Time-saving Tips for Business Owners for 2022

Time-saving Tips for Business Owners for 2022

Is one of your business goals for 2022 to save time to be able to focus on the important tasks within your organisation? Use these time-saving tips to streamline your businesses procedures and increase your efficiency.

  1. Keep your information organised!

We are all guilty of spending precious time looking for records that are lost or misplaced.  Ensuring your database is updated, accessible and backed up regularly is crucial for saving time. When managing your database ensure record names and labels are clear and consistent to avoid confusion at a later date. If you do not have an existing online database, I can work with you to move your existing paper-based data online. I work alongside organisations migrating their database online and ensure the data carried over is correct, up to date, well organised, secure and compliant giving you added peace of mind.

  1. Write your to-do list for the following day before you leave the office

Having your priorities clearly listed for the day can help you feel ambitious and motivated from the minute you enter the office. The morning is when your productivity levels are likely to be at their peak, having a plan for the day can fuel your efficiency as you’re utilising your energy on important tasks as opposed to using this momentum to plan your day. It is also a great way to start your day with a clear focus as you’re likely to be less stressed when you realise your itinerary for the day has already been planned.

  1. Keep an eye on the clock

Understanding how much time you need for each project can help you better plan your days and waste less time. As silly as it sounds keeping an eye on the clock is an easy way to minimise the time you waste.

Calculate the time your everyday tasks should take to complete and set yourself time-constrained goals for completing them. An easy way to manage this is to set alarms on your phone for completing individual tasks or block out time in your diary to do those key tasks you try your best to put off. If you need help carrying out the tasks you try your best to avoid you may benefit from outsourced help to help you save time and boost your personal productivity.

Using the tips mentioned above or outsourcing will allow you to increase your productivity levels, minimise stress and accomplish more, helping you achieve increased success in 2022 and beyond.

If you would like to learn more about how outsourcing can save you time in 2022 call Busy Lives! 07565 722 031. Alternatively, you can drop me a message on LinkedIn / Messenger on Facebook or email: karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk to discuss your requirements!

What can you outsource at Christmas?

What can you outsource at Christmas?

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but for many business owners it can also be the busiest. Outsourcing can be a great way to save some time this festive season and give yourself the chance to enjoy the holidays. In this blog post, I will share the tasks you can outsource this season.

1. Ensuring all 2021 admin is complete

The most stressful December task for many is ensuring everything is ticked off your to-do list ready for January before you close for business for the year. I can save you time by ensuring your database is up to date for 2022. I can also help with your invoicing ahead of the new year, helping you to get paid and start the new year without any outstanding invoices.

2. Christmas cards

Writing and sending out Christmas cards can be an exhaustive task, by outsourcing this task you can save yourself a lot of time and effort whilst still wishing your contacts a Merry Christmas. Last Christmas, I hand-wrote all Christmas cards and envelopes for a client enabling them to send them out ahead of the Christmas rush, assisting them to build upon their client relationships during the pandemic. There are many advantages of sending handwritten post, you can read them here.

3. Christmas gifts

Sourcing and sending the perfect corporate Christmas gift can be a logistical nightmare. It is expected to be even more challenging this year due to delivery driver shortages, making it vital to be a thought for now, rather than later. I understand many business owners have clients and staff throughout the UK and into Europe, who may still be working from home or live in areas where travel restrictions make it still difficult to visit them, therefore it is vital for gifts to be easy to post. I can work collaboratively with you to find and send the perfect corporate Christmas gifts for your requirements this year. Before sending out cards or gifts you must also ensure your database has been updated to guarantee items are posted to the correct addresses. Database management and maintenance is something you may also wish to outsource.

4. Planning or researching ready for projects to kick-off in the new year

The new year is a time many businesses launch new products and projects, for this to happen research must be taken prior to January. A remote support service like Busy Lives! can carry out effective research so you are able to start your new year projects with the best possible information. I can work closely with you to create clear research goals to ensure suitable and effective information is gathered ensuring your business is ready to start 2022.

To learn more about outsourcing the tasks mentioned above or anything else, call Busy Lives! 07 565 722 031. Alternatively, you can drop me a message on LinkedIn / Messenger on Facebook or email: karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk to discuss your requirements!

What 5 tasks could your business outsource?

What 5 tasks could your business outsource?

I understand that many business owners can become distracted by the mundane tasks the organisation must undertake, but do not enjoy carrying out themselves. This can lead to loss of motivation meaning these tasks take longer than necessary to complete, wasting time that could be used to perform other tasks within your business.

This is where I can help, you may wish to outsource these tasks to reclaim your time and motivation. But what are examples of tasks in your business that can be outsourced? I have put together a shortlist below.

