Ok, so call me superstitious but I have to say the number 7 does seem to have a little magic about it; There are 7 Wonders of the World; there are 7 colours of the rainbow; Shakespeare describes the Seven Ages of Men; and James Bond is of course 007.
Personally, my birthday falls on the 7th day in the month and without fail it is always beautiful sunshine and most recently, 7 months is all it took before I was fully booked as The Contemporary PA with 7 consistent clients whose hours are pre-booked on a retainer basis.
The exciting news, and slightly daunting at this stage, is that The Contemporary PA is in more demand than ever and the reactive approach has had to be taken rather than a proactive approach… not always in the nature of a well organised PA who likes a plan in place for every scenario!!
Welcome Lisa, The Contemporary PA’s newest VA!!! And also my sister.
It was always going to be a big step taking on someone to assist with the work; learning how to let go of some control; learning to trust someone not to destroy the brand and reputation you’ve built. Taking on a family member in particular gets a few ooos and reallys? Is that wise? My answer… and it took a while to consider… Yes! For one, she’s not afraid to question me. Which, when you are working on your own and every decision has been up to you and you happen to be one strong minded (occasionally stubborn) individual, it is actually a very welcomed attribute. It allows for ideas to come to the table that you haven’t considered, and let’s face it, sometimes we all need a big sister to keep us in line. Secondly, and most importantly, she’s perfect for the position. If she wasn’t my sister, would I hire her? Again, Yes. Lisa has run her own business alongside having my two beautiful nieces, so let’s face it, she’s extremely organised, knows how to prioritise and can juggle demands in her sleep. With her, alongside the usual Virtual Assistant activities, Lisa will be specialising in events and brings 8 years’ experience in the field. Not only will she be involved in epic events hosted by The Contemporary PA, watch this space, but she will be assisting clients who want to outsource the task of organising their events.
We’ve also decided that with expansion, we should have a home for The Contemporary PA and now work from THIS Workspace in Bournemouth; a co-working space in the town centre. The space is simply ideal for us. The nature of our business means that we are out and about working from different offices and different towns every day so having a flexible working space means we can maintain our presence without the cost of a full-time office! It’s also a space where we can meet our clients, particularly those who don’t have work space of their own, and of course we can have a weekly team meeting - the unlimited biscuit supply and a bar serving beer had nothing to do with our choice of location.
So, this is the bit where I gloat even more about how wonderful The Contemporary PA is. It has been quite a journey for me so far and what started as a bit of a whim in truth, has turned out to be a success and I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve learnt some lessons along the way, and luckily for me I learn quickly, as it’s growth has been rapid. I began the business thinking that I had a service and a solution for anyone and everyone, and when I was asked “who’s your audience” or “who is your market” my reply would be just that, which I now see must have sounded rather naïve. In fairness, the solution would work for anyone and everyone as we offer so many services, but entirely by accident I found our niche; small business and start-ups, those who are in the situation that they have too much work to do but can’t afford someone full time, a position I found myself in not so long ago. We offer a truly affordable, flexible and ad-hoc service for those small businesses and start-ups which has no doubt contributed to our success. And more than that, we love what we do. I have been known to spend hours, sometimes days with clients getting to know every aspect of their business, learning about the directors, the staff and the customers to make sure I become an extension of the team.
As you can probably tell, we’re not necessarily your traditional PA, although I’ll have you know I can type at over 60 words per minute and we do offer the services of a traditional PA. We love to have fun and pride ourselves on being human and approachable, which is a less daunting prospect for those start-ups who literally don’t know which avenue to take or how to take their business forward.
Alongside the VA work, we also run The Dorset Blog Space, a platform for businesses to post their news and offers with the Dorset community in one space. Our clients who use our blog and content writing services have the added bonus that each blog automatically gets posted on The Dorset Blog Space and shared across the associated social media sites. Although you don’t have to be a client to post with us!!
Finally, for today at least, we are so proud to announce that we are finalists in The Dorset Echo Industry Awards for Business Development and Innovation – we could not be happier. We are looking forward to celebrating on the night with the other worthy finalists and of course the winners. As always, we will keep you updated on our social media posts with pictures from the night, including those all important outfit choices!
What have I learnt most on this journey so far? I guess for me, it is that people buy in to you. Integrity, honesty and authenticity go a long way in business; and then sometimes there’s just a bit of luck.
To see how we can help you why not get in touch:
01305 470 021