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

The Power of Handwritten Post

The Power of Handwritten Post

Nowadays, instant communication with your clients and prospects through email is expected, while sending them handwritten post is unheard of in most industries. Even though technology may have transformed the way we communicate, receiving a handwritten post still excites many of us!

Sending handwritten post can be a great way for your businesses to stand out and be listened to by your customers. As inboxes and social media feeds are getting fuller by the day, post is way more likely to be opened and read than any email. It’s also a good way to show you care.

What works well being sent in the post with a handwritten envelope?

  • Cards – Thank-you cards, Christmas Cards, Just to Say Cards
  • Handwritten business letters
  • Invoices & quotes
  • Lumpy mail – promotional mail that you want to get opened
  • Newsletters, brochures

Why don’t organisations send handwritten post?

  • The time it takes
  • The perceived costs
  • The organisation needed prior to the task
  • Not everyone has neat handwriting

I can squash all these concerns by managing your handwritten post.

Recently I wrote the envelopes and posted 100 cards for a client, they were thrilled with the time and effort I saved them which allowed them to focus on the business’s core function. Many of their clients and prospects also commented on how lovely it was to receive something so personal in the post.

Last Christmas, I also did something similar for clients to ensure their Seasons Greetings were sent on time ahead of the Christmas rush helping them to build on their client relationship skills during the pandemic.

The year before that, I handwrite 120 A4 letters for a business to introduce themselves as a new service provider that would assist their staffs wellbeing in large companies. A printed brochure was also enclosed providing more detail.

Are you ready to send information through the post and get it opened? Take a look at the post you receive over the next week and see how much is actually handwritten.

Why you should send handwritten post

It’s a great way to build relationships, the perceived time constraint of handwritten post can also be an advantage. By sending your clients or prospects a handwritten birthday card, thank you letter, Christmas card or invitation they will recognise you have dedicated time to contact them.

It can improve brand recall and resonance. Handwritten post is personal, unlike digital communication such as emails, it can be 100% personalised. Post is a fantastic tool for standing out amongst your competition as it is likely to resonate with the receiver in a way an email cannot.

There is less distraction when opening post than on screen, your customers are less likely to switch off and have their attention grabbed by something else. People often dedicate time to opening and reading their post, that they do not routinely do for online communications.

Next Steps

So, what next? I would love to have a chat with you to see how Busy Lives! Nottingham can help your business with either remote support or we can visit your premises. Can I help you plan your next mail campaign?

Let me help you gain precious time back. Ring Busy Lives! 07565 722 031. Drop me a message on LinkedIn / Messenger on Facebook or email: karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk

5 Ways to get precious time back with Busy Lives! Nottingham

5 Ways to get precious time back with Busy Lives! Nottingham

Every business is different, however, the one commonality we all share is that we want to save time so that we can work on our businesses not in the day to day. This is why I set up Busy Lives! Nottingham. I want to help busy businesses owners, save time, money and stress by outsourcing the tasks you really don’t like doing.

Be honest, I bet you are sat reading this and thinking of all those jobs you have been putting off such as filing receipts, typing up minutes, sending invoices etc. That’s what I love! I am very organised and methodical, so these tasks are just what I love – helping business owners to get clear.

Let’s be really open, I have walked in your shoes. I spent 16 years as a Head Teacher of one of the largest primary schools in Nottingham City, regularly working over 70 hours a week and managing a large workforce. I wanted to reduce the stress but keep the organisation skills I had developed so created Busy Lives! Nottingham

I am often asked what are the main types of work that can be outsourced that save both time and stress for businesses so here are my top 5:

1.Business Organisation and Paperwork,

Businesses cannot ignore the number of records they need to keep in terms of accounts, insurances or correspondence. Even with paperless offices, records still need to be kept. One of the biggest time stealers for any business owner is dealing with the post, emails and letters. This can all be outsourced saving you precious time. Just think today how much time have you spent on business organisation and collating paperwork?
I am regularly asked to help businesses:

  • Keep their records up to date,
  • Create databases,
  • Send invoices and letters.

I can keep the wheels turning whilst you concentrate on what matters most. Another great example is if you keep carrier bags full of receipts, invoices etc and you are coming up to your year end or tax return time, I help to organise your records ready for your accountant or bookkeeper.

