Virtual Assistant Story: Invaluable Ltd

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Carla (Fallows), I’m married to Marcus and I became Mum to Thomas & Benjamin in September 2013 and 2 Boxer dogs, Cassie & Mollie, complete our crazy Noah’s Ark family (we seem to have 2 of everything!)

What’s your business called?

Invaluable Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Virtual Assistant service providing admin and bookkeeping support to entrepreneurs and small businesses

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

January 2016 – I went back to work when the boys were 9 months old but it just didn’t fit in with family life anymore, I needed flexibility and the ability to look after my children if they were poorly without feeling guilty about my job

How did you fund your start up?

I didn’t! I had a laptop and a mobile phone and I just started from there

How do you manage working around your children?

I can only work when they are either in nursery or in bed, it is extremely difficult to do anything while they’re around – just can’t concentrate. Having said that I have been on client calls whilst rescuing one of the boys from a fight in their house in the garden! I am really lucky with the clients that I have – they are all so supportive around the fact that I have a family – they are all either there or have been there, really makes me appreciate that they’re all such lovely people, not sure what I’ve done to deserve them

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I don’t really have a “typical” day – I guess they’re typical in the fact that I sit at my desk and work for the few hours I have available, but what I do is never the same – I could be helping clients with their social media, doing their bookkeeping, managing their diary, designing them an e-shot on MailChimp, formatting documents, producing reports and spreadsheets, designing a presentation, sending out a “physical” mailshot, research etc etc etc. I manage my time through various apps and websites like Trello, Buffer – currently deciding between Clockodo and Adminja for logging time (instead of a spreadsheet), Evernote as well as always being on the lookout for new time saving apps

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

Initially it was finding clients – now that side of things is sorted (thanks to LinkedIn) my challenge now is time because the boys aren’t in nursery for very long, living for the new 30 hours coming in in September

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

The whole reason that I did it in the beginning – the flexibility and being around for my family

What are your plans for the future?

I’m hoping to bring on quite a few more clients and eventually start sub-contracting to other Virtual Assistant’s too

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Make sure it’s something that you enjoy doing and just keep going – don’t listen to the naysayers and as corny as it sounds follow your heart, if it feels right it is

Invaluable VA