One of my reasons for starting Wild Roots Marketing was because I wanted to support other small businesses in driving growth, by using my experience of sales and marketing practices.  What I have discovered is that while I’m meeting owners from small businesses across many industries and sharing my expertise, I’m also learning a lot from each of them.  Learning about their products and services of course, but also about what inspires and motivates them, how they help their customers and what they are learning about running their own business and working for themselves.

When I was thinking of different subjects to write about in this blog, I thought why not put the spotlight onto a different small business owner each week to give them the opportunity to introduce themselves and their products to a different audience, and to inform us of what they’re learning on their journey that we could benefit from.

The first in this series is small business owner and virtual assistant Kerry, from Prana PA.

How long have you had your business?

I qualified as a yoga teacher in August 2015, working alongside my PA job in London and Essex. Since moving back up North to Manchester I have recently decided to take my PA skills freelance, setting up Prana PA Services only last month.

 

How do you describe your business to your friends?

The yoga is easy, I’m a yoga teacher, building strength and managing stress. Virtual Assistant is trickier sometimes, but I say, it’s like having a Personal Assistant who works from home.  When they realise I can do all of those things that they keep putting off because they’re too time consuming, the list of potential tasks starts to build quickly.

 

What problem do you solve for your customers?

I give them back their time, allowing them to focus on their own business, personal development or personal life. The tasks that they spend so much time doing are outsourced to me, meaning they are free to work on higher level projects and ideas without worrying about the details of their day to day activities.

 

What inspired you to start your business?

I want to work for myself. The commute into an office to work for someone else every day became a chore and I want to work around my fiancé’s shifts and his business. I also get to dodge the office politics.

 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

When someone says that their health has improved thanks to my support. People often don’t realise that being so insanely busy takes it’s toll on your physical and mental health, they think they’re just getting sh*t done or working hard towards their goals, when they’re not being mindful of themselves and their own needs which only impacts the true value of their outcomes.

 

What’s the biggest frustration with working for yourself?

I eat too much when I’m working at home! Plus it can get quiet, so I often take work into a café or restaurant or even make use of some of the great shared workspaces there are out there.  Mixing with other human beings day to day is necessary for our state of mind.

 

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on getting into corporate yoga, which I used to do in London, and also growing my client base for the virtual assistant work. Mostly I’ve been building some brand imaging, Facebook management, WordPress website building and I’ve really enjoyed doing some personal gift shopping and a travel itinerary for a girly weekend in Amsterdam recently! I’m also trying my hand at some life coaching as I’m constantly told how transformational some of my personal processes have been for clients.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?

Do your research, but don’t be afraid to run with it.  Get some savings behind you so that you don’t end up resenting the day job that you need to pay the bills, but most of all act like you already have that business; you’re the CEO, people want to work with you. Don’t be arrogant, but project that success and you’re half way there.

 

What is your favourite brand and why?

My Mantra Active do the BEST leggings and yoga mats, recycled, eco friendly and a gorgeous founder who lives and breathes her brand.

 

Favourite food?

Vegetable pie with chips and (veggie) gravy! I’m a northerner after all…

 

What was your first ever job?

Post Room assistant at a solicitors in Old Trafford (on £6,662 a year!)

 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Living in the woods in a house we built ourselves with its own yoga studio & guest house, with long grey hair and living in harem trousers! (not that I’ve thought much about it…)

 

Do you have a nickname?

Squeeze (Kerry-Louise = squeeze)

 

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Someone with red hair – I always wanted proper red hair…

 

If I gave you an extra day in the week, what would you do with it?

Hide from the world with a good book, some paper and pens and my yoga mat

So if like Kerry, you’re looking to start your business, do your research, don’t be afraid to run with it, but don’t forget to look after your health while you’re at it.

Do you have a dream future that motivates you on your business journey?  I’ve already asked Kerry if I can visit her house in the woods, I think it sounds lovely!