Tell us about your family: Caroline has two daughters, aged nine and six and Vicky has a nine-year-old daughter and five-year-old son. Both live in Cheshire.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition? Caroline was a retail IT consultant and Vicky was in corporate social responsibility for a high street bank
When did you launch? The friends met at their daughters’ swimming class in 2006 and launched their personal assistant company Pink Spaghetti three years later.
How did you get started?
Initially, they both worked from home, speaking many times a day on the phone. Caroline is now based in Pink Spaghetti’s head office in Northwich, where she manages three part-time team members. Vicky continues to work from home.
How did you get your first clients?
They got their first client by standing behind a table for a whole day at a local baby fayre.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business
Both appreciate the flexibility they have for themselves and that they can offer their franchisees, employees and clients.
What’s the thing you least enjoy about running your own business
Caroline is not a fan of networking, but Vicky loves it. Vicky hates spreadsheets with a passion. It’s a good job Caroline is very good at them.
What has worked well about your business?
The pair is very proud that three years after start up they were in a position to franchise. They are also pleased to be still good friends.
What’s been your biggest business mistake? How did you deal with it?
When they launched, Vicky and Caroline thought the majority of their work would come from domestic clients and targeted their marketing accordingly. They were wrong. Their core clients are in fact female owners of micro-businesses. Though they do tend to also ask for help with home tasks on the side. They also admit wasting hundreds of pounds – if not thousands – on magazine and local paper advertising.
How do you fit in work with the family?
They work whilst their children are at school and in the evenings.
Are you working towards a financial goal for your business?
Pink Spaghetti plans to recruit two franchisees in 2014 and a further two in 2015.
Would you ever give up your business to do something else?
Caroline says she can’t imagine ever giving it up. In fact, if she won The Lottery, she would only consider cutting down her hours. She would never go back to corporate world.
Do you have an exit strategy?
Vicky and Caroline say they are in it until they retire.
Have you had your ‘I’ve made it’ moment? Tell us about it. If not when do you think it will come
When they sold their first two pilot franchises in 2012. They’d barely announced on our website that they were franchising when two calls came in from perfect candidates. Both are now happily and successfully running their businesses. One has already purchased a second franchise area and is even employing a part-time helper.
Where do you hope to be in five years time?
Pink Spaghetti would like to be a recognised brand across the UK in five years’ time.
If you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more.
Pink Spaghetti is looking for two more franchisees in 2014 and a further two in 2015. Running a Pink Spaghetti franchise would suit someone with great organisational, research and customer service skills who is looking for a scalable part time, home-working opportunity. Tellingly, all current franchisees previously considered setting up their own personal assistant companies, but decided they didn’t want to do it alone. You can find out more about our part time franchise opportunity at www.pink-spaghetti.co.uk