New, Nice & Nervous Aussie Girl

Minty

New Member
Hi Lovelies!

I'm brand new... haven't even opened officially yet! I'm starting my VA business via the NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) program run by the govt in Australia - the aim is to help people get off unemployment benefits and be able to support themselves.

Nearing the end of the small business training at the moment (and writing a business plan), starting on my website and facebook page (and then linkedin, pinterest etc).

Tomorrow morning, I'm having my first meeting with a bank manager - eep! Just opening a business account and getting a quote for business insurance.

Anyway, a little about me - I've been ill for quite a long time (so a traditional job isn't practical/doable) and went through several redundancies before that... so I've been out of work for a while. Felt a tiny scrap of confidence come back so I went for it - I want to be useful again! I love helping others.

I'm particularly good with tech, proofreading/writing and document production. I quite enjoy doing the more mundane tasks as well lol - things like mailouts and whatnot. Also, my google-fu is quite strong.

In my spare time I'm into gaming, watching livestreamers and well-written television, musical theatre and writing. Oh! and I LOVE stationery. :)

Looking forward to getting know people here. And asking lots of questions. And possibly needing some hand-holding :)

Minty
 

Ben Jones

New Member
Hi Minty!

I am from Perth and am in the planning stages to set up my own V.A business but of course I have a few hurdles in the way. I have posted in the member introduction thread only a couple of days ago.
 

Minty

New Member
Hi Ben!

A fellow Aussie newbie! How is your setup going? I'm in Wollongong btw (south of Sydney).

I had to postpone my bank manager meeting till next week. I'm also struggling with working out business insurance. NEIS requires three quotes but I'm starting to get confused about what I really need... NRMA was like 'oh you should have your laptop and phone covered for when you're out and about' and so on and AAMI was like 'why would you need anything at all?' AAMI was half the price because they weren't trying to upsell me but... what is a sensible yet affordable level of cover? But that's next week's problem. :)

So what are your hurdles at the moment? I'd also love to hear a little more about your background / skills / experience etc. Like what is your specialty and/or what do you love doing?

:) Minty
 

Ben Jones

New Member
Hi Minty!

Great to hear from you!

It sounds like you are well on your way to getting set up! What's your background? Do you have a partner who is also working?

What services will you be offering as a V.A?

My history involves reception, accounts, payroll, data entry, social media marketing, basic advertising, desktop publishing.

I want to offer social media, general admin assistance initially but learn how to do more with website development/maintenance, Excel and Photoshop for graphic design. My client base I am hoping for are industrial/tradie types who may not be online and not know how to do that kind of stuff.
 

Ascot VLA

New Member
Hi Minty

I've now been in the virtual assistant business for over two years.

For tax purposes, you don't have to worry about it if you are working as a sole trader and earning less than $20,000 per year. No charging GST and using your ordinary tax file number. Have your clients pay straight into an ordinary bank account and don't worry about cheques or credit cards

At tax time go straight to an accountant with all your bank statements and pay their fee. Don't do it online, it may be a nightmare and take more time than necessary.

However if you earn more than $20,000 you will have to pay tax so speak with an accountant and find out your prepayment options. Make sure you do your tax every year as the fines can be a bit hefty.

Good luck,
Robyn
 
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Tess

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Minty :) Welcome! (Very cute name.... is that your given name?)

Well good for Australia for implementing a program like that! I hope it serves you well.

Welcome to the forums - it's great to have you here. I'll look forward to hearing all about your startup process and progress. Please keep us posted!
 

pilapilva

New Member
Hi Minty! Welcome to the site! I'm new here as well. I sincerely wish all the best in your new career. Always take care!
 

Minty

New Member
Thanks for the welcome, everyone! So I'm working hardcore on finishing my business plan before my first official mentoring session tomorrow. Some life stuff got in the way as often happens. The past few weeks have been kinda brutal (particularly my Mum's Parkinsons has gotten worse and Dad can't take care of her on his own anymore so she's making the move to a nursing home three blocks from his unit. I've kind of wiped myself out helping take care of her when Dad has to go out. Then last week I got drenched on my way home from their place and got caught in a flood... so now I have the flu - when it rains it pours (pardon the pun) lol

Ben - I'm on my own so no distractions at home at least :) My family still like to interrupt me plenty though! I've worked all sorts of places - a lot of contract work - particularly at the University here (until the government cut the budget) and then for a funeral home for a bit. Eventually, I started working for my friend's dance school (she later became my sister-in-law lol) and was there ten years. It was my dream job - combining admin, kids and theatre as well as a side of counselling parents and kids. Then my sister-in-law had her first baby and decided to downsize. I then took over my brother's office in his pharmacy - it was a MESS but I sorted it out and it was beautiful (not that anyone but me appreciated the pretty - oh well) Eventually, he took on some partners and one of those did the admin work for the other pharmacies. By then I was also too ill to work full time so I got made redundant again (second time by a family member).

My skillset is similar to yours but I don't have the experience in social media (beyond my personal facebook and twitter) or advertising etc. I do have the website design and love making animated banners. I'd like to gain more skills in graphics and web stuff though. Also I think tradies are a great niche for you - I would imagine some might feel more comfortable with a bloke :D

I plan to offer all the basic services - document production, mail-merge, mailouts, email sorting/response, scheduling, website maintenance, data entry etc. Adding more services as I get more confidence and gain some more skills. Mostly I will market to self employed people and small businesses but I also have a potential niche offering services to gaming streamers and youtubers - I just have to work out what will work for them - and I may have to adjust my rates.

Robyn - thanks heaps for the advice re: tax. It was very helpful! I will definitely be using an accountant. I'm on sort of a partial disability benefit so I also have to get a special report regularly from my accountant anyway to prove that I'm not taking advantage of myself and paying myself too little money. Le sigh. :)

Tess - love your book and these forums. I've been lurking here for several years until it was time to finally take the plunge. Minty is a nickname based on Melinda. :) The NEIS program is quite good especially since it requires you to write out a detailed business plan rather than winging it like I probably would have without the program. I seriously am struggling with the whole marketing myself and maximising. I'm all like 'uh.. yeah um.. my competitive advantage? I'm nice?' (and have mad admin skillz) :D

Pilapilva - best wishes to you too! <3 Hope to see you around here :D

Anyway, that's my ramble for today to make up for not replying before now! Also I'm procrastinating about my business plan, website and facebook page - The facebook page in particular is so OUT THERE... where PEOPLE I KNOW can see. Scary :)

Hope everyone is having a great day!
Minty :heart:
 
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