Life challenges took me to move home and hence change of job back into the Administrative sector. When I really understood I had the experience and ability to do this for myself - after all there wasn’t anywhere to go in my current job. I always had a deep desire to be a business owner, but just didn’t know in what field. When I found out about the support and guidance that SmartPA supplies, I didn’t look back.
I was made redundant and had come across adverts for SmartPA but wasn't sure it was for me. A friend bought into SmartPA and I had seen lots of her posts. After 6 months of no luck with getting a job other than temping, I decided to take the plunge. My biggest achievement? Completing accreditation and launching it in lockdown
I had been toying with the idea of starting my own business for a couple of years. In all the industries I’d worked in there was always the same issue that senior management didn’t really understand the importance of good administration or what was really involved in keeping an office running smoothly. I knew about VA’s but I wasn’t sure if it was something I could really do on my own so kept putting it off. When I came across SmartPA and read more it lit up a light and made me realise that I could start my own business but not be totally on my own, there would be support AND be part of an already established brand. The best- selling point of the SmartPA brand is our fabulous head office and support network and access to a vast talent pool of accredited, professional partners from a wide variety of backgrounds offering a variety of experience and skills. Yes there are other VA’s out there and other VA franchise companies, but SmartPA is nearly 6 times the size of competitors… so to me it is definitely THE brand in this industry.
I have found the support from SmartPA's Business Support Team to be invaluable, and my monthly call with them enables me to stay focused. It helps to put together an ‘Action Plan’ to ensure that I am taking all the steps necessary to help grow my business. They’re always quick to respond with any queries I might have, and are always friendly, helpful, and approachable.
"I certainly have that Friday Feeling this eve! I have just finished my first week as a fully accredited SmartPA Partner and am so blessed to have some fab clients already and amazing support from the Business Support Team and the SmartPA community. I was so worried about making the move into having my own business and now I feel so positive and ready for anything!!!"
“Having researched various startup options offering business support, I chose SmartPA for their professional approach from the outset. At no point did I feel under pressure to purchase the franchise and I subsequently received excellent advice and support throughout my training and recent launch. The training programme is the most thorough and enjoyable I have ever completed and receiving accreditation gave me the reassurance I needed to start my business. The on-going support from the Business Development Team and other SmartPA partners ensures there is always someone to help if you require assistance or you just need a bit of moral support. During the Covid 19 pandemic, the world is becoming accustomed to remote working and the SmartPA model is a fantastic, flexible option for anyone looking to start a rewarding new business that fits in with their lifestyle.”
"I have to say, everyone that I have spoken to so far has just been so reassuring and helpful and I really feel that if at all I start to struggle, I can contact someone for help and advice and not feel awkward about it... It's really strange, as I know I am only just starting out, but already I feel I am becoming 'part of the family' - and this is because everyone is so helpful and approachable. I have that nice warm fuzzy feeling - it's great! I really do mean everything that I say as the team is just amazing!"
"My journey with SmartPA has been brilliant! I can't fault the whole process. Jo was amazing to deal with, I loved speaking to partners and Andrew the CEO. My workshop was really valuable too - it was all very reassuring. Training - I loved it!! Steven was brilliant, I'd always feel anxious before training but by the end I was absolutely buzzing! I signed up when my little one was really little and I had my hands full, but I haven’t stopped since I launched. SmartPA was the best thing I've done for myself and my children. The whole onboarding process, speaking to people - you feel so included and part of the community from the start."
My SmartPA journey from discovery to accreditation was possibly rockier than most, as we moved house 3 times, renovated one of them and began a new life in Hong Kong, all in the space of 9 months! The training team was unfailingly supportive and gave me all the time and encouragement I needed to persevere through the process. I was in the interesting position of learning about SmartPA’s culture and values while receiving that support from the Head Office at the same time! It gave me a great deal of confidence that I am investing in the right company.
“If you are considering it, then I would recommend it, especially if you have not set up in business on your own before. You will get all the tools that you need to make a real success and enjoy a better work life balance. It’s been an amazing journey thus far; I have achieved more than I thought I could, whilst meeting lots of interesting and aspirational people.”