All posts by LynPB


Ep 58: The Real Cost of Staff

Onsite staff don’t just cost you their annual salary and on costs like super and worker’s comp. Not to mention lost productivity due to interruptions. Are you aware of what your staff actually cost you? Or how a Virtual Assistant can save you money?

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop

Research: How Many Productive Hours in a Workday?

Cost of Staff – comparison to a VA


Ep 55: Warranties – Who’s Responsible?

(8 min listen)

Warranties apply to all goods and services sold in Australia and in addition to manufacturer’s warranties, store warranties, and express warranties, there are a set of consumer guarantees that protect consumers regardless of store policies.

Whilst this show includes links for consumers and businesses in Queensland, according to the ACCC Consumer Law guide, “Australian Consumer Law aims to protect consumers and ensure fair trading in Australia. It is a national, state and territory law from 1 January 2011 and includes unfair contract terms legislation introduced on 1 July 2010. Under the ACL, consumers have the same protections, and businesses have the same obligations and responsibilities, across Australia.” Check the fair trading sites for other states for specific guidance.

So when you need to return that faulty item, do you know who’s responsible and what rights and remedies you have as a consumer, and what responsibilities you have as a business? Are you using refund signage in your store? Do you know if it’s legal? Did you know that the choice of remedy lies with the consumer if the failure is major not the business?

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop

Links and Resources:

ACCC Consumer Law Guide – pdf

Business IT article – Harvey Norman franchisees fined

Office of Fair Trading Qld

OFT – Guarantees, Warranties, Refunds

OFT – Types of Consumer Warranties

OFT – Refund Policy Information

OFT – 9 Consumer Guarantees for Goods

OFT – 3 Consumer Guarantees for Services

OFT – Major or Minor Failure

OFT – Refund Signage

OFT – If you need to make a complaint use the information here


Ep 53: Facebook Down!!!

Earlier this week Facebook – as well as Instagram and WhatsApp – went down for about 6 hours and for some it was like the world ended. Should we be relying on these social media platforms for our businesses? I don’t think so and in this episode I explain why.

(5 minute listen)

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Resources and Mentions:

Frances Haugen – Congress address on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg posts an essay to Facebook


Ep 52: Ethics and Success

(12 min listen)

Our industry’s new crop of VA is a new generation – used to instant success, and influencers rather than mentors. This has brought with it a change in what is perceived as ethical, and what they define as success in business.

In this show I look at a recent discussion with one such new VA.

If we want our industry to continue into the future, we need to ensure we are all moving it in a forward direction, and not just looking after our own needs.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Resources and Mentions:

Ep 36: VA Training

Kate Toon: 19 Things NOT to Do in a Facebook Group

Forbes: What Percentage of Small Businesses Fail?

Venture Beat: 50% of Businesses Fail in Their First 5 Years

Huffington Post: Small Business Failure

US Small Business Administration (Office of Advocacy): FAQs About Small Business


Ep 51: Parasites or Professionals?

When change happens – and it will – if you’re in business, you need to be able to adapt – and fast. Whether it’s stock market crashes, political upheaval or pandemics, if you want to stay in business and continue to deliver to your customers, you need to be able to make changes in your service delivery and sometimes in the way you work. But Harry Triguboff the billionaire property developer and founder of Meriton, called working from home “a trend” and the people who utilise it “parasites”.

In this episode I look at his comments a little more deeply, as well as whether working from home is a productivity killer.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Resources and References:

The Daily Mail – Stuck in the Past

The Daily Telegraph – Billionaire Developer Harry Triguboff says Bosses who Allow Employees to Work from Home are Parasites

Standford Study – Does Working From Home Work?

Connect Solutions Study – Teleworkers More Productive – Even When Sick

US World and News – Telecommuting Can Boost Productivity and Job Performance


Ep 50: To Gift or Not to Gift…

At this time of year the question arises: to gift or not to gift. It comes down to personal choice – but I like to send clients – especially my long term clients – something to show my appreciation for them.

