Category Archives: Get motivated

How to reduce stress in the work place

If you run your own business it can feel like there is never an off switch.  You are always thinking about what you should be doing even it’s it 10pm at night!  Many people set up their own business so that they can manage their work/life balance so it’s important to remember that and have time for yourself.  Below I give you a few tips on how to keep your stress levels down.

  1. Do one thing at a time so you can give that particular task your full focus and complete it without mistakes.  This works equally for your personal life.

    A to do list will help you stay focussed

    A to do list will help you stay focussed

  2. Write ideas down so you don’t forget them.  Set reminders on your calendar so you remember your tasks.  This will take the stress out of trying to manage everything at once.  This works for responsibilities at work and home
  3. If you’re working on something and you don’t understand it ask!  People won’t think you’re silly so don’t get stressed about not being sure.  It’s good to clarify what’s being asked of you and will save you less time if you know what’s expected so you can get it right first time.
  4. Set clear boundaries with your customers.  If you work 9am-5pm don’t feel guilty by saying so if someone asks if you can work outside these hours.  You need to have time for your private life as well as business.  I’m not suggesting you never work outside your set hours but just be sensible and don’t get taken advantage of just because you work for yourself.
  5. Delegate!  Don’t try and do everything yourself.  If you can outsource some tasks then do so. This will save you a huge amount of time and money.
  6. Take your lunch break!  Make sure you schedule in a break during the day and use this time
    It's important to take a break

    It’s important to take a break

    to relax.  Switch off from work completely for an hour and you’ll be more productive.

  7. Only check your emails twice a day so you don’t get distracted from the work you have set yourself.  Allow half an hour to deal with the emails, this routine will help you feel less over whelmed.
  8. Finally don’t forget to relax at weekends doing what YOU enjoy.

Tips if you’re self employed

When you first take the plunge and become self employed if can feel extremely daunting.  There is no longer a manager to tell you what you should be doing each day or week – it’s all down to you. It is however extremely rewarding if you get it right and can allow for that all important work/life balance.  Here I have compiled a few hints and tips to help you get a bit more organised, I hope they help.

  1. Set a cut off point in your working day.  If your hours are 9am-5pm then don’t answer emails or calls after this time.  Set your boundaries so that you have time for yourself and
    Don't pretend you have lots of employees if you work on your own

    Don’t pretend you have lots of employees if you work on your own

    you’ll be more productive.

  2. Manage your finances carefully. Allocate one day a week where you sit down and keep your budget document up-to-date so that you’re not overspending.  It’s a good idea to also have a separate bank account so that you can keep your business and personal finances separate.  It doesn’t need to be a business account to start with either.  If you really hate keeping your accounts then outsource to someone who can help you.
  3. Don’t pretend you’re a huge corporate company if you’re not.  If you work alone then market yourself this way and be proud of it, don’t pretend you have a huge team of employees.
    blackboard-583692__180

    Learn, learn, learn!

    People want to work with someone they can trust and that can deliver what they promise.

  4. Keep learning!  This is so important.  Keep reading about what’s going on in your industry, keep up with the software that will enhance your business and attend webinars and courses to learn new skills (there are many out there that are free).
  5. Make sure you have registered with HM Revenue and Customs and that you find out which taxes you need to pay.  HMR&C has its own YouTube Channel with lots of useful free webinars to help you.  it goes without saying of course to make sure you complete your tax return!  If you’re not sure how to do it then invest in a good accountant who can do it for you.
  6. Have a business plan and make sure that you re-visit it regularly to ensure you’re reaching your goals and know what your objectives are for the future.

    Keep on top of your budget

    Keep on top of your budget

  7. My final tip is to make sure you establish a good working routine.  Make sure you allocate a certain day for each of your regular tasks and stick to them. For example I set aside every Friday for my own marketing and admin work.

If you have any self employment advice please feel free to share and if you need any help getting yourself organised then contact me for your free one hour consultation rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

 

Seven tips to keep you motivated if you run your own business

Staying motivated when you run your own business is tough.  We all have days where we feel like we can’t be bothered and if you work from home it can be even harder to keep feeling positive.  Have a read of my advice below to help you stay focused daily and achieve wonderful things in your business…

1.  Work hard
My first tip is that you do need to work hard to get your business off the ground but I guarantee it will be worth it.  Remember the reasons why you decided to set up your own business in the first place and focus on those reasons to keep you motivated day to day.

Aim for the moon

2.  Don’t obsess over competitors
In the early stages of setting up your 
business, you will have no doubt looked at your competitors to see what they were up to and it makes good business sense to keep doing this.  However, don’t get obsessive about what everyone else is doing – focus on your own goals before worrying about your competitors.

3.  Write lists
A tip to motivate yourself each day is to write a list of what you want to achieve, this will help keep you focused and it’s a great feeling ticking off each task when they are complete!

4. Take breaks  
Staying motivated is hard work so make sure you still take time out to have your lunch and coffee breaks – don’t be too hard on yourself!

