APVA Member Rachel Locke has been in business since 2015, won North East VA of the Year and has never niched! In this blog she shares why this is…

When I set up as a VA back in 2015, a lot of the advice was to find your perfect person, choose a niche, specialise, laser focus! But if you’re like me and enjoy a varied workload and clients across different sectors, then maybe finding a niche isn’t for you.

I did start out doing a lot of transcription, so I suppose that became a core service while I was getting established. I still do it, and enjoy it, but it’s not a particularly high ticket service plus you really can’t do anything else at the same time.

I’m quite a traditional PA; I love diary management, organising and number-crunching. I get a buzz from seamless travel plans, tidy inboxes, keeping plates spinning and of course that lovely feedback from clients that their lives run that little bit smoother because of me.

My clients vary from management consultants and executive coaches to animal boarders and artists – some clients have six or even seven-figure budgets whereas others are far from that. Some clients I deal with on a daily basis, with others it’s as and when they need me. I love it when an email pops in from a client I might not have spoken to in weeks or even months.

During Covid, some clients boomed whereas others went bust. I took any and all work that came my way so as to keep the money coming in. For me, I may not have been as fortunate if I’d had a fixed niche of only working with a particular industry or client or offering only a particular service.

Ultimately it’s personal choice and I know lots of VAs who successfully specialise in their chosen field – but if you like variation (and the occasional element of surprise!), then it’s totally up to you!

We love that Rachel has been able to grow her business successfully without finding a niche, and we always say that being a VA is about creating a business that works for you. To niche or not to niche is going to be an ongoing debate and a big question for you as you grow and develop your business. So let us know if you have niched or decided not to as we would love to hear form you. 

Rachel Locke

Arlo PA Services Ltd

Rachel setup Arlo PA Services in 2015 to help small businesses and entrepreneurs with their secretarial requirements, giving them back the time to focus on what they do best. She has grown and developed her business and in 2018 was awarded North East VA of the Year!

Rachel believes that each business is different and some people need more or less support than others, this is why she builds a support framework that is unique for each business she works with. 

One of the best things about being a VA is for Rachel is working with so many different types of client; from psychologists to translators to architects to nurse practitioners – everyone is different.