Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is "Virtually" the best way to accomplish more!

I have found the most successful and Happy people in life are those that are focused on adding value to the lives of others. That is why I have dedicated my life and this blog to doing just that. That is also why I am so excited to share this post with you.

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Bochet, virtual assistant and Owner of Thrive Assistants, LLC.

I learned so much from speaking with Melissa. If you are a sales professional in any field, an entrepreneur or soloprenuer or a small business owner who has too much to do a Virtual Assistant may be a viable answer to that hectic schedule which, is keeping you from growing your business, selling more or doing MORE of the thinigs you enjoy and are good at and LESS of the "Other Stuff".

Me: Melissa good morning and thanks for giving me some of your time, I know you're very busy, so let's jump right into it. "Virtual” is such a popular buzz word in today’s online focused society and lately I’ve heard a lot about “virtual assistants”. As the business owner of a virtual assistance company, can you better define that term?

Melissa: Sure. Virtual Assistants provide a large variety of administrative support for small businesses owners and professionals, not unlike a secretary or administrative assistant you would find at any office Except:
· VA’s work from home
· Typically each VA works with more than one client
· Typically a VA is highly skilled and qualified in her field
· VA’s work as an independent contractors

Me: How is the VA model a better value or solution to business professionals vs. just hiring an administrative assistant?

Melissa: This model is a huge benefit to many small business owners, and business professionals because you can get high value at a low cost! Here are just a few of the top reasons why:

1. You pay only for the time you need. Let’s face it, most struggling professionals need help but can’t afford someone part time, let alone full time. You can hire a virtual assistant for 5 hours one week, 15 hours the next and not at all week after that. Some VA will ask for a bank of hours per month, but you can shop around and find one that works for you.
2. You can utilize VA services for a one-time project or hire for long-term, ongoing projects
3. You don't have to pay any employee taxes or benefits.
4. VA’s are typically high end assistants much more qualified than a low salary worker. They may perform tasks such as website design, SEO tasks, newsletters, brochure creation and research in addition to typical tasks such as data entry, typing and mailings.

Me: There are lots of Virtual Assistants to choose from. How do I know what VA to choose? How do I know his or her level of qualifications? Is there an industry standard?

Melissa: Good question. There are a variety of certifications from various sources but currently there is no standard in the industry. I would suggest you pick a VA who will best work with your personality and your industry. Today, many VA’s have picked a niche where they excel. For instance, some specialize in real estate, publishing, legal transcription, bookkeeping services and more. So picking a VA in your field makes good sense. Here are some steps to take when searching for the right VA:
1. Pick a VA with a niche in your field or VA who has talents in areas you need support in.
2. Interview them. Much like a job interview, checks their references, talk to their clients. 3.
Remember there is no reason why you have to make a long term commitment so you can test the waters. If the VA is willing to do a couple projects for you, you may be able to determine if you want to continue working with them or find someone new.

Me: Melissa, your niche with Thrive Assistant Services is Sales and Marketing. Why did you choose this area and how is this a benefit for your clients?

Melissa: I was in sales for many years before starting my own business. I remember prospecting taking up so much time when I just wanted to have appointments and “sell”. Cold Calling was brutal and organizing my time was always a struggle. I knew that prospecting and following up was a HUGE part of succeeding in sales, but time didn’t seem to be on my side. I want to reduce or eliminate this struggle for sales people. Very few virtual assistance companies do this. There has been such a need, that my business has certainly grown.

Me: Not only is the "Virtual Assistant" concept still faily new and unique for most but amongst your peers in the indusrty Thrive Assistants" is unique. What is YOUR marketing plan and how are you keeping up and evolving with the market?

Melissa: When I started out, I thought I could do everything for anyone. What I found was that I did an adequate job, but not the great job I could be doing if I focused my efforts. Still, I’ve grown to 3 employees and have been, in my opinion, moderately successful. Recently I have done a lot of research and moving forward, I plan to specialize working in an area I’ve found I’ve had the most success - the financial B2B sector. This would include working with clients such as CPA’s, Financial Advisors, Insurance Agents and Business Brokers. By focusing on the needs of these individuals in this field and on what their clients want, I believe I can really provide extraordinary results.

Me: Melissa thank you so much for your time today. Icertainly have a clearer picture of what you do and have convinced me of the many benefits of what you do! In closing I would like to ask you one last question. If you could summarize for the readers, How do the services you offer as a vritual assistant and leader in the virtual assistant industry add value to peoples lives?

Melissa: When a person can spend more time doing the things they enjoy and focus more energy on the things that make them money they usually live happier and less stressful lives. What I do and all virtual assistants do is give the gift of time. We also give people and business owners a more flexible and affordable option to thier administraion needs.

Me: Melissa it has been a pleasure speaking with you and I thank you for your time.

To learn more about Melissa and Virtual Assistants Please visit

Peace & Prosperity

Dallas M Cyr