Interview with Kelly
In our last blog post we learned that being a notary can be a side hustle. This week we continue learning more about making money on your own outside of the typical 9 to 5 job. One of my dear friends, Kelly, has graciously agreed to be interviewed by me and explain to us how her side hustle actually became her full-time job! Read on!
Me: Would you please introduce yourself and give us a little background on how your side hustle became your full-time job?
My name is Kelly McCreary and I started working for myself just over 2 years ago. I have been doing administration work for the past 20 years in a wide variety of venues, and have also done occasional independent contractor work for about 15 years. When I was laid off from my job in administration in December of 2015, I decided to take my skills and experience into my own hands and offer my services directly to people who really needed them. The freedom to not only work for myself, but also be appreciated by my clients, has been amazing. I am also a mother of a beautiful 9 year old daughter and recently remarried.
Me: What is it that you do for your clients?
I provide a variety of business development services to clients who run small businesses and either do not need or cannot afford to hire someone full-time. My services range from anything to basic administrative support, running social media, and even managing finances. The services I provide depends on the needs of the individual client and my background and ability to help them with those needs.
Me: What got you into Business Development? How long have you been doing it?
When I got laid off from my job as an Administrative Assistant after only one year, and this job took over a year to get, I was encouraged by friends to consider going into business for myself. I had done some side work for people in the past in both graphic design and administration so I knew it was something I could do. I just never considered trying to make a living doing it. However finding a "real" job was proving to be extremely difficult, if not altogether impossible for me, especially with my unique background.
The first thing I did was reach out to a friend who is a business coach. In exchange for my administrative services he coached me in building my own business. It was in the process of working with my coach that I realized there was a lot of potential in providing my skills in administration and business development to small businesses. With him I worked out my fee scale and service packages. I have been doing it now for just over 2 years and have developed and refined my fees and services along the way.
Me: What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome when you started your business?
The biggest hurdle for me was knowing my value. It was hard for me to get comfortable with figuring out how much I should charge for my services. In the beginning I was definitely underselling myself, but I needed to start where I was comfortable and build up my confidence to charge a more equivalent market value for my services. As my confidence grew and I researched standard fees for the types of services I was providing, I was able to increase my fees with each new client I acquired.
Me: What surprised you most about going into business for yourself?
The biggest surprise is that it was not that hard to make it work. As long as I believe in myself, skills, and the services I provide I am able to confidently sell those services to my clients. Maybe even saying “sell” my services is an overstatement. I simply know my strengths and have honest conversations with potential clients about their needs. For me being simple and personable has gone a long way in not only making my business work, but my success in gaining and retaining clients.
Me: What are some common misconceptions that people may have when using your service?
I find that there have not really been any misconceptions in regards to my services because I strive to make it very clear what my clients needs are, and exactly how I can help them (or not). I do a consultation phone call with every client before I begin working with them. From there I write up a service agreement that is reviewed in detail with the client and signed by both myself and the client. This more intensive upfront effort proves to save tons of time in maintaining the working relationship. Also, because communication is an important component to the work I do for my clients, agreements do get changed and often times at my prompting because I suggest a new direction for our working relationship that will serve my clients better. I guess the keys to my success in this area are that all my work is always client focused, and good communication is established at the onset.
Me: What are some important facts people need to know when using your service?
While I try to have personal interactions with each of my clients, it is important to remember we are in a business contract first and foremost. However, because of the clarity of the service agreements I set up with clients, this too has not been too much of an issue. I even have a client who tells me all the time to make sure I am charging him for everything I do for him, haha.
Me: How can the reader learn more about your services and business?
The best place to learn more about my business and how I have structured it is my website: www.kjbusinessdevelopment.com.
Me: Great! Thank you so much Kelly! It was a pleasure.