What kinds of flexible jobs are out there for older workers? We take a look.
When you launch your SmartPA franchise, you are empowered to choose your own hours, working flexibly from home and delivering professional services to your own clients. Working on a flexible basis means that you can get time back in your day for your family, to be there for those important moments.
Not only will you have the chance to improve your work-life balance, your earning opportunities are truly limitless. We don’t restrict you by geographical territory and our recurring revenue model means that you can scale your business to earn as much or as little as you need. On average, our SmartPA partners earn £24,000 per year (part time) or £48,000 per year (full time), with many earning over £80,000.
Our dedicated team will be here to support you throughout your business journey, starting with six weeks of accredited training and continuing with one-to-one and group mentoring. We empower our partners to take control of their work/life balance and fit their career around their home life – both as business owners and as real people.
When you launch your business with us, we offer you lifetime business support starting with six weeks of comprehensive training which will educate you on the SmartPA brand and give you the skills and confidence you need to get started.
We offer lifetime business support which includes:
We can even assist you with compiling proposals, closing sales and delivering SmartPA’s services to your clients. Plus, if you need time off to take maternity leave, travel or for unforeseen circumstances, we can look after clients on your behalf until you are ready to return.
Not only do you have lifetime business support from a dedicated team, you become part of an amazing community network of over 300 SmartPA business owners, who can offer you a wealth of knowledge and business insight.
We know that the SmartPA brand is only successful if our partners thrive. Therefore, we’re committed to providing exceptional training and ongoing support at no additional cost.
For a £15,000+VAT investment, SmartPA Partners receive brand recognition and full support from a dedicated team.
Unlike most other business opportunities, we will also support you financially. Each partner is promised at least one ‘bonus client’ from Head Office, earning your business £6,000 income per annum and allowing you to hit the ground running. In addition, you will be supported by our dedicated Business Support Team for the entirety of your SmartPA career, giving you all the tools and guidance to make your business a success.
Becoming a SmartPA doesn’t just offer important flexibility like being your own boss and choosing your working hours, it also offers you the opportunity to play to your skills and the work experiences you enjoy most to increase your self-satisfaction at work ..with our SmartPA professional network there to support your success.
Before starting as a SmartPA Partner, Lorraine was what’s known as a ‘lifer’ at Royal Bank of Scotland, having worked there for 34 years before launching her own SmartPA business in March 2020.
We caught up with her to learn more about her career, becoming a business owner and her advice for anyone looking to become a SmartPA partner and launch their own virtual assistant venture.
What did you do before working as a SmartPA?
“I worked for Royal Bank of Scotland for 34 years before joining SmartPA. I had a few ‘mini-careers’ within that time. I spent around five years as an Executive Assistant which I really enjoyed and that is what inspired me to think about this role.
“The last 15 years of my time with the Royal Bank I was involved in the HR function, which has allowed me to offer HR services as well as being a virtual assistant.”
How did you find out about SmartPA?
“I reached a point in my last company where I felt that I wanted to try something different. I wasn’t getting any younger and I knew there was potentially an opportunity for redundancy coming along.
“I assessed what I had done to date and what parts of my career I had enjoyed. The experience that stood out to me and that I got the biggest kick out of was my time as an executive assistant. I really enjoyed my time doing that and being in the thick of it; being very reactive, very operational, solving problems.
“I enjoyed the HR side as well and I thought ‘how can I use these skills and parts of the job that I enjoyed most’.
“I started doing research and came across SmartPA. I realised there was a franchise opportunity, and it just went from there.”
How did you find starting a business during COVID-19?
“The world was crazy at the start of the pandemic and this made it a much bigger decision in terms of whether to continue or not. Nobody knew what was going to happen and I was asking questions of the head office and they reassured me that services were still in demand. They were confident that this was going to mean more remote working and that it was going to be accepted more quickly.
“For me, the timing was perfect because when I signed up, I had three months of training to complete. By the time I got my training completed I found that things had picked up again – I have found no shortage of available work out there. I have been incredibly busy and at the last count I have five retained clients and two that I do ad-hoc business with fairly frequently.
“It was really positive for me because at a time when it felt like the whole world had come to a stop, having my SmartPA business has really lifted me and reminded me that there’s lots of busy people out there that are desperate for support.”
Why did you choose SmartPA?
“I liked the idea of being my own boss and having flexibility and variety, but I didn’t have the confidence to step out there and do it alone. That was the initial attraction for me of starting a SmartPA franchise, that there was a way to be my own boss but have the support of the head office when I needed it.
“Once I started speaking to the team there and did my initial research the draw was that they were great like-minded people that seemed to fit with me and my values.
“Something that I have gone on to find that I didn’t appreciate was the support and connections that you make with the other partners. I think I would have found it isolating being completely on my own and I like that I am part of a team, whilst still working for myself.”
How did you find the onboarding process?
“It couldn’t have been any easier. I raised an enquiry online, filled out a questionnaire and at that stage SmartPA reached out and offered a call. It is important to talk about that part, because if the communication hadn’t gone so well and felt so friendly and welcoming, I probably wouldn’t have reached the onboarding process. There was someone on the end of a phone I could speak to, it wasn’t just a website or emails – the line was there for me to ask any questions or voice concerns.
“From that point it was really straightforward, there were a few forms to fill in and there’s an opportunity to take a business loan if you want to do that. For someone who has never started their business before, it was made easy and the team at SmartPA really kept me right.
“I visited SmartPA HQ in Edinburgh and I was overwhelmed by how welcoming they were and the time that they took to meet with me.”
5 Questions with Sarah Mann
A lifechanging event led Sarah to the SmartPA partnership, to build on her varied career and create stability for herself and her children.
Fast forward a year and Sarah is a successful business owner, enjoying all of the benefits of owning a SmartPA franchise. Read on to find out more about Sarah and her business journey so far.
What has your career been like so far and what brought you to SmartPA?
I’ve had a really varied and mixed career so far! I’ve worked in recruitment, construction and technology all within different roles. My reason for coming to SmartPA was to get stability for myself and my children following the separation from my husband.
When you started how did you find the process of securing clients?
I’ve been really lucky in securing my clients and I haven’t really done a lot of marketing as far as social media and email campaigns. I secured clients predominantly through networking, building rapport and all my clients have come to me kind of organically.
How did you use in-sourcing at smart pa for your business?
I use the in-sourcing model for supporting clients who have specialist requirements such as social media. For example, I currently have a partner who supports four of my clients for social media. I also use insourcing to support any big clients who I am unable to support myself solely I have partners who support me.
What is your work life balance now that you own your own SmartPA business?
Six months down the line there is a better work-life balance and I definitely have days during the week where I don’t need to work, or I’m not missed by my clients – I’ve got that balance which is nice.
What are your growth plans for the next year?
I’ve officially been with SmartPA a year, but I only launched my business in September, so it’s not quite a full year of trading. I definitely want to grow the business; I’ve reached capacity myself and I’ve got three partners who are currently supporting me so I am looking at bringing someone into my business so that I can grow further and take on more work.
SmartPA is a business support and administration franchise transforming the way professionals work.
With more than 10 years’ experience offering remote administrative support to over 5,000 business clients globally, demand for our services has grown almost 30% in the past year – now is the perfect time to launch your franchise business under our SmartPA brand. We offer lifetime business support from the minute you sign up with us.