Hi, I’m Lilia and I run Lilia-Rose Consulting. It is a teeny small business which aims to help founders work smarter, not harder, all while future-proofing so your operations keep up with your growing business.
I work with founder-led businesses to support on various areas from operations, marketing, customer service, e-commerce, PA-style work, wholesale and everything in between. My aim is to take those things that business owners may not be great at or just don’t like doing to give them the time to focus on what they’re good at!
Who or what inspired you to become a VA?
Probably two women, one being my sister who is my unofficial life coach and business mentor, who runs a very successful e-commerce consulting business (shoutout to her, @theecommerceassistant on Instagram). And the second would be the small business queen, Holly Tucker. My sister bought me Holly’s book ‘Do What You Love, Love What You Do’ towards the beginning of my business journey and it really gave me the push and inspiration to go for it.
Have you had any support starting up as a VA
My sister was a huge support and help for me, guiding me on all things self-employed life, and setting up and running a small business. Financially, no and for anyone wanting to start up as a VA, I completely understand the overwhelm of this, and when I first started freelancing I managed to do it alongside a full time job before doing it full time.
What has been your highlight since starting your business?
Probably my 1st business birthday! There have been so many projects and client business successes that I am super proud of but I think personally being able to do what I love for a year was a real highlight.
What was your biggest challenge?
Losing clients. It happens, unfortunately even the best VA in the world that everyone raves about will lose clients. It could be changes in budgets or bringing someone in-house, but it always sucks. For me, I treat every business like its mine in a way that I put a lot of effort into making sure I can help the founder make it a success, so walking away can be emotionally hard for sure. But I’m always on the side-line anyway cheering the business on.
What advice would you offer other new or aspiring VAs?
To aspiring VAs, go for it! It is so empowering to be able to help so many business owners and it is the best thing I have ever done. Financially I would say if you are taking the jump to run a VA business full time, then definitely set some targets and be realistic that if you don’t hit those you will need to get something to support you on the side. For your mental health, I would say find others in a similar situation, being able to talk to someone about the lows and the highs is so important! It can be tough, but all the best things are.
What tools/apps/software can’t you live without?
Trello is amazing, I use it to manage my pipeline, clients, my to do list, any sub-contractors and my annual goals. Canva of course, the graphic designer cheats tool! I’m a google girl, so Gmail, google drive and docs, I love! And I could probably keep going because I do love tech, but for my last one I would say reclaim - a brilliant tool to organise multiple calendars, set up bookable links and manage your workload.
What is the biggest misconception you had about being a VA before you became one?
I think probably that VAs are virtual PAs only, that just manage someone's diary and emails but there are lots of different types. There are so many amazing and knowledgeable individuals in the VA world! I also thought it was a very crowded space, and yes there are lots and lots of VAs but there are also tons of founders that need support.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Eating and drinking! I am a real foodie, I love to visit new restaurants. I’m fortunate to work with some amazing brands in the industry!
What is next for you and your business?
I would like to niche a little more. I had a lot of people when I started tell me to niche and I think a lot of VA advisors/ mentors say that but I actually think understanding what you like to do is great. I vary from customer service, e-commerce management, email marketing, project management software builds, SEO work and general PA duties, all the way to running the operations. I love doing everything, the variety is great and the skills you gain are brilliant and I have found that founders have really loved that about me as they can utilise my skills to help with all areas not just being their PA or managing email marketing. But I think if I don’t niche in the near future, I may become a little overwhelmed.
What is the ultimate goal for your business?
I would love to build a small business consultancy that’s a one-stop shop for founders. There is only so much I can do in 40 hours a week, and I am lucky to work with some brilliant other freelancers that support me on projects, but building an agency with all staff in-house is the dream! The aim being to help right from the start-up stage, all the way through to being up and running for years.
Instagram - @liliaroseconsulting https://www.instagram.com/liliaroseconsulting
This blog was prepared or accomplished by Lilia Metcalf in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Kayleigh Johnstone or COZ PR.