Like many other parents with young children, Jacqui wanted to find balance between fulfilment at work and having the flexibility to be there for her family. Teaming up with a friend who shared her aspirations, they launched Back Office Works, providing admin and accounting support to small Australian businesses. With 30 years of experience between them, across multiple sectors in the corporate world, their services allow you to grow your business while providing you with the time and freedom to focus on what matters to you. Co-founder Jacqui talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Back Office Works, that all-important work-life balance, and their hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
After having our son, Lachlan, I realised that I didn’t want to return to a full-time 9-5 job. I went back to work when our first child, Tilly, was nine months old and didn’t enjoy the feeling of being split in every direction between work, Tilly, home life, marriage, etc. I wanted to achieve more balance between having a fulfilling job but also being able to attend Christmas concerts and be home when our daughter is sick without pleading for the time off from a manager.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
In April of this year, I caught up with a friend, Mona, and we were both jaded by the balancing act of working full time and trying to be there for our children. We wanted to make a change for ourselves and for our families.
We decided to team up – two heads are better than one, we thought – and start a Virtual Assistance and Bookkeeping business.
After updating my profile on LinkedIn, a friend and fellow EA reached out with a temp position at the company she was working at. She didn’t see an issue with me working remotely and around our son’s nap times, so boom, we had our first client, and it was only July.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Realising that our greatest avenue for growth at this time would be word of mouth from our existing clients really focussed our strategy. It’s really encouraging and a great self-esteem builder to get a call when someone needs some extra help, and they think of Back Office Works.
The pandemic has assisted businesses being open to the idea of virtual assistance. Cloud-based software and being able to connect with clients remotely has opened so many more opportunities for businesses that we can work with, and it allows us to remain flexible to our clients’ needs.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Balancing work and family requires planning, organisation and asking for help.
Mona and I built this business around two aims – being more available to spend time with our families and bringing our corporate knowledge to small and medium sized enterprise businesses.
If that means I need to start my day at 5am or on another day finish it at 8pm, then that’s what I do. I plan my time and I never commit to something (professional or personal) that I know I can’t complete by a deadline.
I also have a great support network. Mona and I back each other and bounce ideas off one another. My husband is my biggest cheerleader, and my family and friends are there to support me on this endeavour.