Frequently Asked Questions

My Services

I love creating bespoke services and packages to help you; I can bundle any of the services I offer into a special package just for you.

I review my services each year to make sure I’m up to date with what you need, to keep my skills fresh. I love learning.

I’m also connected with lots of professional freelancers in all kinds of areas, so if I can’t help you, I can probably put you in touch with someone who can.

There’s a bewildering array of software and platforms to choose from. I can advise you on which web platform and which free or paid tools are best for your unique business. I often find that free tools offer everything you’ll need to get started, but after a while you’ll need to upgrade to paid versions. I’ll help you to navigate the right tools for your needs and budget.

I used to offer WordPress website design, and still manage the sites I’ve built. 

But, based on my experience, I’ve decided not to help you with your WordPress site if it was designed by someone else. WordPress is complex and things can and do go wrong.

Most WordPress designers I know feel the same.

I can recommend people to help you with your existing WordPress site.

My goal is to make your life easier, and I have found that Squarespace and Kajabi websites offer everything you need in one place, there’s no complicated coding, hosting is included and the functionality more than covers the needs of most small business owners.

It’s simple – they are in demand, and I enjoy them.

There are a few services that I don’t currently offer which are:

  • Support for WordPress sites that I didn’t build
  • Social media 
  • Book-keeping, admin and PA work.

I believe that it is important to do fewer things well, and to enjoy the services I offer, but I regularly review and refresh my services.

Working Together & Confidentiality

Kind of, but I don’t use that title; I prefer ‘freelancer’ and I focus on project work rather than offering retainers like most VA’s.  Like you, I’m a business owner. I work remotely, online, and provide support to other business owners. I usually work from home but can work pretty much anywhere with a wifi connection.

There are many types of VA/freelancer, and hundreds of tasks across 8 key business areas that you can easily outsource.

Download my free guide to the kinds of tasks you can outsource (no sign up required).

If after our initial call we both agree we’d like to work together, I will send you a proposal outlining the elements of the project and my fee. You are welcome to take your time to read everything, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Once you are happy with the proposal, I drop it into our Client Agreement and send it to you by email with the initial invoice.

When you have signed and saved the contract and paid the initial invoice I will advise on what I need from you to get started. Generally, you will set the scope of the work and I will plan out how the work is completed. We will agree on a deadline.

It is important to spend time at the beginning of a project to agree exactly what you need, though I respect that a degree of flexibility is needed because things change.

The best method of contact is via email, so that we both have a clear trail of what we’ve said. WhatsApp is also useful if you want to leave a quick message or a voicemail. A phone call or video call via Zoom can be scheduled for a mutually agreed time as and when required. 

I aim to return calls and emails within 24 hours of receipt during normal business days (Monday – Friday). I am not usually contactable before 9.30am, after 6pm or on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays.

I mostly do project work so we’ll work together for as long as the project takes to complete and come back again if you need more support.

For example, we might work together for a couple of weeks or months on your new website, then you might come back six months later for some email marketing or content support. Once you’ve been ‘set up’, you can come and go as often as you need my services.

I love this way of working!

 

I mainly do project work but if you need guaranteed ongoing support with regular tasks, for example, sending a weekly newsletter or uploading a regular blog post, then a monthly retainer is a good idea.

Packages start from 5 hours per month for £175.

Yes – this is very important to me. What is discussed is entirely confidential and any information collected remains the property of you, the client. No information will ever be passed on to a third party under any circumstances.

All documentation sent to me will be returned if required, upon completion and receipt of final payment. All login details, passwords etc are securely destroyed once our project is completed.

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

View my privacy notice and cookie policy.

Yes, I have £1million professional indemnity insurance through Hiscox/Policy Bee.

Rates & Payment Policy

My hourly rate is £35.  I charge £45 per hour for Express tasks with less than two working days’ notice. I’ve created packages for my most sought-after services, and offer bespoke packages to suit your unique needs.

The average hourly rate in the UK for an ‘admin’ VA is £25. My services are more technical, so I charge £35 per hour which is the industry standard for the kind of work that I do for my clients.

I bring over 20 years’ experience and leading industry training to the table. You’re actually saving money by working with me rather than an employee; you don’t need to pay for training, hardware, software, insurance, holiday/sick pay, pensions, nor do you have to worry about red tape, office gossip, mithering over timesheets, or whether my chair is comfortable enough.

You’re not just saving money but stress and hassle too.

I will send an electronic invoice via email. My preferred method of payment is by bank transfer, and you also have the option to pay by debit or credit card.

Payment terms are strictly upon receipt of invoice, unless otherwise set out in our agreement. Invoices are itemised and any additional charges will be charged to you.

If an invoice becomes overdue, unfortunately I won’t be able to carry out any more work for you until it is paid.

Urgent ‘out of the blue’ tasks with less than two working days’ notice will be charged at an Express rate of £45 per hour and invoiced separately.

Amounts are billed in United Kingdom sterling (GBP). The client is liable for any additional transfer fees when making an overseas payment.

I review my prices annually and will give you plenty of notice if rates go up (for example, due to inflation or other business costs).

