Tell us about the Services you offer…
I offer personalised, flexible admin services to busy business owners. Services range from content writing; social media scheduling; planning; diarising; CRM organisation; email management; newsletters; invoices . . . basically any admin tasks that free up some time for my clients to be creative and focus on growing their business.
It may sound tedious to some, but I LOVE the buzz that I get when I help somebody become more efficient and streamlined. It really lights me up!
How did you come up with the idea and what motivated you to go for it?
Whilst on maternity leave with my second daughter, I knew that I wanted to work for myself from home but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was that I could do that would tick all the boxes for me.
I have freelanced for Mama Tribe for about a year and a half before starting my business and, during this time, have come to be in awe of the many business owners that are part of the Tribe and I knew that I wanted a part of that but my creativity was lacking.
It was then, on one 3am sleepy night feed with my baby that it hit me: I could provide services that I am good at, that utilise my best skills and that allow me to run my own business around my family. It was, honestly, like a light-bulb went off in my head! Once hatched, the idea simply grew and grew until I launched in September. I still have to pinch myself that it’s real!
What do you love about running your own business and what do you find hard?
I absolutely love the work.
I know, I know that admin is seen as boring and tedious but, honestly, I get a buzz from sorting things out for people. I’ve always been a bit of a geek, organised and very efficient so it’s pretty much the perfect job for me! So, I really enjoy settling down at my desk and cracking on. I love the confidence that being a business owner is giving me; I feel validated and very proud of what I’m doing. I, also, feel quite liberated by it. The freedom of decision is very liberating and something I love.
Of course, there are hard bits and, so far, they’re things like cash flow and time management. Managing a business around family life is always hard, and it’s something that I am continually striving to get that balance.
Do you have a favourite app or work tool you think everyone should know about?
I really love the website Hello Sign. It’s brilliant for sending out documents that need an electronic signature. It’s super duper simple and easy to use; it links seamlessly with Google Drive and is secure and fast. I’ve found it really helps to automate agreements and contracts and would highly recommend it.
What’s next for your business?
Ooh, I have very exciting plans! Long term, I hope to grow my business and my client portfolio with happy, supported clients and continue to work flexibly around my family. I am, currently, working on setting up a new system for people to book my services and branching out with training, to expand my services.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To tell the truth. It doesn’t matter how difficult that truth is and, let’s face it, sometimes it can be difficult, but the truth is the only way and it will always come out eventually so you save yourself a lot of worry by always being truthful!
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about setting up their own business?
I would advise someone to do their research and lots of it. I spent ages reading about legislation, the technical stuff and researched into my industry for a long time, whilst planning my business. When I launched, quite a few people who know me were surprised that I’d managed to do it all by myself but this is purely down to the fact that I put the time in and researched it first.
I did all of my branding myself and I am very proud of it. The idea came to me in the bath (as all great ideas do!) and I had a really strong sense of how I wanted it to look and feel. My advice on this would be to go with your gut; you don’t have to shed out thousands for branding if it doesn’t tell your story. Ultimately, people buy from people, so you want something that tells your tale.
My final piece of advice would be to always trust yourself. If a client approaches you and you don’t have a good feeling about working with them, then trust it. Remember why you wanted to work for yourself and don’t feel that you have to say “yes” to every offer that comes around.
Who inspires you?
My step dad ran his own retail business for years, up until very recently, and he worked his socks off. Growing up, he would always tell us how difficult it is to work for yourself and we saw, first hand, how business can take over your life but he’s somebody that I have always looked up to and credit him for a lot of my opportunities over the years.
What was your dream job growing up?
I wanted to be an actress. I auditioned for drama schools, when applying for unis, and got accepted onto a course in Oxford but couldn’t afford the fees so never went! I ended up studying English Literature and Theatre Studies for my degree so kept the love of drama but focused more on the theoretical side. For my dissertation I explored Harold Pinter’s silences. (I realise that this is pretty niche, tee hee!)
Tell us 3 facts about you…
- I have known my husband since we were 9.
- My party piece at 3am, after a few glasses of fizz, is to play Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ on the guitar.
- I know every single word to Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver!’
What do you enjoy most about being a part of Mama Tribe?
Oh, it’s too hard to choose one thing….! Ok, if I must, then it has to be working for Danni. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) so much from her. She works tirelessly to provide opportunities for women like me and, for that and so much more, I am eternally grateful.
Thanks for giving us an insight into life behind Clear Desk VA, Natalia, we love having you as a Member of the Tribe.