Tag Archives: organisation

Create a Successful Working Environment from Home

17 Jul

Working from home in recent years has seen a growing trend in popularity. Many people are making the leap from working in an office to setting up their own in the comfort of their home. However, along with working from home comes loads of possible distractions that you wouldn’t typically see in the work place. In order to conquer these distractions, it is key that you follow a few simple rules. Here are three key tips that will set you up with a home office that will send your productivity level through the roof.

Create a productive space – First thing is first. In order to generate the level of success you are looking for from home you must create a designated work space that is strictly used for your work and nothing else. Setting up a proper office will allow you to get done what needs to be accomplished. Find a quite area where people will not distract you where you can concentrate. Working from home will not work if you try and lay on the couch with your computer while watching TV. It’s important that you treat your home work office as if you were in an actual office building.

Get the support you need – In order to be successful working from home, it’s important that the people who live along with you understand that when you are working there is no interrupting or distracting. Whether it is your roommate, spouse, partner, or children, they should understand that they need to treat your workspace as if it was an office away from home. Keep things that don’t have to do with your work out of your workspace. Once you step into that workspace at home it should feel as if you are in a regular office. Keep those distractions out!

Stay on track – If you were in your old office space, you wouldn’t be able to just come in whenever you want and finish when you were tired, right? Or you can’t just take a break to watch a TV show and tell yourself you’ll make up the work another time. Well you can’t let yourself do this at your home office either. Stay on track! In order to be productive, it’s important to follow a routine schedule. Get in the habit of doing the same thing each day. Try and start and end work at the same time each day. Be sure to take the usual breaks. Give yourself an hour for lunch like you would if you were in an office. By doing this, you’ll naturally get used to a regular routine that will allow you to stay on track.

Working from home can only be a challenge if you allow yourself to fall out of the normal work routine. By creating a productive office space, having understanding loved ones, and keeping to a regular working schedule, you might even be more productive than in an actual office. Give it a try and discover why so many people in recent years have been switching to working from home!

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Email Marketing Best Practices

22 Sep

Busy Lizzie Business Brain with Olwen Dawe @ Irish Business Intelligence

28 Aug

Do the boring stuff: market research, planning and financials

This week we interview Olwen Dawe who is the creator of Irish Business Intelligence.

1. Why did you decide to start your business?

A culmination of events! And a genuine desire to work for myself… I had always harboured a real interest in running my own business, but hadn’t ever been brave enough to take the plunge.  When things became somewhat turbulent in the late noughties, I took my chances and dove  head-first into self-employment.  Enterprise and regional development were  natural choices for me; I’ve always been interested in individual and collective growth and development, making change for the better – thankfully the times we’re in are conducive to those kinds of projects so I’m very fortunate.

2. What have been the biggest challenges and achievements for your business?

There are lots of challenges in business; mainly managing ones’ own feelings about things, I find! There are lots of swings and roundabouts in the early days, and I found that a little troublesome to start withI always say that you’re tested in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine when you run your own business, but you also learn an infinite amount about yourself and others in the process! My biggest challenge has also been an achievement: being able to handle ambiguity.  I could well have been referred to as a tad of a control-freak in my managerial days, however, that’s all changed now! In business, you carve out your own destiny – but equally, you have to be able to accept that a lot of things are beyond your control.  Deliver excellence at every turn and accept the learnings that come your way.  A tangible achievement has certainly been the fantastic clients I work with: exciting SMEs with amazing vision and drive, charismatic entrepreneurs and forward-thinking regional and rural development agencies and organisations – all making an important contribution to Ireland Inc’s recovery.

3. What are your plans for the future?

I am delighted to work in the area I do, and want to continue to do so into the future.  Much of my work is project-based, so I constantly seek to broaden my portfolio in terms of sector and delivery outcomes.  I relish a challenge, hence why I work in the enterprise and regional development end-of-things! Every piece of work is different.  I’m hoping to do some more work in the creative and social enterprise arena, as well as cross-border initiatives – and as time goes on, I identify new focuses… the grey cells are seldom bored!

