Interview with a career change mum - Kimberley Miller, virtual assistance
Today I interview Kimberley Miller a virtual assistant who is extremely passionate about providing flexible, cost-effective, yet efficient recruitment, business, and admin support to multi-national corporations, busy professionals, consultants and small to medium business owners without the overheads; they simply benefit from her expertise, whilst they can focus on what they do best.
1. What gave you the idea to start up your business?
Following the birth of my first child I took on a part-time job for two days a week until my second child was born. Throughout this time, I kept thinking of a way I could make the sort of money I used to earn pre-children, plus put my skills and experience to effective use, help clients which is my passion, and fit around my young children. I was fed up earning “pocket money”, and really wanted to be able to do both.
So, after a lot of thinking and researching I came across the idea of becoming a Virtual Assistant, focusing on Business & Admin Support to other Entrepreneurs and SME’s and providing Recruitment expertise - all working from home.
2. What did you do to prepare to start up your business?
Apart from sorting childcare and registering with HMRC, I set up my website, social media accounts including a business Facebook page and Twitter, updated my LinkedIn and I was off! I did do some self-learning tasks to brush up on certain skills too.
3. Which aspects of your business did you need help with? Where did you get that help?
My website and branding mainly, which I outsourced to a Web and branding Agency, Angle Studios. I also went onto a VA Facebook group for support and help with certain things such as contract templates and general guidance when starting out as a Freelancer. Thankfully, it doesn't take much to start out as a VA. I just made sure business insurance, internet security and data protection was all covered off to ensure my client’s data and privacy is secure.
4. Describe what your business is and who you target it at/your ideal client.
I'm a Virtual Assistant who is extremely passionate about providing flexible, cost-effective, yet efficient recruitment, business and admin support to multi-national corporations, busy professionals, consultants and small to medium business owners without the overheads; they simply benefit from my expertise as and when they need it, whilst they focus on what they do best.
I would say my business is split into two niches.
One of which is providing my permanent recruitment expertise mainly within IT & Engineering, however can help clients with other requirements as needed. So, one of my clients is a global multi billion Yen company within the leisure industry, another is a small private firm in the construction industry. I work on a client’s requirement(s) from start to finish i.e. taking the job spec verbally from the client through to placement and beyond if required including obtaining references and coordinating first day logistics.
My other niche is providing Business and Admin support to other busy business owners and SME’s, and this can be anything from data capture and internet research, responding to customers, or essentially any project they would simply prefer to outsource to me, whether that be setting up their social media accounts, to creating, updating and maintaining CRMs.
5. What is the most rewarding thing about having your own business?
I love that the full responsibility lies on me and I can take complete ownership of everything. I am my own boss and my work and success is purely down to my efforts. What I put in, I get out.
My clients mean so much to me and receiving wonderful testimonials always remind me of why I love what I do.
I enjoy the flexibility of what it brings, even simple things, like the fact I don't have to get suited and booted if I don't want to, and I can sit in my slippers on cold wintry days or in my flip flops in the garden on the sunny days whilst being very productive!
Also, there’s no office politics!
Most importantly, I get quality time with my young children as they're only 3 years old and 15 months, before they start school and being able to build my business around them is just perfect.
6. What has been the biggest challenge?
There are times when I do have the children with me and I need to get certain tasks done, so calling on ad-hoc childcare in addition to their Nursery days can be tricky, but fortunately this is rare as I don't like to do this. It’s also getting the right amount of work so I can balance being Mummy and Business owner, and doing well at both!
Also, whilst I've been fortunate up to now gaining business mainly through word of mouth and recommendations, finding the time to network and promote my business can take a big back seat due to juggling current work, a family and the usual household stuff!
7. If you could go back and give yourself some advice, what would it be?
Don’t worry too much about crossing off all the t’s and dotting all the i’s when first setting up your business.
Not starting your business until your website is launched or your final terms are written, your business bank account is set up or even in my case my niche wasn't formalised are just excuses and they held me back a little.
Have the confidence to get started, these things are good to have in place but not all essential at first, so go out and get the work and get on with it. The rest can come a little later!
To find out more about Kimberley, look at her website and social links: