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November 14, 2019

There can be nothing more fulfilling than running your own business. Knowing that you managed to turn your hopes and dreams into a successful venture and can be proud of what you have achieved. However, no business owner ever had an easy job of it. Richard Branson didn’t create the Virgin empire overnight without issues. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t amass billions with Facebook without a few sleepless nights. There are plenty of hurdles to be met along the way and unfortunately some of them can trip you up and you never fully recover.

Work related stress, anxiety or depression counted for 57% of all work days lost in 2017/18 – that’s 15.4million days, up from 12.5million days the previous year! (Source: www.telegraph.co.uk)

Here are the Top 5 reasons for stress within the workplace along with some possible solutions:

Responsibility Overload

Business owners, entrepreneurs and other individuals with busy lives often take on far too much responsibility. Responsibility alone can make life difficult...

November 7, 2019

There are five key traits which I believe are of utmost importance for any Virtual Assistant:

  • Professional 

  • Flexible

  • Problem solving 

  • Proactive

  • Dedicated

I've worked with many clients over the last five years and I'd like to think that I have displayed each of the traits above to each and every one of them. For all the clients I have had the pleasure to work with, some projects have only been short term, whilst others are businesses and individuals that I have worked with for years.

It's always satisfying to know that you've really made a difference to them however long the relationship has lasted, but it's especially nice when they put pen to paper to show you just how much you have contributed to their business or their personal life.

I'm lucky to have received some amazing thank you cards, notes and emails, some of which can be seen on my website: https://www.girlfridayharrow.co.uk/testimonials and all of which are kept safely in my 'thank you' box - when you'...

October 24, 2019

Five years ago today, Girl Friday came into the world and what a journey it has been so far.

I’ve worn many hats within this business: Boss, marketing, IT, accounts, data controller, PR, client liaison, buyer, legal, HR, travel agent… all in a day’s work as a Virtual Assistant.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing clients, been involved in a whole range of projects and tasks and been very lucky to have the support of fantastic family and friends.

Here are some of the highlights:

Clients: Military Intelligence Specialists, Author, Journalists, Head Teacher, Financial Institution Partners, Psychologists, Property Developer, Maths Teacher, Tailor, Social Worker, Coach, Marketing Director, CEO, Barrister, Business Consultant, Managing Director, Patisserie Owner, University Researcher, Stock Controller, Sales Director.

Tasks: Diary management, event management, proofreading, marketing, research, travel booking, lifestyle management, gift sourcing, gift wrapping, report presentation...

October 10, 2019

Sometimes you get to find out some pretty amazing things about everyday objects that were staring in you in the face all the time. Here are some more of those little gems - how many did you already know?

Hitting the Mark

Everyone has heard of the 'Heinz 57 varieties' so when you saw the number 57 on the side of the world famous glass ketchup bottle, you probably just thought that they were just displaying the number as advertising for their 57 varieties right? Not quite!

A spokesperson for Heinz said, “To release ketchup faster from a glass bottle, here is a little secret from Heinz. The sweet spot to tap on the Heinz bottle is the embossed 57 on the neck. All you need to do is apply a firm tap where the bottle narrows and the ketchup will come out easier.”

It's No Choke!

You might have noticed that some of your pens have a tiny hole in the lid. The reason is very simple. It will allow air to pass through in case someone accidentally swallows it and prevent them from choking.

It Doesn't Just...

September 26, 2019

As a Virtual Assistant, I provide a variety of service to my clients; from event management and proofreading, to administration and personal shopping, marketing to de-cluttering, house sales to research projects and everything in between. With extensive experience and various qualifications gained throughout the years, I give quality time back to people with busy lives who just don’t have enough hours in the day to fit everything in by themselves.

Throughout my time working as a Virtual Assistant, there have been occasions when I have had to validate the amount I charge per hour for the services I offer. I don’t take offence when someone questions why they should pay me £25 per hour for the task/s they require completing as I don’t think that people initially see the value that a VA can provide.  I thought I would look into the intricacies of payment for various professions to see just where my hourly rate sat within the grand scheme of things. The rates below are an average of the mult...

