How to deal with sickies in your SME

Earlier this month was National Sickie Day, an awareness day which started from the claim that more people call into work sick on the first Monday in February than at any other time of the year. Whether or not that’s true, sickies are a real phenomenon, and they can be especially tricky to deal with if you run a small business.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, 2017 saw the lowest average number of sick days taken on record, at only 4.1 days for the year.1However, the cost to employers increased, from £455 per employee for days lost to sickness in 2016, to £570 in 2017.2While paid sick leave is obviously an important right for workers, sickies (i.e. sick days taken when the person isn’t really sick) can have a negative impact, especially on small business owners.

So what should you do if one of your employees pulls a sickie? Here are some tips that will help you to handle it in the right way.

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Could a virtual assistant help you get through Brexit?

As the date of Brexit approaches (29th March), and with no clear deal yet on the table, it’s no wonder that there’s a strong feeling of uncertainty in the country. But although it’s impossible to predict the long-term impact of Britain leaving the EU, digital marketers Catalyst have outlined some basic steps all SMEs can take to get through this difficult period.

One solution to your Brexit woes could be to make use of virtual assistants. In uncertain times, the businesses that adapt are most likely to survive, and using VAs could be just the kind of agile, innovative approach your business needs to deal with the turbulence ahead. Here are five reasons why a virtual assistant could help you to get through Brexit.

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Get Ahead VA’s favourite video-making software

When you think about content marketing, video may not be the first thing that leaps to mind, but it is a hugely important marketing channel for businesses, and it’s on the rise.

A 2018 report by Cisco* has predicted that global video traffic will grow four times between 2017 and 2022, and video will make up 82% of internet traffic by 2022. Video has a very bright future, then, and the beauty of it is that it works for all businesses, of any size.

There are all sorts of video-making resources out there for business owners wanting to make greater use of video in their marketing. To help you narrow it down, we asked our VAs to tell us about their favourites. Here’s what they chose!

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Harness the power of data for your business

Do you collect data about your business? It might seem like an obvious thing to do, but for many small business owners the answer is ‘no’, even though harnessing the power of data can help you to increase your revenues, reach more customers and grow your business.

In the modern world, the most effective way to gather data is through a website. However, according to research published in 2017,* nearly two million SMEs don’t have a website, even though they stand to gain the most growth in revenue by having one. So what’s so important about gathering data, and if you don’t do it already, where should you begin?

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Grow your small business in 2019

Happy new year, and welcome to 2019! Here at Get Ahead VA we love a new year – it’s the perfect time to look ahead and make plans, and what better plan for your business than to make sure it grows this year?

If you want to see your small business blossom, here are three tried-and-tested methods which can help to make 2019 a great year for your business.

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How to thank your employees

As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to look back on all you’ve achieved and acknowledge the hard work of the people who helped to get you there. If you’re a business owner, this will include your employees – that dedicated team of people who keep things running smoothly all year round.

But how can you show your appreciation for your employees in a meaningful way? Read on to discover some of our favourite ways to say thank you.

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5 apps for organising meetings during December

December is a tricky month for meetings. At the height of the holiday season there’s no guarantee that you’ll be at your desk – or even in the same city as it – so how can you continue to stay in touch with your employees and your clients throughout the disruptions of Christmas?

To help you out during this busy month, our virtual assistants have shared some of their favourite tools for staying connected on the go. Here are 5 of our favourite apps for organising meetings during December.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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