What is a business goal and how do I write one?

Goals are an important aspect of self-employment and self-motivation. They give us something to aim for, a focus for our energy. Even if you’ve never set yourself goals before, it’s never too late to start. Most people set goals for the quarter – now (September) is a good time to set yourself targets to achieve by the end of the year.


10 ways to give your business staying power

Happy birthday Get Ahead VA! 

Throughout September, we’re celebrating Get Ahead VA’s 10th birthday. Of course, 10 years is a major landmark for any business, and we’re very proud to be here. It also means that we’ve learned a thing or two over the years, so if you want to build a business that lasts, here are our 10 top tips to give your business staying power. Read on and hopefully you too can celebrate 10 years one day! 


Four ways to show support for your favourite businesses

The coronavirus pandemic has affected us all. The hospitality, service and arts industries have been hit particularly hard, but the reality is that all businesses have been affected in some way. For smaller businesses with less financial flexibility than big chains, the impact of COVID-19 has been enormous.  Looking ahead, this could spell the end for some smaller businesses, unless we do what we can to support them.

What does the closure of small business really mean? For consumers, it could be the end of our favourite chocolate brownie, baked to perfection at the café on the corner, or the closure of that hairdressers where you always got a great cut. It could mean the end of variety and vibrancy on our high streets.


Build a photography style guide for your brand

Photography is a key tool for any business – you can use photographs on your website, marketing materials and social media. So does your brand’s photography have a distinct style? And if so, have you ever put it into a style guide? Perhaps you know what you like and you style your photographs accordingly, but if you ever need to brief somebody else or hire a photographer, having a formal style guide can be very useful. 

Fortunately, today is World Photography Day, so this is the perfect opportunity to build a style guide for your brand’s photography! If you’ve never written one before, here’s a short guide to get you started. 


How to welcome your customers back after lockdown

Lockdown has had a huge impact on the UK economy, and many businesses have struggled to adapt and survive during this unpredictable time. For those that have made it this far, there is light at the end of the tunnel, as restrictions are being lifted and there are more options for businesses to open up again – in a new way. 

But after the unpredictability of recent months, how can you bring your customers back in a way that is safe and welcoming? How can you protect both your business and the people who use it? If you’re a business owner struggling with these questions, we have some advice to get you started. 


How to run a meeting in Zoom

This year, video conferencing has become a big part of our lives, especially at work. More and more of us have been unable to travel for meetings and conferences, and even though things are opening up again, it seems that online meetings and video conferencing are here to stay.

Leading the way in this new virtual world is video conferencing platform Zoom. If you’ve never hosted a meeting on Zoom before, it can be a daunting prospect – not only do you have to deal with the usual tasks of running a meeting, you also have to be familiar with the technology and be prepared for connection issues and time delays. If you’re planning to facilitate a Zoom meeting, we have a few tips to help make sure things go smoothly.


Life after lockdown – is it time to change the way you work?

Life after lockdown – is it time to change the way you work?

We’ve all noticed the profound effects of COVID-19, both on the economy and on our everyday lives. Lockdown forced many of us to work from home, while for others it has meant furloughing and even job loss. But a great positive we’ve all gained is the opportunity to review our working life. Was it going well before 23 March, or is it going better now? Have we been ditched by our employers, or do we feel like ditching them?!

In this blog, we look at the impact of lockdown on our working lives, and invite you to ask yourself whether it’s time for a change.


Changing career during coronavirus

Many people have gone through major upheaval in the last few months due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. And even if you hadn’t had to deal with serious consequences, like the loss of a job, you’ve likely had some disruption, especially when it comes to your work.

As a result of all this, you might have started rethinking your career and be considering making a change. Of course, there is still a lot of uncertainty around, but if you’re thinking about a career change during this time, the good news is that it may be more possible than you might think.

To help you with this life-changing decision, we’ve put together some key questions you should be asking yourself, and some suggestions for how to lay the groundwork for a new, exciting career right now.


Outsource to a VA and reconnect with your “why”

Remember why you started your own business? It might have been because you’re a creative person and you recognised that you should be making a living from your talents instead of letting them stagnate. Or maybe you wanted the freedom to flex around the needs of your family, improving your work/life balance and being there for the people you love best. Perhaps hobbies or voluntary work are important to you and you wanted to be able to choose how you spend your time. Maybe it was just plain old maths – you realised you could make more from your profession if you worked for yourself than if you worked for someone else.


The art of the pivot: How to be adaptable in business

Being able to ‘pivot’ is a valuable skill in business, and especially so right now, when the world is in a state of incredible uncertainty and changeability. If you’re not sure what pivoting is, there has never been a better time to learn about it, or to apply it to your own business.

Pivoting essentially means being adaptable – it means recognising that your business isn’t meeting certain expectations, and being agile enough to find a new way to do things in order to solve a problem or respond to a need. This could be a small change, a fundamental rethinking of your whole strategy, or anything in between.

Clearly the challenges of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown have made pivoting more important than ever, as businesses are having to learn to adapt to a situation that can change daily, even hourly. So if you’re keen to know more about how to master the art of the pivot, read on for our advice about nurturing adaptability in your business.