Admit it, you could get a lot more done each week if you managed your time better. Time is so precious when you are running a business, which is why managing your time effectively can have a huge impact not only on your business, but also you overall happiness. Here are my 5 top tips to being more savvy with your time so you maximise your productivity:
Distractions are everywhere! There are constantly going to be a number of things pulling you one way or another. Focusing on your assigned task for that period of time is hugely important, make sure you box your time and stick to it. If you stay focused and complete your assigned task you are going to stay on track and feel good that you have achieved it. If it’s not impossible why not turn your phone on silent and put your headphones in?
2. Learn to say no!
Over promising is a huge no! There is only one of you and unfortunately you cannot be in multiple places at once. Over committing yourself is going to completely stress you out and you most likely will end up not getting anything done! It is inevitable you will let someone down. It’s important you are doing everything well and properly rather than a portion at 30%.
3. Start early
Wake up and get started! It’s simply amazing how much you can achieve by starting even an hour earlier than normal. Why not spend an hour each morning preparing yourself for the day ahead, ensuring you are going to stick to your day plan and completing any unexpected tasks that may have arisen!
4. Plan ahead
If you don’t have a plan, you’re planning to fail. What do you want to achieve this week? What do you want to achieve today? Planning out each day with time assigned to each task is going to make you feel much more organised and much more likely to get things done.
We are all guilty of spending too much time on tasks that really just don’t matter. What’s important to your business that needs to get done? You need to identify your most important tasks and ensure that you make room for them in your plan. Prioritising well each day Is going to make sure you are as efficient and productive as possible.
As a business owner you need to be focused on the growth, profitability and the direction of your business. To stay relevant in this day and age you need to be one step ahead of your competition and on top of your game. Expanding a business is tough, there are numerous challenges you will face on your entrepreneurial journey. A smart and savvy Virtual Assistant will be able to give you the support you need to hit those milestones, so why not take advantage of a VA who can be your right-hand person whilst you focus on the bigger picture. In this article we look at the 5 top benefits of using a Virtual Assistant.
How many times have you said in the last month that you wish you had more hours in the day? Well, a Virtual PA can give you that time back. Delegating tasks out is not always easy, however it can be a game changer for growing businesses. Imagine what you could do with an extra 5 hours each week. A Virtual PA can give you back your time by taking away the tasks that anyone can do, and leaving you the ones that only YOU can do. You built your company which means you are smart and forward thinking, so why not take advantage of tools around you that can help you propel your business forwards.
Access to skilled and experienced professionals
As an entrepreneur you most definitely will be wearing a lot of different hats. One day you might have to be a digital marketing expert, the next you will need to be an accountant - there are going to be some things you are better at than others. We’ve all heard that we should hire staff that are smarter than us, and this is the same for working with a Virtual Assistant. With a wide variety of skills and experience you will be able to fill the gaps by utilising their skills alongside your own, ensuring that everything is done to the best standard that it can be. You can find out more about what services a Virtual PA offers here: www.girlplanner.co.uk/services
Reduce your overheads
Running a business and employing staff is expensive. One huge benefit of utilising a Virtual PA is that you reduce your overheads. You simply pay for what you need and when, reducing costs such as recruitment, training, sickness pay and holiday pay. Virtual Assistants are experienced professionals that offer a value for money service, with a fixed hourly or monthly charge that is tailored specifically around your needs.
Peace of mind
Do you have a list of tasks that keeps getting pushed back on your priority list? Maybe you have experienced that nagging feeling that something from last week still hasn’t got done. A Virtual PA is someone who you can work alongside, who will pick up where you left off and make sure things get done well and promptly. A VA is there to be part of your team and someone you can rely on. Whatever the task, be it big or small – A Virtual PA will get it done.
Flexible and tailored support
At Girl Planner we tailor our support around the needs of each of our clients. By understanding how you and your business work, we can create a plan that fits for you. With no lengthy or minimum term contracts, we simplify business support whilst still offering you a seamless and professional service.
If you are interested in finding out how a Virtual PA could help you, I’d love to have a no-obligation chat. You can contact us by emailing email@example.com or alternatively calling us on 02038295746.
First of all, I would like to say it is completely normal to go through phases of feeling completely unmotivated and unable to get out of bed. Starting and running a business is tough, even for the best of us, and there are going to be many highs and lows along your entrepreneurial journey. If I am honest with you, I have had days where I haven’t got out of bed at all, I felt like there was a giant brick wall in front of me that I just couldn’t get through, even getting dressed and having a shower seemed like a huge mountain I wasn’t able to climb. In this article I wanted to share with you 9 ways to fight through your mental block and get your motivation back!
