When I started this venture, I didn’t think working and raising a child would be as tough as it’s been. I mean, I knew it was going to be difficult but the reality is at least a good 10 times tougher than I expected.

I suppose, watching my mum work all her life and raise four kids gave me a false sense of hope. She worked from the crack of dawn till late evening on our family business, got home from work to cook us all dinner, bathe us, and put to bed. She did this seven days a week… At least I get the bloody weekend to do my volunteer work and relax with my family. She didn’t have that luxury… Hats off to the woman for all her hard work and dedication!

The journey has been eye-opening and fun! There are so many people in the same situation as me, and that gives me so much confidence to know that I can do it! I can be a mum, business owner and support my three favourite charities all at once. You might be wondering how I do it, right? Well, the first few weeks after I started this company were a blur and took a lot of getting used to – hence, the silence on social media and blogs. I learnt that the trick was to plan ahead. Organising every single detail in my diary to my best ability.

First and foremost, I set myself daily/weekly and monthly reminders. Things that I need to do without fail. I also set myself a daily checklist to ensure I have done all the things I planned to do on the day. This is my end of the day routine at 4pm. That way, I still have an hour to do anything that I may have missed earlier in the day – this is rare, but does happen if I have an emergency or two to deal with earlier in the day.

Another thing that works well for me is planning my personal life in advance. Meals, preps, cleaning, childcare and everything else you can think of. We have one family calendar and one wall chart planner with everyone’s appointments and whereabouts. This old fashioned way of keeping tab of everyone’s movements really helps keep us stay on top of things. It also helps me organise my work diary much better. I use my work calendars and another wall planner in the office to keep that side of my life in check.

Of course, this might not work for everyone. If you are a successful entrepreneur with little time to sit down and organise your life, you might find it useful to have an assistant like me! I can do all the organising and reminding for you.

Couple of my amazing customers rely on me for their daily updates, reminders and general admin tasks. Keeping their diaries organised and helping out with anything I can, has given them back some valuable time to focus on living a more balanced life.

Drop me a message at bonita@prosper-va.com if you think you could do with some help!

Like most entrepreneurs, do you find yourself spending far too much time on making a list of things to do instead of actually doing them? Are you struggling to make time for your family, friends or yourself? Then it sounds like you need an assistant. Someone who will help you free up some much needed time in your life so you can grab a coffee with a friend, play with your kids, or work on more strategic tasks. You can achieve that work-life balance you’ve been dreaming of.

Okay, we know that you need an assistant, but do you know if you need a full time personal assistant? or someone on a more ad-hoc basis, such as a virtual assistant?

Let’s start by looking at that never ending to-do list. Check what type of things you have on there and break them down in to physical and computer based tasks. Doing this will help you figure out if you need someone on site or someone remote. If you need someone to rearrange your office or make you a cup of tea, you will probably be looking at an onsite PA.

pen calendar to do checklist

If you need someone onsite, work out how much you are willing to pay them. Paying peanuts will only give you a monkey. So think hard about this before contacting recruitment agencies or advertising the job yourself. In the UK, an average PA will cost you around £21,000 per annum. A really good one will cost anything between £25,000 to £32,000, depending on the amount of work you have to offer and the experience you would like them to have. Be frank and open about your requirements, this is the number one rule to build an exceptional relationship with your assistant.

On the other hand, if you find that you’re mostly out of the office and would prefer an assistant that’s on hand as and when you need them, a virtual personal assistant would suit the bill. Work out how many hours a week or month you would need them for. If unsure, go for an hourly rate that you’re comfortable with. Depending on the flexibility of the assistant you choose, you can always increase or decrease the hours at a later stage. You won’t get this flexibility with an onsite PA. For example, one of my clients started on an hourly basis for the first few weeks. Later, they realised that they needed more work done than originally planned. We discussed the requirements and worked out they needed 10 hours of support per week. Which is when I moved them on to a retainer as it was not only cost effective for their business, it worked out better for me as well.

To sum things up, every successful business owner needs an assistant at some point in their journey.  The busier you get, the less time you will have on your hands. Try not to leave things too late, the sooner you act the better chance you have of continuing your success without a hitch.

 

 

The upcoming winter months can be a cause for concern to many business owners. When severely bad weather strikes, it leads to travel disruptions and childcare issues. This means individuals may struggle to get into the office. Whether you and your staff take the public transport or drive to work, snow laden roads can make travel quite dangerous. Individuals with children may struggle to find childcare due to school or nursery closures. If staff are unable to get to work, how will you continue to operate your business?

As a nation with unpredictable winter months, we really should be prepared for anything.

bare tree covered with snow

Which brings me to a very important question. Do you have a Winter Risk Management Plan in place? A back up plan to keep your business moving no matter what the weather is outside? If you’ve said no, it really is a good idea to have one in place. It doesn’t have to be a hundred pages long. A short and simple plan should suffice for most businesses.

Here are a few things to consider when creating your plan:

  • Prepare for snow and ice removal – we don’t want anyone getting hurt because they slipped on some ice. Safety first!
  • Backup generator – if there’s a blackout, a back up generator should keep things going for a while.
  • Prepare your staff – communicate potential weather emergencies with your staff. If they know it’s going to snow heavily for the next couple of days, they can plan ahead.
  • Have emergency contacts in place – an Office or HR Manager usually make a good emergency contact to report staff absence.
  • Offer the option to work from home – if staff can access their computers remotely, that’s great! If not, at least make sure they have access to emails.
  • Create an online meeting room for your team – Skype, appear.in and Zoom are great ways to hold online meetings without breaking the bank.
  • Telephone redirection – set up a divert on your office line. Most telecom companies now offer this as an option. You should be able to contact them and set up a manual divert or do it online, depending on your provider.
  • Most importantly, have emergency support in place, such as a virtual assistant or casual workers through a recruitment agency.

Winter is coming… so be prepared!

 

You wouldn’t be the first person to wonder if you need a Virtual Assistant. Can someone working virtually really help you and your business?

Answer these questions and let’s work out if you could benefit from having a VA.

Do you wonder how you can generate more profits when you are neck deep in admin tasks that you ignored for all long as possible? Do you have unread emails in your mailbox that you should have replied to but didn’t get around to doing it? How is your calendar looking? Are all appointments up-to-date? Do you ask yourself how you can manage all the workload on your own?

If you answered yes, to any of those questions, you are not alone. Most entrepreneurs are in the same position as you. They have a successful business, but not enough time to do everything! This is where a VA comes in to help.

  1. Hiring a Virtual Assistant will save you time, they do all your repetitive work, so you can focus on growing your business.
  2. Virtual Assistants are cost effective, available by the hour or as and when you need them. They improve your efficiency by getting more work done in less time.
  3. Because they work remotely, you don’t have to invest in any office space or equipment.
  4. No PAYE to worry about. Virtual Assistants are self-employed, so you don’t have to worry about staff overheads.
  5. Less worry, more focus. Having a VA means there will always be someone ready to take on the tasks you’re struggling to find time for.
  6. You don’t have to spend any time or money on training new employees. VA’s work the way you instruct them to. Just like a good personal assistant would.
  7. Working with a VA means, your projects stay on schedule without having to work long hours or pay anyone overtime.
  8. Increase productivity, by outsourcing your admin tasks to someone experienced in doing them.
  9. Reduce your workload, VA’s are skilled in multiple areas and can multi task simultaneously. Giving you back some much-needed personal time to do the things you enjoy.
  10. A Virtual Assistant cares about your business, it’s what pays their bills. So, they will put every effort in to make sure you have the best service possible.