One of our own was interviewed by
Michelle Rothwell, Advisor to Work At Home Parents! Here's the
interview in its entirety.
call you “Smiley” the woman with the can do attitude ... what
three qualities do you share with Julia Roberts the woman whose
smile lights up the screen? A
great sense of humor, loads of personality and of course, lots
of humility. Ok, maybe that last one is a stretch.
about stretching ... Do you ever stretch the truth with your
clients? If so, when?
No. Telling the truth is essential to building the trust
Admin Services? Admin Services is a service provider, owned
by Gazelle Simmons since 1998, designed to provide business
owners with assistance in completing their administrative needs
in order to free them to grow their businesses.
inspired the idea behind your business? Someone suggested
that I cut out the middle man (the temp agencies) and go right
to the business owners.
has it been since Admin Services
launched? June of 2009 will make 11 years
your best selling product? My best selling product is word
processing. I do a lot of correspondence, books, etc.
How did you
come up with the perfect mix? I kept doing everything I had done
for 10 years in corporate America.
was the process you went through to get from idea to successful
business? I did a lot of trial and error until I found what
works for me.
could have two super powers, what would they be and why?
Telepathy so I would know the best clients when they come into
the room and super speed so I can get even more done in less
thing have you learned since you began that you wish you'd known
in advance? To skip the wasteful advertising and go straight
to the word of mouth referrals.
of your business comes from local owners versus internet owners?
In 2006, it was 15% local and 85% internet. For 2007, it
became more of a mix with 25% local versus 75% internet and in
2008, it's more like 40% local with 60% internet. My goal is a
happy mix of 50/50.
you have any previous experience that you were able to apply in
starting or growing Admin Services?
Not a thing prepared me for growing my own business so I had to
learn as I worked which was a true challenge.
of things have you learned as a mompreneur? That my kids
come first, that I can have a successful business without
neglecting my family and that people really do understand when
you lay down your boundaries.
your children get involved? They take care of putting out my
marketing materials. They help with massive projects and remind
me to eat, talk to them and keep my sense of humor in the
When your kids are
helping you what if they send out the wrong things or mess up on
a project? How do you explain that to your customers?
I don't get
the kids to do anything technical. They started with sealing
envelopes and putting on stamps then graduated to folding
letters or flyers then stuffing envelopes and putting labels on
postcards and envelopes. With each task, they are given an
example to follow and have strict instructions to ask questions
before doing. This keeps me from having to redo work as well as
allowing them to see that I really do work hard at what I do.
I'm also right there helping them so they get pointers on doing
it properly. I should also add that my kids are 18 & 16 so
their level of work is much higher than when they were younger.
With this level of supervision, I’ve never needed to explain any
of this to customers.
piece of advice would you like to share with other women looking
to start a business of their own? Do what you have a passion
for. Not what will make the most money because when you are
tired, you have to love what you are doing to keep doing it.
To contact Gazelle Simmons visit her website