This January, VIP VA is four years old – and my, what a four years it has been!
We’ve built a 2000+ VA strong online community, helped dozens of freelancers to build sustainable and professional Virtual Assistant/Online Business Manager businesses, and introduced VIP VA accreditation to help make professional business standards (insurance, professional business contracts, etc.) the industry norm.
VIP VA’s founder and CEO, Charlotte Wibberley, came up with the idea for VIP VA back in the Summer of 2015. Having run her own successful VA business for several years after making the leap from employment to self-employment, she was chatting with a group of fellow VAs at a pub in Paternoster Square when the conversation turned to finding associate freelancers…
“Wouldn’t it be great if we had somewhere where we could network, knowledge share and build a team with like-minded VAs who are serious about their businesses and do what they say then can do?”.
“And wouldn’t it be great if we could showcase those VAs to the high performing business owners who are looking for that key support at a high level to grow their businesses too!?”
Fast-forward to January 2016 and VIP VA was launched, bringing together like-minded, professional freelancers from day 1 and creating a community that above all else was safe, kind and supportive.
It’s not always been easy. When you are trying to encourage change within a community – even if it is for the benefit of the wider industry – there are always people with something to say. Our recommendation that VAs charge a fair hourly rate that allows for them to have a little money left in the bank after they have paid out for software, insurance, business contracts, etc. has proven controversial (we’re still not quite sure why!), as have our calls for professional industry standards (all of which feature in the requirements list for our VIP VA accreditation) to help VAs grow and maintain sustainable and responsible businesses. But when you wholeheartedly believe that change is necessary for the benefit of the whole VA community, not just your members, you have to persist. Change is necessary, and we’re not going anywhere! We’re happy to be flying the flag for a professional, trusted and skilled industry in 2020 and beyond.
In order to push forward with our mission to raise the profile of VAs and OBMs in the UK and globally, Team VIP VA has naturally grown and developed over the last few years. The core team is made up of Charlotte (who is also a Keap Certified Partner, experienced business coach and is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and freelancers), Sarah Banks (WordPress whizz, GDPR specialist and organisational ninja) and Gemma Pybus (data lover and copywriter). In 2018, we also set up a VIP VA advisory board, tasked with elevating the profile of our growing profession, ensuring professional standards are met whilst changing the perception of the role and improving the industry for those internally AND externally. The board is made up of experienced VAs with a wide range of skills, including Tiffany Wise, CEO and Founder of TWVA; Lucy Messaritis, Founder of Nixon Executive Support; Alex Hughes, Founder of Auxilium Admin; and Kitty Fairbairn, Founder of Aspen VA Services. Charlotte is the Board Chairman, and Sarah is the Board Coordinator.
Though the team has grown over the last four years, the core values for VIP VA remain the same as they have ever been. It’s exciting to move into 2020 (and beyond) and continue to champion and celebrate our growing industry.
We’ve got so many things to look forward to this year, from expert masterclasses to local VA meetups, and we’re particularly excited about EleVAte 2020 – the Ultimate Conference for Virtual Assistants and OBMs – taking place in London on the 23rd and 24th September 2020. Will you be joining us? https://vipva.org/elevate-conference/