AdminAnywhere Christmas Offer

AdminAnywhere Xmas2015

Here we are again, another year almost done!

Did you get organised with all the jobs that need doing in your business?  How much have you delegated or outsourced? Or are you still trying to do everything yourself?

Why not start 2016 with someone on hand to help with that business admin?

I have a Special Christmas Offer for any new clients who sign up before 10th January; with a promise to charge you at 2015 prices until 31 March.

AdminAnywhere Offer

I am reviewing my prices ready for my yearly increase in January.  These will still be very competitive for the industry. (Existing clients will be contacted individually regarding their price review.)

My prices are still based on an hourly rate for getting the job done, and clients do tend to love that flexibility. And I do too, as it allows me to be responsive and plan my diary around what needs to be handled each day. However, if you’d prefer to fix a specific time slot I do have some capacity to block out time, either for remote working or local onsite support.

So how has 2015 been for AdminAnywhere?

I’ve had a mixed year, exceptionally busy one moment and quiet the next, then busy, quiet, busy again, etc!  Being a VA can often seem like waiting for a bus and finding 3 arrive at once 🙂

I have a selection of lovely regular clients who don’t know how they’d manage with out me!  However there are a few hours going spare, so if you’ve made your New Year’s resolution to get some help with that admin, just give me a call or email me.

Recently, I graciously handed over the admin support at a long serving client’s office to their newly appointed administrator.  I’d seen the business grow over the last couple of years into a very organised and established company ready for a much busier business world and I wish them all the best for 2016 and beyond, with plans to move to bigger premises too.  And it’s been great to be called back to handle a couple of tasks since leaving them too.

Merry Christmas and here’s to 2016! 🙂

 

 

 

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Dynamic Networking Bolton

There are lots of business networking groups around Bolton, but informal ones that meet up in the evening are a bit thin on the ground.  I had a go at setting up a group on my own last year. My Bolton Business Networking Club was born, and ran briefly for a few events, but unfortunately it just wasn’t the right formula, so I mothballed it so I could focus on AdminAnywhere, but I didn’t want to give up on it!

A chance meeting with John from the Speed of Sight charity, got the ball rolling on a collaboration and the launch of a new Bolton branch of their Dynamic Networking clubs.

I’m really looking forward to working with them to bring this successful informal networking group to Bolton at the Last Drop Hotel every 4th Tuesday of the month.

Our launch event is Tuesday 26th January 2016, between 5.30 and 7.30pm.

Click here for more information.  DN Logo Border 1

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The launch of the new Bolton Business Networking Club

BBNC Logo

Book your place on this new monthly business networking club in Bolton.

Click here to book your place via eventbrite.co.uk

A NEW Business Networking Group for BOLTON!

Launching on Thursday 21 May

How does an informal, business networking group for Bolton sound?

  • No Membership/Subscription Costs.
  • No pressure to bring/make referrals.
  • A friendly business networking group that runs in the evening on a monthly basis?
  • One that’s open to all business types and not limited to one person per business category?

This is a group where you can chat, make connections, and get to know other local small business owners in a warm, friendly pub setting, with delicious home cooked food.

Only £12.00 per person*  (pay on the door)

Thursday 21 May. 6pm – 8pm

At The Farmers Arms, Darcy Lever, Bolton, BL3 1RU

* Price includes food. Drinks are not included in price, however the bar will be open for you to purchase your chosen beverage(s). Tea/coffee also available to purchase.

NOTE: Food for the launch event will be a burger & hot dog hot buffet, created by the talented chef Jon Jones and his team at the Farmers Arms. Please let me know when reserving your place if you require a vegetarian meal, which will be equally delicious.

BoltonBizNC poster

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Happy 3rd Birthday AdminAnywhere

Happy 3rd Birthday to AdminAnywhere.

birthday cakeAfter several months of planning, on the 23rd April 2012, I official set out on the road to being a self employed Virtual Assistant. And now I arrive at the start of my 4th year. What a ride it has been. I’ve loving every minute of it!

