Geniece Brown has always loved helping people. But it wasn’t until after she completed college and joined the corporate world that she realized she could develop a business out of that passion.

She started Brown Virtual Assisting in 2014 to provide marketing and administrative support to busy small-business owners and solopreneurs. As a virtual assistant working primarily online, Brown can accommodate clients who live all over the country.

But Brown quickly discovered that helping others with their business needs was different from running her own business. “There was so much that I didn’t know, and I did many things in the wrong order,” she admits. “I realized it takes a different level of commitment and mindset to operate a business.”

My Successes: 

In March 2015, Brown Virtual Assisting was named a 2015 American Small Business Champion by SCORE and Sam’s Club, receiving a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card to help with business expenses, along with one year of focused SCORE mentoring. SCORE Omaha named Brown one of its 2014 Entrepreneurs of the Year; Brown has also been named among 40 Entrepreneurs Under 40 by the Midlands Business Journal.

“Starting my own business has allowed me the opportunity and autonomy to play the role of a right-hand person in helping super-busy business owners succeed,” she says. “I’m in the business of making life easier for my clients!”

How SCORE Helped: 

A local women’s business group in Brown’s home base of Omaha, Nebraska, referred her to SCORE, where she signed up for several workshops. Brown worked with mentor BC Clark on a monthly basis to complete her business plan and determine the best business entity for Brown’s goals.

Beyond serving as a practical advisor to Brown’s budding business, Clark also offered emotional support. “I needed to have agreement with someone that I was moving in the right direction,” Brown recalls. “That extra boost of confidence and support has truly been the most impactful.”