Getting Around To It: Business Admin hacks from the front line


Starfish Business Admin

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Perhaps you operate from a completely synchronised phone, laptop, watch and tablet diary system. Or maybe you’re a stalwart of the good old pen and paper calendar. Either way, this resource is absolutely central to your business. Used at its optimum, a diary can structure your daily activity, allow you to work more efficiently and achieve a successful work / life balance. So why do so many small business owners and managers neglect this aspect of business admin?

The challenge that most businesses encounter is ultimately down to firefighting. When a huge proportion of your day is taken up with responding to time-critical events like orders, enquiries and customer service, how do you find time to plan your day? At Starfish, we have some key principles that could revolutionise your diary.

Firstly, try colour coding. Go through your to do list and put it all into your diary - not just physical meetings. So scheduled calls should be one colour. Face-to-face meetings another. Strategic planning, budgeting, and production all need to stand out individually. This allows you to focus your attention on very specific areas of your business for set periods of time.

Secondly, avoid over scheduling. There will always be unforeseen events and unexpected challenges. They won’t necessarily occur when you expect them, but if you allow some regular leeway, your week is more likely to balance out.To achieve this, overestimate time that is blocked out for meetings and activity. In addition, you can actually optimise your efficiency by scheduling breakout and rest time. This opportunity to reflect and restore your energy will have huge benefits to your business.

Electronic calendars boast one single feature with which paper diaries can never compete. This is the automated reminder - a ping to your tablet, laptop and smartphone ensures that you never miss an opportunity. So don’t be afraid of using them to monitor your own progress. Reminder functions manage deadlines like no other aspect of technology, so utilising them in a strategic way that is constructive, not oppressive, is key.

If you’ve read our rundown and are wondering when you are supposed to find time for all this preparatory work, then perhaps you simply don’t have enough capacity to undertake these things. This is where the core value of a virtual assistant can be found. Starfish Admin Services manage these very essential tasks that will make your working life more efficient. So for expert diary management, look no further.



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Getting Around To It: Business Admin hacks from the front line


Missing Business Calls

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Missing Business Calls

Small business owners wear a multitude of hats. It’s an unavoidable part of growing your business and can have huge benefits. However, should you spread yourself too thinly across your business, things will slip through the net. One of the most impactful of these things is the business call. While you’re in a meeting with client A, potential client B calls with an enquiry and you simply can’t be in two places at once. Even if your office extends to several employees, busy periods can mean that calls go unanswered without a dedicated receptionist. And not everyone has the headcount budget for that.

Surely they’ll just call back? Maybe. But maybe not, so take a look at our hacks on how to deal with this potential pitfall.

  • Leave a regularly updated voicemail greeting
    It’s one of those things that most of us hate doing. However, providing a variety of voicemail greetings will make your caller more confident that you will receive the message and return the call. One approach is to record a new voicemail greeting each day outlining when you will be in meetings. Alternatively record and choose from a selection of specific greetings detailing whether you are in a meeting or simply away from your desk.

  • Set up simultaneous ringing
    Whatever your voicemail greeting, you may end up playing telephone tag. Or your potential client may choose not to leave a message. So if you benefit from working with a small team, implement simultaneous ringing so that anyone in the office is able to answer and your potential client reaches a human being.

  • Encourage email correspondence
    If you work alone or are a small team of two or three, it doesn’t take much for a call to be unanswered. So one option is to encourage email correspondence. Detail your email address on voicemail greetings, on your website and on any advertising. In this way, your sales lead has an alternative method of communication.

  • Divert calls to a virtual assistant
    Of course, not everyone likes to reach out via email. It’s frustrating to miss out on business in this way. So the solution that will offer you the most reliable rate of answered business calls is to divert your number to a virtual assistant. As VA’s work flexibly, you could choose to divert all initial enquiries to a VA or simply calls received at certain times. Your VA will ensure that calls are answered with an informative and personable response. So you never lose a business lead again!


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