The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “girl Friday” as “a female assistant (as in an office) entrusted with a wide variety of tasks.” Naomi Blake chooses to disagree a little with that. That’s because Blake has been using that 1940s moniker to describe her business – and it’s a lot more than performing office chores.
Blake is owner of Girl Friday of Windsor/Essex, a Windsor-based business she began in November 2015. She describes Girl Friday as a business that “is all about giving people someone they can trust with the little things so that they have time for the big things in their life. We can walk your dog, do your shopping, or just hang out at your place until the delivery guy or cable installer shows up.”
She said that when she started the business last year she wanted some extra cash for the holidays and began offering her services to do holiday shopping, gift wrapping, party cleanups, etc. Word spread through referrals from friends and family and Blake got more jobs than she ever anticipated.
“I couldn’t keep up,” she said. “After not having a steady job for almost a year, the busy season was not something I was about to complain about. I love working 50-60 hour weeks! It’s in me. So after the holiday season was over, I kept getting regular clients and job requests, and I thought I should make it a full time thing and start my own business.”
The majority of Girl Friday clients are seniors and professional bachelors. But Blake also helps working mothers to organize spaces, small business entrepreneurs who can’t afford a full time assistant but need some help every now and then, or even people that don’t have a way to get to a job interview or doctor’s appointment. “So I drive them,” she adds. “I’m cheaper than a cab.
“I posted a selfie (like everyone does) on Facebook at 6:00 a.m. when I was driving someone to the Detroit Metro Airport and got seven messages later asking if I can drive them somewhere.”
While Blake is a one-person show serving the metro Windsor and Detroit areas, she does have two other people she uses in a contract position if she gets a job request and can’t make it because of a scheduling conflict. She plans to add more contract employees in the coming weeks.
Referrals make for great new contacts – and so does social media, which Blake has turned to in order to provide real time marketing for Girl Friday. “I mainly use Facebook and Twitter for social media platforms,” she said. “I also have a Linkedin account. Facebook has been the best source without question. It’s where I get more business than when I send out flyers. I completely understand why social media was even created. Cheap, easy and effective!
“Honestly, every time I post something such as a picture or status about Girl Friday, I get a new client. So apologies to all the people who don’t like the before and after photos of laundry rooms or photos of groceries bought. But that’s how I make my money.”
If she could sum up her business in a nutshell, Blake describes it this way: “With an eye for detail, organization and efficiency, we provide direction and proactive solutions for your hectic lifestyle. We are your personal assistant and concierge service tailored to your needs and yet affordable for individuals, small businesses and corporations.”
And she wants to make her Girl Friday business stand out so she can expand her reach into other areas. If you are interested in hiring Blake and Girl Friday in the Windsor/Essex region, call 519-562-4458 or e-mail email@example.com. You can also visit her website at www.girlfridaywindsor.com.