What happens to your content?

What happens to your content?

If I was to ask you once you have set your blog to go live, what happens to that content, you would say?

‘Well Claire they are on my blog, I don’t do anything else with them’

Or

‘Funny you should ask this Claire, as I was struggling to find content the other day and didn’t know where to start looking!’

Well my answer to this would be ‘you need a content library’, clearly, I am not asking you to go lease a building and store every bit of content you have on your business, I am talking about using a system like Trello (there are others this is just my preferred choice)

With something like Trello you can create boards and cards with all of your content, this then making your search a lot easier.

Why I use Trello

I have been using Trello ever since I started my Business, I found it a great way to store useful information, and before I knew it I was hooked, I started to realise the possibilities were endless, and how it could streamline and make my life easier.

It was somewhere I could store my ideas, the information I used regularly so handy to have one go-to place. And I have not looked back since.

Using Trello for your Content Library

When clients ask me to help them with their content library, they have either heard of Trello and not gone any further, or they know all about it and have an account but that’s it, either way, is fine with me.  I then talk with my clients and ask their main goal in creating this library of content, some want to just have their posts on social media stored on there or some just want their blogs and newsletters.

It is all down to personal preference, I happen to have my social posts on there as well as my blogs and newsletters, for me it makes it easier to find and repurpose, also If you have a business that has events on a regular event then having any related posts to that event on hand will make your life so much easier, instead of having to scroll through the lists of other posts between those events.

It is all about making your life easier, making use of the time you have during the day, sometimes having things that make us click away too many times can cause a pause in time and start procrastination! So having your content in one place and visually kept, makes looking for things quicker and easier.

No Time for that

I know I can hear you now saying, ‘seriously Claire, I have no time for coffee!’ that would upset me more knowing you can’t get your caffeine fix let alone have a shiny new content library! I feel the need to come and bring you a coffee.

But joking aside, creating a library of your amazing content is a time consuming task from scratch and I get how and why it’s not at the top of your list, but it is a real double edge sword, you need something to post quickly, but you spend an age searching for it, yet if you had the library you could find in a jiffy, but what is the solution?

In a nutshell ME! 

Claire to the content library rescue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know I don’t blow my own trumpet often enough, but I really can help you, like with other clients that have taken me on to help them with their content and putting it into one place, I really can make a difference, I can take all your lovely content and put it into Trello, I can add your blogs and images, your social media posts add links etc

What next?

If you would like me to help you, most of my clients that I have helped with this took out a monthly retainer package, this gave them peace of mind that they had a block amount of time and did not have to worry about running over my minimum time slot.

If it really is something that you need to get sorted, why delay? Get in touch today, here’s how:

Contact me page

Facebook

I really don’t want you to struggle to create processes which will, in turn, free up precious time.

Signoff

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 😊

 

Signoff

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.

 

Signoff

 

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.

 

Signoff

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.

 

Signoff

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

 

Signoff

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.

Signoff

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 😊

Signoff

Monkey Around with Memes

Monkey around with Memes

 

So memes! Most people love a good meme, and frankly, anything visual on the social networks works wonders for your reach.  But surprisingly it’s a task that can suck up so much vital time in your working day, you start with all good intentions but before you know it 2 hrs later and you are still no further forward! Yet I was able to create these easily for clients, yet my own was like pulling teeth.

I found that when I started doing these, I felt like I was bobbing up and down in a sea of quotes and images, I would spend a few hours on this task, and by the time my eyes were watering and frankly bored to death of them, I hadn’t really made a dent.  It became frustrating and an annoyance, which then made the task a less important one, and one that I did as and when a meme was required.

So, what changed? I re-visited my process (which was non-existent) and pinpointed my stumbling blocks, and believe it or not there were a few.  So I went through what frustrates me, what was the need for them, why it wasn’t working and so on.

And now I have a whole new process that seems to be working, remember like with any process, it’s a work in progress, if you need to tweak then do so, don’t wait for it to stop working again, if you find one thing isn’t working then change that one thing, instead of letting it manifest into a bigger problem.

So what did I change?

Themes

I found giving myself themes for each day of the week has given me some clarity, I use these themes to create memes and posts with ease, some days I will use them for motivation other days maybe things that can make your business work better for you. 

If you want to work with themes write down the days of the week, and pick a subject that you want to talk about for each day, so for example only, you could say Motivation Monday, Top tips Tuesday and so on, a fantastic way to find ideas is via Twitter, you will find under trending theme days. 

Imagery

Ok, so this one is quite possibly my biggest time sucker, I am slightly partial to a good business image, now for me I work alongside my branding, I had my branding done this year by the ever so talented Vicki Nicholson of Branding Therapy, once she completed it all she gave me my guidelines, which consists of my brand colours, fonts etc, I also know that my business, in general, is designed to support mums in business, so that helps me narrow my images, so based on branding, colour and ideal customer it makes that a little quicker, my problem is there are so many lovely images, and at the moment I am still only on the free stock option! 

My tips for imagery sourcing 

  • Colours, go with your branding colours, if you have not had your brand done, then go with logo colours, and what you feel makes your business stand out
  • Go for images that reflect your ideal customer
  • You don’t have to go with people in images all the time, backdrops, scenery are also very good, and could work better if you chose certain themes
  • Choose 5-10 at any one time, more than that and you are not really picking because you like them, it’s because you have gone into click overdrive!

Block time

Set yourself 30 minutes a week, I know that doesn’t sound much but It’s enough once you are all set up, now when you first start a new process you might find that you will be spending a few hours a week on this, to perfect your process it will take time.  But once it’s how you want it, try to only do 30 mins a week sourcing images and thinking of content.

Concentrate on 4 

Ok so my biggest problem when I first started doing these was working on the basis that I had to have one for each day of the month, so was sat down trying to create 30 of these things and was meant to still be in love with them when I finished, when in reality by the 15th I was sick of them.

So now, I’ve simplified it more, as an example, in October there were 5 Mondays, so at the end of September I created in Canva 5 of my Monday themed memes, transferred them to my other system Trello where I create the content and they were done, so within less than 15 mins all my Monday memes were ready for October, the following day 15 mins set aside and I done 5 Tuesday memes, and so on.  I have managed to drop the length of time now as I am into the process, but at the start, I had to set a timer, and this will be the same for you.

Schedule 

So once I have done my creating, I start to schedule my memes, I currently only schedule on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn as I feel these are my most relevant platforms, I schedule direct on Facebook by use ContentCal for the rest of my scheduling (love it, it’s so visual), again because you have batched them into themes, you could on a Friday at the end of each month schedule in all Monday and Tuesday posts in one sitting, and so on.

These are some of the slight changes I have made to my meme and general posts to my social media, each of these small changes has given me back more time, and frankly, I find the whole
process less stressful, boring or monotonous.

Give is a go and let me know. Have you got any processes that save you time that you want to share with us?

Don’t forget I can help you with creating these, if you just find that this is something you desperately want to do, but no matter what process you have you just don’t have the time, then get in contact, I am happy to have a chat with you to see if I can I help you move forward from being stuck!

 

Signoff