Having 5 Great Tips for your Business is essential when you have a holiday looming. Especially if your business is working well and your client-work is coming in nicely. Are you running smoothly for ‘that’ family holiday which may be creeping up! Your family are muttering that you need to buy this, pack that, but you’re putting the inevitable to the back of your To-Do list, and mind. Oh no!
It’s your business that will suffer if you don’t schedule something! Whether it’s your annual summer holiday or the festive period or a half-term break with the children, the planning will be the same if you adopt a simple process.
I can speak from experience – It wasn’t a holiday that I had to undertake major planning for, but an illness, unfortunately. Disaster Planning can affect not only illness for yourself, but for your partner’s illness. A family member being ill or even a domestic crisis such as an accident or technical issues can put your business behind.
Last year I was quite ill for several weeks. But, because I had a number of mechanisms in place, my clients didn’t really get to hear about it. I had backups in place. I was ill from early in December. Right up until the end of January I was panicking that I wouldn’t be well enough for a special event in my life, which was not great, I can tell you.
It’s not like being employed, you can’t just ‘take time off’ and stay at home and sleep off the illness. As a freelancer or sole trader, it’s a little different, you are obligated to contact your clients. It’s essential to keep them updated and give them options as to what they would like to do with the options available and what suggestions you put forward to them.
I have given you 5 Great Tips to ensure that they will keep you and your business running smoothly during your holiday period to giving maximum output for both productivity and efficiency for yourself and your clients:
5 GREAT TIPS
The most important is that you take time to relax and rest on your holiday.
You need to have a Disaster Recovery Plan. This is your backup plan, your ‘what-if’. What if the laptop breaks down, what if I can’t get hold of this product for my salon, what if I lose a client, will my finances cover my outgoings?
Can you delegate any of your tasks and processes to anyone to ensure that you can relax whilst on your holiday? Can you prepare this in advance of your holiday and prepare any contracts for this and advise your clients who is going to be working on their projects during this time.
Ensure that you schedule your social media posts to continue whilst you are on your holiday as it is important to keep your visibility well, visible. Marketing only works well, if you do this consistently, as we all know.
Set up your Out of Office and filter your emails accordingly. It’s also a great idea to use an email signature-stamp too. Be consistent with your imagery and branding to create some consistency across all of your social media platforms.
These are only a few of many, many tips that are available from NottmVAto keep you time-managed, productive and efficient in the running of your business. It is a well-known fact that it is essential to have down-time from your business to not only spend time with your family and loved ones but to be refreshed, focussed and come back to your business with new ideas and new energy.
I have contractsthat I send to my clients for both GDPR compliance and also for booking forms and Terms and Conditions with follow-up support, that is great for that ever-forgiving disaster recovery plan.
I use all of the tips mentioned above (and many more) as I wouldn’t want to have ‘that’ telephone call with my clients to let them know that I wouldn’t be able to complete a deadline – would you?
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If you need to delegate any of your administration and social media support so you can enjoy your forthcoming holidays please contact NottmVA for further information.
Does your morning routine get bogged down by you working your way through your emails and various Gmail, Outlook and various webmail before you can get down to what you’re paid to do best? Yes, I know that feeling.
By delegating or outsourcing your email management it can be the best way to get your productivity increased and work flowing again. You can’t be at the beck and call of an email every minute of the day and there are ways of managing this and putting systems into place. So, by implementing an Email Detox Plan into your business you can feel totally confident that your emails will be looked after, spam will be dealt with appropriately and nothing will be unattended to or mislaid.
This, of course, releases you from the time constraints of your day, the costly pressures of undertaking what could be basic administrative duties when you have more time-pressured tasks that need your attention and the feeling of not being so overwhelmed with your business and you can now get on with mastering your business, your brand and your best-self.
Outsource to manage effectively
So, the question is, do you have good willpower? Can you withstand the call of the email – that ping? Haha! It can be quite distracting, can’t it?
