In the northern hemisphere, we are fast approaching Spring. The days are light for longer and usually feel warmer and brighter. Spring is typically a time of the year when people experience a change in mood and outlook.

They can see the light and feel more of the sun on their face. They can feel winter has receded, and observe animals and nature creating new life. They can sense that a new season is underway. It’s no different in the business world. There always seems to be an uplift in energy and activity around this time.Spring into Action

That is good news for the smarter-working VA who is ready to be more organised and spring into action.

Do you have everything in place?

Here are some things you can do to approach Spring with more confidence and calm.

Clear the Clutter

When it’s Spring you always hear the words spring clean. And it’s a good starting point for getting organised and ready to serve clients, current and new. Take a look at your home and office. What needs a tidy? What are you storing or keeping that you no longer need? Clearing the clutter is said to be a therapeutic process. It’s also a way to make a little bit of extra money, from selling your unwanted things, or to support a local charity by donating items. There is something freeing, liberating and re-energising about a good old-fashioned clear out. It also creates a stronger feeling of space for you.

Create Your Best Workspace

To do your best work, you want to be organised and comfortable – especially if you spend a lot of time at your computer screen. If you’ve been using your kitchen or dining room table as your ‘workstation’, is it time to consider getting a small desk or a more comfortable chair? If you’re in a study or spare room, is it time to invest in a better desk, a standing desk, or a more ergonomically designed chair, mouse or keyboard? If your working area tends to be a little bit on the dark side, could a new lamp (with lighting close to natural daylight) help ease that eyestrain?

And if investment now is not possible, at least review your workspace and make a plan for how you would like it to be in the next 3, 6 or 12 months.

Get Organised

As a VA, your time is precious. Being efficient and productive is the key to not only serving clients well but also making a go of this as a business. A diary, calendar and notebook can help you be organised with your every week. But maybe it’s time to look at what online tools, apps and platforms can do for you. There is quite a range from which to choose, so work out what you want the technology to do before investing. Do you need a timer to clock how long you spend on specific tasks – and allocate that to specific clients or projects?

Do you need something simple to keep track of your tasks or ‘to-do list’? Or do you require a more powerful project management tool to help you juggle all the different pieces of the puzzle?

Contracts and Paperwork

It is an easy thing to forget that when you are serving as a VA, you are also running a business. That’s true whether you’re freelance, self-employed or don’t yet have a formal company set up. As a VA, you’ll still need to be able to send proposals, have contract agreements, and something that sets out your terms and conditions of business. You may find it useful to make use of companies – like the one I recommend, KoffeeKlatch – who provide all kinds of policy and legal document templates. Just adapt them to your specific requirements.

Document Templates and Brand Styles

If you are working with different clients, they will have different ways of doing things and unique brands. This is where Microsoft Office comes into its own. It allows you to produce template documents and create Brand Style sets in Word.

It will save you so much time if you have these already set up, for whenever the client calls.

Practical Microsoft Office and 365 ‘Know How’

Spring is also a great time to review the gaps in your practical skills using Microsoft Office and 365 – and do something about it. Why waste valuable time searching how to do a task – and how do it in the most efficient way – every time you’re given some work? When you know how to do it, you’ll know for good. This means you can focus on doing a better job for your client. The more you impress them, the more likely they’ll keep you and keep sending projects your way. And the more productive you are, the more new clients you can take on (and the more you can charge).

Do you need to work on your Word?

Would you like Excel tasks to be easier?

Could you do with polishing up your PowerPoint
presentation skills?

Could your management of Outlook be brighter? Would it help to have a hand with setting up Microsoft 365
how you want it?

Have you cottoned on yet to the fact you WILL almost certainly need to know how to work with Microsoft Teams?

If you’re finding yourself saying ‘Yes’ to quite a few of the questions above, you might want to consider Tomorrow’s VA Hub. It’s my complete box set of online courses and represents the best savings.

No more wasted hours searching endless YouTube videos to find what you want. You can have it all in one place, access it from wherever you are in the world, 24-7.

The Hub, which has been dubbed ‘The Full Monty’, saves you money on buying the courses separately – and every new course I create gets added to your collection for free. So, the value increases even more over time.

Get that Website and Marketing organised

Spring is also a good time to review how you are working and promoting yourself.

Do you have a plan for finding new clients?

Do you have your marketing in place?

Which social media channels (if any) are you going to use – and how will you use them?

Is your website up to date? Does it successfully reflect and represent you and your VA brand?

Are you reviewing, adjusting and adapting your marketing activity?

Spring into WOW!

Business is not just about sales and marketing. It’s also about customer service.

How could you deliver more ‘Wow!’ to your clients?

How could you improve your communications with them?

How could you add more value to them?

What could you do to have them singing your praises to everyone they meet or chat to?

How can you turn a 7 into an 8, an 8 into a 9 or even take a 9 to a 10/10?

Get that Spring thinking cap on.

It’s All Down to You

These are just some of the things you could be looking at for your business as Spring approaches. There will be other things you think of – around processes, systems, onboarding and follow-up, for example – so simply choose what’s right for you. This is your moment.

Other businesses and assistants are probably going to be thinking the same thing. It’s time to spring into action.

Get reflecting. Get reviewing. Get going.

Get organised. Get systemised. Get automated.

Get your space. Get your light. Get comfy.

It could be your busiest year yet ahead. It’s time to be ready for when it all happens.

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes