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

 

Ensuring Compliance is being met with Companies House

Ensuring Compliance is being met with Companies House

Ensuring Compliance is being met with Companies House

 

Ensuring compliance is being met with Companies House is one of the most important things you need to complete. Starting your own business brings a tidal wave of emotion and in the early stages there are many key decisions for you to make. One of the biggest decisions you need to make is to decide whether to be a Sole Trader or Limited Company.

I once had a client who had decided to become a Limited Company but had not completed all the necessary legal requirements. This blog post is for other new businesses who may be in the same position.

 

Overview

  1. What does having a limited company mean?
  2. What is Companies House?
  3. Why do you need to register with Companies House?
  4. What do you need to do to ensure you are compliant?
  5. Information that should be submitted.
  6. What can Companies House do for you?
  7. Conclusion
  8. How Busy Lives! can support you with this

 

What does having a Limited  Company mean?

  • A Limited Company is legally separate from the people who run it.
  • It has separate finances form your personal ones.
  • You can keep any profits your company makes after paying tax.
  • Incorporation with Companies House is the term used when you set up the private limited company with Companies House.

 

What is Companies House?

Companies House is a government run service. Its responsibilities are to ‘incorporate and dissolve limited companies…register company information and make it available to the public’ (Gov.uk, 2020).

Companies House has four offices in the UK: Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, and London. However, all their services are available online. When registering your company be sure to register with the correct office. Cardiff for England and Wales, Belfast for Northern Ireland, and Edinburgh for Scotland.

 

Why do you need to register with Companies House?

All limited companies (a business that is a company in its own right) and limited liability partnership (LLPs) are legally required to register with Companies House.

 

What do you need to do to ensure you are compliant?

When setting up a limited company you must register with Companies House. Where your business is located will determine which of its branches you will be dealing with.

Important to Note:

Your company can operate in multiple UK jurisdictions, but the office address must remain in the area you registered it. For example, a company registered in Scotland can operate in Wales, but the home office must stay in Scotland.

 

Information that should be submitted

  1. Company name.
  2. The correct address for the company. This can also be registered as a correspondence address through your accountant if you don’t wish the general public having access to your home address.
  3. Name of who the Director/s.
  4. Details of your Companies shares – you need to have at least one shareholder.
  5. When you register a company you need to provide information about the shares which is known as a ‘Statement of Capital.’
  6. All shareholders names and addresses should be given. Shareholders are technically known as ‘Members.’
  7. If you have shareholders other than yourself you also must then have ‘prescribed particulars’ for them.
  8. A SIC code needs to be in place. This means Standard Industrial Classification. This identifies what your company does.
  9. Memorandum of Association.
  10. Articles of Association.
  11. PSC which is details of People with Significant Control.
  12. As the company director you are legally responsible to ensure the company accounts and reports are properly prepared. Many businesses use their Accountant to do this on their behalf.
  13. You should be registered for Corporation tax and PAYE as an employee at the same time as registering with company’s house within three months. You may get a penalty fee if this is not done within this period.

Top Tip

Once you have registered with Companies House you must ensure you keep them up to date with any changes to your company this includes:

  • Appointing new directors / secretaries and changes to your PSC’s.
  • Changing your company name.
  • Changing your registered office’s address.
  • Changes to your accounting reference date.
  • Changes to your share information – i.e. if you sell more shares.
  • Any mortgage information.

 

What can Companies House do for you?

  • As well as documenting all limited companies, Companies House is responsible for keeping all data up to date and removing / prosecuting non-compliant companies. You can use Companies House to file documents online using their software. Completing documents online is often easier than filling in paper forms. As well as giving data you can also download data from their website.
  • Another important service provided by Companies House is the ability to search for disqualified directors and information on other companies, this could include your company’s competition!
  • Companies House has protected online filing meaning your company is protected from fraudulent changes to its records.
  • You can also sign up for ‘Follow’. This is a free service that alerts you of company transactions, including what has been filed and accepted by Companies House.
  • Companies House also allows you access copies of certified documents held on their register and certificates of incorporation with certified facts.

 

Conclusion

Registering with Companies House can be pain-free process provided you gather all the required information beforehand – you will need 3 pieces of personal information about you and your shareholders / guarantors (for example, national insurance number, passport number, town of birth or parent’s names).

Once you are registered don’t forget you will need to keep you Companies House records up to date, which is available to do online.

 

How Busy Lives! can support you with this

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 business support for people in that position.

I am happy to help by checking your paperwork is all accurate, up to date and submitted with companies house.

Busy Lives! relevant links to this blog post:

  1. Business support for the running of your business. https://bit.ly/2sLMt7E
  2. Small business support case study. https://bit.ly/36cTYSJ

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Small Business Support

Small Business Support

Recommendation

I have worked with Karen weekly for three months from January until April. After a period of considerable change both professionally and personally, Karen supported me and my business in a number of different ways. Her work has been invaluable: she has saved me a considerable amount of time and money so that I could focus on growing my business; she has reorganised my home office and my paperwork and set up systems so that it stays efficient; she has used her knowledge and expertise of the legal and commercial frameworks to enable my business to be fully compliant and she has provided me with sound advice related to a wide range of activities related to business and legal matters. Most of all, she has always been highly professional with a human touch, she is very efficient yet has a great sense of humour. I would happily work with her again and I highly recommend her to all other business owners too.

