SOCIAL MEDIA – A DISTRACTION OR A NETWORKING AND COMMUNICATION TOOL?

With Social Media so prevalent we are all extremely visible. Your prospective clients, your peers and your competition can drill as deep as they wish searching, reading and gathering information online about you and posted by you without you ever knowing who’s searching. Depending on what they find, your prospects may choose to do business with you or not.” Mari Smith, marismith.com

To most people social media is like marmite you either love it or hate it. Social media such as twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, just to name a few, play a big role in people’s daily lives.  

People use social media for a variety of reasons, such as keeping in touch with friends and family across the world, make new friends and finding old friends or old school mates.  Social media has something for every community. Other people use it as a networking tool for business, acquiring new clients and forming new partnership.

It has created new careers paths and working practices. It is also considered a great marketing tool for those with online businesses, vloggers and bloggers. Every like, every follow and; every comment creates a sense of reassurance to the user that there is someone out there appreciating their thought process.

According to a study by the New York Times, people share information on social media for a variety of reasons. Their reasons include a desire to share what they consider amusing content to others and in particular to define their personal digital brand.

Social media has evolved from being a handy means of keeping in touch with friends and family to being used in shaping the business world, politics, education, careers and much more.

In the last couple of years, we have seen the impact social media has had on elections, such as in the American presidential elections and even Brexit. In fact, a study carried out by Cardiff University cites that Instagram was very popular with younger voters in the run up to the elections held in December 2019.

Social media enables people to share information quickly and in real time. The ability to share photos, opinions, events etc in real time has transformed the way we live and how we do business. Most businesses nowadays use social media as an essential part of their marketing strategy. It has become a key means of engaging with customers and for customers to connect with businesses.

As Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon, puts it “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends”, that’s the power of social media.

It has changed the way people communicate with each other and what they share about themselves.

For those who have a Facebook account, its sharing information with people they have not seen in years and they will probably never contemplate having face-to-face meeting with or just sit down for a good old fashion chat with them.

Some people go on social media just to check other people’s stories whilst others use it as an inspiration maybe for artistic or creative works or just for information.

Social media is a very powerful technological tool, when used properly it enhances people’s lives and businesses. However, it has the potential to make people anti-social and take away their ability to interact on a face to face basis.

……Sometimes, it’s better to pick up your phone and call someone for a chat or organise a coffee morning, or even better still contact someone on your social media to meet up.

….You never know what difference that might make in someone’s life to have that social connection.“Social media is the greatest leadership tool ever invented. It gives you the opportunity to amplify your voice, extend your influence, and create a tribe of passionate followers who want to hear from you.”Michael Hyatt

Building Relationships and the Customer Journey

Empathetic, expert and engaging customer service brings the greatest chance of profit and sustainability to your business by building a healthy relationship with your customers!

It’s true, but let’s explain what that means in practical terms.

Offering a quality product in attractive packaging is just not enough to gain customer loyalty as consumers look for intangible services that only a courteous and knowledgeable customer service can offer. Building and maintaining the customer relationship throughout the customer journey is essential in the longevity of your business.

A client may forget the product after its use but not the services provided by you (or your staff) at the time of purchase and beyond. Therefore, it is necessary to equip your business with the tools to provide a seamless and enjoyable customer journey.

For the purpose of this blog, we’ll try to separate out the building of relationships from developing the customer journey – but in practice, they are elements of the same, but for simplicity, let’s give it a go!

Building relationships with your clients / customers is one of the most important aspects of developing your business.

In recent years networking seems to have been the most successful activity in growing contact lists, building client bases and forming relationships, with networking being a powerful tool in your armoury! 

