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8 Steps to Initiate The Services of a Virtual PA

Have you ever thought about working with a Virtual PA? Well, if you haven't, now might be the time.

It's a simple process to start using a Virtual PA, and I've listed 8 steps below to help you better understand the initial stages of engaging in Distinctive Assistants' Virtual PA Services:

  1. Get to know one another - after initial contact, I'd usually have a one hour free online or phone conversation with you, but I am also happy to meet over coffee and chat about what your requests would be.
  2. Sign up - after an initial meeting and work discussion, I would create a small brief of the work discussed, send a booking form including my T&C's, to be signed, and after this is received, work can commence.
  3. Preparation is key - for speedy handovers, make sure you have all the tasks you need doing sent over with a brief and timelines. Be clear on what it is you need to be done with your Virtual PA.
  4. Handing over process - we can use a productivity tool (I like to use Trello), or simply send an email with instructions and I can keep a shared calendar/list of your tasks. You can also send files, or shareable links to online files and folders, giving me access and authority to make a start on your work.
  5. Take it slow - it takes time to figure out how both client and Virtual PA can work together. Be patient, you'll soon realise how easy it is.
  6. Set regular catch-up time - weekly is usually best, but if you prefer to create tasks online and just fire them over, that's also ok! We understand - you're busy.
  7. Be friendly - it's nice to have a trusting working relationship with each other, but it's great to be friendly and approachable, and keep building that relationship.
  8. Keep communication channels open - communication is key. I'm not a mind reader, but in having said that, as time moves on I can become more proactive as I better understand how you and your business work.

Hand over what holds you back! You’ll wish you’d done it sooner.

You have 24 hours in your day, it’s not about how much time you have but about how well you use it. A Virtual PA can help you make the best use of your time.

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10 Tips to Keep Your Business Going in a Downturn

For those of us who run a small business, the way in which we work has been affected greatly by the coronavirus situation over the past few weeks.

We need to think about how we can find a new direction and map out ways of maximising our time best.

We have had to look:

  • at the way we work.
  • at how we can keep ourselves going in the downturn.
  • at how to keep ourselves out there and present online - keeping up appearances.

Work may be slow or diminished completely for a lot of us. You may be left thinking about what to do with your extra time. How to make things work for you and your business in a positive way.

I thought it would be useful to list my Top 10 tips on the ways in which you can keep your business ticking over and map out some ways you can best use this extra time.

  1. Use your existing contacts base. Reach out to old clients, key contacts and friends. Let them know you are still around for work.⁠
  2. Get involved online and get into the habit of commenting on threads on the social media channels.⁠
  3. Have a look for networking groups online, and keep an eye out for future events.⁠
  4. Work on a batch of social media content, including planning posts.⁠
  5. Write some blog content, or look at becoming a guest blogger.⁠
  6. Email your existing clients and request some testimonials for your website.⁠
  7. Redecorate and sort out your office and desk space.⁠
  8. Read up on your industry trends.⁠
  9. Learn new things. Upskilling when you are quiet is a perfect way to increase your knowledge.⁠
  10. Offer your services free of charge, or look at volunteering your services. ⁠
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Balancing Act

Do you ever wake up on a Monday morning after the weekend and have that Monday Morning feeling?

What if you took a step back, re-evaluated your balance and tried to adjust things to a more manageable, easily adaptable routine?

I personally try to live my week on this principle and live a life more simplified.

It’s about living a lifestyle and achieving a balance where your work becomes less about living to work and more about working to live.

It’s inevitable, you need to work to have a life, but at what expense? Do you spend your whole week trying to keep your work balls in the air, to let your life balls drop?

At some point, something has to give and more often than not, it’s your health, wellbeing and family life. Trying to get off the hamster-wheel of work, can be a hard task in itself, but if you try to make small weekly changes to your routine, you may see slight changes to your daily life.

After all, wouldn’t you rather be able to master that art of juggling without dropping those balls?

Work and life will merge at times, it’s about constantly adjusting and being happy with what balance you can create.

