U.S. Air Force
By Mary Beth Roach
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”
This quote from Muhammad Ali has been Eileen Baugh’s motivation in starting and growing her business, Admin-On-Call, LLC, over the past 10-plus years.
As Baugh described, the business provides executive-level administrative support to small business owners and entrepreneurs, managing back-office functions, email communications, and calendars. She will also be stepping in for her clients at events, if needed.
“A modern-day Gal Friday,” she said.
According to its LinkedIn profile, the mission of the Admin-On-Call LLC, “is to unchain you from your desk, remove those mountains of paperwork and eliminate those late fees.”
The Air Force veteran had served in an administrative support role during her three years in the military, from 1980 to 1983. Taking the entrance exam for the Air Force, she scored a 97 in the administrative portion of the test and realized just how proficient she was in this field. Transitioning into civilian life, she continued working in administrative jobs in various businesses.
While living in Richmond, she was helping a friend, whom she referred to as a “serial entrepreneur,” assisting with some back-office support. This woman suggested that she could run a business where she offered her administrative talents, so she began it as a side job.
When she came to Syracuse in 2012, she hoped to launch the business full-time. However, being a newcomer to the area, she had no established networks of contacts, which she knew she would need. So, she said she started to reach out to the local chapters of some of the agencies she had utilized in Virginia, like SCORE and the SBDC.
While scanning a local newspaper one day, she learned about a holiday gathering, sponsored by WISE (Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship) Business Center. She called about it and was invited to attend. She recalled she arrived at the function 20 minutes early, but she said she needed that extra time to calm her nerves — and to possibly remember Ali’s quote. She entered the room and she said, she was warmly received.
“It was the best move,” she said.
Establishing relationships is key for her.
“I was always out there networking,” she said. “You can develop the relationships by networking and that’s how you get your clients. You’ve got to develop the relationships, not just go out and say, ‘Hey, can you hire me?’ or ‘You need me.’’’
While hers is a one-person business, she said she collaborates with other entrepreneurs. Her clients are in a variety of fields, such as event planning, construction, landscaping and financial coaching.
Baugh believes that her military experience prepared her well for her business venture. She values the discipline, punctuality and focus that the military helped her better develop.
“All the skills that they instilled in me — I’m seeing the benefits of what I learned,” she said.