Reasons Why Business Support Is Getting More Popular In The Past Decade.

Reasons Why Business Support Is Getting More Popular In The Past Decade.

I would love to say I am fresh out of school and at the start of a career, but that’s not the case at all. I have been in work since the mid-90s, I remember getting my first business support job, then getting another job in London (that’s my hometown) I remember finishing work and heading to the nearest wine bar and having a laugh with my work colleagues.

What I also remember is most people that I left school with went straight into employment, whereas nowadays I am seeing so many fresh-faced, young people leaving school or college and starting their own businesses. I think at that age whether you are going into employment or starting a business it is all a learning curve and hard work, I remember my first few jobs, going home and saying to my dad ‘blimey dad this working lark is tiring’ I remember him smirking at me, only now do I know now why he was smirking!

Hard Times

I know in my working life I have seen a lot of tough times when it comes to financial crisis and how some businesses got through those times but others didn’t, I know that now is still tough for some businesses out there, but with so many businesses popping up due to the rise of programmes such as The Great British Bake off, The Great British Sewing Bee, The Great Pottery Throwdown and Kirstie’s Handmade other such like shows. These shows have spurred on the public to start buying more British and handmade goods, people are happy to pay that little extra more for something, not mass produced and made in Britain, they love supporting small businesses, we even have things like #smallbusinesssaturday and other such events.

And so it begins

With this new surge of small businesses comes the need for business support, people are beginning to see there is an alternative, they are also seeing that there is a different kind of business support out there, gone are the days of large corporates having their typing pool’s or team secretaries, it has all changed, the small startups are able to now have their own business support, the small companies that have only 3 or 4 staff can have causal support but not cost a fortune.  In the last decade, we have seen an unprecedented rise in Virtual Assistants (VAs) that offer such support as a cost-effective solution.

You see a decade ago you didn’t have someone working from home purely as support, that support position was seen as an onsite role, bosses couldn’t see how you could provide support to the team if you weren’t in the same office as them or on the same phone loop, they were thinking inside the box.

Of course, there was also the small problem of technology! we all remember the mobile phones that would resemble a small suitcase with the flimsy wire that was meant to be the aerial! we all remember the fax machine that would make that really annoying high pitched noise, but not everyone was able to have these, which made working from home pretty much impossible.

Dawn of a new age

In the last decade we have seen technology change with the wind and in my opinion for the good, (minus those pesky keyboard warriors on social media!) with the winds of change it has swept in a new way of thinking and doing, it has opened up the amazing new world of support to business owners.

I have been in business support since I left school, I have seen the change from working on a floppy disc, DOS and WordPerfect, from communicating via telex and fax, to emails and online chat (which is revolutionary!) from having that office secretary sat in the office to have a VA business support person working in their home office giving you full business support.

What have we learnt in the last decade?

  • Working from home is more popular now than ever before
  • Mobile phones are small. slimline and cost a pretty penny, but lightweight! we all remember the Motorola
  • Online file sharing, who would have thought we could share work instantly over the internet, instead of saving to a large floppy disc and posting it!
  • Age! no one seems to ever look their age anymore!
  • Anyone can build a website to host their amazing new business venture
  • Reality TV! who would have known that watching Joe Bloggs would be great TV?
  • Apps! you could almost and I say almost! run your business via apps from your smartphone and tablet
  • Struggling Apple in the late 90s would become one of the biggest innovative companies of our future! and paved the way for upcoming technology
  • Crocs – who knew that they would ever take off!
  • Youtube! this is just as important as Google in my eyes, not only have I learnt many technical things to help fun my business, I have learnt how to make soap, and sew!
  • Free phone calls! that’s a biggie when I met my hubby our monthly bills were HUGE and I mean HUGE, remember cross network phone/text charges?
  • Free software, so many new businesses have the ability to use amazing tools and apps for free, you really can do so much with free options
  • Adverts! what are they, the dawn of live pause TV no one has to wait anymore, but now have to pause the TV to make a cuppa and slice of angel cake!
  • A minicomputer in your hand, who would have thought that your phone would be the extension of your PC
  • Facebook! this was such a game changer but has proven to be a huge asset to most business owners, gone are the days of leaflet dropping, when you can advertise to millions on here
  • Google! not even sure I could even imagine my life without Google, it’s my IT support, my parenting go-to, my everything, I ask it so much advice its crazy
  • GPS, haha gone are the days of getting lost, and having that ‘YOU’RE READING THE MAP UPSIDE DOWN’ rows!
  • Instant gratification – no one seems to have to wait anymore
  • Ipods, see I am at that age of cassette players with no rewind! I would have to turn the tape FF and flip it over again, who knew that there would be way of having all the music we could ever wish for on a mobile device
  • Texting!!!!! Oh my giddy aunt, R U STL CMG OVR 2NIITE? how did we manage that, I am sure I have RSI from texting!!!
  • VA’s who knew how vital they were to your growing business!

