Benefits of Building your Social Media Presence

In this day and age if your business doesn’t have a social media presence that you’re pretty much eliminating yourself from a large percentage of opportunity.

Social Media

It’s a sad thought that this is true, because there is so much to focus on and learn when it comes to making sure that you stand out from the crowd, that many people avoid it entirely due to feeling completely overwhelmed.

If this is you, you are not alone! Don’t give up and don’t feel intimidated, there are steps you can take to make sure that social media is part of your marketing plan, without you having to do too much yourself.

Think about the following benefits of building your social media presence:-

  • You’re going to get your brand out there. Yes those colours you carefully chose when designing your logo and implemented into your website are going to play an extremely important role in instant recognition from your existing and new followers. Your ‘voice’ also represents your brand, so your style of writing/communication will be transmitted across the social media channels, attracting potential clients or customers who your brand and style appeal to.
  • You’re going to make connections. This is an extremely valuable benefit. Making connections will help you to expand your network and lead to opportunities. Remember that phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” well that works with social media connections too.
  • You’re going to be able to provide a higher level of customer service. Social media is a great way to not only market your upcoming offerings to your audience, but it’s also a great way of demonstrating good customer service. Response times can be rapidly improved on comments and questions and if someone has an issue that they have decided to voice online (that may not necessarily be a positive one) you can demonstrate effectively your methods of resolution and ways of turning a customer who may be a little unsatisfied to a happy one.

If this still overwhelms you and we are sure it will because this is just the tip of the iceberg then there is help at hand. The answer… turn to a Virtual Assistant who specialises in social media support.

Start off by picking up that phone and making a call. Remote Associates love to hear from anyone who feels completely baffled by social media science, so that we can put their minds at rest. We’re pretty confident that after a bit of a chat to discuss your business, your intentions and your concerns we can get a plan in place for you.

Make social media your friend and let us be the ones to introduce you to one another.

~ Hayley and The Remote Associates Team

 Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot at

Lost an Hour but gained a Day.

Time is precious!  We all know how quickly it can pass us by and if we don’t make the most of the time we have available to us, we’re not going to benefit from the many rewards that are out there if we use it efficiently.

Time Management

This of course is the case in everyday life, but in particular we want to address just how time can have an impact on us as a business owner.

If you had a choice each day that for every hour that you worked you either made an income (so the time spent is to gain a monetary value) OR you spent time on the tasks that run your business (again, it relates to creating a monetary value, but not directly), what would you choose?

Time spent working on the back office tasks to your business are essential, and in the long run will of course bring in money to the business. Your marketing tasks and social media contribution all factor into the success of your development as it is helping you to invite potential clients or customers towards enquiring about your services or product. However, by spending time on these areas, you’re not focusing on what you do best… performing your specific service or production of your product. You are not using the time as ‘chargeable’ time.

There is away around it though, and for many businesses the word Virtual Assistant is not so alien these days. There used to be a look of confusion when the term VA started making the rounds, especially here in the UK. Today it’s not so uncommon for people to be aware of what we Virtual Assistants do. Remote Associates are proud to have been established for over 3 years now, so we have seen a completely different shift in awareness of the VA industry.

If you are still not sure, or are wondering how working with a Virtual Assistant could help you to use your time more effectively, then get in touch with us here.  It would be great to discuss your needs and we are almost certain that we will be able to achieve a resolution that will make you feel as if you’ve lost an hour but gained a day.

~ Hayley and The Remote Associates Team

 Image courtesy of fotographic1980 at

Remote Associates meets Theo Paphitis

Wow! It’s been some time since Remote Associates were on the blog wagon.

#SBSWe’ve been so busy with so many exciting things that our regular posts went a little quiet. Never fear…we are back and what better time to start getting ‘on it’ again than with an update of the events last Friday.

As many of you may already know, Remote Associates became a proud winner of Theo Paphitis’ #SBS (Small Business Sunday). Here’s a little explanation as to what it’s all about and why it’s a big deal.

“Each week, Theo rewards small businesses that tweet him @TheoPaphitis and describe their businesses in one tweet including the all-important hashtag #SBS. Only tweets made in the time slot between 5.00 PM and 7.30 PM each Sunday count.

