Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Amy Foley and I am the Co-Founder of Inbound Back Office. Our business started in 2018.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I was working for a startup-turned-corporate company when my youngest son was born. When he was 3 he broke his femur and had to be put into a half body cast. My job wanted me to take unpaid leave for the month I needed off to care for him. I convinced them to let me work from home. It was glorious. I produced so much more (and better) results for the company and I was so much happier. When I returned, I asked if we could arrange some work from home time. They vehemently said no. So I set out to find a company who would let me work from home. I found a PT job and worked it nights and weekends and then they hired me full time and I quit the other job. Once I got into a groove, I had more time on my hands so I decided to see if I could take on some VA clients on my own. I got 3 clients in the first week of trying and decided right then and there that I would build it into a company so I could quit the FT job and work for myself. I hired a business coach (by bartering my services) and she helped me hone some business skills and build it even quicker.
Describe the process of launching the business.
It was pretty simple since it was only me to start. I just slapped up a very basic website and took to Twitter to find some clients. I did administrative work that I already knew how to do and had most of the tools to do.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
I have never done any marketing. Building relationships and providing extreme value has been the winning combination to getting and retaining customers.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Inbound Back Office is now an 80 team member VA company that serves marketing agencies and we continue to grow. There’s a huge demand for this service to help marketing agencies scale and there is not a lot of competition out there that provide the kind of value we do. We plan to keep growing organically and doing what has been working through the years.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I’ve learned that keeping things simple is the key. When we’ve tried to make things complex, it always ends badly.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We use Slack for our internal office communications, Google Suite for email communication with clients, Harvest for time tracking, and QuickBooks for invoicing.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I went through a lot personally when I was in the early days of the business. I did a lot of podcast listening to stay motivated – Gary Vaynerchuck, Tom Bilyeu, and Dave Ramsey were in my ear constantly. My business coach, Jaime Masters (Eventual Millionaire) was a HUGE resource for me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
I would say start where you are and keep it simple. You don’t need to get everything perfect before you start. I think that’s what stops many people from starting businesses. They think everything needs to be perfect right away. I started without a plan. I had a VERY basic website and then hustled to get some clients and made everything else up as I went along. You just have to start.