Who is The Avid Organiser?
My name is Bonnie Weston. I’m a small business owner who supports other people who own small businesses or manage projects.
I have a calm, can-do attitude and thrive on being neat, tidy and organised. In fact, my favourite job was my favourite job because of the filing system they used. There were naming conventions, style guides and a designated spot for everything that came across my desk. I firmly believe that organisation makes everything better.
Fun facts about me
- I’m married to Ben, have two brothers and two sisters, and eight nieces and nephews.
- Wake boarding and snowboarding are my favourite sports.
- My favourite novels are fantasy novels.
- I will always pick action movies over romantic comedies.
- Last year we got a caravan and I love travelling with my husband and two black staffies, Ronix and Axis.
What I’ve done
I’ve found that answering the question, “What do you do?” hasn’t always had a simple answer. But if I was to attempt to summarise what I do, I would say, “I support people who run businesses or projects by getting things done, keeping them organised and helping to make work easier for them.”
Before starting my own business, I worked in various industries in Australia and overseas. However, most of my working career was centred around the construction and engineering industry. I was employed by large, multi-million-dollar corporations, such as Thiess, Sedgman and Boral, but I also had the pleasure of working for some small family businesses. Over the years, I’ve supported General Managers, Division Managers, Project Managers and Office Managers, performing the roles of Executive/Personal Assistant, Cost Administrator/Project Administrator, Procurement Officer, and HR Coordinator.
Fortunately, throughout my career I worked with many co-workers who indulged my natural curiosity. Paired with the experience I gained in these roles, I developed an extremely diverse skill set. Furthermore, I’ve also had the opportunity to view business administration from different perspectives. The benefit of this has been observing what works well and what doesn’t.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned along the way is this:
Regardless of the size of your business, the product or service you sell, or the skills you possess, your business will only succeed if you have a solid foundation. I’m talking about structure and processes. I honestly believe that organisational structure and efficient processes are the key to success.
Why I do what I do
The idea of The Avid Organiser began during a challenging period when I was working for a construction business. There was a huge disconnect between the clients’ paperwork and information requirements, and our subcontractors’ ability to meet those requirements. Often these subcontractors didn’t have consistent workflow or the cash flow to employ admin staff. Consequently, they did their admin at night and on weekends, which led to stress for several reasons:
- They were overtired and made mistakes on payment claims.
- Paperwork wasn’t filed, so they couldn’t find what they were looking for.
- Payment requests were often late or incomplete, which resulted in late payment of accounts and/or loss of income.
Frequently, I would think:
- “If only I could spend a few hours every week sorting out your invoices…”
- “I wish I could create a better filing system for you…”
- “If only I could fix up your documents so they looked more professional…”
The more I talked to people about this idea of being an “on-demand” or “sometimes” admin person for small businesses, the more certain I became that this was what I wanted to do.