With a background as an EA, Suzy Sanders, founder of Admin Angels, has transferred her skills over to her virtual assistant support business. Here she reveals how she kickstarted her company and why everyone should indulge in a PJ day.
What do you do?
I used to be an EA (supporting the chief HR officer within a global recruitment company) but now I run a virtual assistant business Admin Angels with my husband Paul. We use our corporate experience to support small business owners, entrepreneurs and freelance professionals with expert admin, practical marketing and flexible PA support. I’ve recently launched Admin Angels Academy too. The Academy is a free online training and support hub for aspiring VAs.
What is the purpose of the Admin Angels Academy?
Since the business started, I’ve been contacted by numerous individuals asking if I’m recruiting or enquiring into how they can become a VA, and so Admin Angels Academy was born.
My approach is holistic, it’s not just about the practical VA business guidance. Because I’m not ashamed to admit that my biggest challenges in business have been mindset and belief based. My vision for the Academy is for it to be the supportive and collaborative community I wish I had when I was starting out.
Members can absorb practical tips, tools and tricks all in their own time. The Academy opened its doors in May and we have already had some incredible aspiring VAs join us, some established ones too. It makes me so happy that our members are getting value from the space. I’ve had some great feedback, there are some exciting stories unfolding and everyone has fully embraced the spirit of the community.
What’s been your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievement has to be the steady, organic growth of our business. Virtually all of our clients have come from word of mouth or existing client recommendations. Because we’re ‘virtual’ we’re not restricted by location and we proudly support a diverse range of businesses both locally (Northamptonshire) and further afield. We now have a few retained clients in London, some of which we’ve never met. This growth has allowed my husband to come on board on a part time basis and our next big milestone is his leap to full time, making it a proper family business.
“We use our corporate experience to support small business owners, entrepreneurs and freelance professionals with expert admin, practical marketing and flexible PA support.”
Have you had to overcome any hurdles in your career?
Yes, absolutely! I think the biggest hurdle to date has been building a business while holding down an employed job and nurturing a family. My son was 11 months old (and far from sleeping though the night) when I signed my first client. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. But, when I put my mind to something I do everything in my power to make it happen. An incredible support network, determination and a lot of coffee got me through the early days.
If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be and why?
Probably a dolphin. They’re peaceful and nurturing yet playful, sociable and considered to be intelligent. While I live in Northampton (and it couldn’t be further from the coast) I have a deep love and curiosity for the ocean.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I do love a good PJ day. Between business and family life I don’t have many these days, but there’s not much better than having a lazy day at home, making popcorn, watching Disney films and enjoying a nap. An after-breakfast nap used to be a favourite in the Sanders house.
What does the future hold for you?
Working alongside my husband in our flexible family business. Setting our own schedules, supporting more inspirational clients, enjoying a happy, healthy work-life balance and hopefully a few more holidays. We’re ‘staycation’ kind of people and I have plans to spend the school summer holidays in a little Cornish cottage overlooking the sea…with my laptop of course.
What song gets you up on the dance floor?
I don’t party much these days, but I do recall showcasing my very best ‘dad dancing’ at my wedding to Journey, Don’t Stop Believing.