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In the Spotlight with Smart PA

Posted: 15th November 2017

Managing Director, Sarra Bejaoui

What does your SmartPA Business do?  SmartPA gives the business community access to our talent pool to support them will all aspects of business support. Whether the client is a start-up, high growth SME or large corporate, we utilise the skill set of our talent pool to provide them with an unrivalled and flexible service. Our model provides our clients with access to an expert team, allowing them to manage their demand for resource on a flexible basis.

Where did the idea for SmartPA come from?  It grew originally from my first business. Before SmartPA I provided high net worth individuals with PA support and our current CEO was one of my clients. He really liked the concept, but suggested we switch it to a B2B model for significant growth. This was around the time of the 2008 recession and businesses were in need of a flexible, cost effective support in order to survive. SmartPA was born!

What makes you different? There are a variety of elements of our business model that makes us unique. We believe “it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it” and we execute this ethos in the world-class service we provide. We have the widest skill set on offer. Our talent pool undertakes our rigorous SmartPA Accreditation programme before they support a client, which takes between six and eight weeks, meaning you enjoy a professional and seamless service. Continuous learning and development are at the heart of our organisation, and is managed by our Training Academy. Our team are from a variety of different back-grounds, and have middle management experience. This means that our customers have access to the largest skill set in the marketplace, including specialism such as bookkeeping and translation.

Is it true that your SME service is not for profit?  Yes! We’re proud of the uniqueness of our model, and our packages start from as little as £250 per month. Our most popular package is the full-time SME package at £500 per month.

What is your business Philosophy?  It centres around the development of people. The SmartPA vision is to empower our team; to help them be as successful as they can be in business. Whether it’s through coaching or learning, the support you give a person can transform the success of a company – both for the client and internally. It’s so important to make sure your people are engaged, happy and inspired, whether you’re selling a product or delivering a service.

Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time?  Today we have businesses all over the world. We are proud to call the UK home, but also have exponential growth in Africa. The USA welcomed our brand this year and this will be our largest market. The next five years gives us an opportunity to expand our brand and to get thousands of talented and brilliant people back to work.

What is most important to SmartPA?  The quality of our service comes first, which is delivered remotely to facilitate providing our clients flexible support. Our clients are supported by dedicated account manager who really gets to know them and their business, but they are also supported by the wider team of SmartPA giving our client access to the widest skill set possible. We ensure these standards are upheld by both technology and the learning and development of our team.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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