It may seem a little counterproductive, but there is a lot of value that can come from working with your competition.

In the very early days of business I didn’t see a lot of this.  Even in some of the specific VA groups, it felt as though everyone was looking out for themselves and not willing to share or collaborate.

Coming from a very large team to being completely alone was a very different kettle of fish for me.  Even though most of my team were based national and international, I would still spend the majority of my day on the phone or emailing them.  I longed for someone to bounce ideas off of, to ask advice or even have a little chat or rant with.

Then I discovered VIP VA

It was around this time last year that I came across the VIP VA Hub.  If you are a VA reading this and aren’t in the Hub then I highly recommend you get in there!  It’s a free group run by the amazing Charlotte Wibberley.  Charlotte is championing the industry and not only working to increase industry standards, but promoting working with VAs who can and will help you succeed in your own business.  But everything she does within the Hub and her Member’s group is all about supporting, nurturing and collaborating.

And it was here that I met my VA accountability buddy Claire.  Claire has been through similar personal experiences to me and we were at similar stages in set up so was perfect for us to buddy up and support each other along our journeys.

So here are my top four reasons why you should be collaborating and working with your competition.

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Sharing of knowledge

I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing VAs who have been in the business for a long time.  But not only have I been able to support them and their clients, they have also taught me so much.  I’ve been able to ask them questions about the industry, marketing tips, their setup; just about anything that comes with running a successful business.  And what’s more, they have openly and freely given me their advice and told me about their experiences.

And in turn, I’ve since become a voluntary mentor for VIP VA’s Nurture Programme and offer my own knowledge and advice to those who are new to the industry and starting out.

Growing the industry

This has been particularly true within the VIP VA Member’s group.  We all have very similar views on promoting and increasing the industry’s standards.  Even simple things like ensuring that the VA you’re hiring is registered for data protection and holds professional indemnity insurance.  We all work together in trying to help those outside the industry understand what they should be looking for to make sure they are receiving a high level of support.  But equally, promoting the fact that we are ensuring that we are meeting or exceeding these expectations.

Motivation and understanding

If you don’t have an accountability buddy in business, I highly recommend getting one!  Having someone within the same industry, who has the same pain points as you and faces similar challenges can be like a breath of fresh air.  Trying to explain to my husband why its great that I’ve managed to authenticate my domain in Mailchimp doesn’t get much of a reaction!  And I know that on days where I am lacking in motivation, Claire is there to either listen and give me advice or to give me a kick up the bum to just get on with it.

Referrals for work

This has been a big thing for me over the past year.  I’ve built relationships with a number of VAs which has led to a lot of work for me.

There is a general misunderstanding of the industry that we all offer the same services.  We don’t.  We all have our own skill set, areas of expertise and particular clients that we work well with.

I’ve been referred and recommended to potential clients because I offer something different to the VAs I am collaborating with.  Whether it be that I ‘fit’ better with the prospective client or that I offer a service my fellow VA doesn’t, from the relationships I’ve built, I get recommendations.

I have also been lucky enough to support some of these VAs on an associate basis.  Either when they are too much work and want to pass certain tasks onto me, or if they want me to work on projects for their own business.

These are just a few of the things that have really demonstrated to me how important it is to collaborate and work with my ‘competition’.   We all have our different strengths, skill sets and ideal client we want to work with.  There is more than enough work out there for all of us so if you aren’t already, get out there and meet with your competition to see what collaborations you can start.

If you are considering using the services of a virtual assistant, why not get in touch to find out how I could help support you and your business.  Call now on 07538 715537 or email

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