2 Business Documents and Templates

It is vital that all documents used within a business are speaking from the same voice. Templates and processes can be costly in the time they take to create so this is where we offer real value. I can help with:

  • Letter templates
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Handout and notes
  • Training Manuals /staff handbooks etc.
  • Mail merging letters and labels

3. Meeting Notes & Planning Documents

Note-taking and typing up reports can take you precious time to collate and once you get back into the day-to-day, it is difficult to find that time to ensure the minutes are professionally created, actions noted and circulated to all concerned. Before Busy Lives! I often felt stressed trying to effectively chair a meeting with multiple stakeholders, whilst trying to take detailed notes, and managing the day-to-day workload, especially when there were urgent actions that needed to happen.

This is a popular way I help businesses. Even through the pandemic when meetings were being undertaken on Zoom / Teams, I was able to provide the benefit of minutes and note taking enabling the owner to concentrate on what was going on and being discussed. I do also offer a transcript service, for more lengthy, detailed meetings. In your next meeting, just see how much time you spend making notes and not focusing fully on what is being discussed. I think you may be surprised about the amount of concentration needed.

4. Data Entry

On my travels to different businesses, I often hear “I’m too busy to create a database” or “I don’t have time to send letters” and one of the biggest barriers to this is data entry. It can be really time-consuming to create a database from existing client records, invoice details etc. Whilst data entry can be time zapping, it is a job I really enjoy, especially when I am qualifying the data as I go along. Especially since the GDPR regulations came into force in 2018, it is vital business owners keep their records up to date and any marketing data is kept in the correct way and maintained.

Did you know the regulations are different for just keeping a postal address to electronic details on a person!

I am so proud when I have helped a company collate customer records into a database which they can market to them with ease and new work is generated. How much more money could you generate for your business with a fully working, up to date database?

5. Strategic Planning against Key Performance Indicators

Have I told you how much I love analysing data? I have recently been helping several business owners to analyse their data and create monthly strategic planning documents to give them a snapshot of their business without them having to analyse all of the datapoints themselves. This service has proved very popular helping owners to see where they are going and what they need to do if they are off-target.

Don’t be scared of data, with my help you can have a clear vision and make realistic decisions.

Next Steps.

So what next…I would love to have a coffee and see how Busy Lives! Nottingham can help your business with either remote support or we can visit your premises. Let you help you gain precious time back. Ring Busy Lives! 07565 722 031. Drop me a message on LinkedIn / Messenger on Facebook or email: karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk

 

What Are Business Support Services?

What Are Business Support Services?

What are business support services, how they can save you money, and free up your time?

‘What are business support services, how they can save you money, and free up your time?’ is a question I frequently get asked. Unlike some industries, I have worked and solved the pain points for varied and diverse clients. Busy Lives! services are bespoke to be precisely what you need help with not what ‘Joe Bloggs’ needs. This blog post explains and gives some concrete examples of my current trends in work, things I have been asked to do and how, as a result, generated more income for businesses.

 

Overview

  1. What are business support services?

  2. What are the most common types of services requested?

  3. How business support services can free up your time and you make more money?

  4. Is it worth it?

  5. Your to-do Lists!

  6. Key questions to ask yourself if business support is right for you and your business?

  7. How Busy Lives! can support you?

 

What are business support services?

Business Support Services are there to solve the pain points in your business.

This can be aspects of your work you haven’t got the capacity to do within your day or jobs that you really don’t enjoy doing such as invoicing and reconciliation.

Business support services are services provided by an outsider business which aim to help your business grow without you having to employ additional staff.

Business support services frequently complete those time-heavy tasks which don’t automatically generate you additional income but in the process of doing these for you free up addition time allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business which do.

The beauty of using Busy Lives! is that you can assign work which is from a few hours up to a day on a weekly or monthly basis. This can be at your business premises or remotely whichever works best for you.

Top Tip:

Just like many other businesses there are busy and quiet periods of the year. When possible book well in advance when you can to ensure your delegated work is completed well in time for when it is needed.

 

What are the most common types of services requested?

Business Support services such as Busy Lives! have two categories of clients, ad-hoc clients that need a specific task either once or a few times within a year and regular clients which range from weekly to a specified number of hours within a month.

Current top five business services Busy Lives! is used for with repeating clients:

  • Financial managerial support such as income invoicing, paying expenditure bills and reconciliation.
  • Database and analysis work most frequently on excel specific to finances, clients and services used.
  • Research, a vast spectrum depending upon the business industry.
  • Organisation and filing of paperwork.
  • GRDP data protection related work such as extracting papers for archiving and shredding.

