If timing is everything, then Kenzie Biggins’ instincts served her well. In her third year of running her business, she says she was “floundering and trying to figure out what was next,” when she took the advice of a mentor and moved to Greenville.
Soon, she was enrolled in the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Minority Business Accelerator (MBA), a Bank of America-funded program that was part of the organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative.
By providing minority-owned businesses with links to training, business and business coaching, the program has helped Biggins grow and grow Worxbee, his executive assistant recruitment business.
The concept of the company is simple and the timing was brilliant: Worxbee matches experienced Executive Assistants (EAs) with business leaders who need their help. EAs are independent contractors – customers are billed by Worxbee and they pay the EAs. Working virtually, most EAs work for multiple clients, allowing them to customize their schedules and balance family and other interests.
The company has nearly 50 EAs at press time, but is actively increasing the number.
Prior to the unexpected shutdown of the economy in March 2020 due to Covid, Biggins, whose title is “Founder, CEO and Visionary”, had already had conversations with Worxbees clients about “how to help them make their business virtual,” she said. . “I had a feeling something was happening in the pipeline.”
Sure enough, everyone’s business slowed through the end of 2020 as they raced to navigate the new normal.
“Then business skyrocketed,” she recalls, as more companies adapted and many business people found they could work from home.
Biggins says several operating principles set her company apart from others: “Our EAs have real experience as executive assistants. We provide monthly training – the same type of training they would provide to their leadership team like ‘how to map an idea,’” says Biggins. “The executive assistant is part of your team.”
The company also takes the time to ensure the right EA is paired with the right customer, she adds.
“We’re rolling out a new advisory tool called ‘Admin Roadmap’ which will really break down what customers need.”
As the national media began to take notice of Greenville’s resilient post-pandemic economy, Biggins was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article. This in turn led to his company being featured in a “60 Minutes” episode on “The Big Quit”, which told the story of more than 20 million people quitting their jobs by the end of 2021.
Using data from LinkedIn to show the drastic changes in career goals and career aspirations of millions of people, Worxbee was held up as an example of the flexibility that many remote workers are looking for.
The spotlight filled Biggin’s inbox with interested EAs as well as potential customers.
“We are experiencing the ‘Oprah effect’,” she notes.
She plans to develop the business carefully.
“As a small business, we don’t have the ability to hire for a while,” says Biggins. She credits an exceptional management team for their contributions, including COO and integrator Angela Wynn, a seasoned EA and Nashville-based mother of five.
Biggins has also started offering a series of Friday videos with advice and motivation (hence the “visionary” part of its title) which she considers “a place where we can have very transparent conversations”.
A recent conversation dealt with operations and the idea of “leveling up”.
With a graduate degree from SCAD and corporate experience at Target before launching Worxbee, his enthusiastic wisdom made the videos popular with his staff and customers.
As a relatively new resident of the Greenville area, Biggins says the “tremendous” focus on small businesses and entrepreneurs is a positive. Her husband, who works for Apple, is also an entrepreneur; he runs a t-shirt business. Being close to his hometown of Atlanta is also a bonus.
“It’s largely community-based,” she adds, appreciating the city’s walkability and local shopping. “I feel like the little things keep you in a place.”