How a virtual PA injects valuable knowledge into small businesses

Having a Personal Assistant sounds posh. Many small businesses don’t think about having a PA or VA for their company, simply because it’s too expensive. Jasper asked Ebonie Allard from My Girl Friday about the costs and benefits of hiring a Personal Assistant.

Can you tell us briefly what you do?

My Girl Friday offers a freelance Personal Assistant or Virtual Assistant service to both businesses and private clients. We work on a part time or ad hoc basis to relieve you of the responsibilities that leave you no time to do the things you are good at and enjoy. My Girl Friday is your ‘go-to’ girl, ‘an extra pair of hands’ and it is our job to make sure that you ‘Work less ~ Play More’….

On a more practical level, we do lots of different things for lots of different people; from running simple errands, to writing copy, researching projects, organising events, sourcing people and places, helping people get their heads around social media & network marketing, finances and business insurance, as well as interior design and theming.

There a a lot of PA services around. What makes you stand out the crowd?

We really understand that often there is no obvious line between where your professional life ends and your personal life begins. We can be an extra pair of hands in the office and at home. We work with you face to face when it’s most productive to do so, and remotely where possible. We all have creative and varied backgrounds, having all worked as freelance PA’s as well as lots of other things too, and so have a great wealth of knowledge and experiences to draw from. There is no job too big, and no job too small….if you need help with it, we will probably be ready and able to give you a hand.

How can small businesses use your services? Why do you think they need your service?

Small businesses often find themselves in a situation where they need to delegate some of the workload, but cannot afford a full time member of staff. Being able to call on someone who has a great wealth of experience and is flexible is massively useful.

We are able to fit into people’s schedules, and work with them as they grow, developing relationships, and learning their business as they do. As the business grows, we can often be a great source of perspective, as we aren’t ‘in it’ everyday and we can often see the business with a sense of loyalty but also with an objectivity.

What’s your experience with starting your own business?

I’ve been self-employed since I left university in 2001. I have worked with many many start ups and entrepreneurs and businesses and have learned a lot from all of them along the way. I have always had passion, and drive and ambition, and I’ve never been very ‘employable’; preferring to work hard for myself and for those around me.

Do you think online marketing tools are important for your business?

Yes!! Very much so. I think online marketing tools are important for nearly all businesses. I very much enjoy looking at new and innovative ways that my business and my clients’ can work online more and market themselves online too.

What role is social media taking in your business?

Social media enables me to talk directly to people, allowing them to get to know me and the team behind the brand before they meet us. It means that we can reach out to large numbers of people at any one time, and get ‘live’ results….plus it’s fun!

What advice would you give start-ups?

Do something that you love. Believe in your idea and your brand completely. Don’t run before you can walk - make sure you have got good solid foundations before you grow.