We’d love your support with our charitable initiative!

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.

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.

How to ensure you are the ‘GO TO’ girl/boy in your industry

Today it seems that no matter what industry you’re in, your competition is stronger than ever.

Anything that helps to give you the edge makes sense, right?

 So, how do you stand out from the crowd and get that sale?

How do you get the attention in an ever-growing sea of noise, when customers are so often swayed by price rather than quality?

Let’s take a look at a few of the main attributes, which can give you the ‘go to’ status:

1. Be the expert

Perhaps the most important aspect is to become recognised as an expert in your industry; someone other people seek out for information and advice (a.k.a the ‘go to’ person!)

These are people that we learn from, but also whom we would buy from, because we trust their knowledge and expertise.

Being an expert in your field helps you in a number of ways:

  • To establish yourself as an industry leader,
  • To become a trusted resource for information
  • In being able to help others
  • Getting interviews, media coverage and free exposure
  • Gain marketing access, for example, through conference speaking invitations
  • Gives the opportunity to convert prospects into actual sales

But as the expert in your industry, you need to:

  • Keep up to date – no matter how much you know; content and ideas are changing. Technology evolves, regulation changes, ideas shift, and people try new things. Therefore, keeping up to date means that the knowledge you have to share is current and valuable.
  • Share your knowledge – by sharing your knowledge with others, you’ll quickly become known for your expertise. This can translate into sales, job offers or other opportunities, as you build your personal brand as an expert.  Making effective use of Blogs, Social Media sites and video are some ways you can share what you know.  Also, don’t forget to utilise industry conferences, trade shows, and user group meetings to spread your knowledge and personal brand.
  • Offer consulting services – share your knowledge and make a few pounds!

 2. Be prepared

‘Go to’ people always take the time to complete good preparation, which demonstrates their professionalism and that they know their stuff!  Always take the time to prepare; don’t go into a meeting with an existing or potential client without some preparation, including any questions you may have.

 3. Be a listener

‘Go to’ people listen.  It’s easy to jump to conclusions or try to present an instant solution, therefore try to sit back and take notes before offering an answer – you will be respected for it!

4. Ask questions

‘Go to’ people will use questioning to ensure they understand.  Even after you’re given the full rundown, don’t hesitate to push for more details with definitive questions.

If you get vague responses, counter them with more specific questions to avoid having to do the guesswork.

5. Be organised

‘Go to’ people are extremely organised in how they conduct their businesses.  It has been proven that being organised and methodical leads to better success.

If you struggle to remain organised then seek help from freelances, or outsource some of your work to get you on track.

6. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong

Admitting you are wrong is not a sign of weakness; it shows you’re accountable.

Address the issue, and make sure you know the best practice when moving forwards.

7. Be confident

Last but not at all least, ‘go to’ people are confident, and don’t reframe from acting insecure or stressed out in difficult situations.

So, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, and others will believe in you and what you do too! 

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 our top tips to help you get organised for the Summer, sign up for future blogs on our website.

How to have more fun with your business!

Let’s face it, it’s very easy to get caught up in your business, especially at the start when you are working long hours to make it work and become profitable.

It can be hard to step back and really have fun in your business.

Being your own boss allows you to shape your business how you want it to be, and as a fun business is one that’s going to be something you look forward to working at daily, elements of fun and excitement are fundamental and should be built in to your business.

After all, we’re all more likely to spend time on things we enjoy!

Do you consider your business fun?  Could you add some more fun to your business?

Let’s look at a few suggestions for how to go about putting the fun into your business:

  • Make sure you love what you have to offer – You must be in a business that you personally enjoy and can make a difference in.  Otherwise, it’ll be hard to be excited about what you’re doing.
  • Make sure to take time out – Whilst achieving your goals is important, enjoying life is too. Consider reserving regular diary time for family trips, or just so that you can spend some quality you-time!
  • Celebrate ALL wins – You should make a point of rewarding your achievements, whether it’s just a pat on the back to say well done, but preferably with a celebration (and possibly wine!)
  • Remember people love you for who you are – Be yourself as much as your business model allows it. For example, if you have children, you don’t have to shut them out of the office. Clients should respect you for who you are, your family, and values; so be yourself!
  • Concentrate on what you like – Do you hate doing the administration or accounts? Outsource it.  The whole point of your business is to do what you enjoy! (www.glowva.co.uk can offer guidance of what you could outsource).
  • Have a weekly ritual where you celebrate(Yes, more celebration!)  Celebrate what you achieved during the last week, before planning the new week.  It takes the stress off the never ending to do list, and recognises all the great stuff you did last week.
  • Don’t forget, whilst you may not have a regular salary to rely on, you are the one out there blazing a trail, doing your own thing – You are pretty special, so enjoy that feeling!  You could even list out those things you do in your business that have no obvious monetary value, but still add value to your life.
  • Find a group of other business owners to meet with – Share ideas and network whilst having fun!  (www.herbusinessbrew.co.uk is fun and friendly networking for Norfolk women!)  But it doesn’t have to be a formal group; just having coffee with someone who really gets what you’re doing can feel incredible and spark new ideas and opportunities.
  • Aim for excellence, not perfection – Don’t stress out about it!  Often we stress ourselves out about our businesses because we’re so focused on trying to make everything perfect.
  • Run fun campaigns that make people smile – Run campaigns or competitions that your customers will love, and show others that you appreciate their custom.
  • Host regular events – Celebrate a big business milestone, or the past achievements of your clients, by hosting a formal or informal event. This will allow you to interact with your current and potential customers face-to-face and also spark some lead conversations and open doors on new opportunities.  You can even promote your event on social media or through other media channels to create focus on your business!