Yes those first few months were very difficult, and clients were very scarce throughout that first year. But I stuck at it. I look back and identify how naive I was in the beginning. Yes I had so much knowledge and expertise in my craft, but there’s so much to learn about actually running a business.

Yes, I made mistakes along the way, however that leads to one very important lesson to anyone else considering this route: “Don’t dwell on the mistakes, accept them and use then as experiences to develop and move forward”. There are often clients that don’t work out and tasks that don’t pan out to be as you expected in the initial discussions.

Now I’m at a stage that I have a fantastic group of regular clients who don’t know how they managed without me. And some that know who to call for those every-now-and-again admin crisis’s.

To quote one of my lovely clients “Everyone needs a Julia”.

If you’re in a small business, at some stage you’re likely to have to admit that you need help with the admin. A Virtual Assistant is the ideal solution. Give me a call!

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I’m Still Here! Sorry it’s been so long :)

Hi,

I know it’s been quite some time since I posted on this blog. It’s been so busy here at AdminAnywhere and in true sence of being a VA,  my clients’ work always come first!

So What’s New!

WEBSITE:  I worked on revising my website over the Christmas holidays and am proud to annouce that the updated AdminAnywhere.co.uk is now live.  Yeah!

SLIDESHARE: I have also had a dabble with Slideshare today and uploaded a recent presentation about the services that are on offer through AdminAnywhere.  Go on have a look!

AA Services PP Jan15 Capture

http://www.slideshare.net/JuliaPage/slideshelf

CLIENTS: I continue to support several local clients, supporting a variety of small businesses. I have regular clients who I support with varying workloads each month, a couple of them have now been with me for around 2 years, and there are also the ad-hoc clients who send me the ‘Help!‘ email every now and again.

What kind of businesses do I support?  Alsorts!  There are (currently and have been) Business Coaches, a HR Adviser, a Travel Agent, Trainers (Educational and Health & Safety), a Financial Debt Adviser, Health & Beauty Professionals, local Trademen, and a manufacturing business who I work on site with several hours each week.   My skills are easily adaptable to suit the admin needed by most business types.

I left thebestofBury early on last year.  I love what they do, and miss being involved, but it just wasn’t giving me the ROI needed to cover the cost. It works great for Business to Comsumer trades, and a lot of Business to Business too; but as a solo VA, even I have to admit that there is a limit to the amount of clients I can look after at one time.  I did reach that capacity at times in 2014, but it does fluctuate due to the flexible nature of hiring a VA, so I am still available to support new clients.

NETWORKING: Watch this space….  I am planning a new casual business networking group for Bolton.  I’ll blog about that separately, shortly.

 

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AdminAnywhere – Highly Commended Award in thebestofUK ‘Local and Loved’ Awards 2014

ImageI recently took part in http://www.thebestof.co.uk Local and Loved Awards 2014 and am really to proud to announce that AdminAnywhere has achieved a ‘Highly Commended in Category’ award for coming a close second in the Secretarial and Virtual PA category across all UK ‘thebestof’ francises.  I also gained the award of ‘Winner in Category’ in thebestof Bury.

It was a great campaign to be involved in. I got really involved in the buzz of it all, especially lending my typing fingers at the best of Bury’s office to help input all the other local members reviews, although reading reviews about the best eateries in town left me ravenously hungry!

The main national awards go to larger businesses especially those with constant public footfall, like restaurants and takeaways.  They are able to gather hundreds and even thousands of votes, so my measly total pales into some insignificance on the larger scale, but for a B2B solo entrepeneurial business less than 2 years old this Award is highly significant.

In fact, out of the top 5 most loved Secretarial and Virtual PA’s in the UK, AdminAnywhere is the only business based in the North of England (north of the Midlands in fact).  So here’s a salute to all the northern UK VA’s – many of whom I know and appreciate very well for their support and friendship; I wouldn’t have got this Award without you.

