Welcome to another Saturday Business/Freelancer Chat – today, we’re talking to Lucy Scott from Admin and Errands, which is a company specialising in supporting other businesses in Cardiff, Gloucester, Bristol and Chepstow with their admin tasks and the errands they need to run – like a Virtual Assistant and a Concierge service all in one! Spurred on by redundancy, Lucy’s gone all-out with the business, running it full-time after a period of planning and consolidation, and with plans for expansion! She made the sensible decision to look at what she was good at, what skills she had experience using, and what suited her personality when choosing what business area to go in to, and this is vital: running a small business is hard work and if you don’t actually enjoy what you’re doing, it’ll be even harder to motivate yourself to push on through the difficult times!
I really love the fact that so many of my interviewees answer that they’ve got no regrets when I ask what they’d have done differently! We all make mistakes and pick up better working practices as we go along, but the important thing is to learn from them, absorb those lessons into your business practices, and move forward confidently and positively.
What’s your business called? When did you set it up?
My business is Admin and Errands and I officially launched on 1st Jan 2011 after I was made redundant on 31st Dec 2010!
What made you decide to set up your own business?
I spent some months whilst on notice of redundancy identifying my skills and working out what I really enjoyed doing. I researched and found that there were really no other businesses that offered personal assistance where and when it is required, from one hour to one day.
What made you decide to go into this particular business area?
It really suits my skills and personality. I’m outgoing so love to meet people but can get easily bored, so working for different people when they need me really suits me – and suits the clients as they don’t have to pay someone in quieter times.
Had you run your own business before?
No this is the first time I’ve been self-employed. I worked for the Forensic Science Service previous to this where I supported two senior managers and six team leaders.
How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?
I launched on a full-time basis as I want to commit to making my business a success 100%. I talked over the possibility of working at a part-time job, but as someone pointed out, if I hung on to employment by the tips of my fingers I would never throw myself into it 100%. I was in a fortunate position to have some money behind me to start with.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
That sometimes it is really difficult to get your head down and work from home – but that you are not the only one that feels like that.
What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?
That not every day is great and that you are not alone when you are down. Also that if someone doesn’t want your service it doesn’t mean it is no good, it just means it is not for them at that time.
What do you wish you’d done differently?
At the moment I have no regrets. Everything I have done I have learnt from and the amount I have learnt in the last 10 months is immense.
What are you glad you did?
I’m so glad that I had the guts to go self-employed in the first place. So many people were saying, “but there is no security”. The freedom of choice and the fact that the business stands and falls by the choices I make far outweigh any insecurity.
What’s your top business tip?
Be yourself. I never realised whilst working in a corporation how important your personality is and how much people buy from people.
How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?
It has gone really well and I am just about on target for where I had hoped I would be. It is growing all the time which is great; some months are better than others but in this first year it is all about learning.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?
I hope to have a larger base of regular clients and have Admin and Errands in a second (and maybe third!) geographical area.
What an exciting time to catch Lucy – I bet she’s going for world domination next time we speak to her! Remember, we come back to all our interviewees a year after their interview is featured to see how things are going …
Note: the URL and email address for Adminanderrands are no longer operational and it looks as though the company might have closed. I’ll add more information if I find it.