4. Who do you look up to in business?

There are so many people I admire… I’ve been fortunate to meet many great Irish entrepreneurs, all from different walks, through my association with Network Ireland – a few names that spring to mind? Tina Roche, Norma Smurfit and Nicola Byrne are very inspiring ladies [and I could think of dozens more too!].  I think the essence of entrepreneurship is vision, resilience and persistence.  If you can keep yourself on that track at all times, you’ll stay focused.  I’m also a big fan of Richard Branson, mainly because of his unfaltering commitment to innovation within a brand, he carries himself in a very genuine, unfussy way which is also very welcome… obviously, the same could be said of the late Steve Jobs, another extraordinary entrepreneur.

5. What is your advice for other entrepreneurs?

Do the boring stuff: market research, planning and financials.  Most entrepreneurs either a) hate it b) avoid it or c) pretend they did it. Don’t kid yourself; in business, what you don’t know will always hurt you.  Do have a vision:so many start-ups think it’s big picture and not ‘for them’. It is.  The big vision will keep you focused during the tough times and you’ll be able to revel in it when you’ve started to see the results.  Do have a team of honest supporters: beware the cheerleaders! Honest but supportive peeps are necessary when the going gets tough.  They’re also the pat-you-on-the-back types when things come good.  Don’t give up: you’ll know if there’s no future, but when you know there is – don’t throw in the towel

6. How are you gaining visibility and promoting the business?

In my line of work, most client projects are gained through longevity and reputation – however positioning is helpful.  I blog regularly on topics related to my area of expertise, as well as utilising social media [LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook] and forums.  I enjoy writing, which means I find blogging enjoyable, and as a result, tend to get quite a bit of newspaper coverage too!

7.   Do you use any Social Media?

I’m a major advocate of social media, it’s fantastic to be able to connect with so many individuals and groups – as well as sharing knowledge and information.  My media of choice are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  From a business point-of-view, LinkedIn is a great tool for building relationships, whilst Twitter allows you to interact, share [and learn] what’s going on in the business community and elsewhere.

More about Olwen

Olwen Dawe is Owner and Principal Consultant at Irish Business Intelligence [IBI]. Olwen works in the enterprise and regional development sector, project managing and advising agencies and enterprise organisations on specific areas or rural, regional and enterprise development. Offering a hands-on and practical approach, IBI also acts as a Business Partner for SMEs, providing strategic business development and communications advice and support, focused on real results for clients. Olwen also mentors and supports start-up enterprises through the various enterprise agencies.

Olwen graduated with a BBS [BA] Hons. in HRM and IR from NCI, and has also studied at the IMI [Irish Management Institute]. During her career, Olwen has worked with some of Ireland’s best known corporate companies [such as Tesco Ireland] as well as well-established indigenous Irish companies [imag!ne, Celtic Invoice Discounting Limited]. Olwen’s experience spans HR, Operations Management, CRM and Marketing, in retail, telecommunications, manufacturing and professional service sectors.

A member of Network Mayo since 2007, Olwen has served on the committee since 2009, becoming President of the branch in 2011. Olwen was appointed to the National Executive in 2012 as Secretary. Olwen is a previous recipient of a Network Mayo Businesswoman of the Year Awards, winning the ‘Employee’ category in 2009; she was also shortlisted for the national award and received a nomination for an IMAGE Businesswomen of the Year awards in the same year. This year, Olwen received a JCI Mayo TOYP award [The Outstanding Young Person] for services to business

Starting a Family Friendly Business in Ireland

19 Dec

Starting a Family Friendly Business in Ireland

Working in a company or running a business may require additional time. And for that, you need to sacrifice the hours that you must spend for your family. As you grow as an employee or a businessman, the needs of your life partner and children grows as well. Because of it, you become to think that working, while it is actually for your family, is not at all family-friendly. Though, that would not be the case if you start your own business at home.

