It’s National Small Business Week, and all week the Catalyst is celebrating some of St. Petersburg’s (many) success stories. The foundation of every great city starts with its small, privately-owned small businesses. They are the very building blocks of St. Pete’s economic success.
Part 3 in a series
There are times when a company’s workload exceeds the capacity of its existing staff, which can lead to critical operational duties falling through the cracks.
While the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated these worries, organizations around St. Petersburg can turn to Esther Eugene, who has turned her passion for helping others into a successful small business.
Eugene is a certified Master Life Coach and Business Consultant with over 20 years of experience working with non-profit and for-profit businesses. After realizing that she was restricted based on an organization’s mission and funding, she started her own company. In September of 2018, Eugene launched All Administrative Solutions (AAS), whose overall goal is to “empower businesses into understanding the benefits of integrating cohesive virtual operation systems into their business infrastructure, and to also correlate how this concept will lead to overall sustainability.”
“I saw there was a need to expand that help in a more quantitative fashion,” said Eugene. “So, I decided to launch out on my own and begin to provide those services.”
Eugene, also President of the St. Pete chapter of the NAACP, said that leadership and staff training, especially related to diversity and inclusion, are a point of emphasis. AAS has also increased staffing services, both temporary and permanent, in addition to operations management and support of day-to-day operations.
Eugene said AAS is unique because it offers all of its services a la carte and tailors those services to fit the needs of an individual company.
“If you have a need, 99.9% of the time we can meet that need because of the nature of our offering a la carte options,” said Eugene. “If my team cannot meet it, then we can connect with our network of other small business owners to ensure that the need is met.”
Eugene said that initially, it was a challenge for businesses to recognize they had the need, especially for non-profits. She added that a lot of work put on existing staff is often out of their scope of expertise, and even if they are great at what they do, it may not get done in a timely fashion.
“Oftentimes, there are some things that need to be done that they can outsource to other organizations and businesses – in particular, businesses like mine,” said Eugene.
Eugene said the pandemic forced businesses to reimagine how they provide services, recognize the need to conduct business virtually, and allow staff to work from home. In turn, staff must understand what it means to work from home while still ensuring that processes and reporting are done correctly and efficiently. AAS was in a position to facilitate these needs, not just with documentation and reporting but also with training and staff engagement.
“That’s the foundation of my organization,” said Eugene. “So, it (Covid) pulled on what we were doing and our expertise and propelled us further into what had become a true virtual world in 2020.”
One of Eugene’s favorite aspects of running AAS is watching an organization’s leadership realize their operations can continue to flow seamlessly while outsourcing issues they may not have the time to address efficiently. She also wants people to know that her services not only benefit small businesses and non-profits but government entities as well.
Eugene calls St. Pete “a welcome haven for business owners.” She said that if someone desires to own a business here, there are many well-intentioned resources available. She said The Greenhouse is an example and added that even after her business was up and running, she went through its Entrepreneurial Academy. She did this to make sure the things she thought were done right were in fact done correctly, and if she missed anything, she wanted to be able to catch it.
“Our city is a city that will ensure that you have the tools or the toolkit you need to be successful,” said Eugene.
Eugene said that being a business owner requires a person to be passionate about what they are doing and the services they provide. She added that people will often say that passion does not guarantee success, but she believes it “absolutely can.” She said that everyone has a niche, and if their passion aligns with that niche, then they should “walk that journey.”
“Don’t detour, don’t get discouraged, and when you hear ‘no,’ don’t begin to question yourself,” said Eugene. “Continue to push, and it will shift because people, businesses, and customers are attracted to passion – that’s what will take you over the hump.”
To learn more about All Administrative Solutions, visit the website here.
Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.