Member of the Month

Member Spotlight–Pamela Lewerenz

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Blog Posts, Member of the Month | 0 comments

Member Spotlight–Pamela Lewerenz

NEVA welcomes our newest member, Pamela Lewerenz of Balanced Numbers Consulting Services LLC! 1. Why did you decide to start a virtual business? I have always wanted to be a business owner. Getting away from the stress of the office environment and having to be a slave to the 9-to-5 grind was my first goal. As I developed my business plan, I focused my energy on balancing my love of the business world with my passion for helping others. 2. What is your niche or specialization? I enjoy working with entrepreneurs who want to create a work life balance, set and obtain their goals, and/or need assistance with coordinating their business tasks. Since accounting, bookkeeping, and budgeting is in my blood, I work with quite a few people in the financial services field; however, my only prerequisite is your willingness to be open to change so any small business owner is welcomed. 3. What is your background and how does it fit into your virtual business? I have worked in the education and health fields as an administrator. For 12 years, I was an elected tax collector in my hometown. I went to business school and college for Accounting and Business Management with a minor in Information Systems & Operations Management but that seems like many moons ago! I continue to stay up-to-date on the latest technological advances by attending annual conferences. I also take continuing education classes in many different areas each year. 4. What makes you and your business stand out from the rest? My motto is “collaboration is key.” I treat each client as an individual and design my services to meet their needs. 5. What advice would you give to a person, who wants to start a virtual business? My advice for anyone wanting to start a virtual business is that communication is key. Use a client relationship management system (CRM) to organize your workflow and stay in touch with your clients. This is such an important piece of setting up your business. 6. Do you have any other comments or something you want to add? I will just add that I offer a 30-minute free consultation for those interested in learning more about my services and how they can save you time and money in your life. I welcome new clients! I am always focused on giving you quality service to help you grow your business, put efficiency in your workload, ease your stress, and assist you in structuring your business to suit your needs. Pamela Lewerenz Balanced Numbers Consulting Services LLC...

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Member Spotlight — Jeannette Tibbetts

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Blog Posts, Member of the Month | 0 comments

Member Spotlight — Jeannette Tibbetts

This month’s member in the spotlight is Jeannette Tibbetts of JTypePlus.   I’m Jeannette Tibbetts and my company name is JTypePlus. Let’s start this interview by explaining my business name: JT is for Jeannette Tibbetts…who types plus a whole lot more! Kooky, I know. And difficult to pronounce if you don’t know the story (did that stop Nike…who knew you had to pronounce the “e”?). If I could go back seven years and rename my company, I would. Why did you decide to start a virtual business? Back in 2009, I realized I could write grants for my husband-at-the-time’s (HATT) church restoration company (I could contact the churches and offer to procure grants and charge his company for my time…the plan was to get him more work during the Great Recession). Well, it didn’t quite work out that way—grant writing is a PIA, and securing grants is not a sure thing. But, the idea of working from home for small businesses really clicked with me. I already was doing my HATT’s administrative work. Why not find a few solo entrepreneurs/micro-businesses in need of administrative help? What is your niche or specialization? I hate the word “niche.” One of my first memories of the first year in business was at a NEVA Luncheon in CT. Everyone was talking about their niche. I didn’t have one then. And I don’t have one now. I do have a target market—solo entrepreneurs and micro-businesses…often those who have events they need to market, but not always. What is your background and how does it fit into your virtual business? My background is secretarial…went to a community college and received an Associate’s in Secretarial Science, way back in 1980—before computers, cell phones; shorthand was still taught! I worked for a law firm, a construction company, temped and finally a consultant. That’s when my official secretarial career ended—I had babies and stayed home (doing HATT’s administrative work). While working, I always jumped at any opportunity to educate myself (at the expense of the company for which I was working). In 2009, while hanging with my best friend, I learned social media with our laptops atop our laps and haven’t stopped learning since. What makes you and your business stand out from the rest? I don’t think my business stands out “from the rest.” I don’t think there are enough Virtual Assistants to worry about that. And every VA company offers different services. What advice would you give to a person who wants to start a virtual business? Pick services that you REALLY want to do. Don’t do stuff you don’t want to do. That’s one of the best parts of being a Virtual Assistant. You can pick and choose. And don’t overthink starting your business. Just find a few small businesses that need administrative help (there are so many out there!)…you’ll know right away if you connect with them. Price your services reasonably at the beginning and make it a policy that your prices will increase yearly. And keep learning…you want to stay ahead of your target market. JTypePlus in Western MA 774-454-8749 jeannette @...

