A Virtual Assistant has bucked the trend in her first year of trading by supporting more than double the number of clients than the industry average – despite starting during Covid.
Eloise Robb set-up an Alchemy Virtual Assistance (VA) franchise hub from her home office in Chorley in July 2020 when she realised that virtual ways of working were here to stay and she sought more freedom and flexibility in her career.
The former assistant headteacher is one of a growing number of people taking advantage of the booming business support sector by building a thriving business that is already servicing over twice as many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than other VAs *.
As she celebrates her first business birthday, Eloise says her successes are due to the growing acceptance of homeworking, her personalised approach to offer a truly tailored service, and the unwavering support from the wider award-winning Alchemy VA group.
“It really has been an incredible first year,” said Eloise, who was able to leave her employed job much sooner than planned, start to grow her own Virtual Assistant team, and has since renovated a tailor-made home office space.
“I’ve been working with coaches, financial advisors, graphic designers and many other specialist business owners in many different sectors who have chosen to invest in remote PA support off the back of the pandemic, but it’s not all been about admin and email management.
“My clients often work alone, so they see me as a trusted colleague and a strategic partner. The VA support I provide is holistic, which probably stems from my teaching background. Beyond the admin, it’s about being there to share ideas, identifying more streamlined and innovative ways of working, implementing more efficient processes and creating ways to boost business in this changing landscape. Ultimately, I give my inspirational clients back their time so that they have the headspace to focus on further growth.
“There’s a common misconception that VAs are in the background to simply churn out menial admin tasks, but at Alchemy VA we are much more than that, we become a seamless extension of our clients’ teams. We are a family business, big enough to deliver, yet still small enough to truly care, which is exactly what attracts our clients and why they remain loyal. It definitely helps that there is more openness to outsourcing business support now as well since homeworking is so accepted.”
Eloise’s achievements have been mirrored across the wider VA industry which saw a 9% increase in new registered VAs, indicating a sector boom**.
Meanwhile, across the Alchemy VA group, other Virtual Assistant Hubs are also thriving, with high-profile award recognition during the pandemic, including the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2021.
Co-owner of The Brady Creative, Hannah Brady, says Eloise’s VA services have played a significant part in their business growth.
“I believe 100% that we would never have experienced such rapid and consistent expansion without a virtual assistant. We just wouldn’t have got to where we are today,” said Hannah, who set up her marketing agency with her mother Helen in March 2020.
“We launched at the height of the pandemic, so a really challenging period for a new business, but I still realised in the first three months that I needed someone to help me with day-to-day diary management, social media scheduling and invoicing. That’s where it all started with Eloise, but it’s developed greatly since.
“She has naturally taken on more and more, and now plays a crucial role in the initial sales process, managing all our prospects. She is the first point of contact when enquiries come in, and books all my appointments which takes huge pressure off of me as a business owner.”
Founder of Alchemy VA, Suzy Sanders, added: “Eloise’s business successes in her first year have been phenomenal. Her achievements and the lengths that she has gone to, to support her clients as well as her family through these uncertain times is nothing short of inspirational. I am immensely proud to be able to support Eloise and the rest of our franchise family to ultimately make such a positive impact on their clients’ businesses and lives. I’m giddy at the prospect of what’s in store for Eloise in the months and years to come.”