1. Don’t beat yourself up
I have chosen this as number one as I believe it is the most important. Constantly rethinking a scenario or situation where you believe you could have done better are not, I repeat, ARE NOT going to help in anyway shape or form. Everything in life is a lesson and if something didn’t go your way this time, learn from it and move on. You are not your mistakes and if you spend all your time blaming yourself for things that are now out of your control, you are never going to get past them.
2. Small goals matter
When you set your goals, ensure you set two different types, your goals on a day when you are feeling great cannot be the same as for a day when you are feeling down. Setting yourself smaller goals for bad days will make the mindset transition as easy as possible. Try and think about how you will feel after you have accomplished the tasks on your list, rather then the dread of starting them.
3. Ask for help
You are not alone in this! Talk about it, ask for help, share your worries and thoughts with your partner, friends or colleagues. If you cannot inspire yourself, get inspired by someone else. There are thousands of motivational videos on YouTube that can really prompt you to take action.
4. Do something fun
Ok, so you have had a rough day, week or maybe even month. Why not put the pressures to the side for one day and do something you enjoy doing. Getting up and getting out of the house to do something fun, is going to be a lot easier to manage than focusing on the thing that you have lost motivation for. Whether you enjoy walking, shopping or seeing your friends for lunch, this is a stepping stone to getting out of the funk you are in.
5. Positive vibes only
This is sometimes hard to do, but try and push any negative, self doubting thoughts you may have to the side and concentrate on anything positive you have going on in your life. What did you accomplish recently? Did you friends or partner do something nice for you recently? By focusing on the good things in your life you eliminate the space for the negative and unproductive thoughts that weigh down your mind.
6. Listen to music
Number 6 is so simple yet so effective. Wake up and turn the radio on. Listening to your favourite artist or album on Spotify will make you want to get out of bed. Music has a magical affect on most of us that can really alter our moods and change the way we feel.
7. Repeat your mantra
As silly as this sounds, repeating your mantra in your head is something I believe can really help. When things get tough I always say to myself ‘if it was easy, everyone would do it’. Use the words that someone has said to you, or you believe to be true, to push yourself out of the mind frame you are stuck in.
I appreciate that this is probably one of the last things you want to do when you are feeling so crap, but hey, it really will help. Whatever your fitness level, set yourself a routine that suits you. This can be anything from going for a short walk every morning, to spending two hours or going for a swim 2-3 evenings a week. Exercising releases chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which are chemicals that naturally make us feel great.
9. Treat yourself
First of all, well done for accomplishing all you have so far. Why not go and buy those shoes you wanted or get your hair done at the hairdressers. Feeling good about yourself is the first step to feeling good about your goals. Take time out to pamper yourself and reward yourself for how far you have come!
'If it was going to be easy, everyone would do it!'
As a VA I know that the most important thing when hiring one, is that you trust the person. It is important to consider what tasks you are going to be delegating, and ensuring the VA you hire has the skill set required for what you need. When people think about hiring virtual staff sometimes it is easy to think that maybe the communication will not be as good, or they feel like they won't be connected closely enough to that person. In this article I wanted to share with you some of the ways we work, the platforms we use and how exactly that benefits you.
Diary and time management
I want to make sure you are as using your time as efficiently as possible. I know it is hard to give up control but sometimes that is what is needed to do to take the next step with your business. By utilising a VA, a business can make sure it's meetings are as efficient as possible. We do not want you to waste 3 hours a day travelling from meeting to meeting when with a bit of diary management, it could be reduced to 1 hour. By utilising IGLO (our CRM system with built in mapping) alongside Google Calender, we have the ability to organise your days efficiently, reducing time wastage wherever possible. We can also book your travel there and meeting rooms/coffee shops when needed, as well as liaising with the second party for you.
Fed up of waking up to 200 plus emails each morning? How much time could you save by letting us in, sorting out the junk for you and ensuring you only see what you need to? We can either use an email alias, your details or use Lastpass as this allows you to give us access without revealing your passwords!
Managing projects and events can be stressful and time consuming. When we work with you on these, we need to make sure that we have excellent communication and visibility on each task. Trello is our project management software of choice as it gives us the ability to work directly with you, ensuring we are both working simultaneously and not duplicating work. We cover a wide range of events, conferences and larger scale projects such as refurbishments, so why not get an extra set of hands on board?
Using Xero, IGLO or your own CRM system, we ensure no payments are missed. We aim to reduce financial losses from disorganisation and mistakes by keeping you on top of your incoming and outgoing payments.