Some places to get gift giving ideas:

Morish Nuts

Edible Blooms

Koko Black Chocolate

Gift Baskets (Australia)

You might also like this episode: Gratitude

Stay safe and thanks for your support this year!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 49: The Fraud of ‘Living the Dream’

It’s been nearly 14 years since The 4-Hour Work Week was published – yet the idea that virtual support should only cost you $5/hour persists.

If you’re all about saving money in your business then opting for cheap labour has its advantages – but also inherent disadvantages – and just because they’re ‘remote’ doesn’t make them Virtual Assistants.


Jacobin – the Fraud and the 4-Hour Work Week – Meagan Day article

Forbes Article – Michael Schein


Should Cost of Living Count?

Offshore Freelancers – What Clients Need to Know

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 47: Audio Transcription

So… you want to be a transcriptionist because – well, you can type! Isn’t it the same thing? No … it most certainly isn’t! And clients – a typist is not the same thing as a transcriptionist!

In this episode I run through some of the basic skills you need to have if you want to be a transcriptionist, and give clients some tips on what to look for in a professional service provider, and what affects the cost of transcription.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 46: 20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years – Pt 2

On the 28th February 2020 I will have been in practice as a virtual assistant for 20 years. In this 2-part podcast I’d like to share with you 20 things I have learned in that 20 years being in business as a VA!

In this episode I cover 11 through 20 of the 20 things I’ve learned after 20 years in business.

You’ll find other episodes referred to in this podcast in the Show Archive.

Did you miss part 1? Find it here.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 45: 20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years – Pt 1

On the 28th February 2020 I will have been in practice as a virtual assistant for 20 years. In this 2-part podcast I’d like to share with you 20 things I have learned in that 20 years being in business as a VA!

This episode covers the first ten.

You’ll find other episodes referred to in this podcast in the Show Archive. I refer to Kathie Thomas’s excellent article in this episode and you can find it linked below:

Kathie Thomas – Not Everyone Can be a VA

Part 2 – where I share the second lot of ten things I’ve learned – will be available 28th February!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 44: Offshore Freelancers: Thoughts for Our Colleagues

I assume that many of our offshore colleagues want to be a VA for the same reasons we all do: freedom to work when we like, be our own boss, autonomy, travel, childcare or elder care needs, disability. 

Part 3 of our Offshore Freelancers series focuses on our offshore colleagues offering tips on things to consider – primary amongst them understanding what a VA actually is!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Reference Links:

History of the VA Industry

Ep 41: Offshore Freelancers – Part 1

Ep 42: Offshore Freelancers – Part 2

Professional Virtual Assistants – Philippines

Rochefel Rivera – YouTube

Should Cost of Living Count

Worth v Value

No, Not Everyone Can Be a VA – Kathie Thomas


Ep 43: Interview: STP and Super

Please note this show is for our Australian listeners only.

In this special episode we interview Pauline Pickering, director of Globe Accounting and small business accounting specialist on the new Australian Single Touch Payroll system, and the superannuation guarantee, and discuss any issues there may be for VAs.

The Single Touch Payroll system (STP) may affect some VAs who pay themselves a wage or who have family members assisting them from time to time they are paying. And did you know if you are a sole operator structure you can’t pay yourself a wage? Instead you’ll take drawings.

A recent VA blog post raised the issue that VAs are eligible for superannuation so we discuss this with Pauline and whether this allegation is actually accurate or the information shared is oversimplifying things. Note, if you operate as a company, trust or partnership structure the superannuation guarantee legislation does not apply to you.

(As this episode is an interview recording the audio quality is slightly different to previous shows.)

