Get Ahead VA Blog

Highlights from the Business Show & We Mean Business

It’s been a busy month here at Get Ahead VA with our team attending not one but two key business exhibitions to spread the word about outsourcing and the benefits of using a virtual agency to grow your business.

Mid May saw our team at The Business Show in ExCel in London – the biggest business show in Europe. The arena was packed with over 25,000 visitors and exhibitors over the two days. We were delighted to meet so many lovely people – from solicitors to software companies, music publishers to market research consultants and insurers to international translators.

Get Ahead VA at Excel

 

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Brexit: Opportunity or catastrophe for SMEs?

With less than a month to go till the European Referendum the debate is heating up on a number of key areas – including the impact on SMEs.  Could leaving the European Union decrease red tape for SMEs, giving business owners more freedom and independence?  Or could it make trading with our key European partners much harder?

Pro-European campaigners are trying to convince the electorate to vote ‘Remain’ by highlighting quotes from key business and economic figures.  The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, recently warned that a majority vote to “leave” in next month’s European Union referendum carried the risk of a “technical recession” for the UK.  Billionaire businessman Richard Branson warned back in March that leaving the European Union would be “the worst decision the British public ever made”.

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Get Ahead VA expands into Scotland

Here at Get Ahead VA we are delighted to announce our expansion into the Scottish market with the appointment of a dedicated marketing specialist, Beverley McMillan, based in Glasgow.

According to Scottish Government statistics, Scotland now has the highest number of private sector companies since 2000 and the number of businesses has increased by 7.8% in the past year.  SMEs accounted for 99.4% of these enterprises, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs and accounting for 55.6% of private sector employment.

With such growth in the Scottish SME market it was the right time to expand our presence ‘on the ground’ and welcome Beverley to our team.  Beverley brings with her over 15 years of experience in Project Management and Marketing roles.  She will work alongside our telephone answering team who are already based in Glasgow, servicing clients across the UK.

Founder and CEO of Get Ahead VA Rebecca Newenham said:

“We have always been able to cover Scotland due to our virtual agency approach however we felt as our business grew there was a real opportunity to increase our presence by appointing a dedicated Marketing Specialist in Beverley.  She is already proving to be a real asset to our team and her face to face networking will work in tandem with our online marketing to raise awareness of the excellent range of services that we can offer to small and medium sized businesses in Scotland.” 

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Get Ahead VA Client of the Month: AOS

Here at Get Ahead VA we are privileged to work with a wide variety of clients ranging from will writers to window cleaners, financial consultants to fashion designers.  All of our clients are motivated and driven business owners, with clear plans for business 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 Josh at AOS who was looking for some help to manage his business and his time more effectively:

What situation was your business in when you came to Get Ahead VA?  We were a start-up business. We had made good inroads, but quickly found ourselves getting bogged down in things we weren’t very good at, things that were time consuming, things that were essential but not adding value to the business.

What problems were you experiencing?  We were spending a lot of time managing the recruitment of apprentices onto our programme.  This was taking up too much of our time and as a result we weren’t getting important tasks like business development and marketing activities done. (more…)

Expert Showcase – Which Social Media Scheduling Tool Is Right For Your Business

Here at Get Ahead VA we have experts in a huge variety of fields.  From Accounting to Admin, Hootsuite to Holiday cover, Email Marketing to Excel, our experts can add value to many aspects of your business.  In our current Expert Showcase series our VAs are delivering some of this expertise to you, with a series of ‘How to’ guides to help you get the best ‘bang for your buck’ in your business.

In this month’s guide Vanessa, one of our marketing experts, evaluates two alternative tools for social media scheduling – Hootsuite and Buffer, discussing which might be the best solution for you and your business.

