Where did you get the idea?
I had worked in PR and marketing but when I became pregnant I realised I wanted a career that was more flexible. I got the idea after reading a magazine article about a woman who had done something similar and I knew I had the right skills to make a go of it.
Where did you get the funding?
I began with £50 and a credit card, which I used to buy a laptop. I know that’s not the best way to start a business but because I run everything from home, my overheads are very low and I was soon able to pay the money back.
How did you market the business?
In the early days there was a lot of novelty around what we did and we got interviews in the local press and some national magazines. Now virtual assistants are more common, I do most of my marketing through social media sites instead.
What have you learned?
The most important lesson was to be firm with people not paying on time. I had a client who used to make a lot of excuses when it came to paying his bills and I realised that I had to be more direct with him. To improve my cash flow situation I then moved to an upfront payment system.
Where do you want to go next?
I’d like to focus a lot more on meeting new clients and winning more business, although at the moment I’m quite happy to keep it as a home-based enterprise.