I read with interest a tweet this week by ultra successful entrepreneur Nigel Botterill:
“If you haven’t got an Assistant, you are one”
It’s this belief that underlines my passion for helping entrepreneurs, directors and business owners to understand how much more productive and successful they could be if they got a little help.
In my many conversations with Penni Pike, Sir Richard Branson’s closest assistant for 31 years and now our special advisor, it has become obvious to me just how vital Penni was to the building of the Virgin empire – Richard simply couldn’t have done it without her. Penni even took the call that started Virgin Atlantic.
You don’t have to be a billionaire to have an assistant – getting some help doesn’t need to be expensive, daunting, difficult or even a long term commitment. Providing you use a Virtual Assistant service (plug: like ours!), and avoid the pitfalls of trying to recruit, retain and motivate a full time assistant, it’s one of the best value and easiest tools to boost your effectiveness.
So far we’ve helped more than 200 business owners, entrepreneurs and directors to save more than 7,313 working days – that’s 1462 working weeks or about 31 working years!
Could we be helping you too?
I often find it hard to find high quality business advice online, despite it being almost constantly rammed into my Twitter and Linkedin feeds daily.
Because there are now few barriers (such as needing a publisher) to get in the way of publishing advice there is a huge volume of it out there. A whole load of it suffers from these problems:
a) It’s written purely to promote the author or their business. Almost any small business marketing guide recommends throwing large volumes of advice out there to “position yourself as an expert” which results in a huge volume of pseudo advice, often written with a commercial motive (bad)
b) It’s written by someone who either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or have written it on a whim to fill a page, rather than being qualified, solid and time tested advice (worse)
With this in mind I’d thought I’d take the opportunity to link to a blog that feels full of decent advice, real views and solid experienced based business observations:
We climbed Snowdon in record time, thank you for your support!
It’s been just over a week since the Time etc team climbed Snowdon in record time, despite 60mph winds, constant rain and extremely thick fog. We can all walk again (just about)!
We were totally blown away by the amount of money that our clients, friends and colleagues donated to support us on our climb – we raised a stunning £4,500. If you donated and supported us, or even just encouraged, our heartfelt thanks for helping us to raise so much money for three great causes. Your support, encouragement and donations really kept us going on the day.
A special thank you must go to our official sponsor Cosmedocs, the cosmetic Doctors of Harley Street: http://www.cosmedocs.co.uk. I must also thank Lydia for being an amazing organiser and keeping the fund raising going in the weeks before the climb, and the members of the team that contributed in so many different ways from giving up time to sourcing accommodation.
The best bit is that we all had a great time, as well as raising lots of money. It was lovely to chat to colleagues we don’t normally get the chance to catch up with, spend time together outside of the office and bask in the amazing sense of acheivement at the end of the climb.
A team photo, before we set out, is below. For more photos of the climb go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/timeetc
I was lucky enough to turn the business I started aged 17, with £150, into a multi-million pound enterprise with more than 24,000 customers, so I read with interest this week about StartUp Britain.
Launched this Monday, this initiative is a government-backed (but not funded) attempt to get more people to start their own businesses. It’s a brilliant combination of resources, links and £1500 worth of vouchers and offers to help get you started.
I’ve always believed that most people in the UK who dream of starting a business are held back by one thing – FEAR. Most of those people never really take the risk, leave stable employment and go for it. Many of those that do, quickly let fear overcome them when they discover that starting a business can be extremely difficult.
Here at Time Etc we’re lucky enough to support more than 180 business owners who have taken the plunge, started their own businesses and got through the “difficult” start-up period – but I’ve seen plenty of people spend six months working on a concept and give up within six weeks because they got a few rejections during their first round of sales calls. The fear of failure itself results in failure.
So, if fear is the number one thing that stops more people starting and succeeding with their own businesses, is StartUp Britain a good thing? Will it help to encourage more people to take the plunge and get started?
I certainly think so.
Putting aside the £1500 vouchers (nice touch, great PR hook but they’re probably not going to change anyone’s life) it is clear to me that StartUp Britain is a very high profile way to make those people on the verge of starting their own business feel more supported and less fearful. It’s a bundle of resources to help you on your way, backed by a friendly set of human faces – people who have been there and done it.
There are plenty of business resources out there that do a similar thing, but none has achieved the PR coup that we’ve seen with StartUp Britain, who have had heaps of tabloid and news coverage all over the UK.
If StartUp Britain can, in any way, make someone who is thinking of starting a business feel a little more supported and less fearful, it has succeeded. At the very least it’s got us all talking about start-ups again – which is absolutely brilliant.
For more information visit http://www.startupbritain.org
Founder of Time Etc