Nobody can claim that they are not aware of the current economic crisis flooding the globe. I’m no economist and I’m not here to try to unravel the reasons behind it, but what I have seen is the affect it is having on British business. Whatever the moral and ethical arguments to BAE’s recent redundancy announcements, the effect on the people’s lives involved, the general manufacturing climate and the UK job market is abundantly clear. The effect stinks. I am sure many of you reading this are feeling the effects in varying degrees. I do not pretend to be a miracle worker, but surely a significant element of the art of business can be stripped back to something really simple? The more people you network with, the more likely you are to build a working relationship with someone, thereby benefiting both business. That is where something like Let’s Do Business can be very helpful, if not critical, to some SMEs and sole traders, in particular. As a fledgling virtual assistance business, we decided to jump in with the big boys and were lucky enough to secure a stand at the Let’s Do Business Hastings conference on 29 September. I, personally, felt both privileged and excited at the prospect of networking on such a large scale. Setting up, we could see large shells adorned with frighteningly complicated display units, kaleidoscopes of signage and decorative ‘accoutrements’. With our smaller shell and pop-up banners, we opted for a simpler approach. Did I feel overawed? Far from it. Admin Saint Ltd. may be small, yet developing at a snowballing rate, but this is our first experience of large-scale networking and I was not prepared to bite off more than we could chew. I firmly believe our presence was a good thing for local businesses. In straightened times, businesses need to streamline and save money. Virtual assistance is a helpful antibiotic to the poison of economic hardship. More and more business owners are looking at their administrative support and asking searching questions about their real needs. Do they really need someone on site 37 hours a week? Do they really need anyone on site at all? And many forward thinking business owners have discovered the wondrous benefits of virtual assistance; primarily the flexibility of service and slashed costs. It really is a no-brainer for some. They discover virtual assistance, they make savings, we get business. Everyone is a winner. In fact, I was surprised at how many people were not aware of what we do, or how we can help. Many left our stand enlightened, interested and keen to know more. So, whether you attended the conference or not, if the economic cloud is hovering like a wraith of doom over your business, why not consider virtual assistance? Come on Britain, let’s do business.