Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why every Mumprenuer needs a Virtual Assistant

We are delighted to have the very talented Lisa Dunn of Hexagon VA running our Dumfries & Galloway network. She offers services that every mumpreneur should which I am sure I will be needing very soon!!
Lisa tells us all about the services she provides.

“And what do you do?”

So it goes at every party, networking event, social occasion or even family gathering.

“I’m a VA.”

“Oh.” (polite bafflement) “Em, so what’s that then?”

“A Virtual Assistant. You know, like a Personal Assistant, but I work from home and offer administrative and business support online.”

“Oh, I see, how, er, interesting.”

It really isn’t that strange these days to be working from home, but not all of us are good at making beautiful things to sell, or delivering motivational speeches! Personally, I’m very organised and am never happier than when making life simpler for people, so I work from home as a VA. For lots of reasons, my best career move has been setting up my own business to help other business mums.

So why would a mumpreneur need a VA? Well…

What do you find the most bother in your business? Maybe you keep double booking yourself, or leaving your diary behind. Your VA can make sure that your diary is always up to date with online diary management that can be accessed from your smart phone.

Perhaps you can’t keep track of your clients. You go to a networking event, then lose the contact details of potential clients, wasting the money you have laid out. Maybe it takes ages for you to send the same email to lots of different people, and following up leads becomes a nightmare. VAs are particularly good at making use of customer relationship management (CRM) software to help you convert leads to clients, and keep your existing clients in touch with what you are doing.

Maybe you find it hard to use social media. Facebook, Twitter and blogging are so important these days for getting your message out to your potential clients, but so difficult to get around to doing. Your VA can write and schedule your status updates, tweets and blog posts so you don’t even have to think about them, especially if you are so modest you find it hard to tell the world how wonderful you and your products are!

So, are all VAs the same? Not at all! Most VAs have core skills that they offer such as the diary management and CRM mentioned above, but one VA is unlikely to be offering every service you require. However, commonly, your VA will be able to recommend other providers for services she does not offer. It is worth chatting over your requirements with a VA to get the best advice.

If you find that you are spending too much time on your business and not in your business, you should consider working with a VA who can help you restore that precious work-life balance, and work with you to take your business to the next level. Why spend ages on tasks you hate when you could be doing what you love, and went into business to do? Do what you do best, and outsource the rest!

Most importantly here is Lisa's website

Business Spotlight on Cochrane Cottage

We were delighted when Cochrane Cottage joined our Glasgow meeting and we got to taste some of the delicious products. So we got some business tips from Carol-Anne who runs Cochrane Cottage.

Is your business full time or do you work elsewhere too? Myself & my husband are pretty much full time

Has your business aims changed over the years/months? if so what has changed? We try to drive the business but due to recent opportunities that have come our way and we have grasped , we are finding that the business is driving us ....although we strive to re-address the balance every single day . Our Growth at the moment is exponential .

How do you market your business? The usual ways - Web-site , networking , direct selling at events , throught outlets , tasting sessions , charity events . We try not to say "no" to even the smallest events if we are available would be surprised what can come out of these wee events . Life is about being in the right place at the right time and you never know when that will happen .

What is your greatest business achievement so far? People contacting us to get work, be involved with Cochrane Cottage - it is a 2 way street now . It has taken us a lot of hard work to get to this point but there is always more to do

How do you juggle business and family life? It is difficult but we try to have particular days when we don't work but it doesn't always turn out like that . Of course the family is involved and sometimes I don't know what we would have done without their help but it will get better - I hope !

What are your plans for your business in the next few years? There are financial goals and targets but I'd really like to get some recognition for our branding , the innovative nature of our products - great taste without the FAT or the calories and of course the products themselves .

Do you have any advice that you would like to share with fellow mumpreneurs starting out or growing their business? Keep it simple , do your reasearch and where you start is not always where you finish . We are only 1 year old but I am increadibly proud of what we have achieved in a year . Always remember that every business , no matter how big , was only 1 year old once .And finally be very careful about devoting time to activities which distract you from your goal - time is one of your most valuable commodities - that doesn't mean that you can't take time to experiment . In fact I would encourage it - that is how you learn.

Check out the mouth watering products at