When you start a small business, you will often hear the phrase Cash is King but does this still ring true now that we are moving towards a cashless society? The quick answer, of course, would be yes. We should change the phrase from Cash is King to Know your numbers. It would be a much better phrase and affect every small business area. Cash is king only looks at your business’s money, needs, or wants. Check out our next post entitled ‘Follow The Money.’
So what do we mean by numbers?
The most obvious one would be how much money you have in the bank. Do you have enough money to pay your bills, staff, and taxes? Then do you have enough money to invest back into your business, market your products and finally, if you are the business owner, enough money to pay you some dividends? Knowing the cash figure in the bank is vital for these functions.
There are other numbers that you need to know. One of my favourite numbers is number one. It’s not a number I used to think about in any significant way until a business coach mentioned the figure in passing. Their reference was about being the only person in the business and what would you do if you became sick, went on holiday or needed to have an extended period of absence. Are there processes in place to cover your absence?
Small Businesses and one bank
The number of one then grows to be a much more significant number for a small business. Banking is a perfect example of the number of one, where it might have a deficit influence on your business. Most companies would approach a bank if your business was expanding, and you wanted a loan or overdraft facility. If you only bank with one banking institution, your company’s financial history is only known by them. If this institution had restrictive rules on business loans or overdrafts, this could become an issue. Effectively, you only have one institution to ask. I am not saying that you won’t get a loan or overdraft, but it could reduce your opportunities. It is advisable to take out two different bank accounts with other banks. One for your everyday business activities and one to squirrel away your staff wages, tax liabilities and potential dividend payments. (Banks are not the only institutions that loan money to small businesses, there are specialist institutions that only loan to other businesses).
Employing one staff member
Staff numbers can also become an issue with the number of one. It’s great when our small business employs staff. It is a sign that the business is growing; you are good at what you do, and your customers value your service. Hiring your first staff member changes your company staff from the magic number 1 to 2. But only having one member of staff also means that a member of staff has much power in your business. Often a first employee means the owner takes a bit of a cut in their salary to employ the member of staff and their take-home pay is less than the employees. What do you do when the staff member is on holiday, sick, or is a lousy employee? Upsets your clients, and you spend more time redoing or talking to your clients because of the employee. If possible, think about taking on two members of staff or maybe two part-timers. Of course, taking on staff will have a financial burden, such as employers’ tax liabilities, additional equipment and licences, and training. You could, however, sub-contract but ensure you have a tight Non-disclosure agreement and contract with the sub-contractor.
One Client in a Small Business
Client retention can become an issue when discussing number one. The trouble with having only one client or one client that brings in most of your sales. You may have an excellent relationship currently with your client, but what would happen if that client moved away? A client stopping your services can be for many reasons; you have a falling out, they can find your services cheaper or are taking the work ‘in house’. Losing a significant client that brings in most of your finances can be catastrophic for a small business. Spread your client base out and try not to rely on one company for your financial success.
One Marketing Strategy for a Small Business
Having only one marketing strategy can also be very limiting. Are you reaching your target audience, where are they, and what do they think of your services? If your small business relies on Facebook ads and posts, will your customers see them? Is that where they go to find business contact and services? If you solely rely on printing in a magazine, how often does the magazine come out? Are you a member of a networking group? Do you network with other small businesses? Limiting your marketing to a one stream strategy is a dangerous and potentially restrictive plan.
The number one can be dangerous if relied on for too long. However, it is also an exciting number and one that a small business should give as much respect to as possible. The advantage of one means that you have tremendous flexibility. We have seen how important flexibility can be in the past two years. Many small businesses had the foresight to adapt their services easier, quicker and more cost-effectively than their counterparts.
In conclusion one in a small business
Knowing your number one limits, advantages, and disadvantages puts you in a much better position to ensure the success of your small business.