“For many businesses, social media is a key part of their marketing strategy but it can be time consuming.  With a variety of platforms to work on, all requiring regular and relevant content, many people turn to social media scheduling tools to assist the process”

Hootsuite claims to be the ‘leading social media dashboard’ and has been around for nearly 10 years.  It enables you to schedule activity on most major social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and Google+.  The dashboard allows you to view full activity on all your accounts – mentions, retweets, live feed etc.  Its ‘Pro’ package for Entrepreneurs and business owners includes up to 50 social media profiles, enhanced analytics reports, bulk message scheduling, up to 10 team members and a number of useful Apps and at £6.99 a month on an annual plan, it provides good value when compared to alternative providers.  (more…)

Three great benefits of outsourcing

How outsourcing can benefit your business 

Get Ahead VA founder and owner Rebecca Newenham presented a seminar at The Business Show in Excel, London which discussed how outsourcing could benefit your business.

Her fact-packed presentation highlighted the growth and importance of the outsourcing industry, which delivers £21bn to the UK economy in added value.

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5 top tips for managing stress

April is Stress Awareness month which has been held every April since 1992.  The American-led initiative is designed to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.

Many of our clients are all too familiar with stress.  Managing your own business can be hugely empowering but it can also lead to significant levels of stress.  Everything falls directly on your shoulders.  You must be sales person, accountant, marketer, inventor, customer service, production – everything at once.  Your personal wealth and wellbeing rests directly with you and if you employ others theirs does too.  Salaries and bills must be paid out every month – regardless of what income has come in.

Here are our top tips for managing stress and restoring a healthy balance at work and home: (more…)

4 ways to fund your small business

Whether you are looking to start your own business, or expand into new markets, sources of finance are a subject never far from a business owner’s mind.  Though start-up costs vary by industry, all businesses need some funding to get them started and that requirement for funding can continue as the business grows and new opportunities are unlocked.

For many people branching out on their own, personal savings or redundancy payments can be the first port of call for business funding.  Bank and personal loans are also options, as well as government grants and even crowdfunding.  Here is our guide to some of the top sources of funding for your business: (more…)

Meet the VA: Jennifer

Jennifer became a bilingual VA in 2016 after working as a Personal/Executive Assistant in Paris for 15 years. She grew up in England but was always passionate about Europe and learning foreign languages. When she began her first full-time job in Disneyland Paris in 1999, it was the beginning of a new life in France for her. Now completely bilingual, she is equally comfortable in both cultures.

During her career, Jennifer has assisted high level executives in a variety of industries. Through her experiences, she has developed strong administrative skills and a good knowledge of HR procedures.

As a dynamic, reliable and trustworthy PA, Jennifer is highly motivated and looks to provide her clients with efficient and reliable administrative support. She is a good communicator, uses her initiative and is well organised.

Based near Paris, Jennifer is ready to help clients in any geographical location. Target clients are small businesses and sole traders in both the UK (who need a French speaker) and France (who need an English speaker).

When not working, she can be found connecting with other assistants as PR Officer for IMA France (International Management Assistants) or wearing a Girl Guider uniform (encouraging girls to be themselves, have fun, build lifelong friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and communities).

“I  started as a bilingual VA after realising that there is a growing need from businesses and sole traders for virtual administrative services, that are only paid for when needed, with no recruitment costs or need for a permanent contract. I am now able to assist both French and English speaking businesses with tasks including general administration (email and agenda management, travel organisation, tracking of expenses, document preparation, etc.), event organisation (meetings, lunches/dinners, fairs or exhibitions), HR projects (recruitment, training, health and safety requirements, etc.), communication (social media accounts, websites, translations and interpretation).”


If your business could benefit from Jennifer’s help, or from any of our other VAs, please get in touch on 01483 332220 or [email protected]. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.

Meet the VA: Gwen

Meet the VA: Gwen

 

Here at Get Ahead VA, our people are everything. Our ever-growing team includes a wide range of highly skilled professionals with different backgrounds, expertise and personalities to ensure we can find exactly the right virtual assistant to match our customers’ requirements.

Here’s 60 seconds with one of our VAs, Gwen, who joined Carrie’s team last year.

Name: Gwen Berry

Area of Expertise: Administration, email & diary management, spreadsheet development.

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