Let’s make your next decade less stressful

You see with the plethora of new businesses out there, us admin peeps are seeing that you need support, so let us use our decades of knowledge and help you succeed.

There are loads of Business Supports and VAs out there, and one that will just click with you. Get in touch today I would love to be able to help you.  Business support is getting better with thanks to technology, the rise of new businesses taking the plunge and believing in themselves and their products and services, it’s changing as VAs are becoming more than just a secretary!

Drop me a message HERE

Thanks for reading, this blog made me smile looking back on the last decade, so many things I could have listed

 

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Virtual Assistant vs employee

Virtual Assistant vs employee

This is something I get asked often:

‘why would I use a VA and not hire an admin assistant?’ 

Firstly, there is no right or wrong here, it is what suits you and your business at that time and place, you may find having a VA at the start of your business suits you better, then as you grow and business becomes more fruitful you may find that you need to start employing staff to be in your office/shop, and that is fine too.

There are many stages of business, and there are solutions for every step of the way, so make sure you do your research. You will know roughly your budget and workload, so your options should be clearer to you.

So, let’s take a peep – Let’s get this straight, I am not saying one is better than the other, let’s just take a step back, 5yrs ago I was an employed member of staff, so I have been both, this is just a broad overview of VA vs Admin Assistant, I am not here to tell you one is better than another, there are pros to both as well as cons to both.

Hiring an admin assistant 

Having someone based in your office is a plus, there is a huge advantage in having someone based in your office, that presence can be a plus for you and your clients but remember there is a price tag to having a member of staff in your office.

Some of those costs are can be a hindrance to your business:

  • Equipment
  • Sick pay
  • National Insurance contributions
  • Holiday pay
  • Lost money when the member of staff may not have much work on
  • Hiring fees (if using an agency)
  • Training

But the plus side of hiring an office-based member of staff:

  • Someone based in your office for specific times
  • Hired personal has set jobs and works solely for your business

Hiring a Virtual Assistant 

When you are just starting out or do not have the budget to hire a full-time member of staff, hiring a VA is a great way to get that support without breaking the bank balance.  But by no means am I saying that a VA is only suitable for small/medium businesses or start-ups, as 2 of my biggest clients are larger businesses with 10+ employees so that just shows that you can have a VA working alongside your bank of employees.

So, here are some pros and cons to hiring a VA:

  • You only pay for the time spent on a task
  • You can pay hourly or most VAs will have monthly retainers
  • No sick pay
  • No holiday pay
  • No equipment overheads
  • No training costs
  • Most VAs have a large network of support should there be a task or problem they need to work out
  • Your VA will 9 times out of 10 be located offsite, so this may play a part in your decision
  • Your VA will most definitely have more that one client, so offsets their time between their clients

Both work well 

Depending on where you are at in your business journey will heavily depend on your choice, as I said earlier there is no right or wrong, having support with your business is key, and how you chose to do it is down to you and your plan.

Small business support 

I know a lot of small business owners do prefer to support other small businesses, they like the relationship that you can build with your VA, and that they know they are also supporting another growing business.

For me, I have clients that have an hour a month and I have clients that have 10hrs a month, I also have project-based clients as well as ad-hoc clients.

Work on a plan

Your first action should be to sit down and work out what is keeping you stuck, what tasks are keeping you away from doing what you love to do, you know that thing that earns you money, that thing that made you start your business, so if there are things keeping you away from that, then you need to be figuring out what they are.

You then need to decide which will suit you and your business better. Remember you can hire someone on a part-time basis and you can also have a VA to work on large projects. It is your business you know what is best, and both options work well.

If you feel working with a VA is a viable option for you and your business then get in touch HERE I would love to be able to support you.

 

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Who needs a Virtual Assistant?

Who needs a Virtual Assistant?

Simple answer! Anyone.

Narrowed answer 

To narrow it down slightly, those that run a business and needs help with the multitude of tasks that come hand in hand with running a business.

As we know there are a lot of tasks that are necessary and thankless must do’s in business, and prior to employing someone, you are the one that has to do them all. But as you grow in your business you start to hear the whispers of outsourcing and you learn more about it.

This has been described as the ‘penny dropping’ moment, and this is when people start to realise there is affordable help out there.

Confusion 

There is a level of confusion surrounding Virtual Assistants, and how they work, how you pay them, what they can do for you as well as many other questions.  Mix that with yourself and the many excuses as to why you shouldn’t outsource, you will find that you will have reasons stopping you from taking that step, and guess what! This is perfectly normal, it may just feel like you are sabotaging your progress.

