Monthly Archives: June 2011

Why You Need to go on Holidays!

We All Need A Holiday!!

When you’re running a business, holidays are often the last thing on your mind. ‘Who’ll run my business while I’m gone?’ you ask yourself. ‘What if I miss a big work opportunity while I’m gone? And with all the work I’ll have to do before and after, is it really worth it?’

The answer is, yes, it is worth it. When you’re working hard on your business, we often don’t realise how stressed and tired we are. Our bodies need a break and so do our minds. Going away gives you a chance to relax and because you’re somewhere new, your mind is stimulated. That’s why you come back to the office recharged.

Business owners often worry that their customers won’t get the same level of service while they’re gone, or that the staff won’t run the business to the same standard. You need to let those concerns go. If your staff have been working with you for a long time and you trust them, you can trust them. And as long as they’re looking after your customers, your customers will be happy.

Preparation is the key to a stress-free holiday.

Choose your dates carefully. Pick a time when your business is naturally quiet. Let your clients know when you’re going before hand, rather than relying on an Out of Office Reply. Don’t create a mound of work for yourself before you go. Spread out tasks so you’re not too burnt out to enjoy your holiday. And if the work is too much for you, consider outsourcing it to a service provider with the right mix of skills for you.

Most important of all, pick a trusted person to help you prepare for your holiday and look after the business while you’re gone. This could be a staff member, a family member or an outsourced partner. Brief them on what you need them to do and above all, trust that they will do it for you.

With these steps in place, you can go on holidays knowing that your business will run smoothly. And you’ll come back ready to pounce on any opportunities that arise. Enjoy your holidays! Talk to us today about booking your business holiday cover with us, email: samantha@virtualoffices.ie

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Organise Your Office, Organise Your Business

Picture the scene. Your desk is covered with so much stuff you can no longer see it. Papers are piled on top of papers. You ring your phone and it’s buried under the mound of papers. A trail of coffee cups litters the office. And you wonder why you’re feeling snowed under?

Clutter clogs up the wheels of your business. If you can’t find things when you need them, you can’t run your business efficiently. You spend your days distracted, scrabbling around for things you need, instead of driving your business forward.

Why are our desks so cluttered? Often, it’s because we can’t decide what to do with the things we have. We cling to them for longer than we need to, ‘just in case.’ Or we can’t decide where things should go, so we just let them sit there. Then there are the things we just don’t want to deal with!

If you want to beat clutter, you have to be ruthless. Do a total clear out of your desk, shelves and work station. Divide the items into three piles, things to keep, things to store and things to throw away.

Arrange for the throwaway pile to be recycled, trashed or donated to charity. Designate a storage spot for the things to store pile. Create a filing system for the things you want to keep and organise them in filing cabinets, cupboards and shelves.

You should be left with only the things that you use regularly. Organise these things on your desk by like items. For example, stationery can go in one drawer, telephone directories in another. Keeping these items separate means you can lay your hands on them easily.

How do you decide what to keep? Look around your office. Ask yourself, ‘Do I really need that document, that thumbtack, that dying plant?” Keep things that lift your mood, that make you smile, that inspire you.

If you take control of your office chaos, there’ll be nothing to keep you from fulfilling your dreams. For an uncluttered office and an uncluttered business, contact The Virtual office  info@virtualoffices.ie

Effective Time Management Strategies

Do you wish that you had more hours in your day? Does your to-do list keep getting bigger instead of smaller? Is your desk covered in clutter? Are you working longer hours, yet still not getting enough done?

It’s easy to feel that time is running away on us. When that happens, we can feel stressed. We talk about our heads being fried, or about to explode. And in the end, our work and family life suffers.

Why do we find it so difficult to manage our time? A lot of the time, we take too much on. We find it hard to say no when people ask us to do something and we don’t delegate jobs to our staff and colleagues. We allow ourselves to be distracted by things happening around us. And when we have a difficult job to do, it’s easy to put it off, which makes it even harder to start.

