Virtual assistance, trust and timing

By Jane Cattermole, Bay Tree VA
The traditional company structure has undergone significant changes – less hierarchy and a more self-sufficient workforce managing their own diaries and admin.

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine Autumn 2021

Virtual Assistance and Remote Support: Bay Tree VA

However, what happens when that style of working is a false economy, when you recognise you should be spending your time differently and you need to learn to delegate. The thought of working with an assistant can feel like a leap of faith but at Bay Tree we use our experience to guide new clients.  

The first thing we do is to get an honest understanding of the client’s requirements and the current situation.

Business coach and Acting COO at Norfolk based Floorbox Ltd, John Burroughes, explains the behaviour pattern of many entrepreneurs or founders of new businesses.

“The typical entrepreneur starts a business based on his own competencies – essentially what they know, and getting it done the only way they know how. They become successful very quickly but have never had the most appropriate support around them. Most of what they want to achieve remains in their head.  They are working extremely hard but operating inefficiently”.

Getting involved at an early stage

Ideally Bay Tree gets involved before a state of over trading or burn out begins to seriously undermine the reputation or growth of the business. In the case of Floorbox, Bay Tree was introduced well in advance of getting a VA in place.

“We knew the time had come to bring Bay Tree in when Floorbox missed out on a tender which was really important to the business” explains John. “Spending time on the wrong things, working late at night, making wrong decisions. Co-founder John Davy was ready to meet the VA that would change the business for the better”.

One of our Bay Tree VAs explains how she helps a new client adjust to working with an assistant and gains their trust:

“I find that just by asking questions and making suggestions I can soon take ownership of some of the tasks and free up my client’s time. As soon as you start to build a bit of trust and demonstrate your understanding, things begin to shift and that’s a great feeling for both parties.”

Bringing a different perspective

A virtual assistant’s role has the benefit of being able to bring a different perspective and often better solutions to specific projects or tasks. Being a sounding board is often part of our role, helping clients to formulate plans and approaches to take. Working with a wide variety of clients, across a diverse range of sectors, means we see what software tools work well together and can advise and set up new systems to use. 

A final word from Floorbox Ltd, John Burroughes: “A Bay Tree VA has been the breakthrough for us and transformed the business. BTVA Chantelle is currently working on our ISO accreditation which we’d never have been able to contemplate before”.  

Photo of Jane Cattermole and Fiona Portway taken by Warren Page Pagepix.

Bay Tree VA provide a progressive resource solution for growing businesses. Using smart, flexible working practices they support busy people to help them regain control of their time and enjoy a better lifestyle. To discuss how Bay Tree VA could assist you, please contact Fiona Portway at or visit

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