Make the most out of networking for yourself and your business…

  • Start by attending lots of different groups, of different sizes, locations, single/mixed gender, and corporate/self-employed. 
  • Once you have narrowed down what sort of networking groups and activities most suit you and your business then be sure to find as many of these types of group to explore.   
  • Once you have attended groups that suit you (from the first two points above) on a regular basis you will begin to know which of these groups/meetings are the most successful.  
  • Now you know what groups and events to attend, make sure you check out the delegate list of each meeting or event in advance, and highlight those you would like to build a business relationship with.  
  • Try and chat to as many people as possible at each meeting/event, however make sure you focus on those you have previously highlighted.  
  • Always introduce yourself with a smile, handshake and a business card.
  • In conversation don’t focus on the sale. It is more important to focus on building meaningful business relationships, making useful contacts, and seeking new opportunities. 
  • As well as using networking to gain contacts, build relationships, and eventually make sales, also use groups to build your confidence by offering to be a speaker
  • A great thing about networking is that, as well as meeting new people, it also encourages referrals, which in turn encourages sales.   

All of this, along with a beaming smile, leaves a lasting impression and makes you memorable!  And you may not know it, but from your networking and other activities, your creating your ‘tribe’.

Your connections: make them and keep them…

The importance of social media in our society means that the importance of creating connections to promote your business have become increasingly important. Online connections can quite often be the starting point for more powerful offline relationships, those built face to face, and these are people that become your tribe and fans and follow what you do on a more regular basis.

Then regular touch points with these connections, online and offline, develop them from acquaintances to a long-term valuable business relationship, and even into friendships.   

Connections support, empower and uplift you in your life and business. When connections develop into long-term valuable relationships, these people promote you. 

Host an event – me?

Well yes, you. What better way to meet people and build relationships!

As an entrepreneur, being taken seriously can be a challenge, therefore it’s important to build up your credibility.  Holding a business event is an increasingly viable way of doing this!

When you plan and sponsor an event, you’re suddenly transformed into a business leader.  You’re responsible for bringing like-minded entrepreneurs together to talk business, and only a leader does that!

But don’t underestimate what’s involved in planning and hosting an event, it can be a difficult thing to pull off successfully – but if you do, you’ll reap the rewards for your business. Here are a few pointers:

  • Firstly, work out why you’re holding the event, when is the best time to hold it, who do you want to attend, what are you seeking to achieve and how are you going to achieve your goal!
  • Where will you hold the event – if you’ve answered the questions above, the venue requirements will fall into place.
  • What else will you need – decorations (flowers, balloons, table runners, etc), food and drink, DJ/music/audio equipment, screen/projector/laptop, photographer/videographer, guest Speakers/workshops/stands/etc, tables and chairs, banners, pens, promotional items, etc, event staff.
  • Promote, promote, promote – enough said!

It’s ok if you don’t know people who can help you pull together your event, as if you ask your current contacts directly, or on social media, most people are happy to provide recommendations.

OK, so what about the customer journey?

Creating leads and contacts is all well and good, but you need to ensure your customer journey is ‘up to scratch’ for maintain and developing those customer relationships.

Build up customer support skills:

Patience, stability and empathy – Customers might be irate at times. You must be well versed to handle their moods and to deliver friendly and patience service every time.

Treating customers fairly – It can be difficult giving every customer the time they deserve, especially when you can see a queue building up behind them. Implement a single line queue, so that if there is a delay with one customer being served, other customers in the queue can access the other open tills. Allowing customers to be served in the order they have arrived helps to eliminate queue rage and improves overall satisfaction.

Improve customer interactions – Pro-active communication. Clear signage can help convey important messages to your customers. Whether it is to communicate the latest sales promotion or whether you use signage for way finding. Customers are less anxious when they feel properly informed, and this helps improve the customer journey and helps boost loyalty to your business.

Follow-up after resolving an issue – Stay in touch with customers after fixing a problem. Increase satisfaction by sending them an email, feedback forms or making a phone call to ensure that the issue has been resolved.

Plan an efficient customer service strategy – Get personal. Interact with your customers to enhance your credibility. Keep your websites, social media pages and other interactive platforms updated and quickly respond to the queries and posts of customers.

