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2020 – The Look Back Post

What a year 2020 has been.  If you’d said at the start of the year, we’d find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic where we wouldn’t be allowed to mix with our loved ones and friends, that ‘sitting on a park bench was allowed’ and there would be scuffles over pasta and toilet roll we’d have all said you’ve lost your mind.

We think it’s really important to celebrate the good times and reflect on the positives that have happened in an otherwise strange 2020.

Awards

We kicked off the year learning that Emma was included in the 2020 f:Entrepreneur’s iAlso awards. This campaign celebrates the UK’s inspirational and multi-achieving female entrepreneurs.  The aim of f:Entrepreneur is to showcase multi-achieving women like Emma in the #ialso Top 100, to provide lessons of challenge and success for all small business founders – both men and women.

You can read the full blog here.

We were also were shortlisted again for the South West England VA of the Year awards and throughout the year discovered that we had made it through various rounds and in November we were announced as the Runner Up, VA of the Year South West region! 

A trip to the House of Lords

As part of the iAlso awards Emma went to the House of Lords just before the first lock down started.  We were under instruction to greet each other with elbow pumps whilst tucking to an early breakfast.  The atmosphere in the room was incredible and it was an honour to be in a room with 99 other business entrepreneurs who not only run their business but they also undertake extra roles.

Birthday Celebrations

Wow – we hit 5 years of business this year!  Emma never thought she’d have her own business, let alone be celebrating 5 years.  With such a difficult year for everyone, we’re grateful more than ever for everyone’s support.

We managed to get in a celebratory meal at The Ivy in Bath just before lock down 2.0 hit – we were totally surprised to be greeted by a glass of champagne each from a client who’d caught wind of our whereabouts.

Read more about our round of up of 5 Achievements in 5 Years.

Clients

We continued to work with our amazing loyal clients this year and welcomed many new clients from different business sectors.  We now support around 15-20 different clients – some on a daily basis, some on a monthly basis and some on a quarterly basis.  Our passion for helping our clients achieve more has been welcomed by everyone.  We welcomed our 60th client into the fold in September and this has now rising to 70!

Expanding our Services

2020 was the year that we did some market research and realised that it’s not only admin that people often put to the bottom of their to do list.  Bookkeeping was something that came up again and again.  We took the plunge to sign our first associate in Catherine Body who loves doing bookkeeping. 

Emma and Catherine have known each other for a couple of years in the VA world so it seemed like a natural fit. Catherine comes with a wealth of experience gained through years working in an Accounts Office and more recently as a School Bursar.  She will be able to help you keep on top of your finances; processing invoices, paying suppliers, reconciliation, VAT/CIS submissions using QuickBooks, Xero or FreeAgent.

This additional new service has been utilised by several of our clients and feedback has been that it’s been great to have both admin and bookkeeping done by the same business.

Branded Photo Shoot

The benefit of having an accountability buddy that’s a photographer means that you can get some branded photos taken!  This was something Emma and Kate of Copper and Blossom had talked about at the start of the year however lock down hit and plans were put on hold.  We managed to get a date in the diary when cafes started to open and Emma asked her favourite local cafe if they would help out.  After a bit of lunch, we found ourselves with an empty cafe an hour before closing so made the most of it!  It also helped that Divine on the Green’s outside seating area is in Boatman Admin Services branded colours!!

WHAT A LIST!  Thank you to everyone who has supported us not only in 2020 but throughout the lifetime of the business! 

Here’s to an awesome 2021!!

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Growing your email list

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Finding the right VA

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Motivation Productivity Virtual Admin Services

5 steps to create a great morning routine

A good morning routine will set you up for a great day ahead. Since Emma left her corporate life in 2015, the alarm clock still goes off at the same time every weekday morning and she’s often at her desk by 8am ready to start working on emails and client work.

A morning routine can help you achieve your goals in every single area of your life. Morning routines have helped people stay more consistent with health, fitness, business, and relationships.

Being an effective early riser isn’t just about waking up before everyone else. It’s about putting yourself in a positive mindset and getting important things done before everyone else.

Prepare the night before

Preparation is key to having a great morning routine. If you’re planning on exercising in the morning, have your gym kit out ready. You’re more likely to go and get it done if you’re kit is ready to go.

Plan your day – it doesn’t have to be a minute by minute account but if you know what you need to achieve the following day, you’ll know what needs to be focused on.

Wake up early!

In a poll of 20 executives cited by Laura Vanderkam, a time-management expert and the author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 and is in the office no later than 7. Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to go jogging. This might be a little extreme but clearly these are people who get tasks done and are successful in business.