Every Monday night at 8pm, Theo reviews and chooses his favourite lucky six who are then re-tweeted. As he has over 450,000 followers, this provides a massive boost to the chosen lucky businesses.

The benefits range from increased Twitter followers, to positive media publicity and crucially for many, increased sales! Of course, none of this is guaranteed as it is largely down to perseverance and hard work. A smidgen of luck comes in handy.”

My winning tweet was some exciting news that Theo considered worthy of re-tweeting. I had shared a link to my website page with an update that I had started to add members to my team.

Remote Associates practice what we preach and so I thought it a great example to take team member Michelle Gibson along with me to demonstrate that even us Virtual Assistants need our own Virtual Assistant.

As a growing business there is always something new and exciting to learn.

We were lucky enough to partake in a Q&A session with not only Theo Paphitis himself but also Holly Tucker from Not on the High Street and Mike Pickles from Really Useful Products. Our minds where alive with new ideas, helpful information and the realisation and excitement of where we were actually sitting. Who was teaching us, how far the business has come on it’s journey and also the potential and energy of each and every other attendee/winner and their own entrepreneurial journey.

It’s a day in history for Remote Associates and I’ll never forget being presented with my #SBS certificate and getting the chance to meet Theo himself.

We would love to hear from other winners of #SBS, so please share your experience of the #SBS 2016 Event.

Here’s to the successful future of RA and the many other businesses that we pride ourselves with supporting.

~ Hayley and The Remote Associates Team

RA Team Member Michelle’s 5 Challenges

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about the challenges of working from home and provided a few tips and tricks as to how to overcome them.

ID-100201395 by gameannaIn our last post Working from Home Challenge: Space to Work Productively we mentioned how one of our Remote Associates team members, Michelle, started up her business from her desk in her bedroom, so we thought we would ask her to write a little piece about what that was like and any challenges that she had to over come. So here’s Michelle’s story…

Hey everyone! It’s great to share with you how I started up my business from my tiny little bedroom whilst living at home with my folks. It is possibly one of the most challenging yet rewarding tasks I have ever done in my life!

Due to endless temporary contracts after I became redundant in 2008, I got tired of going from place to place and feeling as though the input and hard work that I put into my roles never got me anywhere. After all, a temporary position was indeed that and I wanted something more. Something where I would be rewarded for my efforts and have some control over my career path. So I decided to become a Virtual Assistant. The story as to how I made that decision is another one entirely, which maybe I will share with you one day, but for now, I’ll share with you how I made it work from the tiniest of spaces to be productive.

My parents bought their house as basically a stop gap! They travelled a lot and just wanted a place to rest their heads for a few months at a time, whilst they went back and forth to their property in Florida, so what they had purchased back in the UK was a relatively small home that was ideal for the two of them. They didn’t count on me turning up on their doorstep one day in 2008 with my bags packed and my arms outstretched saying “I’m home!”

So to cut a long story short, three adults in a home designed for two was challenging. My bedroom space was limited and the phrase ‘room to swing a cat’ comes to mind. 

With sheer determination I made sure that my immediate surroundings were comfortable and productive. Many an evening I spent working away at my tiny, TINY desk developing ideas for my business. That was hard! = CHALLENGE 1.

Having a semi-retired dad (who lacks in hobbies and likes to chat) was amazing as I had him around, but it was tricky because it could often be distracting. = CHALLENGE 2

Mum also works from home, and obviously dad likes to be on his iPad, so three people connected to the internet caused some speed issues. = CHALLENGE 3

My ‘office’ was in my bedroom, and so I felt like I could never escape work. The place that was meant for rest and relaxation was filled with an aura or work, stress (yes it’s stressful starting a business) and tension. I could never switch off. = CHALLENGE 4

Keeping your head sane was also a challenge. I was building a business and appreciated the support I was getting from my amazing family, however, not being able to be out there making a reasonable amount of money and supporting myself, ended up with me losing a little self- confidence and independence = CHALLENGE 5

All of these challenges may appear to come across as negative, however I think of them in an extremely positive way. If I’d not started my business from my bedroom, I’d not be where I am today with my own office, overlooking my back garden, in a comfortable chair and with a MASSIVE DESK! 

What I’m trying to say is that these hurdles and challenges are totally worth it. Keep at them and working from home will be the most rewarding thing you have ever done!

