virtual support

Top 10 Must-Have Tools & Resources for Startups

startup

When you are ready to set up your startup, it can be a bit confusing to know which direction to take and what resources to invest in. This list below lets you know exactly where to start when looking for the best tools to run your business efficiently.

Take Charge of Your Accounts with Xero or Quickbooks

Keep up to date with all your banking and credit card transactions while managing your cashflow.

Send Proposals and Pitch Your Work with Proposify or Qwilr

Create easy to read proposals and streamline the pitch, quote and approval process. Replace presentations with sleek, customisable and interactive interfaces.

Maintain Customer Relationships with Hubspot

Organise, grow and track your customers with Hubspot CRM software while you manage your sales pipeline keeps the process effortless.

Research Your Competitors with Moz

Learn about how your competitors are gaining their inbound traffic and target areas where you can drive customers to your business.

Stay on top of Your Website Data and Traffic with Google Analytics

Measure your website performance to see how your content and marketing efforts are working and where customers are engaging with your brand.

Manage your Social Media with Hootsuite

Save time by using managing several social media accounts on one dashboard. Monitor your brand and check what’s trending in your industry.

Communicate across Multiple Teams & Departments with Slack

Communicate and message your team, send real-time updates, save files and develop a collaborative workspace with Slack, whether you are down the hall or across the globe.

Manage your Projects with Asana, Basecamp or Skwish

Whether you are a freelancer, a solo entrepreneur, or start-up, or a small team, these tools are perfect to manage tasks, create timelines for projects and to maintain transparency with clients or customers.

Stay Connected with your Customers with Mailchimp

Build an effective email strategy with your customers and clients by staying in touch with them and sending targeted campaigns to maintain your relationship.

Keep Your Documents Organised and Collaborate with Dropbox

Securely share files across teams or with clients and simplify the way you create, share and collaborate across devices.

Receive Access to Media Pitches and Get Direct Responses with HARO

Send your stories, press releases and important company updates to HARO and provide journalists with everything they need to cover your news which amplifies your message.

Outsource To Your Own Team All In One Place With CoStartup & Go

With the amount of freelancers growing how do you know which ones will actually be good and stick about? Remove the gamble of working flexibly by using CoStartup & Go and their experienced network who all seamlessly wok together on your startup, invested unmaking it a success.

Hire Great Talent with Workable

When you are ready to find permanent talent, use Workable to source, manage and track applicants in one space from over 14 different job boards.

Join a Coworking Space to Find Opportunities to Network

A coworking space is a fantastic tool to have to be able to network and creatively collaborate with other startups and small businesses. Alongside the routine networking events, the organic networking that naturally evolves is priceless and it doesn’t hurt that it creates a great space for productivity in your business. 

Some of our fave partners include:

The Office Group

BDC Works

Mainyard Studios

Boutique Coworking

Airspace

Interested in a FOC consultation on how we can help your startup?

GET IN TOUCH

The 5 Types of Mentors for Your Start-Up

Mentor and entrepreneur

Making good decisions comes from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions. 

The fastest way to success as an entrepreneur is to fail fast and to learn from your mistakes. To reach even higher levels of success, you should have a voice to guide you so you don’t have to make too many of your own mistakes, you can learn from theirs.

These days mentorship isn’t only about the wise old sage that gives you a map on how to do business. Mentors can come in different shapes and sizes. Here are the five types of mentors your business needs:

The industry guru that provides guidance and inspiration. This mentor is the established professional with years of experience that you can go to to pick their brains and share a coffee.

The networker offers relationships and opportunities that may not be in your industry, opens you to new doors and ideas that you may not have known before and introduces you to people in other fields that can accelerate your growth.

The consultants are specialists in their fields are there to support you whether it comes to marketing, product, business development, operations, finance, etc. You can always count on them to help you make decisions about each aspect of your business with a clear perspective.

The money and investment head provides invaluable insight on how to grow your business and make it profitable, steering you in the right direction and ensuring your business is optimised for revenue and growth.

And lastly it is great to lean on a smart and trusted friend with whom you can bounce ideas, share stories and do a little venting when the occasion calls for it. An impartial ear can help you to clarify your thoughts and gain perspective.

Advice, guidance and a helping hand are incredibly important as you start and continue your business journey. If you need support in your business, contact us now to find out how we can help your start-up.

5 Top Tips To Avoid Entrepreneurial Burnout

Female Entrepreneur.jpg

The biggest secret to an entrepreneur’s success? They don’t try and do everything by themselves. It’s a phrase we've probably all heard before, but often we forget to put it into action.

As you’ve started your business, have you ever felt or done any of the following?

