This week I am excited to introduce you to Julia Ngapo of Omnia Business Management. When Julia and I started working together, she didn’t really have a niche but as her business has developed – her niche has too – which is often the way. Let me introduce you to Julia and share her Wednesday Wisdom.
I am the founder of Omnia Business Management. I, together with my small team of Associates, support women in business, providing social media management, social media training and marketing consultancy services. I have twenty-odd years’ experience in marketing, including ten years as Marketing Director for a UK-based legal publishing company. As an early adopter of social media for business, I have seen the rise of social media as a key promotional tool for business and now work with clients helping enhance their online presence so that they stand head and shoulders above their competition!
What or who inspired you to become a Virtual Assistant?
To be honest, I didn’t know that such a thing existed! I was in a job I hated and one day, sat in the car park, trying to motivate myself to actually go to work, I Googled “Freelance admin” and Amanda’s site popped up. I guess I had self-employment in my blood! My parents ran their own business for 30 years and I had previously owned and run my own businesses before my children came along and whilst living abroad, so moving to self-employment didn’t feel as scary as it might have done.
How did you go about establishing your business?
I got signed off my job with stress, so had a couple of months when I could concentrate on getting everything in place. My son built my original website for me. He didn’t know how to write html, but he learnt and built me a cracking site. Thanks, Tim! I set up my social media and was lucky enough to have found a client through Facebook by the time I was ready to go live.
Did you have any savings or financial support in order to start your business?
I had some, but I really controlled what I spent and did what I could myself, like the website. I did spend out on a professionally designed logo and business cards though, as I am not at all artistic.
Was there ever a point when you thought it wouldn’t work out?
Many! There have been many times when self-belief has been in short supply. About 6 months in, I lost all of my clients in a matter of days (down to end of contracts, budgetary constraints etc, not my work!) but you have to believe in yourself, otherwise nobody else will.
What support did you have around you to set up your VA business (family and friends, Coach or Mentor)?
I have an amazing family, who support me. My husband doesn’t get the praise he deserves as he is also the person whose ear I chew when things aren’t going right. My son has helped and always been there. My daughter still helps me create PowerPoint presentations and graphics. My parents give me the benefit of their wisdom, even though they don’t quite understand what I do. I have also worked with Amanda for about a year and she has helped me immensely.
If you could go back and change one thing that you did when starting out, what would that be?
I would have done it sooner.
What is your best advice for someone who is just starting out or someone who is considering becoming a Virtual Assistant?
Get your ducks in a row and then do it. Don’t expect it to be easy, but stick at it and ask for help when you need it. Stay in your own lane. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Remember, their reality may be very different from what they say.
How would you describe the good, the bad and ugly of being a Virtual Assistant?
The Good – Being able to choose who I work with and what services I offer. The Bad – Having to work with some difficult clients before I niched down and realised I could choose and Imposter Syndrome – a constant battle. The Ugly – The hours – There just aren’t enough.
What is the best business book you’ve read and how did it impact you and your business?
“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Just a great read for business and personal life about living beyond fear.
How do you stay on top of your own professional development?
It’s a constant battle. I try and block out at least half a day every couple of weeks and do some form of CPD. I always have a list of courses and webinars that I’ve signed up to, as well as books to read. Other than that, I make sure to sign up to (and read!) any newsletter updates for social media and marketing.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
Read non-business books, travel and bribe my kids to spend time with me.
Tell us one thing you can tell us about you that not many people know?
I can sing Happy Birthday in Maori.
What does the future hold for your business?
Exciting things! This next year is going to be so exciting. A few changes, a slightly different direction… check back next year so I can say, “I told you so…”
Learn more and connect with Julia: