Reflection, Where did I start? When I look back at the key reference points and websites I used in setting up Witts End Business Services so much has happened. I ask myself where have the last two and a half years gone. It is surprising how much business related information I have learnt, some things have worked well and others that have not. They say we all learn by trying different things in life and business.
When reflecting since starting my business as a Freelance PA/Virtual Assistant – so much has happened. An extremely rewarding and fact finding journey since 2018. The transition from the coporate world to a freelance PA/Virtual Assistant is a journey in itself!
During Lockdown, you might have decided to set up your own business. It can be challenging working out what to do first. There is so much to “take on board” as they say. You might wonder, am I going in the right direction? My first business idea was simply a notebook and pen, with lots of ideas.
Key Things that Helped me in Finding the Right Direction
- Deciding on a Name gave me a definite focus, ideas for logos and colours etc, reason for your Name
- Sole Trader versus Limited Company, researching the Government website together with the Federation of Small Businesses and Companies House
- Domain Names – My Personal Choice the Reg 123 Website
- Logo/Tradmarking with the IPO
- Finance – speaking to a local accountant
- Hardware/Wifi Requirements
- Research – both Internet and Books
- The Legals
What’s in a Name
Looking back finding the right name for my business was a challenge. On reflection, where did I start? “Witts End” resulting from a brain storming session with family and friends. You might wonder what is the “meaning behind the name”. Witts End was set up with the aim of supporting business owners who had been in business for some time. Having reached the stage when they were overworked, did not know what to do next and needed some support with their business administration.
What if I do not have a Website set up?
At the start of my journey I had not thought about setting up a Website. I still needed to be engaging with potential clients, and to think about SEO, what were my options?
I decided to advertise locally and initially took an advertisement out in a local Community Monthly Magazine. Luckily in my locality, there was a business community website where I could advertise and also have a business page if one did not have a website yourself. So I arranged for my first Witts End Business Services business page to be featured in the Penny Post Community Website covering West Berkshire, Wantage, Swindon, and the Marlborough areas.
Legal Side of Things
As a person one of the most important things to me it the legal side of things and data protection. At the start of my business journey with the onset and changes to GDPR, the ICO was additional thing to take on board. Just after setting in business I heard about Suzanne Dibble’s Small Business Legal Academy which I have found to be a brilliant investment as a business owner which includes Legal Templates etc.
Acquiring New Skills/Training
When I decided to make the transfer from the corporate world to a Freelance PA/Virtual Assistant, it was a complete change in outlook. I immediately found myself wearing “many hats” that come with running a new business, some of which I had not used in previous roles. Even working as a virtual assistant there are transferrable skills as a traditional PA/Secretary one can bring to the role. I discovered that the “Virtural Assistant” role covers an amazing variety of business support areas – social media, email marketing, creative VA traditional PA Secretarial skillset etc.
If you are going to invite clients to a One to One meeting and you wish to sent them a link to your calendar via email, then Calendly is a very user friendly calendar scheduling application to use. I have undertaken a training course on Calendly with Pincus Academy which I have found to be an extremely user friendy course which is very clear and concise
Virtual Assistant Training
At the start of my journey I discovered Amanda Johnson, a Business Coach, Mentor and Trainer specialising in Virtual Assistants who runs VACT Training Ltd . Following a conversation with Amanda I enrolled on her VA Mastery Course. This helped me with what was required in working as a Virtual Assistant, introduction to new applications and software, and running your own business. An absolutely brilliant course and very supportive Facebook group as well. The Social Media Bootcamp Course was another excellent course that helped me with marketing for Witts End Business Services and social media marketing.
Working through the VACT training courses and also working with Amanda has certainly help me in my journey in setting up my business and as a Freelance Pa/Virtual Assistant. I can highly recommend getting in touch with Amanda Johnson.
In the corporate world I had used the Microsoft Suite of Programs but there were still things that I felt I needed to update my skills on regarding the Microsoft products. Through doing my course with Amanda, I heard about Shelley Fishel from Tomorrow’s VA who runs a series of Microsoft training courses which I have found invaluable. The latest set of courses in 2022 run by Shelley Fishel are the Office Maestro Course these I have found are extremely good. I only wish that I had found Tomorrow’s VA when I worked in the corporate world. An excellent reference point for updating any Microsoft skills that you might need.
For any new Virtual Assistant I would also recommend joining the Society of Virtual Assistants
If you too have been on a journey in setting up your business and you need some assistance, please get in touch. Email: Hello@wittsendbusinessservices.co.uk