·      Feeling like you are running on empty

·      Feeling overwhelmed

·      Taking your work home with you

·      Decreased Productivity

If so, you may be experiencing entrepreneurial burnout, and if you want to ensure any type of success for you and your business, you should make some changes. Get out of a mental rut by changing your scenery and your normal routine. Change your work environment for a day if you can to clear your head. But most likely, you may need some wider changes like re-structuring your business strategy or expanding your team with virtual support to combat this common pitfall.

Here are CoStartup & Go’s top tips to stop and prevent entrepreneurial burnout:

Re-Balance.

This is and will always be the first step. Taking care of your emotional, physical and mental well-being. The easiest and fastest way to bring yourself back to balance is to get a good night’s sleep and to increase your water intake. Balancing your body can go a long way in helping you become more productive as an entrepreneur.

Get Organised. Get Clarity.

Making time to organise yourself and your business will allow for some much-needed strategic vision for the entrepreneurial journey. What people often don’t realise is that as an entrepreneur or startup, there is so much changeable action that occurs and that your business needs to be ready for. Funding doesn’t come through? Pivot your product or service line. Funding does come through? Ramp up your marketing efforts. Being able to execute your plan while staying flexible is a true key to sustained success.

Schedule Breaks.

For entrepreneurs, we know that the clock never truly stops, and that if you want doors to open, YOU are the only one who can make it happen. But creativity and ideas emerge when your mind is still, when you allow yourself to focus on other things, and when you take some time off. Make it a part of your day to take short breaks to allow your brain to expand and your imagination to wander. And make sure you make a conscious effort to shut the laptop down a few nights and weekends.

Delegate.

If you are wondering how you are ever going to get all your work done now that you are sleeping so much and taking breaks – the answer is easy: Focus your work efforts on the most important tasks that add value to your business. Avoid time suckers and tasks that take up much of your time and energy but in the end, can be done by others. Investing in a virtual assistant is so important as it allows you to excel in the areas that you are best at, and you can outsource and collaborate with others on areas you don’t have time for. But don’t limit your scope here – startups and entrepreneurs can use virtual support for social media, web development, bookkeeping, email management, marketing administration, events management and much more.

Gather A Support System.

Going it alone with an idea and a laptop is admirable, but can quickly get lonely and discouraging if you don’t have a smart network around you. Slowly build a support system around you with people whom you can bounce ideas off, keep you motivated, and at times can keep you accountable. Using a flexible co-working space is perfect for fuelling natural relationships. Check out the options at The Office Group for flexible co-working memberships.

Ultimately, success as an entrepreneur isn’t about the number of hours you put in, but about what you do with those hours. Are you using your time wisely? Why not book a free consultation with CoStartup & Go to see how we can help increase your productivity?

The 5 Types of Mentors for Your Start-Up

Mentor and entrepreneur

Making good decisions comes from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions. 

The fastest way to success as an entrepreneur is to fail fast and to learn from your mistakes. To reach even higher levels of success, you should have a voice to guide you so you don’t have to make too many of your own mistakes, you can learn from theirs.

These days mentorship isn’t only about the wise old sage that gives you a map on how to do business. Mentors can come in different shapes and sizes. Here are the five types of mentors your business needs:

The industry guru that provides guidance and inspiration. This mentor is the established professional with years of experience that you can go to to pick their brains and share a coffee.

The networker offers relationships and opportunities that may not be in your industry, opens you to new doors and ideas that you may not have known before and introduces you to people in other fields that can accelerate your growth.

The consultants are specialists in their fields are there to support you whether it comes to marketing, product, business development, operations, finance, etc. You can always count on them to help you make decisions about each aspect of your business with a clear perspective.

The money and investment head provides invaluable insight on how to grow your business and make it profitable, steering you in the right direction and ensuring your business is optimised for revenue and growth.

And lastly it is great to lean on a smart and trusted friend with whom you can bounce ideas, share stories and do a little venting when the occasion calls for it. An impartial ear can help you to clarify your thoughts and gain perspective.

Advice, guidance and a helping hand are incredibly important as you start and continue your business journey. If you need support in your business, contact us now to find out how we can help your start-up.

Launching A Start Up Is Time Consuming & Exhausting....

Bike and work sign.jpg

....especially when an entrepreneur is trying to do everything on a tight budget.

It’s critical not to become overwhelmed by an influx of tasks which could be delegated. Knowing when, how and to whom to delegate responsibilities and tasks is critical to your start up’s success.

Outsourcing enables a start up to focus its limited resources on the development of new business opportunities without the expense of a full-time employee.

Your focus should be on seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies for execution.

At CoStartup & Go we take these tasks off your hands so that you can focus on growing your start up and driving it forward. 

We cover everything from operations, project management to digital marketing, creative design, website development, accounts, HR, recruitment and start up experienced executive assistance.

All managed by our team of experts in each area.

So everything that you need to get your business up and running smoothly.

