This story is about…
Female Entrepreneur: Hazel Theocharous
Company: Assisting U Virtually
Industry: Virtual Assistance
She started her business so that she could: “Have the ability to spend more time with my son as he had started school and my then current employer did not offer the flexibility to enable this.”
Age range: 40s
Tell us about your business…
My business is a Virtual Assistance business where we Assess, Assist and then Answer admin needs for businesses (small to large). We work with clients globally and provide the opportunity also to Stay at Home parents to gain more work and keep flexibility in their lives.
What is a day in the life of you like?
From one job to the next to the next. My day generally starts getting my two boys ready for their day at school and childcare and then setting up my day ready for assisting my clients.
As I work virtually from my home office, I usually have Skype calls set up with clients, log in to their computer to assist them or work via email and google docs etc.
As a Production Manager also for a magazine and as a co-host of a radio program, my days become quite full locating features and guests.
Then it becomes time to revert back to being a Mum with dinner, bath, books and bed!
What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?
Creating my amazing business on a strict budget for marketing, networking and graphics/website.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I set up contra deals with other small business owners who were in a similar situation as myself. It was a win-win for both of us and we still today refer work to each other because of the rapore we built up.
What have you found to be the most effective way to get new clients?
By offering something that they need or want and by providing a personalised, individual service to them.
What advice would you give to other business owners?
Do not procrastinate about things in your business. It is easy to say ‘oh, that is too hard’, or ‘I don’t have the money to do that’, etc. Instead of sitting back and saying I cannot achieve this, remember the reason you started your business and learn about the benefits of outsourcing or creating a contra deal to achieve the result you are seeking.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I have learnt to take TIME OUT for me! Even a cup of coffee and reading a magazine or a book for say 20 minutes can be enough to stay motivated.
What’s your favourite quote?
“Always AIM high, you are your business and you can make it happen”
Who inspires you?
My children every day and another Business Mum who has children who have been ill throughout their lives, but she has brought them to be amazing children and she has created a successful business from scratch. That in an inspiration.
Do you have a business philosophy?
Yes, treat your clients and customers as you would expect to be treated yourself – with respect, professionalism and efficiency.
Get in touch…
Twitter Name: www.twitter.com/AssistVirtualVA
Facebook Fanpage: www.facebook.com/AssistingUVirtuallyVA