Meet Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist Virtual Bookkeeper and Virtual Assistance League

VA LeagueWeb URL: http://www.offassist.com   
                  http://www.valeague.com
Years in Business: 10 yrs. OffAssist; 1 yr. VA League
Type of Business:  bookkeeping;
co-founder of Virtual Assistance League (VA League)
Works:  100% virtually
OffAssist’s Facebook Page 
VALeague’s Facebook Page
OffAssist on LinkedIn
Twitter ID:  @offassist
                    @va_league

Ruth:  Welcome to The Naked VA blog, Candy. It’s great to have you here and be able to share more about you with the readers. Tell us about OffAssist and the VA League.

Candy: I actually started my virtual bookkeeping firm in 2002 with just me, a little corner of my living room and a $200 per month client. Within 3 years, I was a multi-VA firm and now we are a multiple six-figure VA business. In 2011, I co-founded the VA League with my good friend and colleague, Lanel Taylor, to offer virtual assistants an affordable, useful and viable resource to not only networking with other virtual assistants but also educational opportunities.

Ruth: Would you share what led you to consider a virtual profession and how you got started?

Candy: I wish I could say I had this big bad plan and it all happened like I wanted. *laughing* The reality is that I decided I didn’t want to work anymore so I quit my job and THEN told my husband (who had just started a retail business himself). His reaction was, “umm, but you have the health insurance.” I won’t lie, we struggled for those first couple of years, but I think that also made me work harder.

Ruth: Along the way have you had a mentor or sponsor to support, guide, encourage and open doors for you?

Candy: I think we all have those we look up to. I tend to seek out those that we can bounce ideas around with. Those I look up to and have ran to for opinions (and vice versa!) include Lauren Hidden, Lanel Taylor, Tawnya Sutherland, Jeannie Clontz, my husband and, of course, my mom. There have been MANY more over the years, of course, I could simply never name them all. I was lucky enough to get to know so many virtual assistants as we were all just getting started such as Cindy Opong, Linda Sinsical, Linda Selden, Terry Green and SO many others. I think I speak for us all when I say we’ve had an amazing ~10 years!

Ruth: If you could share a nugget of insight or bit of advice for someone considering a virtual career such as yours what would that be?

Candy: Find your niche – both your target market and your target service and really concentrate on marketing that service to that market. The absolutely most successful virtual assistants that I know absolutely know who they are, what they do and who they do it for. Don’t be afraid of “pigeon-holing” yourself. Find who you are and be that person – and no one says you can’t do other stuff too, just really concentrate on “who you wanna be when you grow up.”

Ruth: Now tell me, what bits of advice would you give someone seeking a virtual professional such as yourself?

Candy: Personality and communication styles are THE most important parts, in my opinion. Always look for someone that you gel with personality-wise. You will almost always know this within 15 minutes of a conversation. Also, discuss communication – email? phone? How do YOU work best and does it gel with what they need?

Ruth: These pointers are sure to make an impact. Any last thoughts or comments you’d like to share with our readers?

Candy:  Beware of burnout. I see so many VAs that get started and they work themselves into complete exhaustion. Set yourself some hours (and they don’t have to be 9-5) and stick to them. For instance, when I started out, I told myself I was going to work 30 hours (remember I had one $200 per month client!) so I worked my 1 hour per week for that client and I spent the other 29 on forums and networking events, etc. Work those hours and work them hard, but find that time for yourself. Yoga, running, doing puzzles, whatever your passion is…find it and do it.

Ruth: I agree. Working those extra hours when you have them in the very beginning is a pivotal point in attaining the success you crave. It’s been so good talking with you, Candy. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

For virtual bookkeeping services contact Candy at her website. Be sure to sign up for her monthly newsletter while you’re on the site.

A generous BONUS for VAs: The VA League’s mission is to help virtual professionals create and sustain the kind of meaningful relationships that will help them grow professionally and personally. All readers are welcome to join VAL – with 10% off! Just use coupon code 10OFF – you can also get a FREE 27 tip report by going to the website and signing up for the newsletter. It’s a great gift for those looking to get started and wanting to know where to start.

5 Responses to “Meet Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist Virtual Bookkeeper and Virtual Assistance League”

  1. Candy Says:

    Thanks for interviewing me, Ruth! I had a great time – you are nothing short of awesome!

  2. Ruth Martin Says:

    You have done, and continue to do, so much for virtual assistants. You so deserve to have the spotlight on you for a change, Candy. Appreciate you being a part of this series.

  3. Jenel Looney Says:

    Great interview! I agree completely about focusing your marketing. When I first started out as a VA, I went to networking events at my local Chamber, etc. People would ask, “What does a VA do?” And my answer was, “Anything you need me to do.” Which did not inspire them to hire me because they couldn’t come up with ideas. I learned that I needed to have a list of specific services at the ready. Then the job will morph as they get to know your abilities.

  4. Ruth Martin Says:

    Hi Jenel ~ It does feel like you’re narrowing your options when you laser focus your marketing and tightly select a niche service or market group but you’re really making it EASIER for your niched client group to say “Yes!” They see from your maketing that you REALLY get them and what they are doing. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Great comment to keep the thought wheels turning.

  5. Jeannine Clontz Says:

    Great interview, Ruth – Candy is such an important promoter of our industry, and the VA League is a great group. I enjoy all the different ways I can be involved while building deeper relationships with my savvy peers! 🙂

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