Improving the customer journey can go a long way to building customer loyalty to your business, which in turn can boost your revenue and profitability. Ensuring your business has the correct tools to communicate with your customers will be key to your business success.

We’d love your support with our charitable initiative!

Update @ June 2020: ‘An Hour Or So’ re-branded as ‘SociaBubble’

An Hour Or So – The initiative connecting businesses with their customers in the aid of charity

The scheme was launched by local award-winning Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author and multiple Business Owner Serena Fordham back in 2016 with the intention of helping local businesses to connect, communicate and grow, while donating to local worthy causes.

And it’s been a huge success!

How does the scheme work?

It’s pretty simple really – businesses offer their services to potential customers in return for a charitable donation.

The business is likely to benefit from the scheme through potentially gaining more clients, wider publicity and by increasing the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the business.

The customer is able to ‘try before they buy’ without a service costing its full value, which they might not otherwise be able to afford, trying out the service to see if it works for them before they commit. They donate to any of the charities supported by the scheme.

And the charities benefit from a cash donation to help fund their valuable work within the local community.

So, what’s the relationship between An Hour Or So and Glow Virtual Assistants?

Well, Serena Fordham is the Founder of both!

You can find out more about both on their websites:

www.anhourorso.co.uk

www.glowva.co.uk

Why relaunch the initiative?

To ensure that the momentum behind An hour Or So is maintained and the initiative also grows in the future, the scheme has recently relaunched by Glow Virtual Assistants.

They are keen to see such a worthwhile scheme develop and grow both locally and beyond – especially as it’s such a great way to be able to support charity in a straightforward way.

How can you help boost the scheme?

To help drive the scheme and improve An Hour Or So for everyone involved moving forwards, there is a Crowd Funding profile that you can also donate to, which as well as helping the scheme to connect more businesses to it’s customers, also means more charities will benefit. 

There are also some valuable gifts that will be extra benefit to businesses to thank local business owners for their support with the Crowd-Funding campaign. 

Visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/an-hour-or-so—connecting-businesses-for-charity for all the details.

Please SUPPORT and SHARE this great initiative!

An Hour or So

How to put on a KICK ARSE event!

With Summer just around the corner (we hope it will be a good one!!), you might be starting to think about hosting an event for your clients, prospective clients or your industry in general, or all of the above! 

Holding a KICK ARSE business event is not only a way to find more clients and to thank existing customers, it’s also a good way of building credibility as an entrepreneur within your industry.

When you plan and sponsor an event, you’re suddenly transformed into a business leader.  You’re responsible for bringing like-minded entrepreneurs together to talk business, and only a leader does that!

Add to that, pulling off a really great event, and you’ll be seen as a leader and an authority in your community and field, regardless of your experience or age.

Plus, you can’t beat the exposure – people often talk about great events they’ve attended, and that means the benefits extend well beyond the event itself!

Here’s a few tips on how to pull off a successful event:

Be clear about your WHY!

Try to be clear on your objectives for the event. To build a community? For people to network? To generate leads and sales? To have fun? Generate PR? Build-up your reputation? Start with putting your thinking cap on and brainstorm on the above questions.

Don’t have all the answers yet? Don’t let that hold you back.  Start experimenting. You will have a much clearer idea about your WHY after the first event – just in case you struggle with this.

Publicise.

There’s not much point putting in the effort to organise your event if it’s not well publicised. Get the word out there using all available means; your current business network, social media, perhaps even targeted marketing. If you can, build a community of attendees that already know each other; this should ensure more interaction and discussion between the sessions.

Make it easy. 

Make it simple for attendees to register for the event. Depending upon the size of the event, consider using a pre-made registration application. Having people register in advance helps you estimate the attendance ahead of time, and it gets a commitment from attendees.

Attract awesome speakers.

Your attendees are there for the speakers (and the networking!), so it’s important to attract speakers who offer relevant experience and passion. The choice of speakers will vary greatly depending upon your event type and scale, but it’s worth investing time in getting this right!