Running a home-based business is basically just the same as getting employed or managing a regular business. The difference is you are close to your kids and there are comforts that a regular occupation is not able to bring. Though, starting a home-based enterprise is not easy at the beginning. When you are at the early stages, cash flow is slow and your profits are limited. You are your own boss, nonetheless, so you have the option to stop or to continue. Since you chose the latter, let us move on to some helpful ideas to help you get started.

First, do not believe in alluring promises you see online. Certainly, an entity that pops out, promising that you can earn as much as 8,000 Euros in just one month is too good to be true. Home-based entrepreneurs testify that these promises actually are. There are no quick fixes when it comes to earning such a huge amount, so judge accordingly.

Second is research. Reading about the market on and off line will show you what exactly the consumers need. Manufacturing a product or offering a service that nobody needs will only lead to waste. Study your market before investing your capital. Conduct a feasibility study to determine whether a product or a service has a stable market. For example, a product and a service that does not go out of being needed is food. Use the power of the internet and social media to make the public aware about your food business.

Third, consider your capital. Your financial capability will determine the magnitude of your home-based business. In line with this, think about where you would get your fund. It may be from your savings or your job separation pay. You can augment your resources by availing loans. Just inquire to your preferred insurance company or your bank if you consider this option to increase your resources.

When you have everything taken into consideration, like you have finally decided on a company name, proceed on making your business legitimate. For this step, you may ask a lawyer or your local government offices for the proper procedures. One essential step on building up a business is visiting the website of Companies Registration Office. From there you can download the application form. After completing the form, mail it to their postal address; the information is included in their website as well.

Take advantage of the free business mentoring programs that the Irish government provides. This way, you can sustain your home-based business, or better yet, make it more successful. As you see, working and earning should not take you away from your family.

Busy Lizzie provides businesses and individuals with the time they need to focus on other tasks. We have a variety of services available to make the lives of our customers easier at an affordable price. Our office is staffed with experts that range from secretarial and administrative to experienced marketing and sales professionals.

Clear the Cobwebs and Make Room for Christmas Cheer!

12 Dec

In a few weeks time, the whole world will soon be celebrating Christmas again. Basically, this occasion is commonly fun- filled and an experience with a merry Christmas with people dear to you is something great to cherish for the rest of your life. And since we are still some few months away, we still have time to prepare – prepare everything in the house from Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, and anything that entails Christmas. How about the most important thing to prepare – yourself?

There are so many times that we may not feel at the best parts of ourselves. There are times too that we may not feel to be at our brightest. During those times, it is very important to treat them as your best opportunity to reflect and ponder on the things that you have had during the past few months or days of your life. Pondering will help us think of the best ways to let the inner light within us to shine to the fullest.

 

Basically, if you are someone who is really interested to clear the cobwebs and make room for Christmas cheer, you will come to the point of knowing the right way on to do the clearing process. This also applies in the workplace where you need to keep everything organised. Sorting things out and clearing what needs to be cleaned the working environment are important factors that every employee needs to practice. Accomplishing all the tasks before getting a vacation will surely give your peace of mind during your being away from the workplace.

In any workplace, there are tons of tasks to do and often, the amount of work cannot be accomplished within the expected time given. The concept of Virtual PA in any company can minimise the amount of work that needs to be done within the day. If hiring such personnel is time-consuming, then acquiring the services of the experts is the best thing to do. At busylizzie.ie, you can enhance the quality of your life by making a balance with work and family life.

Since Christmas is one of the most celebrated occasions every year in the whole world, clearing out your workload in order to spend time for the holiday is the best way to enjoy the season. It is but normal to encounter tonnes of work before the holidays. Yet, it is still required to accomplish all these in order to have a peaceful Christmas vacation. It is fine to go through that pressure of finishing all the work rather than spending the holiday with a lot of pending work to go back to. Having a fresh start after the holidays gives you more motivation to employ your daily tasks.

