I am a UK-based VA providing services to my clients including transcription work. I started on my career 35 years ago when I was awarded my first Pitman qualification (I had three before the age of 16 of 55wpm plus). I run my business and work from my own home office in Glasgow and have been self employed in this business for over 11 years. I undertake audio and video transcription from just about every format. I am excellent with accents.

As a professional virtual assistant, I have Professional Indemnity business insurance (certificate attached) and I am fully compliant and registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller.

My usual turnaround time is 2 x working days, so anything arriving with me, say, at 9am on a Monday (or over the weekend), I will have back to you for 9am on the Wednesday. I can turn work around faster than this if you have something that is urgent, so please message me and ask! I have my own transcription templates, but if you prefer me to use yours, that’s fine.

Please note, the industry standard for transcription is, for one speaker, clear audio, no strong accents or industry wording, a 15 minute piece of audio will take one hour to transcribe. If you have multi-speaker (more than 3 speakers) audio, please message me for a price. Otherwise, please buy 1 hourly from me for every 15 minutes of audio.

If you have any questions at all, I would be happy to answer them.

Cookie Policy

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information.  We use what is known as ‘implied consent’ – we assume you are happy with our use of cookies.

Only Google Analytics cookies are used on this website to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from,  and the pages they visited.

Click here for an overview of privacy at Google.  To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit Google Opt-out Page

Cookies are stored on your browser. If you wish to disable cookies for our website, you can modify your browser settings.  However, by disabling cookies, or certain types of cookie, you may hinder your user experience on this and other websites, or prevent them from working entirely.

By continuing to use this website without adjusting your browser’s cookie settings, you agree that we can place these cookies on your device.

This privacy policy applies to this website only and does not apply to any websites that this website may link to.

If you have any questions/comments about privacy, please contact us at

Privacy Policy

We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of website visitors; this policy sets out how we will treat your personal information.

(1) What information do we collect?

We may collect, store and use information that you provide to us for the purpose of contacting us about our services or registering with us to download information, including your name, company name, address, telephone number and email address.

(2) Using your personal data

Personal data submitted on this website will be used for the purposes specified in this privacy policy or in relevant parts of the website.  We may use your personal information to: (a) Enable your use of the services available on the website; (b) Send you goods and supply services requested via the website; (c) Send you email notifications which you have specifically requested; (d) Send you marketing communications relating to our business which we think may be of interest to you by post or, where you have specifically agreed to this, by email.  You can inform us at any time if you no longer require such communications.  We will NOT provide your personal information to any third party.

(3) Disclosures

We may disclose information about you to the extent that we are required to do so by law; in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings; in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk); and to the purchaser (or prospective purchaser) of any business or asset which we are (or are contemplating) selling.  Except as provided in this privacy policy we will not provide your information to third parties.

(4) Security of your personal data

We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information. However, we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.

(5) Policy amendments

We may up-date this privacy policy from time to time by posting a new version on our website.  You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes.

(6) Your Rights

You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you.  Provision of such information will be subject to the payment of a fee (currently £10.00).  You may instruct us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes by email at any time.  (In practice, you will usually either expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal data for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of the use of your personal data for marketing purposes).

(7) Third party web sites

The website contains links to other websites.  We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third party websites.

(8) Updating information

Please let us know if the personal information which we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.

(9) Contact

If you have any questions about this privacy policy or our treatment of your personal data, please write to us by email at, or by post to us at, 49 Erskine View, Old Kilpatrick, Glasgow, G60 5JG.

(10) Data Controller

The data controller responsible for our website is Marj Massie.  Our Data Protection Registration number is ZA230016.

We are 10 !! Celebrate with us with a 10% discount


We reached our 10 year milestone 12 June 2016.  Who would have thought way back in 2006 how far the business would have come and the changes we have seen in that time?

We have been celebrating our anniversary all year and you can celebrate with us by taking advantage of our special discounts and offers right up to our 11th anniversary date.  And what better way than giving you a whopping 10% off your next invoice if you spend £100 or more.  Quote #WEARE10 to claim your discount.

And we also have a referral scheme too for our regular clients.  Refer a friend to us, quoting reference #FRIENDS OF10, and on receipt of payment of their first invoice in which they have spent over £100 with us, we will send you 10% of their invoice payment.

