This week, I had the pleasure of listening to Helena Brookes from Woodley Business Services. It was really interesting to hear about her career, her life and how going back to college changed everything for her ...
Helena Brookes is a mum to one human being and two Jack Russells. She's an assistant leader for her local Beaver troupe and loves walking and climbing, which is something I also enjoyed many years ago. She says that her key to success is to work smarter not harder.
And I agree with her self-analysis. Whenever I've met her, she is always cool, calm and collected and seems to be in complete control of her workday where she puts her expertise to work.
Working in the corporate world for many years, a change of circumstances meant she went back to college. Whilst there, she decided she didn't want to work for big company's anymore so on graduation, setup Woodly Business Services.
Helena now works with a wide range of diverse clients. Her main tasks involve email management and diary management for a couple of busy businesses, acting as business manager for another and even a community manager for one, looking after social media engagement.
She says, "I'm don't provide fixed solutions and can change my offering for specific clients. They literally say what they need help with, we work out a range of tasks and how much time they want to be spent on them and away we go". This means that Helena can fit around the client, rather than the client having to fit around her.
She has seen massive growth in her bottom line during the pandemic. Businesses are reluctant to hire staff when the future is so uncertain, so it made sense to her clients to outsource their needs to her. "Hiring is expensive, employees are expensive so outsourcing was an easy decision for some of my clients. They can just turn services on and offer as they need them", she added.
However, Helena has a wide range of skills beyond the normal VA services of email and diary management. Skilled in bookkeeping, social media and secretarial work, one of her clients even asks her to help with firefighting problems that occur in their business. I guess they see her as a sounding board, and her experience in the corporate world and her years working with many different clients has given her a unique perspective on how businesses actually work.
She added, "There are two types of business I work with ... those that need systems and workflows putting in place, and those that need systems and workflows to run more efficiently". And she's certainly able to do that for them.
With experience working with CRMs, automation, migration, eCommerce, Office365 and websites, and both Windows and Mac experience, Helena is able to build the right 'tech stack' to help her clients work more efficiently. It's all about simple systems, simple setups, and smarter business.
The diverse nature of Helena's client list is impressive and she currently has room to take on a few more, depending on the hours they need and what they want her to do. When the time comes for me to outsource more of my own work, Helena is the only person I'll be talking to because I know she understands the technology the underpins my business.
If you're a busy small business owner, who's a little overwhelmed with their own business and needs help to streamline your workflows and make your systems more efficient ... or even if you want to get organised and free up your own time a little ... give Helena a call at Woodley Business Services.
She will most certainly be able to help.