So, to make yourselves prepared for the upcoming Christmas, you have to be prepared to undergo pressure and have the work done at the right time. You will finally realise why it pays to the Cobwebs and make room for Christmas cheer.

Services Offered for Small and Medium Enterprises

10 Oct

Do you need an extra hand or an additional assistant for your business? Are you in need of services which offers an affordable price to make your lives easier? Busy Lizzie can help you since they provide businesses and individuals with the time they need to focus on their tasks at work. Operating since 2004, Busy Lizzie will celebrate their seven years in business this October.

Busy Lizzie, which is part of the now popular outsourcing venture, offers a whole lot of services that can help small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Example of services they offer are Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA), secretarial service, print/web design, e-marketing, bookkeeping service, corporate concierge, and medical transcription. The Virtual Personal Assistant (Virtual PA) can help run businesses in a scheduled basis. Their role is to inform you of your daily appointments, make travel arrangements, keep track of finances, and keep the business running smoothly. This service is perfect for business professionals who need to keep on top of their agenda. The secretarial service is someone who can answer the calls, send e-mails, and provide customer service. Busy Lizzie offers a virtual secretary to get things done for you. Print/Web Design helps with providing design and layout for business website, business cards, and posters.

E-marketing is responsible for customising e-newsletters and e-shots for your target market. E-newsletter marketing is important so that you will know which one the people like best. Bookkeeping service helps in keeping track of revenues and expenses, submits VAT returns, and look after weekly and monthly payroll.

Corporate concierge service helps in doing errands like picking up mail and documents and dropping off dry cleaning. Medical transcription service can help provide transcriptions for medical legal reports, medical consultant letters, Educational interview verbatim scripts from video, mp3, tape and audio files, and Masters, under graduate and PHD projects.

With Busy Lizzie’s impressive list of services, you can have more quality time and productive days. To know more about Busy Lizzie services, visit their website http://www.busylizzie.ie

Dialogue Marketing

14 Sep

Overview

Dialogue marketing refers to the strategies exerted by companies to keep a constant and lasting interaction with their customers, partners and business allies. An excellent example of this is when marketing companies make use of relevant data to target different groups of customers that are ideal prospects in buying their products or services. The commitment of companies is very valuable to both the consumers and the companies involved. As data is gathered and collected, companies make efficient use of these to provide the best products and services to their target consumers. When consumers share their opinions, reviews, and preferences, they will receive bonuses and perks such as free product trials, discounts and a message of appreciation from the providing company.

For effective dialogue marketing, businesses and companies should have a complete understanding of their distinct values and how it affects their target consumers. Aside from focusing on their target consumers, they should also continue to innovate themselves and attract new prospects. Companies and businesses should be able to come up with new and innovative ideas to deliver their messages to the consumers. In return, customers will continue to connect with companies and patronise their products or services. An important aspect of dialogue marketing is measurement. With this, businesses and companies can keep track of their sales, and take note on whether they have reached or failed their target goals. This will also result to developing different strategies to maintain and improve the quality of their products or services.

Increase of Use

Together with the recent advancements in technology, companies and businesses are making use of different media such as the web, social networking sites, and other advertising strategies to communicate and engage with consumers. With this, referrals and brand royalty can easily be implemented.

Pros and Cons

When it comes to being cost effective dialogue marketing, there are many available options that will allow companies to communicate with consumers. There are many kinds of software that can be used to generate the desired output in engaging with consumers both online and offline.

On the other hand, if a company does not acquire professional services for implementing dialogue marketing, it can be a waste of time and financial resources when one is not knowledgeable in selecting the right kind of tools and implementing these to achieve the desired output.

Available Software

With the rise of business outsourcing, Co-Browsing is one of the most popular software being used by companies. This allows customer care experts to interact with their clients easily as they can view their screens in a real-time format. With this, help and support can be offered immediately. Assisting customers can now be done more conveniently and effectively.

