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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything changes, Everything remains the same!

Everything changes, Everything remains the same!

That was then, this is now. The brand story behind Busy Lives!

From being a well-known School Leader to becoming an unknown Businesswoman – the values and tools that brought me through this transition.

Overview

  • A change in direction
  • A new beginning…know, like and trust
  • Gaining new clients who previously didn’t know me
  • Why?
  • How?
  • What?
  • Key messages

 

A change in direction

How does taking your career in a new direction change your core values or modus operandi?

…‘What lies behind us and before us matters little compared to what lies within us.’…

O Wendel Holmes

I stumbled across this quote some years ago at one of the Transformational Leadership courses that I attended in my previous role of a Head Teacher. As the facilitator used it as his ‘Key message’ at the end of Day One, and we had to go away and reflect upon this. To me it seemed simple, why would your values change just because your job title changed?

Two years ago I left my Head Teacher role, leading approximately one hundred and fifty staff and seven hundred and fifty children, to start a new career path as I had always planned to at the age of fifty. I want to share with you the thoughts of past colleagues and recent clients’ feedback that will exemplify how successfully I have transitioned my values into my new role.

As a complete unknown in the business world, I asked my previous colleagues and contacts within the education section to provide me with some testimonials that would help new potential clients gain an insight into who I am and how I work. Here are a few samples of what they said:

“She is logical, methodical and organised and has an excellent eye for detail. Karen looks for creative and practical solutions to problems and works efficiently to put them in place. Any tasks she undertakes will be carried out to the highest standards.”

“The growth of a school is a great undertaking and Karen demonstrated a very strategic approach in her thinking and planning. Efficiency and effectiveness are key aspects of Karen’s professional role and she is committed to supporting others in order to manage their lives.”

“She is very good at analysing challenging problems and situations accurately, finding solutions and bringing order to them systematically. Her attention to detail is exceptional and all her work is carried out to a very high professional standard.”

As a Head teacher your values and how you implement them are highly exposed and visible to everyone. In my new career, I was shifting the emphasis of my role onto supporting and adding value to other people, to help transform and develop their businesses.

 

A new beginning…Know, Like and Trust.

…‘Though my principles are not many, I am very loyal to every one of them’…

  Sameh Elsayed

The above quote is something that I passionately believe in and have used to build my brand. From attending NBV small business courses I was introduced to the concept of developing your brand strategy using the simple mantra of ‘know, like and trust.’

This resonated powerfully with my own way of thinking and I set about creating a business plan using it.

My core strategy was to build my brand story through:

  • The ongoing development of a website that exemplified the ‘who and why’ that is continuously reviewed and updated, so that it is a living document of my values and the impact that I have on my clients’ businesses.
  • Regular attendance at networking events allied to informal meetings with other attendees in order to develop potentially supportive relationship and gain an insight into the needs of my peers.
  • Using multiple social media platforms to communicate my brand values and promoting the businesses of my peers in a systematic way.

 

I was successful at accessing funding from Broxtowe Borough Council which allowed me the opportunity to access the services of a marketing professional who provided me with their expertise and guidance over time to enable me to grow the brand story efficiently and systematically.

As I began to implement my strategies, my initial clients provided me with feedback as to how my way of working impacted on them and their businesses:

“Her attention to detail and clarity of thought adds helpful dimensions for those who have busy lives and need a wise hand to guide them behind the scenes.”

“Karen has always been highly professional with a human touch, very efficient yet has a great sense of humour.”

“Integrity, honesty and professionalism are key values that Karen will bring to any organisation as well as being very loyal and hard working.”

To be honest, some of these clients I have had some brief contact with in the past and were therefore more inclined to use my business services, but my impact on their businesses still stands.

 

Gaining new clients who previously didn’t know me – How?

…‘Good values are like a magnet, they attract good people.’

John Wooden

As part of my annual review, I invited five of my clients that I have worked with in the previous twelve months to fill in a questionnaire that would provide me with useful feedback as to how I was attracting clients, what they specifically wanted me to achieve on their behalf and the impact I had on them and their business.

These five businesses operate in a wide range of sectors: Car Bodywork Repair Specialist, Coaching, Creative Arts, Marketing and Mediation.

All of these businesses have used my services at different times of the year on a regular basis. All of these clients possess ‘good’ values and a high degree of professionalism – exemplified by the time they took to help and support my growth through filling in my questionnaire.

I have organised their feedback into three key areas:

  • Why did they choose to use Busy Lives!
  • How Busy Lives! services were used.
  • What impact did Busy Lives! have on them and their business.

 

Why?

