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Meet the VA - Sarah Stacey, founder of Stealth Office Services (SOS)

I’m Sarah Stacey, a Virtual Assistant with a passion for helping new small business owners and side hustlers turn their dreams into reality. I started Stealth Office Services (SOS) with a mission to help people succeed in business.

I understand how frustrating it can be to feel like you're always behind and that there's never enough time in the day. That's why I offer a range of services designed to make busy business owners' lives easier. Giving them back their time to concentrate on what they went into business for.

Who or what inspired you to become a VA?

At 18, I started my journey in the retail banking sector, working with three different high street banks over the years. When I had children, I shifted to part-time hours to balance work and family life. During this period, I needed to boost my income, so I began assisting a friend who had recently started his accounting business, initially dedicating an hour a day to help him grow his venture. The time spent supporting him gradually increased to 2 full days. He was based 200 miles away from me so naturally it was a remote admin role.

After 17 years in banking, I was made redundant. However, this event nudged me to reconsider my path. Having already spent a few years working as a VA, it seemed logical to transition into this role full-time. This decision marked the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, where I could fully utilise the skills and experience I had accumulated over the years. It felt like a natural progression, and I was eager to embrace the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead as a full-time VA.

Have you had any support starting up as a VA?

I’ve been really lucky to have my accountant friend as a mentor. He has been so supportive and so generous in sharing his knowledge, resources and advice with me. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without his support. In fact, it was he who gave me my first client as a VA, recommending me to one of his clients.

What has been your highlight since starting your business?

The shift from employment to entrepreneurship has been a wonderful experience. Free from hierarchy and feelings of inferiority I have flourished. I’m very self-motivated so I have found the experience to be wonderful.

If you want a more specific answer then arranging a first birthday party with a £20,000 budget was quite exciting!

What was your biggest challenge?

Networking! I’m naturally quite introverted although you probably wouldn’t think so if you spoke to me. I am filled with dread building up to networking events but they are never as bad as they seem!

What advice would you offer other new or aspiring VAs?

Set your business up in a way that suits you. I made the mistake of taking on a lot of pay as you go clients and project work in one go. They all ended at the same time and I was left in a bit of a pickle. I have learned to do what is right for me as a priority.

What tools/apps/software can’t you live without?

Notion is my bread and butter. I use it as my CRM, somewhere to document systems and processes and I have introduced it to a number of clients too. I also use it to manage my personal life.

Also, Canva, Chat GPT and I Love PDF are tools I use frequently.

Were there any times you wanted to give up? What kept you going?

There have been plenty of times that I have felt like an imposter. Solo working can make you question yourself. There is often no way to compare your work to other VAs so it can sometimes make you feel like you might not be doing a great job.

I often have Eminem’s lyric “Success is my only %*$ option, failure’s not!” swimming around in my head which helps!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love a true crime podcast! Any spare minute (which isn’t much) I have my headphones in and I’m listening to some gory crime. Crime Junkie is my favourite!

What business book / podcast have you read / listened to most recently? Would you recommend it?

Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It, is one that my friend and mentor recommended to me when I started out. It was instrumental in shaping my business and how I support my clients. I highly recommend it.

What is next for you and your business?

The next chapter in my business journey is establishing myself as the go-to VA for budding entrepreneurs and individuals nurturing side ventures. I envision cultivating a network of specialists from various fields, ready to tackle any hurdles that new business owners might encounter. This collaborative approach not only promises comprehensive solutions but also fosters a community of growth and innovation.

What is the ultimate goal for your business?

The ultimate aim is to cultivate a business that practically runs itself, a place where I can channel my energies into securing new clients and fostering solid, enduring relationships with them. Meanwhile, a dedicated team of experts would be on hand, consistently delivering outstanding results and exceeding the expectations of our clientele.

Sarah Stacey, Stealth Office Services Limited,

This blog was prepared or accomplished by Sarah Stacey 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.



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