In 2007, Kena Roth was busy raising her two young boys. She wanted a career but also wanted the flexibility of a job that would allow her to continue working from home.
The Big Idea
Roth knew she enjoyed customer service. She researched work-at-home jobs on LinkedIn and various “Mastermind” groups that regularly meet online to share ideas. She then found work doing administrative tasks for an online company as a remote assistant.
Simultaneously, she began creating her own virtual assistant practice, Kena Roth Business Solutions, by working for companies remotely. “I found clients on my own through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn,” she says. Roth offered free discovery calls on which potential clients could learn about her services. “You’ll never build your company if you’re afraid to ask,” she says.
The Learning Curve
Being hungry for work became a double-edged sword for Roth, who lost out after paying to work for some clients. “I don’t know how many times I paid for a job and learned you don’t pay for a job,” she says. This lesson helped Roth recognize her ideal client.
As Roth’s reputation grew, so did her fear. “I was afraid no one would work with me if I raised my rates,” Roth says. When she finally did, not one client complained. “I’m good at what I do,” she says. “They have to see the value in that.”
Today, Roth has 12 clients and a team of six virtual assistants. She doubled her income last year and plans to again in 2017. She’s also created a training program for other parents wanting to follow in her footsteps.
For other people looking to start their own company, Roth advises finding a mentor and doing your research. “Play the field for a bit,” she says. “Play around and see what you love."