Say hello to technology and goodbye to admin angst

Strictly Savvy – Supplier profile

We continually tell our clients to embrace technology resources to help improve and grow business.  At Moore Stephens Markhams Wellington we have. Learn how a virtual assistant service helps director Bruce Stormer focus less on admin and more on clients’ success.

Endless to-do lists and an avalanche of admin can all too often bog a business down.  Enter Strictly Savvy, the Upper Hutt-based company providing virtual assistant services so firms can focus on what they do best – getting business done.

Strictly Savvy provides a range of back-office services, including bookkeeping, formatting documents, social media management, graphic design and virtual personal assistant services. Clients only pay for the time they use.

Managing director Jo Muggeridge co-founded the company in 2012. The business partners, both experienced executive assistants, were on maternity leave and looking for a way to work without making the daily commute from Upper Hutt to Wellington City.

They realised they could provide services remotely to small to medium-sized businesses struggling to manage their back-office effectively but unable to afford fulltime, high-quality staff.

“We can do what is normally a full-time job in about 15 hours a week. There are no distractions or unproductive time, we’re efficient and we use the best tools.”

Staff numbers have jumped from four to 11 in the past year as demand for the Strictly Savvy service grows. The company counts Red Hot Business Coaching, Upper Hutt City Council and Moore Stephens Markhams Wellington among its clients.

Bruce Stormer, a director at Moore Stephens Markhams Wellington, relies on Strictly Savvy for personal assistant services. “They make sure I’m planning out my day properly and keep the wheels running smoothly so I can provide the best possible service for my clients. I’d recommend them to any business looking to lighten their admin workload.”

The Wellington business community is taking note. Jo was crowned Young Businessperson of the Year at last year’s Wellington Region Business Excellence Awards, and Strictly Savvy was a finalist in the Best Emerging Business, and Small Business and Professional Services categories.

Jo says bookkeeping is the service most requested by clients but her specialist team have catered to a wide range of needs.  “One of the more unusual requests we have had was for a $60,000 gold bullion to be purchased and delivered to a client’s home.”

Strictly Savvy has clients around New Zealand and in India and Australia. It intends to expand further in New Zealand and Australia, and Jo also plans to develop an online course for people looking to set up a virtual assistant company.

A huge benefit of the Strictly Savvy service is clients can wash their hands of the human resource headaches associated with hiring, she says.

“Owners of small to medium-sized businesses often don’t know how to hire an admin person and then what happens if they hire the wrong person? We take that risk away because I manage the team members and their performance.”

Business owners often don’t know what help they need and what productivity tools and apps are available, Jo says.

“A tradie might want to implement a job management system. We have tested the latest tools out there and can recommend and set them up.

“Instead of having a reactive employee, we can be their proactive supplier. It’s all about freeing up the business owner’s time and helping them grow their business.”

Published Autumn 2016

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