5. Stay focused
Can you remember how you felt on the first 
day you launched your business? Nervous, excited, full of ideas?  Over time you may feel like you’ve lost a bit of that enthusiasm.  If you have, take your mind back to that first day and think about how inspired you felt and use that feeling to regain your focus.

6.  Stick to your goals
Make sure you stick to your goals and plan ahead so that you can make your dreams of running a successful business become a reality.

It’s okay to make mistakes

7.  Making mistakes is okay
My last tip is to remind you that it’s okay if you get things wrong in your business so don’t get disheartened if you have an ‘off day’.  Everyone makes mistakes and those that say they don’t are lying in my opinion!  Just make sure you learn from them and use that knowledge to improve the way you do things in the future.

I’d love you to share your motivational tips so feel free to post them in the comments section below.

 

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Book Review – Build a business from your kitchen table

I was really excited to win a copy of ‘build a business from your kitchen table’ written by the founders of notonthehighstreet.com Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it’s a funny and honest journey demonstrating the ladies six year climb up the career ladder to huge success where they now run a multi-million pound online marketplace.  What’s reassuring is that getting to be this successful was not easy and it took a huge amount of time, tears and energy to get where they are today.

The book starts out with an interesting look at the founders history and where they individually started their careers and also an insight into their personal lives and how this affected their career paths.  What I loved was the complete honesty in this book – Sophie and Holly made mistakes, some huge and share these with the reader in order for them not to make the same ones.

The book provides a step by step guide to starting your own business and although obviously focusses on online selling, is packed with broad advice that can be adapted to any industry.  There are great tips for home working such as making sure you get up and dress as if you’re going to an office (no pyjamas!) and go and grab a coffee before returning home to start your working day.

Tips on useful software, setting 12 goals a year for your business and measurable key performance indictors with examples are abundant.  Sophie and Holly look at the importance of work/life balance, your working environment and personal image. There is also a great idea of how to organise your work and personal time more effectively with separate ‘to do lists’.

I really liked the way that the businesses that sell on notonthehightstreet.com are also included in the book giving their insight as to how they started out and what they have learnt along the way.

The book also shares some really great inspirational quotes with my favourite being: ‘People begin to become successful the minute they decide to be.’

If you’re setting up your own business or just want some great advice from two highly successful business women then I highly recommend this book, it’s left me feeling empowered! I think it would also be a valuable read for family members of those starting their own business to gain a great insight into how hard their loved one will have to work but how life changing the benefits will be if they support them.

If you’ve read this book or go on to read it I’d loved to hear your thoughts on it.

Ten things Lighthouse Virtual Assistant can do for your business

What is a virtual assistant?

A Virtual Assistant (VA) can work for a business or individual to help reduce the daily workload using an array of communications methods such as email, internet, phone or Skype and it is today estimated that there are as many as 25,000* virtual assistants worldwide.

VAs come from a variety of business backgrounds with most having had experience in the non-virtual workplace.  Some VAs also have a certain area of expertise such as PR and marketing in my case.

Just half an hour of your time could                 save you hours down the line

   Just half an hour of your time could                 save you hours down the line

Due to the VAs ability to work remotely, clients don’t need to worry about finding extra work related office space or equipment and clients pay only for the work that the virtual assistant carries out. The independent contractual status of VAs means clients do not have the responsibility to provide employee taxes, benefits or insurance.

Below I have set out a list of ten services to demonstrate how Lighthouse Virtual Assistant can help your business save time and money:

  1. Research, write and schedule your social media posts to help you grow your online presence and attract more clients – see my social media stress buster package

  2. Organise your accounts on a simple excel spreadsheet so you can simply hand them over to your accountant when it’s time for your tax return

  3. Share my marketing and PR expertise with you to kick-start your marketing and show you how to ‘get in front’ of your ideal client with my one-to-one bespoke tutorials

  4. Planning an event such as a book launch, workshop, new product or service launch always take much longer than you expect. I can take away the stress for you and do all the planning for you.

     

    Save time and let me manage your social media accounts

      Save time and let me manage your           social media accounts

  5. E-marketing is key to building your client list, keeping in touch with current and potential clients and demonstrating your skills. I can set up and write content for your newsletters/emails so your clients and/or employees can keep up to speed with all the latest developments in your business

  6. Run a PR campaign to make your ideal client aware of your business and how it will benefit them

  7. Blogs are a great way of giving advice to your ideal client and showing your expertise and should be carried out regularly to ensure consistency in your marketing.  A lot of people struggle with either what to write about or making time to blog so I can research and write copy for you.

  8. Write you an annual marketing plan to sit alongside your business plan so that your marketing is proactive rather than reactive

    Let me help with your e-marketing

              Let me help with your                                      e-marketing

  9. Many of my clients want a presence online but really don’t know where to start.  I offer one-to-one social media tutorials to teach you how to promote your business on social media 

  10. Write a press release to promote a new event, product, service, member of staff. This is a great way to build relationships with the local media.

The above is not an exhaustive list of my services and I can always tailor packages to suit your individual business need. See more of my services.

To book your free half an hour consultation call 01303 647101 or email rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

(* Source: Wikipedia)