do new business owners need trainer wheels?

I recently read that half of all British businesses are now based at home and one in 10 domestic properties is home to a business, according to research conducted in association with Direct Line for Business and PC World Business.

Why should I be surprised? Advancing technology is making it easier than ever for people to be more flexible in business. The idea of someone running an entire business from home now seems very realistic.

76% of homepreneurs have never been involved in running a business before.

It’s easy for those of us who have been in business for a while to forget the challenges of starting a new business.

Like riding a bike. What can be so difficult? Until you get on the bike! At which point you realise that balance is key. So it is with a new business requiring so many areas that need attention. Aspects of the business that frankly, you don’t have the aptitude, skills or interest in.

Naturally, each person will approach the challenges of their new business with enthusiasm, often confused with ‘ignorance on fire’. I know, I’ve been there.

Embark on a new business and you can plan your strategy, product or service development, your marketing. You can control your expenses, manage your cash flow etc. but you can’t do everything yourself, even though you might think you can.

Just like we underestimate the calories we consume and overestimate the exercise we take, we are not brilliant at everything. Choose your surrogate support team carefully.

Surround yourself with people who will support and inspire you to be more than you believe you are. You will get to where you want to go, faster and with less heartache.

You will need this support and might be surprised to learn that you don’t always get it from your family. see What to do When Your Spouse Does Not Want You to Open a Business

Oh, to see into the future. To be able to avoid the challenges and have someone who has ‘been there’. Worry not, if you can get through it before your funds run out (cash flow is a major cause of business failure) you are awarded a ‘been there – got the t-shirt’ badge. It’s called experience. Hopefully, a profitable one.

Walk in the footprints of those who have already been where you want to go.

At SmartPA, we provide more than the services we invoice. We provide an emotional intelligence and desire to help entrepreneurs achieve more.

Our franchisees bring their own individual experiences in business and provide a support system that inspires people to be, do and have more.

And for those homepreneurs who are considering starting up their own virtual PA services, I say this. Why on earth would you want to face the challenges on your own when you can take advantage of the experience of a team who have laid down the footprints.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA working with Smart PA. Her background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal provides invaluable experience. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business. She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs and professionals who travel extensively

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Life beyond Corporate – Getting started as an Entrepreneur

blonde, girl, taking

Life beyond Corporate. Getting started as an Entrepreneur is always a challenge to anyone brought up as an employee.

What does it really take to leave the comfort of a well-paid corporate job and start out on your own? More than you think.

Passion
Working for yourself, starting a business is not for the faint hearted and if you haven’t got an overriding passion and infectious enthusiasm the challenges in business that will test your resolve to the limit. There is little room for self doubt.

But what if you want to leave the corporate rat race and you’re not clear about where your passion lies?  ‘You don’t really know what you want to be when you grow up’.

Don’t beat yourself up for you are not alone, as this fascinating Ted Talk from Emilie Wapnick reveals.

ted talks

Network One
The greatest challenges that people leaving corporate face is being used to a support structure that provides ideas, talent, skills to contribute to the overall purpose of the business of generating portable revenue.

As soon as possible surround yourself with people who will provide skills, services and inspiration necessary to make the most profitable use of your time. Most people starting their own business fail to budget for this. They attempt to do everything themselves, in the belief that when the business is profitable they will introduce such a structure. Wrong way round.

It won’t happen, for the distracted, and ultimately tired and frustrated individual will never achieve as much or as fast as a support team helping reach past break-even into profit.

Hire a personal assistant who has already made that move from corporate to starting a business. The good ones help entrepreneurs prioritise, focus and keep on track. They help entrepreneurs use their time in the a more productive fashion whilst they take care of many of the necessary activities previously provided within the corporate structure.

A Virtual Personal Assistant’s understanding of the corporate culture from a similar, even higher level is quite important when sharing ideas. This special insight could be worth more than their monthly charges.

Network Two
There is a massive gulf between the marketing undertaken within a large corporate and the type of marketing required to get a business start-up off the ground. So much money is wasted on marketing by people who don’t know what they’re doing.

Instead, your personal and extended connections will make up your network and your network is said to be equal to your net worth.

The more people who know what your goals are, the better, as people generally love to help people. This is one area that need not cost too much money but instead will take time to develop. Time well spent.

