ELOISE ROBB - ALCHEMYVA
I ‘fell’ into being a Virtual Assistant many years ago, before that I was an Assistant Headteacher in a primary school. It was a turbulent time in my life and I’m incredibly proud that I managed to navigate away from my job and establish myself as self-employed virtual assistant.
As a VA, I enjoyed many years supporting various clients from a great array of sectors. Mostly coaches in the well-being and fitness arenas. Then one day, one of my clients approached me wanting me to work exclusively with them as an employed PA. At the time, I was attracted by the security of a salary and I accepted.
When the coronavirus took hold and the country descended into lockdown. I found myself pining for my Virtual Assistant business not just for the practicalities but from a personal fulfilment perspective too.
My priorities and focus had shifted dramatically and I felt the call to take charge of my professional life and start to rebuild my Virtual Assistant business.
So why a Virtual Assistant franchise?
My initial train of thought was that I didn’t know if I wanted to do it all again on my own. My aim was to be supporting other small business owners with their admin needs, not getting bogged down with my own!
I looked at several Virtual Assistant franchises, but they left me uninspired and a bit deflated. Then I discovered Alchemy VA and I instantly connected with the brand and ethos. I was also incredibly excited by the prospect of joining a smaller, family run franchise.
After all, family is at the heart of everything.
So, I picked up the phone and a few short weeks later after numerous conversations, lots of soul searching and number crunching I met Suzy at a service station on the motorway to sign my franchise agreement! A slightly unconventional meet yes, but at the time, we couldn’t meet in person easily due to local restrictions.
And that’s exactly what I love about Alchemy VA, the quirky unconventional nature and our deeply people centred approach. Having already had a virtual tour of Alchemy HQ with Suzy and Paul, this felt like the safest and most convenient way for us to get started.
Whilst they support me 100%, my family and friends thought I was bonkers! Not just for starting a business during lockdown but for investing a chunk of money into a virtual assistant franchise.
But I had done my homework and the benefits of the Alchemy VA franchise was clear to me. I wasn’t just buying a ‘business in a box’, I was starting an adventure with the unwavering and holistic support of an incredible team of people.
I could work for myself, not by myself and save a lot of time and hassle in the process. Having endured all the challenges of setting up on my own before, it was a no brainer!
All my initial training was conducted online and supported with all the Alchemy documentation, templates and resources. The ongoing development and support Alchemy provide to me is priceless. From mentoring sessions with Suzy, to tech drop ins, mini on demand master classes and team development days.
I’m big on personal and professional development and I know my curiosity and hunger to learn is met and shared across the Alchemy Virtual Assistant family.
I welcomed my first client in August, before my Alchemy Virtual Assistant Hub in Chorley had even opened. Now, my Virtual Assistant business is several months old and it’s been an exhausting, emotional and exhilarating whirlwind!
I’ve left my employed job, appeared in my local paper, started working with many truly wonderful clients, attended the Great British Entrepreneur Awards Ceremony, started building my very own Virtual Assistant team and recouped all my initial franchise fee.
I’ve learned and grown a lot!
It’s not been easy, but I have confidence knowing that the Alchemy family has got my back and none of us are ever standing still!
Writing this blog has been a brilliant way for me to review and reflect on a very strange, challenging and yet still incredibly exciting time. Thank you for reading and I look forward to updating you again in a few months.