Blogging, GDPR, ICO, VA, Virtual Assistant

A major concern of outsourcing to £10.00 per hour workers can kill your business…if you do not recognise the implications and act on it now!

Angela Brown | NottmVA

 

Data Security
Photograph courtesy of Jo Welch Photography

Many Sole Traders inadvertently outsource their work or tasks to a more economical source. In my niche (or target market/audience) of Health, Wellbeing and the Medical sector, whilst dealing with Special Category Data, this is the most common and costly mistake you could ever make!

Here is an explanation as to why, and what you should really be doing instead.

 

Special Category Data: Personal, Sensitive details

By outsourcing your admin work to a £10.00 per hour worker might seem like a perfect solution to you at the time, and you may think that you’re getting a job done for half the pay, or a third of the cost perhaps, but there are reasons for that:

 

Virtual Assistants who are either self-employed (or could also be Ltd) who provide you with invoices and have been in business for extensive amounts of time, have taken specialist training, and more importantly have registered with the ICO and the HMRC with their businesses and of course, have the appropriate business insurances, public liability and some may even have cyber data loss insurance too!

 

—o0o—

 

VA Rate Courtesy of VIPVA.org
VA Rate courtesy of vipva.org

Would your £10.00 per hour admin person with their wage, after taking on board for example, to pay for the tax and NI deductions, their secure systems and subscriptions that are needed to keep yours and your clients’ data secure, the relevant insurances mentioned above, the compliances, the costs for their own training and marketing costs and the wear/tear and utilities costs and so on.  Let alone any profit!?! Once all of that has been taken out of their £10.00 per hour cost – what on earth are they left with to live on?  It just doesn’t make good business sense! But more importantly, how are you or your clients’ data being protected?

You may need to question this.  You can check the ICO Register here: https://ico.org.uk/ESDWebPages/search/ to see if your workers’ invoices for your special category data are registered for processing or controlling yours or your clients’ data.

I liaise regularly with my IT Consultant for GDPR to ensure that my software and systems are secure and up-to-date.

Here you can see a graphic provided from VIPVA.org that illustrates the true take-home pay of a Virtual Assistant and this is based on the 2017-2018 tax year’s hourly rate of £25.00 per hour.  Interesting figures huh? 

 

But what if I like my Worker? 

There are ways around this, of course.  If your worker is not registered, with either the HMRC and/or the ICO, then, of course, there are a couple of options.

You will need to either a) employ them or b) the worker will need to become self-employed (or Ltd) and invoice you accordingly.

If you employ them then you will need to be liable for their holiday pay, pension pay, and everything else that is associated with employment law and there is an abundance of information out there that will support you with that.

If your worker then decides to register as self-employed and you then receive invoices as you outsource work to them as their Virtual Assistant, then the Virtual Assistant or Freelancer will need to have immediate ICO registration and appropriate GDPR and special category data training in order to protect both your data and more importantly your clients’ data as they will have access to confidential and sensitive information.

I use a company called KoffeeKlatch for this very specialist training.

There is also the option of asking your freelance worker to undertake some VA training.  At the beginning of my PA to VA journey I joined a comprehensive training programme that taught me how to run a business and how to use my existing skills and trained me to use my passion and skills that I utilize in my business today.

 

What if I think a mistake has been made?

If you feel that mistakes have been made in your business, either by you, your practice or your work, of course, you are obligated to report a breach to the ICO to protect your business and your clients and you only have a limited time to do this under the rules and guidance that is provided with the GDPR.

If you have breached your clients’ data to someone that should not have it, then you will need to provide to the ICO your examples of what has been breached, how it was breached and solutions as to how it will not happen again – all within their small window of reporting schedule.

 

What if I want to Outsource my admin work to someone else? 

If you would feel like the time has come to complete your current contract that you have with your worker, then, of course, your written existing contract will explain how you give notice to your existing worker. If you do not have a contract then I can highly recommend Koffeeklatch VA Contracts.

If you would like to work with an experienced Virtual Assistant, that is passionate about their own ethics and morals, and understands how to work with their own security, data and has good business ethics and acumen and is confident about working with your data and your client’s Special Category Data then, by all means, contact Angela at NottmVA.