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Reference Links:

Globe Accounting Pty Ltd

Globe Accounting Facebook

ATO – Single Touch Payroll

ATO – Contractor example for employers

ATO – Superannuation entitlements for contractors

ATO – Employee or Contractor Table

ATO – Contractor v Employee Decision Tool

ATO – Superannuation Eligibility Decision Tool

STP Solutions Vendors:


Easy Payslip (free trial)

Lightning Payroll (free trial)

Reckon (3 variations)

CloudPayroll MICRO (free trial)

ePayroll Micro (free trial)

GovReports (free trial)


Ep 42: Offshore Freelancers: What Clients Need to Know

We continue our offshore freelancer series with this episode focused on helping clients understand the differences between local and offshore support, and highlight some of the things you might not have thought about when choosing the offshore option – including a breakdown of a real life example of one outsourcing company’s costs.

(Please note: This podcast refers to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – this agreement is now defunct after the US withdrew, and was replaced by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) of which China is not a member.)

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Reference Links:

History of the VA Industry

Outsourcing Company Ad

Outsourcing Company Costs

Episode 41: Offshore Freelancers


Ep 38: Worth v Value

As globalisation makes it easier for clients to connect with service providers outside their home countries, today’s VA really needs to work smarter to attract those clients, and taking a look at their perceived “worth” and then focusing on client needs is a good place to start. Provide value and your worth will increase.

Referenced shows:

Let’s Talk About Rates

VA Trainers – Do Your Homework

What Do I Charge?

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 37: Let’s Talk About Rates Baby

There are always lots of discussions around rates in the VA industry. How to charge. What to charge. Charging enough. Not enough.

In this podcast I cover some recent discussions around rates, things to think about when setting your rate, and whether your experience in an office and your location need to be taken into account.

I also mention Nina Feldman’s handy pricing worksheet during the show, which you can find here:

Pricing Worksheet


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 36: VA Training – Do Your Homework

Previously I’ve said that I didn’t think it was necessary for VAs to have training – however with the evolution of the VA industry and so many new VAs coming from little to no experience in an office or admin environment, and others straight from school, getting training in running a business, or a specialist niche area, is probably advisable for some. However, not all trainers are alike. You have to do your homework and ensure you’re getting what you pay for! Do your research and ensure your trainer knows what they’re talking about! Check their background and credentials before you part with your money.

Remember: the VA industry is unregulated and there is no over-arching regulating/certifying body … therefore NO training can be “certified”. Getting a certificate at the end of a training isn’t the same as that training being certified. The articles I mention in the podcast are linked below:

I also include reference to what I consider legitimate, valuable trainers and organisations.  I’ve included links to those below:

For specialist Author and Speaker Assistant training visit here.

This should be plenty to get you on the road to a successful VA practice!

History of the VA Industry infographic – find it here.

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 35: The Evolution of the VA Industry

The VA industry has been going since the early 1980s! Since I began my VA journey back in 2000, the industry has certainly evolved and changed significantly. Back then we had a fledgling industry forged primarily by women who had come from years working in administration, secretarial, PA or EA roles, whereas now there are many types of VA. This means that clients need to be clear on what they’re looking for to ensure they partner with the right VA.


I mention Julie Hoflin’s (Your Versatile VA in British Columbia) infographic in the podcast which highlights the difference between what she terms Offshoring (‘the tasker’), Outsourcing (‘the side hustle’) and Contracting (‘the professional’). You can find it here.


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Most people don't get started because of fear

Ep 34: How I Got Started

Recently a question was asked on a group I belong to, “What’s your reason for not starting your business?” The primary reason for most people not getting started was fear: of failure; not being successful; not being good enough.

Here I share how I started my business back in February 2000 in the hope it will help others get the courage they need. Back then, VAs really were a completely novel concept here (especially in Queensland) (and not confused with offshore call centres), when we didn’t have 99% of the apps and technologies available today, and when we were operating on dial up internet. {gasp!}



Some of the organisations I mention in the podcast no longer exist. Here’s one to consider joining:

VA Directory (A Claytons Secretary) – including VA Trainer

VA Classroom – if you’re after specific training

Podcast: Five Tips for Starting Your VA Practice


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

Work life balance is it a myth

Ep 33: The Myth of Work-Life Balance

The Courier Mail ran an article about an NBN commissioned study highlighting that many small business owners who had begun their business in the hope of achieving work/life balance were no longer living the dream. The nationwide study of 700 business owners with fewer than 100 employees shows they want to work half the hours they are. This desire for work/life balance is behind many start-ups – but I think we should be aiming for work/life integration – especially those who are home-based self-employed.