~ Michelle 

Have you faced similar challenges? What have you learnt and would like to share? We would love to hear from you!

We’ll be asking our other team members over the next few weeks to provide us with their stories and challenges, so watch this space.

~ Hayley and The Remote Associates Team

 Image courtesy of gameanna at

Working from Home Challenge: Space to Work Productively

by AmbroWe’ve been overwhelmed by the response we have received for this series of blog posts and would like to take a moment to thank you all for taking time to provide your comments and feedback. It’s a fantastic feeling when we hear from people who can relate to the scenarios that we write about. Our aim is not to preach how you should do things, but merely provide suggestions and ideas that you can implement into your business and lifestyle. We want to show an understanding that we’ve been where you are too, and these posts are here for us to share what we have learnt as a remote business.

So without further ado, it’s time to share with you our final instalment of the Working from Home Challenge.

This week, we want to look at what space you have available. What areas within your environment are suitable for you to ‘set up camp and start work’ and be productive within that space.

You hear how most entrepreneurs started from their bedroom! This is no lie for many.  A member of our Remote Associates Team – Michelle Gibson, did exactly that. Whilst still living at her parents house and holding down a part-time job, she spent many an evening at her desk in her bedroom building her business to lead onto the success that it is today. (She has her own office now! – Go Michelle!)

However, there are things that you do need to take into consideration:-

Is your work environment impacting on your health and safety?

You need to make sure that you are sitting comfortably, that your computer is positioned correctly and that you take regular breaks! Get up from that desk, sofa, dining room table, breakfast bar stool or sun lounger and move about! When you work from home your work space will be what you have available, however it doesn’t get assessed by someone with a health and safety check-list, so make sure you do all that you can so that your chosen working environment does not impact on your health.

Is your work space located where you can be productive?

If you find that you work in the evenings from the dining room table, is this really the best place to position yourself due to family feeding time?  Do you have your desk in your living area where you could be disturbed by those that are watching TV or the kids are playing with their toys. If you have a workspace that is quite and away from clutter and distractions, you will find you are far more productive.

Don’t take over the house!

After all, your house is your home! It’s a place for you and you loved ones to have sanctuary, security and a healthy, happy lifestyle. Therefore, you need to make sure that you can separate your work/living space so that when you have time off you don’t feel as if you’re in the office, which can sometimes have an impact on your nearest and dearest. Nobody wants you in ‘work mode’ 24/7.

As your business grows, you may eventually have to have a dedicated work space/office, so this is something to consider.

If you are a remote worker, where do you work from in your home? Is there somewhere that you find you are more productive? Perhaps you find it difficult to create your work space?

We would love to hear from you!

~ Hayley and The Remote Associates Team

 Image courtesy of Ambro at

Working From Home Challenge: Work/Life Balance

ID-100260598 by stuart milesWe’ve previously been posting about the challenges that you face when you work from home, or should we say, remotely, as not everyone decides to work from their home office. Many people utilise the freedom to take their laptop to the local coffee shop with a free wi-fi connection or do their accounts or writing in the park on a sunny day.

Being able to benefit from this freedom, helps to contribute to a healthy work/life balance. There’s nothing better for you than some fresh air, or surrounding yourself with people if you often spend days on your own, however, it’s also important to know when to totally switch off!

For your family, there is nothing more frustrating than wanting to spend the day with their loved one, but if your face is constantly checking your emails on your mobile phone or you are stressed and unable to relax and enjoy some quality time then your work/life balance needs to be addressed. 

It’s important to your family, your health and your business that you know how to get the balance right.

Here are our 5 tips to contribute to a healthy work/life balance.

1. Have a separate business phone 

Mobile phones do everything but wash the dishes these days, which means that we are constantly available. From checking emails to spending time on social media, if we have our phones in the palm of our hands 24/7 we will never switch off from work. Think about whether it’s worth having a separate phone for personal/business. One that you can switch off at the end of your working day, and the other that is for personal use only. If you use your phone for social media, then turn off any work related notifications to avoid being distracted and switching your mind back to work mode. Alternatively, make it a technology free time! We don’t mean don’t watch TV or listen to the radio, just reduce communication methods and enjoy some peace and quiet from the social buzz.

