How much is your time worth?

Here at Time Saving Heroes we provide a variety of different services, but they all boil down to one end goal – to save you, our client, time.

As a business owner you will be only too well aware that time is money, but precisely how much is your time worth?

£25 per hour? £50 per hour? £100 per hour?

Everyone is different, and much will depend on the nature of the work you do and the expertise you bring to the table – but we should all know how much we’re worth on an individual basis to our business.

No matter what you are worth in monetary terms, are you the only person that can bring in that revenue? If you are a sole trader, then clearly, the answer is “yes”. Even if there are other members of your team, perhaps you are the only one that secure the high-end fees. Perhaps you are the only person that generates new income and revenue streams because no one understands the business the way you do – it is, after all, your baby.

It begs the question then why you would waste your time doing tasks that other people could do. Perhaps you don’t see it as wasted, they are no doubt tasks that need to be completed to ensure the proper running of your business – but do you need to be the one who does it?

Have you stopped to consider that for some tasks it would be far more beneficial, financially, to pay someone to do them instead?

Consider the case of Bob (a real client, but not his real name).

Bob is a tiler and, on average, earns £250 per day. He’s very good at what he does, in fact, many regard him as an “artist”. Only Bob can do the physical work that his clients pay him for. Bob’s average day is no longer than six hours. He therefore earns £41.67 per hour.

However, Bob also does all the admin for his business. He dedicates every Monday to answering emails, writing up quotes, sending invoices and doing his bookkeeping. Bob has no real admin experience, is not confident with computers and spends 10 hours every Monday just trying to run his “office”. He admits himself it’s not his forte, and because things are completely ignored Tuesday-Sunday, by the time Monday comes around again it’s a bit of a mess.

Within a week of working with Bob we were able to streamline a lot of his processes and we now only bill him for one hour a week to complete all his admin needs. Yes, this costs him £100pm but in exchange he has now saved himself 10 hours per week – which he has turned in to time he can complete more work. As a result, he can now charge an additional £250 per week, which is a whopping £1,000 per month of extra income (or £900pm if you deduct our fee).

By using Time Saving Heroes he has earnt an additional £900pm! Now, that’s what we call return on investment.

Of course, not everyone is in that position, and we are not suggesting for one second we can produce the same results for all our clients; however, the principal remains the same. By reducing the time you are wasting on things that you can outsource, that we can probably do more efficiently than you because this is our area of expertise, you can dedicate more time to your area of expertise.

Why not give us a call today on 0161 883 2024 to find out how we can help you be more efficient, and make more money?

Sections you might not have thought about including on your CV

There are many sections in a CV that most people would expect to see as standard.  For example, the personal statement, skills, career history and education/qualifications.

 

However, the reality is your CV is your opportunity to shine, and demonstrate why you are the best fit for the job you are applying for.  What you include is therefore entirely your choice.  The only thing that really matters is that it’s relevant, and demonstrates why you, at the very least, deserve to be invited for an interview.

 

What other headings could you include if you wanted to?

 

Languages

 

If you speak more than one language, you might want to include a separate section dedicated to outlining your skills in this area, rather than merely listing it under a skill.

 

You could explain, in a few sentenced, what level your knowledge and understanding is at, whether you have used it during your previous employment, and how you think it might benefit your potential employer.

 

Awards

 

Many people think that awards won during previous employment, certainly those that are awarded to whole teams, are irrelevant.  Whilst it’s true they’re not a full reflection on your ability alone, they do demonstrate that a team you worked in has achieved great things.

 

Explain what was awarded, when and by which organisation/body.  If you have space explain, briefly, how you contributed to the winning team.

 

IT Skills

 

Depending on your experience and the position you’re applying for, you might want to include a separate section on IT skills alone.  Are you a whizz at PowerPoint, know everything there is to know about Excel and Pivot Tables?

 

Try to only list things that would be relevant in the role you are applying for, so don’t list a host of web developing software you can use if this is never going to come up.

 

Professional development

 

Many people choose to study in their own time, and with the likes of online courses from Udemy, many of these aren’t necessary accredited, or result in a specific qualification.

 

However, it does all count.  Demonstrating that you are essentially self-taught in a particular field that will add benefit to your future employer, is never a bad thing.  Showing that you take in an interest in life-long learning, and have specific areas you are passionate about will stand you in good stead.

 

Voluntary work

 

Many people don’t think voluntary work should go on CV because it doesn’t form part of the “career”. However, it all comes under experience, and you are bound to have learnt something in every position you have undertaken, whether it is paid or not.

