February of Sophie Quan
Do It Yourself!
That’s what I learned most from my stepfather, GP. I am so grateful for this unconditionally loving relationship! Since I was 13, he has been my mentor and inspiration in life and in business. My first job was with his fur company, which he totally built from scratch. I started as a floor sweeper, than progressed to be his assistant in the quality control department. (It was actually just classifying paperwork, data entry and Excel reports.) For me, it was not so hard and even lots of fun! (Plus, we were downtown Montreal and in the summer, after work, we would go to awesome events!) Now, that company is closed, but GP is just starting a new one in the real estate business. And while discussing about our projects, we came with the idea of me working with him again! Yeah! That was in December 2016.
Let’s rewind to September 2016, when I didn’t even know about the job title of “virtual assistant”.
I didn’t know much either about being self-employed, but I did translate as a freelancer once before, so I knew I can work from a distance. Since I didn’t need to work, I didn’t actively search. I was unconsciously waiting for the dream opportunity. Then, I read about my friends’ project, a farmers’ market in the Old Port of Montreal, the Marché des Éclusiers. Their website was only in French. However, Montreal is quite multicultural and I think that being bilingual there is a must! My friends are amazing entrepreneurs, full of good ideas with the greatest values and visions, and this was my dream opportunity! So, I had the idea to offer my services! But I wanted to look professional. So, I searched for templates of contracts and found some for virtual assistants. The first time I came across this title, it hit me: it just fits with me! I did some research and confirmed what I thought it was. Then I “threw myself”, updated my resume, made up a contract and sent everything to my friends… in an unprofessional way… on Facebook. But it worked! Since then, I have mainly done basic administrative tasks. And now, the contract is still on!
I am so happy about my first two partnerships, because with them I feel confident! I know that I’ll able to suggest anything and try everything! Plus, the two companies are quite different and they are at different levels in their business life, so it is even more variety for me.
Even with these two clients/”case studies”, l still need a plan to define my services and to build my skills. So I searched more about how to get started as a virtual assistant and I found some online courses that seem really helpful, complete and “cle-en-main”. But I decided to start from almost scratch, like GP always did in his life, and go with my college knowledge.
I like to have schedules and lists to follow.
So here below is an initial monthly calendar, including some exercises that I want to complete in order to feel like a real businesswoman! Hopefully, all these will serve to content my website! Let’s see what I’ll be able to do! Maybe you’ll find my calendar “underloaded”, but it is important for me to have balance between my professional and personal projects.
February was really busy and short for me, because I was indeed planning another big project in my life at the same time. My husband and I were on a full big move, from Southern California to Northern Alberta! Before that, we came all the way from Montreal. And I’d like to share to you my unfinished website about the road trips and the amazing places we visited. Yes! We moved quite a lot in 15 months. And I loved it! I actually discovered that I have some skills for planning trips and activities at a completely unknown place!
March: Business plan
— Finding my niche
— Ideal client
— Defining my services
— Pricing my packages
— Financial goals
— Work environment and terms
April: Business documents (client work)
— Terms and conditions
— Questionnaires (needs, basics, feedback)
— Offer of services and/or proposal
— Invoice and payment system
— Project and time management
May: Online presence
— Website (WordPress course)
— Blog (Academie du Blogue)
— Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn)
— Directories (POE, Civies)
June: Ready and confident to get new clients!
About the author:
Sophie Quan is a very curious woman that reads almost anything and everything. She likes mathematics, puzzles and spreadsheets. Mostly, she’s intrigued by cognitive psychology, especially when learning new sports and physical skills. Being a runner and a hiker, she’s attracted to all kind of adventures. Her goal is to learn more about nature, sustainable development and gardening while developing her project of becoming a virtual assistant. Lover of the stars, the waves and the fire. She is a chocolate and chips monster!