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!

Small Business Support

Small Business Support


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!

Do you need a VA, PA or EA?

Do you need a VA, PA or EA?

I often get asked at Network meetings ‘Are you a VA?’

What I have gleaned from this is that many people in the business world have heard about them and interpret that as completing the old-style administration tasks. This then goes on to the same level of understanding behind what a PA and EA actually is.

This blog posts explains their meanings, core purposes, the differences between them and the types of work each performs. Just like personality, skill sets amongst VA’s, PA’s and EA’s differ along with some of the roles overlapping too! Strengths and niche expertise can vary considerably. Mine is definitely organisation and systems,

In all respects though, we can vastly benefit businesses through outsourcing. It doesn’t have to be full time but as and when needed. The results of this enable owners and leaders to be able to concentrate more on their core and strategic purpose to be highly successful.

So what are these abbreviations?

  • VA – Virtual Assistant. (or sometimes referred to as a virtual office assistant.) Generally, are freelance and self-employed. Work remotely from their own office. Work for small to large businesses.
  • PA – Personal Assistant. Tend to be permanently employed but can also work in a self-employed or freelance capacity. Personal Assistants tend to work at the business premises but can work remotely on activities. A Personal Assistant works exclusively for one particular person.
  • EA -Executive Assistant. Tend to be permanently employed but can also work in a self-employed or freelance capacity. Again, like the PA, tend to work at the business premises but can work remotely on activities and projects. Executive Assistants help high level professionals such as Executives, CEOs and Managing Directors.


How do their jobs and roles differ?

VA – Virtual Assistant

  • Book appointments with clients
  • Bookkeeping
  • Call answering reception service
  • Data presentations
  • Database entry and input
  • Diary scheduling, email & contacts management
  • Effective use of Microsoft Office W. Exc. PP.
  • Industry knowledge preparation
  • Issuing and managing business invoices and expenditure
  • Online research
  • Prioritising workload & meeting deadlines
  • Problem solving
  • Professional administrative, technical, social or creative assistance
  • Social media background or publishing
  • Sourcing graphics for social media
  • Travel research
  • Workload support


PA – Personal Assistant

  • Ability to sort out problems
  • Collation of paperwork prior to meetings
  • Comprehensive travel arrangements
  • Creation of reports
  • Database building
  • Data management & filing
  • Dealing with & following through with correspondence
  • Devise & maintains office & electronic systems
  • Discretion & understanding with confidentiality
  • Ensuring the person working for is prepared for all meetings
  • Meeting & greeting visitors at all levels
  • Minute taking or dictation
  • Production of documents, briefing papers, reports & presentations
  • Screening phone calls, inquiries & requests
  • Daily business or personal tasks delegated


EA -Executive Assistant

  • Attend or stand in for meetings or conferences in place of the executive.
  • Attention to detail
  • Being involved in problem solving, ideas & decision-making processes
  • Carry out specific research & projects
  • Data analysis & recommendations as a result
  • Data management systems
  • Delegated tasks and assignments
  • Exceptional decision making & problem solving
  • Handle business operations
  • High level responsibility over ongoing projects
  • Keeping projects on track
  • Liaise with clients, staff & suppliers
  • Pro-actively be one step ahead, forward thinking
  • Provide professional advice and collaboration
  • Recruitment & retention of staff
  • Staff appraisal implementation & follow through, against business vision & job descriptions
  • Trusted to handle confidential & sensitive issues across the business & beyond.

(Bullets in green are my strengths / what I have typically worked upon for clients)


Why not get some more time back by outsourcing some of these services above so you can concentrate on both your core business and having a fabulous life?

Give me a call: 07565722031 or drop me an email: Karen@busylivesnottingham.co.uk

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