Make it inspirational rather than educational.

Ask the speakers to focus on inspiring attendees rather than teaching them something. Instead of coming away with a technique or two to implement when they get back to the office, attendees came away fired up and inspired to go home, kick ass and build better products.

Choose the venue wisely. 

A good choice of venue is very important. Make sure the venue is up-scale, is appropriate to your event’s needs (for example, audio / visual set up, space for break-out sessions, access to food / drink), is easy to find and has plenty of parking. Nowadays, many hotels will allow you to hold a networking event in their lobby or patio area, and often you can get the space for free if the hotel bar is connected to the space.

And don’t forget, if your attendees are coming from far and wide, it’s better that the venue is geographically centrally located.

Spend money on branding the event.

If you have the budget, branding the event can build an ambience and get everyone psyched up and engaged on the day.

Make event check-in super smooth. 

It’s a great idea to have attendees check in, even if you aren’t charging for an event, that way you can track attendance, and if you ask for their email address, you can follow up and announce future events. But don’t draw out the registration process.

Meet everyone. 

Make sure you introduce yourself to ever person who attends. Welcome them, and focus on talking about what they do, not what you do. Be a great listener, and take a genuine interest in them and their business. They’ll remember you for it.

Be a connector. 

As you meet and greet, constantly look for opportunities to connect people who would benefit from meeting each other. Keep track of these connections, and follow up next time you see them. Find out if they benefited from the introduction.

Recruit anchors. 

There are always a few people at any event who are off in a corner, not talking to anyone. Get volunteers to be anchors for your event. Their job is to make sure everyone is talking with someone.

Provide space and fuel for networking.

Attendees will probably derive just as much value from the networking and discussions between sessions. So, you have to make room and time for that.

Follow up, and do it again.

Follow up with your attendees. Ask how they liked the event, and get ideas from them about how it could be better. Then plan the next one. If you follow this formula, you’ll see your events grow and grow.

REMEMBER that things will go wrong!

Don’t stress out, above all else, STAY COOL and breathe. THINGS WILL GO WRONG. Don’t worry about it. For now: just get started! Be creative! Embrace the unknown!

But most importantly of all – HAVE FUN!

About Glow Virtual Assistants

We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!

We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.

Why not read what our clients say about us so you know that your business will be in safe hands.

Want a chat or got a question? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you!

If you have enjoyed reading about why planning is super important, sign up for future blogs on our website.

The importance of Social Media to business…

Let’s start by saying that your business needs a social media presence!

Social media helps you to connect with your prospective customers, existing clients and increase your brand awareness, hence increasing leads and sales.

It doesn’t matter what your business is, from a small one-person operation to a big national organisation. You should be using social media as an essential piece of your marketing.

And let’s face it, with over 3 billion people worldwide using social media every month, it’s a great market place!

Let’s look at a few reasons why investing in social media as part of your marketing strategy is a worthwhile move for your business:

Build Brand Awareness

If people don’t know about your business, they won’t become your customers!

Social media helps with increasing visibility of your brand among potential customers, letting you reach a wide audience. You have nothing to lose really, as the major social media platforms are free to sign up to, so you’re only investing your time.

It’s usually preferable to define what you want to get out of social media – so a strategy is useful. For example, do you want to publicise the services you offer, or do you hope to bring more local shoppers into your stores?

By developing a targeted strategy, you can determine which social media channels are best fit for your customer base.

Positive Brand Communication

Customers are increasingly savvy about which businesses they use. Generally, people will complete a quick search of websites and social media.

But what will they find? Hopefully, you will be presenting your business in a positive manner and providing a rich source of information on your products and services.

Making sure that you update social media frequently with the latest content will build your brand’s awareness and positivity ensuring you’re making a positive first impression.

And as we’ve blogged before, don’t forget to always look for ways to demonstrate your expertise in your industry. Being the go-to person in your field goes a long way to establishing confidence in potential customers.

Don’t Be Bland!

