Create a to-do list that helps you ROCK as a Business Man/Woman!

Do you ever start your working day not sure which tasks you need to complete, or even the order to tackle them in?

 Stressful isn’t it!

If you’ve answered yes, then you should consider using to-do lists to better organise your time and bring some clarity to your day.

Anything that helps you to focus on the important stuff has got to be good, right?

Taking the time to write a to-do list can have many benefits, here are the key ones to get you started:

  • Creating order – it’s an orderly way to organize how to do the things you want to do. Projects and plans can be broken down into bite size chunks and gives you a strategy for getting things done.
  • Prioritise – helping you to manage tasks effectively and in the right order. You can see all of the items at a glance and prioritize what most needs to be done according to timelines and importance.
  • Reschedule and organise your time – if you finish something quickly or you find yourself with extra time, you can quickly see where the best way to spend your time is.
  • Identify when to delegate – to-do lists help you to delegate work. If you see the list is too long, you can find others to help you get things done.
  • Feel productive – crossing a task off your list when it’s completed is a great feeling. This gives you back control and also gives you a positive productive feeling.
  • Relief from stress – as you see work getting done and that you are moving forward efficiently, it allows you to relax more. Even schedule in a well-deserved break if you need to!

…And most importantly….

  • Accountability – the act of writing it down in itself holds you accountable!

Try keeping at least 2 to-do lists: daily and longer term

You might find it worthwhile to have 2 lists on the go:

  1. One is for the immediate tasks you need to complete today or this week (short term plans and tasks).
  2. The other is for things that you want or need to get done in the future, whether it is in the next week, month or year (long term goals).

 Keep it flexible

Your to-do lists don’t need to be set in stone.  They are guides and are intended to help, not put pressure on you.  However, if you write it down, it’s usually something worth doing.

 Also, don’t forget to make your to-do lists fun!

If your to-do list ever feels like all work and no play, book in things you look forward to and fun things as well.  You might be meeting friends for a drink or meal (or both), a refreshing walk along the beach, checking out your next holiday destination.  Make sure to mix up the work with some fun!

…and if all else fails and you can’t seem to get to grips with writing and sticking to your to-do list, then Glow Virtual Assistants are here to lend a hand with planning and organising for you, so that you can focus on making your business ROCK!

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 creating a to-do-list to make you ROCK, sign up for future blogs on our website.

Launch of An Hour or So

‘An Hour or So’ is a Norfolk-based initiative where local businesses give an hour of their services in exchange for a charitable donation.

Local entrepreneur, business owner, and Director of Glow VA, Serena Fordham, has launched the scheme to help local businesses connect, communicate and grow while donating to local worthy causes.

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

How it works

The Giver

– Many service businesses offer a one-hour free consultation anyway, therefore this hour will now benefit from gaining a charitable donation.  Plus, this assists the CSR of the business.

– The giver will hopefully gain more clients from this scheme (however this cannot be guaranteed).

The Receiver

– The receiver will be able to ‘try before they buy’ without a service costing its full value, which they might not otherwise be able to afford.

– The receiver can try out the service to see if it works for them before they commit.

The Charities

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

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.

A full list of the Norfolk-based charities the scheme supports can be found on Just Giving

Take part

In order to take part please visit the new An Hour or So website

Referral arrangements between Estate Agents and The Legal Profession

Have you heard the expression “There is no such thing as a free lunch”?

These days there are increasing arrangements between estate agents and the  legal profession when people are selling and buying homes.

There are dangers with this type of arrangement which are not beneficial to the public:

1.  The job of the Lawyer is to protect the interests of their clients and observe client confidentiality. With referral arrangements one has to be careful that protocol is not disregarded to secure another introduction from the agent.

2.  Take care when signing agency agreements as there is the risk they may contain small print whereby, if you do not use the agents recommended Lawyer, that an amount of money  is taken off the offer you get for the property you are selling. This happens because the agents lose out on referral fees.  Remember you own the product being sold not the estate agent.

3.  Lawyers fees are competitive therefore when a fee is paid to the estate agent for the referral the work could be carried out by unqualified personnel or within a team meaning the file gets passed around.

4.  Work can be sent to large organisations some of which are not local and there is no element of personal service.  Furthermore,  you do not build up a relationship with your Lawyer and may not ever meet them. Most people prefer to establish a working relationship with their lawyer for the future years to come.