 

Talk about what you have done, what skills you developed or gained, and why you felt passionately about that particular cause to want to volunteer your time to support them.

 

 

Don’t forget, Time Saving Heroes offer CV reviews to help you get on the right track with your CV, as well a full CV writing and Cover Letter service.

 

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you make the best possible first impression, give us a call on 0161 883 2024, contact us via Facebook or Twitter, or drop us an email at hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk

Where are your customers?

Last week I talked specifically about the amount of time you had to be social, and why this was an important thing to bear in mind.

When I start working with a new client on their social media one of the things I ask during my fact find is “what platforms do your customers use”. Usually I’m given one of two answers:

1.      I don’t know

2.      All of them

Depending on the mood I’m in I might start asking how many of their customers use QQ, We Chat, Baidu Tieba, Viber, Kiwibox or Skyrock. If I’ve had coffee and am therefore slightly less sarcastic, I may just explain that “all of them” does not simply mean Facebook or Twitter.

In fact, there are so many social networking sites it’s impossible to really keep a handle on a comprehensive list of what’s available. “All of them” is never a realistic answer.

With that in mind then, I ask again, where are your customers when are they online? Chances are you won’t know the actual answer (unless you are stalking them) but you can take an educated guess.

Facebook remains the most popular platform, closely followed by YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Some people may have accounts on a variety of different networks, but most will favour just one or two. Personally I live on Facebook (to keep in touch with friends and share sarcastic posts) and Pinterest (great for Home Ed ideas and knitting projects). Professionally I prefer Twitter and LinkedIn because it allows me to share information quickly, and interact with others who have similar interests.

When it comes to deciding where you should focus your attention you need to think about what you have to offer, and what interactions you are looking for. If you’re a handyman is it worth posting videos showcasing your skills or offering top tips for simple DIY? If so, YouTube could be a great channel for you, followed by Facebook so you can share your videos.

I used to do a lot of work with a wool shop in Devon who started posting simple video tutorials on YouTube for basic knitting patterns. Knitting newbies would see the video, get inspiration and then be directed to their online shop to purchase the materials they needed. Sales went through the roof.

If you sell products that are visually pleasing then Pinterest may seem like the most logical choice; however, the audience for this site still has a huge US bias, which is great, as long as you can ship there. It might well be that Instagram is a better option instead.

Do you want people to like and share your content, or do you want them to interact? Do you want to start conversations and debates, sharing information and knowledge, or do you want people to passively digest your message? Again, a lot of this will come back to how much time you have.

These are all things to think about before just jumping in to a particular platform because everyone else is there.

Why you should outsource your Inbox

We all know that a VA is thereto hep you become more productive, and will stop you from feeling overwhelmed.  But how exactly do they do that?  What tasks can they perform to make your business life run more smoothly?

Of course the answer to that isn’t entirely simple. A lot will depend on what you do, how good you are at delegating and letting go of control, and what your VA specialises in. Some VA’s have a varied skill set as many will be time served PA’s, others may focus on specific areas.

However, one thing your VA should be able to do is handle your emails.

Now, hear me out. I know there’s a huge part of you (if not the whole part of you) that is visibly recoiling at the thought of handing your inbox over to someone else, someone who may, in all reality, be a perfect stranger, but ssssh my pretty.

Take a deep breath and carry on reading.

According to an O2 Business report published in 2015 the average worker sends 4,000 emails per year. Working on the basis there’s 365 days in a year, 105 of which fall on weekends, eight of which are public holidays and 28 are owed as personal holidays, that average worker only actually works 224 days a year. That is assuming they are never ill or have to take a personal day.

That means, on average, they are sending 17 emails a day. It might not seem like a lot, but assuming each email takes a minimum of five minutes to compose and send (which, in all honesty, is unlikely), that’s one hour and 29 minutes per day just sending emails.

Or, to put it another way 19,936 minutes per year, which is also known as 332 hours or 13 days.

That’s 13 days a year lost in email responses alone. And that’s assuming they’re quick and easy responses in the first place, or you’re a fast typer.

Apparently we receive even more than we send – 6,000 on average per year. You can do the math on that one.

The point is emails can be hugely time consuming, and a lot of them are utterly pointless. There is no legitimate reason that the task of dealing with them can’t be outsourced to a VA. Other than you perhaps find it a little alien and difficult to relinquish control.

Think about the emails you receive on a day to day basis. How many of them ask for the same sort of information? Could you set up template responses to send back a quick-fire response, or direct enquirers to a particular page on your website? How many are junk, forwarded from mailing lists you subscribed to years ago? If you’re not getting the benefit from them or the information you once thought you were, cut the clutter and unsubscribe immediately. How many group emails are you included in, that keep you tied up in a long thread that really has little or nothing to do with you?