Another kind of software that is used for dialogue marketing is called Voice Biometrics. With this, the identity of a customer can be authorised easily, and is more reliable than any other authentication process. Other software includes video biometrics, mobile and web based applications and many others.

Implementation in Companies

Once a business or company has established an understanding of their core values and have determined their target consumers, they will now be able to deliver their messages and assess its efficacy with various types of customers. Depending on the type of product or service, the effectiveness of their strategy can be determined in many ways.

Busy Lizzie provides advice on all types of back office outsourcing solutions, including quality social media services.

Tel: 00.353.(0)1 514 3401|Skype: busylizzielifestylemanagement

Email: info@busylizzie.ie | Web: www.busylizzie.ie

Nurturing Team Players

7 Sep

Upon seeking employment, one of the most common qualities that an applicant must have is to be a “team player”. In the work environment, an employer should make sure that the employees in the company are comfortable in working as a team member. For newly hired employees, adjusting to a new environment requires time, and fitting in with the group will lead to a productive organisation. As a team player, each employee plays an important role in achieving the goals of the company. Being a team player means that cooperation from each member is expected instead of just following orders or giving orders as a leader. It is normal that not all team members like one another, or that a particular member may not be liked by everyone. It is extremely important that personal matters should be set aside when a team is assigned a task. Each team player must be reliable to accomplish his or her duties as a part of the team. Communication and respect are two of the most important aspects of being an effective team player.

Team players are part of a business team, not a social gathering. While friendships may grow and develop among co-employees, it is important to remember that professionalism is always a top priority, especially when it comes to work-related tasks or projects. If there are conflicts between co-workers, these should not be a hindrance to the performance of the team in achieving the desired output.

As an employer, one should be able to determine which members of the team are more effective as leader, and which ones are efficient in being natural followers. Roles can be switched as well, to allow for the professional growth of team players. When assigned to be a leader, an employee should know his or limits in taking charge, so as not be labelled as being too bossy or arrogant, and in some cases, disrespectful to the supervisor. A follower, on the other hand, should also have respect towards the leader, and should communicate effectively if there are concerns regarding the task at hand.

Employers should establish within their subordinates their roles and responsibilities as a team player, and as an employee. Regardless of personal issues, an assigned task should be accomplished within the given time period. As team players, working with others with respect will lead to an effective team that can get the job done because personal matters will not hinder them from doing their tasks.

As employers, one should not ask employees to be team players. It is to be expected of them naturally. Cooperation, respect, and communication from team players will result to the achievement of goals. As long as team players are working well with each other, the goals of the company will be met, with a structured and strong team behind it.

Remember that as an employer or supervisor, one should interact with team players and show constant support. Should the members of the team need your help or assistance, they should not hesitate to approach you and discuss any concerns with you. Communicating effectively can lead to a productive team, wherein different opinions, suggestions, and concerns can be discussed in order to achieve goals and accomplish tasks that have been assigned to them.

Busy Lizzie provides advice on all types of back office outsourcing solutions, including quality social media services.

Tel: 00.353.(0)1 514 3401|Skype: busylizzielifestylemanagement

Email: info@busylizzie.ie | Web: www.busylizzie.ie

Help Your Employees Get Organised – Some Tips and Guidelines to Follow

1 Sep

When it comes to the different types of employees that exist in this world, it is not surprising to take note that there are actually only two types of them – those who are well-organised because they simply crave for such  characteristics and structures, and those employees who simply love working or living in the world of the disorganised.

But it is however amazing to note here that even disorganised people still has the ways to find what they are looking for no matter how chaotic their situations seem to be. Seeing these people who way makes you think that they simply follow a “system” which can only be understood by them alone.

