As part of our Specialist Niches section, we’ve spoken to VAs who have unusual or specialist niches.
My name is Bryony Parker and I am 49 years old. My business is BV VA Services and has been running since Dec 15.
Describe your unusual niche?
My niche is rural enterprise and small business entrepreneurs and specialist
skill is bookkeeping. I am currently a self-employed bookkeeper
www.oakleafaccounts.co.uk and I have one major client and several other
small clients. I am a member of IAgSA (Institute of Agricultural
Secretaries and Administrators) and I am a farm secretary on a large farm
in Dorset. I come from an agricultural and equestrian background and have
quite a lot of farming and equestrian knowledge and am looking to expand my
business to rural consultants and farmers, especially virtual bookkeeping.
How did I get into this niche?
I have found that farmers like you to know your stuff and if you have
agricultural knowledge it helps a lot. I grew up on a small holding and as
a child we had horses, goats, sheep, cows etc. and I drove my first tractor
aged 15. I have previously worked as the office and shop manager for an
animal feed company where I learnt about arable crops and how to deal with
the plethora of characters you get in farming. Working on a farm has enabled
me to learn a lot more about farming in general and how the weather for
example can have an effect on your cash flow.
Is this a growth area?
It is still early days for me, but I would like to do lots more virtual
online bookkeeping, using software like Xero and Sage one. I have been in
finance for over twenty five years and know finance inside and out. In this
time I have built up very good administrative skills which by creating BP VA
Services will enable me to utilize all my skills. Growth wise, I already
have one lady who works for me on a sub contact basis and am looking to
recruit more. I am currently sending out letters and flyers to potential
rural consultants as I think in this type of industry they like something in
the post rather than by email, but I will be sending emails too.
Where do you see the industry going in the next 5-10 years?
Farming in general is a bit varied, some farmers are struggling but larger
estates make a lot of money if managed right. I think rural consultants
like agronomists and agricultural consultants are needed all the time as
farmers do need professional advice. I don’t think that I will just target
rural enterprise as viability wise I will need a mix.
Want to share information about a niche area in which you work? Have a read of our recent request for VAs with Specialist Niches and submit your information – your post could be next in our series.