January not only marks the start of the year and fresh beginnings, but also Queen Bee PA’s one-year anniversary! It’s a mind-blowing milestone of which we’re extremely proud. Seems like only two minutes ago we’re were organising the launch party!
Since then, we have learned SO much; about business, about our sector, about ourselves. The learning curve has been sharp but brilliantly satisfying. Who knew that Mrs B was a web whizz or that I would be boffin with the figures? My phone has never held so many apps and each day we discover new tools, seminars or organisations that present new and continually improved ways of working. The power of social media has been enlightening and the value of connections we have made to other young businesses and supportive individuals is overwhelming.
People have made the biggest impression on us this year. Once we got past our initial fear of networking (small talk, cringe!), we have discovered a world of support, knowledge and genuine friendship. It has amazed us just how much the small business community root for each other, lend a hand or sing each other’s praises. Friends and family too; when was the last time you really looked at the range of skillsets your closest network has? We have leaned on these skills and in return helped others starting on their new business journey; suddenly we’re a fountain of knowledge on setting up a limited company!
We’ve learnt loads about ourselves too. Helen can’t manage without her elevenses and has a fixation about lines that aren’t straight. Helen giggles that I send myself reminders on email (“Ross, you need stamps…”) and I may have to accept I have a caffeine addition. We’ve had technology highs and lows and established that we can actually finish each other’s thought processes as well as sentences. It’s pretty cool working with your best friend. But in all seriousness, we’ve pooled our talents and pulled on our experience to create a healthy little brand that’s more than holding its own.
We were hugely proud to be part of the Manchester PA Network’s inaugural awards event and blown away to be listed as part of the Manchester Evening News’ ‘ones to watch’ list for 2016. But our proudest achievement this year has to be our client list. It’s not just that they are young, ambitious and exciting brands, or that many of them were on our wish list when we started, but that they are such a lovely, appreciative and inspiring bunch. They trust us, rely on us and continually thank us for making their lives easier. Being able to apply the knowledge we’ve gained over our careers to help other business owners to plan effectively, work efficiently and focus on the growth of their businesses is incredibly rewarding.
It certainly took a tremendous leap of faith to dive in, head first, without any guarantees of success or security. But never once have we wavered in the faith of our idea. So many growing businesses struggle to move forward because they are trying to do everything themselves, under a false belief it will save them money. Our virtual model of providing business support, as and when you need it, still gets praised as a little bit of genius. The word is spreading about Queen Bee and we can’t wait for the ride!