Archive of ‘Diva Spotlights’ category

Diva Spotlight: Gazelle Simmons-Admin Services

Gazelle Simmons
Business Name:  Admin Services
Website Address:  http://www.admnsrvcs.com
Year Business Was Founded:  1998

Tell us about your business:
Since 1998, I have been a Virtual Assistant specializing in social media navigation, data entry, presentations, word processing, database management, editing and proofreading services, mass mailings, thesis and manuscript processing as well as other clerical services.

What inspired you to start your business?
When I first started, I had two elderly parents to care for as well as two children not yet in elementary school and I was overwhelmed. Now I can start each day with joy, looking forward to my work with my clients and enjoying the day. Having two children in college, straight A students, focused on learning and growing having watched me do the same every day. Enjoying hearing my clients say, I don’t know what I did before I met you. Being able to be here for my family and doingwhat I love has definitely been the best part of working from home

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
Restarting after Hurricane Katrina. At the time, I had no clients, no connections in the new place I had chosen to make a home and none of the resources that were available to me. Buying new equipment, promotional materials and getting back into networking were definitely challenges. I started little by little to get what I needed and with 6 months I had my first client again.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
Keeping God first, family second and work third. Networking and more networking since you never know who knows your next client. Persistence day in and day out to keep the business going and growing.

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who arethinking about starting a business?
Be certain that you are a self-starter, that you don’t need the daily contact of other adults, that you can work un-supervised and that you can interact well with unseen individuals. You should careful screen to see if the person contacting you is going to be a good client. Not everyone who calls is going to be the right fit for you. Before working on any project, make sure you have a clear vision of what’s expected of you, a signed contract and a retainer up front. I stress to clients that I work with them and as we have entered into a partnership, to which I have a vested interest in seeing them succeed.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The freedom to do the work I love, raise my children and enjoy the flexibility of it all. I truly know I am blessed to be able to be an entrepreneur.

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
Online networking has been a phenomenal aspect of getting my business growing. I work with people I wouldn’t have met in a million networking events. It allows me to connect nationwide and keeps the word of mouth flowing.

How do you manage your personal and business activities?
Because I work from home, work is always at my fingertips. I can move back and forth between work and family during the week but set hard rules about not working on weekends and keeping my 5pm close as close to that as possible. I’ve given my children the freedom to say, Hey Mom, it’s after 5pm. They keep me from working too much and remind me to get a life when necessary.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I had started my business sooner.

Please share your social media connections:
I’m online at the following:
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/gazelle.simmons
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/gazellems
Twitter http://twitter.com/gazellems 
Ryze http://www.ryze.com/go/gazellems
Meetups http://www.meetups.com

Diva Spotlight: Extra Hands

When You Need A Hand
Diva:  LaTasha West
Business Name: Extra Hands
Website Address:  http://www.whenyouneedahand.biz
Year Business Was Founded: 2011

Tell us about your business:
Extra Hands is a Personal Concierge & Virtual Assistant business. We will handle most any legal and ethical request. I can run your small business back office, plan your child’s birthday party, organize your home office, plan your vacation, decorate your home for the holidays and so much more! I am here to help simplify the lives of many people who just don’t have the time to do all the things that need to be done.

What inspired you to start your business?
I started Extra Hands because I was known as the “go to girl” in my circle, I was always researching or planning something for myself, my family and friends. I was overwhelmed with the work I was doing in corporate America and wanted something where I could use my talents & creativity effectively.

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
My biggest challenge has been getting people realize the value in this type of service and understand what it is I do. I began to offer free 1 hour trials so that potential clients can understand how exactly I can help them. I am also in the process of working on a web blog where I will post weekly explaining my business and industry and also provide time and money saving tips for clients and potential clients.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
I believe I am successful because I love what I do. That old saying is true…find something that you love to do and find a way to make money doing it. I will work longer and harder because what I do is enjoyable to me.

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business?
Be patient. Trust yourself. Do your research.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Being able to choose my own path! I can be as creative as I want to be and I love it!

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
My favorite tool thus far has been my Iphone…it allows me to work from anywhere…I can accept credit card payments, send emails, research information for my clients, update my website, create videos and more.

How do you manage your personal and business activities?
I set a schedule. I have set work hours, if that changes then I am sure to inform my family and friends. I also involve my family in my work whenever possible.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
I would have done this sooner!

Please share your social media connections:
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/extrahands2011
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/extrahands2011
LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/extrahands2011

Diva Spotlight: Great Transitions

Diva:  Carolyn Wilder
Business Name:  Great Transitions, LLC
Website Address:  http://www.greattransitionscoaching.com
Year Business Was Founded: 2010

Tell us about your business:
I work with women over the age of 45 who are ready to make a transition in their lives, be it a new career, job, or taking the next step after leaving their primary careers (aka retirement). We all deal with many transitions in our lives: changing jobs, changing careers, reentering the workforce, leaving the workforce. To find the passion in what we do greatly increases our chances of success in each step of our lives.