If you outsource to or undertake a Virtual Assistant there are many things that can be done to alleviate the habits that you have become accustomed to such as:
Delegate your email
Assign relevant criteria for your emails
Classify sectors/folders for subject/client matter
Do you have Urgent or non-important folders?
Do you have rules set up for emails not required for immediate viewing?
Delegate to Outsource
In order to implement the above to your Virtual Assistant then you need to delegate (or share) your email inbox. This is probably the first time that you may have had to do this, but it is quite a simple process with many webmail and iCloud-based email systems and there are many step-by-step help guides available and your Virtual Assistant may even be able to guide you through the process too. You are able to view your inbox as normal and your Virtual Assistant will be able to manage your emails simultaneously.
The most often asked question about delegating your email access for the first time is that someone else may respond to your client. This is a commonly asked question, but nothing to worry about. You will have given clear instructions to your Virtual Assistant, and if they are well-referred and indeed, accredited in any way, you will have been provided with a booking form or a contract prior to any work being undertaken with clear, precise instructions being communicated between you to discuss exactly what will be undertaken between both of your businesses. You can choose whether your Virtual Assistant is to just ‘tidy’ your inbox or whether you would like a semi-service of responding to certain types of emails such as general diary enquiries and or a full-service whereby the more complex emails are taken on-board. Alternatively, you may wish to keep the most complex ones for yourself and have these flagged for your attention. Ultimately, you are left available to concentrate on your business the way you wish to.
Better Working Relationships
After a period of time, you may find that there is a period of time that is released throughout the day from becoming more productive from the time that has become more efficient as you are not pouring through your emails. Additionally, your clients and colleagues are getting a faster response rate from you in regard to queries this can only improve your brand, your identity and your overall rating in your service that you offer.
How A Virtual Assistant Can Help
In all instances of onboarding a Virtual Assistant, there can be a little time taken to get set up and getting used to but indeed, the time saved in the long run will be more than worth the effort. Just imagine the feeling of being organised and time-managed and getting emails in in a timely fashion, not missing elusive deals too. Your Virtual Assistant will only be billed for time used and retainers are available to assist with budgets also. Reducing your administration time and increasing your efficiency into income-generating tasks is pure productive! If you would like to discuss your requirements further regarding your Email Management Service then contact NottmVA.
Everyone is talking about it and doing it aren’t they? Even I have succumbed to it. Me, who couldn’t even mumble a 30-second introductory video about my business when I first started. We’ve all been there, nervous, dreading being in front of the camera and afraid of looking a fool in front of, well, who? We just don’t know! Well, according to Woody Allen, 80% of Success is Showing Up. So, what are we waiting for – let’s go and do it!
Where Do you Find the Right Networking Event for You?
Now, this is the tricky part. Networking takes time and patience and you have to be prepared to put some time in. I know, I know we are all busy people, but you know – we all have the same amount of hours in the day and you have to put in what you want to get out. You may get lucky and find the one that works for you the first time. I was 3rd time lucky did you know? I have found an absolutely fabulous group called the Global Woman’s Club which is held in my local town in Nottingham and being a Virtual Assistant, the Club is Global – it is held all over the World so of course, it is the perfect group for me!
So, what are the key points to look for when joining a group?
It is important to find the right networking group for you. You want to feel comfortable in your surroundings and to feel natural when you are speaking with others. Here are a few pointers to think about:
You want to find a networking group that has similar or like-minded people to yourself
The networking group needs to be familiar with your target market or open to your mindset or law of attraction
Be open as to what YOU can offer or contribute to the networking group
Does the networking group offer additional networking outside of the event days/evenings i.e. online networking, social gatherings and so on?
Where is the networking group held, is it the same venue/date/time each occasion? Is it weekly/fortnightly/monthly? Would you feel comfortable in this environment?
You will need to endeavour to build the right relationships for both yourself and your business and for the other members of the networking group to ensure that it is a success for both yourself and everyone involved.
