Sunday, November 22, 2009

African Language Trancriptionists/Translators required

Tavasa requires transcriptionists and translators in the following african languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho and Tswana. If you have these skills please email or

Friday, November 13, 2009

VA Certification Alison Fourie

Press Release:
The first Virtual Assistant in South Africa to receive this recognition.

Headline: Local Virtual Assistant Receives International Recognition from Industry Leaders Worldwide

Summary: Alison Fourie qualifies for worldwide Virtual Assistant certification at
Author: Alison Fourie
Keywords: worldwide virtual assistant certification program, VA leaders, virtual assistant, virtual assistance, specialty VA, niche Virtual Assistants, WAHM, work at home moms, business startup, virtual business, online business, work from home
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Alison Fourie
13 November 2009 Tel: +27011768 5028
Fax: +27 086 514 8475

Local Virtual Assistant Receives International Recognition from Industry Leaders Worldwide
South Africa – Alison Fourie, owner of AMF Typing Services cc announced today that she has qualified for the new worldwide Virtual Assistant Certification from is the new standard for Virtual Assistant Certification which clients worldwide can use to benchmark the services they are looking for in a Virtual Assistant (VA). The first internationally recognized VA certification, offers a carefully calibrated and unbiased assessment of a VA's skills, education, professional experience and industry contributions to gain business owners' confidence in the skills of certified VAs.
To qualify for the certification, Alison was evaluated by 13 industry leaders and specialists from the four corners of the world on a broad spectrum of personal and professional traits pertaining to her expertise and professional ethic.
Alison is one of thousands of Virtual Assistants (VAs), business owners who work from their own offices providing professional support , services and skills to their clients via phone, fax and Internet-based technology. Partnering with a VA reduces stress, protects cash flow, eliminates administrative hassles and enables business people to find the success they originally set out to achieve.
As more and more businesses look toward affordable, online solutions to sustain and grow their bottom line in a tough economy, Virtual Assistants are enjoying increased demand for their services. For business owners and managers who may have considered outsourcing support tasks to a VA in the past but could not justify the understandable risk of hiring an unknown, VA certification provides an assurance that the VA in question has the skills and experience needed.
Alison specializes in typing and assisting new VA entering the industry and is a home-based administrative professional providing various online services to her clients. She started her Virtual Assistance career in 2001 to be able to assist clients with office administration and typing and to assist newbie Virtual Assistants entering the industry and to spread the word about the industry around South Africa.

My certification is important to me as I feel I have the experience, skill to be able to assist clients worldwide. I feel I can make a difference to new Vas coming into the industry by showing them how to get to the position that I am in now, I believe in sharing my experience with others to assist them so they want make the mistakes I made coming into the industry.

For more information about AMF Typing Service cc visit
The seal of approval tells prospective clients that a global panel of experts has thoroughly reviewed a Virtual Assistant's skills, experience and professional ethic. To learn more about becoming a certified Virtual Assistant or to discover the benefits of hiring a certified Virtual Assistant, visit
About AMF Typing Services cc.
Launched in 2001, AMF Typing Services cc specializes in typing and office administration. Visit the website at

About VAcertified is the go-to resource for Virtual Assistants who want credible, unbiased and international recognition for their skills, education, professional experience and industry contributions. Devoted to creating and growing a certification program that embraces diversity, strives to enhance and evolve professional relationships between VA and client. Follow ( @ ) VAcertified on Twitter for up to date information about this worldwide certification for Virtual Assistants.
For more information contact:
Tawnya Sutherland
Toll Free: 866-943-6665
info ( @ ) vacertified dot com
Follow ( @ ) VAcertified on Twitter

Thursday, November 12, 2009

VA Certification

I am pleased to announce that I have received VA certification with effect 12 November 2009.
For more information please visit

Countless Virtual Assistants Join Your Industry Every Day.
How Will You Prove YOU Are the Right Choice?
As the first globally coordinated VA Certification Program of its kind, has brought together VA leaders from the 4 corners of the world to create a one of a kind program for virtual assistants. If you’re a proactive VA seeking the ultimate competitive edge, look no further.
In these tough economic times prospective clients aren’t just looking to save money, they’re looking to partner with someone they can trust. They not only need skill and talent, they need proof that you are the kind of VA you say you are.
Can you afford to leave money on the table every time a prospective client lets doubt creep in? How can you avoid this when chances are you’ll never get the chance to look them in the eye?
You know you have what it takes to do the job.
But how do you get prospects to TRUST you?
Fact is, nothing sells better than positive word of mouth. Likewise, nothing shows you are what you say you are like a glowing endorsement from the industry in which you’re trying to earn a profit.
Peer reviewed professionals get more clients and command more money.
And nowhere is the peer review process needed more than online where anyone can put up a website, anyone can post their skills “for hire,” and anyone can call themselves a VA.
As business becomes increasingly global—even for the small business professional—securing credible outsourced help is intimidating. Many business owners are afraid to make the leap, business owners with deep pockets.
Imagine having the thumbs up from an INTERNATIONALLY handpicked board of industry leaders.
Imagine what that might say about you to the prospect that is ready to put money on the table for the “right VA?”
Be the “right VA” every time with a VAcertified Seal Just for demonstrating the talent and know-how you already have TODAY. Successful entrepreneurs have proven again and again that it’s not what you know but how you bring that knowledge and experience together in one, synergistic benefit package for clients.
When you display the VAcertified Seal on your website and in your other marketing materials, it says to prospective clients that you are the VA you say you are. Virtual Assistants who display the VAcertified seal have demonstrated to an elite peer group that they possess a unique combination of:
Professional work experience
Education and training
Demonstrated contributions to the VA industry
Think you have what it takes to become VAcertified?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