“I prefer to deal with people I know and very importantly trust. Having met Karen at Network meetings I felt there was an opportunity for Karen to support me with my business.”

Liam Kelly – Ready for Retail

 

“Having heard about your reputation in Education (and worked with you briefly in that role), plus the way you talk so confidently and passionately about the business support that you would offer.”

Debbie Inglis – Debbie Inglis Associates

 

“Immediately felt warmth, came across as highly knowledgeable, could relate to me and my business which meant that I felt I could trust her – all from a single meeting at a networking event.

Rebecca Hart – Dance Equation

 

“What I saw at networking was reflected exactly in your social media. You have a very strong work ethos and ethics. I could see you have a passion for helping people and a high level of knowledge and expertise.”

Claire Taylor – Creationz Marketing

 

“Your personable approach and your organisational skills were clear when you presented at networking events.”

Pete Colby – Pragmatism (UK) ltd.

 

How ?

“I outsourced Karen to deal with administrative, yet sensitive issues related to financial matters that were necessary to support the running of the business.”

Liam Kelly

 

“Karen was used to carry out interviews of our members and carry out full interviews of them for marketing purposes. She also carried out a website review for my own business and I have liaised with her on providing contact and communication support for a government bid to support coaching in schools.”

Debbie Inglish

 

“I’ve used Karen for a variety of purposes: She completely reorganised electronic files, photographs, documents and contacts into an easily accessible format. Worked alongside me on a whole recruitment process including interviewing. She reviewed and completely reformatted all my paperwork and forms to be consistent for my business.”

Rebecca Hart

 

“Karen was employed to run some of the business that really did not need me to do: invoicing, chasing late payments, database input and maintenance. Sometimes on site and sometimes remotely.”

Claire Taylor

 

“A full website review of my website and competitors websites. Database research and entry.”

Pete Colby

 

What?

“The key benefits of using Busy Lives! is giving you time (four hours per week) to look at the bigger picture for your business and be able to concentrate on driving the business forward. As a business owner, you should consider what YOUR hourly rate is and how YOU should be spending your time to maximise the potential of your business.”

Liam Kelly

 

“It’s taken the pressure off jobs I don’t particularly want to do. It has meant I could spend less time in front of the computer and more time being creative with my business and working directly with clients. ‘You can get your head into someone’s business so that you are representing them.”

Debbie Inglis

 

“With Karen so highly organised it meant I could focus upon the creative parts of my business knowing that the essential tasks were being done to a high standard. She gets ‘me’ and accepts ‘me’ for how I operate and moulds herself around that so that the work gets done efficiently.”

Rebecca Hart

 

“Your open and honest approach makes communication really easy. You’re always looking out for the best interests of me and my business. Karen relishes doing the tasks I really don’t like but she gives me precious time back that allows me to spend on what really matters – running my business and networking with clients.”

Claire Taylor

 

“The main benefits of working with Karen are time saving, efficient and high-quality work carried out in a very friendly and engaging way. She also did an extremely comprehensive and professional website review recently, which is now a key document which my business uses to drive continuous improvement.”

Pete Colby

 

Key Messages

The overwhelming message I want to share with you about my journey from Head Teacher into Business Support is that the values I possess whilst working with clients have not changed one iota. The triangulation of face to face networking, social media posts and a refined website all demonstrate consistently my values and my modus operandi.

How do I know this? Because that is what my clients have told me.

‘Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.’

Chris Grosser

Businesses need new opportunities in order to grow, develop and transform not only themselves but their clients also.

By choosing to use my services, you create those opportunities.

By choosing to use my services, you give yourself time to grow.

By choosing to use my services, you are guaranteed the highest level of professionalism, integrity, efficiency and confidentiality.

 

Please feel free contact me and let’s discuss how I can support you now and in the future.

karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk

 

Thank you

Organisational  Support  for your home

Organisational Support for your home

Recommendation

Karen offered an excellent service working alone in my household on some project management tasks. She was professional, courteous and respectful at all times and I can recommend her absolutely without any reservations. Her service is second to none.

Carol Magner, RCDP MCDI BA, Bramcote, Nottinghamshire

Mrs Hannon was a great help sorting and organising my bedrooms which included three large wardrobes. I now have all my clothes arranged neat and tidy by colour and type. I couldn’t believe something as simple as having the same coat hangers throughout would make a big difference too! This has made it so much easier to find what I want to wear now. Mrs Hannon was so helpful, I would certainly recommend her to take on any home organisation for you.

June Smith, Retired Business Lady. Toton, Nottinghamshire

Garage

Spare Bedroom

 

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