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  • Jenny

The First One

When you strike out on your own, you rapidly try to absorb as much advice as you can. One of the key points everyone tells you is that you need to be able to define your business in a few words. You should to be able to sum up what you do quickly and efficiently when people ask, whether it be friends, family or networking acquaintances. The rebel in me has pushed against these rules from the outset. The recognised descriptors that people would like to apply to my business don't sit entirely comfortably with me.

Virtual assistant - yes I am self employed and provide administrative support from my home. Technology means I don't need a desk in your office. Personal assistant - yes I can help you individually with your business and personal tasks. But I chafe against these labels. They feel too tight and restrictive.

Virtual to me conjours up something clinical, detached and distant. Why would you let a remote person be part of your cherished business, that you have poured your heart and soul into? Meanwhile hiring a personal assistant can sound excessive and overblown. You don't need help with the majority of your work or someone to collect your dry-cleaning, just additional support figuring out a particular task. There are limitations with both job titles. I offer so much more.

I have a range of clients. My linchpin client is Speldhurst Village Hall. The job was advertised as administrative assistant and in the simplest form is giving keys to hirers of the hall and sending out invoices. However I am passionate about building communities, providing opportunities for everyone to be involved, and watching the magic of new connections happen. I have a vision for the hall to be so much more. Not just a static space but a thriving, life-sustaining hub for the village. I have transcended my remit and done all I can to turn the hall into a venue to bring people together, showcase local businesses and give the residents opportunities to try things in their own village - whether it be a dance class, learning calligraphy or browsing a Christmas Market. I have started social media accounts and a newsletter for the hall, sought out crafters to host workshops and networked to find new groups to operate out of the hall.

This is how I work. If you employ me I am all in. I cannot do remote and detached. I will give my utmost to whatever tasks you employ me to do, and always look for ways I can drive commerciality and build your business community. I am aware of the privilege and trust you put in me sharing something so personal that is a reflection of you. I will do all I can to support and nurture your business. I will champion you, be your advocate and recommend you to everyone I engage with. I will be your biggest cheerleader.

Working for yourself can be lonely and daunting. There is so much to learn and do. I can be your sounding board and support. I can take the tasks you procrastinate over off your hands, whether that be sorting your receipts or making sure you have a social media presence. I can save you time learning tech new to you such as Mailchimp, Facebook or Trello. I can talk you through how to use these, and share the timesaving hacks I have learnt along the way.

Maybe you need steady, regular assistance. Or maybe you just need an occasional hour or two to make headway with certain projects. I offer flexibility, approachability and ad hoc support - there is no need to commit to a certain number of regular hours. This is about what is best for your business. Whatever you hire me to help with you can be certain I will be cheering you on, now and forever. I am not just a virtual or personal assistant. I am a small business champion.

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