01793 877568 Mobile 07736307256 joanne@bravapro.com
Blue Monday:  Reasons to be cheerful and positive

Blue Monday: Reasons to be cheerful and positive

The third Monday of every year is called Blue Monday. This year that dates fall on 18th January. It is considered by many to be the most “depressing” day on the year. People’s moods are said to be low due to their post-Christmas finances, unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions, the cold weather and a long wait until the next holiday.

Is Blue Monday Real?

Despite this, the date is becoming more well known; there is no scientific proof to suggest that the 3rd Monday of the year is any more or less depressing than any other day.

In fact, the birth of the Blue Monday concept originated in 2005. When a, now de-funked, travel company called Sky Travel released a press statement to promote it’s summer holidays. While the company claimed to have used a complex equation to work out the date, further research showed that the equation just didn’t add up.

 

Flip It Over And Let’s Be Positive

The date, therefore, seems to have been a cynical advertising ploy. Today I am flipping Blue Monday on its head. 

I choose to make today positive and productive, and so can you! 

 

Here are some reasons to be happy in January:

    • It’s the start of a fresh New Year of opportunities, and let’s face it could it be worse than 2020
    • The dark evenings mean we get to cosy up on the sofa with our loved ones to Netflix and chill,
    • It is a great time to get yourself organised and de-clutter your work or home space.
    • It is also the perfect time for you to invest in yourself, read a book or learn something new. 
    • Above all, relax more. Yes, January doesn’t have a holiday in it but why not create one? Have a YOU day with a bit of pampering!

Finally remember, you have the choice, the power is in your hands today!

There is a famous quote by Henry Ford that goes “Whether You Think You Can, or Think You Can’t… You’re Right.” It is the same today you can either choose to believe that today will be depressing and dismal, or you can choose to believe it today will be a wonderful day, regardless.

Further Reading

How Mental Health Issues Are Affecting More Small Business Owners

Beyond Survival: Why Small Business Owners Need To Be Resilient

Beyond Survival: Why Small Business Owners Need To Be Resilient

Here we go again! Lockdown 3.0 and you could almost hear the collective groan from small business owners up and down the country. If you are a business owner looking to bounce back from difficult situations, like this current COVID pandemic, it helps if you have a resilient business model, and here’s why:

Why You Need To Be Resilient

To Build Sufficient Business Strength And Flexibility:

A profitable business is characterised by its adaptability and ability to embrace change. Its ability to withstand difficulties. Change and challenges are inevitable; therefore, small business owners must be flexible.

Flexibility can be achieved by staying goal-centred, focusing on the business objectives, and not letting obstacles get in the way of the vision you have for your business.

 

To Identifying Opportunities:

Moreover, being resilient enables the business owner to learn from challenges, failures and mistakes, instead of wallowing in them. A positive outlook on setbacks may provide a chance to identify new ideas and polish up the strategies for operations.

Finding answers and solutions to the hurdles the business is facing might afford you an opportunity to:-

  • gain a competitive advantage,
  • optimise the productivity of your company or
  • devise a complete breakthrough in the industry.

 

For Better Business Performance And Growth:

Adversity breeds strength

Therefore, it is through overcoming the challenges and tough economic times that a business can increase their performance and grow. Having the psychological strength to look past the challenges, and focus on the opportunities, builds the confidence of the company to handle future economic threats.

 

How To Build A Resilient Business Model

As a business owner, it is easy to feel frustrated during challenges such as Lockdown, to be overwhelmed by business operations. As a result your first thought might be to take the easy way out and quit. However, it is essential to learn to ask for support when you need it.

Due to financial constraints, it might not be possible to hire extra staff members. Therefore, the flexible option of a Virtual Business Manager or Virtual Assistant may be more viable. Especially for specific occasions when you need an extra hand for operational tasks such as;

  • project management
  • office coordination,
  • managing social media accounts and web postings,
  • supplier management – organising deliveries, orders and controlling costs,
  • responding to customer feedback, inquiries and phone calls, and other duties.

