FAQs & Help

There is a lot to think about before hiring people to help you run your business.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) which will help answer the most common questions we get.

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Most Popular Questions

No question is a stupid question! We get it! You need to do your due diligence when it comes to bringing people into your business. If your question isn’t here, feel free to email it through to us on the form, or book a free non-salesy discovery call.

Zesty Virtual Assistants supports business owners to organise all the different pieces of the business puzzle so it is clear what the next step is, and how they’re going to grow.

There is an absolute wealth of knowledge out there across the different industries about how to run businesses, however they (rightly so) focus on their specific niche; bookkeeping, payroll, Website, SEO, financial management, social media, HR, systems & processes, marketing product production, etc etc etc.

This type of information is great once you have an understanding of what you’re supposed to be doing. But what if you don’t? What if you’ve never run a business before? There is so much to learn, and no one is telling you how each part fits together to create strong foundations in which to grow.

This is where Heidi (often called the Mum of businesses) and her amazing team step in. We help you figure out what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and what just needs a bit of tweaking. We help you get all that foundational work really solid so you’re ready to grow. Then, when you’re ready for a specialist in a particular area, we use our industry contacts to find you the perfect match who will take that piece of the puzzle to the next level.

Our terms and conditions are outline here:

Our team have a variety of skills, and that is part of what makes us so capable of helping you run your business.

Heidi has a conjoint (double) degree; Bachelor of Teaching – Early Childhood Education and Bachelor of Education. What does this mean for you the business owner? Heidi has experience working with people from all different walks of life, and better yet an understanding of how to present the information to the person (you) so that you understand what, and WHY the action you’re going to take is important.

Humans all work in such a variety of ways; and being a business owner isn’t just about getting the work done, it’s also about learning what is the next step, and why that step is important.

The “school of life” is not to be underestimated. When my husband and I ran a retail butchery, I was exactly where you are right now – how do we do all the things that make a business work successfully. From HR and managing employees, adhering to government & council regulations and policy, creating a website and a following on social media, product pricing, forecasting, and more, there is so much to learn and it’s important to know how all those different jigsaw pieces fit together to make up the business puzzle.

Our pricing and packages vary depending on what services you are after. For more in depth conversation feel free to book a free discovery call with Heidi.

I am strategically building my team so together we can take the best care of you and your business.

Once we are through the initial set up phase of working with your business (usually 3 months) the main daily tasks will be taken care of by one of our amazing Zesty team members.

I will continue to be working with you as your Virtual Business Manager; i.e. I will be supporting you with the higher end business planning, accountability and coaching.


What is a Virtual Assistant Service, and who is it for?

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A Virtual Business Manager is new term which applies to someone who is providing more strategic planning and/or coaching support. As with their assistant counterparts, they have a vested interest in seeing your business grow, and genuinely want it to succeed.

Where a Virtual Assistant (VA) is more likely taking tasks off your hands, a VBM is supporting you to strategically figure out what should be taken off your plate so you can focus on growing your business.

Quite often a VBM has already owned businesses before, and therefore has a different understanding of the journey you are on.

Virtual Assistant is an umbrella term for administrative services provided from one business to another business (B2B).

You are likely more familiar with specialised terms such as, bookkeeperfreelance graphics designer, personal assistant, executive assistant, events manager or social media manager.

People who use the term Virtual Assistant often do so because they have experience in more than one of these sub-fields, or they enjoy being able to provide generalised administrative services to their clients.

As an agency, Zesty Virtual Assistants focuses on ensuring entrepreneurs and small businesses have all the basics in place for quick processes and getting the word out to the community about products and services.

The reality is, it depends on what type of tasks you need your administrative person to do. If you need them to be seated at a desk for a certain amount of time, answering phones and greeting customers, then it may be more appropriate to hire an employee. If you don’t need someone to be present at the office, then you have plenty of options.

The benefits of hiring a contractor:

✔ You’re not paying for unproductive time: 100% of chargeable time is focused purely on completing tasks for your business.

✔ You’re not paying for the hidden extras of an employee: 10 days sick leave, public holidays, Kiwisaver employee contributions, Covid19 leave. These all add up to $ on your bottom line. To see the true cost of an employee, check out these two calculators:

✔ You’re not paying for equipment, an office, heating and all of the extras you need for your employee to carry out the work comfortably. We work from our own equipment from our own home office, so all those expenses fall to us.