Jason Cooke 

The Merry Men

 

Duties undertaken – P.A. & remote support

Duration: ½ a day for 3 months

This Client owns a national commercial company which is expanding annually. Support here was for logistical support for the home office, personal support with written communication and remote business support.

Executive support remotely for your business:

  • Organisation of Companies House paperwork. This included assessing all documentation that was in place, creating missing documentation and updating where needed to meet legal requirements.
  • Website review of strengths and areas to develop to strengthen presence against competitors.
  • Creation of Privacy and Cookies policies for the website.
  • Social media bank of photographs and graphics to reflect the business created.
  • LinkedIn profile update
  • Background research into a national company entering a tender process

 

Executive support remotely for wider life:

  • Statement of case letter that successfully concluded a legal dispute in the Courts.
  • Completion of various personal electronic forms.
  • Grant research and application.
  • Letter written to utilities supplier.

 

Logistical support at your home:

  • After recently moving, home office paperwork, draws and cupboards needed organising and a manageable system creating to suit the client needs and own future management of it. For instance – creating a client database and setting up business folders such as a workable monthly expenditure and income.

 

 

Business Support for a Marketing Company

Duration: ½ a day support every two weeks.

This Client owns a successful marketing company which they run. Due to the continual growth of clients they are now supporting, I attend their business premises and support with the operation functions as delegated.

Duties undertaken

  • QuickBooks – Income Invoices & overdue payments
  • Research – various topics
  • Debt Recovery research and procedures
  • Late payment notification letters
  • Systematic organisation and filing of office paperwork
  • Strategic Contribution within a monthly team meeting
  • Best value quotes – example for the disposal of confidential papers
  • Monthly business analysis summary
  • Website & competitor analysis
  • Invoice overview proforma
  • Trello
  • Creating a database of contacts for a clients on excel to extend their reach of connections on Social media.

 

 

Business Support for a Car Body Paint Repair Comany

Duration: ½ a day support weekly.

This is a fantastic example where the owner wants to concentrate on the practical side of the business and outsource the activities which take up valuable time and they don’t particularly enjoy doing. I work here every week at their premises.

Duties undertaken

  • Financial work on Xero for income and expenditure
  • Systematic filing of hard copies
  • Supplier end of month statement and invoice work
  • Weekly reconciliation.

 

 

Example – Creation of information sheets to support clients:

 

Running a Limited Company. Essential Facts and things that need to be in place and what you must do.

Having a limited company means:

  • it is legally separate from the people who run it
  • has separate finances form your personal ones
  • you can keep any profits your company makes after paying tax.

Incorporation – this is the term used when you set up the private limited company with Companies House. The company should have the following in place and registered with Companies House:

  1. company name
  2. correct address for the company
  3. director
  4. details of the companies shares – you need at least one shareholder
  5. when you register a company you need to provide information about the shares which is known as a ‘statement of capital’
  6. all shareholders names and addresses should be given. Shareholders are technically known as ‘members
  7. if you have shareholders other than yourself you also must then have ‘prescribed particulars’
  8. SIC code is in place. This means Standard Industrial Classification This identifies what your company does
  9. Memorandum of association
  10. Articles of association
  11. PSC which is details of People with Significant Control
  12. As the company director you are legally responsible to ensure the company accounts and reports are properly prepared
  13. You should be registered for Corporation tax and PAYE as an employee at the same time as registering with company’s house within three months. You may get a penalty fee if this is not done within this period.
Point 4 simply explained:
  • Most limited companies are limited by shares. This means they are owned by the shareholder. If you are the only share holder you own 100% of the company.
  • Shareholders need to pay for their shares in full if the company has to shut down.
  • A share can be as little as £1 to limit the shareholders’ liability.
Point 5 simply explained:
  • The statement of capital needs to include the number of shares of each type the company has and their total value. This is known as the company’s ‘share capital.’
Point 7 simply explained:
  • If for example Ben bought 500 shares at £1 each his share capital would be £500.
  • Companies house will need to know the type of share known as the class given each shareholder.
  • Companies house will also need to know.
    • what share of the dividends they get
    • if they can redeem or exchange their share for money
    • if they can vote on company matters and if so how many votes they get.
Point 9 simply explained:
  • When you register your company you need a Memorandum of Association. This is a legal statement signed by all shareholders agreeing to form the company.
  • Even if your company is dormant (99999) or non-trading (74990) you still need to provide the appropriate SIC code.
Point 10 simply explained:
  • All limited companies must have Articles of Association.
  • These set the rules company officers must follow when running their companies.
  • There are 3 limited company types and the Articles of Association should reflect the one the company falls into:
    • Private company limited by shares
    • Private company limited by guarantee
    • Public companies.
Point 11 simply explained:
  • A person with significant control (PSC) is someone who owns or controls the company. They are sometimes also known as the beneficial owners.
  • Company’s House must be told who they are.
  • You must record the details on your company’s PSC register and send them the information.

 

Warning: If you don’t follow the rules on this  you could face a fine and possible prosecution!