Months Business Has Been In Progress
Months In Business
I’ve been employed for 23 years working for big corporations, SMEs and start-ups around the world. I have worked in customer service, as PA (Personal Assistant) to high level executives and as Office Manager, not only providing administrative services such as email and diary management but also handling recruitment, office moves as well as project management etc. I launched my own business 7 months ago.
How old is your business?
My Virtual Consultancy business supporting tech start-ups and entrepreneurs as Virtual Assistant (VA) and Consultant providing a variety of services such as project management, social media admin, travel planning, web design, reporting, email and diary management, is a mere five months old.
What is a big success in your business thus far?
My first big win was having my first client lined up the week I left my job behind. It was just meant to be. But like you say every small win is a big win too. I was looking for a new challenge, something I could call my own and do without being bound by location. While on a trip to Bali (my happy place!) it all came together, that’s when I took the decision to take the leap and build the business. It just made sense, it encompasses all parts of my life: my skills, business experience, lifestyle and the possibility to provide outstanding service as Virtual Consultant. That was the start of it.
What made you start your business?
Entrepreneurs and start-ups often don’t have the need for a full-time employee, can’t afford hiring someone or want someone flexible for a couple of hours a week. I realized that I could add more value splitting my time supporting various businesses by setting up my own business, rather than working for one. My previous experience is quite broad but it always comes back to client-focused roles. There is nothing more important than listening to your client and ensure he is happy with the service provided. My previous experience has not only given me valuable business skills, such as project management, translations, business consulting, social media management, building websites but also taught me how to take charge, how to start a business from the ground up. My most recent achievement was incrementing a client’s project based revenue by an average of 10% just by managing the team’s time efficiently.
Helping other businesses succeed was not the only reason for starting my own business. I was brought up in a very traditional household, you work hard, you live to work, save every penny for your retirement. I just don’t believe that this is what life is all about. I consider myself a free spirit who wanted to find a healthy work life balance and find meaning in my work.
How much money did you have to start your business?
I was taking my time setting up the business over a few months alongside my day job, which allowed me to spread out my expenses. Overall it was £400 give or takes as I already had the equipment I needed.
How do you market your business for people to build awareness?
Through Social Media and word of mouth. There is nothing more rewarding and powerful than being referred by a client, colleague, acquaintance or friend as this means they love your work and there is an immediate rapport with the person referred to you.
When you started what sacrifices did you make to move your business forward?
I gave up socializing and Netflix. Not only did that mean I had a lot more time to put into my business but also had spare cash to invest in the setting up of the business as well as courses to add to my skillset. To be fair it didn’t really feel like a sacrifice and still doesn’t. It’s exciting to see what you can achieve through hard work and persistence.
Do you have any advice for a budding entrepreneur?
Don’t let ANYTHING hold you back! (Not even the nay-sayers! – They’ll come asking how you did it, just wait!) Just go for it. You’ll quickly figure out that you know more than you think and the aspects you need to learn about such as managing your taxes etc. are easily researched online or by finding yourself a mentor.
Another thing to remember is: Network, Network, Network!
Above all: Enjoy the rollercoaster ride that is building a new business.
Where do you see your business in the next year?
To have increased my revenue, to work with associate VA’s but above all strengthen my client relationships.
What are your goals for the next 5 years in your business?
My main goal is to continue delivering a topnotch service to my clients, to continue to love what I do and everything else will fall into place from there.
What are the new things people can expect in your business?
I am constantly thriving to better myself, learn new skills and offer more services. In this business, it is important to be at the top of your game and as technology evolves it is important to keep up with it.
Is there anything you’d like people to know about your business?
My business = Me. This means what you see is what you get. I am all about my client and making sure you and your business are looked after.
New skills are easily learnt, but it seems that people nowadays just focus on making money rather than the value they are providing to their clients. I love what I do, I take pride in what I do and I think that speaks for itself.
Tell us something personal about yourself that you would like us to know:
Is there anything you’d like people to know about you personally?
Underneath the all business side of me, I am quite sensitive and shy.