There are so many helpful sites out there to help you find your outsourcing solution.  There are a couple of VA Societies and associations that can guide you should you have specific needs, for example if you are in the medical industry than for you having a medical VA would be a better option for you, or if you in the legal field than sourcing a VA with legal experience would be more suitable for you.  There are VA’s out there that cover most if not all areas, it really is worth looking into it in detail.

Go slowly

Please take it easy when you start working with a VA, you are both getting used to each other and you work, your VA will be learning the ropes and how you have set your business up, they are here to help, not make it more difficult, so talk to your VA openly, holding things or processes back will only frustrate you and hinder your VA, in order for you to get that great working relationship you need to trust your VA and help them help you, and before you know it you gel and things just click.

But go slowly, don’t throw everything at your VA and expect them to have it done within 24hrs, be realistic, be kind, if you rush this you will end up regretting taking on a VA and that will then become a terrible experience and its totally avoidable.

So, in answer to my title, who needs a virtual assistant………YOU, I am assuming that you have found this blog via a search asking Google about virtual assistants, so you are possibly at that research stage.  If you need help with your tasks, then yes you could benefit from having someone to outsource too.

Make contact 

If you are at that stage, then why not get in touch 😊

 

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3 things that are stopping you from outsourcing

3 things that are stopping you from outsourcing

Hey everyone, so this week I wanted to run through the 3 biggest habits/reasons that are stopping you from moving forward on your outsourcing task.  We all know and I have spoken about in many past blogs that running your own business is amazing yet tough, but we do it as we love it, truly enjoy it.

For me supporting small and medium-sized businesses is super rewarding, I feel I offer one thing, yet my clients tell me I offer them so much more than the task in hand, which gives me an immense feeling of pride and accomplishment.

For one client, not only am I providing business support, but I give her a sense of security as well as having someone there to be your accountability partner, and sometimes that really does help us in business, as we can often talk ourselves out of a good idea, so thrashing out those ideas with someone kind of makes you less likely to sweep it under the carpet!

Why am I here?

If you are running a business, then you will be familiar with things like online marketing, this in itself is pretty much a full-time job, your blogs, your newsletters, your social media posts, keeping up with the latest update and trends, answering your crowd, then you have other tasks, emails, travel arrangements, meetings, diary, creating products or carrying out your services, the list can be quite extensive and daunting.

So why am I here pointing this all out to you, you run a business, you know what you have to do, but I am here to tell you, you are probably the main reason you haven’t taken that step to outsourcing!

 

Here are the 3 top reasons I hear that are stopping you from taking that leap:  

No idea where to start! I have heard of business support and VA’s but when I started looking at the world of outsourcing, it just overwhelmed me!

Firstly, don’t let it overwhelm you, you are doing this to better your business and help you move forward if this is something that is causing you stress then break it down, like with every task you do in business, small chunks are more manageable. Write down the tasks that are keeping you stuck, this is the first thing for you to do, most of my clients said they needed help mainly with their blogs and newsletters, it was something they wanted to do, but was struggling to find the time to either start up a blog and regular newsletter or had trouble keeping it up to date.

My advice is write down the tasks that you feel are keeping you away from the jobs that create your customers and income.  Then I would either connect in your local Facebook pages to see if there are any VA’s in your area, or failing that you can get in touch with a couple of VA societies that have lists of VA’s that either match you in location, price range, experience etc.  I have listed this here:

I am only a small business, its just me, I can’t justify or afford a VA!

90% of my current clients are solo entrepreneurs! I also have clients that have offices and staff, there is no wrong or right demographic to outsourcing, so don’t feel just because its only you are working from your house you cannot outsource! Secondly, most VAs cost around £20-35ph, as well as monthly retainer packages, you will find that most VA’s offer a standard of 1hour a month, and if that is what you need then that is all you need to purchase, do not feel that it is too small to ask for.  In that hour most VAs will be able to draft and or format at least one or two blog posts (how long would that take you?) most could source a couple of weeks’ worth of images for your social media, most can copy type several pages documents, most could make an indent on the powerpoint presentation that has been sat on your desk for a month! Stop justifying your desire to progress!

 

It’s my business, I know how everything works, and I should be able to cope with what my business throws at me!

Ah yes! We have those business owners that will NOT cut themselves any slack and will often be found in the dead of the night or over weekends catching up on EVERYTHING that their business throws at them.  Can I just say, yes, it is your business, yes you do know how everything works but that does not mean you have to do it all yourself! And equally yes there are a lot of things that you should be able to cope with whilst running your business, scheduling in posts, re-purposing your content, marketing your blog I don’t feel are those tasks you should be doing!