When it comes to managing your time, attitude is everything. Better time management starts with a decision to make a change. It’s a kind of mind makeover. And it starts with a bit of tough talking, admitting to yourself that your habits are causing you to waste time and need to be changed. And that it’s time for the excuses to stop.

Next, you need to think about what changes you can make to take your business to the next level. It’ll mean leaving your comfort zone, but if you can embrace those changes, you’ll really feel the benefits. Here are some examples of a few simple changes that have worked for us.

Write it down. Write a list of all the jobs you will need to do, in the short, medium and long term. Once you have a handle on what’s ahead of you, your mind will feel clearer.

Prioritise. Go through your list and decide which tasks are most urgent and important. Set yourself a date for when it will be achieved, whether it’s today, this week, this month or even this year. And keep your eye on those goals. If anyone distracts you from them, learn to say a polite no.

Be realistic. Arrange your schedule in a way that fits your business and lifestyle. Recognise that it won’t be possible to get everything done and resist the temptation to cram your timetable. That way, if unexpected challenges crop up, you’ll have the flexibility to deal with them.

Limit Distractions. Keep concentrating on what you need to do and learn to shut out excess noise. Resist the urge to keep checking emails and Facebook and answer the phone. Handle email, social media and phone calls in batches.

Delegate. It’s tempting to think you can do things faster yourself. But a few extra minutes spent explaining a job to a member of staff will save you hours in the long run. You can give them the routine jobs, while you get on with the major tasks.

The Virtual Office can save you time. Find out how by calling 051 351286.

8 Tips for Remaining Motivated in your Business

Even the most motivated of business people find it difficult to stay motivated all the time. We can sometimes get so low that even the thought of trying to be positive makes us even more unmotivated, which can lead us into a spiral of negativity. When you feel like this, there are small changes you can make to get you back on that road of success.

1. Focus on one thing at a time Doing too much can eat up your energy and consequently your motivation. It is difficult to concentrate only on one thing at a time, we often take on too much or there are constant distractions. Remember energy and focus are the two essential ingredients for achieving any goal.

2. Create excitement about your goals Think about what you would feel like when you have accomplished a goal (a reasonably big goal) this will create more momentum into your actions and of course increase your motivation. Visualization of your achievement can also help to increase feelings of motivation and excitement.

3. Write down your goal. Don’t only write it down, put the written goal in a place that you will see many times a day – it is a bit like an affirmation. A good place would be up on your wall in the office. You should try to create constant reminders about your goal, in order to stay focused and to sustain that excitement.

4. Make a public statement. We tend to want avoid looking bad in front of other people. We are more likely to keep to what we say when we have told several people. A good place to announce your goals is on Facebook – Your associates are sure to ask you about it and take interest in your progress. It is difficult to back down when everyone is talking about it. This way you can keep everyone up to date with updates about how you are doing.

5. Do Something Everyday Even if you don’t feel motivated, sometimes doing something actually puts you in the mood, even by outsourcing some of the work it can feel like you’ve made a step in the right direction. I am sure you have had times when you have not been hungry, but started to eat anyway only to find you got the appetite through eating. It is often the way with work, get into the routine of doing something for your goal everyday and you will get the motivation by seeing the goal gradually develop.

6. Get support. Find others who have the same goal as you, join an online forum.

7. Accept the ups and the downs. Motivation is the same as every other feeling, it comes and it goes. You can do a lot to keep the motivation up, and accepting the times when you are unmotivated will prevent the pressure and the unrealistic expectations. Accepting that you will have times when you feel unmotivated, will help to keep up the motivation. Just do some of the techniques mentioned and the motivation will come back.

8. Persistence is the key Keep on working on your goal and stay with it. I am not saying that you should stay with the goal if you find that it is better to take a different road but don’t give up. Be flexible but continue, challenges are there to test you. Even if you are feeling unmotivated, focus on the next step and don’t give up.

If necessary don’t be afraid to ask for help, that’s where our services come in, you can contact The Virtual Office and see how we can help you to reach your business goals.