September 12, 2019

Running your own business can be tricky at times and the customer ISN'T always right. However, everyone knows that the best way to get customers and more importantly, to KEEP customers, is to always give them great service. 

After one of my wooden venetian blinds had decided to escape from it's fixings and come crashing to the floor, I was in need of a handyman to put it back up again. I called a company that I had used numerous times before when requiring various services for my clients, as they had always been reliable and their work was of a good standard. 

I booked a handyman to arrive at 3pm so when there was still no sign of him by 4pm, I called the office to enquire on his whereabouts. Uh Oh! A 'technical error' had prevented the handyman from receiving his job sheet and he was now unable to attend on that day. I was promised faithfully that he would be with me at 8am the next day. 

At 7:59am the following day, I received a telephone call from the handyman to say that he had a huge...

August 29, 2019

There are only so many hours in the day. And whilst some people can sail through the day ticking things off their to-do list, others struggle to find the motivation to get much done at all. And let’s face it, we all have our ‘off’ days!

There are all sorts of ways that you can change the usual routine of your working day to ensure that your productivity is top-notch but to get you started, here are four top tips to ensure that your task list is checked off each and every day:

Have an Achievable To-Do List

You may well have a list as long as your arm of things that need doing but staring at an unachievable list of things to get done is likely to have you just looking and not actually doing anything at all. The best way to tackle your list of tasks is to break them down:

1)     Things that HAVE to be done

2)     Things that NEED to be done soon

3)     Things that can WAIT for another day

4)     Nice to do but NOT necessary

5)     Quick...

August 15, 2019

When people ask what I do for a living, I usually have to explain what a Virtual Assistant does and give them examples of the types of work that I undertake for my clients. Maybe the term ‘Virtual Assistant’ is more familiar in the US or maybe the concept just hasn’t reached the United Kingdom just yet? Actually, that’s not strictly true.

Although some people may be a little behind the times and think that someone who does the work of a regular Personal Assistant only works within the offices of UK businesses and certainly not assisting private clients with their personal lives!

So, to give you a better idea on the scope of the world of Virtual Assistants, here are a few facts and figures about the Virtual Assistant industry:

1.   Virtual Assistants in the UK work with 13,500+ small to medium size businesses

2.   Industries most regularly using VAs are: business consultants, coaches, online businesses, personal services, charities, property sector and the financial sector

3.   Common tasks...

August 1, 2019

Sometimes there are days when you just can’t get going. It feels like your mojo has gone on vacation and no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get those working juices flowing. The smallest thing can become a welcome distraction so you can spend the whole day answering the phone, checking your social media channels or just staring out the window – anything to delay the requirement to get the work done.

If this sounds familiar, you might want to get to the bottom of why this is happening so you can snap yourself out of it and get back to your fabulous self. Check out some of the possible reasons why your productivity is lacking:

Not Taking Breaks

It seems funny that the first thing on the list is to encourage you not to work! Research shows that if you take short breaks throughout the day, you will be able to concentrate for longer. Just stepping away from your desk, fetching a cup of coffee or taking in some fresh air could be just the thing to get you going again. And don’t think...

July 18, 2019

You’ve finally decided to get yourself some assistance and enlist the services of a Virtual Assistant. Good for you, it’s about time! But what should you be looking out for on your hunt for the best fit for you/your business? Everyone is different and will require a different skill set from their Virtual Assistant but there are some particular qualities that are a must-have across the board:

Reliability

Your Virtual Assistant must be reliable. If you can’t depend on them to get the job done in the timescales required, then you’d be better be looking somewhere else.

Accessibility

You need to know that you can contact your Virtual Assistant by an agreed communication method in case of any emergencies or for jobs that need completing quickly. Depending on your particular agreement with your VA, you should expect a response within an agreed timescale.

Time Management & Organisational Skills

A Virtual Assistant usually has to deal with multiple tasks from multiple clients at any given time so the...

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