Contact us for a free consultation at sales@costartupandgo.com 

Work-Life Management & How To Find It

kyson-dana-86663 copy.jpg

As the conversation continues about work-life balance, many individuals are coming to the conclusion that it simply does not exist.  New terms are emerging such as “work-life fit” or “work-life choices”.

These are much better terms to use because “balance” is different for each individual. There is no one prescription for creating balance. It is a continuous goal which must be practiced, tweaked, and managed daily in order to achieve. Therefore, it is important for individuals to strive for an acceptable balance that works for them.

Technology has not only revolutionized the way people communicate, it has also altered the way people work by allowing for more flexibility. However, this increase in flexibility also creates the need for even higher levels of organization.

Liane Hornsey, Google VP of People Operations, is a proponent of this new, more flexible work place. She believes in measuring people with “positives”, not “negatives”. She advocates not tracking sick days or holidays and instead, looking at output. No matter how it is achieved, she understands that people need a balance between work and life, and that this differs for everyone.

“Lets face it: programmers want to program, they don’t want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both”. Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google. 

Start-ups and entrepreneurs have the option to adopt these flexible ideals into their company cultures.

Here are some tips about how you can manage your work-life balance in this new flexible and virtual age, where productivity and efficiency are still the end goal.

Be Mindful

Use singular focus and be present while completing the task at hand

Jobs can become a source of stress and exhaustion, often due to the mind worrying about present or future concerns. In order to avoid burn-out try to “be in the now” especially when you are speaking to a colleague or client. This has been proven to increase productivity and efficiency.

 “The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: you create a good future by creating a good present.” – Eckhart Tolle

Mindfulness is assisted through practices such as yoga or meditation     

Meditation has been shown to increase productivity at work by stopping pointless worrying and allowing the mind to become more focused and clear.

Set your intentions for the work day in the morning

This helps you stay organized and focused.

Use transitions wisely

Take a moment for yourself while in between meetings. Be consciously aware of your surroundings while walking from place to place. Take breaks for stretching or going for a walk. Along with the many health benefits, this can help you re-center yourself so that you are better able to tackle your day.

Conscious breathing can alleviate stress and anxiety

When you find yourself getting tired or overwhelmed, remember to stop and take a deep breath. Focus on your breath and create a mini-meditation.

Nourish yourself with water and healthy food choices

Be present while eating lunch or taking a sip of tea or coffee. Create a moment of peace and relish in the moment.

Bring your mindfulness home with you

At the end of the work day, remember to be present while spending time with your family and friends.

Be “All-In” But Set Boundaries To Avoid Burn Out

“The right to disconnect”

France recently passed such a law. People find it hard to disengage without traditional work boundaries, especially with the influx of technology and ease of communication. Try turning off your phone and computer at night.

Schedule, don’t “list”

Schedule things you need to complete into your calendar. This helps you clearly identify your priorities.

You have a Life

As an entrepreneur, there are always going to be many interesting ideas and things to explore. Make sure to schedule personal time with family and friends.

Use the help of Apps

Rescue time This helps with time management by helping you understand your daily habits on the computer.

Siteblock For sites that you spend too much time on, and that hinder your productivity, why not block them completely? This app also shows you how many times you tried to access certain sites while they were blocked.

Create A Sacred Space For Your Work Environment

If you are working at home, make sure you have a designated space. A room that is separate from your bedroom or living room, and has a door, is best. Also, create a space with a nice view, or faux view, and set up objects that make you happy. Choose objects that remind you to stay focused and present. You have free reign to create a space that works for you!

Want to get out of the house completely? Join a co-working space. Choose a co-working space that provides the amenities (gym, café, meeting rooms, telephone booths, roof garden) that work for you and aid your work-life balance. Choose a space that feels good to you and has the décor that you prefer. There are many co-working spaces from which to choose.

Social isolation is a growing problem with the increase of dependence on technological devices and programs. Counter this by making sure to schedule Skype meetings, or by attending networking events. If you do not particularly like networking events, enjoy the natural networking that takes place at a co-working space. It has been proven that “water station talk” psychologically benefits people in the workplace.

Ask For Support

The power of speaking to people and feeling heard is extremely powerful. Sometimes in the professional environment, it isn’t always easy to convey your personal struggles.

Use an app such as Talk Space. This app provides virtual therapy, when and where you need it.

At PA&GO we provide flexible, virtual support and advice for all of your on-going start up and entrepreneurial needs. Speak to us about what is causing you stress and work with the team to find a way to delegate tasks which will make your daily routine more manageable.

It is important to craft a work-life fit that works for you. Managing this delicate balance is more of an art than a science and one that will continue to be tweaked. Focus on the positives and celebrate the times when you feel you had it right. At the end of the day, personal moments matter most in life and are as important as successfully growing your skills and making money in the workplace.  