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A virtual office address is a service that provides you with a physical mailing address if you do not have a physical address. Alternatively, you may not want your physical address known, especially if you are working from home. A virtual address can be a beneficial service for entrepreneurs and small businesses just starting. This blog post will discuss what virtual office addresses are, how to use them, and their benefits. We will also answer some common questions about virtual office addresses. Keep reading to learn more!
What is a Virtual Office Address?
A virtual postal address is simply an address used to receive mail and parcels sent to an individual or a business. It provides you with a physical mailing address if you cannot provide a physical space for mail.
How Can I Use My Virtual Office Address?
You can use the address for personal and business purposes.
Types of Business Virtual Office Addresses
There are two types of Virtual Addresses, and it is essential that you understand which kind of address you require.
Correspondence Address – An address where only correspondence is requested.
A registered address – A business has an official address, and any mail from Companies House and HMRC documents will be sent there. If you default on payments, i.e., invoices, taxes and court summons, goods can be removed from a registered address to cover costs of outstanding debt.
A business’s virtual address is a beneficial service for entrepreneurs and small businesses just starting. A virtual postal address would be perfect for a home-based business when the over doesn’t want their clients to know they are a small business.
There are many benefits of using a virtual office address. Some of these benefits include:
A virtual office address can give your business a professional presence. This is very useful if your business is primarily online or a startup business, and you want to give the impression that you are a well-established business.
You can also use your virtual office address on your business correspondence, including email signatures, business cards, and website listings. This will help give your business a professional image and help you stand out from the competition.
A virtual office address can be a great way to get a prestigious business address in a prime location, even if you can’t afford to rent office space. For example, the centre of London, New York or Milan.
Using a virtual office address can help you save money on office rental costs. Especially as many business centres that offer an address service could have meeting rooms, hot desks and conference facilities you could use at a preferential rate.
A virtual office address can provide you with a convenient way to receive mail and packages, even if you are not always available to collect them in person.
For the Individual
Members of the armed forces often use a postal address if posted overseas, as do ex-pats who live half a year away and still need their posts dealt with.
What you should think about
If you consider using a different address, keep a few things in mind.
You will need to choose a reputable virtual office provider. There are many virtual office providers, so be sure to do your research and choose the right one for you.
Decide what type of address you want. Personal addresses are only for your use, while other businesses can use shared addresses.
You will need to decide how much you will pay for your virtual office address. A virtual office typically charges a monthly fee in advance, so be sure to compare prices before choosing a provider.
Set up your virtual office address with your chosen provider. This process is usually simple and only takes a few minutes. Once the virtual address has been actioned, you can use it immediately.
Start using your new virtual office address! Be sure to use it on all of your business correspondence to help give your business a professional image and help you stand out from the competition.
Virtual office addresses are a great way to give your business a professional presence, even if you don’t have a physical office space. You can use it to receive mail and packages, even if you are not always available to collect them in person or as part of a marketing strategy. If you consider using a virtual office address for your business, keep these things in mind. Thanks for reading!
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Diary Management: What It Means and How to Use a Diary Effectively
Diary management is a term you may have heard before, but what does it actually mean? Do you use your paper, electronic, or other diaries correctly? Does your diary control you, or do you control your diary? Diary management is the process of taking control of your diary and using it to manage your time effectively. This can be done in several ways but the most important thing is finding a system that works for you and sticking to it! In this blog post, we will discuss the different ways you can use a diary to manage your time and how to stay productive and organised, without using the skills of a Virtual PA.
Here are some tips for effective diary management without the help of a Virtual PA
Schedule time for specific tasks: This could be anything from setting aside an hour each day to work on a project to schedule a meeting with a client. Having a set time for each task will manage your time and ensure that you are getting things done. If you scheduled an hour for a task, you move on to the next task at the end of that hour. You can reschedule a time to complete the original task if necessary. This has to be one of the hardest aspects of diary management. However, you will be surprised at how quickly tasks get completed.
