Serenity VA, Author at Serenity Virtual Assist
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Author: Serenity VA

Quality, ethically sourced, sustainable food that tastes great, supports local and is delivered with passion weaves it's way into my day-to-day as part of the role I have for working with and supporting independent foodie businesses across the UK, and in a perfect fit as I move forward with changes to the blog bringing you interviews with people I work with, or simply businesses who inspire me, we're kicking off with an interview with the lovely Ella who is one of the duo behind the wonderful Ben & Ella's Bakery and Ben & Ella's Farm Shop. Ben & Ella's Farm Shop, opened in February 2019, with Ben & Ella and their 'deli dog' Crunchie at the helm, a young couple who are both simply very passionate about food! Nestled gently on the beautiful Baythorne Hall site, just outside Halstead in Essex and is stuffed to the brim with delicious treats. The breads...

I do a LOT of things. Most of my day-to-day is underpinning and supporting the wonderfully talented illustrator and Instagram wonder bean Emily Coxhead with The Happy Newspaper and I love it!  The rest of my time is spent on marketing - and mostly for foodie heros! Passionate people in food; growers, makers, small producers, and kitchen wonders! But one thing I realised recently is that you wouldn't necessarily know this from my blog and website! So you'll start to notice a few changes in the coming months! Some of the services will be changing; we're losing a few, gaining a few and generally mixing it up! And the blog will be changing too - my tips and tricks, and marketing insights will stay of course but you'll notice featured foodie businesses (some I work with, others I just love!) sneaking their way in with profiles and reviews starting to make...

The end of the year is a wonderful time to celebrate.  It's all Christmas Christmas Christmas, and in marketing terms a great opportunity for your brand to give your social media friends a little surprise while creating more reach and visibility for yourself. And the best thing, with these simple ideas, you still have time to set up a festive social media campaign! Run a Customer Appreciation Campaign The Christmas holiday time is all about giving. Show your customers appreciation either with a big giveaway or a series of smaller gifts over the festive season. Reward your fans, the people who are sharing your content the most. You can create a specific post (or posts) for people to share and pick a winner from those who share correctly. You can support the campaign via email, on your website and if you're a bricks & mortar business, in person. Create Social Media...

Put your money where your heart is Shop local, support your friends, neighbours and yourself. Invest in your community; help to create a stronger and healthier local economy by keeping your money local. Community Sustainability Local stores help sustain vibrant, compact and walkable town centres – which in turn are essential to reduce sprawl, vehicle use, habitat loss and pollution Keep Your Community Unique One of a kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of your local area. They create diversity on your High Street and they often support other local makers and creators. Create Collective Prosperity Locally owned businesses invest more in local labour, contribute more local taxes and spent more time on community based decisions, and creating local events.  In doing so, they create more opportunity for everyone in your community Local Owners Care Local business owners often live in and love your area.  They are less likely to leave and are more invested...

Halloween food and plastic waste - both escalate to levels you wouldn’t conventionally think about at this time of year. Have you thought that each individual wrapped sweet you give out contains plastic? All those little bags of Haribo or mini bags of chocolate buttons, all those Cadburys Hero’s – every single one of those is cloaked in plastic, which ultimately end up in landfill. And did you know that Halloween costumes and clothing on sale from six major retailers in the UK is 90% made from plastic (polyester is plastic)?  Or that this can create up to 2,600 tons (2.6 million kilogrammes) of extra plastic waste simply from the amount of costumes literally thrown away by families each year. That’s the equivalent to over 100 million plastic Coca Cola bottles. Last year, in the UK alone, over seven million costumes were disposed of. And then comes the Halloween food waste. Forty percent of people...

Work/life balance means something different to everyone and at times is at best an elusive ideal and at worst a complete myth. We all live busy lives. Whether you work for a small company, a large corporate or are running solo. A whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. By making considered choices about which opportunities you pursue and which you decline, rather than simply reacting to emergencies, you can find try to find some balance in meaningfully engaging with work, family, and community. And you know what, give yourself a break - you can’t do everything, nor should you try No matter what work/life balance means for you, here are some useful tips that might help! Build Real Support Networks No matter who you talk to, whatever their role or...

So you’ve found your venue, the meeting space is perfect and you’ve made sure you’ve got enough bedrooms and break out rooms to keep everyone happy, including some space for you to manage all the day to day bits & bobs throughout the conference yes? And you’ve worked out the best place for the conference dinner – whether that’s in the venue or a fab place close by. But what about the dinner itself? Have you thought about that. Great conference dinners don’t just happen. Last year I organised three large conferences for different clients and one senior executive for a major aerospace company told me that the conference dinner is the hi-light of the event and one he always remembers. People may forget the snippets of conversation, the hi-lights of the presentations but you can guarantee if the evening dinner event is good they will never forget that conference dinner. It’s...

Need some simple tips to grow your Instagram? Instagram is one of the hottest social networks right now. It's visual, it's quick, it's mobile and it's pretty simple to use. There's no better time than now to get started with Instagram. The following tips can help you make the best out of your own Instagram experience so you can grow your followers and increase your engagement. Follow feeds you love Being truly authentic is vital and having your own feed full of images that inspire you will motivate you to comment and make new friends.  Social Media needs to be just that, social! Search and follow the people that impassion you and your audience – look for the pioneers, the people who make you smile when you find them in your feed, influencers and other users who inspire you each and every day. Comment liberally and authentically Now let’s be honest we all like a compliment,...

I'm a single mum. I run a home. I have a busy teenage daughter. I manage an small business outsourcing team. And then I manage my own work for clients on a daily basis - so it's not surprising that I'm often asked just how I manage to do so much. And mostly with a smile on my face. First, I'm not always smiling and sometimes my endless cups of fennel tea (I also don't drink any caffeine ever!) go cold and I need to remember to breathe. But it's not often, as I have a few' work rules' I live by that make my business life a lot easier to manage, some of which you might find useful! And if business still feels overwhelming at times, then give us a call and we'll see how we can help! Be Ruthless I’m really ruthless in terms of doing only those things which are...

There’s no shortage of news about plastics right now and reducing plastic in your small business can make a difference. From our oceans to local waterways. Sea creatures and birds with stomachs filled with plastic trash they mistook for food. And on beaches all over the world, we’re increasingly finding the tideline littered with plastics from the tiniest microbeads and mini debris to larger bottles. So we’ve put our thinking caps on and come up with just a few ways you could go about reducing plastic in your small business, whether you’re a café, a hospitality business, a trade - or a small office based business. Single-use plastic straws Did you know that in the US alone they throw away enough plastic straws on a daily basis, to wrap the earth’s circumference 2.5 times - each and every day! That’s huge and something you can easily do something about. Encourage your colleagues and customers...