✔ It’s less upfront risk, especially if you have over 20 staff. If your employee isn’t working out, you need to make sure they are let go in the appropriate way. With us as your contractor, if it’s not working out, you can give us written notice and we’ll talk about the handover process together.


It actually doesn’t matter where in New Zealand your business is based (even if you’re running it from overseas), we have plenty of options for working together.

If we need to process hard-copy (invoices or receipts) we can courier them, or we can look at other options from scanning or taking photos on your phone, or we can create a QR code which links to a google form enabling you or your team to easily upload photos of the hard copy items.

There are plenty of ways we can work together, and we’re looking forward to doing so! We currently have clients in Auckland, Waikato, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Nelson, and of course Lower Hutt and Wellington.

Getting Set Up

(doesn’t apply to products purchased through our shop)

  • First we have a discovery call to work out where you need support and if we would be the right fit together. If the answer is yes, Heidi then puts together a proposal, a contract, and an initial invoice.
  • We have a handover meeting – the first of our paid work together. We will work out the best place to start our work, and get signed into the products and services we will need to carry out your tasks.
  • We carry out the work! Heidi will liaise with yourself and any team members working on your project while we get set up and in a rhythm.
  • Heidi will organise regular strategy meetings with you so we can talk about what’s happening in your business and the next steps,

The reality is, it’s hard to set up your business properly if you don’t have one, so the answer is yes.
The next question is What is your Gmail used for?

  • Verifying your business on Google Business and Google Maps. This is essential as Google Business has taken over from the old Yellow Pages. This is now the most used business directory.
  • Signing into tools and services; anywhere that has a google sign in. Using a google sign in wherever possible helps to keep your passwords under control and keeps everything secure. It also keeps it separate from your personal profiles, helping to control your data.
  • Linking all the separate pieces of your website and your entire business together.
  • It allows us to work with you through a shared workspace. Using Chrome, we can all sign into the same space, allowing us to use the services you need and keep everything nice and tidy for you. No more sharing passwords and details.

If you’d rather not share this gmail, we can create a separate administrative email.

One of the biggest lessons I learnt was when we needed to close our business down, I still needed to communicate with the insurance company and a few of our suppliers. Our main email address was closed with our website, and so it fell to the gmail account to do the heavy lifting. I was grateful to have this secondary account to link everything together.

Oh so many! Here is just a few

  • Automotive Mechanic
  • Domestic Cleaner
  • Early Childhood Centre
  • Home based Early Childhood Services (those looking after children in their own home)
  • Cafes
  • Retail Butchery
  • Marriage Celebrant
  • Osteopath
  • Physiotherapist
  • Therapist (counseling)
  • Childbirth educator
  • Midwives
  • Dressmakers
  • Crafters
  • Rental Property
  • Transport: Commercial & Domestic Movers
  • …. Add your industry here!


A Virtual Assistant, or Virtual Bookkeepers’ work is directly inside your business; that is tasks you would usually do in a daily, weekly or monthly basis can be delegated to your VA. This is exactly where we step in; the daily reconciliation, invoicing, bills management, receipt management – all of that can be given to us and we take that off your hands.

Can your accountant do this? Some firms do offer these services, and some don’t. Some accountants build this into their fee, and others do not. It all depends on where they want to focus their speciality skills… they did go to university to for a reason!

The ICNZB is a professional organisation supporting bookkeepers in their roles. They provide a code of conduct, professional development and a set of standards in which bookkeepers assigned to the ICNZB need to act.

Most importantly, the ICNZB provide up to date information about legislative changes and they also act as a liaison between MBIE, IRD and bookkeepers across the country.

In my opinion it is important for businesses to belong to any professional organisations for their industry, and it is no different for us here at Zesty VA.

ZestyVA ICNZB Provisional_2021
Institute of Certified NZ Bookkeepers – Provisional

The Xero Partner Programme sets out a code of conduct with their clients, as well as allows the partner (Zesty) to provide different subscription levels, some which are not available for the public and are only allowed to be purchased through a partner.

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