We all have increasingly busy lives and there never seems to be enough time to do all the things that need to be done each day, balancing work and family life at the same time as building businesses and corporate careers. But, three South African women entrepreneurs have joined forces to provide a solution. Their company, Virtual Concierge Services, offers a range of services to tackle all those tiresome tasks that take up so much valuable time.
LoA met with this group of encore entrepreneurs who are taking their vast experience and knowledge and creating an exciting new business venture that can help others in the process.
What does your company do?
Virtual Concierge Services (VCS) is a start-up virtual assistant business. We provide a range of professional services to resolve those tasks that get in the way of your family or career, giving you back time to focus on what you are passionate about! The bulk of the services we offer are business services in nature.
"All three of us have the “spirit” of being entrepreneurs in our blood!"
What inspired you to start your company?
As three individuals, with a combination of 95 years’ experience in the corporate, operational, logistical and life-skills arenas, we saw a niche in the market, whereby we can offer our clients the highest level of administrative assistant services from a remote location.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
- Do you spend an excessive amount of time on routine tasks that are necessary but not revenue generating?
- Do you have a company that’s growing but is not yet large enough to justify hiring staff or additional staff?
- Do you need help a few hours a week but do not have a physical space for another work area?
- Do you have administrative needs only at certain times a week, month, quarter or year?
- Are you committed to a special project that requires expertise beyond your staff’s qualifications or working time?
If you can relate to any of these questions and are not yet using VCS you are putting your company at a financial disadvantage! VCS can help you to:
• Dedicate your time to your business
• Gain new business
• Increase your profits
• Nurture improved customer relations
• Provide personalized follow up
• Amplify productivity
• Exceed goals and enjoy success
"The idea for VCS was formulated over “board” meetings, literally on surfboards, under the impressive Table Mountain!"
Tell us a little about your team
There are three founding partners that make up VCS.
Dawn Beech worked for 18 years in a Global IT Company as a Business Operations Manager. Dawn is a highly driven business professional with strong organisational, collaboration and leadership skills and thrives in dynamic environments where her skills can make a positive contribution. Dawn believes that life and work should be in balance and that we all need to take time out to “smell the roses” along the way.
Rachel Staddon started her career in London, where she gained experience in client services, as an inventory analyst, a buyer and as a marketing manager. In South Africa Rachel started as the Personal Assistant to a dynamic entrepreneur and then moved to a major computer distributor as their Logistics manager. Rachel enjoys using her considerable experience to research, organize and do whatever it takes to surpass the clients’ needs. Rachel’s motto is “the client comes first”!
Rose Chaplin has over 25 years of varied work experience. After cutting her teeth in direct sales, she quickly rose to team manager, which helped her to develop her excellent communication and planning skills. Rose’s career evolved over time to office and administrative support in both the private and voluntary sectors. Rose is committed to offering the clients of Virtual Concierge Services great client satisfaction and excellent customer service.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey to creating VCS.
What better, when one needs to take a “time-out” to “breathe”, than to learn something new? As a result, the three of us decided to learn how to surf in the cold Atlantic Ocean at Big Bay – pushing our boundaries and learning our love for the sea. The idea for VCS was formulated over “board” meetings, literally on surfboards, under the impressive Table Mountain! All three of us have the “spirit” of being entrepreneurs in our blood!
"Being entrepreneurs allows us the freedom to define our own success, the possibilities are endless, and the results are rewarding."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
VCS aspires to offer the highest level of administrative assistant services from a remote location to seamlessly assist clients, from businesses to individuals, with a wide range of tasks. Our forthcoming plans include growing our client base, as well as helping entrepreneurs to take their companies to the next level.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Being entrepreneurs allows us the freedom to define our own success, the possibilities are endless, and the results are rewarding. We love the flexibility of being our “own” bosses, and are constantly learning new skills that can improve our clients’ lives.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Never underestimate your skills and capabilities, you know more than you give yourself credit! Google & YouTube are vital business tools – use them! Don’t be afraid to take the leap and challenge yourself beyond your boundaries, you will succeed!
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Why LoA loves it….
There is something truly life affirming about women who embrace change and challenge, and as a result, take their lives into a new and exciting direction. South African entrepreneurs Dawn Beech, Rachel Staddon and Rose Chaplin are three women who are doing just that, by leaving their corporate careers behind and combining their unique skills and experience to create their own business. These are women on a mission with a goal to not only experience entrepreneurial success with their new venture, but also to enjoy the journey they are now embarking on together. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa