Leveraging Time With Emma Mills
Emma Mills joins us from Mi PA in Manchester, a supplier of Graham. What we want to talk to Emma about today is leveraging time as thats the heart of what they do. Emma’s business helps people make the most of the time that they’ve got. Her team help them do the tasks and things that need to happen in the business but it’s not necessarily the best use of the business owners time. Ultimately, Emma thinks that once somebody gets that it’s up to you how you spend that hour and what that hour becomes worth. It could be from one end of the scale to another, depending on what you think is a good use of that time. Thats what Mi PA is all about.
How are you looking to Improve Mi PA?
When Emma started her business 13 years ago, she was on her own and has grown to 20 people now. The one thing that Mi PA has always been about is “How can we make that journey so much easier for business owners to find somebody, a service or a team that they can plug straight in”. From her own business journey, because she employs all of her own staff, she knows how hard that can be. She knows, as a small business owner, for somebody to say “we can do this and you don’t have to worry about it, just leave it to us”. It takes off a lot of worry and stress. Thats what the Service has been all about, the call handling, social media, PA support.
Emma’s always looking to make that better and how can she improve in the long term. Mainly, how can she take the stress away from that business owner. It is one of the biggest and scariest things, starting to get a team and will you get the right person. All of that takes so much time and effort and her dream is that Mi PA comes that one stop shop where people can rely on them to plug straight in.
What else does Mi Pa do other than PA?
So Emma can actually help in 3 different ways. She can either help you as a business owner in terms of the things that are on your task list. Things such as inbox, diary management, research, getting stuff done. Even personal PA support such as renewing things, buying presents. Thats what they call “Proper PA Stuff”.
The second area is operation support. This is where something has to happen repeatedly, where they can put a process behind it, like customer support. Anything that has to happen as part of delivering a service or product is frequently done within the business.
The third area is the new enquiry service. So when a business gets a lead in, they help in various ways around that. Whether thats ringing them up as a follow up call, check if they want to book in for a call, or they’ve received information or an email, or simply see how their experience was.
Being a Young Business Owner
When she started her own business 13 years ago, she definitely didn’t have a clue what to do or expect. She always had a feeling that she wanted to own her own business but she knew she didn’t have all the skill sets to begin with. As you know, owning your own business, you have to wear all the hats. Especially when its you on your own, then you get somebody, then you out source them. It’s been a very much working progress for Emma. She would say to anyone who wants to start their own business, that you don’t need all of the skills to begin with. As long as you have the motivation and the grit to do it, then you can learn a lot of the skills you need to be able to do along the way.
The first time MI PA won an award was for Best SME Support which was with The Talk of Manchester Awards and that was in 2015. Emma always says that at the end of 2014, she always had her own PA clients alongside her team. At the beginning of 2015, she finally said that she couldn’t deliver the service anymore. She couldn’t do everything anymore and needed to leverage her time, so she got some of her team to take the work off her hands. That meant she no longer had any clients and was free to start to focus on actually growing a business.
In 2015 when she got nominated and won another award, it ultimately came down to leveraging her time. Giving herself time to get more customers, do the things she loves, be the face of the business, do the strategy and higher value tasks. The output from it was crazy. 2015 was her biggest year for growth from when she started in 2008 because she was able to get so much stuff done. All from not constantly treading water and being busy. Getting the awards was a turning point for Emma. She finally understood how important it is to offload everything you can to somebody else and you can focus on the stuff that only you can do and the higher value tasks.
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