1. What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a self-employed person providing support services to a business remotely. No desk, office space or equipment is required to employ the services of a VA, we work remotely, usually from a home office or other location.
2. What are the benefits of using a virtual assistant?
There are many benefits to working with an experienced and skilled Virtual Assistant. By delegating admin tasks that eat up your time, you instantly have more hours in your working week. You only pay for the number of hours you require.
With no office space or equipment to provide you gain the flexibility and freedom your VA has. You also have the added bonus of no tax or NI contributions to pay, no holiday or sickness pay, and no pension contributions.
VA’s work with a variety of businesses, and have experience of a wide range of software so can provide suggestions to improve your processes and systems. As well as being an independent sounding board and cheerleader for your business, we have access to a community of like-minded VAs so can reach out to a variety of skill sets when required.
3. How does it work?
- Contact me to arrange a free 30 minute Discovery Call. We discuss your requirements and how I could support your business – this is normally done by video call.
- Following the decision to go ahead, a contract will be issued and the onboarding process begins.
- Return of signed contract, we will have a consultation to finalise working together. My services are tailored to your business needs.
- We’ll have regular check-ins during the settling in period, before moving to monthly or quarterly reviews.
4. What hours do you work?
My normal hours of work are Monday to Thursday, 9am to 6pm. Fridays on occasion by prior agreement. Availability outside these hours can be arranged in advance. I am not available over the weekend or public holidays without prior arrangement.
5. How do you communicate with your clients?
I communicate using a variety of channels – with phone calls, email messages, and video calls, (I use Zoom and Teams). Other methods of collaboration software may be used to assist our working together or for individual projects.
6. How do you record time worked?
I use time tracking software. Productive time is recorded, and a breakdown report provided – paying only for the time you use.
7. Are there a minimum number of hours to be purchased, and what if I need more?
The minimum number of hours I will accept on a Retainer contract is 5 hours per month. I am flexible around time used, however if I’m regularly recording more or less time per month over a 3 month period I will make you aware and recommend an alternative option.
For ad hoc hours the minimum is 3 hours, dependent on my availability.
8. Does IR35 apply to Virtual Assistants?
My business is classed as a subcontractor, I am not an employee. Some determining factors include:
- I use my own equipment
- I decide what work I do and when, where or how to do it
- I can substitute another worker into the role
- I work for multiple clients
- I decide the rate I charge, and I am responsible for the overall success of my business.
9. How do I pay?
Payment is made directly by BACS to my UK bank account. Account details will be found on your invoice. For clients on retainer contracts, payment is made in advance and due on the 1st of each month. Ad hoc hours are invoiced in arrears at the end of every month, payment terms are within 7 days of invoice.
10. How do I get started?
Contact me to arrange a free Discovery call, we will discuss what areas of your business you require support with.
“Heather always worked hard, ensuring that the team’s requirements were seamlessly met with a constant smile on her face. In addition to these traditional tasks, Heather also took great pride in organising Christmas and Summer Social events, which were always planned to perfection.Heather’s organisational skills and commitment to the cause are second to none, but she also has a talent for thinking up new solutions or ideas for the office and business.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Heather’s Virtual Assistant services.”
Gavin Chisholm, Former Operations Manager, Atkins Limited
“Heather was my PA for a number of years when I was MD of Atkins plc’s oil & gas division. She was extremely effective in that role. Her outgoing nature meant she was particularly excellent in ‘front of house’ activities for both my internal and external networks. She had a knack of making sure that everybody was treated warmly and with respect whilst still acting as an effective gatekeeper. Heather was also very diligent managing my challenging diary to ensure I made best use of my scarce time.
She was a great help in taking on activities that could have been a burden for me – an example was monthly reporting where she would assemble the inputs from all my reports such that the final document could be finalised with minimal input from me. International travel was a big part of the role and safe to say every flight, hotel or taxi booking was made to perfection.
Heather is true admin professional with a terrific work ethic, it was my privilege to work with her.”
Martin Grant, Former Managing Director, Atkins Limited
“I had the pleasure of working alongside Heather for a number of years. Her organization skills are paramount, nothing phases her, she works instinctively and with great passion. Organisation of others is where she comes into her own! She is inspirational, innovative and she constantly trains and upgrades her skills in this fast moving technology world.
I couldn’t recommend her enough.’”
Heather Black, PA/Office Manager, Atkins Limited
“Heather led the business and admin support team for our department of engineering consultants at Atkins for more than 20 years, over which time we grew from 20 to more than 150 staff. She had a particular gift for implementing and developing systems that worked very well for our business and enabled our engineers to get on with their technical work. She was undoubtedly a major contributor to the success of our team and was very much respected across the business.
Regardless of how busy we all were or how demanding the circumstances, Heather could always be relied upon to keep calm and get things done, and all this with her usual friendly and efficient manner. Where we had to go through change or implement new systems, Heather was always at the forefront of this and put the effort on to make it a success. I can’t recommend her highly enough, no matter how large or small the business need.”
Mike Green, Former Director, Atkins Limited
“I had the privilege of working with Heather for 25 years. During that time she worked tirelessly to support the business, taking on a whole range of tasks, allowing the technical teams to focus on technical delivery, and always with a smile! She has an uncanny knack of knowing what is required without being asked and I have never known her to be fazed by anything or anyone.
I have no doubt that Heather will be an asset to any business!”
Gillian Dickson, Chief Engineer, Atkins Limited
“Heather implicitly understands what our business needs in a range of situations, always responding with pragmatism and emotional intelligence. She is proactive, forthcoming with suggestions for continuous improvement, and has frequently supported me to shape a stronger solution for the business in terms of both implementing and communicating change, than I could have reached on my own.”
Karen Blanc, Operations Director, Atkins Limited