Image

If you’d like to know more about AdminAnywhere, why not have a look at my website or my feature with thebestof Bury.

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The AdminAnywhere Review of 2013

2013 was a fantastic year for the development of AdminAnywhere.

I was invited to join thebestof/Bury in March 2013 in return for assisting Debi and the team with some of their admin.  I’ve fully enjoyed working with them to help keep on top of the inputting of the reviews and business contacts. But also had the opportunity to ignite my creative juices while writing blogs for other bestof members.  I’ve had lots of opportunities to grow my brand and get to know so many other business owners in the area and I’ve exhibited at their Business Expos in April and September and advertised in their Handy Blue Book, as well as my having my own business feature on thebestof/Bury website.

My client base has grown steadily throughout the year.  As with every business, there have been the ups and downs, with quiet months along the way, but growth definitely picked up in the latter 3rd of the year.  After a major surge in September, I have been comfortably busy straight through to the Christmas break.

I have a fantastic mix of clients, some receiving regular support each week, and others that come and go, and come back again; presenting a range of work for me to handle as and when they need help.  I work flexibly from my home office as well as going out and about locally to work from clients’ office sites too.  I love the variety and the flexibility of being a VA.

Earlier in the year, all my clients were female business owners, but the balance has now evened out slightly with the inclusion of a couple of male clients.

So what sort of admin support have I handled this year?  Well apart from loads of typing and contact data inputting, here are a few examples:

  • I’ve produced an access database for a Health & Safety/First Aid Trainer and inputted all his training records.
  • I provide office admin support a few hours each week for a local flammability testing laboratory.
  • I provide full admin support to a primary education teaching consultant to advertise and organise her training programme for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators in schools across Lancashire and Cumbria.  I also made and maintain her website too.
  • I handle social media and other general admin for a web designer/consultant.
  • I’m writing the content the new website of a local hair and beauty salon.
  • I’ve written numerous blogs for members of thebestofBury.
  • I’ve created all sorts of spreadsheets, powerpoint slides, diagrams, flow charts, tag clouds, newsletters and mailshots for clients and my for own business needs.

Networking

I love networking.  Ok, I have to admit that my 60 second pitch still needs some work. I hear so many well rehearsed speeches, some sound fab, but others leave me bored.  Some, I hear seem so over scripted with nonsensical, over polluted wording that just turn me off.  Sometimes my pitch seems to flow, and other times it’s a fumbled load of gibberish. But I believe in being spontanious anyway. I’m not a sales person afterall.  I just present ‘me’.  I’m open and honest and believe in what I have to offer and how I can help other businesses with all things admin. Well, most things admin, I suppose – I have a broad range of admin services on offer, but even I can’t do everything and I respect my business far too much than to provide support in an area that I could not deliver in total quality and efficiency. But if it’s an admin task that I can’t support, I probably know another VA that would be more suitable through a wonderful local VA networking and support group called “The NW VA Meet up”.

Anyway, business folk around Bury and Bolton have definitely got used to seeing me around the networking circuit.  Even so much that has been commented on when I haven’t shown up at particular events (I may actually have been missed too).  Breakfast networking remains a no-go for me, as I have far too much mum and other home stuff to handle at that time of the day and I fit lunch and daytime networking in depending on client business requirements.  I prefer the evening networking; 6pm onwards.  These events fit in perfectly and there’s usually at least one event each week to attend.  I still don’t formally subscribe to any networking groups.  I don’t really want to be tied to a hefty monthly subscription, as that would limit my budget for attending the informal events that give me a broader and varied range of new contacts.

So what’s on the cards for 2014?

I’m happy to be continuing with the majority of my clients into the new year, and have several new opportunities on the cards to work with other local businesses that I’ve met through networking last year and there are also a couple of referrals that came through just before the Christmas break that I must follow up on this week.  So, it’s all looking very promising for an exciting and busy year ahead.