As a customer, would you be interested in a business that publishes dry, corporate-style social media? Probably not.

It’s important to let your brand’s identity and personality to shine in everything that you share on social media. Let your brand represent who you are.

Whether it’s casual and funny or formal and friendly, practice getting it right. Show followers the real you behind that social media profile.

Providing Support 

If you’re in a business that needs to provide support to your customers, why not offer a support channel via social media. It can provide a less formal contact with your customers and even help to resolve simple issues, plus you’ll be developing your reputation as a responsive and caring brand.

Encourage Interaction

Social media is meant to be social, so play with new ways to connect with your audience. Encourage comments; get a debate going; and you’ll be widening your audience as you go.

What about posting a behind-the-scenes tour of your business. Once you’re more confident, host a Q&A session via e.g. Facebook Live video streaming. You’ll start to understand more about your followers and their preferences.

Social media platforms are developing interaction options all of the time, so get on board.

Affordable Growth

But you can get a lot of value for your pound with social media advertising. Your business, regardless of size or budget, has the opportunity to grow your audience through ads on social platforms – and they don’t have to cost a fortune.

When building an ad campaign, be focussed on the objective your trying to achieve so you don’t waste budget on unhelpful advertising. Try to avoid ads that are too salesy, rather go for content that is informative and even entertains!

Social Media is a crucial tool in your business marketing and Glow Virtual Assistants could help to steer you in the right direction. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.

About Glow Virtual Assistants

We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!

We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.

Why not read what our clients say about us so you know that your business will be in safe hands.

Want a chat or got a question? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you!

If you have enjoyed reading about why planning is super important, sign up for future blogs on our website.

10 most common tasks to outsource to a VA

Using a Virtual Assistant (VA) can help to shave hours from your working week, but knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky, whether you’re starting your business or aiming to grow.

VA’s are generally contract or freelance workers who (mainly) work from home and tend to focus on administrative tasks. However, that’s not true of all, as some (including Glow Virtual Assistants) can also provide event and project management, property management and even business advice.

Typically, entrepreneurs can use VA’s for everything from making customer service calls to sending out thank you messages to prospective clients.

The VA quickly becomes a team member who just happens to work remotely.

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 of the most common ways you can use a VA to improve your business:

1 Bookkeeping

Keeping tabs on bills and other bookkeeping matters can be one of the easiest things to assign to a VA. Many small businesses choose to share their bookkeeping systems with their VA who can then follow up on tasks such as outstanding invoices or unpaid bills.

2 Data entry

Whether it’s a list of prospective clients or updated information for existing contacts, keeping databases current is a suitable task for VA’s.

3 Presentations

Turning data into a presentation or summarising research findings can be a huge timesaver when preparing for meetings, so why not outsource it if you can.

4 Managing email

To keep you from wasting time in your inbox, ask a VA to filter your most important emails and even respond to the rest on your behalf. Such email management is easy to do remotely and you can even ask to be copied in before sending out any responses to reduce the risk of errors.

5 Social media tasks

VA’s are be a good bet to handle tasks such as writing social media posts or even sending thank you notes. Such tasks can consume a lot of your time, but a good VA can take care of all of it allowing you to concentrate on what’s more important.

6 Travel research

VA’s are a great resource for finding hotels, booking airfares and mapping out trip itineraries for business and pleasure. Let a VA take the hassle out of navigating the large number of travel research tools and review sites on the Web.

7 Online research

You can easily ask your VA to complete Internet research on your behalf. Make sure the requirement is well defined so that the research can home in directly to what you want.

 8 Chasing business leads

Prioritising potential business opportunities can be challenging, but VA’s can help with the process. Whether it’s as simple as recording sales chase activity, or performing the chase, the VA can perform the task so that you concentrate on any sales that are generated.

9 Scheduling

Because many scheduling tools are available online, VA’s are managing the calendars of many clients. Scheduling appointments with clients and helping to plan events are just a couple of the scheduling tasks that can be outsourced.