…Building your business can be hard work and more of a challenge than fun at times, however off-loading the less fun tasks can create the opportunity to add more spice to encourage your business to be both fun and successful!

About Glow Virtual Assistants

Glow VA logo

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 our top tips to help you get organised for the Summer, sign up for future blogs on our website.

The importance of AWARDS!

Are awards important to you, whether your employed or a business owner? Isn’t the recognition from your Peers that your doing a great job a real boost? Whatever people might say, we don’t just work for the money – it’s more than that!

Awards are a great way of achieving the recognition of your Peers. No matter what the size of your business you can enter a business award. There are a huge variety of awards around from local to national, industry based or with specific criteria.

You can find out about awards through your local chamber of commerce, local and business press or simply searching the internet for relevant awards.

Deciding what awards to enter is crucial as it’s important to weigh up the time and effort it would take to enter against the potential gains. Some awards may have monetary prizes or other benefits such as coaching, advice and workshops. However, it’s not just the winning that counts!

With resources often stretched putting yourself forward for business awards is not always the top of the agenda. Here are five reasons why simply entering an award could be good for your business:

 1.  Benchmarking

The application process for entering a business award can often force you to look at your business from a different perspective and compare yourself to your competitors.

You’ll need to make sure that you stand out from the competition whether that’s through innovation, diversity, growth, customer service, investment in people and strategic thinking. This will help you think about ways you could be doing things better and identify areas for improvement.

2.  Increase your credibility

A business award win, short-listing or nomination can act as a 3rd party endorsement for your business. A win can give a seal of approval to your activities and is a sign of quality for potential customers, so can form part of your sales pitch. It’s a great way of differentiating your company from competitors and will send out positive signals to customers.

3.  Free marketing!

Business awards shouldn’t be overlooked as a tool in your marketing toolbox – just being shortlisted can improve brand awareness and promote your business to new customers. Make sure you maximise PR exposure and update your marketing materials with the award logo including business cards, website, literature, email and sales material.

It’s fantastic to be recognised so it’s important to make sure that people know what your business has achieved. Winning a business award can open doors to getting contracts and breaking into new markets.

4.  Employee motivation

Awards recognise the hard work and achievements of your employees so winning one can help boost staff morale and improve motivation. Employees are focused on what’s great about the company they work for and can feel proud to be a part of it.

This can be maximised by making sure staff feel they get the recognition they deserve by celebrating the success. Why not invite staff to the awards ceremony or hold your own dinner for a great night out!

5.  Attract more talent

Business awards increase your stature among new recruits. By pitching yourself as the best you can attract the talent you need to push your business forward.

And the winner is?

It would be daft to write this blog and not blow our own trumpet!

In 2018 we’ve been awarded (so far):

  • ‘Best Business Support Company: Virtual Assistants’ in the CV Magazine Business Innovator Awards 2018.
  • Glow Virtual Assistants & Her Business Brew are winners of a Lotus Award (awards recognising a unique concept recognising great workplaces by celebrating what makes them unique.

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 our top tips to help you get organised for the Summer, sign up for future blogs on our website.

The importance of CSR in business

For my business Corporate Social Responsibility (or CSR as it’s commonly referred to) is extremely important. And it’s true to say that many, many businesses now realise the importance of CSR in how they operate.

But what is CSR?

Well, CSR is a mechanism for businesses to assess the impact they have on society and for them to consider putting responsible, ethical policies in place to support individuals, the local community and the environment.

For us, it’s about connecting with our social responsibilities whether that be through charity involvement or supporting other initiatives within the community.

And why is it important?

If you Google the importance of CSR you’ll be amazed at the large number of hits you get – everybody has a view!

 The ‘hard-nosed’ view as to why social responsibility is important to a business is because it demonstrates to both consumers and the media that the company takes an interest in wider social issues that have no direct impact on profit margins. This, in turn, can lead to greater profits for a business!

Whilst the distinction between profit and ethics might not be clear for larger organisations, I believe that for local, small businesses (like mine), it’s completely transparent. It’s about giving back to the society in which you live and using the focus and network that being in business can bring to make a difference. That’s why it’s important to us!

What about CSR in my business?