In conclusion, the flexibility outsourcing gives you, will enable you to focus only on the crucial aspects of your business – things like managing production, increasing profits, and ensuring quality services. Moreover, it gives you that added resilience, that flexibility to respond to change quickly. To weather the storms that the small business population is currently facing.

 

Find out how I  can help your business weather the current economic challenges by booking a call

A Simple Guide To Tracking Goals with Trello

A Simple Guide To Tracking Goals with Trello

Setting goals is a crucial aspect of every small business that should not be overlooked. In planning for short-term goals such as daily activities, or long-term goals such as annual growth in sales or brand awareness, a small businesses can strategise on how to achieve their targets. To learn more about how to set business goals, you can read this Smart Goal Setting Guide we wrote for SMEs.

Goals, however, remain nothing but dreams if they are not put into action. Fortunately, we live in the age of technology. Where every business activity has been made manageable through online tools and software applications. There are many free project management applications available for tracking all your business goals, but at the top of my list is Trello.

Trello is a project management app designed to help users plan and organize their projects into boards. The boards allow you to  easily visualise and track your activities. If you are a business owner and you do not have a Trello account yet, this would be a great time to start. CLICK HERE

Here are all the ways on how to use Trello to track goals: 

Boards and Cards

Trello allows you to create separate boards for all the different projects you intend to undertake. In the boards, you can outline:-the workflow, processes, or strategies you have put in place to achieve your goals. Additionally Trello allows you to break down these processes into actionable tasks by adding Cards containing all the various activities you need to undertake.

Trello boards are a great way to visualise all your goals and tasks at a glance. Therefore ensuring that everything is on track and that no important detail is left out.

Checklists

If you thought Trello could not get any more detailed, you’re wrong. Trello allows you to further create checklists for every task on the board. Checklists are a great way to increase productivity, and Trello will enable you to check off every item on your list. If the items on your checklists grow bigger and therefore require more planning, Trello allows you to convert them into cards with a couple of clicks.

Labels

Another great way to track your goals with Trello is by adding labels to your cards. Labels are basically colour codes that you can allocate to cards according to the different categories or priorities. For instance, you can give red labels to all your urgent priority tasks, allowing you to identify them on the board quickly. With Trello, you are also able to filter out your cards according to their labels for easy tracking and monitoring.

Due Dates

Tasks only become actionable with added dates and deadlines. Trello allows you to add due dates on every card, along with reminders before the deadline to ensure you are always ahead of the game. This feature is particularly useful for small businesses to prevent time overuns, which may affect the schedules for any subsequent activities. The reminder feature on Trello allows you to plan in advance. Hence enabling you to remedy any delays before they occur – which is critical in achieving your goals promptly.

Card Covers

The Trello card covers allow you to create a vision board out of your goals and tasks. Card covers are visual images that you add to your cards and are visible from the board. Card Covers make boards visually appealing and inspiring, but also highly functional. By adding images that are related to the card, you can promptly identify the card on the board without having to read through each card. With this, you can easily keep track of all the activities on your board. Hence, making a mental note of what is still pending. Trello allows you to upload card covers from your computer, or select from a wide variety of images from Unsplash.

Attachments

You can also track your goals on Trello by adding all the relevant attachments to the cards. With Trello, you can attach links,images, or files that are relevant to the completion of the task. With this, you can quickly build up on tasks, enabling you to instantly access all the resources you need to complete them when they are due.

Collaboration

One of the most incredible key features in Trello is the ability to collaborate with others on cards and boards. Trello allows you to achieve your team goals by adding your friends, employees, and colleagues to the respective tasks, for accountability and assigning of roles.

Adding your Virtual Business Manager as part of your team is a brilliant way to assign them specific tasks. This will help you achieve your goals, and keep track of how their activities contribute to your business, as a member of your team.

Power-Ups

Power-Ups are third party apps that can be integrated to your Trello board to maximise efficiency. You can enable these apps from the board’s menu on the right. 