What is it about Networking that Everyone finds Valuable?
The Value – it’s so important for everyone to take some importance from their meeting or why would they take time out of their busy day or evening to spend it with you? You will be meeting and greeting new business introductions – look at all those new possibilities! People to talk to and discuss what you have been doing, learning, and chatting about your family and what people’s husbands and wives do too – it’s not just about the people in the room, there is a lot of referral business that is undertaken too.
There is a lot of value in the support that is gained from networking. Many businesses are sole traders and entrepreneurs working from home or in isolated areas and numerous business gurus thrive on meeting up and blossom in a room full of people for an hour or so. It is important to ‘walk’ the room or mingle – if you see someone on their own, introduce yourself and ask about their day – they may be feeling as nervous as you perhaps.
Many networking groups have guest speakers and with you attending it could be that you have access to new information, new learning and your value would be to gain new trusted information that has been pre-approved by the host.
What Can You Get Out of Networking for your Business?
Ultimately, you’re there for your business, aren’t you? But, don’t pitch-sell, sell, sell to your peers the minute you walk in the door – eek! You don’t want to be ‘sold’ to, do you the minute someone walks up to you with a cup of coffee in their hand? I know I don’t.
What you CAN get out of networking is a source of great support, this is something I get great value from. I have a fab collaboration of great people now to call on for a variety of information, referrals both to call upon for my clients and to send business to – it works both ways. New friendships are formed with yourself and your spouses too, it’s such a close relationship – but only if you want it to be. It’s your call. Remember, it is what YOU want it to be. It’s your business. Some networking groups are strictly business, some are extended into social gatherings – make sure you find the one that works for you. There are networking groups that will offer mentors or will have individuals that have these businesses within the group. Take the time to talk to everyone in the group. Make it work for you.
What if your chosen Networking Group hasn’t Worked for You?
There are some occasions when some Networking groups are just not right. I have tried a couple, and more than once, myself and just did not feel comfortable with them. There was nothing wrong with the groups, they worked very well for many people. You will need to ask yourself the questions I raised earlier about whether they are right for you regarding timing, environment, business strategies etc.
What you need to do is work out what you DO need and find something that DOES work and what did not work, however.
Does your networking group allow selling sessions? The Global Woman Club that I attend is a fabulous group and allows 2-minute presentations from everyone for you to speak about something regarding your business. As you can see here, my presentation was videoed,
sometimes live-streamed and then shared to the Facebook group to the local group and the Global group too – so there is lots of scope for other businesswomen to see my business pitch on that occasion.
Are you making sure that you ‘walk’ the room and mingle and don’t ‘sell’ in that coffee area? It’s important to get to know people and like the mantra of a business coach that I’m working with at the moment… obtain that ‘Know, Like, Trust’ factor from those around you.
Perhaps the cost of joining the networking group might be an issue for you right now, but something you may wish to think about if you obtained one client from that group is – what would a few months of that client’s business be worth to you, or your membership to this group. What is the value of being a member of this group mean to you? Is it purely monetary? Is it for support? Is it collaboration too – there are many other benefits too? Have you checked out the other benefit packages that the group has to offer?
Are you attending the meetings, are you allowing people to see your face, are you speaking, letting people hear you and hear the tone, your character, your laughter, your charisma – the real you? This is where people get to know YOU! The old saying is People buy people, isn’t it?
Then there is the final follow-up. Are you following up your contacts? Have you been left with many business cards? Have you sent an email to say anything, or followed up with a 1:1 meeting and met with a coffee to discuss your business in further detail or asked how you can refer any other businesses if that is appropriate or asked if you can add them to your mailing list?
What are the Benefits of Networking for You?
