Notice re blog posts

Dear Readers

Due to the fact that I am in ill health at the moment there will be no blog posts for about 2 weeks.    My blog is, as you know, my personal journey as a VA and is also current, so I don’t write the posts in advance.   I would appreciate your prayers and I look forward to seeing you on line again soon.

Ciao for now,

Lynne Siebrits
Katlyn Virtual Assistants

Easter Monday

easter-654084_640

 

There is no blog post today due to the fact that it is Easter Monday.

I would like to wish the Christian readers a Happy Easter.  For the Jewish readers, Kosher and Happy Passover.

New blog post will be uploaded on Monday 10th of April.  Thanks for your support.

See you on line,

Lynne

Katlyn Virtual Assistants
Website: http://www.katlyn.co.za
Facebook Business page: http://www.facebook.com/KatlynVirtualAssistants

Year 3 – Week 5 – Keep your Eye on the Ball

cricket-150561_640         Good morning Readers and Welcome!

I thought this was most appropriate considering that we have just had the finals of the Cricket World Cup series.  May I see congratulations to Australia and New Zealand for reaching the finals and congrats to Australia on their victory.  I am not a cricket lover by any stretch of the imagination but somehow watching a World Cup and supporting one’s country changes one’s opinion slightly.

During all this cricket and becoming quite the couch expert what I noticed was that if a player takes their eye of the ball even for a second they lose the opportunity they may have had in “outing” the opposition.  So many, many close calls but a close call is as good as a big, fat, missed opportunity and doesn’t count when one is keeping score.

How many times haven’t we taken our eyes off the ball, so to speak, in our little businesses?    The Cambridge Dictionary Online defines “keep your eye on the ball” as follows:  to give your attention to what you are doing at the time.

I googled the expression “keep your eye on the ball” and all the references came back to cash flow and income & expenditure.  Yes, it is important to keep our eye on our finances (hello?) but it is also important to give our full attention to each client and each aspect of the brief we are working on.    It is just as important to give attention to our opposition.  How many VA’s are in your area?  Do you meet up with them to find out what they are up to either on line or in person?  Are your rates over or under inflated?  Is your marketing plan working out and if not, why not?   What about your website – is it current?  You won’t believe how many times I call a number from a website and it doesn’t work or belongs to another company.  I just move on and try someone else.  Again – another missed opportunity.

The thing about cricket is it’s so unpredictable and sometimes it is hard to tell which side is going to win or lose and the end result is often down to the wire.  Never, ever give up.  Believe in yourself and believe that when you started your business you started out for the right reasons i.e. to be a SUCCESS.

Let’s try to keep focussed and in the game.  To succeed this is crucial.

“So, see every opportunity as golden, and keep your eyes on the prize – yours, not anybody else’s.”  Roberta Flack

See you on line,
Lynne

Katlyn Virtual Assistants
Website: http://www.katlyn.co.za
Facebook Business page: http://www.facebook.com/KatlynVirtualAssistants

Year 3 – Week 4 – Make your work Fun!

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”   Pearl S. Buck

Good morning Readers and Welcome!

Last week was time for client visits in Cape Town 150 kms from where I stay.  It’s always a drag finding accommodation but I have wonderful friends and family and rotate my visits so as not to be a burden on anyone.  Sleeping is an issue and I come home exhausted.  However, the Cape Town visits are necessary as I see my clients (which I love) and usually bring back work.  This time was particularly rewarding as I brought back two days worth of work.   It’s also heart-warming to receive emails from them saying how much they enjoyed the visit.

If you landed up as I did doing secretarial and administrative work, let’s face it, our work could be totally boring and humdrum if we allowed it to be.  I personally feel (yes, I’m on my soapbox) that it is one of the most underrated professions.  Imagine an office situation with no one doing any admin – it would be chaotic.   One of the things I love doing is being creative and I was teaching one of my clients how to use the computer.   My client asked for “crib notes” and I put together material in a usable format that summarised his first lesson.  It was such fun to do!   Sometimes our work isn’t always terribly exciting and we can become a bit bored but it’s important to make it fun!

I am talking today to the Administrative V.A.’s – make your work fun!  Enjoy creating order out of chaos and making a difference in the lives of your clients.

I feel really strongly about this blog post and would like to take the time to encourage those VA’s who feel they can’t measure up to the Tech VA’s.   You need to measure yourself by your own standards and not compare yourself to others.  You have loads to offer your clients – everyone needs help with administration – use your skills and be proud of them.  It’s not everyone that can take a badly formatted report and turn it into a work of art or who can visit a client whose desk is piled sky-high with paperwork and swiftly and efficiently sort those papers out.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

See you on line,
Lynne

Katlyn Virtual Assistants
Website: http://www.katlyn.co.za
Facebook Business page: http://www.facebook.com/KatlynVirtualAssistants

Year 3 – Week 3 – De-weeding our business

A garden requires patient labour and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.
Liberty Hyde Bailey
Good morning Readers and welcome!

