Back to reality...

So without being a stick in the mud and trying not to bring Summer to an end just yet (after all, we still have a few more weeks or is it days left?). It’s that time of year again… summer holidays are almost over (for some of us) and the evenings are starting to draw in.

The cardigans are coming out, parents and children are preparing for the new school term and believe it or not people are starting to talk CHRISTMAS!!!!! (gasp!!!).

Many of my clients tell me that they struggle to come to terms with the fact that, yet another summer has flown by and ‘where has the time gone?’ Their children are moving on at school, the weather is about to change and they need to not only keep running their business as efficiently as possible but want to start looking at new strategies, new marketing campaigns and want to ensure they are keeping things alive, fresh, exciting and of course keep the £££ coming in.

How do they get back into the flow and keep the momentum going?

 

Here are just a few of the challenges my clients tell me they face, particularly at this time of year following the summer break:

  • There aren’t enough hours in the day
  • How do I juggle being around for my family, running the business, leading a team and keeping my clients happy?
  • I feel guilty when I spend more time with my ‘job’ than my children and partner, I know I won’t get that precious time back
  • I find it hard to focus and split the time fairly between my family and my business
  • I’m so exhausted all the time, my focus and attention just isn’t there anymore, that’s when the mistakes happen
  • I NEVER get any ‘downtime’ for ME
  • I can’t completely rely on my team/partner, so don’t want to let go, but realise I can’t do everything
  • I used to be about ‘quality over quantity’ it’s so hard to strike a balance
  • I can’t do everything and don’t want to spend money outsourcing, but realise I make mistakes and that consequently costs me more money in the long run
  • I’m a control freak and just don’t want to let go of anything, but I cannot physically be dropping my children to school, be in a client meeting and taking care of the admin
  • Do I need a new direction, how do I keep things fresh?
  • My to do list is ever growing

 

Here are some of my tips around how they can help themselves:

  • Yes, we all work differently and our brains work in various ways, but we all need a PLAN. Some need loose plans and others more rigid. Each week I plan. I find either a Sunday or Monday first thing works best (for me). Of course, things will shift and your diary may well look different by Monday afternoon, but at least you have something to start with*
  • I am very particular around ‘lists’! I predominantly work with 3
  1. My diary/schedule – this is for scheduled meetings/calls and I also log my time for client work/admin/finance/blogging/social media etc. This way I can track my time efficiently, see where most of my time is spent and ensure I stay on track
  2. My pipeline – I switch between excel and CRM to do so. I start the day looking at the leads I need to contact and follow through with. For this I also use a traffic light system and track throughout the day to make sure I don’t miss any deadlines and follow up where planned
  3. My less urgent ‘to do’ list for both work and pleasure which I schedule in my diary to ensure I don’t miss
  • Start your Monday with positive affirmations. Positive reinforcement. Exercise, healthy eating, meditation, even a one-minute pep talk, whatever works for you and makes you feel good, there is no ‘one fits all’
  • Note taking. Scribble down what you want to achieve for the next few hours/days/weeks – stay focussed

 

  • Make sure you get fresh air regularly. We all know too well, when you start something you get immersed and suddenly hours have flown by. Ensure you take breaks, even a little walk up and down, open windows... I often find whilst it’s hard to break away, if you can manage to peel yourself away from your computer or notepad it clears the head, provides clarity, that’s when the ideas come (we hope!)
  • Hydration, snack on healthy food (of course with the odd treat!)
  • Talk to someone - about work or not about work. We need interaction and actually engaging with people (inside and outside the work environment) is a great distraction piece and again can sometimes provide clarity and spark new ideas
  • I look at my diary/schedule for the coming days around three times a day. First thing, around midday and then at the end of the day. I look at how my day has panned out and look at the following day in detail, along with the next seven days. Use this! If things need to move, move them, don’t just ignore the notifications, ACT

 

Here are some of the ways I help my clients when delegating and outsourcing:

  1. For me my approach is bespoke and simple
  2. No one client is the same, nor is one task or project
  3. I ensure a FREE consultation takes place with all of my clients to discuss their needs, requirements and budget
  4. Once I understand the pain points and see where I can add value a bespoke proposal is sent
  5. On agreement 3 documents are shared:
    • GDPR agreement
    • Contract between client and VA-UK
    • Cost

 

AND THEN THE WORK STARTS, either on an adhoc or retainer basis – whatever works for you!!!

Personal & Professional:
✓ Administration, minute taking, typing, data entry
✓ Diary & inbox management
✓ Personal errands & reminder services
✓ Online shopping
✓ Scheduling
✓ Social Media Management
✓ Email Marketing
✓ Market Research, creation of content
✓ Event coordination & management
✓ Web Design, build, maintenance & management
✓ Sourcing of staff - edit/audio/coordinators/producers
✓ Project Management
✓ Travel & itinerary planning
✓ Preparing, collating & distributing
✓ Telephone, email & letter handling management
✓ Presentation & spreadsheet preparation, proof reading & editing
✓ File management
✓ PDF conversions, merging or splitting
✓ Engage & maintain team, stakeholder & client relationships
✓ Holiday, maternity & sick cover
✓ Onboarding & integration of clients, databases & workflows
✓ Receptionist & customer support duties
✓ Cold calling
✓ Reconciliation
✓ Raising invoices
✓ File expenses
✓ Compile & manage reports

 

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please feel welcome to give us your thoughts by contacting us.

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Our team is available during normal office hours, although in many cases our Virtual Assistants may be contacted outside of these hours.

Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:30PM

Saturday - Sunday Closed

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About VA-UK

VA-UK was founded in London and created with small businesses and entrepreneurs in mind. Here you can trust our friendly and reliable team who can pick up just about anything you need support with, to enable you to focus on what’s important.

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VA-UK is an approved member of the Society of Virtual Assistants and is registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). All tasks are insured with Hiscox.

 

 

 

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