Track your progress: Use your diary to track your progress on projects. This can be helpful in several ways, including keeping yourself motivated and seeing how far you’ve come.
Update regularly: Make sure you update your diary regularly to stay on top of things.
Use different colours or symbols. Use different colours or symbols to denote different types of tasks. This can help you quickly identify what needs to be done.
Set reminders: Set reminders for yourself so you don’t forget important deadlines.
Keep a separate to-do list: Keep a different to-do list so you can quickly transfer tasks into your diary.
Schedule some downtime: Make sure you schedule some downtime for yourself! This is important for maintaining your sanity and putting each task in perspective. Often we can get bogged down with one task. It is only when we step away from that we realise how much of the task we have completed and what steps are left to complete.
Tips are only words until they are used!
By following these tips, you can be sure that you are using your diary effectively and getting the most out of it. Diary management is a great way to take control of your time and make sure you are productive. So, what are you waiting for? Start managing your diary today! By following these tips, you are using your diary effectively and getting the most out of it.
There are different diaries available, ranging from pen and paper to project management software. The type of diary management you select will depend on the type of business or lifestyle.
Types of diaries
Pen and paper diaries: Paper diaries are a traditional type of diary. Stationery stores sell a variety of paper diaries. There are also more elaborate diary management systems available, for example, Filofax, Day-Timer and Traveller.
Software-based diaries: Software diaries are usually installed on your computer or mobile device and offer a range of features, such as reminders and synchronisation with other devices.
Online diaries can be hosted on a computer, website or mobile device and accessed from anywhere in the world. Examples are Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal, Google Calendar, and Lotus Notes.
Project Management Software can also help you with diary management. Examples are Asana, Wrike, and Trello. All excellent project management software used for Diary Management.
Each of these software options has distinct features, so it is essential to select the one that best suits your needs. if access anywhere in the world is important, ensure this is a key feature of the software.
Alternatively, if you have many meetings, you may want to use a diary that allows you to schedule reminders. You may run a business where clients book meetings with you and then a diary-like Calendly would be perfect. Clients can then see when you are free and reserve space in your diary without discussing the time slot with you, thus saving time and money.
Once you have selected the correct type of diary for your needs, learning how to use it effectively is essential. Depending on the system you select, you can attend training courses on the selected diary management tool. Alternatively, YouTube or google are perfect to get tips on how other people are using your diary management system.
Diary management is not just about writing down what you need to do; it is also about setting priorities and ensuring that you effectively use your time.
When it comes to Diary Management, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It is essential to select the system that best suits your needs. However, by following the tips in this blog post, you can be sure that you are using your diary effectively and getting the most out of it! Working with a Virtual PA can help you control your tasks, your jobs and obligations.
What does diary management actually mean?
Diary management is the process of taking control of your time and using it effectively to manage your day, tasks, and obligations. Alternatively, you could contact a Virtual PA or Virtual Assistant to assist with important tasks.
Microsoft Word Tip – It has to be easier than this?
All the tips I upload onto this blog thread are questions I am asked by my clients. I hope you find them interesting, but more importantly you find them useful. This question was about the getting some text to align in word and the importance of chevrons. I like to have them turned on all the time, it’s probably a control thing on by behalf. Here is the question.
Question: Hi Julie, I can’t get some text to align in Word. Help, its driving me mad.
Answer: Not to worry, I can get your text to align in word, but we need to check a few things first.
My first request for all my clients when working in word is to turn on the chevrons. The chevrons are little marks you can see at the end of a paragraph. In the table below, you can see an example next to number 1, hard carriage return. This will give you some idea of what is going on (formatting) in your document. When you have the chevrons turned on, you can see some formatting in your document:
To turn the chevrons on, go to the toolbar on the top of the screen and select the icon.
Once I turned the chevrons on, I could instantly see why the dates and text have not lined up.
The author of the document had, by mistake, added a few extra “carriage returns” (line spaces). Once these had been removed, the text would then line up.
