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#StrategicPANetwork | 07/02 | GROWING A VA COMPANY: EXPERIENCES SHARED
7 February @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
You are cordially invited to attend Strategic PA Network’s at Hotel Du-Vin event on Wednesday, 7th February at 6pm hosted by Sarah Howson and Marianne Whitlock.
‘The Big VA Meet Up: Running & Growing a VA Company, Experiences Shared’
Outsource Everything but your brilliance.
Join Marianne and Sarah of The Strategic PA Network at the Hotel du Vin in Henley as they talk to Kathy Soulsby and Holly Copsey about growing a team of virtual assistants and how Outsourcing Everything but your Brilliance works for VAs as well as Execs!
Kathy wrote How to Work with a Virtual Assistant – Outsource Everything but Your Brilliance in 2023 and it’s been getting rave reviews. Both Holly and Kathy work with multiple VAs, both with their clients and in their own businesses. We’ll chat with them about how having a team works, internally and externally.
If you’re looking to become a Virtual Assistant this is a great opportunity to learn more about how the position evolves. There are so many working parts to running your own business and our Virtual Assistant team of experts are here to support you!
We will be talking to Kathy and Holly on our panel covering topics including:
- The good, the bad and the ugly of running a multi-VA agency
- Business-owner mindset, how you think about yourself and your business is key, at what point are you a business owner, not a VA?
- Talking about your business to others, getting over the I /we hump!
- How does it all work with clients and the team?
- How to find great associates for your team and keep them happy
- Other things to think about if you are growing a business
Kathy Soulsby, Founder and Chief Organiser at Personally Virtual
After a varied career as a restaurant manager, a customer relations executive in the car industry, an exporter of shellfish and, of course, a PA and EA, Kathy set up Personally Virtual in 2014.
Initially, the business was just Kathy supporting a few clients, but she soon added one associate, and then another to look after the growing number of clients on the books.
Personally Virtual now comprises a team of over 30 associate VAs and supports businesses from 1 man or 1 woman bands right up to some household name corporate businesses.
In May 2017, she published Virtually Painless (currently rated 5* on Amazon), a humorous and slightly bonkers book about moving from employed PA to freelance VA. Covering the highs and lows of freelance life, it’s aim is to answer the questions “Can I do that?” and more importantly “Do I want to do that?”
Her latest book (published September 23) is How to Work with a Virtual Assistant – Outsource Everything but Your Brilliance, a guide for business owners and managers on how a VA can work with you to grow your business.
Kathy loves helping people get organised and she is a total productivity nerd. When she isn’t sweating over an online timesheet, nattering with the team on Slack or getting her geek on about a new planner or task system, she can usually be found in a field with a collie or two or swimming in a really cold river.
Holly Copsey, Founder and Director VA agency Virtually Priceless
Holly is founder and director of the award-winning VA agency Virtually Priceless which she set up in 2018 following a successful career as a City EA where her roles included supporting the CEO of Barclaycard and the Chair of Lloyds Banking Group in London.
Having had the desire to run her own business since childhood, she launched Virtually Priceless just nine months after the arrival of her second child, and two months before her eldest started school.
The business grew rapidly and she took on her first associate the following year, by the third year she had ten, and by year five the team had grown to over 30 with almost a third being permanent employees.
Her team are also primarily ex-corporate EAs who have supported at a very senior level, and the clients they support tend to be in the financial or professional services industries, or at the very least have strong links to them.
Her passion outside of work is her horses and most days you will find her and the children at the stables riding or looking after their ponies. She even has an office at the yard to minimise the time spent travelling back and forth between the farm and home!
Nestled in a valley in the Chilterns, you’ll find the delightful 12th century market town of Henley-on-Thames. And on the banks of the Thames itself, with the river gliding slowly by, you’ll find our Henley-on-Thames hotel. Behind the classic Georgian architecture of this old brewery, you’ll be welcomed warmly into this tranquil haven.
The inspired re-incarnation of this cluster of historic listed buildings has created one of the most striking hotels in Henley-on-Thames. A former brewery for 300 years, we’ve enhanced its charming, original period detail while adding our own contemporary sparkle. Escape to the sanctuary of one of our 43 beautifully furnished rooms and suites, where you’ll find a custom-made bed, hand-sprung mattress, soft Egyptian cotton bed linen, fluffy towels and robes, monsoon shower or roll top bath.
Take a leisurely lunch al fresco in the central courtyard or sample some hearty, seasonal dishes in our trademark bistro. Enjoy a glass of the finest fizz in the light and airy Champagne bar or your favourite tipple at the pewter topped bar, with over 600 wines to sample in the wine cellar. Visit our cosy cigar bothy or relax on our comfy sofas for a nightcap under low beams in the Snug. You can even celebrate a private party, family celebration or wedding in a unique function room at Hotel du Vin Henley.
A world-renowned centre of rowing thanks to the Royal Regatta, Henley has a quaint atmosphere, quirky independent shops and a peppering of museums and galleries. Furthermore, the annual Festival of Music and Arts is always a cultural treat for the diary.
Hotel du Vin Henley – come journey down the river.
6 – 7pm: Arrivals & Informal Networking
7:15pm: Introduction Hotel du Vin
8:15 – 9pm: Informal Networking
ABOUT THE NETWORK:
Strategic PA Network is a vibrant, friendly professional networking group for high-performing Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants, Virtual Assistants, Administrators, and Office Managers in the UK. Open to all levels, including international connections, the network promotes inclusivity and a desire for continuous learning and connection. It provides a supportive and inclusive environment for sharing best practices, exchanging ideas, building relationships, inspiring one another, and facilitating mutual learning.
Strategic PA Network aims to create a team-like atmosphere for professionals who may not often work in a collaborative setting, the role of a business support professional is often lonely. In-person events are held across various locations in London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire, featuring engaging speakers underpinned with learning and development opportunities. The purpose is for all members to leave events feeling inspired and a part of a supportive community.