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Welcome to our blog!

 

Here we'll share with you our latest news, updates, hints and tips and anything we think you will find interesting and helpful along your way in business.

 

LMO Team x

By Amanda, Sep 3 2019 03:08PM

Running your own online business can be pretty overwhelming, especially as there are so many different tasks to focus on and, often, just you to do them. You suddenly have to become an expert in everything, from social media and design to project management and leading meetings to name but a few. However, the seemingly endless to-do list can be made a whole lot quicker and easier by using just a few FREE on-line tools, to make running your business smoother and your life a little easier.




Trello


Let’s start with the to-do list itself. Do you ever write lists down on a piece of paper or notebook and can’t find it later? Trello is a free app which allows you to organise your projects and tasks. You can create different boards for each project and tick off a task when completed. A great tool to use for staying organised and a great one to manage client projects together, as you add comments, upload file attachments, create checklists, add labels, due dates and more, keeping everything organised and in one place.


Canva


Do you need Pinterest graphics? Instagram quote posts? Web design features?

Graphic design features heavily when running an online business and not everyone has the passion or desire to be a designer. Canva is an amazing free tool which makes graphic design one of the easiest parts of running your business. There are templates for social media posts, business documents and much more. Alternatively, you can make your own designs from scratch. I absolutely love Canva!


Zoom


When you have an online business, it’s likely that some of your clients will not be in the same area as you or won't always have the time to meet face-to-face. That is where Zoom comes in, it’s the go-to platform for video conferencing and webinars for when you are not able to be in the same room as your client.


Planoly


Planoly is an Instagram management app, where you can plan out your feed, schedule posts, track your analytics and store your hashtags to name but a few. If you are struggling to find the time to post on Instagram everyday on top of everything else, try batch working and schedule a week’s worth of posts to free up time in the week. I love the fact that Planoly lets you plan your grid, this is a great tool especially if you like your Instagram grid to look a certain way.


Hootsuite


Hootsuite is another Social Media scheduling tool. You can manage multiple social media accounts, meaning you can schedule from your Hootsuite account to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. You can schedule posts to publish hours, days or weeks in advance, saving you so much time and the free version also includes basic analytics.


Most of these tools also have paid versions with extra benefits but you’ll probably find their free versions are good enough for what you need.


Whether you’re just starting out on your online business journey or just looking to make your life simpler, I hope you find these tools useful, I certainly do.


These free tools should make those time-consuming tasks that little bit less stressful and all these tools also have App versions, meaning you can manage them from your phone or tablet too! If you need any help and assistance with any of these tools or with your social media do get in touch I’d love to help you.


Once again big thanks to Megan for her assistance with this article. :)


By Amanda, Jul 25 2019 12:07PM

When you are self-employed, finding that work-life balance is tough. You are your business and it is hard not to let work come into other aspects of your life.


Finding a balance is key, so you can still enjoy your personal life without business always being in the picture. What’s more, constantly focusing on work can bring more stress, so it is good to know how to take a step back from the office, so your mental health is on top form.




So, here are 5 tips to help you improve work-life balance:


1. Work somewhere else


You may have heard that it is bad to ‘bring the office home with you’. However, when you are self-employed, your office is your home. Separating the two is important to get that work-life split. What’s more, staying in one place all day does get lonely and can have an impact on your mental health. Try going down to a local café to work or join a co-working space to get a change of scenery, meet like-minded people and get that definition between work and home.


2. Set yourself strict working hours


It can be all too tempting to check your emails in the middle of the night or check your phone during a family dinner. To stop your business interfering with your home life, set yourself strict working hours. After all, if employees working in an office work 9 to 5, then so can you, if you want to.


3. Plan and schedule


Running your own business requires a strong online presence. However, this creates a feeling of always having to be on your phone, checking social media etc. and it can easily eat into your home life. Make sure your organisation is on top form, plan your work and schedule social media posts, so you can have content being published with little effort.


4. Hire a virtual assistant


When you have too much work on your plate, it could affect your home life. Being self-employed doesn’t just involve your client work, but all the other tasks that go into running a business as well. Managing your own social media, website and content, as well as admin, finances and the list goes on. Seek help with your business and consider hiring a virtual assistant to help, so that your work does not overflow into your personal life. Get in touch if you would like to know how I can help and reduce your workload and improve your work-life balance.


5. Don’t be afraid to take a break allocated


If you were an employee in a company, you’d get a certain amount of holidays/annual leave, and self-employed life should be no different. It’s ok to take a break, in fact it’s vital for your mental health and wellbeing. Set yourself some holiday time every year, so you can have a rest when it’s needed.


I really hope these tips help you take steps to create a better work-life balance. Big thanks to Megan for putting this article together.



By Amanda, Jul 11 2019 03:27PM

I am delighted to introduce you to lifestyle blogger, Megan, who will be helping with content here on the Little Miss Office blog and social media over the summer, whilst learning more about the ins, outs, ups and downs of running a small online business!