These are just some of the services that are offered through Girl Planner, alongside the platforms we use to ensure visibility and communication is there. We are of course always able to pick up the phone and send a quick Whatsapp! To find out more about other services we offer. Click here.
Diamonds have always been something of extremely high value and something seen as a luxury for most of us. The meaning of diamonds however goes further than their financial value, for many of us they symbolise occasions, relationships and life events which makes the beauty of them even more prevalent in our lives. Choosing a piece of jewellery for someone you love should be a delicate and personal experience that represents the importance of the occasion.
Kensington Parker is a private jeweller based in London. They deliver their clients a personal and bespoke service, meeting with you at your office or after hours with a hand picked selection of diamonds chosen specifically for you.
Today, I met with Andreas from Kensington Parker at the Eight Members’ Club in Moorgate for a personal diamond master class. As someone with only a basic knowledge of diamonds, Andreas started by explaining the main 4 things that denote a diamonds value; colour, clarity, cut and carat. He explained that each diamond was unique and therefore could be valued via this ‘4C’ method.
We then began to look at individual diamonds that were varied among the value scale. It was fascinating to see how one diamond could stand out next to the other, sparkling beautifully when the light refracted at just the right angle. Andreas explained that the sparkle of a diamond was down to the cut as the proportions affect its light performance. With a keen eye for detail Andreas was obviously extremely meticulous in his craft, scanning each diamond for just the slightest imperfection before showing me what he was describing.
After looking over a number of diamonds, we then looked the ring bands. Andreas explained that he worked with each client individually, trying to understand their or their partners likes and personality to build the piece of jewellery around each person.
I think that one of the main misconceptions I had was that a private jeweller would mean I need a budget of at least £20,000. After listening to how Kensington Parker worked, however, it was easy to understand why it was becoming such a popular choice for clients purchasing jewellery and gifts as oppose to the high street. Andreas explained that his clients usually spent between £5,000 and £25,000. He explained that they have reduced company costs by avoiding the high overheads of operating on the high street. This means that not only can they offer you a much more personal and tailored experience, but they also work out around 40%-50% better value for money than a high street store.
After my master class with Kensington Parker, not only had I learnt about the diamonds themselves, I had also learnt about the process of choosing them for yourself or for someone as a gift. The more care, thought and precision that went into the jewellery the more valuable it will be to the person receiving the gift, and sometimes the sentimental value is worth considerably more than the financial.
Not only do Kensington Parker offer this bespoke gift service, they also offer diamond master classes for corporate companies and businesses in London.
Overall my experience was excellent, the service offered was a lot higher then that of a high street and the quality of the diamonds backed by the knowledge of Andreas was exactly what I would look for in the future.
If you are interested in booking a free (yes, I said free) diamond master class for your corporate event, or simply looking for that perfect present for your partner, I would highly recommend getting in touch:
It can be quite daunting when you start expanding your business. There starts to be a lot more things to think about and sometimes a lot more risk. If you are the brain and drive of your company, it is going to be important that you stay at the front, leading the way to your bigger and brighter future. Here are 5 of our top tips to growing your business:
1. Time keeping
Allocating time to certain tasks and ensuring you stick to those times Is going to be vital. We all have a natural ability to avoid doing the things we do not like, which is why things like invoicing and bills can get into a mess. Planning for the day ahead and allocating times for each task (and sticking to it), is going to make it much more likely that you will get these things done.
What is your goal? Write it down and then write down each smaller goal you want to achieve to get you there. This is you paving the way to your success. Do not give yourself unrealistic targets, the smaller the jump from one step to another, the less likely you will fall!
3. Invest in yourself
You are not going to be any help to anyone if you are run down and continually stressed. Taking time out to think, evaluate and prioritise is going to vastly improve your chance of success. You are the smart and forward thinking entrepreneur that started this company, we need you at your best so don’t burn out!
4. Ask for help
A lot of people do not ask for help when they need it and try and manage everything by themselves! Getting advice and support when you feel like you need it is going to be a weight lifted of your shoulders. Remember, you are not alone in this. Whether you ask friends, colleagues, networking groups or utilising a virtual assistant – you will be surprised at how willing people are to help.
5. Don’t give up
If it was going to be easy, everyone would do it. Yes, there will be knock backs and yes, there will be rejections. Believing in what you do and knowing that you can achieve it is imperative to you making it!
The share price drop of Countrywide caught my eye as Countrywide are the biggest estate agency and lettings network in the UK.
3 years ago the share price was over £5 but in the last week it has dropped to less than 50p, a drop of over 90%!
