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I’m a business owner! Why I decided to become a VA

When I first met Gemma, it immediately came to my attention how passionate she is about what she does. She sounded so excited when she talked about starting The Contemporary PA and its growth towards taking on more licensees. Her energy was contagious and I felt inspired to take the next step towards becoming a business owner(!)

I was looking for a new role after finishing at my last company and I felt the urge to do something bold, try something different. I’ve been made redundant twice in my career and have found it tricky to find work at times. I’d never worked for myself before or worked from home and I was keen to take on the challenge. I had also never heard of Virtual Assistants before talking to Gemma and initially thought they worked from home and just offered the usual personal assistant services, such as taking calls and managing diaries. Not the case! That’s where the ‘Contemporary’ part of the name comes in- it was great to discover that I could use my background in marketing and copywriting to support clients.

When I worked for a social enterprise in London, I was lucky to have such a varied role which included blogging, organising networking events, producing the monthly newsletter and managing the intranet. I’m excited to have the opportunity to use this experience to help raise the profile of fantastic small businesses and charities.

Being a Virtual Assistant means that you have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere; since I started at the end of September, I have been promoting my business from home, two coffee shops in Winton, a lounge bar in Poole and a co-working space in Bournemouth. People work to different time schedules; some people are more productive when sticking to the 9-5 but others (like me) often work more efficiently later in the evening.

I love having the opportunity to meet people from a mix of backgrounds and industries by attending networking events and connecting on social media. I was welcomed into the freelance community at our monthly Takeover Tuesday event where I met fellow freelancers and bloggers and listened to a brilliant talk on confidence. I’m also now a member of the Dorset Chamber so I’m looking forward to meeting Chamber members. It feels as though doors have been opened into a new world which I’m very excited to explore.

To those who might be interested in starting their own business, I say take the leap! Why not join our friendly and supportive team ;) at The Contemporary PA:

Since working for a social enterprise and volunteering, I’m passionate about helping others, making a positive impact and supporting local business, so I will be aiming my services at charities and small businesses (local and start-ups). If you’re interested in finding out more about how I can help, feel free to contact me at or follow my journey on Instagram: @jennypalmerthecontemporarypa.

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