Ritchie Secretarial Service is one of the leading virtual office assistance practices. In business since 1996, they began in the industry while virtual assisting was still unknown by much of the business society. It was a practice to not only provide great service to their clients around the world, but to also educate the public about the virtues of using a virtual assistant, and to mentor new virtual assistants. Kathy Ritchie, owner of Ritchie Secretarial Service is our interview subject today.
EG: Why are so many companies saying WOW after they start doing business with you?
KR: We pride ourselves in our exemplary customer service, as well as our variety of services available. We make it a point to get to know you, and your business so that we may tailor our services to suit.
EG: What do you attribute your success?
KR: First, being one of the first in the industry, we have name recognition and a reputation of over 13 years of quality services. I’ve been a firm believer in cooperation and not competition, I believe there is far too much work to be done and not enough virtual assistants. This style of working is nothing new; cottage industries have been around for centuries. We’re just more high tech now. I’m grateful that technology allows me to work in a manner that highly appeals to me, as well as in an industry I love.
EG: How do you find your opportunities?
KR: Thankfully, our opportunities find us, either from our website, or by client referral. We currently have clients all over the US, as well as Hong Kong, West Indies, Brazil, Netherlands, Canada, England, Scotland, France and Mexico.
EG: How does your internal staff function?
KR: We have one principal, myself, and we utilize a network of sub-contracted virtual assistants.
EG: Where do you see your business as a whole in 10 years?
KR: I anticipate that the next 10 years will offer more cutting edge technology that will offer my clients superior service as they need it.
EG: What are some of the challenges you face as a business owner and how do you rise above them?
KR: The biggest challenge in my business has been educating the public and business sectors on what a virtual assistant does, and how they can be of use to nearly anyone. Most everyone asks “because you’re virtual, does that mean you’re not really there?”. To alleviate the confusion, and to raise client confidence, I’ve implemented a webcam that is on much of the time while I’m working. So, this tells my clients I AM actually there, and working.
EG: What sets your company apart from other virtual assistants?
KR: My company is rather unique, I get a great deal of traffic on my website, because when a potential client searches for a virtual assistant online, they invariably type in the search term “secretarial service”, because Ritchie Secretarial Service is the name of my business, I generally come up in the top 10 companies, worldwide. For this reason, I’ve never considered paying for search engine positioning. Second are the services I offer and philosophy I govern my business by. I make it a point to learn about the person/business I’m working for. I take calls for many clients and feel a fierce desire to answer intelligently, not just take messages. I want your clients to feel they have reached the administrative assistant in your offices; they have no idea most of the time that I’m not even in the same state.
EG: Can you tell us a success story about one of your clients
KR: For practical purposes, I’m relaying a client comment: “Kathy supports both of my companies, StaffingU and simplyEffective(tm). Using her services was not only a wise investment, but also brought immediate returns in increased revenues right from the first month. I can’t imagine what it would be like without her. Run, don’t walk, to talk with this savvy lady about what she can do for you.” (Scott Wintrip, StaffingU)
I have been very fortunate, even in this economy, to have clients come to me after they have outsourced their staff – the work must still get done – as well as clients that have stayed with me for many years. While I’m not a client of the Elder Group, I’ve certainly benefited from the association. I’ve learned so much from Mr. Elder and happily apply what I’ve learned to my own business success. The Elder Group has offered me a platform to work with larger companies without jeopardizing my time for all my clients. We have several clients from the Elder Group because of this association.
Kathy Ritchie, President
Ritchie Secretarial Service, LLC
877-897-1859 Office www.thebestva.com