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HR professional launches a VA business to support SMEs


A qualified HR professional, Natalia Kalacova, is celebrating the launch of her new business Alchemy VA – an all-encompassing virtual assistant service that’s promising to increase productivity for SME owners and legal firms. Her business is part of the UK’s only family-run virtual assistant franchise.

After becoming a mum and spending most of her career working in both the legal and hospitality sectors, Natalia’s priorities changed completely, and she decided to trade her two-hour commute to London for something that would keep her closer to home. As a busy working mum, Natalia is confident she can use her HR generalist experience to thrive with her remote administration business.

I live in Reading, but I’ve been commuting into London every day for the last four years,” said Natalia. “As a mother of two young children, a two-hour commute just didn’t suit my lifestyle anymore. Due to the pandemic, I’ve experienced the benefits of working from home. After welcoming my son, Max, to our growing family in October last year, I came to the conclusion that starting a business would improve my own sense of wellbeing and allow me to spend more time with them during those crucial early years. When you commute regularly, you miss the simple things like being able to pick your children up from school, and I no longer felt comfortable constantly missing out on those special moments.”

Following her launch last month, Natalia’s career experience is setting her up for success with her virtual assistant business.

“Whilst studying for my degree in Travel and Tourism, my husband was completing a law degree, and I really enjoyed helping him. That’s when I decided to gain a qualification as a Legal Secretary.  After university, I started working for an internationally recognised five-star hotel chain. I was offered the role partly because I had a legal secretary qualification. The job in London allowed me to combine my love of administrative work with an opportunity to gain a qualification in HR – CIPD Level 5 in HR Management. As part of that role, I managed the opening of a new residence where I oversaw the recruitment, training and HR needs of over 30 employees. When I decided I wanted to reduce my commuting hours, I began formulating a plan for how I could use these skills in my own business – that’s when I decided to launch my Alchemy VA location.”

A growing franchise network supporting VAs

Natalia will not only have the support of her loving family, but also the support of an established franchise network with her new business. After giving birth to her son, Suzy Sanders’ return to work also felt somewhat lacking. Driven by the same desire as Natalia for more fulfilment, flexibility and freedom, Suzy founded the Alchemy VA franchise. Since franchising her business model, and allowing incredible people like Natalia to join her network, the UK’s only family-run virtual assistant franchise has been on an incredible upward trajectory.

“It’s brilliant to see people who have had the same experiences as I did join the network,” said Suzy. “Much of Natalia’s story of wanting a better work-life balance since becoming a parent echoes my own journey when I decided to start Alchemy VA. Natalia is an incredibly talented individual, who has a wealth of valuable corporate experience, and I know she will achieve great things with Alchemy VA.”

As part of her new business, Natalia will provide expert administrative, practical marketing and flexible PA services to SME businesses and law firms in Reading and the surrounding area.

“I would like to work with like-minded companies. It’s a passion of mine to give my support to SMEs so they can achieve the perfect work-life balance and increase productivity. I know how difficult achieving this balance can be, and it would give me great satisfaction to support these enterprises with Alchemy VA. With my Legal Secretary Qualification, I’m also keen to work with small law firms. I have a wealth of experience in the area, and I know I could make an immediate impact. Partnering with Alchemy VA is a low-risk, high-impact way of getting support into your business, and I would love to talk to anyone who is interested in my services.”

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