Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves (Lord Chesterfield).
We’re dedicated to helping our clients save time, which also means saving money and often means saving your sanity too!
Here’s our 12 Days of Christmas post for 2013 detailing twelve simple ways to save minutes a day or even hours a week, which translates into an awful lot of money.
What are you going to do with the spare time you create? Use it to market your business? Treat it as daydreaming time for generating fresh ideas? Research a new string to your professional bow and widen your business’ reach? We’d love to know. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
Day 1: Let us handle customer service for you
Your customers deserve the very best service, whether it’s pre-sale, post-sale or somewhere in between. Get it wrong and they’ll leave you in droves, get it right and they’ll stick with you in the long term, loyal people who pass on their positive feelings about your business to others via word of mouth. You can’t buy a marketing advantage like that, it’s absolutely priceless.
If you’re too busy spinning plates to give your customers and prospects the attention they need to turn them into loyal advocates, we’ll do it for you. With our help every single one of your customers will feel special, cared for, valued and looked after. We’ll keep records of everything we do and for whom, and keep you up to date with progress so you always know what we’ve done, for whom, when and why.
Day 2: Let us do your business administration
How much time do you spend being your own PA? And how much time could you save if you handed administrative duties over to someone else?
You might be the slowest typist in the world, taking hours to generate a simple document, when we could do it for you in a fraction of the time. You might hate admin with a vengeance, or just be rubbish at it. Whatever the reasons, handing it over to us could save you a lot of money by freeing up a great deal of your valuable time.
There’s no need to employ someone full time or even part time. You can do it in a wonderfully ad hoc fashion if you like, bringing us in randomly whenever you need support. Or you can be a bit more organised and book someone in advance for a day or more once a week, fortnight or month.
Imagine you spend half a day every week just keeping up with admin. It doesn’t seem too bad until you add it up, then you get two days a month, 24 days a year. If we use our £50 an hour example again, doing your own admin 24 days a year could cost you as much as £350 a day or £8,400 a year in your own time. Which is pretty damned expensive and not a particularly wise use of your expertise.
Day 3: Managing your diary and email
You could spend an inordinate amount of time just trying to organise and maintain your diary. Or sit back, relax and let us do it for you. With our help you will have a clear and constant picture of what you need to do every day, when, where and with whom. We’ll make sure you don’t double-book your valuable time, aren’t overwhelmed and make the very best of the limited time you have.
Email can take over your life, so you might want to hand that over to us. You can trust us to manage it efficiently and professionally, leaving you with the most important emails to answer, the ones only you can handle. Say you spend an hour a day dealing with emails. That’s five hours a week, twenty hours a month, 240 hours a year. At £50 an hour for your time, that’s a grand annual total of £12,000 worth of your time spent maintaining you email account. If that’s not worth saving, we don’t know what is!
Day 4: Actually getting your email marketing done
All mouth and no trousers? You might be swimming in brilliant marketing ideas, poised to take over the world with your newsletters, email campaigns, PR, adverts, whatever. But as it turns out you just don’t have enough time to actually get it done. So it’s all talk, no action… and you’re missing out on all kinds of opportunities.
Even if you could do it all yourself, is it an effective use of your time, money and talent? Or would you be better off handing over the nuts and bolts to someone cheaper? If you don’t have time to carry out your own marketing, we’ll do the mechanics of it for you. We can even collect, collate and analyse the results, providing empirical insight into what pulls the biggest response, while you get down and dirty with the aspects of running and growing a business that you’re best at.
Day 5: Get us on your business MOT case & Day 6: Get a call answering service on the case
You’ve been meaning to get around to giving your entire business a jolly good ‘drains-up’ analysis for ages… but everyday stuff keeps getting in the way. While you can’t hand over the running side of things to us, you can certainly let us take a good, long, hard look at all sorts of practical aspects of the way your organisation works – or doesn’t work – and report back with loads of bright ideas for making things seamless, more efficient, faster, smoother, cheaper and better-aligned with your goals.
Day 6: Get a call answering service on the case
Say you spend just half an hour a day politely telling unwanted callers to go away. That’s 2.5 hours in a five day working week and 10 hours a month, which is roughly 1.5 working days. Expand things a bit further and you save a whopping 120 hours a year, which works out at 17 seven-hour working days.
Or look at it another way. Imagine you charge your time out at £50 an hour. That’s £120 hours at £50 an hour, an astonishing £6,000 worth of your precious time saved over a year. Imagine all the creative things you could do with that time instead of being driven mad answering telesales calls.
All of which makes this one a no-brainer. The more time you spend fielding unsolicited, unwanted calls, the more time you waste. Trained call answering experts are perfectly capable of establishing which calls are urgent and which can be left to the end of the day… or ignored altogether. Use our service and you can set aside dedicated time for daily call-backs. You can switch the service on and off to suit the way you work. You can get important calls patched straight through and vital messages texted to you in seconds. And all from a mere £25 a month.