 10 Industry knowledge prep

With limited time to keep up with industry news, some small businesses have turned to VA’s to keep tabs on the most important happenings in their market place. The information could be used on social media feeds or for bring up interesting developments in conversation with customers and sales prospects. It helps to have timely news.

About Glow Virtual Assistants

We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!

We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.

Why not read what our clients say about us so you know that your business will be in safe hands.

Want a chat or got a question? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you!

If you have enjoyed reading about why planning is super important, sign up for future blogs on our website.

Planning ahead – why it’s important!!

Do you plan ahead, either for your business or your personal life? You should.

What does planning ahead mean to you?

Now that we’re into the new year, if you haven’t already, you should be planning ahead for your business and life.

When done right, planning can help you complete new projects, achieve your goals and your vision. And you can do this whilst still having fun and enjoying life to its fullest.

Alan Lakein said about planning…

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

It’s time to make sure your personal and professional goals come to fruition when you want them to!

So, what are the benefits of planning ahead… 

  • Spending less time and money

Leaving things to the last minute can cost. It can cost time and money and maybe even your sanity! By planning ahead, you’ll be able to take advantage of getting things cheaper, or prepare properly for business change and expansion, spending less time correcting what you are trying to do.

  • Less Stress

When planning ahead for your day, week and month, you’ll feel more in control of your time and life. No more not knowing where to turn to next.

And when it comes to finances, planning ahead will allow you to feel safe and be ready for the unforeseen costs that will inevitably happen.

  • Stay in charge of your time

Planning ahead means you won’t have to worry about what will happen tomorrow or next week. You’ll be in charge of your own time and that means you’ll be able to spend more time focussing on what you are achieving today, at this moment.

  • Assessing risks and opportunities

Taking risks is necessary for growth, expanding your comfort zone, and achieving success. Planning ahead gives us confidence to take the risks that others may not take and so it moves us ahead without worrying about competition.

  • Becoming proactive

Without proper planning we would not be ready to respond to challenges. So, we become reactive. Planning ahead helps you become proactive.

  • Prepare for the unexpected

Why not plan for the things you never plan for! For example, sick days or repairs to your car. What do we mean? Well, you can plan ahead for these unexpected events by saving money today, or maybe taking the time off to rest – you’ll feel safer if you do.

  • Staying true to your word

When you create an effective plan for your life and business, you’ll be able to stay accountable to your promises. We’ve all done it, forgotten to send an email we had promised or missed a meeting. And don’t forget, these things could be important to the success of your business!

Let’s look at how to plan ahead…

Just ask yourself some simple questions and see how easy it is to get started:

What do you want to achieve and prepare for?

What is it that you’d like to achieve in the coming year? Where are you looking to stretch past your comfort zone?

Where do you need to be more proactive?

Sometimes a little planning can go along way! If you prepare for the challenges ahead then you won’t feel like you’re running around to catch up or fix something!

Do you have an Action Plan?

Planning ahead will make you be more productive in the day-to-day. Having a clear action plan will allow you to get more done in less time.

 Do you want time to grow?

You didn’t get into business to stay stuck doing the same thing every day. If you want to grow your business, you’ll need time to plan for growth.

About Glow Virtual Assistants

We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!

We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.

Why not read what our clients say about us so you know that your business will be in safe hands.

Want a chat or got a question? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you!

If you have enjoyed reading about why planning is super important, sign up for future blogs on our website.

 

Time Management – Why saying ‘NO’ is sometimes a good thing

Credit: https://www.energise.me

Are you struggling to fit all of your work-related tasks into your working day?

Are you finding yourself regularly taking work home from the office, and even working evenings and weekends to try and catch up?

With changing technology and the pressure to compete and succeed (especially in leadership, management, and higher scale roles) finding more time to allow you to switch off from work can be an uphill struggle.

