Author archives: Jenny Serra

Digital marketing – what are “listeners” and why are they important?

In these days of digital marketing, it’s easy to get bogged down in numbers. How many impressions, likes, comments and shares did you get on social media? How many people read your blog, and how long did they spend on the page? And did you get the stats you hoped from your email marketing campaign?

However, there are a lot of people out there who are listening, but only quietly. Their journey to conversion is different, and not as easy to measure, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

In this blog, we explore “listening” and why marketers should be aware of it.

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Seven great ideas for email marketing

Email marketing is a great tool. If you’re on the Get Ahead mailing list, you’ll be used to receiving our monthly messages. But you might not know how much effort has gone into refining our emails over the years! We love our current structure, but we know it’s always good to be open to different ways of communicating.

In this blog, we share seven of our favourite ideas for email marketing.

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How to recognise burnout and protect ourselves against it

Burnout is a word we’re hearing more and more. It is usually associated with being under pressure at work, but it can be brought on by any area of your life where you’re under pressure, like being a carer. Burnout is more than just a bad day, and it’s more than getting a bit stressed because of a deadline. It’s important to remember that burnout is a physical and/or mental breakdown which can cause permanent damage.


What are the signs that we are heading towards burnout?
We all have bad days from time to time, but in general, we should enjoy our jobs. Even if we’re not in our dream role, we can still feel fulfilled knowing we’re playing our part in the world, or providing for our families.
But when work turns sour, we always feel under pressure and it’s affecting our self-esteem, we might be on the road to burnout. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Doubting ourselves and feeling the need to prove that we’re the best
  • Working harder because we think we’re not doing enough, but actually being unproductive
  • Neglecting ourselves, our relationships and our interests
  • Imagining problems have been created by us because we’re not working hard enough
  • Losing perspective and feeling helpless
  • Behaving uncharacteristically
  • Not feeling fulfilled by work, and feeling empty, detached and isolated instead
  • Developing depression

How can we protect ourselves against burnout?

Fortunately, there are ways we can progress in a fulfilling career without burning out. At Get Ahead, we’ve seen for ourselves how working flexibly has created career opportunities balanced with fulfilling family life, and how this turns into high productivity and achievement of business goals.


Here are some pro-productivity, anti-burnout mindsets we’ve learned:

  • Make time for your physical and mental health
  • Taking breaks increases productivity
  • Enjoying life outside work helps you maintain perspective and build resilience
  • Making time for relationships, with yourself, your partner, family and friends helps you look outwards while also maintaining your support network.

Let Get Ahead help!
If you’re worried you’re heading towards burnout because you’ve got too much on your plate, Get Ahead can help. Your local regional director can meet you and do a time audit, working out how much time you’re spending on different responsibilities and helping you manage your time more effectively. Our diary management service means you can concentrate on the task in hand, confident that the others are not forgotten. And if you’ve got a list of tasks that you could delegate, our virtual experts are ready and waiting.

Find a life or business coach
Get Ahead has many life coaches and business coaches in our network of clients – many of them support us too! If you think you might benefit from talking to a coach about the problems you’re experiencing, we’d love to put you in touch with the right person.
However overwhelmed you’re feeling, Get Ahead can help you get things under control. Get in touch today – we’re here for you.

5 tips to beat procrastination

Procrastination is the thief of time. So many of us sit down at our desks with the best of intentions, then put off doing the important jobs that will drive our businesses forward.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can beat procrastination and spend our working time productively. For this blog, we’ve gathered together some of our favourite tips for beating procrastination.

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Are you really being productive? Three ways to work smarter, not harder.

One of the biggest working trends during the pandemic was the 50-hour week, with homeworkers not knowing when to stop, or not feeling confident that they’d “done enough.”

But working a fifty-hour week should be a warning sign. No matter how determined you are, you cannot be productive for fifty hours of your week. It’s not good for you, and it puts pressure on your colleagues and family too.

Another lesson to come out of the pandemic is that life is precious. Flexibility is important to us at Get Ahead – most of the team have families, interests, pets and more and we don’t inefficient working to rob us of our time with them.

It’s time to work smarter, not harder.

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Identify skills gaps that are stopping you from scaling up

You’ve been running your business for a while and it’s going well. Now it’s time to scale up and take your business to the next level. But to do that successfully, it’s important that you have the right skills at your disposal.

In this blog, we look at how to do a skills gap analysis so you can meet your business needs.

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Choose the right business software for your scale-up business

When you first started your business, you probably managed very well with basic Excel spreadsheets and even pen and paper for keeping records and planning ahead. But as your business grows, you may benefit from dedicated software, developed with businesses like yours in mind.

In this blog, we look at the importance of having the right software when you’re scaling up your business, and consider some areas you could automate to make your business run more efficiently.

Why is it important to have the right business software?