“Accept-then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” –Eckhart Tolle

 

 

Written by Alexandra Griffin, Operations Executive / Virtual Assistant PA&GO, New York

 

 

My Start Up Journey A Year In – Key Learning (Vol 1)

Having helped get more than several start ups off the ground in the last 10 years...

.....I have to admit that I don’t think that I could see myself working in any other environment!

That all hands on deck, almost boundaryless way of working and the camaraderie that taking an exciting idea forward brings, is second to none.

I remember in the early days when I was involved with helping Zulily when they launched in the UK, their growth was at such a fast pace. From a core team of just 7 of us through to 45 people within the first year, it was truly remarkable. And one of many start up journeys I have been lucky enough to be involved with along the way.

Having launched PA&GO 12 months ago now, I have learnt so much and it has been a wonderful journey thus far.

From those early days working at my dining table to seeing the brand come alive with the body of an awesome team to the enthusiasm of our clients in what we do, this has made the journey so rewarding.

So what has been my key learning in the first year? There has been so much.....

Be Prepared To Sacrifice

There isn’t always the perfect time to launch a start up. I have come across countless people who are in a full time jobs with such passion for launching their own company but stuck in the fear of the financial change.

What are you so worried about? Take it from me, it will be sometime before you will have the safety blanket of a similar income as your full time role anyway, so that is no excuse for not getting stuck in and starting.

Too big a step? What can you do in the interim to help you make the move? How much capital does the business need to start? What is the minimum that you would need to live on and get by? Could you work less hours or part time while starting?

Sometimes just taking that leap and knowing that you are driving your new business forward makes up for the required change in lifestyle to be able to do it.

‘’Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ – Benjamin Franklin

Stay Focused On The End Goal

Sheer grit and determination in your DNA is a pre requisite for starting your own company for sure!

Stay focused on the reason you started your business in the first place as the inevitable peaks and troughs come your way.

It can be tough when you are in between client invoice payments and need to pay your team, or when you get home after a long day and after putting your kids to bed have to then spend the rest of the evening working.

It is relentless, and along with that can come other peoples negative opinions or your thoughts on how others may be doing it better.

Remind yourself why you set your business up in the first place and deal with issues methodically, practically with the end result in mind and just keep moving forwards.

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”  -  Winston S. Churchill

Get A Mentor

You will have heard this countless of times, however it’s true, getting yourself a mentor is such a valuable exercise when starting your own business.

Finding someone who can give you key insights into your industry with the experience of having tread the path before you is something of a must in order to gain valuable insight into what lies ahead.

It can also very much be a reciprocal relationship. Your mentor will learn a lot from being on your journey too.

Try Launch22 or Seedcamp to name a few.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”  -  Phil Collins

There Is Enough Success In The World For Everyone

In the early days I will openly admit that I struggled with other brands that were in the same market place. I would just think that what we were doing is better and didn’t pay much heed at all.

Now, as I have grown the business, I realise that there is more than enough success in the world for everyone and a lot you can learn. I appreciate the journey that they have gone on to build their brand and that rather than competitors, they are in fact great sources for learning and potential future collaborators.

There will inevitably be others in the same market place as you, so take your time to see what they are doing. By aligning yourself with others in a similar industry and their current marketplace, you can actually increase your brand exposure and help your business grow.

In fact, some well-known brands have made fantastic collaborations or mergers with their competitors. Think of Currys and PC World or Lloyds and TSB bank.

As said, there’s enough success in the world for everyone!

“A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.”  - Ovid

People Will Copy You

Let’s face it, if you have a great idea or way of working at some point someone is going to come along and look to copy what you are doing.

As an entrepreneur, taking a great idea forward you are always going to be torn between the excitement of talking about your brand with others and wondering whether they are thinking at the same time how they could take your idea.

My advice is to just plough on, stay true to the reason you set up your company and know what separates you from the rest and keeps you a cut above them.

Ensure that you have the right contracts in place with your team, NDAs for sub-contractors or any other person outside of the business that you talk to about your start up. This is particularly important in the early stages.

Also be realistic, anyone can come along and look at what is on your website and gain an idea for a company. So be clear on what you can and can’t control and just focus on taking your brand forward through to success.

If someone does copy your idea, know when to invest in getting them to stop as they are a threat, or when they just won’t cut the mustard and are no threat at all.

‘’If you want to be original, be ready to be copied’’ – Coco Chanel

Embrace Your New Network

Working on and in your start-up will bring along a new world of connections especially when you start to network and take your business and brand forward.

They say you are only as good as the 6 people that you spend the most time with, so embrace your new social circle as an opportunity for personal development.

At the same time, you may find that some friends or previous colleagues are less than enthusiastic about your new venture or the changes that this brings about in you. And just as you will gain, you will also need to ask yourself whether these people have your best interests at heart or whether it Is time to move on.

Harsh but true.

