The birth of Karina Follent's child led to the birth of Pro-Assist Virtual Administration Services: a virtual, online business administration system for the allied health sector and the ultimate family-friendly business.
My name is Karina, and I own Pro-assist Virtual Administration Services, and we’re based on the Gold Coast.
We provide virtual support for Allied Health Professionals. We manage all of their administration, from taking phone calls to making sure they their clients have awesome customer service experiences.
We had a rapid period of growth at the start of this year and I had to bring on employees, and now that I’ve got employees I really felt comfortable in taking up that kind of nurturing and mentoring role. I was just part of the Queensland Mentoring Program, so I had an opportunity to work out a business plan with a mentor, and it was really helpful.
Business is hard and some days you just crumple and you just think, oh, my goodness, I just can’t take another challenge that comes my way, but the payoff of having my own direction and being able to spend time with my family when I want to, is just the best thing that I could ever have.
Like many small businesses, necessity was the mother of invention. When Karina Follent’s 6-month maternity leave from her corporate job was due to expire, she sat down at the kitchen table to assess her options. With her office a 90-minute drive away, returning to work would mean relying on full-time day care. How could Karina stay at home with her child and have a career at the same time?
After 9 years working as business analyst and office administrator in the mining and construction industries, Karina had the knowledge and experience to establish an online business administration system which was flexible and cost-effective.
Pro-Assist started by offering Australian small businesses complete remote administration support. The business grew quickly, both in number of clients and number of employees. Needing a way to better manage the influx of work, Karina set up a ‘virtual reception system’ via phone app, which allowed them to serve an unlimited number of clients while keeping costs low.
This caught the attention of 2 allied health coaches, which led Karina to target her business solely to the allied health sector. Pro-Assist is particularly useful for small practitioners, many of whom are sole, mobile operators without a permanent office or the budget to support hiring a traditional employee for office administration.
Pro-Assist staff work from their own homes across Australia, from Perth to the Gold Coast. They provide allied health practitioners the flexibility to increase their business efficiency by removing the demands and associated stress of business administration.
By fulfilling her own work/life needs, Karina has built a workplace where her staff are equally delighted with their flexible and family-friendly working arrangements.