Alchemy Virtual Assistant (VA) has welcomed Midlands-based Gemma McMillan to its network of virtual assistants for entrepreneurs and small enterprises, after she decided to pursue her business dreams during a Covid-19 lockdown.
With decades of experience in administration, sales, customer service and client liaison roles, McMillan felt it was the right time to leave her secure job at an international shipping firm to focus on her new venture: “Sure, there are lots challenges right now but there are also lots of opportunities as a result of Covid and Brexit, and many small businesses are thriving, especially those that are virtual,” said McMillan who had been following Alchemy VA’s founder Suzy Sanders online for a while before deciding to commit to become a franchisee.
McMillan continued: “I have been dreaming of working for myself for so long, but it was reading Suzy’s latest book, seeing all that Alchemy had achieved during the pandemic and more recently ‘e-meeting’ other franchisees on an online discovery discussion Suzy hosted that inspired me. It gave me the courage to finally take the leap, despite everything that is going on.
“As this pandemic continues, more and more entrepreneurs and organisations are reviewing their operations and deciding to outsource their admin and other business support functions. So starting my VA business now makes complete sense and because I have chosen to set up my new venture with Alchemy’s support, backing, proven business model and ongoing training, I definitely don’t feel alone. Through Suzy and the wider team, I have been given the confidence and know-how to start my own credible VA company.
“My VA Hub is currently working on some really intricate and complicated tasks compiling graphs, data and reports. There are some creative tasks too – refreshing power points, branding, formatting training materials and social media management. My business is all about precision, delivering tangible value and building meaningful relationships.
“I have a great deal of experience across many corporate office and field based roles, and I am genuinely passionate about supporting independents and small businesses. I truly believe they are the life blood of our economy and that’s where I can make the most impact.”
Sanders added: “As a virtual business our VA support has always been driven by having the right people with the right skills, connections and experience, rather than who is in a specific geographical location. We are absolutely delighted to have Gemma strengthening our incredible team based here in the Midlands.
“As our other franchisees are continuing to thrive despite all the uncertainty, I am excited to welcome her. Gemma has a phenomenal amount of experience, insight and passion, and an abundance of readily transferable skills. She’s perfectly aligned to the Alchemy family and ethos too, and has joined us at just the right time as we attract more and more enquiries from all over the globe.
“I believe the Alchemy VA brand is reaching people as far as Australia and the U.S. because everyone is far more open to remote working now and is much more aware of tapping into a global talent pool. Hiring a virtual assistant partner through an established, family-run VA company is the ideal staffing solution for businesses in these turbulent times – it’s a reliable, efficient, adaptable and cost-effective solution.
Alchemy VA was founded by Sanders in Northamptonshire in 2016 to provide remote administration services, practical marketing and flexible PA support to sole traders, entrepreneurs, business owners and not-for-profit organisations.
Sanders launched the franchise model of her award-winning service in 2019 and Alchemy highlights that Sanders has been listed a finalist in the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards 2020 for Business Woman of the Year and has also been named a finalist in the Northamptonshire SME Awards 2020 in the categories of Businesswoman of the Year and Lockdown Leader.