Don’t limit your thinking
When you are building your accounting and bookkeeping business in the cloud, you certainly don’t need to limit your thinking to accounting-related services, as evidenced by those that offer sidelines in ICT and consulting, and also the approach that those in the Virtual Professional (also known as Virtual Assistant or VA) space are taking.
New Zealand’s embryonic Virtual Professional community met over the two days this week in Wellington exploring and sharing what it means and how best to provide their niche services over the web. As well as the staple offering of bookkeeping, organiser Debra Clark noted the variety of services being offered by participants, such as personal assistance, secretarial, letter writing, web content management and social media. “They also have a variety of types of clients ranging from Government departments and corporations to small businesses and work withoff-shore clients too.”
Clark says Xero and cloud are core to the concept of being a Virtual Professional and the Xero presentation at the conference was an eye opener. “There are only 4-5 listed in Xero as VAs in New Zealand but there are a lot who are using Xero in their business and promoting it. Now they understand the benefits of using Partner Edition to run their business and manage their clients.”
Alongside Xero and software that integrates with it are other cloud services that provide complementary office services such as Google Apps. Looking at what the first New Zealand VAs are doing, it makes sense that the approach of offering a range of office and other niche services using the wider range of cloud tools alongside bookkeeping could be picked up by many others who may not have considered it before. Of course it affects how you market your business, but the opportunities are wide open.
Clark says that following discussion at the conference, the New Zealand Virtual Professional industry is moving to form a collaborative and educative group nationally. “We are part of a virtual revolution”. Let’s welcome the self-organisation and recognition of the Virtual Assistant community in New Zealand. It will be great to hear more about the many niche services they can offer across the cloud.
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