So onwards and upwards as AdminAnywhere’s 3rd year in business approaches……..

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Tag Clouds

I’ve just had a creative morning, playing around with a Tag Cloud creator from Tagul.com

AdminAnywhwere TagulCloud

Tagul is a free on-line software which allows you to create these fab tag clouds.  You can save your creations easily or embed them into a website.

To start I entered my website details and the programme brought up a long list of key words which I then editted down to gather the best words to emphasise AdminAnywhere, my Virtual Administrative business.  Then after lots of playing around with the shape, colours and fonts, I settled for this.  You can easily spend far too much time tweaking your creations, but I’m quite impressed with this, if I say so myself.

No doubt I’ll be back there again soon making more, but this will come in handy for that PowerPoint presentation I need to create.

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Business Networking

Networking1One marketing tool that has proved to be the most essential for me since setting up my VA business, is face to face networking. I may be able to offer remote services to clients, but being a PA for someone is a very personal business service, so networking is a wonderful way of introducing yourself and your service and to build and nurture those relationships.

Over the past year I have attended numerous groups around my locality. I haven’t signed up for any group memberships or taken on any regular subscriptions yet, as I didn’t want to restrict my very limited budget at this early stage. Plus I didn’t want to jump into a formal membership without doing the research first.

My life balance committments make it extremely awkward to attend the breakfast groups. As I like to say: that’s the time of day when ‘mum’ duties are definitely priority. So I may miss out on valuable breakfast networking opportunities, but there are still loads of other groups locally that offer lunch, mid afternoon or evening events. The evening groups are my prefered choice and I fit lunch or afternoon groups around other work committments.

I live on the border with Bolton and Bury in the Northwest of England (just north of Manchester). Despite the limitations that I have imposed on myself, there are still several networking events that I regularly attend each month, and several others that I dip in and out of when I have the opportunity. I rarely pay more than £10 to attend a networking event, and there are even some that are completely free.

Here are some of the groups that I attend regularly and would recommend to other businesses in this area.

  • FSB – Lowry Mill, Swinton.  This is a really friendly group, run by the Manchester & North Cheshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.  It’s free to attend and you don’t have to be a member.  It runs every 4th Thursday of the month from 6-8 pm at The Lowry Mill in Swinton.  (This is a historic cotton mill that’s recently had a £multi million refurbishment.)  The format is very informal starting with face to face networking time over a brew; then we sit down in the lovely board room and give our 60 second pitch around the group before settling down for a presentation from the evening’s speaker.  I’ve made several good friends and new business contacts through this group and a couple of clients too.
  • Bury Business Curry Club.   Where else could you have an evening of networking and a 3 course curry for £10?  This group meets on the 1st Tuesday of the month at the Jewel in the Crown Indian restaurant in Bury.  This is a very informal group that builds business relationships over a meal.  Someone will sponsor the evening by providing a prize for the business card draw.  This gives them the opportunity to give a 5-10 minute pitch about their business to the whole group – no formal presentation allowed. This group is very informal and friendly.  Think of it as a group of local business people out for a curry and a chat.  I’ve got to know many local business people and handled a batch of admin for one person earlier this year.  Incidentally, I’m sponsoring the next event on the 6th August.
  • Simply Networking. Simply networking runs several events across the region. I attend events in Bury and Bolton that are usually held once a month.  These are afternoon meetings running between 3 to 5pm, however the dates and venues vary.  The set up is simple: just networking!  No formal 60 second pitches or presentations. These cost £10 and you pay on the door.  So you’re free to move around the room chatting to everyone else in attendance. Drinks (tea/coffee/juice) are available and sometimes a few nibbles or a light buffet, depending on the venue.  I met one of my best clients at a Simply Networking event.
  • Thebestof – Bury & Bolton.   thebestofBury and thebestofBolton hold local business expo’s twice a year and also run business networking events about 4 times a year.  These are open to members and non-members. The expos and the networking are evening events and both give you wonderful opportunities to meet and get to know other local businesses.  I’m a member of thebestof Bury and will be taking up a stand again at their expo in September.
  • The NWVAmeetup.  Now this is a very special group.  I’m a proud member of this exclusive group of Virtual Assistants based around the NW of England. We meet up once a month in a pub in Worsley and share experiences, brain storm, and generally give support and friendship to each other.  We’ve now started to give little training sessions too.  Initally I thought it would be strange to meet other VA’s and was worried it could be a bit confrontational or competitive; but how wrong could I have been! This has to be the most supportive group of friends I have made.  I have learnt so much too, and they were there with oodles of motivation and moral support, to keep me going when it seemed like I’d never get AdminAnywhere off the ground. We celebrate each other successes too. The group’s expertise covers a comprehensive range of admin skills too, so if a client needs something that one of us can’t handle, either due to workload commitments or a skill shortage, there’s likely to be someone who can pick up the work.  I even assisted one of the VA’s with some of her own business admin.  The group also meets up virtually on Skype (for water cooler moments during the day) and on Linkedin.

