Feature in Devon Life ‘Start Ups’
I was recently approached by Devon Life to feature in a special ‘start ups’ section of the December 2016 edition. The article can be downloaded and read here, or below
“Based in Alphington, Exeter, Joanne Manville took the leap from being a successful, employed personal assistant to being a self-employed virtual one. Mainly work from home, Joanne says it is not relevant to the people that she helps, having clients in Exeter and Plymouth but also all over the UK and even in Canada.
Joanne says: “Having worked for nearly ten years as a Personal Assistant and Executive Assistant, I wanted a new challenge but loved what I did. I had heard about Virtual Assistants through the Exeter PA Network I am a member of and wanted a greater variety in my day so it seemed a natural progression. I was lucky enough to have some savings from a house sale, so I gave up work completely to focus 100 per cent on the business. It was hard seeing my savings disappearing whilst I build up a client base, but I wouldn’t have taken the leap without having that financial security”.
Joanne loves the flexibility of working when and where she wants. She says: “Sometimes I’ll work in the house, in my office or the library – and the garden in the summer! My last jobs were really busy and pressured and although I still have pressure now, the difference is that I’m in control of it. Every decision I make has a direct effect on the success of my business and whilst that’s scary, it’s also really exhilarating!”
Joanne’s advice to others start-ups is to research and save. “I spent two months solid doing research to ensure that there was a need for the service I wanted to provide, and that I could make a living from it. Make sure you have enough savings to get you through the first six to 12 months. And don’t give up! There’s so much support out there for people starting their own businesses, you are not alone. Networking has also been great for me, I have met some amazing people and this has been invaluable to keep me going when I have difficult days.”
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