I’m afraid not. My hourly rate is £35 or £45 for Express tasks.

For monthly retainer clients, time spent reading your emails, electronic filing, research etc is classed as billable time and will be taken out of your monthly package hours.

If you are a project client, I always factor in this extra time when costing out a project so you will not be charged.

Yes – I charge at the standard rate of 45p per mile. Travel time to meetings etc. away from my office will be classed as ‘additional’ and itemised on the invoice. Nowadays a call or video meeting is preferable to most clients, unless you live locally.

How I work

‘Normal’ office hours do not generally apply to me because I work flexible hours around other work (I also manage a small charity) and commitments.

I tend to do the bulk of my freelance work on Thursdays, Fridays and occasional evenings, depending on what I have going on.

I am able to work in any location conducive to providing the service(s), though I usually work from home.

I aim to give you at least 2 weeks’ notice if I will be unavailable whilst on holiday but reserve the right to take holidays at short / no notice (because things crop up!) I observe all United Kingdom national public holidays, including bank holidays, Good Friday, Easter and Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. During school holidays, availability may vary due to family commitments.

Please let me know if you are planning to go on holiday so I can plan my schedule accordingly and make sure I have everything I need from you before you go – I want you to be able to switch off and have a proper break!

Fortunately I am seldom ill but if this occurs I will let you know if I am unable to work and we can agree on a plan.

Depending on the project, I use software called Trello to plan and schedule tasks so if appropriate, I’ll set up a new board for you when you become a client. I am happy to share your board with you and if you need help I will send you a demo video on how Trello works (it’s fab!).

I use Google Workspace for my files, email and documents, so I can share project plans, documents and files via a shared folder.

These are my preferred methods of organising my work, but I am happy to consider using whatever system(s) you use. If you insist that we use your system and I am not familiar with it, I may charge you for any training required to get up to speed.

Hours used are shared with you as and when required. I will let you know if hours are close to being used up. Or we can agree on a certain date, for example, half way through the month, for me to give you an update.

No – Hours not used in a calendar month do not roll forward to the next month.

Absolutely not. You’re working with someone who doesn’t require any supervision. I’m competent and experienced in the services I’m offering. I’m not an employee, I’m a business owner just like you.

No and I would like to manage your expectations. I am likely to have other clients and commitments.

I expect us to agree on realistic deadlines when we agree on the initial proposal. I plan my time as efficiently as possible and schedule tasks to agreed deadlines, allowing time for final changes and approval.

I work with many clients and need to efficiently manage my workload and plans, so please tell me as soon as you think your deadline will need to change.

Sometimes, a client will sign up but are unable to provide the things I need for the work to commence. This sometimes happens with new web design projects (usually because of a delay in getting the copy together.)

If your work has not started within three months of the date on the Client Agreement, at my discretion the initial invoice may be non-refundable, and I reserve the right to cancel the project.

I will if I can! I respectfully request that you have realistic expectations on turnaround time, but if I can fit you in, I will. If you’ve given me less than 2 working days’ notice, I will charge my Express Rate of £45 per hour.

Any time you like! I have a list of the qualifications I have and I’m happy to share dates and certificates etc. with you. No one has ever asked about this but I thought it was important to include it.

Here’s the wording from my Client Agreement:

Either party may terminate the this Agreement agreement upon 14 days written notice to the other party. Provided, however, that each party may terminate the Agreement immediately without prior notice in the event of a breach of this Agreement by the other party. Upon Termination, Service Provider shall invoice Client for any payment due, and payment will be due immediately upon receipt.

Just for fun!

A funny question, but when you work remotely, it is really interesting to know how tall people are, because you can’t tell on Zoom!

I’m 5’7″.

I’ve been vegetarian more or less since I was 14 but am known to enjoy the odd beef stew or chicken curry! Organic locally reared meat where possible, though.

(I am not good with ‘black or white’ thinking, so lapsing is OK with me!)

I can’t stand fish or seafood, but love a sandwich, salads, home-made bread and soups.

Many people are now tee-total, but not me. Not yet, anyway. I love red wine! Malbec in particular. I also love decaff tea with cashew milk. Sounds lovely eh? I  gave up caffeine and milk in 2021 but do like an occasional latte.

 

I love asking about my clients’ astrology as I believe it to be a powerful tool for self knowledge and life strategy (I truly do!).

Born on New Years’ Eve, I am a sun-sign Capricorn. My moon is in Leo, and my rising sign is Cancer, so I come across as quite soft and homely. I am in part, but appearances can be deceptive!

I have  strong work ethic but love to be at home, in nature, or in my garden. I’m extremely down to earth.

I’m a Manifestor which means my energy comes and goes in big bursts and I love to try lots of new things whenever I get the urge to.

Manifestors have to be in control of their lives and really hate anyone to tell them what to do or how to do it. They need as much freedom as possible to live their life and to carve out their own destiny according to their own rules.”

That’s why I run my own business! Micro-managers are not welcome here.

This type is rare…discovering this has made me a lot more comfortable in my own skin.

“I’m just letting you know”  is a phrase you’ll hear me use often.

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