New Member Introduction

Hi Sandra and all Group Members,

I have just become a member of this network and this is the first group I’ve joined so am still finding my way round. Any help or advice to get the most out of it would be really welcome.

I’m based in the Tarn et Garonne (82) near a town called Caylus. Are any of you in this area? I run my own company as a Business Support Specialist/Virtual Assistant, working from my own office online rather than a conventional office. It would be really interesting to see how many of you are familiar with

this profession. It is certainly widespread in the USA but from my

knowledge, to a far lesser degree in Europe, particularly France where

traditional office-based staff appear to still be the norm. I am also a qualified Independent Financial Adviser.

I am really looking forward to sharing ideas and knowledge with fellow business owners and widening my network of contacts. Many thanks. Jane

Hi Valerie,

Thanks for your feedback and, may I say, for the help you’ve provided via your own website in getting my business set up. As you rightly say, French businesses are still very much entrenched in having traditional support staff sitting in the office and my research has shown that it is very difficult to be accepted as a Virtual Assistant/Telesecretaire unless it is by direct referral or an existing contact within the company. I have very much concentrated on networking via my website, advertising in carefully selected areas and with new/previous business contacts which has worked very well so far in gaining clients. Joining selected forums and groups such as this one has enabled me to interact with other like-minded people and share information, experiences etc. which is very important, as well as enjoyable! As I live in quite a rural area, I have also joined a business club in Toulouse, my nearest big city, so I can network with people face to face rather than just via the internet which is excellent. If any members happen to know of a networking group in or around my area (Tarn et Garonne 82) I would appreciate you letting me know. Many thanks.

Valerie, thanks again. I do not know how you and Lee manage to balance all your work/home commitments but you certainly do! Jane

Hi Sandra and welcome to our group.

I have come across many English speaking or native virtual assistant in France and they are doing quite well, especially if they have managed to keep in touch with their old business network and turn it into contracts.

French businesses on the opposite are not so keen of what they call "telesecretaires’. They like to see you on their office and keep an eye on you… It is different with more international companies needed punctual help.

Good luck with the new business, let us know how you get on.