I touched on this briefly earlier, but you need to find out from your networking group what it can offer for you. Of course, you will be receiving the support, the collaboration, the networking and so on, but some groups will offer financial reward and other benefits for you introducing guests to future meetings so it may be mutually beneficial to you and your guests to find out what those benefits are. Why don’t you join me at one of the Global Woman Club meetings or if you are a male businessperson, you could join as a guest presenter?
What Strategy Should You Undertake?
You need to have a marketing strategy that works for your business. Have you worked out what your ideal client, skills or sector is and that you are marketing to that niche business?
Here’s a quick summary of what was mentioned earlier on:
Have you ensured that you defined your ideal client and you are marketing to a niche audience?
Are you making sure that you are only selling in the required environments that allow you to do so?
Do not sell in the ‘coffee arena’ just network appropriately and courteously
Is time and money an issue for you right now – do your networking group offer instalments?
Are you actually turning up to meetings and offering your character and charisma?
Take time to nurture your fellow peers and discuss your business and referrals and show your knowledge
Are you following up?
Whatever networking group you choose it should be one that you are comfortable with, one you feel you can relate to and one you feel best suits your needs – at that time. Just remember, nothing is forever. You can change, your business changes as it grows. Your ideal client niche will change as your business changes and develops. I wish you every success with your business, your networking and your personal development.
As your business does grow, it is inevitable that you will obtain an additional workload and may require the services of a Virtual Assistant to assist with your Business Administration and Social Media Marketing.
It’s hard going week in, week out isn’t it when you’re trying to run your business and keep up to date with everything going on? Have you signed up to receive your copy of Virtual Weekly?
What is it?
It is a fab mid-week breather to let you know about all the biz facts about apps, news in the industry and a few fun things too that might, just might be of interest to you…
If you would like to receive a copy and/or contribute or even be included so that you’re distributed to a mailing list around the country, well actually worldwide, so sign up too and get this winging it’s way to your inbox too!
When will I get it?
Virtual Weekly comes out mid-week on a Wednesday and is there for you to put your feet up in the afternoon with a cuppa, or when you’re travelling home in the afternoon on the bus/train/tram, so you can have a nosey about what’s going on in the world of tech/virtual/biz.
Don’t miss this week!
You’re not too late to get this week’s edition if you’re quick! If you want to get hold of past editions, then message me and I can get those sent to you too.
It’s common knowledge that as a small business everyone is striving to find that elusive client and you need to always be on the lookout for new ways to market your business. In the depths of Facebook and Twitter et al you can get lost in the algorithms whatever they are at any given time and who knows, they change with the wind, don’t they? Social Media sites also belong to someone else as well too. The only things that belong to you are your website and your mailing list.
Do you have a Niche?
Once you have determined who your target audience is for your business and you have defined your niche then you are on a roll!
What does your Client want/need?
This is when it becomes a little easier to target what your audience or your client wants or needs. How can you solve their problems? How can you ease their pain? What is it that makes their day so much more difficult to get through without you assisting them to glide through much more easily.
Now you can create your prize jewel – your Lead Magnet. This is marketing terminology for a free service or product that is given away for the purpose of gathering contact details.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Yay – you’ve got your lead magnet – that’s it! You can now promote it. You can advertise it in your blog posts, social media, link it in your emails – get it out there!
Automate or Manual?
As you’re promoting your Lead Magnet you will now be gaining interest. If you use one of the programs to do this for you it can automate the process. This can be Aweber, Mailchimp, CampaignMonitor are just a few to choose from.
Of course, you need to ensure you gain appropriate permission-based email lists and use the correct opt-ins. If you use one of the automated email programs, then this is all done for you. Better still, use a double opt-in.
Have you got offers or discounts to advocate from time to time, this is a great way to promote your posts regularly and keep your traction.
Finally, do not forget your Call To Action. Ensure you ask your readers to subscribe to your email list.
If you like what you’ve read – go on, jump in and take a look at my Virtual Weekly E:Mag! It’s full of business tips and ways to reduce your time.
If you would like this blog post as a PDF just emailus and we’ll get it right out to you!
