In this series, ActionCOACH Mary Ann Hauser (MAH) and team virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through COVID-19. Check out their inspiring stories for tips on how to cope with and successfully recover from this pandemic as well as ideas on how to avoid making common mistakes. And be sure to look at special offers from these businesses – we can all use a little extra help right now!
CP: Tell me a little bit about what you do and for how long you’ve been doing it.
DH: My company is called The Office Nerd Virtual Assistant, and I opened in February 2019. I had the idea to do this back in 2008, but I didn’t define myself as a virtual assistant at that time, and I didn't know how to market and network myself. Then 10 years later, the opportunity arose again, and I love what I do.
CP: Who is your best customer or target customer?
DH: I have a deep love for small local businesses, so even though I could work for any company anywhere in the world, my focus is on small locally-owned businesses in the Lewisville-Clemmons and Winston-Salem area. I value and respect the motto of “shop small and support local”, and I have a skill set that a lot of people need, but they don't necessarily have the budget or even the workload necessarily to hire a full-time person.
CP: What has been the biggest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
DH: My world hasn’t significantly changed - I always worked virtually, and I've been using Zoom for five years. The biggest change for me personally is that I'm not meeting clients at coffee shops. Some of my clients’ businesses have been seriously impacted by COVID, so they had to reevaluate how much they're working with me, and I understand.
CP: What are 1 or 2 actions you've taken because of the pandemic?
DH: When the pandemic first started, I gave a discount to everyone simply because I knew that money was tight. I also used to write resumes professionally, and with the recent spike in unemployment and everything that's been going on, I saw a need to start a new division of the Office Nerd for resume writing called The Resume Nerd.
CP: What has been your biggest learning since you've become a business owner?
DH: I already knew how to work from home because I had been doing it for 10 years with a previous employer, I had already established that work life balance. When I started my own business, I hated invoicing customers, and I didn't value my work enough. My biggest learning has been how to value my own skills and not be afraid to put my pricing out there, because I’ve learned that if my prices scare them, they're not my customer.
CP: Any special offers to include in this newsletter?
DH: 10% off any service with the Office Nerd, 20% off of a service with the Resume Nerd
CP: What is most inspiring to you today?
DH: I’m inspired when businesses are not driven by the bottom line, but they love what they do and helping others. I love being a part of companies that have that attitude and bring value and leave other people better than they found them.