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One of our own was interviewed by Michelle Rothwell, Advisor to Work At Home Parents!  Here's the interview in its entirety.

     They 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.

     Talking about stretching ... Do you ever stretch the truth with your clients?  If so, when?

     No.  Telling the truth is essential to building the trust with clients.


     What is 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.

     What 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.

     How long has it been since Admin Services launched? June of 2009 will make 11 years

     What is 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.

     What 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.

     If you 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 time.

     What one 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.

     How much 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.

     Did 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.

     What kind 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.

     How do 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 stressful times.
 

     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.  

     What one 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 at

http://www.admnsrvcs.com.

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