After receiving help from TEDCO Business Support and the NEA scheme, Andrea Holman successfully moved out of employment and into self-employment in 2021. Having recently celebrated her 2nd anniversary as a business owner, the founder of WorkerBee Virtual Assistant sat down with us to talk career journeys, the start-up process and bee-ing free to work on her own terms.
Andrea Holman has had a varied career working in a range of administrative and customer service roles for organisations as diverse as solicitors, car dealerships, asbestos treatment, facilities management and caravan servicing companies. But in 2021, coming out of the pandemic she decided that the time was right for a change. She says,
“I had found myself working in a job I really didn’t enjoy and with an employer who I felt didn’t treat his staff well. After one particular incident when he spoke to me in an unprofessional way I decided it was time to do something different.
“The pandemic had made me realise that life is too short to put up with a working environment that makes you miserable.”
While looking for another role, Andrea found herself supporting her partner at the time with administrative tasks and paperwork – an area she had lots of experience in. It was at this point that she realised that there might be other small businesses in need of assistance with their admin, customer service and general office management tasks.
“At around this time I found myself on a course run by TEDCO and I was introduced to Allison Nicks who helped me to shape this idea into something that I could see more clearly as a business. That’s how WorkerBee came about.
“In fact, it was Allison who helped put me in touch with my very first client. She has been incredibly supportive and given me both the guidance and confidence I needed.
“Obviously it’s stressful at the beginning when you first set up a company: are you going to have enough money and is it the right decision. But I was fortunate to have both the professional assistance and also a supportive network of friends and family.”
WorkerBee: a Virtual PA for sole traders and SMEs
Asked about the services that WorkerBee offers, Andrea says,
“I’d say that the main services I provide can be defined as office management – the kind of tasks that often take time and focus away from what a business owner really wants to be doing. By helping with customer service enquiries, order processing, book-keeping and even social media posting, I help organisations to spend their time doing what they do best and what earns them money.”
Now working with an array of businesses including web designers, graphic designers, jewellery makers and environmental companies, Andrea says she has found a work–life balance that she’s been looking for:
“I’ve not just got the right number of clients right now; I’ve also got the right type of clients. I work hard for them and am flexible around their needs. But they also understand that I also want to work flexibly so that I can spend time with my daughter or go on holiday at certain times of year.”
If you’d like to find out more about WorkerBee and the services Andrea offers, visit https://workerbee.services/
Looking to start your own business? TEDCO Business Support is here to help. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at email@example.com.