Trello has various Power-Ups for analytics, reporting, automation, project management, communication, and collaboration, among others, that may come in handy in tracking and achieving your goals. 

  • The Calendar Power-Up, for instance, is particularly useful, since it allows you to visualise cards on a calendar as per their due dates. You can also drag cards on the calendar to automatically change the due dates. Plus import calendar feeds into third-party calendar apps such as your Google Calendar.
  •  The Card Aging Power-Up is another excellent app that causes your cards to fade if there has been inactivity for a while. Which allows you to keep track of all your priority tasks, ensuring they get all the necessary attention.

However, the free version only allows you one power-up so choose wisely

 

Conclusion

Trello allows you to plan all your goals in detail, breaking them down into achievable tasks and enabling accountability and collaboration with other members of your team. Tracking goals with Trello has never been easier!

Download the Trello phone app to track your activities on the go. 

4 Reasons You Might Not Be Happy In Business

4 Reasons You Might Not Be Happy In Business

How do you measure how happy you are, both personally and in business? Is it based on material possessions – (hopefully not) – or is it based on a combination of stability, the spiritual and relationships?

We work for a reason, even though it seems to occupy the lion’s share of our life. We are working to provide resources to enable us to enjoy life. This enjoyment may well include helping others, charitable contributions and altruistic endeavours, but we nevertheless operate our businesses for specific reasons.

Have you ever thought about this question recently? Because in truth, many of us don’t sit down and take a deep breath, to look at our lives from a more holistic perspective? If you’ve asked yourself this question already, consider these additional four questions to ask yourself about your happiness.

4 Key Questions To Ask Yourself To Determine How Happy You Are In Business

When was the last time that you took your spouse or significant other on a long weekend getaway?

This kind of activity is so vital in helping to recharge and rejuvenate, not just for you but for your partner or spouse as well. When you’re in the same place, week in and week out you tend to get a little burned out and need a change of scenery occasionally.

 

When was the last time that you enjoyed a quiet weekend at home without taking work home with you? 

Admit it, you have a desk and chair in your home office and probably a pile of paperwork in the corner. As we can access a lot of our software programs through “the cloud” these days, you probably find that you log on from your home office computer, as well.

 

When was the last time that you were able to accept an invitation to take part in a charity event or volunteered to help others?

You probably can’t remember the last time you took part in something to support a good cause; there are always so many other things to do. Aside from helping those less fortunate than yourself, these type of events can be useful for de-stressing and re-centring, plus are often great networking opportunities, too.

 

When was the last time that you landed a sizeable, new contract at work, based on a specific and new initiative?

Are you relying too much on existing clients, sometimes known as the “all your eggs in one basket” syndrome? You may feel as if you’re just too busy dealing with everything that’s on your plate to even think about expanding in different directions.

As you can see, when you look at everything from a broader perspective, you may realise that life is not incredibly fulfilling right now. Surely it’s time to delegate and outsource with a virtual resource, to free up a considerable portion of your time. 

When you outsource, it’s incredible how life will change for you. You will be able to spend more time with your family, keep the work in its rightful place, spend important time expanding and stop “running in place.” You might even be able to accept that odd invitation to the golf course, of all things!

Take the leap and be happy in business and in your life!

 

Book a free consultation call today and let’s discuss how I can help you find happiness in your business

Bravapro | Swindon Virtual Business Manager | Contact
Evaluate Your Life – 6 Key Questions You Need To Ask

Evaluate Your Life – 6 Key Questions You Need To Ask

Today is ‘Evaluate Your Life Day’. Yes it is an official day! It is an opportunity to think about your hopes, dreams, objectives. As well as your ambitions, passions and basically what makes your happy.

Evaluating is a very much like personal goal setting. It’s about taking a long look at yourself in the mirror and challenging yourself.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Am I who I want to be?
  • What are my current goals in life?
  • Am I heading toward my goals?
  • What changes do I need to make in order to reach my goals?
  • Am I prioritising things the the way I want to?
  • What do I or can I offer to the world?