‘’Strong people don’t put others down…They lift then up’’.  -  Michael P. Watson

Get Help When You Need It

Getting your start up off the ground at the beginning can require a lot of work. There is a point when you need to consider having other people on team to help you.

If you need flexible support for your start up, get in touch today.

Top 10 Must-Have Tools and Resources for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Tools and Resources for Startups

When you are ready to set up your business or startup, it can be a bit confusing to know which direction to take and what resources to invest in. This list below lets you know exactly where to start when looking for the best tools to run your business efficiently.

Outsource and Delegate to High Quality Virtual Support by PA&GO

Rather than constantly heading to sites like Upwork or Freelancer when you need small tasks or executive assistance, think about a flexible, local support team that can work for as little or as much as you need, without hassle.

Hire Great Talent with Workable

When you are ready to find permanent talent, use Workable to source, manage and track applicants in one space from over 14 different job boards.

Take Charge of Your Accounts with Xero or Quickbooks

Keep up to date with all your banking and credit card transactions while managing your cashflow.

Send Proposals and Pitch Your Work with Proposify or Qwilr

Create easy to read proposals and streamline the pitch, quote and approval process. Replace presentations with sleek, customisable and interactive interfaces.

Maintain Customer Relationships with Hubspot

Organise, grow and track your customers with Hubspot CRM software while you manage your sales pipeline keeps the process effortless.

Research Your Competitors with Moz

Learn about how your competitors are gaining their inbound traffic and target areas where you can drive customers to your business.

Stay on top of Your Website Data and Traffic with Google Analytics

Measure your website performance to see how your content and marketing efforts are working and where customers are engaging with your brand.

Manage your Social Media with Hootsuite

Save time by using managing several social media accounts on one dashboard. Monitor your brand and check what’s trending in your industry.

Communicate across Multiple Teams & Departments with Slack

Communicate and message your team, send real-time updates, save files and develop a collaborative workspace with Slack, whether you are down the hall or across the globe.

Manage your Projects with Asana, Basecamp or Skwish

Whether you are a freelancer, a solo entrepreneur, or start-up, or a small team, these tools are perfect to manage tasks, create timelines for projects and to maintain transparency with clients or customers.

Stay Connected with your Customers with Mailchimp

Build an effective email strategy with your customers and clients by staying in touch with them and sending targeted campaigns to maintain your relationship.

Keep Your Documents Organised and Collaborate with Dropbox

Securely share files across teams or with clients and simplify the way you create, share and collaborate across devices.

Receive Access to Media Pitches and Get Direct Responses with HARO

Send your stories, press releases and important company updates to HARO and provide journalists with everything they need to cover your news which amplifies your message.

Join a Coworking Space to Find Opportunities to Network

A coworking space is a fantastic tool to have to be able to network and creatively collaborate with other startups and small businesses. Alongside the routine networking events, the organic networking that naturally evolves is priceless and it doesn’t hurt that it creates a great space for productivity in your business. 

Remember, any of our virtual assistants can set up and help maintain these platforms, making your startup journey run a lot smoother. If you are ready to set up your business the right way, get in touch today.

How to Stop and Prevent Entrepreneurial Burnout

Entrepreneur Support

The biggest secret to an entrepreneur’s success? They don’t try and do everything by themselves. It’s a phrase we've probably all heard before, but often we forget to put it into action.

As you’ve started your business, have you ever felt or done any of the following?

·      Feeling like you are running on empty

·      Feeling overwhelmed

·      Taking your work home with you

·      Decreased Productivity

If so, you may be experiencing entrepreneurial burnout, and if you want to ensure any type of success for you and your business, you should make some changes. Get out of a mental rut by changing your scenery and your normal routine. Change your work environment for a day if you can to clear your head. But most likely, you may need some wider changes like re-structuring your business strategy or expanding your team with virtual support to combat this common pitfall.

Here are CoStartup & Go’s top tips to stop and prevent entrepreneurial burnout:

Re-balance.

This is and will always be the first step. Taking care of your emotional, physical and mental well-being. The easiest and fastest way to bring yourself back to balance is to get a good night’s sleep and to increase your water intake. Balancing your body can go a long way in helping you become more productive as an entrepreneur.

Get organised. Get clarity.

Making time to organise yourself and your business will allow for some much-needed strategic vision for the entrepreneurial journey. What people often don’t realise is that as an entrepreneur or startup, there is so much changeable action that occurs and that your business needs to be ready for. Funding doesn’t come through? Pivot your product or service line. Funding does come through? Ramp up your marketing efforts. Being able to execute your plan while staying flexible is a true key to sustained success.

Schedule Breaks.

For entrepreneurs, we know that the clock never truly stops, and that if you want doors to open, YOU are the only one who can make it happen. But creativity and ideas emerge when your mind is still, when you allow yourself to focus on other things, and when you take some time off. Make it a part of your day to take short breaks to allow your brain to expand and your imagination to wander. And make sure you make a conscious effort to shut the laptop down a few nights and weekends.

