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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...

When you make the decision to hire a virtual assistant it’s a big one and a decision that, with the right VA, can radically change your life and support your business. Working with a virtual assistant is a tweaking process and a form of ‘letting go’ and comes with a whole host of, sometimes quite complex, emotions. It isn’t as simple as pressing an “easy button” and walking away. We need this to be a partnership, a working alongside. You can’t just hand over some basic information and expect it to just ‘flow’ – mostly because we can’t read minds and it takes time to become a ‘virtual you”! For many people, to hire a virtual assistant is entrusting part of your ‘baby’, and then learning how to do that and keep a hand in managing the workflow to the VA are totally new skills learn and master. Now please don’t think that...

If you’re running a local business with a physical ‘location’ and you’re doing OK, you’ll also know that, of course, your local customers are your most valuable customers. So how do you go about making sure that you’re reaching and connecting with the people that don’t know they need you yet? Or even 'local' people who might be slightly outside of your usual catchment? You might think that you don’t need to promote your local business online if you rely on passing trade, loyalty or word of mouth to bring in new customers. You don’t want to spend time messing about online when all your valuable customer can be right in front of you. You want to focus on doing what you do and let your work speak for itself. We get that. But all that said, in a competitive high street keeping hold of the customers you have (and getting new ones)...

We’d take a wild guess that you’re seeing less of brands and businesses that you have been following on Facebook. And that posts from people you saw before perhaps don’t show up now? Well, that’s because on Friday January 11, Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement regarding the Facebook environment and how they’ve had customer feedback that has indicated that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is overshadowing the personal posts from family and friends. The posts that connect us together. The original purpose for Facebook according to the announcement. In a nutshell, what this means now is that Facebook reach for businesses, brands and engagement-bait media pages will diminish significantly. Put simply your content as a business owner will show up less on people’s News Feeds. So what can we do? Be More Human The Engagement-bait which we all know and loathe, where it uses language on posts such as...

Need some help? Are you a small business who needs a bit of extra support?  Do you remember when you started your business and what it meant to you, what your dream was? Remember when you had the time to focus on your goals and creativity but now you are so over busy juggling all the day-to-day balls that some days you can’t even remember what your core business does anymore? You need some help but you don’t really want an employee. You’ve heard about Virtual Assistants but you’re not really sure what they are, how you would use one or what they can do? The “what exactly is the benefit of a VA” question is something I am asked regularly, so I thought it might be useful to summarise just a few of the benefits of having a Virtual Assistant. You don’t need to hire full time employees Traditionally when you run a...