Here’s a few facts about Megan, so you can get to know her better:


1. Long-term blogger


Megan has blogged for 5 years, 3 of which are on her current blog. During this time, she has picked up lots of useful blogging tips and shares them with her readers. Megan’s goal with her blog is to help people create a happier, healthier, simpler and more sustainable life through blogging, eco-friendly, creativity and wellbeing content.


2. Freelance writer


Alongside blogging, Megan has also worked as a freelance writer for over 2 years. She produces articles on a variety of topics including blogging, lifestyle tips and much more.


3. University student


Megan studies Linguistics and Phonetics at the University of Leeds and is about to start her final year.


4. In her spare time…


If she’s not blogging or studying, Megan enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the UK and bullet journaling. Her ideal night would be curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea binge watching Friends.


5. Invisible illness and mental health advocate


Having been diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Hydrocephalus and Crohn’s disease, Megan is a strong advocate for invisible medical conditions and mental health. She offers health and wellbeing content on her blog, as well as taking part in awareness days to provide more knowledge on the conditions.


This is something I have a big interest in, as one of my long standing clients promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, so this was a perfect fit!


So, exciting and new times for Little Miss Office and it’s also lovely to have someone to bounce ideas around with for a change!


To find out more about Megan and read her blog, head to meganelizabethlifestyle.com.





By Amanda, Apr 30 2019 09:56AM

Recently, I’ve had lots of clients asking for my help with sending newsletters to their customers and one of the main things they often struggle with is what to write and how to create ‘good content’.


I’m guessing that if my clients are having this problem, then there are probably lots more out there also struggling too….so here’s 5 quick tips for writing content for your email newsletters:


1.

Create an Awesome Title - I can’t stress enough how important the title is! After all, it’s the main hook that’s going to entice your customers to click through and read your email. Make it a good one! 


2.

Where possible, stick to a main message - what’s your goal for the newsletter? If you have something important you want to say, don’t dilute it by thinking ”well I better mention this as well, oh and I better mention that too”. Keep it simple - a single, focused and clear message (and design) will have far more impact than trying to cram every offer and service you do into one email.


3.

Make your email ‘scannable’. So many people just scan and glance through emails and don’t read them properly - unless something catches their eye (admit it, are you guilty of this? I know I am!). Avoid long text and heavy paragraphs that people just won’t read. Instead break up the text with smaller more digestible paragraphs and use bullet points. People will be much more likely to read it.


4.

A call to action - So simple but so often forgotten! Make sure you tell your customers what they need to do next! For example - if your newsletter is all about an offer - be clear on what they need to do to claim the offer and never assume they know what to do next! Your call to action should also be in-line with your original goal for the email.


5.

Finally, add a P.S. This is something I learned the importance of many years ago, in my days as a Direct Marketing Exec for a mail order company. Bizarrely, the P.S. is often the first thing people read, in order to understand if it's even worth spending their time reading the rest of the email. P.S. make your P.S. a great one!


If the thought of sending a newsletter still fills you with dread, don’t forget, I’m here to help you, just drop me an email to amanda@littlemissoffice.co.uk


By Amanda, Feb 11 2019 10:04AM

Running a small business usually comes with a daily task list as long as your arm and, if you’re not careful, it’s very easy for the day to slip away from you right before your eyes!


So, here’s a few small tips to help you be more productive and run your day a bit better:


1. It's all in the planning


Spend a few minutes either in the morning or the night before jotting down what you need to get through the next day and, if you can split the list down by priority, that’s going to be even more helpful to you.


2. Stop the distractions


Social media, emails, text messages are ALL major distractions. If you’re a serial procrastinator, then social media is probably draining away your time rapidly. This is hard, but when you start working on a task you must step away from social media and emails. Put your phone on silent, log out of any chat groups, close your email down, anything which is going to distract you from the task in hand. You can check them once the task is finished and you’ll feel much better knowing the job is done.


3. Get organised


If you’re all over the place with your tasks and losing track of what is done, and what still needs to be done, you could try using a Project Management App. I use Trello and Asana but there are plenty of others to choose from. These Apps are ideal for prioritising and managing workflow and they sync with laptops, IPad, IPhone and even Google Calendar.


4. Manage your time


Set yourself timeframes to work on tasks. You will be much more productive if you work to a schedule, incorporating blocks of working time followed by time for breaks, lunch, dog walk etc. Research has shown the optimum time for working is 52 minutes followed by a short break, after 52 minutes concentration begins to decline. Skipping lunch and breaks is also counter-productive.


5. Seek help and support


Finally, consider outsourcing any tasks that you don’t need to be doing. Not only will this massively reduce your to-do list, it will also mean you will have more time to focus on doing the work you love! Let me know if you’d like to find out how I can help reduce your to-do list.


I’d really love to hear your best tip for running the day?







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