At the end of the day, Life is about having fun!

10 tips to help maintain a healthy life and work balance:

  • Have set work hours, and stick to them.
  • Make sure you allocate personal time in a week.
  • Manage your time in the short-term as well as the long-term.
  • Understand your peaks and troughs and make them work for you.
  • Understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Prioritise your time, between urgent and non-urgent tasks.
  • Make sure your workspace is organised.
  • Do something you love.
  • Take lots of mini-breaks.
  • Take time to make time!
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Create More Space in Your Life

What if you were able to create more space to enjoy being more creative, spending more time with family & friends, taking time to appreciate life's many adventures?

We're so used to being busy, having never-ending to-do lists, lots of responsibilities and tasks, that we forget to stop, and enjoy just 'being'.

The space you manage to create may be big or small, but at the end of the day, creating space in your life opens doors for new things to enter, such as people, opportunities, and more importantly YOU.

Remove things that no longer work for you, and let go of what you do not need or do not have time for.

Declutter your schedule and make it happen

After all, wouldn't you rather be able to create more space in your life for the things that really matter?

Take a breather, re-evaluate, look at ways to help you manage your time better, so it frees you up to do more of what you want to and enjoy.

Hiring a Virtual PA can help give you time back, freeing you up to do the things that matter. Creating space for you in your professional and personal lives so you can focus on the things that really matter to you.

A Virtual PA can help you maximise every hour of your day, whether that's to achieve more, live more or play more.

5 Tips to create more time in your life

  • Outsource your life tasks

    Such as your ironing, cleaning or personal admin. These time-consuming life tasks can eat into your well-needed headspace and downtime with your family, or take you away from getting to the gym to exercise.

  • Feel good

    If you feel better you work better…literally! Take stock of your approach to your health. Read up on ways to eat better, learn to meditate, get regular exercise or simply get more sleep. Shake up your routine to make sure you put your health first.

  • Delegate tasks & chores

    As a mother, especially a working mother, find ways to make your day easier by getting the whole family to pitch in. By spreading the jobs across the family you can free up some time in your day.

  • Take time out for you

    Sometimes you need to be a little bit selfish (with your time, that is). If 'you' don’t work, more than likely things will fall apart. Give yourself a treat every now and then such as a relaxing massage, or even a simple walk on the beach. These will do you good!

  • Create a plan

    …and stick to it. Writing down your weekly or monthly plan can give you a better idea of where your balancing needs are best placed. Get the family to help if need be and take stock of the things that need to be done 'together'.

You have 24 hours in your day, it's not about how much time you have but about how well you use it. A Virtual PA can help you make the best use of your time.

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Get Back to Business and Achieve Your Goals in 2020

There’s nothing like a New Year to make a fresh start - and for entrepreneurs, that means getting 'Back to Business.'

But instead of falling back into the same old routine, now is the perfect time to set exciting new goals and think about working ON your business, not just IN your business.

That’s where your Virtual PA can help - so let’s consider your goals, what targets we can set and where you are heading this year - let’s get Back to Business!

New Year’s Resolutions - the Cheat’s Guide

We all make New Year Resolutions for our business at this time of year, but with only so many hours in the day, why not enlist some help to ensure you achieve your goals?

The Fun Starts Here …

Where do you see your business going this year? What would you like to achieve if there were no obstacles? Setting goals is the starting point for achieving greater business success, and brainstorming is the fun part. Distinctive Assistants can provide a wealth of experience from working with a range of businesses, and offer a supportive ear to bounce ideas off.

Once you’ve set your long term goals, we can look at how to start achieving them in the short term. Make a list of the day-to-day jobs you can hand over, leaving you free to focus on the big picture. We’ll beaver away in the background and keep the wheels spinning, while you can look toward the future.

How Can we Help you Achieve your Goals?

At Distinctive Assistants, we can help you assess your business activity and how this fits with your goals. How can we help you manage your workload so you can hit the ground running in 2020?

Improving Your Business Operations in 2020.