Re-hydrate and move your body

You’ve probably been asleep for 8 hours so your body is dehydrated. Once you’re up, try and drink at least a pint of water if you can. Exercising in the morning can be a huge benefit as well. Emma will go to a 6.30am spin class and is home before 7.30am so that she can can showered and ready to face the day. Exercise can have a huge effect on your mindset whilst improving energy levels, positivity and productivity. We’re not suggesting you go for a marathon length run every day but even 10 minutes of yoga will help.

Add in some personal development

There are so many ways to easily add in some personal development every morning. John likes to read a few pages of a business or personal development book most mornings whilst having his first cup of coffee. You may wish to include some daily affirmations – you can either write these out or say them out loud to yourself. Another popular personal development idea is morning pages where you sit and just let your pen write whatever comes to mind. Emma has tried this but just ended up writing a huge to do list…which isn’t the point of it! Emma writes her gratitude list every evening so spends some time reflecting on the day just before bed. Gratitude can be ticking off something from your to do list, getting out at lunchtime for some fresh air or enjoying a sneaky bit of chocolate with your cup of tea!

Tackle the tricky stuff first

Go through your to do list and highlight 1-3 things that MUST be done today and concentrate on those things first.  As Mark Twain says “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Once you’ve tackled those tasks or eaten those frogs, anything else you get done is a bonus!  Keep your daily to-do list small so that it’s manageable and not overwhelming.  When you’re able to cross items off this list, it inspires you to keep going and accomplish even more!

These morning routine ideas are what we’ve found work best. Take what works for you and your schedule, and adjust accordingly! Even if your morning routine is 5 minutes long, having some intentionality in the morning to set yourself up for success is essential and will have a huge impact on your day, your week, your month and your life!

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Make time blocking work for you

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Why you need an email marketing list

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How to work with a VA/VBM’ – what they can expect, what not to do, what we need from clients to make their lives easier (ours actually but we’ll disguise it as theirs)

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Qualities a VA needs to have

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Connections in the community

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Why your business needs a blog

With so many social media platforms to keep on top of, is it really necessary to have a blog for your business as well? Your blog offers a window into your business. People visit a business’s website to get some form of value, whether that be contact info, product pricing, news or events, or other general types of content. 

The blogging world is a busy one – but is it saturated already? We can all write about a similar subject, but we’ll all have a different take on it and offer different pieces of advice.

Complete Control

You’ve built up your social media following to a terrific number of followers after years of hard work but…the platforms they are built on are not your own.

The demise of Vine showed us how quickly social media platforms can go from thriving to disappearing and owning your own site that you have total control over isn’t to be easily dismissed. Imagine loosing all of your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook followers – how would people find your business?

Create Social Media Content

As mentioned above, having social media platforms to manage can be super time consuming. If you’ve written a blog post, you’ve automatically got something to post about on social channels. You can use quotes, pictures, or screenshots from your post to engage your audience on the social media platforms you use.

The lifespan of a Facebook or Instagram post is only 5 to 21 hours respectively, but a blog post will last approximately two years! By blogging about the benefits of your products, you are creating evergreen content (content that is always relevant and never goes out of date). This means your content can be enjoyed by new and existing customers for years to come.

Improve your SEO

Google loves a blog – when it runs a search over your website, it’s looking for any new content it can read. It will then rank and place your website it in it’s search engine results to fit the content’s description. Google will not go back to your website unless it detects NEW content. The easiest way to ensure you’re website is up to date without rewriting your website copy every month – add a blog.

The only cost…is your TIME

All you have to do is add a blogging page to your website and begin posting! This blogging page should be included in your web hosting package, essentially making running a blog free to you. The only cost is your time! And before you say, I don’t have time – this is one area you could consider outsourcing.

If you blog on a consistent basis with high quality, useful content, your time will reap financial benefits in the long run. Your blog will bring in more traffic, which will turn into more sales – and isn’t that what we’re all after in the end?!

Develop And Strengthen Relationships

Customer engagement is an immensely important element of online marketing and branding. Blogging provides the opportunity for you to connect with your existing and potential customers in a different, more conversational way. Blogging is a good way to build trust with your target audience through high quality content that they find relevant. 

So there you have it – 5 reasons why your business should have a blog. Blogging for business should be the main component of your content marketing plan. We’re not suggesting you blog every week but once or twice a month will make a huge difference.

Contact us if you are interested in writing blogs for your business.

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