Current top five business services Busy Lives! is used for as a one-off service:

  • Website review and comparison against key competitors.
  • Combining and creating a central client database from financial programs such as QuickBooks, Emailing contact lists and business cards.
  • Researching specific businesses and creating a database to market and reach more clients from public information available such as businesses within a specific postcode area.
  • Tidying up contacts within a CRM removing duplications and completing all missing fields.
  • Organisation of all household paperwork creating a quick and easy filing system for the future.

Business support services can span a wide range of need. My most popular services tend to be mathematical and systematic orientated work, but I can do other types of work.

 

How business support services can free up your time and you make more money?

Using a business support service can save you time and make you money in several ways. Their hourly rate may be a fraction of what yours is, so getting someone to do certain tasks really can generate more money with what you can be doing with your time instead.

If your business is expanding you may not be at the stage of employing an additional person with all the additional costs which will have to be met such as National Insurance Contribution, Tax and Pension. With outsourced support you pay a flat agreed rate.

Below are real-life examples of how Busy Lives! have assisted businesses.

Example 1:

Business X did not have a single database for their clients. Instead they had several data bases for different clients – this is not an effective way to store this type of information. The negative effect of this meant that when the business ran marketing campaigns, they missed clients which in turn lost them custom and money.

Busy Lives! resolved this by compiling a central client database. Having all client information in one place meant everyone was being targeted in their future marketing campaigns.

Example 2:

Business Y had a client database but did not have all the information for every client. Busy Lives! was bought in to conduct research and gather all the missing information. This allowed Business Y to conduct specified marketing, for example they could target all clients within a certain postcode area or clients who work in a specific trade. Targeted marketing resulted in a more successful campaign and more sales.

This client had been planning on doing this for over a year but didn’t have the time to dedicate to achieving this. With Busy Lives! doing this work, the client was able to spend more time maintaining and building professional business relationships which was key to their business.

Example 3:

Business Z wanted to conduct a postal campaign for businesses with a certain number of employees and within a specific radius.

Busy Lives! complied a list of businesses which fulfilled both requirements. This list allowed Business Z to conduct a postal campaign, target businesses, and obtaining new trade.

The above examples demonstrate how business support services can assist businesses and help you to maximise your profits. Many small businesses can benefit from using business support services as they allow you to focus on your products / services while someone else completes the ‘housekeeping’ tasks for you. Business support services are also beneficial if your business does not have dedicated people to complete housekeeping tasks or if you struggle to complete these tasks yourself as companies like Busy lives! have experience in all areas of business and so can complete any tasks you cannot do yourself or need assistance with.

 

Is it worth it?

Perhaps it depends on the person when considering outsourcing. One way of looking at this would be if you consider the overall cost per year, another way would be the amount of time you’d actually gain back from doing it!

Two quick examples from two of my regular clients:

3 – 4 hours a month – this equates to them having 6 additional days a year to do with as they wish for business or pleasure.

3 – 4 hours every week – this equates to them having an additional 24 days a year to do as they wish for business or pleasure.

 

To-Do Lists

We all have tasks that we enjoying doing and others that always go the bottom of that to-do list and get transferred to the next one! Rather than putting pressure and guilt on yourself with those tasks reflect if they could actually be outsourced. Just think about it – ‘X’ never being on that ‘to-do!’ list again.

Top Tip:

If you can’t get a referral about which business support service to use, have a look at a few websites and read the testimonials which have been written. These will often give you a greater insight into the calibre of person than just the ‘About Me’ page.

 

Key questions to ask yourself if business support is right for you and your business?

Ask yourself what are your pain points?

“What don’t I like doing?”

What takes up too much of time or can be is relentless?

What three things could you outsource that someone would be able to do quicker than you?

Why haven’t I given Karen a call yet? (07565722031)

 

How Busy Lives! can support you?

Busy Lives! was created when I left a busy career that left me time poor and unable to give sufficient priority to what really mattered to me. I now provide a wide range of bespoke business support for people in that position.

Busy Lives! relevant links to this blog post, click on the sentence below:

  1. Find out what other questions I frequently get asked about business support.
  2. Take a look at my case studies where I’ve solved other clients problems.
  3. Business support for the running of your business.

Let you help you gain precious time back. Ring Busy Lives! 07565 722 031

Drop me a message on this website, LinkedIn or Messenger on Facebook

Or Email: karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outsourcing – when & why

Outsourcing – when & why

One of my favourite top growth tips which I read frequently is all business owners should consider outsourcing and delegate anything you can! This blog post explores the rationale behind this.