We can help:

  • Update and streamline your administration process
  • Give you ideas to organise your office for a more productive, efficient working day
  • Help with ideas in developing a planner
  • Create a networking calendar and book events
  • Researching new sectors or prospective clients on your behalf
  • Update and manage contacts database so you can maximise on existing connections
  • Help to bounce off ideas and brainstorm
  • Suggest preferred suppliers to help you with different aspects of your business

These are just some examples of how a virtual PA can help you get Back to Business. Please get in touch to find out more about our wide variety of services or discuss how we could meet your requirements.

Distinctive Assistants understands the classic wisdom that 'success comes to those who delegate'. So let us help take some of the strain this year, so you can focus on the bigger picture and achieving your goals for a successful 2020.

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Two helpful elfs on a shelf

Give Yourself the Gift of Time with Your Own ELF HELPER!

Ah, Christmas. What does the festive season make you think of? Fun parties drinking mulled wine, exciting shopping trips, good times with loved ones … or stress overload!

For business owners, working parents and anyone juggling a lot of responsibilities, December can be the most demanding time of year.

With added business commitments such as organising lunches, sending cards to clients and completing year-end accounts, often combined with family events such as time off for the kids’ school show to gift shopping, some people may be forgiven for thinking Santa has it easy – at least he has his army of elves.

So this year, why not give yourself the gift of your own Elf Helper from Distinctive Assistants. With a whole range of dedicated seasonal services on offer, let Distinctive Assistants share the load and help you enjoy a stress-free festive season.

Imagine – you could enjoy watching the kids in their school show without worrying about what you still have to do at work or even find Christmas shopping a pleasure, knowing there’s someone to help you wrap all those gifts.

Who knows, with a little Elf Help and more time to breathe, you may find you enjoy the whole thing this year! Mulled wine anyone?

Seasonal Services from Distinctive Assistants can include:

  • Christmas card selection and purchase
  • Compile your name and address list
  • Produce address labels or handwritten envelopes for that personal touch
  • Fill the envelopes, fix stamps and mail cards
  • Gift purchasing for those special presents including a gift wrap service
  • Online gift research including sourcing the best products and prices
  • Order online shopping and organise deliveries
  • Picking up tickets and handling RSVPs to events.
  • Arrange a cleaner to ensure your house is ready for guests
  • Provide Christmas holiday cover for your business
  • Going away? We can help plan and book your journey.
  • Wrap gifts with specially selected paper and tags.
  • Clear all your personal & business admin to start 2020 afresh

Festive Ideas for Your Life and Business

  • Make your office look festive! Hang up some baubles, pop on some music and get into the spirit.
  • Order stock/necessities before everything shuts down for the holiday period. Imagine starting the New Year with stationary and stock all in place!
  • Ensure you have staff resources to cover the festive season so you get a break too. Outsource work to a Virtual PA if necessary.
  • Get cash flow in order – chase up late invoices and payments, make sure your own payments are up to date and shut up shop for Christmas knowing the business books are in order.
  • If you experience a quieter time over the holidays, this is a fantastic opportunity to revise your business plan, prepare a marketing plan or just get on top of paperwork so you can start 2020 with a spring in your step.
  • Don’t miss out on vital opportunities or leads over the holidays – ensure you have suitable call answering in place.
  • Christmas cards are a really nice touch for clients and contacts, but first, make sure that you have a comprehensive database with all contacts entered. Distinctive Assistants can help you get prepared!
  • Distinctive Assistants can also source your cards online, arrange to print, and then handwrite, label and event stamp the cards. Job done!
  • Can’t face the post office queues? Send your Elf Helper!
  • Help to choose Christmas decorations down to colour co-ordinations and sourcing best deals.
  • Why not create an album of your holiday pictures and special memories? Your Elf Helper will be delighted to assist with this.
  • Order prepared food or even caterers for your Christmas or New Year parties so you can just enjoy yourself.
  • Get glamorous for party season! Let your Virtual PA organise all your hair & beauty appointments.
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