The Chevrons are an important part of the formatting of your document as this gives you control over your work you are doing. I know they can appear to be an eyesore and an annoyance, but it means that you are in control of the document and not the computer. If you feel more comfortable, you could always turn them on after you have typed your document and are in the process of making the document look more presentable.
In the current digital world, it is virtually impossible to avoid screens. Computers, phones, tablets, iPads, all are vital for communication at work and leisure time. Indeed, we use them in both our professional and personal lives. As such, we often end the day with headaches from looking at screens and artificial light for so long. This has only intensified since we have all started working from home.
However, if there is one thing that I have discovered from working from home (no, it’s regrettably not how to make the perfect banana bread) its puzzles! Sudokus, word searches, crosswords are all brilliant mind games and a welcome distraction from emails and screens. Ironically, you can actually access these for free online, but as we are trying to avoid screens, I suggest doing these by hand. A plethora of these appear every day in newspapers, magazines and are also sold as little books in the supermarket which are cheap as chips. It’s a good investment – I have a sudoku book (bought for £2.50) that has so far lasted me three months. I do one sudoku a day, usually more than that on the weekend, and am not even halfway through my little book yet. There are usually at least 100-150 puzzles in a book, all of which have answers provided on the back pages.
I often do a sudoku during my lunch break. 10 to 15 minutes of quiet, peaceful problem-solving (yes, this does exist!) can work wonders for the brain. In fact, I often find my concentration levels are better in the afternoon, perhaps because I have exercised (or awakened!) parts of my brain that had not been exercised before. Sudokus can help you stay sharp and agile because of the amount of thinking required; each number you write in the box requires careful thought and consideration. As such, it is always handy to have an eraser nearby when completing a puzzle! When numbers are placed in boxes, you have to remember the rules of the game and how many numbers are in the box, improving your memory. If you time yourself (e.g. tell yourself I must complete this by 2pm because that’s when I must start work again) your speed will improve, which can lead to increased speed in other parts of your P.A. life. Word-searches are also a brilliant way of learning new vocabulary as well as finding inaccuracies. Crosswords can improve your overall knowledge and can come in handy the next time your colleagues randomly debate what the capital of Switzerland is!
Taking a moment to relax, softly stimulate and engage your brain is an inviting distraction when working from home. It can be relaxing, therapeutic and something to look forward to each day. A ‘me’ moment, if you like. Each puzzle you complete, the better you will become and therefore the greater the sense of achievement. It is a great way to spend time when you have a quiet moment and much better than looking at a screen. Taking a moment to activate parts of your brain instead of filling (or overfilling) it with information from scrolling on social media or emails, may also help your stress levels.
Now, I’m off to complete the sudoku I’ve been stuck on for 2 days….I WILL get there!
With many of us now spending more and more time at home, there are lots of ways in which we can be productive. To-do lists, workout videos, cleaning and cooking are all practical, necessary tasks we complete at home, but also a way of making us feel more accomplished and productive. Well, they do say tidy desk, tidy mind!
With the inordinate amount of time ahead of us (and the uncertainty of when we will come out of lockdown) a very welcome distraction and exciting project for a P.A. can be to learn a language. This may sound terrifying, but it has never been easier to sign up for monthly courses, watch online lessons, learn new vocabulary and test yourself. There are endless videos, websites and teaching material now only a few clicks away from google.
I myself have been learning Portuguese online, thanks to a spontaneous New Year’s resolution and mapping out a plan to do so. It has been SO much fun! The lessons (all of mine are easily accessible on YouTube), the grammar and the sense of accomplishment have made me feel a million times more productive (and therefore more happy) than a few months ago. I feel like I’m back at school again and have that exciting buzz you feel when you slowly start to understand a complex topic.