We have a number of initiatives, or projects, that provide ways of us being able to give back to the business community and local causes and charities.

In summary, our CSR includes the following initiatives:

1) For HER – a community intended to raise and expose issues affecting women in all aspects of their life, including in business and body-focused, as well as to raise awareness of charities and social enterprise projects that can help and support women.

With a lot of business education from industry experts, as well as exposure of positive body image campaigners, For HER has something for every woman – no matter your background, age, race, size, shape, religion, etc, everyone’s input and views are always welcome!

We also run the For HER Foundation which is a crowdfunding foundation where women can donate to help the valuable work of For HER (group and online chat show) and support other women everywhere!

2) Her Business Brew – this Norfolk based women’s networking group was set up in 2015 by Serena Fordham, and has grown to be one of Norfolk’s largest and most successful women’s networking groups; which is constantly expanding and attracting new members across the county.

Each meeting offers the opportunity for Norfolk business women to come together in a fun, friendly and relaxed environment, as well as providing a variety of education and speakers to help the members grow and develop.

3) Norfolk Mums – a community for mums providing lots of useful information and links to events. There’s even a directory of local businesses that mums might want to use, both practical and indulgent!

4) An Hour Or So – a Norfolk-based initiative where local businesses pledge an hour of their services in exchange for a charitable donation.

This is a great way for businesses to raise their profile, or to give back if you want to use one of the services being offered.

The project is supporting a range of charities in Norfolk including Break, Age UK Norfolk, West Norfolk Mind, Nelson’s Journey and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust

We’re also raising funds for charity!

Through Glow Virtual Assistants and Her Business Brew we also aim to support local charities and to raise funds for them.

We periodically run charity events and have a nominated Charity of the Year, which for 2018 is Leeway, which provides domestic violence and abuse support services. Each of the Her Business Brew meetings donates to Leeway.

I hope you can see that CSR is very important to me, my colleagues and my business – it’s plays a key part in how we operate and the ethics we adopt.

We want to make a difference and encourage others to make a positive impact on the world too!

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 why CSR is very important, sign up for future blogs on our website.

Getting organised for Summer!

Are you and your business ready for Summer? If not, these top tips may help!

For businesses, the Summer months usually see a general slowdown; with drops in productivity, reduced attendance (employees and customers) and increased time to deliver projects.

So, it’s useful to ensure that our businesses are organised and prepared for what the Summer might throw at us.

But let’s not over think this, having some decent Summer weather is super important, so that we can all chill-out and recharge our batteries!

Challenges and opportunities

Whilst the summer months may bring some challenges to your business, they also offer great opportunities.  Summer quite often sees a business slow down and that time can be used to your advantage.

Here are some top tips to help you organise your business for the Summer and some great suggestions for making the most of the good weather.

1. Plan for Summer – Why not plan ahead for the Summer months so that there aren’t any surprises? Particularly, take time out to consider your staffing needs, after all your staff and your customers will be taking some well-deserved time-off.  Planning ahead will ensure this doesn’t affect the smooth running of your business.

Also, don’t forget, help yourself to plan and prioritise all of your activities by creating and maintaining a ‘to do list’ – planning made simple!

2. Productivity drops – Still on the planning theme, projects can take longer during the Summer, so bear this in mind when agreeing to delivery timescales.

3. Use the quiet time to take stock of things – What went well? What didn’t? Take some timeout to review and tweak things for next time.

4. Launch a thank you campaign – You can turn Summer into a season of appreciation. Send a note, take clients out to lunch or just call them to simply say “thank you”.  Everyone is busy these days, so taking time to show you care and appreciate your customers and clients goes a long way!

5. Offer Summer promotions – Summer sales and special offers can be successful promotions, so consider offering a special limited-time Summer promotion or discount. If the promotion succeeds in generating new or increased business, you can tweak and repeat the same campaign during the Winter holidays too!

6. Have meetings in person and make the most of the warm days Ah…..Summer…..the days are longer, the weather is great, and people are more social. Technology has enhanced our ability to stay connected all year, from anywhere and everywhere, but it’s still good to meet in person.

Summer is the perfect time to catch up face-to-face with contacts, colleagues and prospects, especially outside!  The options are endless.  Grab a drink, have lunch al fresco, or simply go for a walk.  You’ll get outdoors, enjoy the Summer weather, and build your business in the process!

7. Host a party or barbecue for clients – Everyone loves a great party, so why not celebrate Summer by hosting an event? Any kind of open house or get together will be fun and a great way to thank and celebrate your customers.

8. Don’t forget your team – Summer is also a great time to host an event for your team. Get your team to bond and know they are appreciated by taking them to a fun event off-site.  Rounders and a barbecue anyone?!

 …And just in case you thought we had forgotten, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING….

9. TAKE TIME FOR YOU! – You need to take a holiday to reward yourself for all your hard work! So, pack your case, dust off the passport, and hop a plane!

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 our top tips to help you get organised for the Summer, sign up for future blogs on our website.