Midlands-based Gemma McMillan is pursuing her business dreams during lockdown as the demand for Virtual Assistant services continues to skyrocket.
Gemma has just set up her professional business with the award-winning Alchemy Virtual Assistance (VA) team, who have reported a record number of client enquiries from businesses globally – with numbers having quadrupled since COVID hit.
With decades of experience across various admin, sales, customer service and client liaison roles, Gemma says the time is right to leave her secure job at an international shipping firm to focus on her new venture providing flexible, remote admin and PA services to entrepreneurs, not for profit organisations and business owners.
“Sure, there are lots challenges right now but there are also lots of opportunities as a result of COVID and Brexit, and many small businesses are thriving, especially those that are virtual,” said Gemma, who had been following Alchemy VA’s founder - Suzy Sanders – online for a while before deciding to commit to become the company’s latest franchisee Hub Manager in December 2020.
“I have been dreaming of working for myself for so long, but it was reading Suzy’s latest book, seeing all that Alchemy had achieved during the pandemic and more recently ‘e-meeting’ other franchisees and learning more about their incredible journeys on an online discovery discussion Suzy hosted that inspired me. It gave me the courage to finally take the leap, despite everything that is going on.
“As this pandemic continues, more and more entrepreneurs and organisations are reviewing their operations and deciding to outsource their admin and other business support functions. So starting my VA business now makes complete sense – and because I have chosen to set up my new venture with Alchemy’s support, backing, proven business model and ongoing training, I definitely don’t feel alone. Through Suzy and the wider team, I have been given the confidence and know-how to start my own credible VA company.”
Gemma was one of over 700,000 new businesses which were formed by the end of 2020 according to Companies House data – up 13.5% on 2019.
Gemma added: “My VA Hub is currently working on some really intricate and complicated tasks – compiling graphs, data and reports. There are some creative tasks too – refreshing power points, branding, formatting training materials and social media management. My business is all about precision, delivering tangible value and building meaningful relationships. I have a great deal of experience across many corporate office and field based roles, and I am genuinely passionate about supporting independents and small businesses. I truly believe they are the life blood of our economy and that’s where I can make the most impact.”
Suzy Sanders, founder of Alchemy VA added: “As a virtual business our VA support has always been driven by having the right people with the right skills, connections and experience, rather than who is in a specific geographical location. We are absolutely delighted to have Gemma strengthening our incredible team based here in the midlands.
“As our other franchisees are continuing to thrive despite all the uncertainty, I am incredibly excited to welcome her into the Alchemy family. Gemma has a phenomenal amount of experience, insight and passion, and an abundance of readily transferable skills. She’s perfectly aligned to the Alchemy family and ethos too, and has joined us at just the right time as we attract more and more enquiries from all over the globe.
“I believe the Alchemy VA brand is reaching people as far as Australia and the US because everyone is far more open to remote working now and is much more aware of tapping into a global talent pool. Hiring a Virtual Assistant partner through an established, family-run VA company is the ideal staffing solution for businesses in these turbulent times – it’s a reliable, efficient, adaptable and cost-effective solution.
“I’m very excited to see the positive impact Gemma will continue to have on her clients in the weeks, months and years to come, and we are with her every step of the way.”
For more information on Alchemy VA – their virtual assistance services for entrepreneurs and small enterprising businesses, or to learn more about Virtual Assistant franchise opportunities and book on the next Alchemy VA Discovery Discussion – visit www.alchemyva.co.uk