5. You can end up paying much more for the work as the referral fee to the estate agent has to be built in somewhere. Therefore, small print can include  lots of add-ons in addition to the basic fee e.g. further charges for dealing with the mortgage work (which is all part of the purchase process),  further fees for dealing with mortgage redemptions (which is part of a sale process), very enhanced bank charges, file opening fees etc.

Renata Thornber – Renata Steggles Ltd. Licensed Conveyancer

50 Unthank Road Norwich NR2 2RF

Tel 01603 616760

Once upon a time…

There was a young woman who graduated from the UEA with a Business Management Degree in 2009.  She had trouble finding work in the unstable job market, and after many interviews and rejection letters, she settled for a job in the cruel competitive world of Estate Agency.

Working her way to a management position within a few years meant that she was able to use her skills gained from her studies and put her practical experience to good use. However, the career ladder was cut short for her, when she was made redundant after having her daughter in 2013.

At this time, with a mortgage to pay and an extra mouth to feed, her and her partner desperately needed money in order to keep their heads above water, therefore she had to find a job, and quickly.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, so one day she decided enough was enough with being turned down for roles in which she was perfectly experienced and educated for, that she chose to create her own job.  Thus in 2013 she set up her own virtual assistant business as a sole trader called Serena Fordham’s PA Services.

With her first client being an Estate Agent needing assistance with setting up and growing their business and property portfolio, she was in her element and soon found that networking and referrals grew her client base steadily, and ensured all her bills were covered, while keeping the new addition to the family in clothes, food and nappies!

All was well, however, the new addition was gradually growing meaning the family was outgrowing their tiny two-bed terraced house with postage stamp sized garden. They needed to move to allow their family to grow and to do that the young woman needed to secure employment as didn’t have enough years of accounts to secure a new and bigger mortgage.

Luckily, she knew her Mum’s neighbour who advised her of a job share position at NPS Norwich which suited her property related experience and was part-time to fit around caring for her daughter.  Within months of starting in January 2014, a larger home was found, mortgage accepted and the family were on the move.  All while she was still growing her business and working for clients around her employment in evenings and weekends.

After another few months, this wasn’t sustainable as the business was becoming too big to juggle with employment and a child too so NPS Norwich lost her as an employee in 2015.

Fast forwarding to 2016, the virtual assistant business was booming, with 30 regular clients, and various projects and events under her belt too, all looked promising for the future.  At that point, a bombshell hit, as after trying for a second child for several years and facing various situations of extreme heartbreak and failure, the young woman fell pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in the same year.

Even though this bombshell was an incredible miracle, this mean that the growing business had to put on its breaks, and the young women asked a few of her close business friends, who she met through a woman’s network she runs called Her Business Brew, to help her by covering her client work while she took some time out with her new bundle of joy.

But this didn’t put on the breaks of the business at all, instead, it allowed for even further growth as when the young woman returned from her short maternity leave, even more clients, events and projects were taken on, now being undertaken by the small team of incredible women.

At the same time two dormant ideas came to life to raise money for amazing causes – An Hour or So, which is an initiative to bring together businesses in aid of charities, and Stories of She, a book about the real-life experiences faced by women to raise awareness and give support to others.  Also, at this time the brainchild that is the Her True Colours Calendar 2018, that empowers and inspires other women to be proud of who they are, was in its planning stages.

Fast forwarding to today, the young woman has just registered her business as Serena Fordham Enterprises Limited, trading as Glow Virtual Assistants, and now has a team of 9 experienced and qualified individuals to ‘support your business to shine’!

So, we arrive at our current destination, in September 2017, and the young woman from my story is right here in front of you, to tell you not to give up on your dreams, change plans to reach your goals, and never underestimate what you can achieve.

Life throws us curve balls at times, but with the support of incredible people around you, you can always dodge them, and even become stronger and grow because of them!

Glow Virtual Assistants will continue to grow to support even more entrepreneurs to achieve their business dreams, however the values of the young women working at her old laptop at her small kitchen table back at the start of it all, will never be compromised, with helping others and raising funds for charity always being at heart.

And as they say in fairy tales;

“The young women lived happily ever after…

…The End”

(well not quite yet!!!)


By Serena Fordham, Founder and CEO of Glow Virtual Assistants

Taken from her speech at the Inspired Women BIG Conversation, Sept 2017