What do you do in this situation:

Client 1 sends you in a Business Plan to type, required today.
Client 2 sends you in 3 hours of transcription to type, required today.
Client 3 you arrange appointments for this client, so calls come in as and when.
Client 4 has a business presentation for you to type required tomorrow.

You first need to look at each task, put them into deadline date order, then put them into an order of the quickest one you can do first. Concentrate on each piece of work as you do them, do not stop and start another while you are still busy on a task, only do this if a client calls for that work and insists they have that work soon.

Then start working your way through the pile. Do one task at a time, you can stop quite easily in between to do your appointments as they come in, then quickly pick up where you left off.

Always work by prioritising and using time management skills when performing all your work. I love to multi-task. The more busy I am the more I can cope. I thrive on being busy and organised.

Feel free to comment back to me about multitasking and prioritising, I would love to hear your comments.

Dealing with clients

A lot of newbie Vas and Transcriptions have a Secretarial background, so should be used to dealing with clients...

The quicker you reply to an email, sms, fax or query from potential clients, you more liable you are to secure that client.
Clients must be treat as equals, you are both on the same level, and you are providing them with a service they require.
I learnt very early on in my career to provide a quality customer services and I have always done this with my clients. I treat each client as if they are my only client and they know I have a lot of clients, but I make them feel special and make them feel as if their work is very important to me and I would say that clients appreciate this.
Never try to sell a service to a client that you cannot perform, the client will immediately pick up on this and very soon you will be caught out. Only offer the services that you have experience in.
Be confident in your approach with potential clients, the more confidence you show in knowing what you are doing, this is again a way to bag the client.
Show an interest in getting to know your client, ask for company profile, company website so that you can see what that client does, that is a great help when sending out emails, doing PowerPoint presentations and doing press releases for clients and it shows you are interested in knowing more about them.
You as a VA or Transcriptionist should be the one who gives your client a rate for the job, not the client. You should be able to negotiate on deadlines, as you know how long jobs take to do. The client does not always know and often it is the case in transcription. The client has no idea how long it takes to transcribe an hour’s work, but you do. If the deadline is not reachable negotiate with the client and tell them it is unmanageable, be honest up front, never be afraid to approach a client, you are on equal terms.
Do not address clients as Sir, Madam, and Mr Brown etc; address them by their first name, as they do you. You are working with them, not for them, the way you address the client makes a difference in how they will treat you and the level in which they converse with you on.
VA and Transcriptionists are Business Owner, so make sure you portray this to prospective clients.
If you need help or assistance in dealing with clients, please approach me. Ihave lots of experience in dealing with all types of clients.

© Copyright 2009 Alison Fourie, All rights reserved.

New VAs against Older more established VAs

In South Africa at the moment there is more newbie VAs coming through but still the clients are turning towards the older more established VAs. Yes we may have the VA experience but some of the newbie’s also have lots of office exposure as much as the oldies, but not the VA experience and to get this they need to work for clients to gain the experience. So potential clients if you read this be prepared to try our newbie VAs some of them do have the experience you need, especially the older ladies that have recently in the past few years started up virtual assistant businesses.
By oldies I mean VAs that have been in the VA business over 5 years. Newbies, new VAs that have been in the business a few years and are struggling to get started, a lot of these do not have the exposure of working for clients like the older VAs have.
Working in an office is no longer what it was. There is such a saying as ‘old school’ where secretaries used to work for anyone and do many tasks, we were taught different to today’s office assistant. I feel to be a VA you need to have a good 10 years office experience behind you. You need to have had exposure to running an office, delegating, multitasking, being pro-active, assertive, being able to communicate well, without these skills many VAs will struggle.
We do need to advertise our skills and experience well to get the attention of the clients. Make our websites look and feel different from our competitors/peers. We need to stand out to pull that client towards ourselves
To me what counts in a virtual assistant is her skills and experience. If a VA can’t be proactive and think for herself she will struggle big time as there is no one there to assist her, she is working on her own. If a VA is not used to being multi-skilled, she better get used to it quickly as you will use all your skills running a VA business.

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