We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeannine Warrick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeannine, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was first to help business owners succeed, and second, I was tired of being laid off due to downsizing, and I wanted better control of my career. It all started after I was laid off in September 2009 due to the Great Recession. I am good at what I do, I love helping people succeed, and I knew businesses still needed administrative help, but they could not afford it. I had a strong inner feeling that there had to be something I could do! So, I started searching for ways to help businesses by being an independent contractor and how to start a business doing this. Well, low and behold, I discovered there was such a thing, and it was called Virtual Assistants. Since people had hardly heard of a virtual assistant, there was truly little info on it. I found a couple of virtual assistants that offered training, and I knew this would be the answer to starting a business doing something I love and something I am good at. I thought I struck gold! In March 2010, I created JL Administrative Services. This was perfect because I have a passion for keeping small business owners organized and free to run their businesses. I could assist enterprises from my home, and I just knew this was a win-win.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
JL Administrative Services is a virtual assistance business whose focus is to provide virtual administrative support services to consultants, entrepreneurs, independent contractors, micro and small business owners, property managers, and commercial and residential construction trade contractors. I specialize in working with business owners who need assistance with managing their businesses’ day-to-day operations while providing administrative support. Services are done remotely, and I communicate via e-mail, phone, and text while providing top-quality services. My goal is to provide flexibility for each of my clients.
Being a business owner and running a small business is no small feat. I am here to help business owners focus on growing their business instead of managing every little administrative task.
My focus is to deliver professional administrative support services and to make business owners look their best. I desire to develop an ongoing relationship with each of my clients and get to know them and their businesses. What is important to me is what is important to them in growing a profitable, professional, and successful enterprise.
There are many virtual assistants that a business owner can choose from to assist them. What sets my business is because I have a construction admin background, I understand the pains of construction trade businesses, and I know how to help them. I know what contractors need to run their businesses’ administrative side efficiently. I have experience communicating with residential customers, and I know what commercial general contractors expect from subcontractors that contract to work with them. In my entire career as an administrative professional, I have worked for small businesses; therefore, I understand how hard it is and how resourceful a business owner needs to be.
I am most proud that JL Administrative Services, LLC won the Best of Gwinnett Businesses to Watch award in 2019 and the Best of Gwinnett in the Business Consulting Firms category in 2020. I am blessed to have clients and colleagues who voted for me to win these awards.
My business journey was not easy at all. It was very bumpy, and at times I wanted to quit. It still challenges me, but it is all a part of growing. Being a business owner is not glamorous. It is arduous work, and it often feels like I am on a roller coaster ride. There are so many times when I let Impostor Syndrome set in, and I start to doubt myself and my abilities to run a business. I had to make myself familiar with marketing again, and I am still learning how to do it the best possible. Networking is tough for me too. It’s uncomfortable for me to be in front of people, although I am a talker! I overcome these challenges by pushing myself and reminding myself of my “why.” I am also blessed to have a great support system that will not allow me to give up. .Although I work a lot, I love it and it is not stressful like it was when I worked at my last job or any job that I held for that matter.
No matter how tough things seem to get, I have learned to never give up on myself or my vision. God planted a seed in me and gave me a gift and talent. I honor God by using that talent to help others grow their dreams of having a successful business. I like being in the background, making things work, and making business owners shine.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I wanted to show my friend a good time in Atlanta, I would take her to lunch every day, cook her dinner every night, show her around town, and enjoy a few glasses of wine at home every evening. This would be if there were no such thing as the COVID-19 pandemic, of course.
I would start on Monday by taking her to the 1910 Public House in Lilburn for lunch and visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.
Tuesday, we would have lunch at Sushi Avenue in Snellville and then head to the High Museum of Art.
On Wednesday, I would take her to hang out in Little Five Points and eat at any of the restaurants like The Vortex or have pizza.
Thursday, we would schedule a spa day and then eat lunch at Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead. They have the best mussels! Thursday evenings, there is a wine tasting at Niko’s Wine Corner in Snellville, and since I am a wine lover (especially red wine), we would go to learn about and enjoy some great wine. Of course, we would have to splurge and grab a few bottles to take home.
And on Friday, I would take her to Cajun Café and have some delicious, authentic New Orleans food, and since March is crawfish season, we would have to order a few pounds of crawfish and drink a little beer to wash it down. After that feast, maybe we could head to The Apex and take in some African American History and then visit Atlanta Botanical Garden. At night, I would take her to the Fernbank Science Center to gaze at the stars. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a hard one because so many people supported and encouraged me on this journey. My husband stands by my side, my business friend and partner encouraged me when I wanted to quit, my dad is my big cheerleader, and my sister is everything. The person that I credit the most is my sister Paula. She always lends a listening ear to me, and when I felt like giving up, she was there to talk me off the cliff. Even when my family thought I was crazy and needed to come up with a “real” business idea, my sister had my back. From the very beginning and even to this day, she encourages me, listens to me, holds me accountable, and gives me that much-needed support. Although she is my little sister, I want to be like her when I grow up. I dedicate this shoutout to her.