Meet the Regional Director: Sarah Yandell

Here at Get Ahead VA, our people are everything. We’re dedicated to growing our business all over the country, so our customers can access a wide range of highly skilled professionals wherever they are. We currently have regional offices in Leeds, Berkshire & North Hampshire, South Yorkshire and West Surrey, and we’re pleased to announce our latest addition: Suffolk & Essex.

Here’s 60 seconds with our Suffolk & Essex Regional Director, Sarah Yandell

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Outsource to a VA and reconnect with your “why”

Remember why you started your own business? It might have been because you’re a creative person and you recognised that you should be making a living from your talents instead of letting them stagnate. Or maybe you wanted the freedom to flex around the needs of your family, improving your work/life balance and being there for the people you love best. Perhaps hobbies or voluntary work are important to you and you wanted to be able to choose how you spend your time. Maybe it was just plain old maths – you realised you could make more from your profession if you worked for yourself than if you worked for someone else.

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Meet the VA – Amanda Jones

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.

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Digital detox for business owners

The idea of doing a digital detox – i.e. stepping away from technology to focus on real-life hobbies and in-person interactions – can seem challenging at the best of times, and especially so now, when we have even fewer opportunities for face-to-face quality time. But taking a digital detox could be even more important right now: since we’re being forced to spend so much time online, to do our work and stay in touch with our loved ones, the time we spend offline has become even more precious.

If you’re a business owner, you might be finding it particularly difficult to cut down on your screen time, as this may be the only way for you to communicate with your employees, network with others in your field, and promote your business to customers. After all, you can’t just put your phone in a box and stop checking your emails when you have a business to run! The good news is that a digital detox is still possible for you – here are some things you can do to give yourself a break from the screens, and to use them more mindfully when you need to.

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Virtual conference facilitation on Zoom – a new service from GetAhead VA

GetAhead VA’s long-standing client, Shannon, runs a leadership coaching business. Long before the coronavirus pandemic, she had arranged an international, in-person, four-day conference with thirty delegates. When the global crisis threw a spanner in the works, she had no option but to hold the conference on Zoom instead.

Running a conference on Zoom has different demands from running one at a standard conference venue. While all the stress of catering and overnight accommodation disappears, different concerns about internet connections, hardware, software and real-time tech support present themselves instead. Shannon needed a virtual conference facilitator and we’re proud to say she came straight to us. At the time, our experienced VA Jenny Serra didn’t have direct experience of facilitating Zoom conferences, but she has used Zoom a lot and is one of our most tech-savvy VAs. She built on her existing skills and knowledge to deliver exactly what Shannon needed.

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Google My Business – what it is and why you need it

Google My Business is a great free tool to showcase your business, increase your online visibility and help improve your conversion rate. It’s particularly useful for B2C businesses, but B2B businesses will see advantages too.   

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (also known as Google Local and GMB) is a free digital marketing tool. You’ve probably used it before, maybe even without realising. When you Google for, say, “coffee shops in Guildford,” Google will show you a map of Guildford with labelled pins, and a list of the corresponding coffee shops.

To feature on the list, each one of these coffee shops will have created a Google My Business page and kept it up-to-date and accurate.

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The art of the pivot: How to be adaptable in business

Being able to ‘pivot’ is a valuable skill in business, and especially so right now, when the world is in a state of incredible uncertainty and changeability. If you’re not sure what pivoting is, there has never been a better time to learn about it, or to apply it to your own business.

Pivoting essentially means being adaptable – it means recognising that your business isn’t meeting certain expectations, and being agile enough to find a new way to do things in order to solve a problem or respond to a need. This could be a small change, a fundamental rethinking of your whole strategy, or anything in between.

Clearly the challenges of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown have made pivoting more important than ever, as businesses are having to learn to adapt to a situation that can change daily, even hourly. So if you’re keen to know more about how to master the art of the pivot, read on for our advice about nurturing adaptability in your business.

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Dealing with loneliness during lockdown

The UK government has recently introduced new guidance allowing people who live alone to visit and stay overnight with one other household, as part of a ‘support bubble’ during lockdown. This is good news for many single people in the UK, and an important recognition that one of the biggest side effects of the lockdown measures is loneliness.

Of course, you don’t have to live by yourself to be lonely – it’s perfectly possible to feel this way within a relationship or a family, or living with a group of friends. It’s important to acknowledge that loneliness is something everybody experiences from time to time, and it’s good to talk about it. So if you’re struggling with loneliness right now, here are some useful tips and resources to help you make it through.

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What we’re reading right now

Books can be a huge comfort during these turbulent times. Whether we’re reading to learn, to laugh or simply to escape, lockdown has given many of us much more time to read, and the Get Ahead VA team is no different. So if you’re looking for something great to read right now, here are some recommendations from us for brilliant reads we have loved.

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Tips for attending a virtual conference

Conferences are incredibly useful for all sorts of reasons – you can promote yourself, network and make new contacts, and find out about the latest developments in your industry. And although lockdown has put an end to most in-person conferences this year, many important events are still happening online.

If you’re planning to attend a virtual conference, it’s a good idea to be prepared, because it’s going to be different than you’re used to! The events might be pretty much the same, but you may find it tricky to get into the ‘conference mindset’ at home, so to help you out, here are our top tips for attending a virtual conference.

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