Check out a local Business Network International (BNI) meeting.  They have referral marketing strategies down to a fine art.

You will achieve more in less time, when you focus on creating strong referral partnerships rather than attracting an extensive list of ‘networking junkies’ aimlessly wandering from networking event to networking event, looking for that quick sale.

Learn how to use LinkedIn to make and develop online connections. Lynda.com has some great courses. Don’t risk exposing yourselves as a novice during this important time.

Practice Patience
If you are going to be in business for the long term you need to be patient, for it may take longer than you expect to create the visibility and establish your reputation as someone worth doing business with.

If you have experienced other challenges making to move from corporate to your own business then please comment below or perhaps connect on LinkedIn.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business. She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs and professionals who travel extensively

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keeping entrepreneurs on track

Keeping entrepreneurs on track is very much like herding cats.

Don’t get me wrong. I love working with entrepreneurs.

You know the one’s I mean. Steve Jobs described them as “the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently – they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

You need a special type of patience and insight to work with people like this. I get to work with people who have this genius within and feel my focus is to help them release it.

I would like to think I keep them on track. But, I flatter myself. You don’t keep entrepreneurs on track, you just know what needs to get done to keep the track clear for them to do what they do best. Innovate, hustle, produce.

You see ‘would be’ entrepreneurs are still doing stuff they should not be doing. Like arranging meetings, preparing presentations, getting ‘bogged down’ with emails and other distractions. Distractions that take them away from where they are meant to be focused. Working in their business instead of on it. Typically, they are frustrated because they can’t understand why they are busier than ever but not getting where they know they should be.

Distractions are the enemy

Technology and social media can help us all connect and get more done faster but at what cost? Competitors are not the problem, distraction is.

A savvy Virtual Personal Assistant who is already working with ‘a few crazy misfits and rebels’ has the clarity to see who to keep the tracks clear so the entrepreneur stays on track and accountable.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business. She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs and professionals who travel extensively

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Staying Focused in 2016

Staying Focused in 2016

I work with many people who need to stay focused in order to achieve that which they set out to achieve. I would like to think that, as a virtual personal assistant (VPA), I help entrepreneurs meet this challenge.

And it’s a challenge for everybody who wants to be successful because, let’s face it, there are so many distractions that can dilute our effectiveness. Pull us off course.

In his post, “How to Stay Focused”, Brendon Burchard nails it, even suggesting that we actually make fewer decisions and that we stop browsing. Heaven forbid, this is probably how you found my post.

One of the biggest challenges, covered in Brendon’s excellent video, is to get action orientated entrepreneurs to say no more often than they say yes.

Anyway, you be the judge. Discover your focus for 2016 to make it the best year ever.

Read Brendon’s Original Blog here: http://brendonburchard.tumblr.com/post/112317302023/how-to-stay-focused

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.

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Working Mums in Business

Almost three quarters of working mums dream of being their own boss.

During this run up to the General Election, statistics are thrown around like confetti but I found the statistic above of particular interest. Perhaps because it has nothing to do with the election.

The statistic came from a survey that involved 1,500 working mums and was conducted by One Poll. It found that 64% of women had taken steps to improve their work-life balance after starting a family, and over half chose part time work to give them more time at home.

Read the full article here: why three quarters of working mums want to start their own business.

I know what this takes to do it on my own and how much easier it is to surround myself with talented people to help me – all off payroll.

I have three children and help a number of business owners grow their business by helping them focus on the parts of their business that matters. What do I do? I take care of the important elements of running a business that don’t need to be done by the owner and keep them from wandering off script.

working mums

Can a virtual assistant help working mums? Of course they can, if they have the necessary experience of which, being a working mum, I would suggest, is a pre-requisite.

In fairness, many working mums, running a business from home, are content with the size and progress of their business. However, in my experience, those individuals (men as well) who have come away from a corporate lifestyle in order to have more of a ‘work – life balance’ still have aspirations for greater things. Which is where a virtual assistant comes in. Especially one with an awareness of what it takes to transition from corporate to working from home.

The added stress of children at nursery, play school, etc. especially during periods of illness resulted in 73% of the women questioned saying that, given the opportunity, they would leave the financial security of their current job for a more entrepreneurial life.

career ideas for women

 

 

So, excuses out of the way. What are you waiting for?  Inspiration? Try these: Home Career Ideas