Organisation – A Matter of Degree

Successful organisation is generally defined as spending the smallest or lease amount of time that is required to come up with the most organisation to perform the job quickly and more efficiently. Organisation in the workplace is a matter of proper task delegation to the appropriate manpower. Problems occur in the absence of organisation. Hence, if this factor is missing then the operation seems to be chaotic that even employee personal issues would come in. An organised structure can be handled well by busylizzie.ie. The presence of back support office can promote an organised working environment.

So how will you ever know if your employee needs your support and assistance particularly in the aspect of getting himself organised? Below are some pointers and guidelines you should know to help you detect whether or not your employee needs to have help from you to get his life organised:

  • It takes a longer period of time (seems like forever) for an employee to remember the things you have asked him.
  • They are usually late when attending meetings at the office and they usually fail to present a report or information once they are already there.
  • Easily gets frustrated with small things within the workplace.

If these signs are evident to your employee then there should be immediate things that should be done to help them. Also included are some useful tips and guidelines to help you maintain a good and conducive working environment for you and your employees as well.

  • Let your employees know how well you really like working in an organised workplace.
  • Let them know the kind of “system” you wish to establish inside the workplace; this will make them adjust their selves of your so-called systems from theirs.
  • Managers should be given the tips and pointers on how to relay things concerning to the workplace structures to the employees.
  • Let the employees know when and where important papers should be documented and stored.
  • Tell them when do you want your mails.
  • Tell them of small details you want; for example, is if preferable for you to have simple emails or have those messages and documents printed.
  • Everyone in the office should also inform you the locations of the important things needed in the workplace no matter how big or small they are.
  • Being an employer, you should help your employee the ways on how they can identify the organisation structures or systems of their friends.
  • Set up an organisation structure which may prove essential for employees to follow.

Everybody in the office may his/her own organisation process but you have to understand that setting up and enforcing processes and procedures will greatly improve an organisation as everyone in the workplace will be following one basic organisation structure. Although manpower may be complete, the presence of Virtual PA can enable quality work with less expense. Outsourcing throughout Ireland for virtual personal assistant and back office support positions can be done by the experts. Let busylizzie.ie get into your office and spell what proper organisation is all about.

Keeping Your Cool in Steamy Situations

16 Aug

Steamy situations happen not only in literally hot places but figuratively in places where stress is on a high level. The workplace is a common place where the temperature is high due to stressful work load and demanding superiors. This kind of situation creates pressure in the workplace making every employee work under difficult conditions. With this, every individual in the workplace must know how to deal with such amount of pressure. Thus, the concept of cooling oneself under steamy situations must come in.

Times of stress usually occur when you are put in a situation wherein your workplace comes with lots of problems; no matter how small or big these problems, it will be very important to consider yourself to be cool at all times as this will help you put everything in the right place.

To keep your cool, take a deep breath and you should exude patience and understanding; simply combine these two characteristics and you will be able to control the situations particularly when you need to fix a heated situation or problem inside your workplace.

This is how it works: in terms of literal situations where the human body responds to a high-temperature environment. On a deeper context such situations can happen in many ways. Say for example, the presence of such situation in the workplace. Oftentimes, the office is a place where pressure is on a high level due to administrator’s demands and regulations. Having this is a common scenario, it is essential that you have to keep yourself cool in this situation by promoting a clear mind set in employing your job. One of the most important things that you have to learn is to keep up with what needs to be prioritised. It is but normal to encounter a heavy work load and with the proper organisation of carrying out the task, then all these can be accomplished within the expected time.

If you are running an office with less manpower and too much work load, the presence of Virtual PAs can help minimise the workload with less expense. These individuals need not be physically present to employ the job, but they can perform tasks in a home-based structure. Most of their jobs are computer based and all the systems follow a systematic online procedure. By acquiring the services of busylizzie.ie, a back office support company, you are assured that your office will be in proper order and outsourcing for manpower will no longer be a problem as this comes with trusted and reliable delegation that helps in outsourcing in Ireland and other places around the globe.

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