A Margate woman who started her business just weeks before the covid pandemic hit is now celebrating her third anniversary.
Vikkie Richmond launched her home-based virtual assistant business in February 2020. The East Kent branch of Pink Spaghetti PA Services is independently owned and run under the umbrella of the national franchise.
The first national lockdown came just six weeks after Vikkie began her business but she had already made lots of new contacts and despite the shock of all that was happening, secured her first few two clients.
She quickly realised the importance of being online and having already trained to work remotely using tools such as Zoom and Teams, Vikkie set to work offering free virtual training and support sessions to small business owners.
She said: “Nobody really knew what was going on in those early days. I just knew that I had to build on the connections that I had already made during my first six weeks in business and continue to try and help people to get online.
“I set up a Facebook business support group and ran admin support and marketing sessions, including guest speakers, to help people to take their businesses in a new direction, so they could stay afloat.
“I did a lot of free work at the start. Most of the people who attended my support sessions appreciated the help; indeed many of them came back to me as customers as time went on and businesses got back on their feet.”
Vikkie has since received the accolade of ‘Franchisee of the Month’ twice and was also awarded the ‘Community Champion’ and ‘Butterfly Business Transformation’ Awards at the Pink Spaghetti conference in October 2022.
The business offers services including pay-as-you-go, monthly retainers and bespoke support packages as well as admin and marketing assistance. She says her most popular offerings are blog writing, social media content and management and diary and email management.
She said: “We are not ‘just’ personal or virtual assistants. We are also friends, confidantes and problem solvers. People often ask what we can do for them, well, it’s hard to give a typical example.
“There is a real mix of businesses across Thanet and the Canterbury district, from larger local government employers to educational establishments and many small businesses. In Margate especially, there are so many small, artisan micro businesses emerging. It would be rewarding to be able to support more of these entrepreneurs and help them to grow as ultimately, it benefits the whole area.
“I can take over the essential tasks that nobody started their business to do; Pink Spaghetti exists to allow business owners more time doing what they love and are good at, rather than the day-to-day routine tasks.”
Vikkie, who is originally from Dorset, has lived in Thanet for seven years, with nearly four of those in Margate. She lives with her partner, Chris and her cockerpoo.
In her spare time, she supports Arsenal, having been a fan for nearly 30 years. She says her number one passion is reading,
She has helped some 60 local business owners, including tradespeople, artists, consultants, garages, plant nurseries and an estate agent.
Vikkie added: “I’m thrilled to be entering my fourth year in business. Time is precious and if it means you can invest your energy and passion back into your business, gain more time for your favourite hobby or spend time with your family, then our service is priceless.”
To find out more about the Pink Spaghetti services, visit the website – https://www.pink-spaghetti.co.uk/
Book a call with Vikkie, visit her social media channels or sign up for her monthly newsletter at https://linktr.ee/pinkspaghetti_vikkie