Solutions

There are so many solutions out there to help you run your business smoothly, effectively and efficiently, most VA’s are pretty flexible and work around you and your business, you need to stop putting obstacles in your way in moving forward in your business. As I mentioned most VAs can work on an hourly basis with a minimum of 1 hr, use this wisely, outsourcing is vital to your business and your sanity.

Discovery Call

If any of this resonates with you, or your business is picking up and you are finding you have fewer hours to do those tasks, then see this as an opportunity to put something in place now, before you do get into a spin that you cannot get out of, book a FREE call with me and we can run through your sticking points.

 

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Guest blog – Keeping Your Head In It

Guest blog – Keeping Your Head In It

Mindset I know that it’s seen as the guff & fluff of business.  I know that lots of people would look on and say – ack well, how important can that really be?  Why should I waste my time considering my mindset when I have so much other shit to get done?

Woah woah woah…..

I know that mindset is the difference between success and failure.  It’s one of the most fundamental things to get right in your business.  If you wanted me to list the most important things in your business they would look include MINDSET & ACTION as the forerunners.

If the mind isn’t aligned then the action is irrelevant.

Equally, a great mindset and no action isn’t going to get you results either.

They could together hand in hand.  Without the ability to align, to believe and to achieve a passively good mindset then you are going to constantly be buffering up against yourself.  You will go out there – all hell for leather and hustle your little butt off BUT then you’ll keep hitting a kink in the road and it will totally throw you off.  You will end up with your head in your hands, questioning your abilities and your worth.

MINDSET IS IMPORTANT!

Without getting your mindset right you will keep stalling your progress.

Let’s just beat down the additional steps that I would deem as important in your business too;

Mission – what are you here to do

Who Are You Here To Serve (looking at commonality in your crowd)

Message – what are you here to share with them

Visibility – that ridiculous marking bollock word that’s all about being seen and showing up.  Essentially it means are you actually sharing that message, are you doing the shit you need to be doing, are you serving your crowd?

Service – go serve the pants off your crowd.

Anyways – back to Mindset. Self-talk has the most ginormous impact on your mindset and the self-talk fairy can hideous and be consumed with her chatter.  I have found that the less “proof” you have of any particular situation or circumstances the louder and nastier that chatter can be.  What do I mean by this?  Well, making progress in your business is always about taking the next step, it’s always about doing things you haven’t done before and being ballsy enough to show up and do your thang (no matter what) and as soon as we step into unknown realms this brings us questions about self-worth, about whether we can do it and the self-talk fairy dives in with all the reasons you shouldn’t do it, all the reasons you should stay safe and all the reasons why you will fail.

Now, when we have evidence paths (prior experience of similar situations) we are able to shut the self-talk fairy up and slap her down with ease because we can call on evidence that it will be ok.

If we have no evidence then she can have a field day and leave you doubting EVERYTHING.

My big advice

Is to start to bring together an Evidence Base – I would suggest that you grab a notebook or open a file within an app on your phone (something that you can have to hand all of the time) and start to right down the evidence of the things that you’ve done well, the stuff you’ve achieved, the times you’ve felt scared but dug deep and come out of the other side, the stuff you’re proud of, the feedback you’ve had from your audience, the goals you’ve smashed and used it as a good old big up of your self. It might feel very ego-centric BUT the idea is that it will allow you to bash down the self-talk fairy with ease when she get’s started.

Outsourcing

Let’s turn our attention to mindset when it comes to outsourcing things in your business.  I know that you’re going to say;

I can’t afford it

It’s easier for me to do it than show someone else how to do it.

It’s something that “big” businesses do.

I have a little reframe for you when it comes to outsourcing.  Look at outsourcing as an investment.  It’s an investment which allows you to free up your time.  The time that you free up should be, initially, used for money-making activities.  You can then get a return on that investment at the outset and therefore this will show you that that investment is truly worthwhile.

You can do this all by yourself but you don’t have to do it alone AND you won’t be able to do it at all if you burn out.


In Summary…..

Mindset work isn’t guff & fluff and it isn’t lame!!

Here’s the thing – if the mind ain’t aligned then the action is irrelevant. So just “doing” isn’t enough. You need to have the mind aligned with the action you are taking in order to achieve the very best results.

 

Flip it the other way – the mind is aligned but no action is taken will result in no progress.

 

Mind + Action = Results.

An aligned, positive and connected mindset is necessary AND action is necessary.

 



Emma Holmes - Rebels & Rockstars

Emma Holmes is the Proud Owner and Founder of Rebels & Rockstars: a hatchery for entrepreneurs with soul.

Helping heart-centred and soulful entrepreneurs to build ridiculously big businesses is her vocation, and she still pinches herself sometimes, that this is actually her job. (She used to be a lawyer who loved living in corporate land, but when mummy guilt arrived, she challenged herself to a new adventure.)

