A North Yorkshire based virtual assistant who expanded her team after securing a number of new client contracts throughout last year’s lockdown, is encouraging businesses to be agile if they want to thrive in a post-lockdown world.
Jen Workman of Business Owl, who supported a number of businesses in their transition to remote working last year, believes those lessons learnt are what will help small businesses as we gradually return to ‘business as normal’ and fight the challenges of a post-covid and Brexit world.
While the road to recovery for many Yorkshire businesses will be very long, Jen believes reviewing areas like the flow of communication, delegation and the customer experience will help them enter the post-covid world with more resilience than ever before.
The lockdown and restrictions placed on businesses as a result of the pandemic has already resulted in organisations rethinking their processes and how they improve efficiency. Jen, who has over 20 years combined experience working as a legal executive and executive PA, feels this could be the shape of things to come and feels businesses like hers are well placed to plug the gap.
She said: “I’ve been encouraging business owners to use lockdown to their advantage. By taking a step back, we’ve been able to assess workflows and put systems and processes in place to make businesses more efficient. Not everything has to be done by the business owner or by an employee. By defining the key parts of the process which can be better taken care of by myself and the team, we’re helping businesses to remain viable through the pandemic and beyond.
“Also, technology has been the shining star of the past 12 months enabling some businesses to continue working from home seamlessly or with little interruption. Regardless of the type of business you run, if temporary systems were put in place, now is the time look at appropriate long-term IT solutions for your company, it’ll enable you to withstand future crises which there are bound to be.
“It’s those utilising these technological benefits that will come out of lockdown with a whole host of new opportunities open to them.”
Jen is now working with two associates and in addition to increasing her capacity, Jen received the Runner-up, North East England VA of the Year 2020 award, which she feels was a rewarding way to end 2020 given how challenging it was.
Business Owl has been going for nearly five years and it services clients across a range of sectors and as far afield as Switzerland. Jen plans to continue growing and expanding her capacity and range of services further, while maintaining her high and efficient standards.
This article was first published in The Yorkshire Press on 11th April 2021.