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Member Spotlight – Christine Williams

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Member of the Month | 0 comments

Member Spotlight – Christine Williams

This month’s member in the spotlight is Christine Williams of Dragonfly Business Services. Christine started her virtual assistant business, because she was laid off from a job she hated going to. According to Christine, “The layoff was a blessing in disguise.” I think some of us can relate to her feelings. Her specialty is being an Administrative Assistant. Christine says, “I’m an administrative assistant. I like doing the tasks that not many people like to do. I’ve found a lot of small business owners are wasting a lot of time on social media, newsletters, and website changes that they shouldn’t be doing. That’s the kind of work that needs to be outsourced. A business owner should be focusing on the reason they started their business and leave the administrative work to me.” When asked about how her background fits into her virtual business, Christine, with her great sense of humor says, “I worked in the legal field forever, or so it felt like it. I remember in grammar school thinking how cool it was to be a secretary — on LA Law.  I worked as a Legal Assistant (once called a Legal Secretary) for over 20 years. I’ve learned a lot about the different types of law and the court system and how it runs.  I also learned a lot about real estate, which I really enjoyed. What makes Christine and Dragonfly Business Services stand out from the rest? Christine specializes in helping real estate agents and attorneys.  However, she also has helped a lot of different small businesses including business coaches, dog trainers, and other Virtual Assistants. She enjoys what she does and the biggest satisfaction is being able to help a small business owner, who is overwhelmed, and see their business take off, once those tasks are off of their shoulders. The advice Christine would give to anyone starting a virtual business is, “I would strongly suggest finding a mentor. I never in a million years thought that I would one day run my own business and be able to work from a home office, so that I had the flexibility I needed for my family.  When I first started, I had a great mentor, who helped me through the ups and downs of starting a business and has been there for me, when I need her. I also joined NEVA, which was a great decision. I have made friends with a lot of the members. I think it’s also important to know there are others out there and you’re not alone!” Dragonfly Business Services Bridgewater, MA Phone: (508) 353-2204 Fax:      (508) 408-8867 E-Mail: cwilliams@dragonflybusinessma.com      ...

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Member Spotlight – Anne Bole

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Member of the Month | 0 comments

Member Spotlight – Anne Bole

This month’s member in the spotlight is Anne Bole and her virtual business is What’s Your Priority VA Services, LLC.   Anne has over 25 years in the corporate world as a Personal Computer IT professional and 6 years as a campground owner/manager. She loved the campground business, but the economy wasn’t doing well enough to support that kind of business. She looked for a job, but was told she had too much experience! She spoke to a friend over lunch and the friend asked her to make a skills list and then suggested she become a Virtual Assistant. Anne says, “I had never heard of it before (but I do remember saying to friends in the past that I wish I could work from home and utilize my skill set). I scoured the internet and found so much info on Virtual Assisting I was overwhelmed and that was my start.” Although Anne’s specialization has changed over the past 4 years, she currently specializes in General Administration, Infusionsoft and AWeber, Webinar Creation, Podcasting and Video Creation, Business Systems and Procedures. Anne’s background goes back several years to when she worked in Information Systems and managed Wang systems for the Corporate Offices that included training and support. Upgrading to Personal Computers on a company-wide basis, her team was responsible for hardware installation, software training and client support. She always loved helping the users find new ways to do their jobs more efficiently. Anne says, “At the end of my corporate career I became an entrepreneur as a small campground owner/manager in NH for 6 years and computerized the former owners systems to make my job easier. All these experiences helped me form a successful VA business.” What makes Anne’s business, What Your Priority VA Services, LLC. stand out from the rest? Anne says she is enthusiastic about it and she loves to assist other small business owners to find their passion and spend time doing it. I do many of the items they don’t like or want to do, because it is what I like to do it. Her advice to anyone, who wants to start a virtual business is “Go for it!” She says, “It is the most rewarding job I have held in my career. I am my own boss; I can pick my clients, set my prices and love the job I do. I have networked with some amazing Virtual Assistants from all over the world including Dubai and Venezuela and I find it is the most collaborative group of people I know. I have found numerous volunteer opportunities with New England Virtual Assistants as Secretary and also volunteer for the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) as Director of Member Resources. Anne’s advice to every virtual business owner is, “Networking is the key to success. NEVA is a great networking group. I joined as an aspiring member, attended the conference calls and luncheons, and signed up for a weekend workshop in Boston on Building your VA business. I got my first job referral from this workshop and have been working with this client for 4 years. I also belong to a NH networking group called Women Inspiring Women NH. This group has also been invaluable to my business success. www.whatsyourpriorityvaservices.com   Written by Jo Ann Plante...