These are just some examples, but it’s very easy for a VA to sift through the rubbish, reply to the standard requests and leave you only with the actual things that require your attention specifically.

Why not spend the rest of this week keeping a note of how much time you’re spending on your work emails? What could you achieve if you were a bit more precious with your time than you were with your inbox?

Find out how Time Saving Heroes can help – call 0161 883 2024, email lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk or get in touch with Lu via LinkedIn.

What you should include on your CV

When people know they need to write a CV, or update their old one, they tend to panic.  The reality is it’s just a short document, all about you, so in theory it should be a piece of cake to write.  Right?

 

Well, that’s the problem with theory, it doesn’t always work out that way in practice.

 

You might be writing about yourself, but none of us are that good at promoting ourselves.  We are usually too self-conscious to really shout about our achievements, or we worry we go the other way and sound like we’re egotistical braggers.

 

It is a fine line, and it’s a tough one to walk at the best of time, without the added pressure of knowing your chance of being interviewed depends on you getting it right.

 

The other issue is that most people don’t automatically know what they need to include in a CV, or if they do, in terms of headers, they’re not sure what information really needs to be included.  That’s why we’ve pulled together this quick guide to help you out.  Follow it, and your CV will already be well on the way to being excellent.

 

Start with the basics

 

The most important thing about your CV is going to be your name and contact details.  Make sure these are right at the top of the CV, and are shown clearly.  There is no need to waste space writing “CV of John Smith” or “Curriculum Vitae”; people know what this document is, so don’t spell it out.

 

Do, however, make sure that your name is spelt correctly, that you use your actual name, not nicknames, and that your contact information is included.

 

With regards to contact information, add what you think is the best format for you. Don’t put a landline down if you never answer it, instead use your mobile number.  Do make sure that you have a voicemail facility activated as well in case you miss the call. A recruiter will leave a message.

 

You might also want to consider adding your LinkedIn URL to your contact information.  The reality is a recruiter is likely to search for you anyway, so make their job easier.

 

Personal statement

 

Whatever you call it (summary, profile, objectives etc), this is arguably one of the most important aspects of your CV.  Yes, your career history is vital, but this short paragraph at the beginning is going to let someone make an immediate decision on your past experience, and suitability for the job.

 

Your entire CV should be tailored for each individual role you apply for, but this is where you can make the most tweaks.  Do make sure you keep it short and sweet though, no more than a few sentences and explain:

 

  • Who you are
  • What you can offer the company
  • What your career goals are (and how this role could fit in to those)

 

Key skills

 

Recruiters aren’t known for their patience, mainly because they don’t have the time.  Therefore, adding a key skills section, where you can bullet point and really highlight your strengths, makes life significantly easier for them.

 

In here you can list things such as your technical skills, or you might want to go for more soft skills such as interpersonal or negotiation.

 

The key here is to ensure you are listing skills that the job description/person specification is looking for, so that you can tailor your CV to the role itself.  Of course, only include skills you actually have!

 

Career history

 

It is important you list your career in reverse chronological order, so the recruiter can see what you are doing now, first.

 

For each position state your job title, the name of the company you worked for and your dates of employment (month/year – month/year will suffice).

 

Then list, in bullet points, your main responsibilities and duties, along with any achievements you gained during your time.

 

You do not need to include a reason for leaving, or you starting/leaving salary.

 

Education and qualifications

 

Again, list this in reverse chronological order, and list the name of the institution, your dates of study, what you studied (subject and level) as well as grades achieved.

 

 

Don’t forget, Time Saving Heroes offer CV reviews to help you get on the right track with your CV, as well a full CV writing and Cover Letter service.

 

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you make the best possible first impression, give us a call on 0161 883 2024, contact us via Facebook or Twitter, or drop us an email at hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk.

How much time do you have to get social?

I recently offered five resolutions you should embrace throughout 2018 when it comes to your social media marketing. Number four was an acceptance that not every social media network or platform is going to be the right one for you. The simple fact is there are numerous different platforms to get your head around (probably a lot more than you think), and each one of them brings with it its own unique blend of pro’s and con’s.

How do you weigh up all your options and make an informed choice, without spending hours going back and forth and merely wasting time? Over the next few weeks I will give you some top tips on areas you should concentrate on, which should, in theory, help make your decision easier.

Today, I want you to think about how much time you have.