2. Have a dedicated ‘NO WORK’ day

Sunday is always a good day to totally switch off. Spend time with your family by doing activities or going on a day trip. Take some time out to be by yourself and read a book or if you are the creative type, get out that sewing machine, go tinker with the car or get your green fingers on and get out in the garden. By totally switching off from work you can recharge your batteries, ready to start over again.

3. Stick to your working hours

Whatever they may be and however flexible they are, do the hours you agree with yourself that you will do each day. This doesn’t mean a 14 hour slog! It means setting yourself a reasonable time-scale to complete what is within your capabilities. We know that you have deadlines to meet, but with careful planning, these can be achieved without working into the night (unless you’re a night owl of course, and those are the working hours you have set yourself.)

4. Exercise

This one goes without saying. To achieve a healthy work/life balance, you need a healthy mind and a healthy body. By getting in the habit of regular exercise, you are filling your brain and your body with powerful positive chemicals that will help you to think clearer, be more productive and most important of all look after YOU!

5. Regularly review your structure

If you are finding it difficult to achieve a work/life balance then you need to take a step back and review your structure. Working remotely means that you are in control. You are the one that can make the decisions as to how you can work effectively and in a way that benefits your health, so if it’s not working – fix it! Take some time to analyse what you might be doing wrong and implement changes to make it right.

Is there an area that you particularly struggle with in gaining your work/life balance?

If you find that you are taking on too much and need some assistance so that you can gain back that work/life balance then contact us here at Remote Associates. Our team have your interests at heart and want to ensure that you are your best self to run your business. Let us take on some of those tasks that are taking up your time. Let us help you gain back some freedom to breathe.

We would love to hear from you with your thoughts and comments!

Until next week…

~ Hayley and The Remote Associates Team

 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Working from Home Challenge: Discipline

ID-100268377 by patrisyuTo work from home, it does take a certain kind of person. You have to be self motivated, organised and disciplined.

You need to be setting yourself boundaries, not only with your clients but also with yourself and making sure that you stick to them.  It’s easy to become distracted at home by other tasks that are not work related. Albeit it’s good to put the washing on and prepare the dinner each day with plenty of time, or sort out that cupboard that’s been bothering you with a touch of DIY, however, it’s also very easy to get side-tracked and to spend more time on non work related tasks than completing what you need to do to earn a living.

This is where the challenge of discipline comes in.

  • Set yourself working hours Whether you choose to work the 9 ’til 5, or a later or earlier shift. Stick to your hours. By sticking to your hours, remember that you may have chosen to work from home to be flexible, so those hours don’t need to be consecutive. What we mean is, if you are aiming to do 7 hours a day then DO 7 hours a day.
  • Keep on top of your ‘to-do’ list When you have a ‘to-do’ list you know what you need to get done. Those tasks won’t tick off themselves, so you need to be disciplined and focused to get the jobs completed. If you’re list is never at a satisfactory completed level then you need to assess if you’ve taken on too much, or if you’re just not simply being productive.
  • Have a dedicated space to work in Whether it’s a dedicated room in your house as your home office, or a corner of the dining room, make sure that you have a dedicated space to work in. Your ‘work zone’. It doesn’t have to be a specially designed space, just somewhere you can function productively.
  • Get the fun stuff out of the way  Arranged a meet up with a friend? That’s great, because you work on a flexible basis, that’s one of the benefits. However, if you are someone that spends most of the day unable to concentrate because you’re too busy thinking about that glass of wine with your best friend over lunch, then maybe you should instead schedule a coffee in the morning, so that you can continue with your working day on your return without the excitement distraction.
  • Take note of your productivity It sounds like an extra chore but it’s not. It’s pretty simple. Keep a small notebook to jot down your achievements. Perhaps you feel motivated by a visual of how much income you are creating on a daily basis? If that’s the case, write down the amount you have billed for each task.  Whatever motivates or inspires you is what will keep you disciplined.

What do you find difficult with working from home? Are you struggling at being disciplined? What do you do to overcome those days when you may feel the tendency to ‘slack off’? Do you have specific tasks that you put off and take any excuse of sidetracking to avoid them? Perhaps Remote Associates could help you with those tasks, so that you can regain your focus?

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

~ Hayley and The Remote Associates Team

 Image courtesy of Patrisyu at