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Member Spotlight – Jacqueline “Jacqui” Davis

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Member of the Month | 0 comments

Member Spotlight – Jacqueline “Jacqui” Davis

This month’s member in the spotlight is Jacqueline “Jacqui” Davis, owner and Chief Problem Solver at Virtually Here, LLC. Before starting her own virtual business, Jacqui used to be a special education teacher. She  injured her back in 2009 restraining a student. She had to have back surgery and had to take time off from teaching to heal. Her mom told her about a Chronical segment on TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit is an online and mobile marketplace that allows users to outsource small jobs and tasks to others in their nearby areas. Since she did not want to just sit on the couch and watch TV, she decided to apply as a “rabbit” (the person who performs tasks). She started doing virtual tasks for people on the platform. Two of these people were female entrepreneurs from California that teamed up together and convinced her to start her own Virtual Assistant company, so in 2010 she started Virtually Here. When talking about her niche, she says, “ Virtually Here is a very different model than most Virtual Assistants. When I began in 2010, it was just me doing virtual admissive type tasks. Quickly I was finding that my clients needed more support in categories like marketing, social media, web design and more. So in 2012, I change my business model to be a virtual assistant firm. Essentially, your one-stop virtual shop for all your business support needs. I now have a team of people who can provide all back-end services to entrepreneurs and small business.” She’s performed a variety of jobs, but, she says, all of them had one thing in common – customer service and problem-solving. She knew these skills well and growing up in the world of technology, she knew she would be successful. What makes Jacqui unique and her business stand out from the rest? Her first response is FAMILY! Growing up with a sister with Down syndrome, and then later serving as primary caretaker for her mother, she has seen firsthand what happens when a group of people unite under a common goal. Jacqui says, “just as a family becomes stronger when they work together, a business becomes stronger when people with individual skills work together. After working for 12 years in hospital administration, I started Virtually Here to provide a one-stop virtual shop for administrative and business support needs.” Nearly six years later, she’s expanded her role from virtual administrative assistant to prolific networker … making it her mission to cultivate a Rolodex of experienced, highly talented creative partners ready to collaborate with her clients. What advice does Jacqui have for anyone starting a virtual assistant business? “First and foremost, before you start the business, have clients and support from family and friends. I would also suggest talking to other virtual assistants about their experiences. I found those two things to be the biggest help when starting out and even now six years later.” Jacquie adds “ Virtually Here is proud to belong to a number of prestigious organizations, including The International Virtual Assistants Associations (IVAA), New England Virtual Assistants (NEVA), and the Woman’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).  Even with this professional success, I’m still focused on family first. Most weekends you’ll find me with the people (and pets) I love, singing in an adult rock chorus, and attending plays, musicals, and concerts. After all, what good is professional success if you don’t have family to share it with?” I’d love to welcome you into the Virtually Here family. Book your free one-hour consultation today! Virtually Here, LLC Office: 978-600-8218 Cell: 857-544-1355 www.VirtuallyHere.net   Written by Jo Ann...

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Spotlight Member of the Month – Jo Ann Plante

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Member of the Month | 0 comments

Spotlight Member of the Month                                                                                                                                                                                                                     – Jo Ann Plante

The NEVA blog will spotlight one member per month. This gives the member the opportunity to introduce herself and her business. Because this is the first post for the Our Members/Benefits section, I am going first. My name is Jo Ann Plante and my virtual business name is Virtual Colleague, LLC. I chose this name, because I partner with clients and share their project deadlines and goals. My business is located in Coventry, Rhode Island. I decided to work virtually after I had my second lupus flare-up. I knew I had lupus, but it had been in remission for 20 years. It took over a year and a half to recuperate. When I started looking for work, I found that my age and being out of work were factors in not getting hired. I got angry and decided to take charge of my life, so I started my own business in 2013, so I could rest when I needed to and have less stress. I specialize in writing projects and general administrative tasks. I offer a resume package consisting of four specific documents. I also write video scripts, articles, how-to manuals, press releases, web research, and copywriting. I offer proofreading and editing services and I write for two different blogs. I have always worked in either an administrative capacity or as a writer, so when I started my virtual assistant business, I chose to do the two things that I enjoy doing the most: working on my computer and writing. I even found time to write a fiction novel “Everyone Evelon”. What sets my virtual business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, apart from the others is: 1) my extensive background in writing and a variety of administrative experience, 2) my volunteer work as an ESL tutor and my church help me to relate to different cultures and work ethics, and 3) the name “Virtual Colleague, LLC” suggests that my client and I are “partners” on the same level. When a client signs on with me, they get an administrative professional, who is proficient in what I offer and a business “partner”, who is both responsible and accountable for projects from inception to completion. The best advice I can give anyone starting out as a virtual assistant is to persevere. It is not an easy business to get into, but it can be very rewarding. Education is important. Don’t pass up free webinars or eBooks or any form of education. You never know when a potential client will ask you, if you have that skill. If you’ve learned a little bit about it, you can master it quickly. Networking and education are the two pillars of strength for a virtual assistant. I encourage our members to attend the in-person meetings and the conference calls. I always learn something from participating in them. It’s time well spent. Whatever your learning style is, use it to learn new things all the time. Read, watch, and/or listen to everything you can and you will become the “go to” virtual assistant. Click here to visit my website.    ...

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