Time Saving Heroes was founded in April 2014 by Louise-Amy Etchells (Lu) who had previously been working as a solo virtual PA.
"In December 2008 I was made redundant from my recruiting job. I was 24 weeks pregnant with our first child and found it impossible to find alternative work. Hardly anyone was hiring, and those that were didn't want to waste time or money on a resource that was about to go on maternity leave!"
After a brief period of feeling sorry for herself, Lu decided to go it alone, and set up as a freelance Virtual PA.
"I had the necessary skill set to perform a variety of administrative tasks, and with the constant developments in technology there was no longer a need for me to be present in an office to complete them. I quickly realised that due to the financial constraints being felt in almost every sector, virtual assistance was becomming increasingly sought after."
By the middle of 2013 business was booming and Lu was struggling to keep up with demand.
"Over the years I had nurtured a lovely group of regular clients; however, due to referrals, word of mouth and excellent testimonials I was also receiving a lot of ad hoc requests from people."
As a result, Lu was working almost round the clock and in November 2013 she realised something had to give.
"On 30th October I gave birth to our fourth child. I didn't stop work until 10am, and he was born at 8pm that evening. My husband forced me to spend the night in hospital to recover, but the next day I was back at my computer dealing with a client emergency until 9pm. It was insane. I realised that my determination to bring my clients an improved work-life balance meant that I was losing control of my own see-saw."
Lu then spent the next few months consolidating her existing client relationships, and establishing herself as an expert in certain areas, specifically with audio transcription, bookeeping and employability. She also used her extensive network of proven freelancers to set up her own virtual team who could assist with the ad hoc requirements of clients.
"While I loved the variety of tackling any task that landed in my inbox, I missed the rapport of working with a select few on a regular basis."
It was at this point that her husband suggested she focus her talents locally, and this is really when Time Saving Heroes was born.
"Adam had always seen the benefit of what I did, especially as I effectively managed the office for his own business AE Plumbing & Tiling. He suggested that as tradesmen are usually terrible at keeping on top of their records, quotes, invoices and general admin duties I should focus my attention on helping the locals. So I did."
To provide distance between her online presence as a one-woman Virtual PA Louise-Amy decided to set up Time Saving Heroes.
Utilising the skills and expertise of her gaggle of freelancers she is still able to provide a wide variety of adminstrative tasks to clients up and down the country (as well as some in Canada, Belgium and Dubai).
"Any conceivable type of assistance you are likely to need, one of our Time Saving Heroes can help you with. We can proofread documents, transcribe, write copy for blogs and website, provide social media management, book venues, flights and offer general project management."
Whilst still working with a select few national clients Lu now spends most of her time helping the business owners of Bury, Lancashire.