Delegate.

If you are wondering how you are ever going to get all your work done now that you are sleeping so much and taking breaks – the answer is easy: Focus your work efforts on the most important tasks that add value to your business. Avoid time suckers and tasks that take up much of your time and energy but in the end, can be done by others. Investing in a virtual assistant is so important as it allows you to excel in the areas that you are best at, and you can outsource and collaborate with others on areas you don’t have time for. But don’t limit your scope here – startups and entrepreneurs can use virtual support for social media, web development, bookkeeping, email management, marketing administration, events management and much more.

Gather a Support System.

Going it alone with an idea and a laptop is admirable, but can quickly get lonely and discouraging if you don’t have a smart network around you. Slowly build a support system around you with people whom you can bounce ideas off, keep you motivated, and at times can keep you accountable. Using a flexible co-working space is perfect for fuelling natural relationships. Check out the options at The Office Group for flexible co-working memberships.

Ultimately, success as an entrepreneur isn’t about the number of hours you put in, but about what you do with those hours. Are you using your time wisely? Why not book a free consultation with CoStartup & Go to see how we can help increase your productivity?

The 5 Types of Mentors for Your Start-Up

Mentor and Entrepreneur

Making good decisions comes from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions. 

The fastest way to success as an entrepreneur is to fail fast and to learn from your mistakes. To reach even higher levels of success, you should have a voice to guide you so you don’t have to make too many of your own mistakes, you can learn from theirs.

These days mentorship isn’t only about the wise old sage that gives you a map on how to do business. Mentors can come in different shapes and sizes. Here are the five types of mentors your business needs:

The industry guru that provides guidance and inspiration. This mentor is the established professional with years of experience that you can go to to pick their brains and share a coffee.

The networker offers relationships and opportunities that may not be in your industry, opens you to new doors and ideas that you may not have known before and introduces you to people in other fields that can accelerate your growth.

The consultants are specialists in their fields are there to support you whether it comes to marketing, product, business development, operations, finance, etc. You can always count on them to help you make decisions about each aspect of your business with a clear perspective.

The money and investment head provides invaluable insight on how to grow your business and make it profitable, steering you in the right direction and ensuring your business is optimised for revenue and growth.

And lastly it is great to lean on a smart and trusted friend with whom you can bounce ideas, share stories and do a little venting when the occasion calls for it. An impartial ear can help you to clarify your thoughts and gain perspective.

Advice, guidance and a helping hand are incredibly important as you start and continue your business journey. If you need support in your business, contact us now to find out how we can help your start-up.

How to Start a Blog for Your Small Business or Start-Up

Blogging for Small Business

To answer that question, maybe we should first answer why entrepreneurs and business owners should start a blog for their business.

By harnessing the power of blogging, your small business can generate new leads, connect with customers, and ultimately build revenue. Starting a blog can effectively strengthen your SEO strategy and as you consistently build quality, content-rich pages for your site that lead back to your business, search engines reward your site with higher page rankings leading to more organic traffic.

So as you can see, blogging is an integral part of a content marketing strategy. It’s a cost-effective marketing tool, but it can also be the beating heart of your business marketing efforts in an elemental way. Your business blog is a huge piece of your business brand story. It gives your customers clear insight into what your business is all about. A blog allows your business to access a voice that engages directly with your customers and clients. This builds awareness, conversations, and most importantly – trust with your company.

On a technical level building a blog for your business can help improve your site’s SEO and rankings on SERP (search engine results pages) without you needing to spend any advertising dollars. All you need is the time and investment into creating purposeful content.

How to Start a Blog for Your Small Business 

So you want to get started, but need a step-by-step guide? Here are the elements you need to start blogging for your business.

1.     Strategise.

Gather the elements you need to build your blog as an extension of your brand. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, do you want to tell stories? Do you want to showcase your team and their knowledge or experience? Do you want to share insight about how your product or service is used? Do you want to become an authority in your niche?  Decide the blog’s tone of voice and how how it reflects upon your brand image. Fun and aspirational? Informational but informal? There are endless possibilities here.

2.     Choose a Blog Platform.

The most important thing is that your blog is professional, easy to consume and shares a balance between search-engine and people friendly. www.yourcompany.com/blog looks better than www.yourcompany.blogger.com. There are simple and affordable blog platforms like Wordpress and Tumblr, and these days, many custom sites can have a blog platform built in, like Squarespace, you just need to invest in the web hosting. TIP – check out the blogging capabilities BEFORE you decide on a web platform or designer for your main site.

