Company Profile

Company Profile

DeeWP was set up in 1989, serving local businesses both in Surrey and Dorset.  With the increasing access to and use of the Internet, it was realised that the business had to expand beyond local boundaries and reach clients from further a-field. 

DeeWP belongs to Christians  In  Business,   The Virtual  Business Group, The International Association of Virtual Assistants, Busygirl, Digital Woman, The Special Virtual Assistants Club, The VA4U Directory,  The Magenta Circle (Inner Circle Member) and is a bronze member of the World Wide Web Chamber of Commerce.  She is married with four children and is a committed Christian (see testimony).

So, is working as a Virtual Assistant challenging?

“It certainly is a challenge – most of all because the concept is still a fairly new one here in the UK.  However, as one client kindly put it, ‘I have no hesitation in recommending the services of DeeWP and the use of a Virtual Assistant.  Whenever we need her help she is there and is fully aware of the way in which we present our company.    I truly believe that the Virtual Assistant will be the norm in years to come, but for now, I can only commend using a Virtual Assistant’ (Kevin Sykes, retainer client based in London), and it is comments like that which make my job all the more fulfilling.

I enjoy the fact that my assignments are so varied.  I enjoy challenges, and this job is full of them!”

Are your clients mainly local to you, in Dorset?

“Far from it.  Most of my clients are based outside of Dorset, although I welcome local business.  In fact, I have several clients in the US that I work for.  One such client said, ‘Even though my business is in the middle of the U.S., and Dee is on ‘the other side of the pond’, her care and concern for the projects, the results and the personal care come through as though she was right across the office.  She gives a sense of direction and balance to whatever we are working on’ (David C Carrithers, , US client)

 I am happy to work with whoever needs my support.”

You say support.  Is that what you see the work of a Virtual Assistant as?

“Definitely.  I offer business support for busy people©and I see my role very much as a support system.  Like myself, there are a lot of independent consultants out there who work unusual hours, so my services are an ideal backup.  Often times they work to tight deadlines. If their usual support system breaks down through sudden illness or other unforeseen circumstances – they know they can call on me for help.  The same applies to small business owners who could not afford full time support and businesses that are hit by staff shortages or sudden periodic increases in workloads.

Do you offer ongoing support as well as backup in times of urgent need?

“Yes.  In fact, it pays for the client to use my services regularly, especially if they take out a retainer package”.

Doesn’t that then make you their employee?

“No.  I give all my retainer clients a Retainer Agreement, this clearly outlines the fact that I work on a contract only basis.  I cannot be pinned down to working set days or times – that would make me an employee.  Of course I can agree to work on particular days to meet a deadline, but that is not the idea of a retainer package.  Its main advantage is a reduction in the standard hourly rate.  I suppose you could call it a loyalty scheme, but you don’t get frequent flyer miles!”

Can you give some examples of the clients you support and the work involved?

They vary as much as the work I am required to do, but I can give you a brief outline.

I do a lot of transcription work.  I prefer digital dictation because it is so clear, but I cover a multitude of formats.  When I have reports to do or witness statements it is a bit like getting paid to listen in on some ‘gossip’, which makes it all the more interesting.

My clients include a US PR company (writing business profiles), the Managing Director of a Market Research company (audio transcription of reports/proposals, taped from the phone onto the pc), London University (transcription of medical research papers), design/production of websites (e.g. patent pending product and promotion of same), Training Company (producing clipart with apt captions for their literature), administration assistance (filing of charities paperwork with authorities, taking ‘live’ dictation, e-mail service), Turkish Web Design Company (proofreading and editorial writing for a website), Magenta Circle Network (PowerPoint template, Desktop publishing, CD design) and lots more.”

Do you have any advice for people wishing to become Virtual Assistants?

Get a network of support around you.  Join groups specifically set up for Virtual Assistants (see links page), they are not only a wealth of information but it also takes away the isolation this sort of industry could create if you let it.  Virtual working is, I believe, the way of conducting business efficiently in the future.  With the availability of professional software and hardware on the market, and providing one knows what one is doing, there is no reason why a professional office environment cannot be set up in a home-office.  An absolute must though is informing the home contents insurers that the home is being used for such a purpose and that the policy will not be disqualified because of it (and will, in fact, cover the equipment), registering with the tax office immediately, sound knowledge of the systems you are using (and technical backup), a firewall system and anti-virus system.  Then get on with marketing, marketing and if you have time, more marketing.