Choosing to start your own business doesn’t always happen with money in the bank and a perfectly written business plan, sometimes, you just make it happen! You take the plunge because nothing can be lost in trying. Sometimes your knocked down at every turn and just work harder to achieve your dream. I know an inspirational lady who did just that. I’ve known Letty since my school days, now, Letty is Mummy to adorable twin girls Amber and Chloe, and like many of us, the costs of childcare made working unprofitable for her. I’ve since used her companies services recently and can highly recommend her, she is personal, approachable and professional. I asked Letty to share her journey with us all as I’m sure it will inspire many of you who may find yourselves in the same circumstances…
Hello, my name is Letty Scrimgeour and I run my own Virtual Assistant business called KeyStroke Virtual Secretary Services Ltd. From my home office in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire. When Donna asked me to write about being a mummy and business woman. I thought wow is that me? I never really think of myself as a business woman, but I suppose that is exactly what I am.
I ended up starting my own business. After having just returned to work from having the twins (Amber and Chloe). I was made compulsory redundant due to the downturn in oil business within Aberdeen.
This scared me not only did I have myself to think of now, but I also had the girls to consider as well. I am still with their Dad and he is a great support. But I am and always have been a very independent woman. So, when my Boss at the time suggested I investigate becoming a Virtual Assistant I had no idea what that meant.
I spent hours researching the topic and found one website called The VA Handbook created by a lady called Joanne Munro. I read her story and the references and help sheets that she included on her site. I found it very interesting but still wanted some assurance that this was possible. So around eleven o’clock one night I sent Joanne an email explaining my concerns and that I wanted to start out on my own.
I hadn’t really expected a response, but she came back to myself the same evening and offered me the opportunity to be a tester for a new course that she was going to launch. In return, I just had to provide her with feedback on it. Why not I thought I had nothing to lose at this stage.
So, I completed the course and joined her Facebook page. It was useful and provided me with the tools I needed to set up as a Virtual Assistant along with a support network of people who were all carrying out the same job as well.
With the help of some friends, I was also able to attend some courses at the Business Gateway Centre in Aberdeen and Inverurie.
Whilst starting the business I got a part-time job within the Reception at the local Community Centre. Which involved my partner having to take time off work for me to get out of the house as the cost of child care for twins was far more than what I would have earned that day.
Then disaster struck. I fell badly in the back garden and broke my leg in two places as well as dislocating my knee. It was awful, and I found myself stuck in hospital away from my girls who had only just turned 13 months old at the time.
I asked my partner to bring my laptop through for me, so I could go on and read Joanne’s Facebook posts and try to start doing some work on the business. It was then after contacting a few people that I already knew and letting them know what I was doing I got my very first client from my Hospital bed.
The business has now been up and running for two and a half years. It has been difficult juggling the girls and work. But I have made it work by working when they were sleeping or in the evenings when my partner had come home. I was able to start working during the day this year when they started at Nursery and once they start school next August it will mean I will be able to focus more attention to the business.
I am proud to say that it currently employs a couple of people within the Team. Which means we can offer a broader range of services such as Administration, Web Design, Graphic Design just to name a few.
My vision is for the company is to keep growing and to be able to help other mum’s get back into work who would otherwise be unable to due to a lack of home support or being unable to afford the ever-rising costs of childcare.
The road is never easy and there are some days that my girls will not let me work no matter how much I want to. But I am hoping that by doing this I am showing them that anything is possible if they want it enough.
Thank you again Donna for inviting me to write about my journey.
T: 07808 084 038
Photos of Letty and her girls included courtesy of Gerard Murphy Photography