3.     Gather Your Team.

Epic content doesn’t create itself. Blogging takes time and energy and while the benefits are massive, it can often take some time before you see a healthy and consistent ROI. But don’t just hire any intern to do your blogging, social media and SEO. You need flexible writers and creators who understand your industry and who can write to your company’s tone of voice while engaging an audience. We absolutely recommend hiring virtual assistants and copywriters to build a dedicated writing team. Also make sure to pick the brains of your current employees and your partners for contributions.

4.     Create a Content Plan.

Now is where you get down to business. Do some research on keywords and search terms in your industry and start building content around it. Great content can come in many forms – written articles, podcasts, e-books, video, images – anything your audience can consume. And remember, you are writing or creating this content for your readers, not for yourself. Answer their questions and cater to their needs.

5.     Stay Engaged & Consistent.

As we mentioned above, content can come in many forms so in an oversaturated market, you have to make it consistent, you have to make it resourceful, and you have to make it interesting. Keep up with trending news and media updates - find ways to integrate and connect your niche into breaking news. Give your readers a reason to comment and share. Collaborate with other networks. And make sure to post regularly to keep your site fresh.

6.     Promote Your Content.

You are not done once you hit publish. Make sure to fill your content with valuable links and mentions of influencers, and always reach out to people to help share your content. One post on a social platform won’t cut it, make sure you rotate and re-promote your content on a consistent basis.

7.     Monitor and Measure.

Make Google Analytics your best friend. Check where your traffic is coming from, see which posts are performing and which ones aren’t and refine your content plan from there. Rinse and repeat.

While building a blog is simple, making one work for your business requires thought, planning, and consistent effort. But the benefits are endless in this digital world of online marketing. If you are ready to improve your blogging game and want to invest in virtual support to help take your business to the next level, send us a message and we can create a custom package for you.

Hire a Virtual Assistant? 12 Signs Your Start-Up Needs Virtual Operational Support

hire a virtual assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant or a virtual support team can be a crucial resource for your business growth. Having an extra pair of hands and an extra set of eyes to not just accomplish administrative tasks, but to whom you can fully delegate client work or marketing efforts can be incredibly helpful.

However, many entrepreneurs will dispute their need for operational support, often times because they are unsure of all the options they have in developing a team, or because they think they can handle everything by themselves, despite their growth. If you are a start-up who wants to build a sustainable business, there's no question that you need to delegate and develop a flexible team around you. 

Here are some sure-fire signs that your small business or start-up needs a virtual assistant or a virtual operational support team.

Signs Your Start-Up Needs a Virtual Assistant

1.     You have trouble completing your most important tasks.

If you end up spending all of your time on things like diary and email management, you may be missing sight of the forest for all the trees. It’s time you get some help managing the smaller administrative tasks to continue creating on a larger scale for your business.

2.     You have trouble completing your small tasks and they pile up into bigger problems.

On the other hand, if you are spending all your time building the bigger picture, but you can’t answer emails, take calls, or go over your finances, it’s a sign you may need some help!

3.     You travel a lot and you need someone who likes working virtually.

When you are jet-setting from city to city, it’s great to have a team of support available to handle the fort at home. That being said, they may may be able to get their work done better and more efficiently in a flexible environment. 

4.     You spend more time organising than executing.

Your business success depends upon your direction and vision. But that’s only the first step. Make sure to take the time to DELEGATE and actually get work done. Quite often, you’ll realise that your vision requires more manpower than expected, and you can’t do everything by yourself, so having a dedicated team on standby is a great option.

5.     You don’t need or can’t afford a full time employee.

You may be ready to expand your team and outsource tasks, but you can’t afford a full-time employee. Rather than taking on that expense and risk, go for the flexible option and pay for only what you need and build up as your business grows. The you can stay with a support system that knows your company and grows with you. 

6.     You know what tasks need to be done but you don’t have the manpower.

When you have a desk-load of tasks and projects but you know you can’t do it yourself, it’s time to hire a virtual assistant. There are some things that an intern just can’t do and it’s great to have a specialist on-hand to help with design, social media, events, client work, etc. 

7.     You need work done that doesn’t require an office presence.

Entrepreneurs don’t have to invest in fancy offices and studios to get work done. Perhaps having an office like Facebook or google is the goal, but quite often start-ups begin in co-working spaces and home offices. When you have work that needs to be done, but not the office to do it in, a local virtual assistant can be the perfect solution.

8.     You haven’t seen your inbox with 'no new messages' in months.

Simple tasks like diary, phone and email management can be some time consuming and overwhelming to handle. Having a dedicated assistant to coordinate your day can reduce stress, help you focus, and give you time to THINK and EXECUTE.

9.     You spend more than 2 hours a day on social media with little to no ROI.

Social media is definitely an important aspect for most small business to build a consistent brand message and to speak to their customers, clients, partners and influencers directly. But the truth is that social media is about relationships. And building strong relationships takes time and effort, but it can’t be the entirety of your marketing strategy. Delegate your social media to an online marketing consultant who understands the digital space.