Emma’s also an outsource cheerleader and a spiritual but practical kind of soul. And she is definitely not scared of a challenge. (She set herself the biggest challenge of her self-employed life in 2015 – to grow a £100k online business without using the ‘tried-and-tested icky sales techniques’ that £100k biz owners usually resorted to.)

Her 2015 success story has since been put to good use (many times), and Emma is positively thrilled to have helped her clients with some pretty amazing online launches – 18k income in one day, launches of £54k+ in sales, and a 30K in 30 days project are just a tiny snapshot of her clients’ achievements.

But what makes Emma beyond ordinary is that she has her own interpretation of business success, and it isn’t about totting up your bank balance.  She knows real, long-lasting business success is about creating a sustainable business you love, which grows naturally, fits around your lifestyle and family, and enables your authenticity, and sparkly personality to shine.

As well as being a real-life human blogging machine, Emma has also been featured on That’s Manchester TV and BBC Radio. She’s written for Business Rocks, Freelance Parenting, Fresh Business Thinking, Talented Ladies Club, and MeMeMe.

In a nutshell, she’s proud to be a square peg who doesn’t care about round holes and fitting in boxes. And she encourages her clients to do the same.

https://www.rebelsandrockstars.com/

https://facebook.com/EmmaHolmesRebelsandRockstars/

Wibbly Wobbly!

Wibbly Wobbly!

Hands up who has had a wobble whilst running their business? I raise my hand too, now how many of you have them regularly? Yep, my hand is up too! Has anyone told you that this is normal and not to beat yourself up?

I will let you into a little secret, I had a MAHOOSIVE wobble last Friday, it was quite possibly the biggest I have ever had, and it was all over my confidence and my self-belief! The lack of self-belief just sparked off this whiff of doubt which then turned into a complete anxiety attack!

A necessary evil 

I will go out on a limb here and say these doubts and little wobbles that we all have are a necessity in business, I think it’s our way of getting all the fears and obstacles that we put in our way, out there and we are made to address them.  I know if I have a concern I tend to shove it to the back of my mind and try to forget about it, but after a while the back of my mind gets a bit full, so when I go to shove a small issue in my back-office memory bank, my brain says ‘erm nope I’m too full time to get it all out’ and that’s where the wobbles come from.

When we have these wobbles everything comes out, you name it, it’s coming out, from that daft issue a few months back to the full on ‘aaaagggghhh I’m an imposter’ the imposter part comes out because you have reached a limit and doubting EVERYTHING, not because you are an imposter!

What should we do? 

So, what should we do when we have these wobbles or worse an anxiety attack, well don’t do what I did last week, which was to try and fight it and fob it off as it will just win and consume you, my Friday was a complete washout and felt like I had taken a battering my Mike Tyson!

What I should have done was step away from work, have a cuppa, grab a pen and pad, and offload everything that has been weighing on my mind, as well as reaching out to my close network of friends that I have gained in the online world since starting my business, and talking with them about my worries, because I know if I had done this within a short period of time from when it started I could have nipped this in the bud so much quicker than I did.

Pinpoint the issues

I was fortunate enough to e able to pinpoint where my wobble came from, it was down to subconsciously setting my sights too far ahead, yes you know the thing I told you not to do the other week! Well this will be why we shouldn’t, as it tends to sneak up on you and bite you in the derrière.  Don’t get me wrong I am not saying don’t plan, I am all for planning and goal setting, its great for you and your business to see where you are going.  I think for me it was more the panic of securing more clients, my goals are reachable and achievable, I just panicked and wondered am I good enough to serve the pants off more fabulous clients, and Friday my answer to that was no.

I can say that as of Monday this week, my whole mindset had shifted, I felt having that wobble was my way of clearing my head to make room for more amazingness and ideas on how to best support my current and new clients.

Reason

The list for this can be the long as your arm, you may find it is all the small things that have hit you or things you have been storing up over a course of time, then the smallest thing will tip that balance.

  • Not enough work
  • Too much work
  • Lack confidence
  • Imposter syndrome
  • General health, tiredness and diet catching up with you
  • Money worries

Those I have listed are some of the biggest wobble points for many business owners and most are fixable, it’s finding that workable goal.

Pick yourself up

The longer you wallow in the wobble pit the longer it is going to take to get yourself back on track, acknowledge why you are having the wobble, write down workable solutions and dust yourself down and start afresh tomorrow, you must look after yourself peeps! Being a business owner is the best thing I have done when it comes to work, but honestly, it is the most stressful thing I have done too, we are incredibly hard on ourselves as business owners.

So, acknowledge the wobble and the reasons behind it, stop dismissing yourself, and that is a warning to myself as well.

