Last year we spoke to Vicky Matthews of Pink Spaghetti, a personal assistant company that helps individuals and small businesses with the common demands of a daily routine and business life.
As part of our Small Business Stars 1-Year celebration, we thought we’d pay them a revisit to find out how the business is doing, what’s new on the horizon, and whether Vicky’s still living and loving all things Pink Spaghetti.
Here’s what Vicky had to say.
We’re being approached from all areas
I’m pleased to say we have plenty of new franchisees, 10 in total. We took on four in September and two in April, so we’ve grown a lot. We’ve also taken on another member of staff and we’re growing our business face in Cheshire. We’ve got more customers and are taking on some new sectors too. For example, we have one customer that runs a dance management school, and another is a chartered surveyor. In short, we’re quite diverse!
We’re also finding that more people have found us through social media, by networking, and through word of mouth. From a business perspective, we’re being approached from all areas.
Also, while the main target of our networking is women, one of our biggest clients is male. He owns an IT company, and we mainly offer him back-office support, which is continuing to grow all the time. Sometimes people just find us, and we continue to have a surprising client base.
We’ve seen steady growth in our business so as of yet we’re not offering any new services. However we’re building our admin department to respond to increasing enquiries.
LinkedIn has proved quite popular
To help with marketing we’ve started a regular blog and we use LinkedIn a lot more now to show our expertise. We’re continuing to use the Facebook and Twitter channels, and nothing has changed hugely on our Google+ page, but LinkedIn has proved quite popular – published posts work well too.
While we were working with a good presence on Google+, we decided to change track on our internal communications approach about two months ago with a switch to a closed Facebook community. While our aim is to continue to make people feel like they’re involved, with Google+ people had to log in to access our page. With Facebook we’re instantly available to our employees and fra. As a result we’ve had a lot more interaction from franchisees across the UK and our employees in Cheshire, who each have their own group. It’s made us more accessible, and it’s still the same principle, just a different network.
We’ve beat larger, more established franchises
Last year we won three awards, including Small Networking Business of the Year. On the franchising side, I think people noticed the principle nature of our franchising in recognising women’s needs for flexibility, and this helped the company beat larger, more established franchises to win Franchisor of the Year.
We’re not looking to enter the same awards again this year, we’re looking at some different awards and opportunities while continuing the success of last year.
We usually take on two or three franchises every six months
Franchising has allowed us to grow and expand, particularly outside of our head office in Cheshire. We’ve reached parts of the UK that we wouldn’t be able to do by expanding in our local area.
It’s given us the opportunity to grow our presence in different parts of the UK, with people who are as committed as we are. They are trained and recognise the value of our support.
We’re still looking to grow steadily and surely, particularly in our own mid-Cheshire area now.
We usually take on two or three franchises every six months, and that’s the type of expansion we’d like to continue to see.
I love growing the franchise side, and the challenges it presents
We experience year on year growth, which is always promising, and I’ve still got a good work-life balance. What’s really important is that I still find the business interesting. I love growing the franchise side, and the new challenges it presents. We don’t want to expand too quickly however, as it’s important to us to be able to offer the support that our clients need.
When a business needs support, we’d really like the first people they think of to be Pink Spaghetti. If we could be on the tip of people’s tongues when they need help – that would be amazing.