These are tough questions, but ones that will get you thinking about your next steps for both your business and your personal life. Remember without goals, you are basically just drifting through life instead of living with intention.

 Tips To Help You Evaluate Your Life

Here are some tips to help you in the thought process

1) Define what success means to you on a daily basis. Do this either the night before or in the morning, but make sure your definition is achievable

2) Do that thing that you’ve actually been putting off – eat the frog because the best things usually happen outside of your comfort zone

3) Once you have defined what success will look like, decide what metric you will use to measure it.

4) At the end of the day, ask yourself “Did today matter?” But, don’t worry if the answer is no, we all have good days and we all have bad days …it’s called life.

5) Ask yourself regularly ‘How am I feeling’ and ‘what do I really want’

Learn how to set SMART business and personal goals with my free download

Smart Goals | Bravapro | Virtual Business Manager
Why You Procrastinate, And How To Stop It

Why You Procrastinate, And How To Stop It

Are you continually missing deadlines and failing to complete necessary tasks, or simply spending too much time on menial tasks like checking email? You are not alone; we all procrastinate from time to time. However, if this is effecting your business growth, then you need to take action.

Why You Procrastinate

People tend to procrastinate for three fundamental reasons –

1) they enjoy the thrill of beating looming deadlines,

2) they want to avoid completing boring or unfulfilling tasks,

3) they can’t decide which tasks to finish first, so they choose to do nothing instead.

Understanding why you put off getting your work done is the first step to correcting this problem.

Once you accept that you procrastinate, it’s time to figure out how to stop this behaviour. In most cases, telling yourself to manage your time better, or to stop wasting time checking your Facebook page every hour isn’t going to solve the problem (or help you complete essential tasks on time).

How To Break Your Tendency To Procrastinate

Getting over your tendency to procrastinate involves changing your behaviours and habits. Procrastination is usually the easy route, the one that initially makes use feel happy. However, it prevents you from accomplishing your goals, so you need to learn to focus on the long-term goals and start to put the hard work in.

Identify Business / Life Goals

One way to fight the urge to put off work and surf the Internet instead is to create a daily to-do list.

Hopefully, some of these tasks will be enjoyable, but, realistically, most probably won’t be. Hence it would help if you accepted – at least so some degree – that some tasks will be boring, unfulfilling and maybe even downright annoying. But once you realise the necessity of these tasks and how they impact your business/life, these tasks will hopefully become a bit more bearable.

Create a list of business or personal goals that correspond to the tasks on your to-do list. This list can sometimes give you the momentum needed to stop procrastinating quite so often.

 

The Role Of A Virtual Resource

A Virtual Business Manager can take over responsibility for tasks you keep putting off. Ensuring they are completed on time. Relying on an excellent virtual resource allows you to work on more favourable tasks. Additionally, it frees up your time to pursue hobbies and interests, or business opportunities for that matter.

While a Virtual Business Owner can’t stop your tendency to procrastinate. The practical support they provide can keep you on the right path to completing tasks on time, tackling those tedious tasks you loath, and making your task-related decisions easier.

Delegating tasks to a virtual resource does require some level of involvement; you need to take time to help them understand your business and their responsibilities. However, it comes with all the rewards of meeting or exceeding business and life goals too.

 

Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination is a learned behaviour.

Often by pairing your business/life goals alongside the tasks you need to complete to meet these goals, you’ll quickly begin to see the long-term rewards of getting stuff done on time.

But, you don’t need to tackle this problem alone. A virtual business manager may be just what you need to ease the stress and frustration caused by tight deadlines, or the thought of having to work on endless, monotonous tasks.

You may never completely overcome your tendency to procrastinate. However finding a way to compensate for this behaviour by hiring a Virtual Business Manager is one way to ensure procrastination won’t hinder your ability to succeed!

If you found this blog useful you may also want to read 4 Simple Ways to Beat Procrastination

If this rings a bell with you why not check out our other blog

4 Simple Ways to Beat Procrastination

Beat Procrastination | Bravapro |Swindon Virtual Assistant