Tell us a bit about your business; what do you offer customers and how can you help them?
A-VOS offers administrative support, telephone answering service, office space, mail receiving & forwarding, receptionist and more.
We are skilled in managing boards, associations, commissions, etc. on a contracted basis. We work closely with Solopreneurs working at home, small startups or other small businesses that don’t need a full-time staff member to handle their administrative needs.
Our professional office allows them to meet clients, receive their mail, have their phones answered while they are out doing other business. A-VOS makes it easy for individuals and small businesses to operate in a professional atmosphere, with professional staff, and without the huge cost of signing a lease, installing phone lines, hiring a receptionist, etc.
How did you get started and would you do anything differently?
A-VOS began as Management, Clerical & Consulting Services, LLC and has now expanded into d/b/a Advanced Virtual Office Services.
I started out in my home basement as an administrative assistant to an Executive Director of several boards and associations. After 10 years, I decided to move into a leased office space and expand my services. After 16 years in the business I have learned so much by making mistakes, picking the minds of other successful business women and working with a variety of industries.
Would I change anything or do it differently? Yes! I would have reached out more to other business people for mentoring and brainstorming. I had the mindset that I had to make this a success by myself. My advice to anyone starting a business is to reach out, reach out and keep reaching out to others for advice.
Tell us about why you do what you do, what keeps you going in business?
What inspired me and keeps inspiring me to continue this type of work is that I’m good at what I do. I love paperwork, people, organizing, assisting, managing, leading and being my own boss. Right or Wrong, my decisions are mine and I live with the results. I can correct what doesn’t work and initiate new ideas without being limited.
What are your future plans for the business? What can customers look for or expect down the road?
My future plans are really more of dream I have had since High School. I will own my own building, with 100 employees. A-VOS will be known as the “Best Place to Work” in the region or United States (think big). The expansion will be a place of business services as well as a place of learning. I will teach future administrative assistants how to be that person that knows exactly what needs to be done to accomplish any project.
What do you celebrate? What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?
I am very proud of the fact that I developed this business into what it is today; Successful!! There are many ways to look at success; one being financial success, but the one I relate to is being a 100% Successful Women Owned Business! It’s not easy to be a woman business owner and compete with corporate offices.
What business mistake have you made that you will not repeat? What did you learn from these challenges?
The one mistake I made that I would not repeat is, again, not reaching out to other business owners for advice and taking the initiative to be more visible in the community. I have really changed that in that past few years and make sure I take part in memberships of like industries and become active in the Bismarck Mandan Chamber, Center for Technology & Business and Women Entrepreneurs.
What may people be surprised to know about you and/or your business?
The thing that people may not know about my business is that my company is the only virtual office service in North Dakota. There are other virtual office companies advertising here, but none are located in North Dakota.
What are your most popular products or services? Or what’s your favorite thing you offer?
The most popular services would be the office space rental, administrative support, telephone services and local address. I really don’t have a favorite. I like to do them all.
Share your secret weapons – what business apps, products and tools help you run your business/life efficiently? What could you not function without?
I don’t know of any secret weapons that I use to operate my business, but I couldn’t do without the computer and the telephone for sure. Without those, I might as well close my doors.
Any advice you have for women starting or growing their business?
As I said before, be sure to always reach out to others when you need advice or want to brainstorm some ideas you have. Most business people want to see other small businesses be successful and are willing to share what they have learned.
Where/How can someone learn more about your business?
To learn more about my business you can always contact me personally, check out my website www.advancedvirtualoffice.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org
What does ND Women Owned Business Certification mean to you? Why do you choose to certify? How does it help you?
I am very proud to be a Certified ND Women Owned Business. What better way to let others know that you take pride in your business and your State and that you have made the effort to apply for this distinction.
If you’ve been part of CTB programming outside of WOB Certification, we would love to know if and how that programming helped you personally or within your business.
Being involved with CTB has been a great opportunity for my business. I have met wonderful women owners and other professional women through CTB programs. I was a graduate of the first Women’s Leadership Program and I have had a booth at one or two of the Women’s Business Summit events. There breakout sessions are so informative and inspirational. Don’t miss them!