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She Means Business – P.A.S.S

When you are a business owner, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day! Phone calls need to be made, emails need to be sent, paperwork completed and then you have to keep up with your social media! Sometimes, a helping hand can really benefit your business.

This week’s She Means Business speaks to Rosie Brent, founder of P.A.S.S, a company which helps other businesses stay on top of things from social media to paperwork.

What does P.A.S.S stand for and what work do you do?
P.A.S.S stands for Personalised Administrative Support Services and we are a virtual assistant business. We specialise in social media management and training services but provide other, more traditional, secretarial services as well.

What made you set up P.A.S.S?
I’d been made redundant and after a period of ill health was finding it hard to find work that made use of my skill set. After a consultation with Avanta (formally InBiz) I decided, with their support, to set up my own business.

What qualifications do you have to back up your business?
I have 15 years of experience in secretarial, reception and personal assistant work as well as 10 years as a computer programmer for blue-chip companies. I also hold certifications in social media management and content creation.

What do you enjoy most about working for yourself?
The flexibility and choice. The kind of work I do requires a unique relationship between client and supplier, which means that forming the right connections is key to a successful outcome for both businesses.

How many other people do you employ and how do you work as a team?
I don’t employ other people, however I do use associates when I require more capacity or specific skills that I don’t possess. We work as a distributed team, which brings some unique challenges but good communication and good project management means everyone knows what is expected of them and when people are available.

Your business has won some prestigious awards too. Tell us more.
I have been very fortunate, in my first couple of years, to win some high-profile awards. The first was Business Start-Up of the Year from Avanta which was awarded to P.A.S.S when we’d only been running for 6 months because we’d grown so much faster than expected and created such a buzz about the company regionally, nationally and internationally. It was a huge honour and I still can’t quite get over it as we were up against some other astounding start-ups from across the UK. Mostly recently we were awarded a runner-up award by the Newcastle Journal in the #NETwitterati awards in the PR, Marketing and Communications category and were recognised alongside some of the biggest hitters in that market in the area. I was flabbergasted as I genuinely had no idea anyone had even nominated me (let alone voted!) To be recognised by my peers as an influential person in that area, particularly for such a young business, was really humbling.

You must be one organised lady! How do you stay on top of your work?
I’m a scheduler! I love my GoogleApps calendar as it syncs to my phone and I love my Filofax for when I’m out and about. Between the two I always know where I am with what I’m doing. I also use Asana for project management of work given to other people within the team, which allows me to take a step back and see exactly where the business is at any given point in time.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working I enjoy singing, knitting, anything to do with science-fiction and computer games. I’m a genuine nerd!

What’s next for P.A.S.S?
As the business grows I’d like to move from working out of my home into an office where I can start to do more face-to-face work with clients, one-on-one training and workshops, for example, as well as potentially bringing in an apprentice and sharing some of my experience with the next generation. I’ve been very lucky during my career to have been trained and mentored by some exceptional people and I think that it’s very important to pass that forward.

For more information, visit www.pa-support-services.co.uk

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