Spread the word!  We are celebrating!

Typing Tips | Virtual Assistant Service | Video Blog

Here’s the latest in our video blog series, this time inspired by the BBC Scotland interview about typing, I decided to do a video blog and offer some free typing tips to people who aren’t professionally trained in this.  I hope it is of some use.  Please share as much as you like.

VIDEO BLOG 6: – Typing Tips
(for a FREE FACTSHEET and more tips – please email us here)

Virtual Assistant Secretary4hire | Another BBC Radio Interview

Well it’s been another weird but good week and one of the things that made it so was the fact that I was invited back onto the BBC Radio Scotland talk show “MacAulay & Co”, hosted by Fred MacAulay.  This time they wanted me to share some hints and tips about managing your email.

I would say this show is not geared towards business listeners but just the general listener who has the radio switched on at home who enjoys talk shows, getting snippets of information and sometimes participating in a phone-in.

As such I thought about what I was going to say and I had prepped a bit before I went on, about tips I could give to the average listener about their home email.  Some of these tips too can also apply to the business community.  Although I was on air for longer than the last interview, it was still fairly short.

I hope that the general public – and also anyone tuning in to listen here in my blog or You Tube page – will get something out of it.

If you have found it helpful and would like a FREE FACTSHEET containing more hints and tips about email, please email me here.

Watch/Listen here on You Tube

Happy listening!

Marj Beattie
Tel: 0141 530 9686
0844 884 2818

BBC Radio Interview – Listen here

Well it’s been a day now since I was sitting in the BBC studios in Glasgow being interviewed by Fred MacAulay for the “MacAulay & Co” radio show on BBC Radio Scotland and the feedback I have had from all who heard it, out of the people I know like other virtual assistants, to clients, to other small business owners I’ve “met” via Twitter etc – the response and feedback has been fantastic.

I wasn’t too sure at the time how I came over live on air. I must admit, I do feel very self conscious about public speaking and before and during the interview, the nerves were jangling.  But I’ve been told I did very well, which is great to hear.

I arrived early at the studios and, not having been on that side of the River Clyde before, was really surprised at the size of the place.  It’s huge! Really impressive new building. After being given my pass, I waited in reception, then I was taken through security and upstairs to the studios.  Whilst I waited, I took this photo out of the window.  This is the view from the studios looking onto the SECC Clyde Auditorium – or “Armadillo” as it’s affectionately known in Glasgow – and along the River Clyde towards the city.  Not great quality as it’s from my phone camera and it was a rather grey dreich day outside!

I was then taken into the studio and it was all over far too soon.  Unfortunately the interview was cut short as they had Andrea Corr, of the Irish band The Corrs, being interviewed after me.

I won’t spoil the surprise of what was actually in the interview, save to say that my 2 objectives of raising awareness of the virtual assistant industry as a whole and raising the profile of Secretary4hire were achieved.  And I had fun, even if I didn’t get a shot on the typewriter!

Please feel free to comment.


We’re on BBC Radio Scotland! – online poll

I have been asked by BBC Scotland to go into the BBC studios tomorrow and participate in Fred MacAulay’s radio show “MacAulay & Co”.

The subject matter in the show about typing. The gist of it is, they were doing an item about Edinburgh University now allowing students to use laptops in their exams and day-to-day instead of writing and most people aren’t properly trained to type. The BBC surveyor asked me all sorts of questions over the phone and I mentioned some funnies including the fact that I was “old school” in that when I learned on a manual typewriter with a wooden box over my hands so I couldn’t look at the keys, learned to touch-type slowly that way and when the box was removed, if the teacher caught you looking at your hands, he hit you over the knuckles with a ruler. He wants me to provide some tips to the listeners who aren’t properly trained on how to improve typing skills and share some experiences.

I said I would conduct a quick poll amongst as many VAs and also non-VAs/business owners as I could before the radio show.

The link to the poll is here

Also, if any of you wish to share any tips on how to improve typing skills it would be good to hear yours, as I’m in the middle of compiling my own.  Fill this in in one of the text boxes in the poll please.

Really excited about this as it’s great publicity not only for my business going out to a massive audience but also the VA industry as a whole.

