Get Ahead VA Blog

Could an office dog boost your productivity?

April is National Pet Month and up and down the UK thousands of people will be celebrating life with their pets.  The National Pet Month charity aims to promote responsible pet ownership, make people aware of the mutual benefits of living with pets, increase public awareness of the role of pet care specialists and raise awareness of the value of working and assistance companion animals.

For some individuals, assistance dogs are a vital part of their life that enables them to get to work every day.  For others, pets are simply a happy part of family life. So could an office dog (or cat or goldfish?) actually boost your productivity? 

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Could you be the next crowdfunding success?

Historically, finding funding for your business was a fairly straightforward business.  You asked the bank, or you saved up enough money yourself.  But in our digital, virtual age, there are far more funding sources on offer.  Of course, the bank (or building society) is still an option, but it isn’t suitable for everyone.  There are friends and family, who can be a fantastic support for your business – both financially and emotionally.  Then come other options such as angel investors or crowdfunding.

“Crowdfunding is a way of raising finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money.” UK Crowdfunding Association

Sometimes referred to as crowd sourcing or peer to peer lending, crowdfunding is the opposite of traditional lending.  Instead of asking a few people (such as a bank) for a larger sum of money, you break it down and ask for a larger number of people to invest a little.  This makes your investment much more accessible for everyday people, not just major investors with big sums of money.

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How to use icons in your business

Here at Get Ahead VA our team includes experts in a wide variety of fields.  From Accounting to Admin, Hootsuite to Holiday cover, Email Marketing to Excel, our VAs can add value to many aspects of your business.  In our Expert Showcase series our team deliver 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 guide one of our marketing and social media management specialists Jenny talks about how you can use icons to boost the visual impact of your marketing – both on and offline:

As consumers, we are bombarded with marketing messages every day.  Our phones receive marketing emails, texts and even calls wherever we are.  As soon as we log into our social media accounts we are bombarded with sponsored posts and ‘suggested’ updates.  Our brains are firmly on overload.

So as a business, how do you cut through all that clutter and ensure that your marketing messages do get through?

Graphic design can be a really effective tool, providing visual impact.  Icons are an important part of the designer’s toolkit which can add an identity to your marketing messages and bring them together to reinforce their impact.

An icon is a small picture that represents a topic, information category or programme.

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Meet our VA: Kathy

Kathy | PA & Admin

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

Here’s 60 seconds with one of our VAs who has worked for a variety of major blue chip companies as well as setting up her own business from scratch:

Name: Kathy Horne

Area of expertise: PA/Admin – a Microsoft Office Guru!

When & why did you join Get Ahead VA: I joined Get Ahead VA in March 2012. I had recently started my own business and was looking for some extra income from a flexible role that could tie in with this.  I met Rebecca Newenham, founder of Get Ahead VA at a mutual friend’s birthday party. We used to work together about 15-20 years ago so there was a lot of catching up to do. Rebecca told me about Get Ahead VA and it seemed to be the flexible working solution that I was looking for so I joined the following week. (more…)

Meet the VA: Charlotte

Charlotte | Blogging and Copywriting

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

Here’s 60 seconds with one of our VAs Charlotte who loves creative writing and blogging about a huge variety of subjects:

Name: Charlotte Buchanan

Area of expertise: Blogging and copywriting

When & why did you join Get Ahead VA: I joined Get Ahead VA in 2013. It seemed like a great opportunity to increase the variety in my writing and I find it’s really encouraging and supportive to be part of a team too. (more…)

Expert Showcase: How to run your first MailChimp email marketing campaign

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

In this guide one of our digital marketing specialists Carrie talks about how you can get started with your first email marketing campaign to grow your business:

As a small business money for investing in marketing is always tight.  Every penny is scrutinised and potentially one straight out of your back pocket.  But the good news is that there are lots of free tools that can help you market your business effectively.  Mail Chimp is one example of a free tool which is simple and easy to use and can get your started with communicating with your customers by email.

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Meet the VA: Keryn

Meet the VA: Keryn

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, Keryn, who is enthusiastic, conscientious and takes pride in the precision of high standards throughout her work.  She has a bubbly personality, is very approachable and loves meeting and learning about others.

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Meet the VA: Angela

Angela | Social Media Management

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

Here’s 60 seconds with our award winning VA Angela who loves working in the world of social media:

Name: Angela Otterson

Area of expertise: Social Media Management

When & why did you join Get Ahead VA: I joined the Get Ahead VA team in May 2013, after a friend recommended it.  I met and hit it off with Rebecca, founder of Get Ahead VA, straight away – I really liked her flexible approach to working and it really suited my family set-up. (more…)

5 tips to stay save online on Safer Internet Day

Today is Safer Internet Day, a global event which is celebrated in over a hundred countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network.  It is supported by the European Commission and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.  The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community.

Be the change: unite for a better internet

This year’s theme is ‘Be the change: unite for a better internet’ and it is something we can do in our professional, as well as our personal lives.  Teaching internet safety is vital for children and young people – but it is also critically important for businesses too.  There are regular headlines about major multinational companies like Yahoo and Tesco Bank being hit by hacking.  But small businesses are vulnerable as well, yet might not have big IT departments to address the risks.

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Client Focus: Farrow Creative

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 Sam Farrow.  Sam  is a professional graphic designer with over 20 years’ experience. She is the founder and managing director of Farrow Creative, a full-service design agency with offices in Petersfield and Guildford. She is also a mentor and regular speaker on the MBA programme at the University of Surrey.

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