10.  That project you’ve been wanting to start is still on your desk staring back at you.

And you haven’t gotten it started because you were distracted by another task or project that still isn’t finished. When managing a virtual assistant, you can be assured that your projects will get done… or else why are you spending the money? Lock in your investment and now that your projects will be completed. 

11.  You would never let your clients see your internal filing system.

If there are some skeletons in your closet, or business files, have a virtual assistant come in to help clean it up. Organisation, consistency and communication are key to building a successful business.

12.  You keep forgetting important dates, deadlines and tasks.

It’s not that you’re forgetful, it’s that you’re overwhelmed. Each time you finish a task, two new projects prop up in its place.  Delegate the scheduling, research, booking travel, etc. and zone in on what your passion is. One day you may even be able to take a vacation. Maybe. 

Convinced? Become more efficient and productive, increase the quality of your work and recover some work-life balance. Contact Sian to learn more about our packages and how PA&GO can offer you and your business some much needed virtual operational business support.

Moving Past Fear in a Start-Up

travis kalanick quote startup for paandgo

When building a start-up the most difficult aspect can just be the simple task of getting started. There is usually an element of fear that is associated with that, and taking small steps forward is the best way to productivity.

Having a dedicated operational support system in place can help alleviate doubts and fear, and also give you a sounding board of experts and specialists that work consistently for you while you build your business, at an affordable rate.

Click on the button below to contact us today to see how can help with your virtual support needs. sales@costartupandgo.com

Why Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a Good Investment for Your Tech Start-Up or Small Business

coffee shop meeting with virtual assistant

As a business owner, it takes time to build a brand, develop systems and processes, and deliver excellent results for your clients and customers. For entrepreneurs, having a business idea is only the first step. The real work is in the execution, and that is where so many businesses fail. Investing in your business with the right operational support from the beginning can make or break your entrepreneurial efforts.

What is a Virtual Assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant can be an essential step to entrepreneurial and start-up success. When you are starting out, having a capable, flexible and lean support system allows for huge productivity and forward movement in your business.

PA&GO takes that support system one step further by providing a consultative approach that moves beyond administrative tasks or project work. PA&GO becomes a one-stop shop for a quality team of operational and business support – all at affordable rates. We care about your business success for the long-term. 

There are so many areas of setting up and maintaining a business that is near impossible for one person to do everything by him or herself. That is where your virtual support comes in.

How a Virtual Support Service Can Improve Your Business

Being able to delegate and outsource your work will dramatically reduce the time spent on certain tasks for you as a business owner and increase the time you can commit to growing your business on a large scale.

Offerings like Freelancer or UpWork or hiring a virtual assistant from a traditional recruitment agent only cover part of the equation. They may be able to complete administrative tasks or projects – but when you need a comprehensive ongoing system that works for you in real-time and people who not only fulfil requests, but offer up solutions to work smarter, that’s when a company like PA&GO comes in.

Whether it’s task-based project work, part-time ongoing work, or more custom and specialised support, your virtual assistant or virtual support system should be able to adapt with you when you and your business needs it. 

What a Virtual Assistant Can Do For Your Business 

When implementing an operational support system, you are able to focus on the tasks that matter the most, streamlining your work to help you get off the ground or expand your business to the next level. Hiring a virtual assistant will:

  • Reduce Labour Costs
  • Provide Lean Office Structure
  • Reduce Employee Training
  • Give Access to a Wider Resource Pool and Network
  • Provide Flexible Operations for Founders
  • Allow You to Gain Your Time Back
  • Capitalise on Business Growth

All in all, investing in a Virtual Assistant is a critical method to move your business forward in a strategic way. Delegating your business support work to a virtual company allows you to commit to your business growth.

If you are looking to invest in a virtual support service, contact  us at sales@costartupandgo.com now and we can set you up with a Free Consultation today.

Transformative Ideas, Transformative Business

making ideas happen scott belsky quote

When growing a start-up or small business, great ideas are only one part of the story - a creative and flexible team with an eye for masterful execution takes businesses from idea stage to next level growth. The consistent and flexible virtual support that PA&GO provides allows for entrepreneurs to create, test and spend their time thinking about transformative ideas while we handle the execution that transforms your business.

If you are interested in seeing how we can work together to make your great ideas come to life, get in touch with us at sales@costartupandgo.com

Rising Above Expectations

start up quotes - larry page

As a business, PA&GO is dedicated to providing exceptional operational support for our clients. That means we offer a comprehensive and tailored package to suit your start-up and entrepreneurial needs as they grow and change. To do this, we are redefining what virtual support looks like in the start-up world and we have developed a personal and consultative approach to offering flexible support  for all stages of your business growth.

Send us an email today to discuss how we can help support your business: sales@costartupandgo.com