Get in touch

If you have had wobbles and they are connected to not knowing which way to turn with your workload then please do get in touch, I would love to sit with you and go through some solutions in order to make stress levels calm down, even just thrashing out some ideas can make things seem less angsty.

 

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Habits can be broken!

Habits can be broken!

 

Happy New Year to you all

I was going to start 2018 with a blog about being kind to yourself and going easy through the month of January, but I have done that in December, and reiterated it on my Facebook page, so I thought this week I would focus on shifting those habits, you know the ones that are keeping you stuck!

We all have them, and research shows we can break habits within 28 days, so if you are thinking of putting any resolutions in place remember to be patient as behavioural and habit changes take time.

Let’s look at those things that can stop you in your tracks and keep you stuck:

Procrastination

This is a biggie and one that hits everyone at some point in the day, yes, I said day, I would be very surprised and would want to work with the person who never gets hit by this.  But instead of beating yourself up over getting hit by procrastination, embrace it and look at it with a different view, look at what you are doing that is blocking you, is the task you are doing too big for the time you have? Is the task too complicated and you just haven’t a clue on how to progress or even start it?

Once you have figured out the why, the how is so much easier, its like drilling down when you search the Internet, can’t, won’t and don’t, won’t give you the answers, you have to be more specific and it’s the same when looking at the tasks that are keeping you stuck.

Tools

You can spend an age searching for the right tools for the job, keep this simple! Pick the tools you need to get by on a day to day basis, aim for the free versions, you’ll find most free versions will be enough to get you started, to be honest, 90% of my daily tools are on the free version and have been using them for the best part of 4 years.  Trello, Canva, Dropbox, most scheduling tools have decent free versions.

Distractions

There are 100s of distractions during your working day, most invade your space without you paying any attention, email, social media, phone, visitors, chores, you name it they are there in abundance, and they may not take up tons of your time, but together they can really eat into your productivity and time.

A couple of tips to get past those distractions:

  • Check your personal social media before you sit at your desk, maybe over breakfast or your morning coffee, this eliminates the need to check it when you log on
  • Log straight onto your business page, and turn off notifications
  • Only check your email twice a day and keep the actual program closed, this avoids over checking
  • If you get notifications on your phone put your phone out of sight or even on Do Not Disturb. If you can turn the notifications off.
  • Be firm with visitors, this took a long time for me as people would see my car on my drive and POP in for a coffee and a natter as I was home, of course, I’m home, my business is home-based, but nearly 4yrs into my business and I have this one under control, that is mainly due to having my office at the end of my garden, I don’t hear my doorbell
  • Chores! Now this one I did struggle with and sometimes still do, before heading out to my office I tend to fly around my house and do a quick tidy up after my children set the clothes bomb off, but I limit that to a certain amount of time then off to work I go, it’s finding that balance to make you feel like you have done some bits but also taking your business seriously.

Changeable

The things I have mentioned are the common ones that I have heard from my clients, these are the things that suck up their time, and make them feel stuck, but these are the things they can change. The small tweaks can make the biggest differences.

This Year 

If this year is the year for you to change what you do with your time, and try to gain control of hours, and outsourcing is on your list, then do get in touch, I am so excited to be able to carry on supporting my current clients and taking on new clients, supporting them and their amazing businesses.

 

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My last for 2017

My last for 2017

Well, we have made it to the last working week of 2017! And what a hectic one it was, I had visions of taking it easy this week, kicking back, doing a spot of office house cleaning, tidying up my downloads folder, clearing my inbox, scheduling in posts for the festive period, tieing up loose ends…………How many did it get done! Well as I sit and write this now, precisely none haha

 

I find myself in a bit of a reflecting mood as I pen my last blog of the year, I must say this year has probably been my best year since starting Remote Admin Services back in January 2014, a lot has changed in those few years.  I am rounding this year off totally different to how 2016 was finishing, this year I am finishing with a stack of work, and more happy clients than ever before.

 

What happened?

I think it is important to be flexible with your business, and not keep yourself stuck, we as people evolve and change this is the same with our businesses, we need to embrace how our business changes and go with the flow, so for me when I first started out I was Remote Admin Services, this year saw a change to my brand, it was given a massive overhaul by the ever so talented and gorgeous Vicki Nicholson of Branding Therapy, we gave my brand the personal touch and tweaked my name to Remote Admin Services with Claire, this gave it a more personal touch. Vicki is the lady you should speak to if you are looking on refreshing your brand, she even has amazing programmes that guide you to building a better brand, check it out HERE

I had the social media genius that is Beckie Coupe of Infinity with Beckie Coupe run through my social media, giving me every hint, tip, trick and advice she could. Beckie is the go-to lady when it comes to anything social media, she really knows a lot and has the ability to stop you from running around in a frenzy every time Facebook changes something.  Beckie also has the best monthly email services, its called The Social Media Accelerator, this is an email sent to you once a month with so many content ideas to see you through the month.