 

Nottingham Virtual Assistant

 

 

In the openness of transparency, I am affiliated with Koffeeklatch and VIP PA.

Marketing Support from Michelle Ibbs

 

Networking, New Business, Virtual Assistant

How Do I Get New Business?

NottmVA New BusinessHow Do I Get New Business? – It’s something I’m often asked as a Virtual Assistant.

As a small business or sole trader, it’s hard to make yourself heard isn’t it, or to get your face seen above the heads bobbing up and down in that sea that is competing for business that is out there.

But there is a way to be heard, there is a way to be seen, you just have to work at it. You have to be determined. You have to have that fire in your belly! You have to have that passion and that desire. You have to want to succeed. Well, you have to pay the bills, don’t you?

How do you do it?

What you do NOT want to do, is offer free trials.  Why?  Well, it lowers your business-worth.  You may offer a free initial 1-hour telephone consultation to obtain the brief from your client to obtain information to enable you to do the job in the first place – this is good practice.  You are a business, a freelancer and are offering a good service/product that is in demand.  If a trial is required, then it should be a paid trial with a contract and terms of business provided.

You need to show your presence.  Have you got yourself a logo or brand to identify yourself? Has this been replicated in business cards to leave with people at networking meetings? When you network with others, you will want to leave them with something to remember you by.

Whether this is a business card, a pack of mints or some other form of promotional material, or you simply develop a document detailing your services whilst you get yourself up and running, it is a start.

Ensure that you have a website.  This is the first place your clients are going to look once you have given out your business card and the place they will go and check you out!  You need to have some credibility.  Even if you at least have a simple landing page with your contact details on – it is somewhere for someone to go and look at what you say you can offer them to reinforce your message.  Do not make your website homepage all about you, make sure you tell the reader what you can offer them.  The reader needs to know how you can make things easier for them and how you can help them.

Are you Networking?

Another way of showing your presence is to network to meet your peers, colleagues and guess, what? Potential new clients.  It’s something that we all ‘gulp’ at the first time around – but it DOES WORK.  There are different options such as the BNI and 4N Networking.  These are only a couple of options on offer, there are many, many networking groups on offer and you will need to find what works for you.  They will offer different styles of meetings and payment plans too giving variations of a formal referring-style option and relaxed friendly alternatives.

Are you Good At What You Do?

When online or offline, can you show others that you speak authoritatively?  Do you write about your endeavours such as blogs, articles, newsletters or written in groups or comment on other’s posts or articles on websites for example?  Are you known in your industry for your product or service or have you created something that is renowned for what you do, are you certificated for it, these are all things that you need to be talking to people about or getting known for?

Have you undertaken any industry training that makes you a specialist at what you do? This is something that again, can make you an authoritative speaker in groups or blogs and you can make an impact on this through communication with others and helping beginners in your field.

What’s next?

The next thing is to get yourself across all of the social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for example. Your clients will be on some of these, not all but they will be browsing some of them and you will not know which ones, so it is a good idea to be on them at some point.  If you can post on them at some point, preferably consistently, then you will reach them at some point or other.  If you would like to know the best times to post then you can read about it on this blog.

 

Should I respond to advertised job postings on Social Media?

There are, occasionally, job adverts posted on social media groups that can prove quite lucrative, but you need to know how to choose them and where to find them and how to source them.  This comes from knowing your niche and your target audience.  If you do not know how to start to help a potential client, you can read about that here.

If a position has been advertised publicly on a Facebook group, for example, you can believe that the ‘world and his wife’ (or husband), will have seen it and there will be hundreds of applications for it with plenty of skills and expertise going.

Not to say, that you don’t have the skill and expertise to fly to the moon.  So, apply for it anyway!  So, if you feel you have Nasa experience then go for it, by all means but, it is better for you to develop your own way of ‘job-sourcing’ by searching for your ideal client by either looking in your Twitter lists, your LinkedIn Client groups or by your own targeted sales network links from your own networking. Or, contact your colleagues, tell everyone you are looking for new clients, contact your own list, your ex-employees.  Be proactive!