  1. Invoicing

Invoicing is the most common task small business owners decide to outsource. It can take a lot of time to not only carry out but to learn and ensure you’re up to date with current financial guidelines and compliance. However, a remote support service like Busy Lives! can manage your invoicing, saving you time, boosting your efficiency and ensuring you get paid on time.

  1. Testimonial gathering

We all know people read reviews online before making purchasing decisions nowadays. Consumers tend to trust what other consumers have said more than the messages a business puts out about itself.  Though, I understand many small business owners do not either have the time to gather their own testimonials or feel awkward asking for a review. Outsourcing your testimonial gathering can be the perfect solution for those seeking honest reviews for their business, people are more likely to be honest with an outsider than the individual they did business with as there is no pre-existing relationship.

I recently collated a client’s testimonials from all her various media platforms, produced a report, and selected those that would be most appropriate to use as social media content. I then created 52 branded graphic and social media posts, so my client could share a “testimonial Tuesday” post every week for a year.

  1. Business overview reporting

I understand the activities your business undergoes daily can have a big impact on your overall business, that’s why I believe it is important to produce regular business overview reports. For many of my clients I collate financial data and produce a forecasting document that analyses trends. By forecasting and analysing trends my clients can spot early warning signs or the areas in which their business is excelling to ensure they can focus on the areas that need immediate attention. Through doing this you can save time, money and resources as you have a greater understanding of what is and isn’t working within your organisation.

  1. Database creation and management

Databases are the most effective way of storing large volumes of information efficiently. They make it easy to view, update and remove important client and prospect data. If you do not have an existing online database, I can transform your paper-based information to create one. During this process, I will ensure all your business information is correct, up to date and most importantly secure and compliant.

  1. Research and information gathering

Outsourcing research can enable you to focus on your core business offering, I understand not everyone’s main skill set is research and carrying out effective research can be a lengthy process and hiring full-time researchers can be expensive. I can research anything for you, from website audits to membership organisations that may be relevant to you and your business I have worked with a wide range of clients on several information-gathering projects. I work closely alongside the client to understand the aims and objectives of the research to ensure the data collected is appropriate and effective.

Outsourcing allows small business owners to get more done, without sacrificing the important but tedious tasks and processes to professionals without having to hire more internal staff. You also benefit from my extensive knowledge and expertise. I keep my skills fresh and up to date so you get the best of both worlds.

To learn more about outsourcing the tasks above or anything else, call Busy Lives! 07565 722 031. Alternatively, you can drop me a message on LinkedIn / Messenger on Facebook or email: karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk

Blog writing for beginners

Blog writing for beginners

Having a blog for your business is a great way of connecting with your customers as well as attracting new ones.

Letting your customers, present and future, see your experience and knowledge of your business is a fantastic way of proving to them you are an expert in your field and getting them to put their trust in you and your business. But how do you write engaging blogs that convert readers into buyers?

 

 

  1. Do your research.  

Every blog you write should be as factually accurate as you can possibly make it. Giving out the wrong advice can put off your customers and they will doubt your business. This is true for both the large and small details, for example if you mistakenly claim Mount Snowdon is in England (it’s in Wales) you give the impression of either lacking attention of detail or being amateurish.

Top Tip: Spend time to research your facts and figures.

 

  1.    Plan your blog.  

Once you’ve completed your research you should know exactly what you’re going to be writing about. Now you need to come up with a logical order. Its always a good idea to start with an introduction which tells your readers what the blog is about. Afterwards comes the main body, I recommend you avoid writing large paragraphs and instead opt for short paragraphs. Lists or bullet points are popular are they are easier to read than large blocks of text.

Top Tip: You should also end with a brief conclusion which sums up everything you’ve said.

 

  1. Get the visuals.  

The beauty of a blog is that you can include lots of full-colour images. Take advantage of that and be sure to include photographs in your blog. These images should be relevant, well composed and well lit. You can even include videos to demonstrate points or techniques.  Top tip: If you are not a particularly good photographer, you can use stock images (just be sure you’re using copyright free images).

 

  1. Review.

Now you’ve written your blog and got the visuals to match its time to review your work. Go through your blog at least twice to look for any grammatical errors or incorrect information. If possible, get someone else to read it, they might notice something you missed.

Top tip: Try changing the font before you review, this can help stop your from automatically glancing over mistakes. You can also try reading the blog backwards, this is extra helpful for spotting spelling mistakes.

 

Ultimately, getting better at writing blogs is down to practice. The steps above are a good place to start learning the technical side but the creative side of writing must be down to you. Reading widely is a great way of exposing yourself to new styles and techniques but your blogs must have your voice attached to them in order to make them ring true and display the values you and your business hold.

 

This is a guest blog post written by Hollie Parkin who is a creative writer and loves this type of work. She has supported Busy Lives! and been a great asset to myself, as I lean more towards tasks that are mathematically bias.