Now I am sure there are multiple reasons this has happened but I wanted to look at debt. This is another company that is being eaten up by the increase in interest rates, is the rate of company failures speeding up?
This is the History of UK bonds since 1984:
It is easy to see that rates have been falling for 30 years, this is a very long cycle. BUT there are signs now that the cycle has reversed and interest rates are on the rise.
If we look back over the last 30 years, every time a company renegotiates it's debt, the rate been going down each time, meaning for a given interest charge the amount of money they can borrow goes up. Venture capital companies and stock market companies have used this to extract trillions from the market as they can make a lot of money by loading up other companies with debt and/or buying back shares so their profits look bigger. Whilst this goes on the amount of debt in the system increases.
What is happening now, with interest rates starting to increase, is that the tactics used are now working in reverse. The interest payments on debt are increasing and the amount companies can borrow is decreasing. Countrywide (like Carilion) shows how quickly this can turn round.
As banks lose more money and end up owning more shares in companies, they will become more averse to these types of settlement which will make them look at their loans and tighten criteria which then loops back round to make the whole problem worse.
The only thing to stop all this is for governments to print 4 times more money than they printed last time* and the next time they will have to print 4 times as much money again and so on...
The point is that all these companies should go out of business as they have borrowed too much money and/or they are not productive in the current environment. This will then create new opportunities for good entrepreneurs who can take advantage of new developments to create more productive companies. This is what the future of the UK needs to be.
Unfortunately many of us have lost trust in the government to do the right thing as have all the other people with potential investment money. This is why there is limited good investment in the UK future and instead we continue to gamble with financial instruments or buy and sell houses to each other for forever increasing values.
Running a SME is hard work. I think we can all agree on that.
When you start thinking about health and safety, employment, contracts and HR, your head can really start going into a spin. Office set ups are expensive, software is expensive - in fact running any business seems to be getting more and more expensive as the years progress. This is before we even start looking at how time consuming all of the above is. One thing we do know is that to be successful you have to be on top of your game and one step ahead. You built this company which means you are smart and forward thinking, so why not take advantage of tools that can make sure you stay focused on running your business. In this article we have looked at some of the services a virtual assistant offers, how they can benefit you and your business, and most importantly - how they can give you peace of mind.
Do you ever feel like you have a mountain of paperwork that just keeps getting bigger? A virtual assistant can look after the admin side for you so you stay focused on the direction of your business. From email management to invoicing and billing, a UK based VA will have a vast knowledge of administrative duties and be able to offer you a cost effective and efficient service.
Virtual assistants are able to help with a multitude of different things, one of them being HR. They have the resources to create contracts, training documents, letter templates and much more. Using a trusted VA to create these documents for you is going to save you a lot of time and worrying. Virtual assistants are also able to take over the recruitment process for you, creating job descriptions, advertising job roles and shortlisting potential candidates.
Project & Event Management
Seeing a project through from planning to completion is time consuming and stressful. When you have a number of different employees or contractors involved it is important that you stay on the ball. Whether you are planning a conference, social event, refurbishment or renovation, a VA can liase with the all parties, ensuring time scales and budgets are met.
Running a business and a home takes some work and it can leave you extremely time poor, a VA can give you some of your valuable time back by ensuring some of the things that need doing, get done. With a pretty open spectrum of tasks that VAs can assist with, I guarantee that there is something they can pick up for you. Whether it be managing your utilities, planning your travel or organising that last minute present for your partners birthday, VAs are there to help.
Diary Management & Call Handling
Ensuring you are maximising your productive time is essential to running a business. A virtual assistant can help you stay organised by managing your calls and/or your diary for you. Using a UK based VA utilising a phone set up system, will be able to give you a direct forwarding number that you can turn on/off when you need. Some will also be able to offer a personalised hold tone and custom answer service to make sure your customer service is always at an extremely high level.
The possibilities of using a virtual assistant are endless as they are highly skilled, but do not have one specific job role. A good virtual assistant is going to be attentive to your business needs and give you real returns. Using a VA means you can get things done when and how you need, without the restraints of employing someone full time. If this is something you think could benefit you or your business, contact us here.
Being a strong woman doesn’t just happen. It is a hard path full of challenges, stumbles and falls. The one thing we know is that a strong woman will always get back up, wipe the dirt off and try again. Distinguishing who you are in a sea full of people wanting you to be something else is not an easy task. If we take a look back in history there are a number of women who have stamped their mark on our history -Ameila Earheart, Marie Curie, Katherine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, just to name a few. In this article we are going to look at 7 things strong women do and how they always stay true to themselves.
