Following a busy, happy summer with work, beach and repeat, it's all change again! Back to the Autumn routine but still helping local businesses to stay on top of their admin. Hopefully there's still a few more days through September with weather like this to enjoy.
I recently attended a very useful course with Charlotte at the Palm Tree Club. Charlotte is not only intimidatingly gorgeous, she is insightful and lovely. And also managed to remind me that I need to think about my business as a whole, not just the get-the-work-done, get-the-work-done treadmill.
The two most valuable things I took away, although I’m not sure if this was the intention, is that it’s useful to have short, medium and long term goals and also to sort my social media out. Social media, hmm.
Facebook. I love seeing what my friends and family are up to, as well as keeping up with current business news. My personal use is mainly to keep in touch with friends who now live far away and occasionally share photos of the family that I consider cute. But then the worry begins. That photo is only a millisecond snapshot in time. Take my recent personal Facebook post to the left:
Sweet, eh? I do clarify in the comments that the sweetness lasted about 30 minutes before Dave got feisty, the children brought half their bedrooms outside to make it “more comfy” and the demands for snacks and drinks began.
The further backstory to it is that the blanket was in the garden because the cat, who shall now be referred to as Idiot Dave, had recently brought in a live mouse which had taken up residence in my office. Not only did the mouse avoid all (three) traps over three days, it was removing the bait from them and leaving them unsprung. Argh. My germphobe tendencies were in overdrive. So in what can only be described as a cross between Tom and Jerry and the Benny Hill Show, everything was taken out of the room into the garden to catch the bleeping thing. Me, my parents, my children all trying to catch one extremely speedy, quite small mouse. My parents were helping because my husband was working.
Life isn’t all peachy and glossy with angelic children playing Famous Five style. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty darn good and I love it but Facebook and Instagram with their glamour are not always real life. And I want to make sure that not only my children grow up realising that but also anyone out there who might be having a hard day can see that although a photo can look amazing, it’s not really the whole picture.
Now, I’m going to have to try to tie this in to the business somehow. Well, my short-term goal was to clear my working space – now achieved, boom! The cleanest and most disinfected it‘s ever been! And also, the realisation that I don’t have to feel fake in my quest to successfully maintain my business profile via Facebook or LinkedIn – my qualifications, experience and personality make me competent and successful at what I do and as long as my posts reflect this, that is enough.
Oh Facebook you are an evil mistress. The constant reminders that people “haven’t heard from you in a while”. I know, I know - but I’m working! And let’s face it, what I do is not very visually exciting – that’s kind of the whole point; I’ll do the behind the scenes admin jobs so my clients don’t have to. I could take some photos but they’d mainly be of my desk.
But… I should be updating my social media and website regularly. I read a quote the other day that said something along the lines of “support your friends progress and businesses like you support celebrities and businesses you don’t actually know”. So, my plan is to do a fortnightly mini blog/shout out/super share, call it what you like, of businesses I work with or use. And also people that have helped me, inspired me, made me think, writers I like, my attempts to adopt a more sustainable way of living, fitness. Because I’ve realised taking the leap into self-employment is more than a career decision, it’s a personal journey.
So, my first Friday thumbs up goes out to Oliver Bennett, owner of Objective Tree Consultancy. Not just because he’s written me a fantastic testimonial- please see below - but he’s a pleasure to work with and provides an exceptionally knowledgeable and professional service to his clients, along with occasional bacon sandwiches to me. All this underpinned with a strong moral compass means you can’t go wrong with Objective Tree Consultancy for any of your arboricultural needs.
“Angela is exceptionally professional, delivers a high quality service and is a real asset to any business. Her help and support through professional accreditation processes and with managing all aspects of my business has been invaluable. I cannot recommend her highly enough, she is a very competent, motivated and valued colleague.
You can add this too – please don’t take up too much of her time as I need her!!! “
Testimonial from Oliver Bennett, Objective Tree Consultancy, March 2019.
A little email recently popped up in my inbox – a reminder to renew my website fees and ICO registration as the end of my first year is approaching. One whole year in business nearly over!
