The new year is almost here and we all think about what we want to change. Sure there are lots of things I want to change about me but what is there about you and your business that you want to change? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel unorganized? Do you feel like you wish you had someone to help you out? That is what my business is about. I am here to help small and micro businesses in Berkshire County and the surrounding area some help. You could get specialists but they cost money and lots of it. I offer general office support services. Kind of like a temp without an agency……
Six months goes fast and boy am I on the fast track of life! I am enjoying every minute of the excitement of my career choice. I love being self employed. Recently I was lucky enough to get an article about my business in Berkshire Trade and Commerce. It was so exciting to talk to a reporter and have my picture taken. I am hoping I will have the article on the website soon.
It all is very exciting and new. I have posted a portfolio of some of the projects I have been working on lately. Each day is something new and exciting.
Sometimes though there is to much excitement. As I am sitting here typing a little field mouse ran across the floor and wouldn’t you know it our big black lab who goes after a skunk ran in the opposite direction and leaped up on the sofa! You are probably wondering what this has to do with my business, but it goes without saying something is always happening at SOS!
I am an entrepreneur at heart. I dream at night of business ideas and I have since I was a teenager. But thinking about it is one thing and doing it is a whole different story. I am a mover and shaker and this is my story.
I began doing direct sales as a consultant in November 2007. This was my way to get out of the home and to get my feet wet as a business owner. I loved being the sole decision maker for my business or so I thought. I loved the idea of owning my own business. Over time I found some restrictions to the rules that the company I sold for had regarding advertising, participation of events, etc. were difficult for me. Some of them made sense and some of them felt too restricting to me. After a while I began to not love being in direct sales. It is a hard business to be especially if you live in a small community like I do.
One day I was having a conversation with a colleague in my networking group. There was discussion about how business was going for them and how they really need professional office support services. I started to think that maybe the 15 years experience would help them and others. Before I could react to this idea another networking colleague came to me and with a similar story. This is when a light began to go off in my head. I could help these people manage their businesses! This is how the idea for Small Office Services was born. My colleagues need me and my expertise.
I have had the opportunity to work for many years in many different places. My favorite jobs were with the temporary office agencies. I liked the challenge of newness and having constant change. To me it is stimulating to have something new come up often. When I took a non-temporary position eventually I would get bored with the job because the challenge was no longer there once I settled into the position and organized things to work routinely. I like a challenge and being a Virtual Assistant is that challenge.
Ten years ago I thought that a Virtual Assistant business was for me but at that time I also felt that the Berkshires weren’t ready for it. Over time I have had the opportunity to meet people I feel are now open to using modern technology to manage their businesses and I am up for the challenge of meeting that need. I never do things half way.
I have been pursuing my degree for many years now. I love school and educating myself and keeping my skills topnotch. It has always been important even when I wasn’t working to keep my skills sharp and my brain stimulated with new and different things.
So what does it take to start a Virtual Assistant business? Not much really. Choosing a name was difficult and my family and friends all made awesome suggestions. I went to my town hall and bought a business license. I already had a complete home office so I upgraded some of my equipment and purchased some computer software I didn’t already own. I bought liability insurance and bonded my company. I joined the Berkshire Chamber and became more involved with networking. Bought some supplies, built a website and …. TADA…. opened my business.
One of the things that bug me is my family and friends that think I have all this free time. I really don’t. I work all day long, attend night classes at BCC three nights a week and network in between. I may have more free time right now then I normally would because I don’t have an established large client base but the few clients that I do have and the few that I am trying to sign up are important and both my clients and my children come first. In between I am working on my business plan and my marketing plan which are both important.