Helping Yourself When You Work Alone and From Home

When you work from home, starting out with your own business, then you take on a lot of roles. You are the financier, the budgeter, the accountant, the marketer, the admin team, and the CEO; it can be a lot. Of course, this is how a lot of small businesses start out, and getting to grips with a variety of different aspects of the business can be important. However, in order to grow the business, you need to make sure that you are able to do the real big things that are going to grow it, rather than getting caught up in all of the emails, calls, appointments, bookings, and other admin. So here are some things to think about, in order to make your small business grow, and so that you don’t overwhelm yourself with all that you need to do.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant is just as it sounds; someone to assist you, but done online, rather than in person. Which is why this can work great for many solo-business owners. There are a number of virtual services sites online that you can hire from, as well as using freelancers. It can be a good idea to have documents like an NDA ready for them, so that you can’t give away any information about your business. They can take control of a lot of things that need to be done, but that don’t need to be done by you. Then you have time to focus on the growth aspects of the business.

Set a schedule

When there is so much to do, it can be very tempting to just do things as and when they come in. But the truth of the matter is that you don’t need to be sat at your desk all afternoon going through emails. New ones will come in all of the time, so you can’t possibly do that, as you’ll deal with one and then another will come through. So instead, you should set yourself a working schedule, so that you know exactly what you should be doing and when. It can be a good idea to set yourself a timer too, so that you don’t go over schedule. When you do this, you will be able to get much more done throughout the day, and you’ll be able to prioritize what needs to be done first.

Be strict with working hours

There is no getting away from the fact that when you work for yourself, and when you work from home, there is always something to do. But you need to remember that although this is the case, you need to avoid burnout and give yourself time to relax, as well as proper weekends or days off. As a result, you should set days and times that you will work, and when you won’t. Of course, there can be some projects of events that will differ and need more of your time, but on the whole, setting yourself working hours and sticking to them, can really help.

Photo Credit: image

This is a contributed post.

How to survive the holidays as a business owner

How to survive the holidays as a business owner

How are you feeling about the holidays?

Are you relaxed, peaceful, and well organized? Or…like many of us…. are you walking along with a feeling of overwhelm?

For many businesses, the holidays are their busy season while for others it’s a season of extreme slowness. No matter what kind of business you run or how many customers you have clamoring for your attention, this time of year tends to present a long list of challenges!

Understanding how to take advantage of this holiday season and preventing it from swallowing you whole is extremely beneficial to your business and your personal well-being. This might mean taking extra time for planning, preparation, and education, but it also means checking out these holiday survival tips that will help you enjoy and profit from this holiday season.

Schedule In Time Off For Yourself

Sometimes when running a business, it’s altogether too easy to forget that you aren’t a robot and it’s okay to take some time off once in awhile. Schedule some time off during this holiday season to spend time with your family and friends, to go on a vacation, or to just chill out, eat good food, and binge watch some Netflix. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’re able to work once you get back to work after your time off! In order to maintain your peace of mind and keep your clients up to date, be sure to let your clients know you’ll be out of the office for a little while to celebrate the holidays. You can do this with an auto-reply email, or a special holiday-greeting email.

Be Generous With your Employees

Just like it’s easy to forget that you aren’t a robot, it can also be difficult to remember what your employees need, want, or would like. Offer them time off as much as you can manage it. They’ll appreciate it and be happier to continue working for you!

Bring On Some Temp Employees/Contractors

If this is your busy season, then do yourself and your full-time employees a favor by hiring some extra help for this flustered time. Many people are open to “temp” work in order to score some holiday cash. This will help you give people time off, and it will also help you better manage the floods of customers and orders.

Say “No”!

When you’re faced with a client who’s asking you to fast-track a new project, to work over the holidays, or simply do more work than you currently have time for, feel free to tell them no. It can be incredibly difficult to do this, especially when considering monetary or networking benefits lost, but you’ll be happier you did when Christmas comes around and you’re actually free to spend it with your family and friends. If the project is incredibly important, consider negotiating to have it delivered by a slightly later deadline or at a lesser quantity. Just be sure not to sacrifice the holidays for work.

