Women Who Work: Virtual Biz Wiz, Amy Edge
Amy Edge recently took her side-hustle as a virtual assistant into a full-time career as the CEO of her virtual business management company. She lives in Virginia with her husband and four children. She truly understands the daily struggles and successes mom entrepreneurs face as they raise their families while building successful businesses.
What made you want to start your business (or side hustle)? What inspired you to do so?
I kind of fell into starting my own business. When we relocated for my husband’s last company, I left my career as a Preschool Director and became a stay-at-home mom. And, as much as I loved it, I needed something that was outside motherhood and something that I could invest myself in. I fell into virtual assisting as a side-hustle at night when the kids were in bed. It started to take off and the referrals and feedback from my clients gave me the nudge to build this into a full-time business. Now, after being a full-time business management company, my husband left his career and is my business partner.
How do you explain what you do to others?
My team and I offer virtual business management support to mom entrepreneurs as they are building their business. Our support helps to eliminate tasks off their to-do list so they can have more time with their families and raising their babies. We focus on the “techie” side of business, social media management, email marketing, and website (Wordpress & SquareSpace) support & design.
How long have you been doing this?
I started out subcontracting virtual assistance job in 2014 and have been working my own business management business since April 2016.
What is a day for you like?
There are no two days that are the same in my business. But a general routine means, waking up, drinking coffee, responding to emails, reviewing what is on my daily list, get the kids up and ready to go to school, once they are at school, another hour of work, then the toddler typically wakes up and I am on his time until nap. Once he lays down for a nap, then I typically squeeze in another few hours of client project until 4 pm when the kids are back home from school. Once the kids are home from school, it’s homework, dinner and whatever sports season it is. It is important that I have a hard time that I finish working and I stick to it so that I am respecting my time for my family and for self-care activities.
How did you go about starting your business What were some of your initial steps that you took?
The very first step we took to get started from side-hustle to a full-time business was developing our business plan and logically look at the steps to build our business from the ground up. Then, we took each step and broke those down - scheduled out the project in Asana, and assigned mini goals so we could launch on time and gracefully.
What do you think is the most important characteristic to have for someone who wants to take a similar career route to yours?
The most important characteristic is to be a self-starter with a strong work ethic. It is important to understand and anticipate what your clients need and determine the best steps to get to the next level. I provide my clients with high-level assistance, as I generally strategize our projects next steps and then implement the next steps.
Did anyone help you in developing your own business or side business?
I have a long-time friend (in fact, she dated my husband in high-school) that kicked me in the butt to get started in this industry! She is definitely my business-bestie and we are able to vent about our struggles, celebrate with each other and pull each other up when we have a dark day.
What is your favorite thing about the industry you work in?
I absolutely love that no two days are the same in this business and that my clients are continually challenging me each day to provide new solutions and problem solve creatively. Being behind the scenes of my clients’ businesses allows me to learn about a variety of niche and communities and then apply that knowledge in new ways.
What are some tools that you can live without?
Tools are the main way I stay accountable to all of my recurring tasks. My TOP tools that I use every day are Asana, Google Drive, and Toggl, all of these tools are free too!
Hands down, Asana! I could not run my business or my life without it! All of my clients’ projects are managed within Asana and the automatic reminders keep me accountable and allows nothing to get missed. Another plus, its mobile app is genius!
What do you have on your desk or working space right now?
I hate clutter so I try not to have too much on my desk at any given time, but I do have these items on my desk, a coffee cup, water bottle, essential oil diffuser, and my daily planner.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Create systems and process and automate as much as you can. If you can not automate, then delegate it! Time is precious when you are balancing it all but if you create systems and stick with them you can spend your time on business building tasks during your working hours.