I'm a brick-and-mortar turned virtual Gal Friday that loves to work with companies all over the globe to assist with their documentation, office management, transcription, writing, website building, etc. etc. etc.
We're a virtual administrative assistant service that takes all the extras you need to get done, and does them!
You've got a business. And you're looking for help, right? Do you feel swamped some days? Do you wish you could hire a team...but feel like you can't because you're a solopreneur, a micro business, a one man show, a mom and pop shop?
We're here for you Mr. Startup and Miss Entrepreneur. We love working with new businesses. We want to give you our time and effort as virtual assistants at an affordable price. Really!
Let us be Your Gal Friday and help you and your business with all the little odds and ends that continuously fall into the cracks because you and your staff are too busy to get to it all.
What do you like most about your profession?
I love that I get to work with people from all over the world, from all types of backgrounds doing all types of jobs. Every day is something new!
What questions do clients most commonly ask you? How do you respond?
Because of the nature of my business, two questions come up. #1 - Can you help me do X? and #2 - How much will it cost? I think #2 is probably most important to my clients and potential clients. It is to me! And that's why I'm up front about everything. Your money is important to you, and you don't want to waste it. I will tell if you I can help you, and I will tell you how much it costs (and my prices are on my site, too). I'm open and honest - I won't accept work my team and I can't do, and I won't charge you astronomical fees.
Describe a recent client engagement or project.
Earlier this year we did a large transcription project for a PhD candidate, and we just received another one last week. Two different subjects completely, two different parts of the world, but we're excited about the opportunity to help out someone new and make their facet of research compilation a bit easier.
What are 3 attributes you need to be successful in your industry?
I think other virtual assistants may have differing opinions, but for me, it comes down to these: 1. Be honest - never tell a client you can do something you obviously can't do. 2. Know your strengths and work with them. 3. Come to work happy and engaged.
What are the most important things to consider when hiring a service provider in your field?
Interview, interview, interview. Get references, review previous work if possible. We have had to correct the work of previous assistants when clients have come to us in an aftermath. Please - take your time and find the RIGHT assistant for you. If you need someone to be on the phone, find out about kids and dogs in the background. If you need someone to design a website, what does his look like? (Some people offer web design services but have someone else design theirs. Red flag!) Do you need someone to write blogs? Check out their own blog - how is the content? How is the spelling and grammar? Don't hire someone because they're the cheapest. They might be the best...or they might not. Find out about them first. Take your time. This is your business and your work and you need to protect it. Also - never proceed without a contract. Again - NEVER proceed without a contract.
How are you different than others in your profession?
I have a lot of exceptional "real world" experience working with people from all over the world on a variety of projects. My prior work in project management had me working with multiple projects and multiple people. I'm very comfortable working on a wide variety of things all the time. It's second nature. Also, my fees are (I think) a lot better than others in my profession. I understand that I could be charging more, but I know a lot of Mom and Pop businesses don't have the money to hire someone with high rates. And I like working with new start-ups and entrepreneurs. After all, I'm an entrepreneur...and I still consider myself to be in "start-up" mode after all these years.
What are your biggest professional influences (books, mentors, events)?
Norman Brinker "On the Brink" It's the only book I have on my desk, in plain view. You want rags to riches? You want someone who never gave up? You want someone that made a success of himself through times of great adversity? That was Norm. If I ever feel like I'm failing, I open the book and read it again. And then I get off my duff and start working. Because Norm was no quitter.
How do you typically handle disagreements with clients?
I want things resolved as quickly as possible. Did I mess something up? Let me fix it. Was communication to blame? Let's figure out a better way to understand each other. Call me and we'll talk about it.
Describe your proudest professional accomplishment.
I'm doing it, right now. I lost my job, couldn't find another, so I started a business on the things I knew. Small. Tiny. Barely could call it a business. And it is growing, and it grows every year. How cool is that?
Owner at Your Gal Friday
December 2007 - Present
Affordable virtual administrative and business management.
Project Coordinator at BCBSM
December 2006 - December 2007
-Assisted in leadership of project in absence of Project Manager.
-Built and maintained detailed project workplans including, but not limited to, assignments, dependencies, milestones, tracking, budgets.
-Managed the preparation, authorization and processing of changes to the project.
-Project reporting – Statistics for budgets, timelines and milestones; Status for issues, risks and general progress.
-Prepared and delivered project-related presentations; facilitated meetings; recorded meeting minutes.
-Maintenance of project records, deliverables, governance documentation and electronic files.
Program Coordinator at Chrysler
February 2006 - December 2006
-Managed project management-specific training, schedules, records and metrics within budgetary and resource constraints.
-As Program Office Liaison, managed incoming questions and issues in relation to project management methodologies, software and the project management office.
-Reviewed and assessed the processes of the project management office and restructured as needed for simplification. Created new processes as necessary. Created and/or update documentation for processes.
-Reviewed and reported education metrics.
Process Documentation Analyst at Henry Ford Health System - Data Center
February 2005 - February 2006
-Analysis and review of current IT processes through team and one on one interview.
-Documentation of current IT processes as cross-functional diagrams and work instructions.
-Redesigned and restructured outdated forms.
-Created orientation manual.
-Assigned as Technical Writer for HP OpenView. (Documentation included User and Administrator guides, and policies and standards.)
-Assigned as Technical Writer for Wireless Network Pilot. (Documentation included multiple test cases and an Administrator Operation Manual.)
Project Administrator at Pfizer
March 2001 - June 2004
-Created a tracking system for all documents to ensure proper filing, signatures and versions were correct according to FDA regulations.
-Developed and evaluated functional test protocol documentation for custom software in SQL*LIMS 4.0.
-Performed test scripts in a secure software instance to verify correct functionality of the software.
-Developed a time tracking database for budget purposes and to ensure project member contribution was maintained for project completion.
-Created a tracking system for the project budget and tracked the allocated and actual costs.
-Developed and maintained help guides for new and current project members.
-Maintained an issues tracking database. Tracked issues as they arose on the project. Followed up with status inquiry to those assigned to issue until resolved.
-Initiated weekly motivational presentations, and created and executed team-building exercises, stress relief activities, and milestone events for groups of 15-100.
Western Michigan University
Field of Study: English, Art
Phone: (248) 238-8577