Don’t Over-Do the “Holiday Cheer.”

It’s perfectly fine to send your clients holiday cards or even Christmas emails, but if you find yourself feeling obligated to hand-write a card to every one of your clients, you might re-think it. Consider selecting a handful of key business contacts/clients who have impacted your business this year and send them a handwritten note. For the rest, you might consider sending a classy, festive holiday email.

Pop Open A Recliner And Enjoy

This time of year only comes around once, so be intentional about enjoying it. While this might be easier said than done, especially with expenses, taxes, sales, and customers all on your mind, it’s time to put that on hold for a few days. Enjoy your favorite drinks, watch your favorite movies, eat some good food, and listen to music filled with memories. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so let yourself do just that.

If you’re looking for some extra help and ways to streamline/automate your business, let’s talk!! Because a lot of people are looking for help this time of year, I’ve opened up some additional slots on my calendar just for you!!

YES, I am ready to streamline my business and increase productivity and profitability!

Have a great week!

Robyn Bennett

P.S. Happy Holidays!

How to tell that you need to hire a Virtual Assistant

How to tell that you need to hire a Virtual Assistant

You’ll never find 2 businesses that are the same, nor will you find 2 people that are exactly the same for that matter either – So who’s to say ‘When ‘X’ happens, you should hire a Virtual Assistant’?  You’ll have some people say you should hire a VA right away, regardless of whether you’re just starting your own business or not.  And then you have the other side of the coin, where people will say you’re better off to wait until you’ve established yourself and made some money.  In the end, it’s really all about what you think, your own individual preference.  Eventually, you will come to realize by some little signs here and there, that, yes, it’s time I get some outside help.

  • You need to send out your Invoices – Although it’s very commendable to give your clients the absolute best possible service you can, sometimes you end up doing so at the expense of your business.  You can’t run a business without receiving an income, and you can’t receive an income without sending out your invoices/statements etc.  But you don’t really have the time! No worries!  A VA will take care of all your accounting needs so that you can best use your time working with and building your clientele.
  • You’re drowning in emails – You find that your emails are increasing and you’re having to spend way too much time on reading and responding to all of the emails – You want to be able to reply yourself to all of them to give it a ‘personal’ touch, but it’s just taking too much time!
  • Hire a Virtual Assistant to reply to your emails or have them put an FAQ section on your site to save you some time. It’s taking you forever to finally be able to do one task – whether it’s setting up an opt-in page, list, follow-up autoresponders, etc. – You thought you could do this in no time, but it’s just taking so long. After a few hours, you become frustrated and realize that you didn’t get anything accomplished at all.

Want to see how you can tell if you should learn the tasks you need to know for your business – OR – if you should hire a VA?

Will I have to do this particular task very often? If yes, then it is worth it to learn to do the task yourself.  If not, then it is better to outsource it.

Do you want to know how to do the task because you love your work and you can afford the time to do it? If yes, then absolutely learn it. If not, then outsource it.

  • You’re finding all these little mistakes you’re making, such as spelling typos, grammatical errors, which, ok, we have all made mistakes once in a while and it’s understandable to have a mistake or two when sending out to your mailing list for example. But you’re making these mistakes more and more often, and forgetting to include an attachment or a link.  Now you know it’s time to get a VA working for you and let them do all the administrative duties for you.
  • Now you’re happy that your business is growing, BUT the very thing that you intended to enjoy when owning your own business (enjoying time with family and friends) is not happening! In fact, you are having the opposite affect!  You have no social life.  You are missing time with your family and friends.  After a while, it seems you wake up, go to your desk, work all day, eat a meal here and there, go back to work, then go to bed.  Time to hire A VA!

Although there are a lot of other telltale signs that tell you that you need to outsource and get yourself a VA, the above are the most common reasons.  If you were lucky enough not to encounter any of these problems, then you should definitely do yourself a favour and prevent any future negative occurrences and consider hiring a VIRTUAL ASSISTANT to save you time and frustration.  Let us help you to succeed!!


Robyn here! I’ve had a passion for technology for as long as I can remember. I bring a variety of skills and experience to any business, which have been gained with over 25 years of experience as an administrative and IT professional. Learn more…