Day 7: Get us in to carry out a website critique
When was the last time you took a long, hard look at your website? It’s all too easy to let things slide, especially these days where keeping a business’s online presence bang up to date is a vital part of the digital marketing whole.
Are you saying what your customers and potential clients want to hear? Is your message powerful enough to attract people’s attention or does it leave them cold? Is your blog so far out of date it might as well be mummified? Are all your products and services described and presented to their very best advantage? Does your site livery represent your services and products appropriately? Does your site look and perform like a dog’s dinner? In short, how many tricks are you missing?
If you don’t have the time, inclination or expertise to critique your own site, we’ll do it for you. We’ll be honest and truthful, if not entirely Ming the Merciless-like, and as a result you’ll have a clear plan of action to make things work an awful lot better. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either.
Day 8: Email training
There’s a lot more to email than meets the eye. With more than 50% of British small businesses not online yet, plenty of people are new to the game. If you’re only scratching the surface or completely new to email communications, we’ll help you make the most of one of today’s most powerful and influential communication mechanisms.
Email etiquette – Communicating effectively in writing via email involves etiquette, also called netiquette. If you don’t know the ropes, it’s easy to cause offence or get things horribly wrong. If you’ve ever received an email written entirely in capitals, you’ll know what we mean! We’ll teach you all the ins and outs involved in communicating via email politely, effectively and professionally.
Sorting out emails – You get at least 50 emails every day, often a great deal more. Your inbox is a nightmare. But there’s no need to struggle. We’ll teach you how to set up your email account or accounts so they support you instead of menacing you. With our help your emails will flow automatically into the right folders, making your administrative life a whole lot easier.
The basics of style – You want your messages to look as good as they sound, right? We’ll teach you how to create great-looking, practical, marketing-focused emails that’ll encourage people to open your messages, support your brand and help give your business the credibility it deserves.
Security – Spammers and spambots are complete buggers. They will take any route and make every effort to crack their way into your account and cause havoc. They can even use your account to send out billions of pieces of spammy email without your knowledge, using your machine as a ‘zombie’. The only way to stay safe is use every available security measure to protect your interests. We’ll show you how.
Day 9: Database management & Day 10: Hand over to us for expert brand auditing
So you’ve built a database. Well done. But how practical is it? Have you set things up to make database management a dream, or is the whole thing a nightmare? Do you love spreadsheets or hate them? You might not want to bother yourself with the day to day running of your database. Which is fine by us… just shout and we’ll do it for you.
We’ll manage your data effectively, efficiently and securely for you, so you don’t have to. We’ll make sure you can pull your data out in the formats you need to, easily and quickly. We’ll add fresh data for you as and when you need us to. We’ll manipulate your data in any way you like, arranging it in numerical or alphabetical order. And we’ll take care of simple and complex linking and embedding, helping make sure your precious data works as hard as possible to support your business’s success… and taking UK Data Protection law and best practice into account.
Day 10: Hand over to us for expert brand auditing
How good are you at separating what’s important from what’s a complete waste of your valuable time? Most of us are crap at it, especially in a small business context where we live and breathe our own organisation 24/7/365, and it represents the difference between making a living and falling between the cracks.
Branding is one key area where businesses can go spectacularly wrong. Rather than leave it so long you end up too far down the wrong road to turn back, or miss a fundamental trick, or carry on regardless while things get worse and worse, our brand auditing service gets you back on the straight and narrow in no time. With our help you’ll be talking to the right people in the right market about the right stuff, in the right way, in the right places, via the right media. Which, in marketing terms, is gold dust.
All you need to do is let us know how you think your brand is perceived in your market and we’ll show you whether or not your preconceptions are accurate and reveal ways to get back on track. The closer your brand values meet those of your target markets, you more of your stuff you’ll sell.
Day 11: Let us pimp your workspace with our de-cluttering service
If only your workspace was better organised, you’d get so much more done. But how on earth can you spare the time needed to reorganise things when you’re fully occupied with fulfilling your customers’ needs? Help is at hand.
We’re expert de-clutterers, fluent in filtering out what you need and what you don’t need. We’re really good at figuring out the most logical layout for your workspace, where your equipment should go, how to organise your filing and other systems so everything is easy to find, where it belongs instead of spread around your mini-universe randomly. The less chaos you work in, the better able you are to be efficient, effective and creative.
Day 12: Absolutely no idea what you need?
We provide a suite of complementary services to help businesses like yours save time and cash. If you have no idea which would benefit your business most, we can give you a common sense steer. It won’t take long and it won’t cost you a fortune or interrupt your busy schedule too much. Just give us a few facts and we’ll come back with recommendations about how we can help you, when, how and at what cost. If you decide not to go ahead, we’ll part friends.
Happy holidays to all our clients, past, present and future
Whether or not you do Christmas we wish you a well-deserved, relaxing, exciting break and hope to see you bright, bushy tailed and raring to go in the New Year. Here’s to a profitable and enjoyable 2014.