It’s great writing about blogs and it’s fab that everyone is liking and subscribing. So much so that we have now decided to send out all of the fab info via the Virtual Weekly E-Mag for you all to read and get involved in (if you wish).
What is it?
Virtual Weekly is our great new E-Mag that is going to be distributed regularly with biz tips and information on quick fixes on ways of how to reduce your workload and how to work smarter. What more could you ask for?
Who is it for?
If you are a sole trader, a small business or someone wanting to start in business, then this is for you!
If you haven’t previously signed up to my mailing list then click on the link below to ensure that you receive your copy of the Virtual Weekly
The need to be mobile comes in many forms these days.
As a Virtual Assistant, there is a requirement to be flexible: there are many clients, different industry sectors, all with differing requirements too, so it’s quite a skill to get the balance right.
Having numerous years of experience with event management companies, the NHS, brand agencies, blue-chip companies, the legal sector etc, I have a broad knowledge to draw upon.
You’re also needed to catch up with clients via the mobile telephone, meetings, networking of course – to maintain those all important connections and then you have to knuckle up and actually get your work done! Oh, it’s a hard life huh?
Who is it For?
A Virtual Assistant is for businesses that probably cannot afford or do not need a full-time employee at the moment and a self-employed VA can offer a flexible alternative. A Virtual Assistant can be hired for your administration duties, sales calls or social media management when needed but not necessarily when business is slow.
I do have a desk for my ‘work stuff’, I do like to sit and work quietly, as I can concentrate on what I’m doing: but I can just as easily work in a coffee shop, a co-working office space, by the pool, on a train, well, anywhere really – that’s the beauty and flexibility of being a VA.
The technology is available to allow you to work in a mobile arena these days now and its great that I can encrypt my hardware and software that I know I am safe and secure with mine and my clients’ data, to be able to work in such a way that work can be undertaken around both the client’s and my commitments – a win/win!
If you would like to know more about the need to be mobile and would like us to manage your admin and social media by hiring a Virtual Assistant, or want to work with me as an Associate VA then contact me or by using the contact form on the website.
It’s a big question, isn’t it? Who can you add to your mailing lists?
Post-GDPR – 25th May 2018 – what can you do, what can’t you do… Hmm, it’s all a bit twinkle tippy toes..
Well, keeping in touch with the right people who’re in the know is important. I like to think I do, that’s for sure.. If I’m not, please do give me a nudge and signpost me on my way! But here’s a great infographic from KoffeeKlatch that gives you a quick read at-a-glance giving you the do’s and don’ts about your mailing lists.
Make sure you keep your lists in tippy-top order and that you have the right consent.
If you would like me to email you and let me know about the services I offer you can contact me directly.
Would you like to subscribe to my email list and receive a copy of Virtual Weekly, a mid-week E: Magazine?
Too Busy for Social Media – Then let me do it for you…
Sometimes the constraints of your job are just too much. The meetings, the business reports, the presentations, the surgery, the consultations, discussions then the dictations that have to be done – when do you have the time to post your social media? The relevant stuff as well. It can all get a bit much, can’t it.
It can be quite time-consuming, you have to put in the effort to get it right, you have to be consistent, know when Twitter is the right time to reach its audience, is it the same time for Facebook? Maybe not, Instagram isn’t the same either it can get tricky to schedule it all when you have more important things to do.
That’s where a Virtual Assistant comes in, well me – in fact! Social Media scheduling is one of the services I can take off your hands. With some careful briefing about your industry, product and just a weekly or monthly update I can organise your media to be posted on to 1, 2 or more platforms daily, weekly or twice weekly to keep you or your business in the forefront.
With a simple outsourcing of your social media, you can concentrate on what you do best. Let me know your thoughts and comments below.
If you wish to receive the Virtual Weekly E-Mag which will give you biz tips, information, quick fixes and Smart tips on how to help you through your week – what more could you ask for! Get this here.
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