P.As have many valuable transferrable skills. Now we are no longer in the office, it can be hard to stimulate our minds to the extent we once did in the office, surrounded by colleagues. But learning a language can fill that stimulation outlet as well as improve all parts of brain health. In fact, learning a language can improve your thinking skills and strengthen your brain’s natural ability to focus because of the parts of brain required to work as you learn. In using both the left and right side of the brain (a necessary phenomenon enabling the transfer of information) you are increasing brain co-ordination and simultaneously decreasing the risk of early cognitive decline. The process of language learning has an effect on the brain similar to the effect exercising has on the muscles. In making them move or stretch, you are making them stronger and improving their functions. Our brains are like plastic, and learning a second language molds it into different shapes. This neuroplasticity decreases as we get older (which is why it is easier for children to learn a language as their brain is more plastic). Having said that, it is never too late for anyone to start exercising their brain.
Multilingual individuals are also likely to be better at problem-solving and multi-tasking, two vital skills for being a great P.A. In learning another language, you are harnessing these skills as well as learning new ones. Speaking activities develop networking and social skills (important when meeting colleagues and external clients) and grammar can improve your knowledge of the nuts and bolts of your mother tongue (important for proof reading documents and sending articulate emails).
Ultimately, there is no better time to learn a language than now, both for professional and personal reasons. How impressed will your team be when you are able to come back to the office with another language under your belt? You never know, the next client you meet might speak the language you start to learn – your ability to speak their language will definitely be something they remember!
So you’re going to start writing your memoirs. When most people think of memoirs, they think of the celebrity tell-alls that seem to be everywhere lately. While these can be enjoyable to read, they often lack the depth and personal connection that make a memoir genuinely captivating. This blog post will discuss how to write memoirs that will keep your readers engaged from beginning to end. We will cover topics such as structure, style and theme and provide tips on how to bring your memories to life. So whether you are just starting on your memoir writing journey or have been at it for a while, we hope you find this information helpful!
Keep your readers engaged.
Be strategic about what events you choose to include, and make sure they support the overall theme of your book. In terms of structure, a memoir can be linear or nonlinear. Write chronologically about the events of your life, or you may decide to organise your thoughts around a central theme.
Either way, keep your readers in mind and craft a story that will resonate with them. As for style, use language that is true to yourself and reflective of how you talk in everyday life. This will ensure that your voice comes through loud and clear on the page.
Finally, consider what themes you want to explore in your memoir. These could be universal themes such as love, loss, betrayal, or more personal topics such as your relationship with your family or your experience of growing up. By thinking about these things ahead of time, you will write a memoir that is both meaningful and enjoyable to read.
Once you have published it, you can’t take it back!
Only discuss the events you want people to know about in your memoirs if you want to keep readers engaged. Be tactical about what events you choose to include and make sure they support the overall theme of your book.
Be honest about the events that took place. It is perfectly acceptable to write from your point of view and what you felt. When including personal thoughts, make sure that they help paint a picture for the reader and add value to the story. It is also helpful if these thoughts are ones you haven’t had before writing your memoirs, as it can give greater insight into how you have processed certain events.
Be mindful of the reader and what they will get from reading your memoirs. You don’t want to overload them with information, but you also don’t want to leave out key details that will help them understand your story. Find a balance between the two, and be sure to edit your work to be the best it can be.
Decide on the format of the memoirs.
What will work best for you and your story? Will you create a book or an audiobook? Do you want to write it all out or use a voice recorder?
Do you want to include photographs?
If you want to include photographs in your memoirs, make sure you have the authorisation to use them. You don’t want to get into any legal trouble! This is especially important if other people are in the photograph.
Think of the length of your memoirs.
You may not want to write War and Peace, but we all have a story to tell. How long do you want your account to be?
Determine the purpose of writing your memoirs.
Are you trying to work through some personal issues? Do you want to share your life story with others? Are you hoping to inspire or motivate people with what you have been through? Keep this in mind as you write so that you stay on track.
Identify your audience.