Get rid of your mountain of emails once & for all!

Get rid of your mountain of emails once & for all!

This blog post is inspired by one of the outcomes from my recent survey. The question asked what three aspects of work take up large amounts of time or that you get the least amount of satisfaction from. I’m sure it will be no surprise that keeping up with emails and social media were two of the largest reoccurring statements made.

To many of us, the passing on of dealing with emails would be desirable. We get so many these days! However actually building on a business or client relationship with an individual is still really important.

We all have busy lives these days. You will know best if you have a couple of consecutive hours once a week or month, or ten to fifteen minutes once or twice a day to tackle that long list of emails.

The following are two systems I use. Hopefully, you will find some tips useful to try and apply for yourself. Good Luck!

System 1

  • If you have emails going back over a year. Start at the bottom of the list. It will make it easier and quicker to decide that these are no longer needed.
  • Ask yourself the question why am I keeping this? If you haven’t got a good enough answer delete.
  • Some emails may be sales and promotions such as M&S or Travel Agencies that you don’t really want to receive. Two things to do here:
    • Scroll down to the bottom of the emails select unsubscribe. You’ll be surprised how much this will reduce your inbox every week, as some send three or four emails a week! I would then scroll down the email list and delete all the ones sent from this company. (Some email providers let you sort your inbox by name in the top bar, this will really speed this process up for you.)
    • The second option is to mark the email as junk and block the sender.
  • Your next set of emails to delete may need more consideration as to why you are keeping them! I tend to keep my inbox to emails which need me to act upon. There are others I need to keep which over time I may need to revisit. For this I create sub-folders under my inbox. Keep the folder names generic and don’t create to many. Ones I currently have for instance are:
    • Insurance
    • Invoices
    • Clients
    • Pending
    • Networking
    • CPD
    • IT Related
  • To create new folders follow these steps below:
    • Hover your mouse over ‘inbox’ in the left column
    • ‘Right click your mouse or track pad,’ this will give you the option to create a ‘new folder.’
    • Select this and name it precisely to reflect and store emails you really want and need to keep.
    • To move emails from your inbox to your new folders go to the toolbar row at the top of your window and look for the ‘move’ option.
    • Simply click and highlight the email you wish to move, take your mouse over to the ‘move’ option and press select, it will then give you the option to move it to any of your newly named folders.

System 2

  • Set yourself goal to go no higher than the number of emails you currently have.
  • Challenge yourself to reducing that number by 5 – 10 a day or week dependent on your schedule.
  • Repeat this until you have the number of emails you’re comfortable with for your inbox.

To find out more about how I can help you with your systems and procedures please click: Executive support remotely for your business and wider life

Business Trip Abroad Essentials

Business Trip Abroad Essentials

Technology continues to assist our lives, saving time. If your business takes you abroad or you are planning to be expanding worldwide this year, here are three great time savers to assist your business trip experience.

Venues to host your business

If you want to launch your business in a new country www.meetingpackage.com is a great site to visit with booking venues for your business. The site caters for a wide range of business meeting styles from hosting meetings to large conferences with different amenities to suit your style. It covers a range of locations in major world cities with a price range to suit your budget.

Quicker Car Rental

The second timesaver is through Hertz car hire. They are rolling out biometric scanners to allow businesspeople to bypass the rental check in counter, to have their car assigned for businesspeople to go straight to their pre-booked vehicle.

Not needing to check in at hotel reception

Lastly, The Hilton Hotel has ‘Hilton Honors members.’ Their hotels have developed a digital key app for a smartphone that will allow you to go straight to your room without having to queue up and wait at the reception to be served.

What to pack for a business trip abroad

In terms of essentials to pack for your business trip abroad these are my must have essentials you should remember to pack:
• Passport, travel and accommodation details
• Currency of your destination country
• Plenty of business cards
• A professional name badge and lanyard
• Extra pens / or cartridges if like me you prefer a fountain pen!
• Presentation remote clicker
• A paper copy of your presentation, just in case the technology their lets you down
• Tools that show off your business such as your biography or service / product summary
• Business cards of others that may be relevant and worth sharing
• Universal adapter for your computer to link up to other equipment such as a projector
• A blank memory stick
• Camera or I-pad for taking photos
• Phone charger
• Universal plug and power adapter
• Fresh breath mints
• Hand sanitizer and toiletries
• Something interesting to read or do
• In terms of clothing, consider what the temperature and climate is where you are going when you pack
• Mix and match business attire that will cut down on the number of clothes you take
• Have both smart and casual outfits for the evening if there is a loose itinerary
• Ensure you have the right shoes for the outfits you take
• Lastly, don’t forget your underwear and socks/tights!