Bay Tree VA

Katie’s Story

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For ten years, Katie had been managing her successful holiday lodge letting business. The business was sold in 2022. What to do next?  

I had really loved running my own holiday business, but the very nature of it meant that taking holidays myself and flexibility for my family had been difficult. I knew that in my next venture flexibility would be a priority and that my experience growing a successful business could be useful to others. A great friend who had herself been a Bay Tree VA, suggested that the virtual assistant role, in particular working with entrepreneurs, might be an interesting next step for me.  

I discovered that Bay Tree VA is quite unique in certain ways. VAs undergo a rigorous interview process, which includes psychometric testing.  Clients are managed centrally, and the VAs are carefully matched to the clients. This professional approach meant that when I was invited to join the team, I was confident that I had made the right choice. 

Conversations around my preferred working schedule and flexibility were transparent and open from the outset. I was able to establish what kind of work I enjoyed and what I was hoping to avoid. For example, I knew I loved problem solving and implementing effective processes, but I knew that I had never particularly relished dealing with the accounts. This was all taken on board and I am matched with clients accordingly. 

Interestingly when I ran my own business, I found part time staff recruitment costly and time consuming. Trying to create a job description that covered all the support I wanted, teamed with deciding what days/hours I needed someone in the office for was almost impossible. Finding the right candidate plus set-up and training costs made the whole process, at times, a bit of a headache. However, that experience does lead me to a complete understanding of the value of the virtual assistant as a role. Perhaps with hindsight, a Bay Tree VA helping me run my business would have been the perfect solution! 

My current client portfolio with Bay Tree VA is varied and interesting. My first client is a health and wellbeing consultant, who is working on building her business. Her client base is middle aged women and I help with her online presence, developing and selling her wellbeing programme. We speak once a week, early in the morning, to discussing strategies, growth plans and to analyse progress. I take my brief and then keep everything going so she can concentrate on her clients. Another of my clients is a fitness & nutrition trainer based in London. Again, I support his online community and monitor his social media.  We have a great relationship and I enjoy making a positive impact on his business.  

My third client is a not-for-profit organisation working in the social welfare sector, who has now also taken on a further Bay Tree VA to cover a different role. My role is to support the CEO in a range of tasks, including preparing community impact reports to go to funders showcasing the importance of services delivered in the local communities. The services they deliver are incredible and I am proud to be part of their team.  

The relationship with all three clients is so much more than just getting the job done. We have a great rapport and ride the waves together. My perspective is impartial, and I work with complete discretion, so my clients feel confident using me as a sounding board and sometimes sharing their woes. I also have the benefit of a knowledge and skills bank within the Bay Tree team that I can draw upon if needed.   

Having been a business owner myself, I can see the situation from both sides which is helpful when speaking to clients. I am loving my role as a VA. It works with my home life (we trundle off to Aldeburgh in the camper van at very short notice these days – I do love a dip in the sea) and I have more time with my family. I feel fulfilled and stretched mentally. I whole heartedly endorse the virtual assistant role as an efficient and cost-effective resource solution and am so happy that I chose to join the Bay Tree team for the support and range of clients they offer. 

Katie

standingby@baytreeva.co.uk

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