8 Steps to find more time by being more effective

When it comes to time management, there are 8 steps to help you find more time by being more effective, as follows:

  1. Do what’s important and not urgent
  2. Don’t Procrastinate
  3. Concentrate
  4. Say ‘NO’ and Purposeful Abandonment
  5. Rest
  6. Celebrate Achievement
  7. Find Your Productive Time Sweet Spot
  8. Get rid of it! Delegate, Devolve, empower, outsource, automate

Saying ‘NO’

 When focusing attention on saying ‘NO’, this can be a daunting prospect for any leader, especially those with entrepreneurial tendencies and a forwards-thinking and strategic approach.

In today’s modern life, full of too much “Busyness” and not enough Business, this is more relevant than ever.

We hear so often, on social media, in the news, and from influential leaders, that we should say ‘YES’ to every opportunity, and grab life by both hands so we don’t miss out.  However, the concept of saying ‘YES’ to everything could cause your more problems than good.

“No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that.  When we don’t want to do something, we can simply smile and say no… 

…We don’t have to explain ourselves, we can just say “No” ― Susan Gregg

Our egos and our need to please others often make us rationalise the decision to say ‘yes’ by over-inflating the benefits and playing down negatives.  Due to this, the emotional brain will always resist saying ‘NO’, but logically a theory (or system as a better word) is required to overwrite this natural reaction.

Purposeful Abandonment

This theory is known as Purposeful Abandonment (Drucker), and is about purposefully abandoning the things that are detracting from your life, which essentially is a way of saying ‘NO’ to things we either do not need in our life, or will detract from our ability to do the other things we need to do.

The fabulous Dan Rockwell writes more about this in his blog ‘Purposeful Abandonment, the art of letting go.’  He suggests the following questions you should ask yourself to decide what you should abandon;

  • What frustrates?
  • What drains energy?
  • What wastes time?
  • What produces small returns?
  • Which customers should be sent to competitors?
  • Is it time to stop petting a pet project?
  • What distracts from leveraging strengths?
  • What has low impact?
  • What can be stopped?

Rockwell also goes onto to suggest as well as a “To Do List”, we should write a “Not to Do List”, which will assist us with eliminating those actions that maybe we have tried and failed at, or that we know will not assist us in terms of productivity or efficiency.

Especially as a leader, it is important to identify tasks that you should say ‘NO’ to, which can be found by asking yourself Dan’s questions.  From this you will be able to formulate a strategy to remove yourself from these tasks, thus allowing you to free up time in your working schedule ‘in no time’.

Top Ten Tips for Getting Organised Fast!

With Christmas quickly approaching, and with many of us business owners having family time to fit in, and kids to juggle over the school holidays, it is important to be prepared for this exciting time of year.

Here are my top ten tips for getting your business organised fast:

  • Tidy your work space

Tidy your working environment and create a pin board where you can pin all your important notes so they are at hand quickly.  A tidy workplace helps promote an organised mind, therefore this should help you to work smarter and more efficiently!

  • Create a weekly schedule

Create a schedule for the weeks over the Christmas holidays, with key tasks for your back-office operations, as well as client’s work.  Leave lots of space so you can add to these as the weeks go on.  You can even use time slots to separate the days of the week even further, although try not to be too specific with timings, as if tasks take longer than planned this can easily cause you to become demotivated!

  • Don’t put off menial tasks

All tasks in your business are important, therefore do not put off those menial tasks like bookkeeping and administration.  It is best to complete these first thing in the morning when you are more refreshed and awake so you are able to concentrate, and not get bored and distracted as easily.

  • Work through tasks in a way that suits you

Some people work best by getting the small tasks out of the way early in the day, while others prefer to complete the larger tasks then follow with the smaller ones.  Whichever works for you, stick to it, and try to work as efficiently as possible.

  • Outsource some work if you can’t cope

If you are struggling to cope with your workload, and haven’t got staff to pass it to, consider outsourcing aspects of it to someone with experience you can trust.  That way your time will be freed to focus on higher paid tasks.  Such tasks that could be outsourced include administration, sales chasing, emailing, phone calls, bookkeeping/accountancy, website or social media management, etc.