So, having undertaken the tasks of finding your niche and your target market or audience, you should be in a better position of knowing where to locate your search for who is your ideal client. Yes – your IDEAL CLIENT. What a fab position to now be in!

If you need a Virtual Assistant for your New Business to undertake your administration now that you have too many clients,

email NottmVA.

NottmVA
Be Structured, Not Stressed
Blogging, Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Networking, Social Media

Virtual Weekly – The Midweek Breather!

Virtual Weekly E:MagVirtual Weekly – Your Midweek Breather! 

It’s hard going week in, week out isn’t it when you’re trying to run your business and keep up to date with everything going on?  Have you signed up to receive your copy of Virtual Weekly?

 

What is it? 

It is a fab mid-week breather to let you know about all the biz facts about apps, news in the industry and a few fun things too that might, just might be of interest to you…

 

If you would like to receive a copy and/or contribute or even be included so that you’re distributed to a mailing list around the country, well actually worldwide, so sign up too and get this winging it’s way to your inbox too!

 

When will I get it? 

Virtual Weekly comes out mid-week on a Wednesday and is there for you to put your feet up in the afternoon with a cuppa, or when you’re travelling home in the afternoon on the bus/train/tram, so you can have a nosey about what’s going on in the world of tech/virtual/biz.

 

Don’t miss this week!

You’re not too late to get this week’s edition if you’re quick!  If you want to get hold of past editions, then message me and I can get those sent to you too.

 

Virtual Weekly Sign UP

Thank you

Angela

 

 

 

Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Networking, Social Media, VA, Virtual Assistant

Virtual Weekly: The E-Mag

NottmVA Virtual Weekly

Virtual Weekly – The E-Magazine

It’s great writing about blogs and it’s fab that everyone is liking and subscribing.  So much so that we have now decided to send out all of the fab info via the Virtual Weekly E-Mag for you all to read and get involved in (if you wish).

 

What is it? 

Virtual Weekly is our great new E-Mag that is going to be distributed regularly with biz tips and information on quick fixes on ways of how to reduce your workload and how to work smarter. What more could you ask for?

 

Who is it for?

If you are a sole trader, a small business or someone wanting to start in business, then this is for you!

If you haven’t previously signed up to my mailing list then click on the link below to ensure that you receive your copy of the Virtual Weekly

 

 

Click the link now:  http://eepurl.com/dCrKxD                                       Virtual Weekly Sign UP

 

 

Blogging, Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Mobile, Networking, VA, Virtual Assistant

The Need To Be Mobile

The need to be mobile comes in many forms these days.

 

Flexibility

As a Virtual Assistant, there is a requirement to be flexible: there are many clients, different industry sectors, all with differing requirements too, so it’s quite a  skill to get the balance right.

Having numerous years of experience with event management companies, the NHS, brand agencies, blue-chip companies, the legal sector etc, I have a broad knowledge to draw upon.

 

Versatile

You’re also needed to catch up with clients via the mobile telephone, meetings, networking of course – to maintain those all important connections and then you have to knuckle up and actually get your work done!  Oh, it’s a hard life huh?

 

Who is it For?

A Virtual Assistant is for businesses that probably cannot afford or do not need a full-time employee at the moment and a self-employed VA can offer a flexible alternative.  A Virtual Assistant can be hired for your administration duties, sales calls or social media management when needed but not necessarily when business is slow.

NottmVA Mobile Office

 

Workspace

I do have a desk for my ‘work stuff’, I do like to sit and work quietly, as I can concentrate on what I’m doing: but I can just as easily work in a coffee shop, a co-working office space, by the pool, on a train, well, anywhere really – that’s the beauty and flexibility of being a VA.

 

Technology

The technology is available to allow you to work in a mobile arena these days now and its great that I can encrypt my hardware and software that I know I am safe and secure with mine and my clients’ data, to be able to work in such a way that work can be undertaken around both the client’s and my commitments – a win/win!

If you would like to know more about the need to be mobile and would like us to manage your admin and social media by hiring a Virtual Assistant, or want to work with me as an Associate VA then contact me or by using the contact form on the website.

If if you would like to keep in touch regularly then please sign up for my Virtual Weekly E-Magazine.