Today’s interview is with another amazing woman, April Sullivan, owner and creator of Entre Leverage. I just love what she does and offers her clients and in the future, I will be hiring her to help me manage my business with her awesome Virtual Assistance services. Seriously….she is awesome!
So take it away, April!
Hi April. Can you tell me a little bit about Entre Leverage?
EntreLeverage started out as a one-woman Virtual Assistance business in 2006 and has grown into a team of nine who work together to provide social media, administrative, technical and design support to entrepreneurs and small businesses all over the world. I recently made the transition from working from home to an outside office, which has been amazing. Now a small part of my team is in-house and the rest are spread out across the US.
What is your background?
My background is in Insurance Premium Financing (fun, right?) but I grew up working in my grandparent’s hardware store from the age of 8 up until I was 20. My grandmother was a systems person and taught me a lot about running my own business and creating workflows for everything. I also worked the register which taught me customer service and how to deal with people in a professional manner. After I got married, I took those skills and helped my husband open up a real estate company and I ran all of the back-end operations there, until going off on my own.
What inspired you to created EntreLeverage?
Money! And a very strong desire to put my business-minded brain to good use. I opened up my VA business (then called Virtual Assistant Chick) during the real estate market crash. We were living off of our savings and looking at losing our home. I had 4 young children that needed to be fed, so put my nose to the grindstone and worked my ass off, sometimes for more than 18 hours a day. Once life started to settle down again, I was able to strategically look at my business and make changes. I rebranded completely as I felt I had outgrown my “chick”, cute as it was.
At this time I was inspired all of the amazing women I have networked with who were creating equally amazing businesses. When I would talk to them, the majority of them were stuck in same areas, so I revamped my core services in order to help these women create even better businesses. I focused on creating systems, social media, general admin, and their websites.
While I was browsing your site, I fell in love with the idea of having a virtual assistant. What do virtual assistants do exactly?
So, so much. Some VA’s completely manage their client’s businesses while others focus on very specific areas. I fall somewhere in between as I like having a wide variety of clients, which helps me to not get too burned out. There are VA’s out there for every service imaginable that can be done remotely. Social media is a big service, client care (like responding to email inquiries), updating documents, updating WordPress, getting newsletters out, formatting blog posts, scheduling consultations or coaching sessions, etc. There are also VA’s who only work with Real Estate Agents like I did when I started, or only Life Coaches, or only authors. Again, I love a variety of clients, and I love taking strategies that are working for one industry and see if we can make it work in another.
I think the most important part about having a VA though, is knowing that you have someone who is there to support your business. The right VA will do his or her very best to nurture and care for your business the way it should be, even from a distance.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone who sees me not as their “assistant”, but as a professional who has been responsible for managing the operations of many, many businesses. I love it when a client has a very clear idea of what they want the end result to be, but are still open to the possibility of learning a better way to do it. I have a strict “no meanies” policy as well. If any client is outright rude to a me or a member of my team (and it’s not because we somehow screwed up), they are out. We’ll quickly finish up any work we are doing and then part ways. Being in the support industry, we’ll sometimes take on clients who get a little power hungry and behave this way, but I’m getting much better at spotting the signs early on!
What sort of services do you offer?
Social media management, administrative support, systems creation, website management, newsletter & blog management, auto-responder creation, launch support, all types of design work, website design, project management, strategy, business best friend, and then specialized support for coaches, authors, and real estate agents. Honestly, there isn’t a lot we don’t do, because I bring people on my team who can fill most of our client’s needs.
What do you hope your clients achieve after working with you and Entre Leverage?
Peace. Ease. I want them to love their business because all of those tasks that drag them down are being done by people who love doing them. I want their clients to love them even more because they are able to give more.
How can my readers find you?
The best way to connect with me is on Facebook at April Sullivan
They can also schedule a quick chat with me through my website Entre Leverage. I love talking to people about their business even if we’re not meant to work together. I learn so much from these conversations!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
Working with a Virtual Assistant doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re really clear on what business activities you want to do, and what you want your VA to do, you’d be surprised how efficient really great VA’s are.