Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Virtual Services for the 2010 soccer world cup.

Hi everyone,

This is just a very quick call to anybody who may need virtual services during the 2010 soccer world cup in South Africa. Journalists, publications, business people, from South Africa and around the world, TAVASA is a group of VAs and transcriptionists and other professionals in South Africa and we can assist you with your virtual requirements. Everybody is welcome to contact us.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Hello everybody,

There’s something happening in our industry that has been boiling under for the past decade or so, and every so often it raises its ugly head. In the past week, it's raised its head and shoulders too.

In many places on the internet I’m seeing posts from a certain rival virtual association organization. I have two problems with that:

1) They are telling blatant lies, particularly that they are the first VA membership organization – of course, they are not.
2) The grammar being used in these internet posts is terrible, and to me that flies in the face of what they say they are trying to achieve, and of what I know TAVASA is trying to achieve – proper standards in our industry.

I’m going to quote a forum post of theirs, which I have just come across, with every error highlighted and below I shall put comments:

They wrote: “Aaron, you are quite right. Virtual Assistants are not bound by geographical boundaries and can do work from any location for their clients based anywhere in the world. Although Virtual Assistance is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide, it is a fairly new concept in South Africa. Very few people here knows about (1) the term much less about what VA's (2) actually do.

Our organisation focus on "education/spreading the word" (3) in South Africa about virtual assistance and the benefits that it can have to clients as well as prospecting (4) VA's (2). We basically (5)
- assist people in SA who wants (6) to enter the VA industry with the necessary information on how to start their own VA business and also support existing VA's (2).

- have a database of professional SA VA's (2). Thus if someone wants to make use of a SA VA we provide a RFP service and assist them to find a suitable VA. Since VA'(2)s in SA pricing/rates (3) are not yet as expensive as VA's (2) from overseas , we receive quite a number of international requests for VA's(2).

Virtual Assistance in SA(although in its infancy) (7)is an open, growing field as more and more people with administrative experienced(8) are looking for alternative opportunities and businesses realise that outsourcing is actually a good business strategy .

Well, to make this long story short , our main focus are really (9)to build the VA industry in South Africa.”


(1) Incorrect usage of plural – should read: “Very few people here know about …”
(2) Incorrect usage of apostrophe – an apostrophe denotes either possession or contraction. Neither is the case here. Should read: “VAs”
(3) Incorrect usage of the backslash – should read: “education / spreading the word”
(4) Incorrect usage of verb – “prospecting” refers to something one does on the mines. I assume what should have been used here is “prospective”
(5) Omission of colon – should read “We basically:”
(6) Incorrect conjugation – should read “who want”
(7) Omission of space – should read “SA (although”
(8) Incorrect tense – should be present tense and read “experience are”
(9) Incorrect conjugation – should read “our main focus is really” …

9 basic errors repeated over and over again in a short forum post – my mind boggles when I think of the fact that this organization charges VAs in South Africa to be members, when they can’t write a simple forum post grammatically. You are going to tell me that they are not native English speakers. Shame. Errors like this may be acceptable in letters or emails to friends. When they are put on a public forum, and the people posting state that they are representing the virtual industry, it’s not on. We’re professionals and we have to write accordingly.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

VA Organisation Fees

Hi I want to talk very briefly about VA membership fees for organisations. Please be careful with this one, check out exactly what you will get for your membership fees, make sure it worth it for you, check out with other members of that organisation how they feel about their fees and if its worth it for them and that way you will get a good idea whether its worth it for you.
Tavasa is free for membership and will remain so, we are not here to collect and make money from you, our aim is to help and assist you as you need it, you need your money for other things within your business. Our aim is to pass what we have learnt to you to help you, weve been there, done that, so if we can stop you doing the wrong thing we will, we are very knowledgeable in this industry and share that knowledge with you.
Check organisations thoroughly before just handing them your membership fees. If you feel you cannot check out an organisation please ask us as we know most of the organisations in South Africa and overseas and know which are the best to join and those who are not.
Check out the information that these sites are offering you being a member as most information is available for free via the internet its a case of looking and finding the information and approaching more established VAs who could help you with this information for free. Tavasa is a great place to look online in our Yahoo Group we have folders of information available for free. Templates can be found via the internet and as I say above and also from established VAs who might be open to sharing her info with you. All these methods are worth trying before taking up paying membership fees.
It is worth taking up membership fees for some overseas sights which do offer Job Leads and various things, but be careful here as well and check with your more established VAs which are the better sights to join.

Regards Ali