National Museum of Australia – Defining Moments in Australian History – The 8 Hour Day

The Courtier Mail – Small Business Owners Lament the Loss of Work Life Balance

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show

quality clients who pay your rate

Ep 31: Good Quality Clients Who Pay Your Rate

A listener asked for a show covering how to attract good quality clients who are willing to pay your rate, and won’t try and bargain you down. This is probably the second most asked question by VAs in particular – after “How much do I charge?” In this show I share some tips from my own experiences, as well as some from industry legends Sharon Williams and Kathie Thomas.

If you have your own tips to share, please do so in the comments!




The 24 Hour Secretary –

Alliance for Virtual Business –

VA Directory –

Elizabeth Mary Hancock –


Other Episodes referred to:

Ep 5 – Getting Clients

Ep 15 – What do I charge?

Ep 19 – Client Purchasing Decisions


(Image: Getty Images)


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 30: Brand Damage Online

We have discussed damage to your online reputation in other podcasts, but in this show I give you a real life example of one online retailer whose post on her Facebook business page resulted in some potentially serious damage to her brand.



Women’s March:’s_March


Previous Podcast:

Ep 23 – Are you killing your online reputation

Ep 24 – Are you killing your online reputation – part 2


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 28: Peaks and Troughs in Business

If you’re going to go into business, you need to understand that there will be peaks and troughs. Business ebbs and flows. So what do you do to help you through those low points?


Some useful network links:

Australian Virtual Assistants Association

VA Directory

Alliance for Virtual Business

International VA Association


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 27: Can They Do That??

There have been some discussions on various forums for VAs about cheap labour providers offering services for $5 per hour or less and usually these relate to offshore providers. But it seems there is now a new breed of contractor offering services for this price right here in Australia. This raised the question “Can they do that??”

Related to this topic:

You might also like Episode 15: What Do I Charge?


I refer to the ATO’s employer -v- contractor tool. The link is here:


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 26: Your Digital Legacy

It’s not something we like to think about but as the saying goes “None of us are getting out of this alive”. But when we do shuffle off this mortal coil, what happens to the digital footprint we leave behind in social media spaces, blogs and websites?

You can find some more great articles on this topic at New Scientist.

For an online memorial off Facebook check out Heaven Address.


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 24: Are You Killing Your Online Reputation – Part 2

In the second part of Are You Killing Your Online Reputation I talk about dealing with colleagues online and share some guidelines for avoiding the pitfalls of social media.

Have you noticed a decline in the way people treat each other online – especially colleagues? We seem to be more focused on the ‘drama’ than supporting and sharing. This was evidenced in an online space recently where a question asking for help received no replies at all, and one talking about the bad behaviour of a third party elicited over 50 comments including (well meaning?) offers to ‘bad mouth’ in return. Share your comments – but please don’t mention specific people or businesses!

(Did you miss Part 1? Find it here.)


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 23: Are You Killing Your Online Reputation – Part 1

Everyone seems to be using social media these days but are you careful about what you post … all the time? You probably won’t ever know who or how many people are watching/following you. If you use social media for business promotion, you must be careful you are on-brand all the time.

It’s amazing how many people don’t think about the damage they can be doing online to their reputation. Once it’s online, it’s online forever!

Thanks to Sharon Williams of The 24 Hour Secretary for sharing her 5:3:2 rule with me!


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 22: Putting the ‘Social’ Back into Social Media

Social media seems to have lost something over recent years – being social. And we seem to have forgotten that Facebook is a tool – a service provided to us for free, but people complain about how it’s “always changing”. Are we too focused on the drama and have lost the ability to be social in this new ‘faceless’ age of communication?


