An Aberdeen-based Virtual Assistant (VA) service has exceeded its revenue goals within the first year of trading, after receiving support from Business Gateway.

Planner Bee VA Services, which supports sustainability businesses with digital marketing and social media management, was founded in September 2021 by Maya Vertigans, aged 22.

After graduating with a degree in sociology from the University of Edinburgh in June 2020, Maya initially founded a sustainable gift business, supported by Business Gateway’s Growth Programme. She pivoted the business amid the CV19 pandemic to combine her passion for ethical businesses and her marketing knowledge, to launch the VA service.

In February this year, Maya enrolled in Business Gateway’s Business Boost programme to scale her operations. After receiving a strategic review with her local adviser, she refined her business model and pricing strategy, establishing the introduction of service packages, as well as setting clear business goals and future projections.

With the help of DigitalBoost, Scotland’s national digital upskilling programme delivered by Business Gateway, Maya also undertook a Digital Health Check to identify gaps in the business’s digital performance. Through the programme, she has increased her GDPR knowledge and online security credentials, including software updates, virus and malware protection and implementing a password policy to avoid data breaches. Maya has also worked to develop and refine her ideal client persona, helping her improve her marketing, sales and product development.

Planner Bee VA Services has continued to grow and recently exceeded its revenue goals within just one year of trading. Maya’s achievements have also been recognised by the industry, when she was announced as a finalist at the Scottish Women’s Awards 2022.

Recently, the business growth has meant Maya has begun to introduce freelancers to her team as well as a student from Robert Gordon University, following introductions by Business Gateway. With further support from Business Gateway Maya has also broadened her skills in people management attending multiple workshops such as Employing People for the First Time and Managing Your People.

Maya Vertigans, Founder of Planner Bee VA Services said, “I had always wanted to start up my own business, and after graduating during a global pandemic I decided to just do it. My ideas from the business developed as I realised the growth of the VA market. With everyone doing business virtually, I saw a unique opportunity.

“Thanks to the support from Business Gateway, I have achieved more than I could have imagined as a business owner. Its expertise in business strategy, pricing models and online security has given me the tools to operate my business confidently and I now have my sights set on becoming the ‘go-to’ VA within the sustainable and ethical business sector.”

Guilherme Theiss De Rosso, Growth Start Up Team Leader at Business Gateway, said: “Maya’s passion for sustainable and ethical business has been the key driving factor for her success. She has identified a gap in the market while capitalising on the new virtual ways of working that have become the norm. It has been rewarding to see her business grow as a result of our support and guidance and we look forward to seeing what’s next for Planner Bee VA Services.”

To find out how Business Gateway’s DigitalBoost programme can help your business, visit:  

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