Then I had the super productive Sarah Cornforth of The Productivity Princess run through some of my processes to see where I could tweak my personal business time, I found that I was super productive with my client work, but my business was suffering, but Sarah helped me put that right. Sarah also has a fab monthly club that helps you move from stuck to productive, Her Zen Productivity club is fab and worth checking out.

Then there is what I can only describe as the female version of the Tasmanian devil, the little whirlwind of ‘getting sh!t done’ the one that knows what to say at the right time, the one that just knows what you are thinking and gives you the self-belief that you really can do this and that you really are awesome, or if that doesn’t work a swift kick up the backside! she really is the cream of the crop Emma Holmes of Rebels and Rockstars, she really has been the catalyst to my year being the success that it has been, I have several times contacted Emma having a wobble and she has put me right. I would love to set you a challenge to find someone as open, passionate, genuine, to the point, empathetic and knowledgeable as Emma. She is by far my biggest reason for doing so well this year.

I have also found massive support this year in my VA groups, I have found a great foundation of support and gives me ideas for further changes and tweaks to my business.  This is what I mean about being open and willing to give your business a helping had to evolve and change.

 

Upcoming in 2018

I don’t like to plan much before the year is out, and to be honest, I don’t plan much in January full stop, I find it a busy month and one that a lot of people struggle with, so adding goals and must do’s to an already depressing month doesn’t sit well with me.

So, it is a case of sit and watch this space, I know that I will be kicking as much backside as I have done this year if not more, I will continue to grow my confidence, my services and my client base, and more importantly enjoy what I do.

 

Log off and kick back

As I mentioned in my last blog Take having a break seriously you need this break, you need to step away from your business even if it is just for a few days, you need to unplug and recharge your batteries, we have all been working like lunatics this year, burnout isn’t an option, so make sure you take time off.  As much as we all love what we do, it can soon become a chore!

 

At the start of this blog, I had said I hadn’t done half the things I was planning to do this week, even schedule in posts for the festive season, and you know what! I may just go a little rogue not schedule and just play it by ear, I would normally have things planned in for this time of year, but I think this year, I will see what mood I am in on a particular day and post something relevant! Let’s see how that one works out, if it doesn’t work I will be crying to Beckie 🙂

 

So, for now, I want to thank you all for reading and engaging with me this year, it has been a full on year, I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I hope 2018 brings you health, wealth and happiness.

 

All my love xx

 

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Take having a break seriously!

Take having a break seriously!

This is a pretty short but sweet blog post this week. Business owners are a rare and strange breed of people, in our employed days I am sure we would have been incredibly vocal on our rights and working hours etc, but as soon as we run our own business all normal services flies out the window.

I’m here to say…………

YOU NEED TIME OFF! You need to take a break from what you do, but saying it isn’t enough, making yourself accountable is what is needed!

So grab your diary and put in there your last working day and when you plan to return to work and put it out there on your social media, trust me you will not implode, your business will not collapse.  But you could come January.

We all need a break, its simple! Don’t get me wrong I never used to take time off, in fact this year was the first year I actually took 2 whole weeks off during the summer holidays and funny enough my business was still there when I returned, in fact, I came back full of steam and raring to go and I have had one of the best quarters.

And this year I will be taking time off over Christmas, I have 2 young children (9&5) and they rightly so want as much mummy and daddy time as possible, and I have many many dates with my hubby, chocolate and Jack Daniels 🙂

What’s stopping you?

I can see you are still hesitating! Why? Are you worried you going to fall off the social media earth? If you are worried about that here are some tips:

  1. Look at your social media now, and what your current strategy is, then think how many times over the festive break do you want to post? I would suggest from 23rd December onwards once a day would be enough to engage with your crowd, as most will be off enjoying their break.
  2. Schedule in those posts over the next few weeks.
  3. Don’t post anything that is too heavy, traction maybe less over the holiday period, most of your crowd will see your posts, but they may not be in the headspace to take in too much heavy content, so keep it light and bitesize
  4. If you are posting over the festive break try not to load your posts with questions, as you will have to be there to reply to everyone, I am sure your family will not thank you for this!
  5. One tip I heard from the lovely Beckie Coupe from Infinity with Beckie Couple, was to schedule in some extra posts so it’s not the first thing you have to deal with on your return to work, as I am sure there will be other things that need your attention when you go back in January.

My dates

So this year my last day in the office will be Thursday 21st December and aiming to be back in the office Monday 8th January, now this has changed since I was held accountable to take time off, I originally said I would be back on the 4th as that is the day my children go back to school, but I am actually going to treat myself to an extra few day, why not?

