Member Spotlight: Melissa Haddad

Member Spotlight: Melissa Haddad

Melissa Haddad | MH Virtual Assistant Services

Melissa Haddad

CAVA: How long have you been a CAVA member?

MELISSA: 8 months

CAVA: What was the experience or motivating factor that compelled you to join CAVA? Was there someone who influenced you to join?

When I decided to become a Virtual Assistant I searched the internet for some sort of Canadian something.  I didn't know what was out there, all I was finding was American or European information, until I found CAVA!  I continued my search, but there was nothing else out there for Canadian companies, so I decided to research more about CAVA and found that it was a fountain of resources and knowledge and there was no need for anything more!

CAVA: How does CAVA support you and your business?

MELISSA: CAVA has provided me with my forms, RFP's and contact with other Virtual Assistant's within Canada.  The forms I use, for example, my Service Agreement is from CAVA, I have tweaked it to suit my company, but the form is from CAVA.  The Confidentiality Agreement and Needs Assessment form are both from CAVA.  All of these resources are so valuable to me because it's where I begin my relationship with my clients.  It has become part of my process and without these forms the assignments would be misunderstood.  The first RFP I answered, I gained my first client from answering it!  The contacts I have made with other VA's has allowed me to think bigger with regards to my business and what future I can make for it.

CAVA: Please explain your services and specialty(ies) offered.

MELISSA: I am a Generalist Virtual Assistant, so I do whatever is needed for my clients, however I am a Customer Care Specialist.  This means I have built my business around taking care of my client's customers.  I offer my clients an all inclusive service for their clients, meaning, I offer the beginning to the end of their customer's experience.  I start with presales and quotations to scheduling appointments, taking calls and confirmation of scheduled appointments and follow up to invoicing and accounts receivables.  I  As my company is starting to grow into a Multi-VA company, my plan is to offer more in-depth services to what I already offer as well as more services that compliment and fill the gaps

CAVA: Please describe your ideal client.

MELISSA: My ideal client is a Mompreneur who is trying to juggle her business and family commitments.  She knows she can't continue to do it all, she knows she needs help and is willing to trust someone to do it.  She understands that taking care of her family is more important, but her clients need to be taken care of as well and needs someone who she can rely on to do that.  She also is a bit scattered and needs to be reminded of things and needs help getting processes together with strategies to assist her to stay on top of things.

CAVA: How many clients do you currently work with? Can you describe them and their businesses?

MELISSA: I am currently working with 12 clients.  I have 3 interior designers, 1 accountant, 1 photographer, 1 landscaper (male), 1 professional window cleaner (male), 1 grant writer (male), 1 mediator, 1 professional cleaner, 1 insurance broker and I just recently signed a woman who is a Point of Sale Consultant.  As you can see there many different industries represented.

CAVA: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in business and how did you overcome it?

MELISSA: Getting my niche and target market pin pointed.  I was in the OSEB program and they explained niching and target market, but it wasn't until I started working with my clients when I truly discovered my niche.  I fell into it, but really it was always there.  I have 20 years of Administrative Assistant experience with the focus being on Customer Service, so I have learned what it takes to be Customer Services oriented.  It wasn't until I joined the Top 6 Mastermind group and I truly realized it though.  I did a 45 minute video on how to pick my niche and after speaking with my business coach I was able to understand the message I want to portray to my prospects.  It wasn't easy, but it truly aligns with my Core Values and that is very important to me...I have to represent who I am at all times.

CAVA: What 3 business tips can you share with others?

MELISSA: Pick your Niche and Target Market first because it allows you to market yourself and your business offerings better to prospects. 
Market yourself, set up a Facebook business page, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, website, business cards and ensure your brand (your image, message, logo) is consistent throughout each platform and get out there and promote yourself...toot your own horn! 

Network.  You must get out and meet people, don't think of them as potential clients, think of them as referrals for potential clients.

CAVA: What is your favorite app or social media outlet and why?

MELISSA: Facebook is my favorite social media.  I belong to tons of local Facebook groups and try to go to the networking events.  I have promoted myself on one particular group and have gained half my clients from there.  I don't just sell, I interact and get people to notice me and understand I truly am the same person online as I am in person.  My next step is to get away from local and get into bigger geographic markets.

CAVA: What are you passionate about? (personal or business)

MELISSA: I want to give my family financial stability.  My family is the reason I started my business.  My husband works downtown Toronto and he commutes almost 4 hours a day.  If I worked downtown, I could make up to $50,000 to $55,000, but at what cost.  My children would be in daycare and we would barely be able to see them during the week.  Plus, between the daycare and travel costs, I'd take home much less then if I took a position locally, which there are none anyways.  I also want to show my children you can truly be whatever you want to be, you just have to work hard for it. 

With regards to business, I believe failure is not an option and I believe I need to go big or go home.  I want to grow my business, so I am able to take a day off or not have to work evenings or if my children have a school trip I'm able to go with them and still feel like my clients are still being taken care of.  I can only do this for myself by making a Multi-VA company.

CAVA: What is your dream vacation spot? Why?

MELISSA: My dream vacation spot is Egypt.  I have always had a fascination with the pyramids and Pharos and Cleo Petra, really anything to do with Ancient times.

CAVA: What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)?

MELISSA: I have a few guilty pleasures, I have a huge sweet tooth and really don't know when to stop.  I also love to binge watch TV shows, I have watched many series in the span of a week.

CAVA: If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the Title should be? (Please explain)

MELISSA: Wow, this is a really great question.  I know the biography would be slightly different for everyone, but the title itself would be... 

Genuine and Giving Woman Who Made us Laugh...A LOT! 

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