Small Business

Service Spotlight: Holiday Cover

Get Ahead VA offers a wide range of business and marketing services. In our Service Spotlight, we take a closer look at one of these, and show you how our virtual assistants can help you and your business. This month, with Christmas on the way, we’re looking at holiday cover.

 Why do you need holiday cover?

When you run your own business, it can be easy to think that it will simply fall apart without you, which is probably why nearly 1.5 million (about one-third) of the UK’s sole traders didn’t take a day’s holiday at all last year. Even when small business owners do take a break, it often isn’t proper time off – over 90% check work emails and do work admin during their holidays.

(more…)

Celebrate Small Business Saturday

If you’re a small business owner, then you should know that there’s an important event coming up for your calendar. No, it’s not Christmas – it’s Small Business Saturday!

Every year, on the first Saturday of December, this not-for-profit campaign encourages consumers to support small businesses in their area, whether that’s by visiting independent shops or buying locally online. In 2017, £748 million was spent on Small Business Saturday, so if you want to get involved this year, here’s what you can do.

(more…)

Black Friday for small businesses

Black Friday – a day on which retailers offer huge discounts to their customers – has been around for decades. It originated in America in the 1920s, and by the 1980s it had become one of the most important shopping days of the year. In 2010 the phenomenon crossed the pond, and in the last few years it has well and truly made its mark in the UK. In 2017, we spent £1.4 billion* in online Black Friday sales alone.

This year, Black Friday will happen on Friday 23rd November, and it is expected to be as significant as ever. But is this an event for big retailers only, or can everybody get involved? Read on to find out whether running a Black Friday promotion is right for your small business.

Should I take part?

There are plenty of good reasons to take part in this seasonal shopping bonanza. On Black Friday, shoppers will be ready to spend and actively looking for deals, so you might find it easier than ever to draw in new customers. It’s also a great excuse to clear out surplus stock, and it means you can boost your sales before the busy Christmas period.

(more…)

A Soundtrack for Work

The benefits of freelancing or running a business from home are numerous, and worthy of a blog post of their own.  However, for many freelancers and business owners, there are two key challenges that come with working alone in the same space in which they live.  The first is the loneliness and isolation that comes with working solo, and the other is making the separation between home and work when they’re both conducted under the same roof.

The sound of loneliness can be deafening

 

Loneliness

If you’re someone who thrives on spending time with others, the absence of sound other than the ticking of a clock can have you counting down the minutes until the grocery delivery arrives for a brief moment of human interaction.  Also, for me, having lived with severe tinnitus for as long as I can remember, being anywhere without background noise means all I hear is the intense ringing in my ears, so I’ll do anything to fill the void of silence.

(more…)

5 Halloween marketing ideas for your business

‘Tis the season of ghosts, ghouls and all things ghastly. That’s right, Halloween is just around the corner (31st October) and many of us are already getting ready for the spooky celebrations.

No wonder, then, that Halloween is big business in the UK. In 2016, consumers spent around £310 million on Halloween goodies: mainly sweets and fancy dress. But Halloween isn’t just a good business opportunity for confectionary and clothing shops; anybody can take part in the celebrations.

If you want to get involved in Halloween this year, here are 5 marketing ideas you can use, whatever your business.

(more…)

Is print marketing still relevant?

October 9th is World Post Day, a global celebration of the postal service, designed to “raise awareness of the Post’s role in the everyday lives of people and businesses, as well as its contribution to global social and economic development.” But in our increasingly online world, it can seem like print and postal marketing (e.g. leaflets, flyers, newspaper ads) has had its day.

So is there still a place for print marketing? According to many, the answer is yes. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that print is not only still relevant, but an important part of modern business.

(more…)

Service Spotlight: Copywriting

Service Spotlight: Copywriting

Get Ahead VA offers a wide range of business and marketing services. In our Service Spotlight we take a closer look at one of these, and show you how our virtual assistants can help you and your business. This month we’re looking at copywriting.

What is copywriting?

The term ‘copywriting’ covers all sorts of jobs related to the production of written materials (i.e. copy). From blogs to adverts to newsletters to websites, if it involves putting words together for a particular purpose – to sell, to engage, to educate – then a copywriter can usually do it! Depending on the copywriter, they may also do other related work, including researching, editing, proofreading, planning campaigns and managing projects.

Copywriting is hugely important for all businesses, big or small, because having good, well-written copy can help you grow your audience, sell your products and do well in online search rankings. For example, research by HubSpot has revealed that companies who published 16 or more blog posts a month got nearly 3.5 times more traffic to their website than companies that didn’t blog at all.

(more…)

‘Back to school’ for your business

September means the beginning of a new school year, and all the fresh starts and good intentions that go with it. But if you’ve been ironing school uniforms and filling pencil cases recently, you might be wondering how you can harness some of that new term excitement in your working life.

If you’re feeling stressed about returning to work after a break, we’re here to help. These 5 tips will help make the ‘back to school’ for your business a breeze!

(more…)

Prepare your business for National Payroll Week

You may be aware that next week (3–7 September) is National Payroll Week, which is designed to “raise the profile and awareness of payroll in the UK”. But what exactly is payroll, and why should we celebrate it?

Essentially, ‘payroll’ refers to everything to do with paying employees and collecting taxes from them, and it has a significant impact on the country’s economy. According to the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), payroll contributes £4.46 billion to the economy each year through income tax and national insurance.

Exactly what form your payroll takes will depend on the type and size of business you own: perhaps you handle all payroll matters yourself, or maybe you have one or two employees, or even an entire department, dedicated to it. Whatever your payroll looks like, it’s a vital part of your business, and next week’s celebrations are a great opportunity to recognise that. With that in mind, here are a few of the ways you can prepare your business for National Payroll Week.

(more…)

Service Spotlight: Social Media Management

Get Ahead VA offers a wide range of business and marketing services. In our Service Spotlight we take a closer look at one of these, and show you how our virtual assistants can help you and your business. This month we’re looking at social media management.

What is social media management?

Social media management is a vital part of any modern marketing strategy. It involves engaging with your customers and creating a persona for your brand on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on. You can do this by creating and sharing content, and responding to questions and comments from your audience. (more…)