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 17: AVAC 2014: 15 Key Takeaways

On 14 and 15 March 2014, Australian Virtual Assistants gathered for the Australian VA  Conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. I thought I’d share the 15 key takeaways for me from the conference!

My number 1 takeaway probably gives away my age and stage of life really! LOL!

What were your takeaways? Add them to the comments below!

(My first podcast using Audacity …. I may have a bit more learning to do!)


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 15: What Do I Charge?

One of the biggest issues facing new VAs – and even an issue that comes up from time to time for existing VAs and anyone in business – is what do I charge? New VAs usually start out by doing a bit of market research, checking out what other VAs are charging and then go from there. But there are a few key things to bear in mind that will impact on the rate you charge.


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 12: Today’s VA Magazine

On this show I talk to Renee Chapman from the Admin Chick who, on 12 July 2011, launched an Australian-first: Today’s VA magazine! Renee is an inspiration to all newbie VAs – having only been in business for a year she saw a need and filled it! Today’s VA is the quarterly magazine for the Australian VA Industry, and at just $5.50 per edition it’s great value.

Visit: and follow the links to subscribe.


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 11: Multi-VA Practices

Lots of virtual assistants are starting up team pages on their sites where they show the members of their “virtual team”. This is often referred to as the Multi-VA Practice. But could these VAs be opening themselves up to tax and oncost problems down the track? And what about the members of these ‘teams’? Turns out … potentially.

Tools referred to in the podcast:

The ATO’s Employee/Contractor Decision Tool

The ATO’s Superannuation Guarantee Eligibility Tool

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 10: Q&A With Ken Phillips

The 80/20 rule continues to be a source of concern for many VAs and sole traders. Following podcast #9 I had a Q&A session with Ken Phillips of Independent Contractors Australia to help clarify further what the current rules are as they apply to solopreneurs. Don’t forget to catch Ken’s presentation at OIVAC on Friday May 20 8.45am Australian Eastern Time when he’ll be talking about Contractors versus Employees. If you miss the presentation you can still register and you’ll be provided with a copy of the recording.


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 9: Sham Contracting

The current Australian Government is conducting an enquiry at the moment into sham contracting – but what is it? This episode looks at what sham contracting actually is, discusses how it relates to virtual assistants and solopreneurs and also looks at PSI legislation and the often misunderstood 80/20 rule.

Links referred to in the podcast:


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 8: Business Tax Changes

Over the past few months I’ve been blogging about some pretty scary proposed tax changes for small business – and independent contractors in particular. Should you care? In this show I discuss what the changes are, what’s been going on behind the scenes that you may not have known about, and what you can do as a small business owner to have your views on the issue heard – before the proposed changes move into legislation and you miss the chance to have your views heard.

Resources and Links referred to in the show:

Australian Financial Review Smart Company

ICA Summary

ICA boilerplate letter

Parliament of Australia Whos Who


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 7: Saying No to Clients

Something many business owners struggle with is saying no to clients. They are worried they might be perceived as unprofessional, unhelpful, or run the risk of actually losing clients if they say no. In the final part of our 4-part series I look at the importance of setting boundaries in your business – and for yourself – and why saying no is something we all, as business owners, need to do from time to time. And that’s okay!


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show


Ep 3: Doing Business the Feminine Way

Are you a woman in biz? Why is it that we’re expected to run our businesses like men? Is it possible to retain your goddess femininity and still be a businesswoman? Join us Thursday 24 June at 11am Aust EST when our guest Marina J shares her secrets for running your business the feminine way! And how doing so just might get you the success you want and a stream of clients to your door. Interactive Q&A in our online room – Free event but seats are limited so mark your diary. And please be sure to register for the event ahead of time here: If you have questions you want to pose but can’t be in the live Q&A please go to our Show Comments page and post your questions there: AUST: Thu 24 June 11am Eastern US EST: Wed 23 Jun 9pm US Pacific: Wed 23 Jun 6pm

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – The Virtual Business Show