Sandra Da Silva-Creasey has recently celebrated her third year in business (pictured) and is one of our newest Sussex FSB members!
She runs a PA services firm from her base in the Gatwick Diamond area. Her business story started in Accountancy where she worked in Corporate Hospitality in London as a Financial Controller. In a career spanning 20 years, she happily spent nine of these at the Marylebone Hotel managing a team of over 20 people.
It was not a surprise, therefore, that when starting a family she had little intention of becoming a stay at home Mum. With her husband, being a former top level chef, Sandra always had visions of running her own business and even considered opening a restaurant. With a change of career, her husband was soon headhunted to work in the USA and with no hesitation they set off on an adventure overseas.
However, after three fun packed years, the pull of friends and family in the UK saw them return home. That was when the seeds of her PA services business were sown.
“The work fits my skill set and my motivation to help and support smaller businesses,” says Sandra. Her firm, Pink Spaghetti, is in fact a UK franchise and Sandra sees her fellow franchisees like family.
“We each bring different professional backgrounds and disciplines to the table and we can easily cover for each other and cross-charge for work done. It is an incredibly supportive and stimulating working circle.”
Sandra now has a variety of regular clients, from Florists to Hotels, carrying out a number of services from marketing, event organising, bookkeeping, website management, CRM research and social media training.
“I give people the gift of time. I do the supportive jobs that free people up to do what they enjoy and do best. One of my mantras is to stick to your goals and I enable my clients to do just that.” Sandra says being self-employed provides a work environment that gives her things that no other job can: flexibility, support and the opportunity to set her own goals and enjoy the rewards of meeting them.
”There’s no better feeling than being a business owner: I like to think about how to grow the business and find the people who can help me. Seeing other small businesses blossom as a result of my company is very fulfilling, I am excited to see how 2020 pans out and hope that the promise made in the Conservative Manifesto to increase the business rates discount available to businesses goes ahead as so many small businesses in my community would benefit and nationwide it would help towns thrive.”
Sandra’s decision to become an FSB member is part of this support strategy. The legal support and protection connects with her ambition to become an employer in 2020 and grow her team. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a consistent theme and she has a goal to move towards managing rather than simply being the business. Sandra’s tips for would be entrepreneurs? “Write a plan, have targets and regularly review their achievement: what is working and what is not. Assess what sets you and your business apart and learn how to market yourself and your business. Finally, don’t expect to make money in your first year – be realistic and look for support to help grow your expertise, confidence and business.”