturdays to catch myself up.
I have a canny plan. I will start work at 9am, I will have a 10 minute break at 11am and lunch at 1pm. In the afternoon I will take a break at 3pm for 10 minutes and leave the office at 6pm. I will forsake a Saturday working schedule. From now on Saturday’s are for hobbies and meeting friends and family. I may even go home early on a Friday once a month. This is going to be very hard for me to do, I love my job, I love my clients and I like my lifestyle but I know that something has to give and my health is important and I need to take care of that as well.
Meeting new clients is always exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. We spend so much time promoting ourselves and our business. Once we have opportunity to actually sit in front of a new client, we want to show them how good we are, how trusting we and more importantly how we can help them and their business.
However, with this excitement comes a more disturbing aspect of business that many of us would rather not discuss. That of our own security, especially when it comes to meeting people we have never seen or spoken to before.
I have over the years developed a tick list of tasks that need to be undertaken before I visit any new client. I highly recommend that you also follow this list.
Before the Meeting
1 Confirm their company is real.
2 Get a contact name, telephone number and email address.
3 Checked their website.
4 Enter their details onto my database.
5 Confirm meeting via email.
Day of the Meeting
1 Check their address.
2 Check directions and journey time.
3 Put security in place for your arrival and departure.
4 On arrival, call/text the security person to say you have arrived.
5 If the meeting is running late, tell your security person.
6 When you have left the meeting, call the security person.
7 Write up notes of the meeting.
It is vitally important that all your homework is carried out before any meetings take place. Your security s paramount. We cannot express how important it is to let your security person know where you will be, how long you will be there and when you are on your way home. Give them a copy of your new clients contact name, address, telephone number and email address. We also recommend that you have a safe word.
If you are in a meeting that you feel is detrimental to your well-being or you are being threatened, ensure your safe word is put into your conformation call/text with your security person. They should then call the Police with all the relevant information.
To get a FREE copy of your Meeting Security Form click here.
I started work experience at myPA Virtual Services on the 8th July 2013. I didn’t really know what to expect from this, as I had no experience of ever being in an office environment. I was nervous about what I would have had to do on my first day. I thought I might have to be answering phone calls which I wasn’t most looking forward to as I’m not the best at this especially not on my first day of proper working. When I arrived however, I was not doing this which I was relieved about. I was actually doing something that I really like doing. I was doing some data entry on to the computer which I found really fun and interesting.
Before I was asked to do this, one of the other employees, Steph Jordan took me around the building and told me about all the different companies in the Office Center We then had a look at the myPA websites and programmes that myPA use on a regular daily basis. This was a lot of information to try and remember however I think I did pretty well in remembering some of it!
In business we have some expectations for clients and suppliers. We all try to live up to those expectations to provide the best service to the people around us. Unfortunately, if expectations are not expressed or acknowledged then we can find that our expectations are not ‘lived up to’ and this can leave people feel dissatisfied or unhappy with our service?
Last Friday I attended a Chocolate Making Course in Dorset, which I hoped would teach me the art of chocolate decorating and the technical aspects behind being a chocolatier. I enjoy making fudge, toffee, coconut ice and various other little treats and wanted to add chocolate making to my repertoire.
I was extremely surprised with the outcome, not in a good way. It would seem that the course did not quite live up to my expectations. Instead of a professional chocolatier course it was aimed more toward children. I spent the course covering marshmallows in chocolate and making chocolate pictures. Not only this, the course was meant to last for 1 hour 45 minutes and finished over an hour earlier. I’m not sure whether my expectations were set too high and I assumed that I would get the answers to my queries without stating what those queries were. In hindsight I should have checked the finer details.
Within my business, myPA Virtual Services I am always clear about the expectations I expect from my suppliers. In addition my clients are meticulous about the type of admin support they are after and what services they need from a Virtual Assistant. However this course has reminded me that silent expectations can never be lived up to. You need to express what your expectations are and only then can you ensure everyone you deal with is happy. If you ask those important questions you are likely to get the results you are looking for. This will ensure you don’t waste valuable time, resource and money for your business.
In August 2011 I began my apprenticeship with myPA Virtual Services for Business Administration. I was to undertake levels 2 and 3 which were estimated at 2 years of studying. The course would consist of both coursework and exams, which were marked on a pass or fail basis. This was a completely different learning style to me as I had previously studied A Levels. It was important for me to become aware of a working environment and not just complete the course but to improve my skills. I was pleased to finish my level 2 qualification in April of 2012 and later received the award for the Level 2 Business Administration Apprentice of the Year 2012.
Shortly after I began my Level 3 course, this was to be the next step in my apprenticeship. The coursework more than doubled in size and the content needed to be a lot more detailed. I was estimated to take at least a year to complete it. However, currently in May 2013, I have completed all of the work and exams and it has been sent off to be IV’d. This has taken me just 9 months to complete and I am absolutely delighted. Let’s hope the award for the Level 3 Business Administration Apprentice of the Year 2013 is in the midst.