When your business gets beyond a certain size, low-tech solutions can be inefficient. By investing time and money in the right business software, you’ll make savings in the long run. You won’t be taken away from your core business to balance the books or rummage for a customer’s contact details – your software can take care of that for you.

Finance and accounting software for scale-up businesses

Accountancy apps like Xero and Quickbooks are a great solution for the day to day running of your business. They are quick and easy to use, and connect to your business bank account. They allow you to:

  • keep up with invoices and expenses
  • pay bills
  • claim expenses
  • accept payments
  • track projects
  • manage payroll
  • complete bank reconciliation
  • manage your inventory

Many of the Get Ahead regional directors use Xero and Quickbooks. They find the apps make finance really clear, while reminders help them stay on top of invoicing and reconciliation. You will probably need an accountant as well to guide you through financial reporting and tax, but having an accounting app is a great way to stay on top of your regular admin.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software for scale-up businesses

As your client base grows, it can become harder to keep track of who’s who and what they need from you. Is that the new client or the one with the repeat order? Do you deal with them directly or are they a conduit to a larger project? And where did you put their phone number?!

Many start-ups use an Excel spreadsheet to record client information. However, as your business scales up, you’ll need something with greater functionality, and which is secure and reliable too. A CRM system like Hubspot is a great solution.

Social media scheduling software for scale-up businesses

Social media is free marketing for businesses. If you’re not marketing your business through social media, you really should be.

However, social media can be very time consuming. For example, you might go onto Facebook to post to your business page, get distracted and lose an hour of your working day. Don’t worry – we’ve all done it! Fortunately, there is a solution. Social media scheduling means you can plan all your posts for a week or even a month, and then let them roll out one by one without you having to log in during working hours. Our social media experts use platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer to deliver regular, on-brand posts for Get Ahead’s clients.

You will still need to keep on top of comments and testimonials, but at least you can rely on consistent social media to shout about your business online.

Get Ahead supports scale-up businesses

The team at Get Ahead use various pieces of software to keep businesses running smoothly, and we are always delighted to share our experience with clients. New software can take time to get used to, but we feel it’s well worth the investment. Our team of virtual experts can guide you through the new challenges and even set the software up for you – all you’ll see is a more efficient way of working.

To find out more, visit our services page or speak to your local regional director.

How to create a business growth plan for a seamless scale-up

A while ago, your business was a start-up. But now it’s a scale-up. How do you know? Well, if you’re turning away clients or customers because you don’t have the capacity, it could be time to scale up your business so that you can meet demand. And if you’re already reaching your goals easily, scaling up will give you greater profits as well as a greater challenge.

To ensure a seamless scale-up, it’s a good idea to write a business growth plan. In this blog, we look at how to write an effective business growth plan and what information you should include.

Decide how far you want to take the business during this phase

Theoretically, the sky is the limit when it comes to business growth. However, when you’re planning, it’s much easier, smarter and more effective to pin down how far you want to take the business over the next period, and how you’re going to do it. This will help you to stay focused, and means you only say yes to business that is going to take you in your planned direction.

Choose your growth indicators carefully

It’s also a good idea to decide how you’re going to measure the business growth. Scaling up your business may well require investment, such as new team members and new equipment, which will affect your overall figures. Remember to break your figures down. Look at the increase in business, but also calculate how much it will cost to get you there. Consider whether those sums add up.

You might also like to consider whether you’re only going to measure growth in financial terms, or include other factors too. Depending on your business, you might like to include customer satisfaction or improved turnaround times. Non-financial indicators help you identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies for the future.

Identify how to move your business forward, and what you need to achieve it

Once you’ve decided how far to take your business in the next year, it’s time to think about how you’re going to do it. You might choose to launch a new product or service to appeal to a new market. Alternatively, you might develop what you already offer in order to retain existing customers and upsell to them. You might keep doing exactly what you do now, only in more locations. We chose to franchise Get Ahead and it proved to be the right move for our business.

Whatever approach you choose, you’ll have to research your additional direction, market it, produce it and sell it. You might even need to consider rebranding, or using different channels to connect with a different type of client.

You can read more about launching new products here.

Be ready to react

Depending on the sort of business you have, external factors might affect your business growth. For example, all businesses learned a lot from the coronavirus pandemic. While covid brought some businesses to their knees, it also created opportunities for others.  

If you operate internationally, for instance, your work could be affected by exchange rates. If you have a complex supply chain, your products and prices could be affected by market fluctuations.

Difficult situations can create new opportunities too. We all know that Zoom grew enormously during the pandemic, but did you know that Marks and Spencer helped develop the UK’s World War II rationing strategy? Unexpected need for your product, service or expertise could help your business grow.

Savvy business owners incorporate flexibility into their business growth plans, to ensure they are ready to react to changing situations.

Business development for scale-up businesses

We love helping businesses make the move from start-up to scale-up. To find out more about how we can help you grow your business, contact your local regional director.