  • Draw up logical and organised lists

When writing ‘to-do’ lists don’t just scribble these on a scrap of paper, have a dedicated notebook to write lists.  You could even highlight or colour code certain tasks, and put them under headings according to priority (i.e. short-term/long-term, or to complete within a day/week/month).

  • Invest in a good diary

A good diary for all your appointments is definitely an investment.  Whether you just choose one off-the-shelf, or a more business-focused one available (which also contains sections on goals, and strategies for the future) make sure it suits your needs in both size and content.  There is no point carrying around a tiny diary when you attend numerous meetings in a day, so you have to write in tiny writing!  Space for lots of notes and pockets for paperwork/business cards is also useful.

  • Make sure all of your business equipment is in good working order

All of your equipment, from your laptop to your pens, should be in good working order and easily accessible when needed.  If you lose things easily maybe consider labelling your draws and cabinets so you don’t waste time search for items.

  •  Celebrate little achievements

Try not to beat yourself up over not completing tasks as quickly and efficiently as you would have liked.  It is important to stay calm under pressure and be able to organise your schedule as required.  By celebrating when tasks are completed this will give you a positive boost, keeping your energy up, and meaning you can remain focused; rather than becoming distracted by stress and negative thoughts!

  • Schedule time out for you and your family

There are only 24 hours in the day, 7 days a week, therefore you cannot spend all of these working.  If you schedule in time for yourself this will help keep you refreshed and allow you to remain focused when you are in the office! This should also limit feelings of guilt if you have spent sufficient and quality time with your loved ones!

About Glow Virtual Assistants

We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!

We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.

Why not read what our clients say about us so you know that your business will be in safe hands.

Want a chat or got a question? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you!

If you have enjoyed reading about why every business owner needs a Virtual Assistant, sign up for future blogs on our website.

Why Every Business Owner Needs a VA Sidekick!

Why would you need a Virtual Assistant in your life you ask? 

The answer is that every business owner could do with a Virtual Assistant waiting in the wings to provide all the support that you and your business needs – a bit like how Batman has Robin!

Glow Virtual Assistants are here to lend a hand with all your admin and PA-related tasks!

Are you still wondering if a Virtual Assistant could really help you?! 

Here are the 10 main reasons why you need a Virtual Assistant (VA) in your life:

  1. A VA has a wide variety of skill-sets which can be used to complete almost any task, both administrative and technical.
  2. A VA works remotely from their home or personal office, which frees you from having to set up a separate office space with furniture and equipment to house an extra employee.
  3. Since your VA works remotely, you’ll never be held up by your own schedule or unforeseen problems in the office.
  4. You’re not responsible for employee-related expenses, such as tax and benefits – all you have to pay are the VA’s fees for services according to the terms of their contract.
  5. Communication via email or phone is easy so you are always able to get in touch when something is needed – no more chasing down employees that you suddenly realise are on holiday!
  6. With a VA handling your event planning, coordinating and scheduling you can participate more in trade shows, meetings and networking to make beneficial connections within your industry and potential customers.
  7. As a business owner you will be less stressed by all the admin piling up, and your VA can use their skills, knowledge and specialisms to streamline tasks and make your business run more efficiently.
  8. You can take advantage of a Virtual Assistant’s expertise to implement fresh marketing methods that expand the reach of your brand to a new set of customers.
  9. You are free to look at the bigger picture and direction of your business, and with the cash you save on paying employee expenses you can reinvest in the business – encouraging its growth!
  10. With a VA completing lots of your back office and operational tasks your time is freed up to run and manage your business – and move it forward to further success!

About Glow Virtual Assistants

We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!

We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.

Why not read what our clients say about us so you know that your business will be in safe hands.

Want a chat or got a question? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you!

If you have enjoyed reading about why every business owner needs a Virtual Assistant, sign up for future blogs on our website.