As you know I was living on a building site last year and in December the front garden was landscaped.  The landscapers put in dog roses, lavender, rosemary and ground cover.  We have had the landscapers in once since the initial planting to weed and fertilize but the bill was quite lavish to say the least.  In the mean time the weeds and the garden have blended into one.  I must say the weeds are really pretty, soft with tiny flowers but they are growing in and around the new plants.  I am no gardener at all but yesterday decided that I would rather pull out weeds than pay the landscapers another lavish bill.   Well, what I can tell you is that the work was satisfying but extremely tiring.  I am so stiff today I can hardly move.  Where am I going with this?

I realised during the morning’s weeding that our businesses are a lot like gardens (I kid you not)!   Gardens need to be planned quite well with plants that require the same amounts of water, sunlight and then other plants that are water-wise and some plants that grow in shade etc.  We can’t plant plants where they won’t grow – that would be stupid and a waste of money (and water).  By the same token the garden needs to have a constant hand on it i.e. if I had been weeding consistently I wouldn’t have a problem today with moving around as I did a bit of overkill weeding yesterday!   We need to spend effort on our gardens.

How do we plan our businesses?

So much has been written about business and marketing plans and whether they are beneficial or not.  Personally I can’t get by without my marketing plan but my business plan grows as my business grows.  It works for me but you need to find a way of planning your business growth that works for you.   Does your business have a plan?

How do we de-weed our business you may ask? 

Is your pc clean and have you done a recent scan?

Are your computer files in order or are they scattered all over your desktop and each time you look for something possibly have to do a search?

Is the client work you have finished with for last year archived?

What do your USB sticks look like?  Are they cluttered and full of “stuff”?

Are your paper files in order and up to date or is your filing basket sky-high?

Let’s treat our business with the same respect that we give our gardens!
Happy gardening!

See you on line,
Lynne

Katlyn Virtual Assistants
Website: http://www.katlyn.co.za
Facebook Business page: http://www.facebook.com/KatlynVirtualAssistants

Year 3 – Week 2 – Expect the Unexpected

Good morning Readers and welcome!

Last week was quite a week.  I had to drive through to Somerset West (40 minute drive from Onrus, Hermanus) for a medical appointment at 1:15 pm.  I left at 11:45 am and thought there would be ample time to find parking and possibly have a colddrink (it was the hottest day in South Africa in 300 years where temperatures were about 44 deg C and counting).  I wasn’t 10 minutes from my house where the traffic slowed to a standstill.  Thinking there was an accident and knowing there was plenty of time, didn’t panic, until realising I was behind a cycle race.  The traffic was being held back for the cyclists.   Having lost the cyclists about one hour into my journey I then encountered road works and more traffic jams.   I reached my destination late rather than early and was totally wound up.

Yes, you guess correctly!  This got me thinking (I do a lot of that)!

How often in our journey as a Virtual Assistant don’t we encounter situations like that?  Everything is smooth sailing and well planned and then something unexpected happens.   It could be anything from having a job cancelled at the last minute to gaining two new clients on one day both of whom have deadlines (wouldn’t that be nice)!

We need to be prepared for the unexpected.

The other thing that happened was that losing one day due to personal commitments, the other 4 days had to be spent on client work.  Towards the end of the week I had all my regular clients sending work on the same day including a client that floats in and out.  He happened to float in during the middle of the chaos.  Mission accomplished – work was completed and on time but remember …. Expect the Unexpected!

To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.  Oscar Wilde

See you on line,
Lynne

Katlyn Virtual Assistants
Website: http://www.katlyn.co.za
Facebook Business page: http://www.facebook.com/KatlynVirtualAssistants

Year 3 – Week 1 – What does your reflection look like?

drop-of-water-597109_640Raindrop and it’s Reflection

Good morning and welcome to Year 3 Week 1.  To tell you the truth, I was debating whether or not to carry on with my blogging after all, how much more is there to talk about?  The answer I came up with was “plenty” so here we go again!

Something’s been biting me all week (no not a flea or mosquito but a thought)!  “Would you like to work with you?”  Strange question, but I’ll ask it again:  “Would you like to work with you?”   What do you think of your own professional reflection or image if you look at it objectively?

What happened was that I’ve been running around this week and as my business is still tiny it doesn’t pay me to have anyone to answer my phone.   My client said that he had been trying to reach me the entire day.  I found 2 missed calls and no messages on my answering machine.  This had me thinking.

Is the service you offer your clients something you would be happy to accept if you were on the receiving end?

Apart from the issue with my cell phone that I usually don’t hear when I’m in a shopping centre or don’t answer when I am driving as it is illegal, are the services that I offer services that I would like to use and are the services done in a manner I would accept as a client?

I answered “yes” to the services I offer and the manner that they are carried out (excepting the answering of my cell phone).   I realised that I needed to increase my technical knowledge-and acquire a few more skills like becoming au fait with a CRM programme like Infusionsoft or A. Weber and also learning a bookkeeping program like Quickbooks or Freshbooks.  Then I could possibly upskill what I know on WordPress through blogging and start learning about creating websites.  Quite exciting really!

It’s quite a useful exercise to try out and I suggest you give it a go.  Let me know what conclusion you came to.

What do you think of your professional reflection?

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.     Confucius

Have a great week and see you on line,
Lynne

Katlyn Virtual Assistants
Website: http://www.katlyn.co.za
Facebook Business page: http://www.facebook.com/KatlynVirtualAssistants