Whom do you want to read your memoirs? What will they be interested in? How can you best reach them? Keep these questions in mind as you write so that you can tailor your story to them.
Will your memoirs be funny or serious?
What tone do you want to set? No matter what you decide, be sure to write from the heart and tell your story in a way that is true to you.
Will you make a passive income from writing your memoirs?
For example, giving talks at schools, clubs and on the TV/Radio. Will you sell your memoirs online?
Consider these things when you have finished writing your memoirs. They are a great way to get your story out there and make extra money.
Don’t forget to promote your memoirs once they’re finished! Make sure people know your book is available and how they can get their hands on a copy. Use social media, word of mouth, and whatever else you can think of to spread the news.
Are your memoirs for family and friends only?
Do you want to share your story with the world? There are many things to consider when deciding who will read your memoirs. If you only want family and friends to read your memoirs, then you may not need to promote them or worry about making a passive income from them. However, if you want to share your story with the world, then you’ll need to put some thought into how you’ll promote your book and get people interested in reading it.
Are you going to self-publish or approach a traditional publisher?
There are pros and cons to both self-publishing and approaching a traditional publisher. It’s up to you to decide which route is best for you and your memoirs. If you self-publish, you’ll have more control over the final product, but it may be harder to get people to read your book. If you approach a traditional publisher, they’ll handle most of the promotional work, but you may have less control over the final product. Whichever route you choose, make sure you do your research so that you know what to expect!
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about writing memoirs! We hope this information has been helpful.
Before you start Writing your Memoirs
Before you write your memoirs, create a plan of what you want to include. Are you a business owner and want to discuss how you created your business from nothing and sold it for thousands? Are you a homemaker and love every aspect of making a home for your family? Did you travel around the world and met some interesting people that had a profound effect on your life?
We all thrive on stories. What is yours?
For our guide on how to start writing your memories join our emailing list.
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I use to dream of being a Writer! I would love to write but don’t have the time! I don’t know where to start, but I have a story!
Questions and statements I often hear from people who would like to become an author, a writer, or publish their memoirs or family memoirs. I can sympathise. When I started writing my books and publishing my author’s books, it was a piece of common ground.
I had a fantastic tip form a young writer who was starting a career as a journalist, short and to the point.
“Just do it, don’t sit there thinking you will write war and peace. Stop making excuses and sit in front of the computer and write.”
Thanks Jack, that is what I did and what I tell my authors to do. In fiction, the story might take a few twists and turns you hadn’t planned on! Characters may quit their jobs or act unexpectedly, so remember the first draft of your manuscript will never be the same as the book that gets published.
When writing your memoirs, things will always pop in your head. One story may remind you of another story. A comment from a friend or family member will often start the next chapter. Alternatively, a comment could help you remember a story long since forgotten that could be pivotal to the memoirs.
Stop procrastination, sit down with a fresh screen or piece of paper and put something down. Once you start you find that you won’t stop. Map out what you want to say. Remember the reader and the journey you want them to go on. When writing your memoirs think about how much information do you want to share?
I have to open this post by stating that I love my Mum very much, but occasionally she exasperates me. I have spent the last 40 minutes helping her with her emails. Three days ago, they stopped showing up on her phone, iPad and computer. We went through all the normal settings and they were all fine.
But I saved my password once, shouldn’t it be automatically?
I was about to tell her she needed to seek an expert, when she casually remarked that she would leave her provider as she wasn’t happy with the services. I asked why. She calmly stated that she changed her password three days ago and has had nothing but issues ever since.
“Where did you change the password,” I carefully inquired.
“On 1and1” she replied.
“Did you change the password on your computer, iPad and Phone?” I asked.
“No, I thought it was athematic,” she replied.
The only analogy I could come up with, was that changing the cotton on her sewing machine and expecting the bobbin to have changed colour as well. At which point she burst out laughing seeing the funny side! Mothers who would have them and technology.