I’ve learnt a lot. A lot. In fact, I’ve learned something from everyone I’ve worked and spoken with since deciding to start up and go it alone. When people talk of steep learning curves, they’re really not joking.
I don’t have many deep philosophical insights like many people manage to convey so eloquently but I do know I couldn’t have done this without the support and input from my family and friends. So, thank you to my friends, family and everyone I have had the pleasure of working with over the past twelve months.
I can’t wait to find out what the next year brings - hopefully another summer as good as this one and even more interesting people.
2018 has been quite a ride so far! Building the business alongside snow days, holidays and multiple birthdays has led to my poor old blog and Facebook page becoming quite neglected.
With some time spent researching the requirements and an excellent guide from the ICO, I’m proud and relieved to say the Privacy and Cookie policies for Adams Admin are now fully up to date and GDPR compliant.
If you’re struggling, this guide from the Information Commissioner’s Office has some great tips to use as a starting point:
What an infographic from We Are Social.
It’s amazing the ways we can communicate nowadays: Twitter – 180 characters now, blog posts on our website, vlog on your own Youtube channel. Virtual technology is steaming ahead into the 21st Century and small business owners have to at least consider keeping up.
I’m a bit of a fence-sitter in general and to my mind there are definite pros and cons about this. Finding out what’s on at the cinema without a newspaper and not having to wait till the end of the film to place that actor who you can’t quite remember are two little perks. Being able to work more flexibly – from home or anywhere there’s a decent internet connection is something to be celebrated, especially for those with family or other commitments who otherwise may not be able to work at fixed times and set locations.
Unfortunately, that very ease of contact means more and more leisure time is being eaten by the invasion of the mobile and tablet armies. Ipads, tablets, laptops, smartphones all conspiring to gradually invade your friend and family time. Or even just plain old watching the TV time. I also have a terrible tendency to book a trip online and only then read the Tripadvisor reviews, torture myself and everyone around me with “what ifs?” until we get there.
However, in my line of business it’s a definite perk – being able to help companies without taking up their office space and managing my own time to provide the best possible service is only achievable with modern email, internet and file sharing services. And I still get the perk of meeting people in person with a cup of tea, and hopefully a biscuit! Best of both worlds.
What a dilemma.
Should it be personal or professional? Make it relevant to your business but don’t hard sell. Make it SEO efficient in order to get Google bots crawling over your website. Make it personal and thought provoking enough to entertain your readers but contain content that may help grow your business. It’s a minefield.
Try and research blog writing online and you get masses of results from people who blog about writing blogs – a media snake endlessly eating its own blogging tail.
I guess it’s part of setting up your own business and getting your name known out there – overcoming the ingrained desire of not wanting to boast or blow your own trumpet. Only you can make your business a success and that is going to involve the bits you don’t like, whether its self-promotion or creating (and sticking to) a survival budget.
For me the writing, typing, and general office organising comes easily and is (sadly) enjoyable. The selling myself and my business to clients is a new challenge! But challenging days are interesting days and it’s never boring. If you’re in the happy place where you need some help around the office please get in touch, I’m always happy to have a cup of tea and a chat.
So, Halloween is almost upon us.
Now, I'm not actually a massive fan of Halloween – a true child of the 80s, I’ve always been scared Freddy will get me while I sleep or Pinhead will visit.
Perhaps a serial killer will whip me off the street when trick or treating or the apples will be filled with razor blades.
I blame too many horror films way too young!
But I do like pumpkins and sweets, so it's not all bad.
And if you're feeling spooked by the amount of paperwork building up in your office, or scared of your secretary going on holiday, get in touch and see what Adams Admin can do to help, WE'RE definitely not scary.
So. There's lots of excitement at Adams Admin at the moment.
Not only is it my favourite season but our new website is now live and the launch of our remote secretarial service at the start of October is fast approaching.
If you're unsure what a remote secretarial service can offer, just think - whatever a secretary or administrator can do on a computer, I can do for you. No headache of recruitment, none of the costs of a permanent employee - and without drinking your coffee!
Keep an eye out for upcoming posts and get in touch for more information.