Meet Out of Office Waterloo's Joanne Schmidt! She's been a part of the #WRTalk family since the very first chat and has joined in almost every week since! She's a virtual assistant (yes, that's a thing, and it's awesome!) in Waterloo! She's been in business since September 2014, and provides virtual assistant services with a specialty in legal assistance.
Services include transcription, word processing, Excel documents, internet research, small meeting preparations (coordination of materials, facilities, meals, etc.), preparation of court documents, coordination of service, note taking, filing, basic social media management, and much more!
Even though her business is new, she is not! She graduated with top honours in 2004 from Mohawk College, earning a diploma in legal administration. She spent over 7 years working at a national firm before starting her own business.
Virtual assistants may be a relatively new concept, but it's actually a growing trend among small organizations. If you need periodic or sporadic assistance, and there's not enough consistent work to hire someone full or part time, it often makes more financial sense to hire a virtual assistant (and the bonus is that you only pay for the services you require). Out of Office Waterloo offers retainer packages for the month and is also available short term, or for one-time projects.
Besides working, Schmidt is an avid knitter and Netflix watcher. She also enjoys going to the gym, going for walks, cooking and baking, hanging out with her kids at the local parks, and taking road trips.
What is the best part of your job?
Since I work from home, I'd have to say the commute! And making my own hours for my busy family.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
With my legal background, I am able to provide specialized services that others may not. I have worked with lawyers in a litigation setting for years and know the ins and outs of the practice. That does not limit me to other fields of work, however. The skills I have are easily transferable to most businesses.
In addition to my background, I am able to offer flexible packages for those testing the waters for a virtual assistant. I am able to work with clients and get to the root of their needs and build from there. My job is about making my clients look good, and that all starts with open communication.
What do you wish you knew (but didn’t) when you started your business?
That clients wouldn’t just line up at that door. I understood that I would have to work to get my name out into circulation, but I did not realize how difficult the initial client base would be to achieve.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs in Waterloo Region?
Join #WRTalk on Wednesdays! It’s helped me make several connections and I am always meeting more folks. Also, never stop talking about your own business. Refer to your connections and always carry business cards.
Do you have any promotions or upcoming events?
New Client Special
For a limited time, receive ONE FREE HOUR with purchase of a BRONZE or SILVER hours package or TWO FREE HOURS with purchase of a GOLD or PLATINUM package. New clients only.
Refer a friend/colleague/business associate! If they sign a retainer package and mention your referral, you will receive 5% off your next month's invoice. Limit one per month.
For more information, call 519.498.2632, or visit , or:
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