 

  1. What is outsourcing?

  2. Why Outsource?

  3. What are the most common areas outsourced?

  4. What are the benefits of outsourcing?

  5. Where do you outsource from – does size of business matter?

  6. Why outsource to Busy Lives!

  What is outsourcing?

  • Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a contractor outside your business to perform services or create goods that traditionally were performed in-house by the businesses own employees and staff.
  • Outsourcing can be used for any position whatsoever. It’s function is to provide support to the central infrastructure of a business or in in the day to day operations of a business
  • Shift tasks, operations or jobs or processes to an external workforce by contracting a third party.
  • Businesses outsource to perform or tasks handle operations and provide services that that the business is struggling to do or keep on top of.
  • The process of hiring another business for a specific focus and length of time.
  • Paying to have part of a business’s work done by another business.
  • Outsourcing is associated with efficiencies, it aims to produce higher or equal returns.

Why Outsource?

It’s interesting how the size of your business influences if you outsource and to what degree. There are a few common services that apply to all sizes of business – such as insurance and accountancy but after that it becomes much more open ended.

Outsourcing can reap great benefits for all size of business. The benefits from this can include operational cost reduction; having a specialist to work on areas not a current strength or take a long time; improved efficiency and releasing internal staff for specialist projects.

So, which of the following could really make a difference to both you and the effectiveness of your business?

What are the most common areas outsourced?

Administration                         Analytics                                 Application support

Bookkeeping                           Business support                    Catering

Change management             Cleaning                                  Coaching

Database management          Data Entry & analysis             Document & data processing

Form processing                     Grounds Maintenance            HR

IT Technical support               Legal services                         Marketing

Maternity/Paternity cover        Mentoring                                Minute taking

Payroll and pensions              Project management              Staff supply

Strategy & problem solving

Outsourcing helps you to focus your energy and passion on those parts of the business that you enjoy and are the expert at!

What are the benefits of outsourcing?

  • Increased efficiency for the business.
  • Variable capacity.
  • Increases focus and time available for strategy / leadership direction.
  • Access to specific skills or resources.
  • Flexibility to meet changing business conditions.
  • Cost effective if only required at certain times of the year.
  • Lower overall costs than an employee as tax, NI, pension is not paid.
  • Flexible time durations from an hour if remotely, to half full days, weeks, months.

Where do you outsource from – does size of business matter?

Can you remember the famous Aesop’s fable of the Lion and the Mouse? The Lion was great and mighty, but it was actually the mouse that had just the right the skill set to help the Lion succeed with the problem he had!

Why is it we automatically turn to the big companies with the products and services we know?

Is it because that’s the name we know or have heard of?

Does this always mean we get the best possible service and products by using them?

Some of the greatest advantages small businesses have over their large competitors are: flexibility; innovation and the freedom to think outside of the box to find your solution; great customer care; precise tailored responses to your individual needs; agility and adaptability to respond quickly; not having to conform to corporate bureaucracy (9-5 timings) and; building up over time an unique professional relationship where the small business owner cares about your individual needs and success, in addition to their own.

Larger service provider companies may well have a pool to draw from, but have they always got the specific skill set for the job that you may be hesitant to delegate, to save you both time and assist your work demands. Freelance executive, virtual and personal assistants are a growing highly skilled work force community, with many diverse strengths and experiences from different corporate backgrounds. We are professional, efficient at delivering high standard results and care about what we do.

Be strategic for your business and with your time. Make use of the small business executive, personal and virtual support out there.

Why outsource to Busy Lives!

I have a vast skill set that I acquired as a Head teacher that can be useful to anyone, as I now help those businesses with large workloads with a plethora of priorities and deadlines. I’ve been in that position of being time poor and totally understand and know what it’s like. Take a look at my page about me!

So, which of my following services could really make a difference to both you and the effectiveness of your business?

Administration                         Analytics                                 Application support

Business support                    Constructing Presentations    Database management

Data Entry & analysis             Document & data processing Formatting documents

Form processing                     Maternity/Paternity cover        Mentoring

Minute taking                          Organisation of files                Project management

Recruitment                            Staff supply                             Strategy & problem-solving

Social Media                          Training resources

 

I Do the things you don’t like to do,
the things you don’t have time to do,
the things that may take you much longer than me to do!
The other key benefit of using Busy Lives! is that I can do the work at your business, remotely or at your home to suit your precise needs.
Freelance outsourcing can reap great benefits for all size of business. If you know someone who is struggling with everything and really busy please share this blog post or tell them to either email: Karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk or give me a call: 07 565 722 031