I would love to say I am fresh out of school and at the start of a career, but that’s not the case at all. I have been in work since the mid-90s, I remember getting my first business support job, then getting another job in London (that’s my hometown) I remember finishing work and heading to the nearest wine bar and having a laugh with my work colleagues.
What I also remember is most people that I left school with went straight into employment, whereas nowadays I am seeing so many fresh-faced, young people leaving school or college and starting their own businesses. I think at that age whether you are going into employment or starting a business it is all a learning curve and hard work, I remember my first few jobs, going home and saying to my dad ‘blimey dad this working lark is tiring’ I remember him smirking at me, only now do I know now why he was smirking!
I know in my working life I have seen a lot of tough times when it comes to financial crisis and how some businesses got through those times but others didn’t, I know that now is still tough for some businesses out there, but with so many businesses popping up due to the rise of programmes such as The Great British Bake off, The Great British Sewing Bee, The Great Pottery Throwdown and Kirstie’s Handmade other such like shows. These shows have spurred on the public to start buying more British and handmade goods, people are happy to pay that little extra more for something, not mass produced and made in Britain, they love supporting small businesses, we even have things like #smallbusinesssaturday and other such events.
And so it begins
With this new surge of small businesses comes the need for business support, people are beginning to see there is an alternative, they are also seeing that there is a different kind of business support out there, gone are the days of large corporates having their typing pool’s or team secretaries, it has all changed, the small startups are able to now have their own business support, the small companies that have only 3 or 4 staff can have causal support but not cost a fortune. In the last decade, we have seen an unprecedented rise in Virtual Assistants (VAs) that offer such support as a cost-effective solution.
You see a decade ago you didn’t have someone working from home purely as support, that support position was seen as an onsite role, bosses couldn’t see how you could provide support to the team if you weren’t in the same office as them or on the same phone loop, they were thinking inside the box.
Of course, there was also the small problem of technology! we all remember the mobile phones that would resemble a small suitcase with the flimsy wire that was meant to be the aerial! we all remember the fax machine that would make that really annoying high pitched noise, but not everyone was able to have these, which made working from home pretty much impossible.
Dawn of a new age
In the last decade we have seen technology change with the wind and in my opinion for the good, (minus those pesky keyboard warriors on social media!) with the winds of change it has swept in a new way of thinking and doing, it has opened up the amazing new world of support to business owners.
I have been in business support since I left school, I have seen the change from working on a floppy disc, DOS and WordPerfect, from communicating via telex and fax, to emails and online chat (which is revolutionary!) from having that office secretary sat in the office to have a VA business support person working in their home office giving you full business support.
What have we learnt in the last decade?
- Working from home is more popular now than ever before
- Mobile phones are small. slimline and cost a pretty penny, but lightweight! we all remember the Motorola
- Online file sharing, who would have thought we could share work instantly over the internet, instead of saving to a large floppy disc and posting it!
- Age! no one seems to ever look their age anymore!
- Anyone can build a website to host their amazing new business venture
- Reality TV! who would have known that watching Joe Bloggs would be great TV?
- Apps! you could almost and I say almost! run your business via apps from your smartphone and tablet
- Struggling Apple in the late 90s would become one of the biggest innovative companies of our future! and paved the way for upcoming technology
- Crocs – who knew that they would ever take off!
- Youtube! this is just as important as Google in my eyes, not only have I learnt many technical things to help fun my business, I have learnt how to make soap, and sew!
- Free phone calls! that’s a biggie when I met my hubby our monthly bills were HUGE and I mean HUGE, remember cross network phone/text charges?
- Free software, so many new businesses have the ability to use amazing tools and apps for free, you really can do so much with free options
- Adverts! what are they, the dawn of live pause TV no one has to wait anymore, but now have to pause the TV to make a cuppa and slice of angel cake!
- A minicomputer in your hand, who would have thought that your phone would be the extension of your PC
- Facebook! this was such a game changer but has proven to be a huge asset to most business owners, gone are the days of leaflet dropping, when you can advertise to millions on here
- Google! not even sure I could even imagine my life without Google, it’s my IT support, my parenting go-to, my everything, I ask it so much advice its crazy
- GPS, haha gone are the days of getting lost, and having that ‘YOU’RE READING THE MAP UPSIDE DOWN’ rows!
- Instant gratification – no one seems to have to wait anymore
- Ipods, see I am at that age of cassette players with no rewind! I would have to turn the tape FF and flip it over again, who knew that there would be way of having all the music we could ever wish for on a mobile device
- Texting!!!!! Oh my giddy aunt, R U STL CMG OVR 2NIITE? how did we manage that, I am sure I have RSI from texting!!!
- VA’s who knew how vital they were to your growing business!
Let’s make your next decade less stressful
You see with the plethora of new businesses out there, us admin peeps are seeing that you need support, so let us use our decades of knowledge and help you succeed.
There are loads of Business Supports and VAs out there, and one that will just click with you. Get in touch today I would love to be able to help you. Business support is getting better with thanks to technology, the rise of new businesses taking the plunge and believing in themselves and their products and services, it’s changing as VAs are becoming more than just a secretary!
Drop me a message HERE
Thanks for reading, this blog made me smile looking back on the last decade, so many things I could have listed