Networking2All my clients are people I’ve met though business networking.  If you’re a VA, or in fact in any B2B business, then I advise you to seek out what’s available in your locality and find the groups that work for you. Don’t expect to go home with business every time and especially after your first attendance; it does take time, and the best business relationships need to be nurtured.

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Just how do you get everything done in your business day

I came across a brilliant analogy for time management yesterday, at Nigel Botterills Entrepeneurs Circle event in Bolton, which gave me a fantastic Eureka moment in respect of highlighting the need for businesses to utilise the services of a VA and other outsourced services.Jar-rocks-1.php

I hadn’t come across this analogy before and in a way it kind of contradicted other analogies that I’d come across previously that also used the same resources.  So here’s my merged view point.

Nigel presented the jar-rocks-2principle of a pile of different sizes of stones, pebbles and grit and asked how you fit them all into a jar, to represent the analogy of fitting everything you need to do into the time you have to do it.

It’s all about organisajar-rocks-3tion and the need to get on with the big jobs (larger stones) before all the little things (grit & pebbles) take up all the room.  Just like all the tasks that need to be done in a business day, (week, month, etc).

I have always worked on thshovel stonese principle of getting the small jobs out of the way before they piled up into one huge job that loomed down on you. Ever more daunting!  Like in the old principle of shoveling the pebbles before moving the mountain.  Although, some days, I have to admit that this does leave little time to venture onto the bigger jobs!

In business, especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur or micro business; it is ever more difficult to fit everything you need to do in the time you have, even with the best time management and organisational skills. And quite frankly with the best will in the world how many people can really be that organised all the time. So the jar increasingly needs to be bigger and bigger still, as you work longer hours and weekends to keep up.

So there comes a time when you just have to get an extra jar; i.e. employ some help.  However, that jar doesn’t have to sit on the same shelf as yours, and you don’t have to buy it either. You can rent it out space in someone else’s time jar; by the hour and on a flexible basis too. Yes, I mean, by outsourcing the work to a freelancer or Virtual Assistant.

You don’t have to handle everything yourself! 

A Virtual Assistant (VA) can handle lots of those little jobs (i.e. the grit and pebbles) so that you can concentrate on the business (i.e. the bigger stones).  There’s no formal employment commitment and employer on-costs to factor in and you don’t need to provide office space either, as they can work remotely from another location to your business.

As a Virtual Assistant myself, I can handle the admin in that grit and small pebble pile before it grows into a mountain.  I can do the typing, look after the social media, handle the correspondence and communication, do the research, etc and help along the way with the bigger jobs too.  So you can focus on the bigger picture and keep your business running and growing, without getting buried by all those stones!

Contact Julia at  AdminAnywhere to find out how I can help your business to grow.

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