Update as of midday 24 May: They’ve just been back on the phone firming everything up and apparently they have sourced an old manual typewriter and they want me to give a demonstration.  I’ve not even SEEN one of these for 25 years never mind used one!! Maybe it’s like riding a bike. Let’s hope so!

Thanks in advance for completing the survey and don’t forget to tune in to the show tomorrow at 10.30am


Want to win a Netbook courtesy of Secretary4hire?

We here in Secretary4hire like to help out and partner with other VA companies as well as with our clients. As part of VASG (Virtual Assistant Support Group), we got to know Helen Stothard a couple of years ago and today we have teamed up with Helen’s company intelligentVA offering a prize in the competition being run to relaunch the intelligentVA website very soon.

There will be a number of prizes to be won, including:-

* Mini “smartbook” netbook from @secretary4hire
* 1 hours coaching worth £300 from @HeatherTowns, author of The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking
* £200 design voucher from @Ces_Loftus of Creatively Minded
* Facebook Fan Page Design from @NikkiPilkington of
* 2hr Book Critique of manuscript or 3hr Skype guidance to kickstart your book idea from Robert Watson @drdrdr09
* 1 Hours Xero Training from Nicola Wilson @totally4B
* One months call handling from Call Team @CallTeam
* Logo design, web hosting and custom wordpress training from @SallyWalker of Sally Walker Creative Media
* One hours VA assistance from @cloud9va
* £25.00 Amazon Gift Voucher from @intelligentVA
* One hours CapsuleCRM training from HLS Business Solutions
* Spa pamper package from @HuntersHealth
* Eat That Frog and e-Myth revisited books from @SJABradley of Help Ahoy
* Custom WordPress training from WordPressWitch
* Office Stuff/Meyrick Jones Guide to Contingency Planning from @OfficeStuff
* One hours transcription from Burford Secretarial @BurfordVA

with more prizes being added all the time, so check back for updates.

If you are a budding or seasoned VA, one of our clients or someone in business who could benefit from any of these amazing prizes, stay tuned for the details of the competition, coming soon.
Tel: 0141 530 9686
Tel2: 0844 884 2818

VA & Typing Service – from Scotland to Australia

It’s been a while since I blogged and there’s no excuse really except that we’ve been exceptionally busy.  A concerted effort is overdue on the blogging front to keep you informed of what’s been happening, starting with this one.

I’m now feeling refreshed after my month long holiday to Australia.  It was amazing and such a beautiful country that myself and my hubby are planning to go back again soon.  We have lots of relatives there and it was great to meet some members of the family for the first time and to see the others who have visited our Scottish shores once again. 

As many of you will know, my other passion (apart from Secretary4hire) is my music and my band and I got to indulge in the Aussie music scene quite a bit when we were there, as one of our relatives and her husband also has a band and a choir.  We had loads of fun jamming on the porch as well as the going-away jam session/shindig that was organised for us before we left in the house. Out went the sofas onto the porch and in came the drum kit, amps and PA. A fantastic night was had by all, not least by me, the last to leave at 7am!

Whilst in Australia, a lot of people were very curious about my “job”.  When I told them I was a Virtual Assistant, a lot of them hadn’t a clue what this was.  I explained it in layman’s terms and, as everyone is online, sent them to my website which showed in black and white and also pictures what I was conveying by mouth.  It turns out there’s a thriving VA industry in Australia.  Some of the relatives work in the media and they were extremely interested in the concept of what we do – not least due to the fact that our daytime is their nighttime and vice versa so a client in Australia can send their work to us during their daytime, we wake up here in the UK and complete the work and it’s back with them by the time they reach the office the next morning.

Secretary4hire has one ad-hoc client in Australia at the moment and this system works really well.  I’m going to be using my contacts and knowledge acquired whilst there to point out the attractiveness and benefits to other potential clients.  So if you are a small Aussie business looking for an excellent Virtual Assistant company to assist your business, contact us about the benefits of working with us.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and we hope the future will include further clients from Down Under benefiting from the fantastic service that Secretary4hire provides.
Tel: +44 (0)141 530 9686
Tel2: +44 (0)844 884 2818

Marj Beattie of Secretary4hire has a little lie down with Skippy and family

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