1. They know what they stand for
It is the easiest thing in the world to nod along to something you completely disagree with. One of the main things successful and strong women do is stand up for their beliefs. A smart woman will know the precise moment to discuss her ideas and the correct way to get them across. They are willing to put their opinions and views out there and refuse to let any criticism sway them. Their ideas are thought out, logical and made without emotion.
2. They do not complain
At some point in our life we have had something happen to us that was in no means fair. But hey, life isn’t fair. We have all been told that at least once, right? The difference between women that make it or break is their ability to dust themselves off and try something again, or something new. Why waste energy and time on something that has been and gone, instead of focusing your energy on to the things that are going right?
3. They lift the people around them
In this high pressured and somewhat superficial society we live in, women especially are under an ever growing pressure to look and act in a certain way. As a woman, we can relate to this pressure and understand one another's feelings, worries and emotions. A strong woman would never need to make anyone feel lesser or unimportant. A strong woman would encourage, support and openly admire other successful women. They would not need to dim anyone else's light in order to make theirs shine brighter.
4. They love themselves
Before you can do anything in this world, you need to make sure you take care of number one. You can’t take over the world if you feel run down can you. Looking after our bodies and our minds is so important to our overall well being. Partying every weekend was ok when we were 18 but to be successful and achieve in the future we need to take time out to learn, develop and look after our health. Whether it is a Saturday morning yoga session or learning a new language, utilising some of your free time to improve yourself is going to be imperative to your success.
5. They are honest
We all make mistakes, how we deal with them afterwards is what defines us. A strong woman is honest and has the ability to say ‘I messed up that time’ or even ‘I am sorry’. The making of the mistake is not the issue, it is the actions we take afterwards. Can we make up for the mistake we have made? Was it something we can learn from and avoid in the future? Remember, those who have never made a mistake have never tried anything new!
6. They let go
Holding on to the wrong things is just as bad as forcing things that are not right. Learning the right time to leave is a key attribute of a strong woman, whether it is a job, a relationship or even a friendship. Knowing what you need out of something and knowing your worth is something that isn’t easy, as it is often coupled with tough decisions and no easy answers. Being true to yourself and your wants/needs is extremely important to your overall happiness and success.
7. They prioritise
Learning what is important and what isn’t is a highly valuable skill. The path to success is a hard one and you will have to learn what needs doing now, and what can be done later. A strong woman knows exactly how to utilise her time best, ensuring she stays on top of her game at all times. Being busy comes with the territory!
The good news:
This is the good part! ALL STRONG AND SUCCESSFUL WOMEN DECIDED TO BE THIS WAY! There is no quick and easy method to get there but believing that you can do it is half the battle won!
We all work long hours right? Sometimes its difficult to get everything done that you need to do especially when the unexpected happens. Whether you are a single person commuting into London every day, or a CEO juggling work and a family, here are 7 reasons why you should wake up, get up and embrace the mornings.
It’s easy to get dragged down into the day to day and it’s not unusual to be thrown of course by a to-do list that is forever getting longer. By waking up even 30 minutes earlier you can give yourself the time to evaluate, prioritise and really answer the question ‘what do I want to achieve today?’
I know I am guilty of missing breakfast at least two days a week because I am rushing every morning to get to work, then when I finally eat its usually something easy and not necessarily the healthiest choice. We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so maybe we should take heed, slow down and give ourselves that extra brain power. It can’t hurt right?
No matter where you are in the world or what industry you work in, I can guarantee that there is most likely going to be something you are worrying or stressed about. Taking a walk outside in the morning, filling your lungs with fresh air and watching the clouds go by can really make you put things into perspective and give you that boost you need to make the best judgements.
4. Get things done
Ok, so we all have a to-do list, but how many of you also have the secret to do list which is the pile of unrelenting tasks that you just never get round to. Why don’t you start ticking these off each morning? I can guarantee it will make you feel great!
5. You time
I find it absolutely impossible to get round to the things that I like doing. You know, those things that are just for you. It could be anything from finishing the chapter in the book you have been reading or watching the latest episode of your favourite series on netflix. Waking up early and taking some you time is sure to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.
As much as I hate to say it, it is true what they say. Exercising does make you feel fantastic afterwards. Getting a morning jog, swim or yoga session in will get all those endorphins running around your brain preparing you for the day ahead.
The morning commute can be one of the most stressful times of they day. Over crowded trains, Some guy honking at you because you didn’t go through a red light and they are late for work. Well I have to tell you, avoiding peak travel time can make for a much more enjoyable journey – you never know, your boss may even let you go home early for being so punctual!
Still not convinced? I dare you to try it for one week and see how you feel.