Ann Read’s straightforward approach to dealing with her clients is very ideal when it comes to juggling multiple tasks at a time. Also, making her career growth objectives clear makes her efficient in her role as a Virtual Assistant. Truly admirable, Ann!
Ann Read is a highly experienced Virtual Assistant with a wealth of knowledge gained from working as a PA in large blue-chip organisations right through to small-scale family businesses. Over the 18 years of her office career, she has seen and done it all! She is passionate about all things admin and a fanatical organiser. Her core belief is that everyone should have a healthy work-life balance and The PA Portal was set up to do just that. By alleviating the admin anxiety faced by many small businesses, Ann is able to open up a gateway to growth for her many clients.
What made you decide to venture into Virtual Assistance? How does this help you with your long-term goals?
Redundancy led me into being a Virtual Assistant and setting up my own business. I had always wanted to work for myself and create a business venture. My long term goals are to develop a solid VA career and experience plan, and to be then recognised in the industry as an awarded winning VA. Only 6 months into my business I am already outsourcing to Associate VAs as the workflow is at a sufficient level, all gained through personal referrals.
What is a typical day like for you?
After dropping my daughter at preschool, I sit down at my desk and review all my emails and spend 30 minutes replying to all urgent messages and planning the rest of my time for that day/week. I work for my principal client in a 3-day block which helps me to focus on that individual business. However, no two days are the same. I work remotely but also am required to attend meetings where I also offer consultancy and tech solutions when on site.
I find that the blend of remote working and office enables me to understand my client’s business in more detail. The work I do for my other 5 clients are spread across the working month, and this work is completed in the evenings. These clients’ needs are all diverse, from direct mail campaigns, online research projects, branding, through to audio transcription of board meetings. I love the variety and versatility of being a VA.
What do you think are the cornerstones of being an exemplary Virtual Executive Assistant?
To have solid corporate experience and a personal confidence to demonstrate how experienced you are and what differences you can make to your client’s business.
How do you market your work and build your network?
All of my clients have come through personal referrals but I use social media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to build my brand profile and awareness. I write regular blogs also on my website. I plan to join business networking events in the future when my family commitments are less and I can dedicate more time to the business to grow it with the view to outsourcing to more Associates.
What are your most favorite VA tools and how have these helped you to become productive?
What is the philosophy behind PA Portal?Go for it, it is extremely rewarding to get direct client feedback and to know you make a difference every day. Click To Tweet
The PA Portal provides a gateway for businesses to grow. Administrative tasks are time consuming and do not drive profit, my business provides a ‘portal’ for clients to harness profit through outsourcing their admin to me.
What advice would you like to share to aspiring VAs who would like to build a name of their own?
Go for it, it is extremely rewarding to get direct client feedback and to know you make a difference every day.