I’d love to tell you that my ambition was to start my own business. That it was something I had always wanted to do.
But it wasn’t.
Starting my own business was born more out of necessity than fulfilling a dream.
The truth is I founded my company because...
...I was being bullied at work.
Not just by one person either. In the end it was a group of women. It came as quite a shock. I’d never been bullied at school or college. I was always one of those kids who had lots of friends, made friends easily, just fitted in.
I’m not going to go into details, let’s just leave it at it got to the stage I ended up crying just about every day when I left work, and sometimes at work, hidden away in the ladies.
It finally came to a head one evening when I'd got back from a particularly horrendous day and my husband found me sat in the car outside our home sobbing my heart out.
Sounds dramatic, but if you've ever been badly bullied, you'll understand.
The choice was I...
Business coaches are strong assets for business owners because they hold the owner accountable for their own progress. They offer different perspectives to problems, they offer guidance as well as challenges, and they observe objectively how a business operates and what can be improved.
Productivity is more than just performing your daily tasks. A business coach will improve your productivity in all aspects of your business life. Here are some examples:
1. You will step out of your comfort zone. Performing tasks that make you uncomfortable are often tasks that will push your business into forward momentum, such as real life networking or presenting to your local Chamber of Commerce. Performing these tasks will get easier with practice and will allow you to develop real life relationships with other businesses. If you gain new customers in the process, that’s quicker productivity than if you stayed in your online bubble.
2. Your coach will correct you as needed. Your business...
We all have the same 24 hours in each day but how we use those same 24 hours will determine your level of success.
Have you ever analysed what tasks you accomplish during the day, especially on those days where you question where the day went and wished you had an extra eight hours to finish your to-do list?
Knowing where you spend your time is part of the equation for success.
Are You a Do-It-Yourselfer?
When you’re first starting your business, it makes sense that you want to watch your budget and not hire any outside help. After all, you need to make money before you spend money, right?
Do-it-yourself business owners take on every task that deals with sales, marketing, billing, and operations, plus everything else that doesn’t fall into those categories.
But if you’re working on closing a sale, it stands to reason that you don’t have the time to develop a strong marketing campaign or to create content for your website or social media channels.
Online business owners can easily “open their doors for business” without a firm business plan in place.
Some may test the waters to see if they attract any clients and some start out doing this online work as a side gig while working their full-time job.
So, if this is how you are opened your business (or are planning to), do you have a business or a hobby?
A hobby traditionally is an activity that brings you pleasure that you do in your spare time. A business, on the other hand, provides a service or products to clients, has regular business hours, and strives to make a profit.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you are working a business or a hobby:
• Do you have firm business hours or are you working sporadic hours as your family or full-time job allows?
• Do you make the most of your business hours or work time, working as efficiently as possible, or do you get distracted with social media or other behind-the-scenes tasks?
• Do you...
How many of us make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or go to the gym? How many of us actually reach our goals?
This is a prime example of knowing WHAT to do but not staying motivated to actually DO it. Intellectually we all KNOW that eating healthy foods and exercising is the key to losing weight yet many of us never seem to stick with it (especially me when it comes to chocolate – yum!)
The same is true with growing your business. We all KNOW we should have a business plan and market our businesses consistently, yet life gets in the way and our plans never materialise or we take a break from marketing because we’re too busy handling our customers’ needs.
What can you do to help you stay on track and/or grow your business?
Enter the business coach.
A business coach can take different forms. It might be that parts of your business are doing fine, and you just need someone to help you in a specific area, say for example marketing.
Why have a business...
It kind of goes without saying that if you want to get somewhere you’ve got to have a plan. Very rarely do things work out properly on a wing and a prayer.
That was my problem when I set up my business in 1999, I didn’t really have a plan. I just did it.
It can be argued that because my business is still running nearly 21 years later, I did something right. But what you don’t know is what I’ve had to go through to keep it going. We’ll cover that on a later date.
These days I am laser focused. I set goals and work out a plan to achieve my goals.
If you’re seriously thinking about starting a virtual assistance business, or any other business for that matter, I strongly recommend you do the same.
One of my personal goals this year is to spend more time with my other half. It was brought home when he once said to me, “You don’t really live here, you’re more of a lodger”.
My relationship with Sam is especially important to me. I...
Happy Christmas to all my community and anyone else who is reading this.
Now is a great time to recharge your batteries, reflect on this years achievements and set some realistic goals (NOT New Year resolutions!) to help you on your way to where you want to be in the next 12 months.
I am soooo looking forward to 2020. It’s gonna be great!
I have LOTS and LOTS to share with anyone who is looking to set up their own virtual assistance business.
So, if you don’t want to miss out and you're not already part of my community, subscribe to my weekly email blast HERE to get free downloads, challenges, quizzes and valuable hints and tips to help you create and grow your own VA business.
For now though, I will leave you with some Christmas Cheer via the photo above of my dogs, and let you imagine what it took for us to get all 3 of them to sit together so we could take this photo! (BTW - Harry in the middle - he's 16 years old. Not bad looking for his age is...
Ask most entrepreneurs about their list of “day job” complaints and most of them will talk about fulfilment, making a difference, flexibility and maybe money. What they won’t say—even though they definitely feel it—is that working for someone else means they have to abide by that person’s rules. And not just when it comes to vacation planning and clock punching.
When you work for someone else, you are required to abide by their rules in all things.
Staff writers work the stories they are assigned—whether they’re interested in the subject or not.
Sales persons represent the product lines the company offers, regardless of other, better options.
Teachers follow an approved curriculum—never mind that students have been shown to learn better with a more updated system.
Not only that, but when you have a day job, you must conform to the company culture as well. Christmas parties may not be optional, even for a true introvert. Open...
I can’t tell you in words how wonderful and exciting it is when you get your first client, or any new client for that matter.
That’s when you say to yourself “Yes! It’s working!”
This is the moment when you feel like you’re finally getting somewhere. All the hard work and preparation you put in has come to fruition.
But that’s only the start.
Now the hard work really begins because you’ve got to be able to ‘keep’ that client.
So, ask yourself. How far would you go?
How far would you go to ensure that your clients are happy?
Now I’m not suggesting you do anything illegal or immoral. What I’m asking is, do you have clear client boundaries?
I’m going to use the example of office hours. The time you have allocated to do client work. The times stated on your service agreement clients will sign before any work begins.
Okay. Here goes…
What would you do if a client suddenly called you late one evening...
"Some’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago" – Warren Buffet
I admire people who have a plan. I’m naturally a kind of ‘live for the day’ person.
Don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly good at planning, especially when there’s a client and a deadline involved. I’m talking more personally. When I was younger, planning for the future never really crossed my mind.
My other half, Sam, is someone I admire very much. Not just because he buys me flowers ‘just because’ and always makes sure there’s a stash of chocolate in the fridge (my choice of poison). He has a completely different outlook to me.
He had his life planned out from a very young age. And when I mean young, I’m talking about his teens. He knew what career path he wanted to follow, went for it, kept an eye on where he was going, tried different things along the way, tweaked it when it needed tweaking and now, he’s ...