Blend and Balance

Blend and Balance

For most business owners who are parents to school-age children will be juggling hot potatoes this week, as its half-term. Personally I don’t mind this one as its only a week and it’s easy to flit between the two. Its Easter I am not a fan of, its long with bank holidays and the endless need to have been doing everything.

My kids get bored, they love the week holidays as it’s a little break but the Easter one they get bored, the summer holidays are a very different kettle of fish (where did that saying come from?)

How to manage

Not everyone has the luxury of having family around or nearby, so holidays can be a real juggling act and the sense of guilt, see there is that word again, its an emotion I am working so hard on dispelling for as many parents in business as I physically can, we need to banish guilt, and find a way of making running our business and school holidays work for us.

I blend…………. Not as in Nutribullet kind of blend, but I blend my time between business, children and both. It has taken some time for me to find the right balance and formula so here are my tips on getting through the half-term minus the guilt and truckload of stress!

My Tips for getting through the holidays

Set your intentions – this is the most important step, you need to be realistic with this if you normally work Monday – Friday 9 am to 3.30 pm without the children, then you need to set your intentions knowing that you will have company, take into consideration their ages, are you going to be able to still work those hours?

My two are 7 & 11, they are at that age now where I can do blocks of time uninterrupted, but I know as soon as I jump on a call or do a video war breaks out, so I avoid those tasks until I have business time.

So be realistic, you know that you will not get that normal time, so don’t fight it.

Grab a cuppa and your diary – spend 10 mins looking at your diary, seeing what you have going on, if you know that you have a call on Wednesday then make sure you make that day a business day and work your other days around that, so pick that one thing that HAS to be done and get that planned in and work the rest of your week around that one important task.

For me I know I have a call Monday afternoon, and I have a call Wednesday morning, so I have those days as business days, and the others are blended.

Blend – so when I say blend it’s using your day to please both, so an example of this could be AM family time, watch a film, play games, go for a walk, PM work time, but pick tasks that will only take small snippets of time, save the big tasks for your business days, don’t put big tasks in because if you get interrupted you’ll get frustrated and annoyed and start feeling stuck and guilty.

So, you could schedule some posts, source some images for your blog or newsletter, respond to posts or emails. But blend without GUILT.

Business days these are the days where you get shi!t did! Use these for your full-on tasks, those that you need concentration on, those that you know you can’t do when the children are home, so make sure you use that time wisely, and oddly I get so much more done when I have set time when I know that these things need doing without fail.

Enjoy – we need to remember our children are only small and at school for a really short period of time in the grand scheme of things, so be flexible, be realistic, enjoy your blended time, enjoy those days where you have blocked out to play mum or dad, and DON’T beat yourself up if things go awry!

Half-Term SOS  If you still find that the juggling is too much then you can use my specifically designed package to assist you, you can find out more HERE

I use this process for all of the holidays, it makes for a less stressful time, now I need a process to stop my two arguing…………..any suggestions? I am thinking double-sided Velcro and sticking them to the wall.

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10 Essential Pieces Of Software To Nail Your Biz Admin

10 Essential Pieces Of Software To Nail Your Biz Admin

I am an advocate for making sure we use things in business that is going to make our lives easier, benefit the time we have, and make our day to day tasks run more smoothly.

I also am a keen process implementer, I do feel that when we have to do things for our business and on a regular basis, having a process is key, this not only helps you to stay on track making sure you do all the right things in a specific way but also very handy should you hand certain tasks over to a VA for an example.

But, processes aren’t the only key aspect of making sure your business runs smoothly.  Also having the right tools makes a massive difference, but there are ridiculous amounts of tools out there that do the same thing, but having the time to research, compare and learn is the tricky part, so I have compiled a top 10 list of essential guide of what I feel are essential tools for your business:

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Working with your VA

Working with your VA

Horses for courses

With the use of virtual assistants on the rise in the UK, with more and more small to medium-sized businesses taking the opportunity to work with someone without having to pay employment fees.

These business owners are realising that having a VA on the books is a great way for progression and guidance, as well as the support that VAs give business owners.

Once you have got past the ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ question that quite often keeps you stuck and you start to work with one, you will quickly realise that it was the best investment you could make for your growing business.

With so many varieties of VA’s out there, you will never be shy in finding the perfect outsourcing solution, here are some different VA options:

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Who needs a Virtual Assistant?

Wwho 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 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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