How to avoid distractions when working from home

If you’re new to working from home, you might be finding it tricky to switch into ‘work mode’ when there are a thousand things to distract you – the kids, the washing up, the hoovering, the cat that just has to sit on your keyboard.

Here at Get Ahead VA, we know all about the challenges (and the joys!) of working from home, and we’ve got plenty of tips to help you minimise distractions and stay productive. So if you’re struggling with this new style of working, here are 7 top tips to help you adjust.

(more…)

Sharing space during self-isolation

We are now in our second week of lockdown in the UK, and everybody is still adjusting to the ‘new normal’. Because schools and many workplaces are now closed, a major part of life in lockdown is learning how to share space with the other people in your house, for longer than you would on a typical day. This can be tricky at the best of times, let alone at a time of major disruption and uncertainty, so we have some advice to help you and your family through. Here are our 5 top tips for sharing space during self-isolation.

(more…)

Mindful marketing during the coronavirus pandemic

A lot has changed in a week, and this continues to be a very strange time for the world. The UK government has now ordered all pubs, restaurants, cafes, libraries and gyms to close, as well as shops selling non-essential items.* Many businesses are feeling the impact of these new protective measures, especially small businesses and independents, and many business owners now find themselves in the position of trying to keep things running while also heeding expert advice.

If you are one of the many people trying to come to terms with this new reality, we’re here to help, with some advice about how to market your business, mindfully and sensitively, during this difficult time.

1. Acknowledge it

The first thing to do is acknowledge to your customers what is happening, and what your business is doing to respond to the crisis. This might include closing brick-and-mortar stores, having your staff work from home or – if your business is part of a key industry – introducing new safety and hygiene measures. Whatever field you are in, it’s important that you talk to your customers, rather than just continuing with business as usual.

2. Reassess your marketing

Chances are you’ve already planned your marketing for the next few weeks or months – perhaps you’ve drafted email newsletters, scheduled Twitter or Instagram posts, or written blogs. If that’s the case, now is the time to go back over all your content and marketing plans and rethink them. Are they still relevant, given what is happening? Can you replace them with something more appropriate? It is much better to put in extra work to do this now, rather than ploughing ahead with content or campaigns that no longer strike the right tone.

3. Be agile

Typically, we advise business owners to plan ahead and be prepared – this is still important, but the next few months will likely require you to be more agile and responsive in your marketing efforts. This is an unpredictable, fast-changing situation, so any content you prepare could become redundant after a few days or weeks. Instead, try to be more flexible, and be prepared to change your marketing quickly if required.

4. Keep up your presence

It may feel like the best option right now is to stop marketing altogether. But if you feel able to keep doing it, and it is appropriate to do so, then you can continue to promote your business. Perhaps you could adapt your offering to suit the latest advice (e.g. focussing on online work, or selling vouchers that can be redeemed later), but even if you have to close, you can at least stay present with your audience as things progress. Despite the current atmosphere of uncertainty, this is temporary, and your customers and clients will want to return to you once this has passed, so let them know that you will be ready to welcome them back.

If you need extra support for your business during this tricky time, please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at office@getaheadva.com. Our team of virtual assistants is happy to help with whatever business and marketing services you need. In the meantime, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well.

* https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52010707

Going viral… How to be a responsible business owner during the coronavirus outbreak

When a news story breaks, many business owners leverage it in content marketing. We might be blogging about workplace bullying in the wake of Priti Patel’s dismissal, or crafting a really engaging meme for International Women’s Day (which is on Sunday, by the way). By and large, this is a good thing. Current content with an immediate appeal offers value for clients – it’s helpful for them to hear a different opinion, and it’s a great opportunity to show that your business takes a humane and inclusive stance on issues like workplace behaviour and equality. It’s good for SEO too – people Googling for the news story may find your content too and hey presto, lots of lovely conversions.

But there is another side to this. To be successful business owners, we also have to be responsible business owners. Some current affairs stories are inappropriate launch pads for content marketing. Coronavirus is one of them.

(more…)

How to work as a partnership

Get Ahead VA is very proud to have branches across the country, and we’re always on the lookout for ambitious, business-minded people who are interested in opening a new branch in their local area. Our Regional Directors are brimming with good advice about being your own boss. Today, Kristy and Suzanne, co-Directors of our Berkshire & North Hampshire office, are here with some advice about working together as a partnership.

When we set up our branch of Get Ahead VA in 2019, we decided to do it as a pair. There are all sorts of benefits to going into business with another person – companionship, shared workload, complementary skills – so if you’re thinking of doing this, here are some tips for how to make your business partnership work!

(more…)

Self-care tips for business owners

Running a business is something many people to aspire to do, but once you get there, the reality can be much more stressful than you might have imagined – and this can have an impact on the whole of your life. In fact, research by Xero has found that one in ten business owners admit that the stress of running a business has negatively impacted their mental health.*

But running a business can also be hugely rewarding (and lots of fun!) – so how can you ensure that you get the best out of entrepreneurship, while also learning how to deal with the stressful parts in a healthy way? Well, you have to be realistic about the challenges involved, and you must take the time to look after your mental health. Not sure where to start? Here are 4 of our top self-care tips for business owners!

(more…)

5 ways to level up your franchise

Get Ahead VA is very proud to have branches across the country, and we’re always on the lookout for ambitious, business-minded people who are interested in opening a new branch in their local area. Our Regional Directors are brimming with good advice about being your own boss. Today, Fiona, Regional Director of our Leeds office, is here with 5 quick tips to help you level up your franchise.

I started Get Ahead VA Leeds in January 2018, and over the last couple of years I’ve found all sorts of ways to take my business from strength to strength. Here are 5 of my favourites!

(more…)

Meet the Regional Director: Jo Munroe

Here at Get Ahead VA, our people are everything. We’re dedicated to growing our business all over the UK, so our customers can access a wide range of highly skilled professionals wherever they are located. We currently have branches in Leeds, Newcastle, Berkshire & North Hampshire and West Surrey, and we’re pleased to announce our latest addition: South Yorkshire.

Here’s 60 seconds with our South Yorkshire Regional Director, Jo Munroe

(more…)

Meet the Regional Director: Marie Peters

Here at Get Ahead VA, our people are everything. We’re dedicated to growing our business all over the UK, so our customers can access a wide range of highly skilled professionals wherever they are. We currently have branches in Berkshire & North Hampshire, Leeds, Newcastle and South Yorkshire, and we’re pleased to announce our latest addition: West Surrey.

Here’s 60 seconds with our West Surrey Regional Director, Marie Peters.

(more…)

How to find clients

Get Ahead VA is very proud to have regional offices across the country, and we’re always on the lookout for ambitious, business-minded people who are interested in opening a new regional office in their local area. Our Regional Directors are brimming with good advice about being your own boss. Today, Karen and Allison, co-Directors of our Newcastle office, are here with some advice about finding clients.

So you’ve launched your business, your systems are in place and you’re raring to go – but how do you go about finding clients? When we set up our Get Ahead VA office, we used a number of different strategies to find people to work with. Here are a few of the most effective!

(more…)