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Small Business Stories with Yvonne Hemmings

Yvonne Hemmings

Yvonne Hemmings is an automation consultant and strategist for online service providers who want to save hours and money every week by letting specialist software work its magic in the background. She is the founder of Automation Made Simple and works with time-poor business owners who spend too much time on repetitive processes like client onboarding, booking calls and invoicing.

The Job of an Automation Consultant

When Yvonne Hemmings started her business three and a half years ago, she worked as a virtual assistant. Gradually she has diversified through her journey and specialised in automation.

“Now I’m an automation consultant,” Yvonne says. “I’ve still got VA clients from before, but this had all started when one of my clients said to me, I want to automate my work, I’ve heard about it, and I’ll pay you to go away and learn how to do it. I’ve managed automation projects in my last job, but it was on an industrial scale. Now I’ve looked at it for small business owners, and I realised a market niche there. Even if all my VA clients have automated their work and saved so much time, it’s not taking work away from me. Now they’re so amazed by automation that they’re telling everybody else about it.”

What Automation Can do for Small Businesses and VAs

We asked Yvonne what it is about automation that amazes her clients.

“It’s a savvy business owner’s best friend,” she explains. “If they’re a business owner, it means that they save time, and they can either take on more clients, or they spend more time doing the stuff that they love. For me, it’s definitely the future. If a business owner is not using it, they’re missing a trick because their competitors will use it. Automation allows them to scale to the six-figure businesses that they want to achieve. It’s not going to take money away. Virtual assistants need to look at it as an opportunity because they can also automate their own business. They can take on more clients and earn more while also saving their clients’ time. Then they’re going to talk about it to their business friends, and they’ll come to the VA so that the VA will get busier.”

When asked about her favourite automation tools, Yvonne says that Zapier is still her favourite one. Still, Integromat and Parabola are on the rise that can do amazing things with manipulating data.

How the Pandemic Propelled VA Businesses

Yvonne says that the last year has been her busiest year yet.

“I was worried at first about how the pandemic was going to affect me, but actually, I had my best year. Funny enough, I didn’t lose any clients at all, and the automation side got so busy that I had an excellent year. Now we’re in 2021, and I’ve got my whole game mapped out. We have launched a training arm, so we’re now training people to do automation, which is becoming really popular. The goal is to grow, and we’re going to start doing online courses as well. We’ve got lots of plans, and there’s so much to do, but it’s exciting at the same time.”

Advice for Aspiring Business Owners

Yvonne concludes her small business story with some pieces of advice for people who are just starting with their businesses.

“Join some of the groups on Facebook and take in as much information as you can. I would read stuff before because many people don’t know everything you need to do, about the insurances you need and all of that. You need to look at what you need for a startup because you’ll miss things. And then, go networking; networking is so powerful. That’s probably the biggest way to market your business, and it’s so much easier now that we can do it online.”

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