So what days are you going to take off?

Is it time?

Busy business owners can get so stressed, feeling like they are between a rock and a hard place, never knowing where to turn, or how they are going to get out of the backlog that is building up, but because we are often a one-woman ship we feel we should be able to do everything on our own.  Which is often not the case at all, so if you are thinking that your workload in 2017 was too much then chances are 2018 it will only grow.

Don’t let your pride or worry stop you from looking at outsourcing, f you are already thinking your workload this year was tough there is a high chance you have left asking for help for far too long, don’t leave it another year, start looking for outsourcing help sooner rather than later.  With a VA we don’t tie you into a large hourly package, most if not all like myself offer hourly rates, most and again myself are very flexible, our aim is to help support business
owners, not make your life more stressful.

Why not put on your list for January to book a FREE 30 minute discovery call with myself and lets see if we can get you back from your admin breaking point.

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Review of your year!

Review your yearSo every year I tend to do a quick review on where I am, what I currently do for my clients, what more I can do to support them, as well as looking at where I want my business to go next year.

This week for me is my review week, I don’t tend to do it in December and I find it too much of a stress month to add another fairly big task to run with.  Not sure about you by December is filled with finding hiding places for all those parcels that have been delivered, explaining why there are several Santa’s around town, remembering to move the elf before I go to bed, school plays, pantos, Christmas dinners, social media, client work etc, so throwing in several client reviews wouldn’t be the best use of productivity in what already is a hectic time of year.

I started this week with a quick look at where my business has gone this year, and I must say this year is probably my best yet, I have continued to support my long-term clients, I have gained some truly awesome new clients who are doing amazing things in their businesses, I am so fortunate to be able to support them. I have to say business wise 2017 has rocked for me here at RAS.

So, how can I improve on my progress from this year?


Small targets! 

Like with 2017, I will be setting small realistic targets for next year, it can be so easy to add in so many HUGE and unachievable targets at the beginning of each year, which will only deflate you if you start missing those goals, so instead of giving yourself one massive target break it down into several smaller ones, a bit like your to-do list, this way your confidence in what you do will grow as you hit your goals each month.  This year I set myself 4-5 small goals a month, 1 slightly larger one for 6 months and a 1 largish goal for the end of the year, and some of the smaller monthly tasks were heading to my ultimate goal for the end of the year, so I was always seeing my progress as the months ticked on.

Be realistic 

First day back in the office refreshed and pleased you don’t have to commute hours by train to your office because you run your own business, you sit down to start jotting your goals on paper, as we all know writing them down makes you accountable (yeah righty ho!) but we still do it, we are super pumped and off we go:

2015 list

  1. Earn enough to go to Florida (deadline March!)
  2. Earn enough to only work (deadline Easter)
  3. Earn enough to book a regular spa (deadline before summer holidays I need to be prepared)
  4. Gain more clients (deadline February)

(this is a real-life goals list from a close business buddy of mine) she set it 2yrs ago, and when I asked her the other week how many she ticked off, she said none! She told me she became disheartened and deflated when the first goal was missed.

She has since redone her list, in fact we both sat down at the start of this year and made our goals together, she is a bit of an accountability buddy for me.  On her list for 2017 she had:

  1. Offer more hours to her current client base (deadline March)
  2. Take on 3 more 1-2-1 clients (deadline July)
  3. Earn £150 extra each month (ongoing)
  4. Continued from 2016 earn deposit for 2018 family holiday (deadline December)

These were just a couple of hers that she was happy for me to share with you all, you can see the clear difference between the 2 years, she told me that 2015 was negative for her due to the constant missing goals, she quickly realised they were too big and the deadlines were unrealistic. She refused to set goals in 2016!

I was talking to her over the weekend and said that this week I was doing my review, she said she would let me know how hers had gone, so yesterday we had a quick live chat, out of the 4 listed above she has completed all of them, she is going into the travel agents on Saturday and laying the deposit for her family holiday next year.  She said that her goals were more achievable and realistic deadlines, and with each one she crossed off the more confidence it had given her.

Moral of this! 

Set yourself goals, I actually think they are a healthy thing to have in your business, but don’t expect to move the moon closer to the earth, we already have more pressure on us as it is by running our business, why put more on our shoulders but adding unrealistic goals! Start small and few at a time.

Outsourcing 

Is 2018 the year for you to offload some of those tasks that are weighing you down? Don’t let it become an issue or too late and your stress levels hit the roof. If you are already working late nights and odd days over the weekend or struggling to knock things of your ever growing to do list, then maybe having a VA on hand maybe the right option for you!

Check out this blog about working with me

Let’s make sure 2018 rocks for us all, with no added pressures made by ourselves 😊

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