How to work from home with your kids

There’s no getting away from the news at the moment – the coronavirus pandemic is making headlines everywhere, and more and more countries are taking measures to slow the spread of this flu-like disease.

At time of writing, the UK government has not closed schools. However, Boris Johnson has advised that anybody who can work from home should do so, and he has also recommended against public gatherings in places such as pubs and theatres. Given the measures already in place, it seems likely that the schools may close, in which case children will be joining their parents at home for the foreseeable future.

Here at Get Ahead VA, we are very fortunate to have a team of experienced home-workers, many of whom also have children, and so they have a wealth of advice to share about juggling work and family under the same roof. So if you’re concerned about how you’ll handle the next few weeks, don’t worry. Here are our top tips about working from home with your kids.

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Coronavirus turned your team into homeworkers? Here’s what you can learn from virtual assistants

It won’t have escaped your notice that coronavirus is having a huge effect on businesses, with direct implications for the retail and travel sectors. And as you’ll know if you manage a team of office-based staff, the effect of self-isolation is becoming apparent too. As more people choose to self-isolate, more team leaders are finding themselves having to manage people working from home, which can be a new experience, and not always an easy one.

Virtual assistants nearly always work from home. I’ve been managing my team of virtual assistants for nearly a decade – a lot of what I’ve learned may help other businesses as workplaces are forced to flex around coronavirus.

Here are my top tips:

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How to be a responsible business owner during the covid outbreak

When a news story breaks, many business owners leverage it in content marketing. We might be blogging about workplace bullying in the wake of Priti Patel’s dismissal, or crafting a really engaging meme for International Women’s Day (which is on Sunday, by the way). By and large, this is a good thing. Current content with an immediate appeal offers value for clients – it’s helpful for them to hear a different opinion, and it’s a great opportunity to show that your business takes a humane and inclusive stance on issues like workplace behaviour and equality. It’s good for SEO too – people Googling for the news story may find your content too and hey presto, lots of lovely conversions.

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Rebecca joins the #ialso100 campaign

We are pleased to announce that Rebecca Newenham, Get Ahead VA’s founder, will be part of this year’s #ialso100 campaign, which celebrates businesses led by inspirational women in the UK.

The campaign is part of f:Entreprenuer, which was started by Michelle Ovens MBE on International Women’s Day in 2017, with the aim of bringing more recognition to the UK’s female-led businesses. Michelle says, “This is a campaign that highlights the work of incredible women, showing everyone the entrepreneurs who are creating purposeful small businesses and supporting their communities every day.”

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Get Ahead VA wins Highly Commended Enlightened Employer

Get Ahead VA is jumping for joy, because at last week’s Women in Business Awards we were Highly Commended in the Enlightened Employer category!

The Women in Business Awards are a celebration of businesswomen in the Thames Valley, Solent and South Coast regions of the UK. The awards are given to women who have made an important contribution to their organisations, at all levels, and Get Ahead VA was thrilled to be nominated for two awards this year.

The ‘Enlightened Employer – supporting women in the workplace’ award is given to companies “that have shown exceptional commitment to gender equality in the workplace.” This includes all areas of business, from recruitment to employee development, “or any other ways of creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture which enables women to excel.”

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Get Ahead VA nominated for two Women in Business Awards

We are delighted to announce that Get Ahead VA has been shortlisted for not one, but two awards in the upcoming Women in Business Awards 2018!

The Women in Business Awards “celebrate, encourage and inspire successful and aspiring business women in the South.” This will be the event’s fifth year, and awards will be given to business women from the Thames Valley, Solent and South Coast regions across eight different categories. These awards will honour women who have made a significant difference inside or outside their organisations, at all levels of business, from start-ups to senior executives.

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Google’s new feed: Why the future is personal

Google recently announced that it’s unveiling a new feed for users – a feed that will reportedly provide people with Facebook-style updates.

The latest move comes on the back of the tech giant adding a news feed to its mobile search app at the end of last year. We explore what the new feed involves and, more importantly, what it means for users.

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VA Client Focus: Fox Davidson

Here at Get Ahead VA we are privileged to work with a wide variety of clients ranging from will writers to window cleaners and financial consultants to fashion designers.  All of our clients are motivated and driven businesses with clear plans for growth.  They recognise the value of outsourcing, passing onto others tasks that either they lack skills in, or tasks that drain their valuable time.

Here’s 60 seconds with one of our clients Wes at independent mortgage broker Fox Davidson who came to Get Ahead VA in search of some award-winning assistance:

What situation was your business in when you came to Get Ahead VA? Our business was growing strongly.  It was three years since myself and my business partner Sarah had formed the business and we were really proud of everything we had achieved.  We were keen to enter awards to gain external recognition of our success and help fuel further growth by generating good PR.

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5 tips for writing press releases that rock!

Writing press releases is a key part of PR.

Get your releases right and they’ll be published far and wide, but get them wrong, and they a) won’t generate the coverage that they deserve or b) you were hoping for.

It’s not possible to write all of your press releases in exactly the same way, but there are best practice techniques you can follow, like these:

1: THINK ABOUT HOW THINGS LOOK

Before we focus on the writing side of things, there’s just one small, but crucial thing I wanted to flag that has the potential to really impact how your press releases perform, and that’s how they’re presented.

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5 steps to franchising success

Franchising can be a great way to grow your business.  It can enable you to expand your geographical reach as well as your penetration of key markets.  It is a well-known model used all over the world by smaller companies as well as larger scale multinationals such as McDonald’s, Clarks shoes, Interlink Express and Toni & Guy. 

Franchising is also a fast-growing industry, with the latest bfa/Natwest Franchise survey revealing an industry worth £15.1bn in the UK, three times the size that it was 20 years ago.  44,200 franchise outlets employ 621,000 people, an increase of 70% over the last 10 years.

What is franchising?

Business format franchising is the granting of a license by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee), which entitles the franchisee to own and operate their own business under the brand, systems and proven business model of the franchisor.” British Franchise Association

A variety of different industries lend themselves to a franchising model, but it isn’t for everyone.  Managing a group of franchisees is completely different to running your business – and one can certainly distract from the other if not handled properly.  If you think franchising might be right for your business, then here are our five top tips to ensure your franchising journey is a success:

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