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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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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Three common hashtag mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Hashtags didn’t exist more than a decade ago. Now, they’re everywhere.

Social tech expert, Chris Messina, is said to have created the very first hashtag on Twitter. He posted #barcamp in August 2007 in this Tweet:

‘How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]??’

Interestingly, Chris’ hashtag recommendation was turned down by Twitter amid claims they would never catch on…

Fast forward to today and hashtags are pretty much everywhere on social media, and not just on Twitter where they originated either.

But for all their popularity, there are still some common mistakes that often catch people out, which can impact the effectiveness of their hashtags. Here are three of them:

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How to clean out your email inbox

Email is at the heart of every business – for keeping in touch with clients, managing projects and marketing to customers – but it is so easy for your email inbox to get out of hand.

According to research,* the average office worker receives about 90 emails per day, and sends about 40. That’s a staggering number of emails zipping back and forth and taking up space in your inbox. Of course, because it’s all online, it’s tempting to let the backlog build up, but if your inbox is so overflowing that you lose track of important emails, or you just feel overwhelmed every time you open it, then it’s time to do something about it.

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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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Essential R&R tips for business owners

If you’re a small business owner, you know how difficult it can be to turn off, even over the Christmas holidays. And in that awkward period between Christmas and New Year, it can be all too easy to find yourself working again, without having taken a proper break.

But this is an important time of year for entrepreneurs to rest and recover, so if you’re finding it difficult to take time off before the new year, read on for our top R&R tips for business owners.

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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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Eating Elephants

Some of us have significant people in our lives whose words have helped us immeasurably in difficult situations.  And mostly, those people have no idea how much their pearls of wisdom have stuck with us: for me, that person is my dad.  He’s not that old, my dad.  Whilst he doesn’t have much hair left, and he’s old enough to qualify for a free bus pass, he’s certainly no wizened old sage who sits cross-legged atop a mountain.  He just has a way with words, and as I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that half the things he says aren’t even his own words, so perhaps his real skill is knowing the right thing to say at the right time.

Why on earth was he asking me about elephants?

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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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Prepare your business for Christmas

Christmas is one of the most important times of year for any business, and it’s especially important for SMEs because seasonal spending can provide such a valuable boost in sales. Last year, the UK spent more than £78 billion on Christmas, and this festive shopping spree starts early, with more than 50% of people planning to do most of their shopping before December.

It can pay, then, to start thinking about Christmas now. Not sure where to begin? Here are some of the key ways you can prepare your business for the most wonderful time of the year.

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