Who are we?
Hello there, the happiest of Decembers to you and your families from us. We’re starting our Blogmas posts with a little introduction.
Instead of going into our individual details I thought I’d tell you a little more about the Borderlands VA Network. However if you want to find out more about Gwen or myself Amanda just click on our names to pop through to our about pages.
Borderlands VA Network
When we began in 2016 there were very few people offering virtual assistant services in our region, and there was no dedicated local support network. We had to travel to Warrington or Newcastle for our closest meetups. It may seem strange wanting to develop a support network with real life meetups and training at its heart, especially when we do everything virtually, but that is the exact reason it’s needed.
Although working remotely has the amazing perks of flexibility and saving office costs, it can also be distracting, isolating and negatively affect your mental health and self esteem. In the early days of setting out BVAN it was to connect virtual assistants across the Borderlands area (the counties either side of Hadrian’s Wall) to collaborate and share knowledge. The area we cover is both remote countryside, sea views, bustling cities and very much Northern in attitude, so the assistants we talk to have unique circumstances and problems compared to other parts of the country.
Then Covid happened. Hundreds of people overnight became remote workers, furlough left people searching for a quick “side hustle” to top up their income and unscrupulous “business trainers” with £1400 coaching schemes appeared in every other advert.
Gwen and I found ourselves in the same position as many VAs, losing a lot of clients overnight in lockdown, and spending days helping confused and desperate business owners try to pivot their businesses to continue online.
The whole virtual assistant community rallied to provide support, ideas, and strength to each other during this time. Many VAs took it as a chance to update their own businesses, or to retrain and learn new skills. When times are challenging you can count on a virtual assistant to turn it around, that’s why they make the perfect addition to your business.
Gwen and I used the time to plan and develop Borderlands VA Network, even managing a weekend getaway to pull our website together. We’ve been connecting those starting up as VA’s and thinking of trying it as a side hustle, but also supporting those who are existing VA’s. Our lovely new website is filling up with useful resources, money saving offers and up to date information, giving them the best start in their VA career. We are holding events to bring VA’s together and our members are growing rapidly. Our hope is that we will see more successful VA start-ups in the area and that there will be support available particularly for those struggling after this tough year.
Next year is a new chapter, a great opportunity to collaborate and make a stronger VA community in the Borderlands Region. We look forward to the month we still have left and will be making the most of it, but most of all planning ahead for 2021.