What inspired you to start your business?
After practicing law for 30 years, I felt that I was no longer making a difference. I hired a life coach to help me figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I realized that I loved the process of exploring options without limitations. As a result, I became certified as a life coach and as a retirement coach and started my own business. Being a baby boomer, I naturally gravitated toward women of my generation. We have accomplished so much, yet still have so many questions about what to do next in our lives.

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
Starting from scratch in an entirely new career. Having been an in-house attorney for a trade association, I did not have manynetworking contacts. I have joined several women’s networking groups in order to meet other entrepreneurs and to discover even more about what my target audience wants and needs from me.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
I have worked with a peer coach to help keep me focused; choosing my niche, creating a business and marketing plan, and to bounce off ideas and issues.

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business?
Determine who your target audience will be; the narrower the better. Do everything you can to disscover what it is that your audience needs and how you can provide solutions and benefits to their problems and issues.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I get to work from home with flexible hours, which leaves me time to do volunteer work and to build my relationship with my grandchildren.

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
As a certified retirement coach, I have access to two on-line assessments. These are wonderful tools because they allow a potential client to better see the areas in which they are prepared and those areas that may need some work.

How do you manage your personal and business activities?
Because my schedule is flexible and because some of my clients prefer evening appointments, I handle a lot of my personal business- gym, errands, appointments, during the morning. Afternoons can then be devoted to building my business and client sessions. Some evenings may also be work-related, but not too intensely. Weekends are for my family.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I had discovered my niche sooner. By suffering from the illusion that a larger market base results in more clients, it has taken me longer to really focus on my ideal clients.

Please share your social media connections:
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/carolynwilder
Twitter:  @CarolynWilder1
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Great-Transitions-LLC/313509298724
Blog:  http://transitionmaven.wordpress.com

Diva Spotlight: Mommies Point of View

Diva:  Glenda Cates
Business Name:  Mommies Point of View
Website Address: http://www.MommiesPointofView.blogspot.com
Year Business Was Founded: 2010

 

Tell us about your business:
I am a Mom Blogger and a Direct Sales owner with Usborne Books and Eclipse Spa.

What inspired you to start your business?
My son.

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
Working with a Toddler. We have figured out that during the day I am his Mommy and at night I run a business while daddy cooks dinner and watches the little one.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
My family.

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business?
That you can do it do not let anyone tell you you can not and believe in yourself.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Being able to work it with my family for my family.

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
My blog as it allows me to pay back the kindness of others.

How do you manage your personal and business activities?
I work around my family but I always make sure there needs are taken care of before I start work and many days I do my work outside so my son can play.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
I wish when my daughter was here I had spent more time with her and less time trying to build a business as now she is in Heaven as she was hit and killed by a car in 2004.

Please share your social media connections:
Facebook:  http://www.Facebook.com/MommiesPointofView
Facebook:  http://www.Facebook.com/GlendaC2011
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MomsReviews
Blog:  http://www.MommiesPointofView.blogspot.com
blog:  http://www.AuthorsBookCorner.blogspot.com

Diva Spotlight: The Purple Hippo Gifts

Diva Name:  Denise Schlachter

Business Name:  The Purple Hippo Gifts

Website Address:  http://www.thepurplehippogifts.com

Year Business Was Founded: 2010

Tell us about your business:
Primarily offering scrapbook parties for birthdays, fundraisers and Ladies Nights. In addition, we offer to complete your scrapbook for you. Simply give us your box of unorganized, chaos and we will return to you a truly unique one-of-a-kind memory book for you to cherish for years to come!

What inspired you to start your business?
I have -3- children and they are my inspriation to keep memories alive! Nobody wants to come over and look through piles of photos, but they enjoy sifting through neatly, organized scrapbooks as each page is detailed and attractive to look at.

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
Honestly, the biggest challenge is not mine, but my clients. Many people will purchase the tools and the albums with every intention of doing it themselves.Soon, they realize life takes over and they just don’t have the time. Sometimes they feel they don’t have the creativity and that is where I step in. So really, their challenge is my reward!

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
I have a true love for scrapbooking. The parties are the best because the kids (and adults) get to complete a project and have it forever. It is not a party favor that will be thrown out or eaten! There is a real value in having us host a party. Plus word of mouth is key!!

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business?
Stick-to-it-ivness! Women and moms alike can start and grow a business full-time, part-time but not some-time!!

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The look on my clients face as they go through page-by-page of something I created. They are trusting me with their first born’s photos, their grandparents wedding photos…priceless memories!

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
It is very hard to “advertise” what I do because more than enough times, people assume I am selling the tools to make a scrapbook. Word of mouth and talking about what we do is best!

How do you manage your personal and business activities?
My personal business is a part-time business that takes place in the evenings or on weekends. I will only host parties on specific days so as not to interfere with my family life or nterfere with day job. My oldest daughter will sometimes act as my assistant at parties as she now has the scrapbook bug!

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I did this sooner!!

 

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