Social media is a fantastic marketing tool, not least because it is entirely free (though, as with many things, there are ways for you to spend your money). However, while it doesn’t necessarily carry a financial cost, it will take up a lot of your time if you let it.

If you are planning to use social media then you are no doubt planning on building a loyal and engaged fan base. No matter how wonderful your product is, that doesn’t happen overnight. You will need to have great content, which will no doubt come in a variety of formats; blogs, jokes, photos, videos, reviews, infographics etc. These things don’t just fall out of the sky, you will either have to source them or create them yourself.

You then have to find time to post them, which in itself is time consuming before you even factor in the analytical research you have to do to ascertain what the best time for you to post to your audience is.

However, social media is not just about putting great content out there, you need to be on hand to interact and encourage interaction. How are you going to get your audience to comment, like and share? One way is to build actual relationships – that means commenting, liking and sharing on their content too. That, I am sorry to say, can’t be faked or automated (though, it can be outsourced, of course).

It doesn’t matter how much time you have, just be honest with yourself.

If you don’t have much then the simple truth is you need to make the most of what time you do have. There is no point in jumping in to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn if you can only spare five minutes per day on all three. You will barely be able to schedule a post, let alone build any relationships. It is vitally important that you don’t spread yourself too thinly.

Social media is not a competition, and simply because someone else (perhaps a competitor) is on certain platforms does not mean you have to follow suit. Especially if you aren’t going to do a very good job of it. You may actually end up hindering your chances and destroying your relationships and brand in the process.

For those that are new to social media within their business, and don’t have much time to spare, I strongly recommend sticking with what you know. If you are more likely to be found on Twitter in your personal life than Instagram, then stick with that.

You will already know far more than you may think in terms of how the platform works, who is on there, the best times to post, and the content that gets the most interaction. Use that insider knowledge already at your disposal to give you a leg up. You can always add more platforms as time goes on and ask your existing followers to follow you elsewhere too.

Remember, if time is an issue you can schedule posts in advance using things like Hootsuite (my personal favourite), Buffer or Social Sprout. Sitting down one day a week, or month and pre-loading content for your social network is a much better use of your time as you will be in the “zone” and able to concentrate on your voice and the message you are trying to put out there. You will then just have to find a small amount of time per day to engage with your network and comment in real time.

Why we are the perfect match for your business

Deciding to outsource any part of your business is a big decision. Hiring an accountant to do your books makes sense and probably won’t cause you much consternation (apart from when the invoice lands on your desk).

Equally, a HR Consultant is worth their weight in gold when it comes to ensuring staff are happy and not threatening you with a tribunal every five minutes.

But what about the other little tasks? The things that you genuinely think you can handle, or learn how to do adequately. As mentioned last week these little things can take up a lot of time, which ultimately costs you money because you’re not dedicating your attention to revenue generation. Outsourcing to a professional in that particular field could end up saving you money, not

No doubt you have sat down and meticulously worked out the benefits of getting someone else to do whatever task it is. It’s not a decision you take lightly, after all, you’ve spent a lot of time, money and energy building your business. It’s your baby. Or one of them. How do you know you can trust the person you are handing some of the reigns over to?

Finding the right person to collaborate with or rely on can be tricky, and it’s well worth doing some homework before you jump in to the first relationship that comes along.

Here at Time Saving Heroes we are good at what we do, we are well respected and people speak very highly of us. However, even we are realistic enough to know that we are not the right fit for everyone.

As a business owner or even an individual you will have certain things that are deal breakers. For some its cost, for others it’s response time, others value qualifications while some look for longevity and experience within the field. Only you know what is likely to tick your boxes and make someone the right proposition for you.

One thing I can say about Time Saving Heroes, other than our ability to do the job in the first place, is that we are approachable, and responsive. When a customer has a query or even a concern about what we are doing for them, their business or their brand, we react immediately. Such conversations don’t happen often, but when they do, we don’t hide from them. We want to tackle any difficulties you have with our service up front and honestly. You can always get hold of us and know that we will do what is needed.

As we are friendly and approachable, and we always keep lines of communication open with our clients, people waste no time in coming back to us with any problems they have. A particular approach on social media may not be working, it may be the wrong tone of voice, or the wrong vibe for your business. Picking up the phone, or having a face to face meeting can quickly put an end to any concerns, and will allow us to look at an alternative approach immediately.

We value every one of our customers, we know just how important your business is to you so we will respond to you immediately, or as close to immediately as possible. This is one thing we can guarantee at Time Saving Heroes – you will never be ignored or passed over for a bigger client.