Category Archives: Business Challenge

Launching Your Side Hustle: Our Top Tips.

side hustle

What is a Side Hustle?

side hustle

Not every new business start its life fully formed.  You often have a germ of an idea that you need to develop before you can consider giving up your fulltime employment.  This is what we call a ‘side hustle’.   Because it is a project that will run alongside your normal work, there are certain things you need to consider before you start,

Should I Tell My Employer?

Every employer will have different rules about and attitudes toward side hustles. Take a look at your employee handbook to understand what is and isn’t permitted. Here are some things you might find:

  • Conflict of interest clause. This restricts an employee from doing anything that will harm the employer’s business and requires you to tell the employer if this changes at any point during your employment.

  • Non-compete or restraint of trade clause: This protects an employer’s interests by preventing employees from performing similar work that might compete with the current employer.

The point of these clauses is to protect the employer’s proprietary information, including things like client and vendor relationships, as well as any confidential information you may be privy to during your employment. Engaging in a side hustle that’s in direct competition with your employer or where you poach clients from your employer or use proprietary information to get ahead could put you on the firing line—or even subject you to lawsuits. Not to mention it’s just a nasty thing to do.

All that apart, most companies won’t have a problem with you starting a side hustle, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your work. Our advice: tell your employer what you’re up to. Even if your contract allows you to have a side hustle and makes no mention of the above clauses, it’s better to be proactive and disclose your side hustle in good faith. This creates transparency and trust, and it’s much better than waiting for your employer to find out from other sources and be reactive about the situation. Suppose the side hustle is in the same line of. Business is tough to keep it secret anyway.

Discuss it with your employer and explain that you won’t use any company resources (including your work computer) or company time to work on your side hustle. It has to be a completely separate thing, and making that clear from the outset will show your employer that you understand its importance.

And that brings us to one last thing: it’s not enough to tell your employer—you also need to show them that you can still perform.

Your full-time job is going to be the main source of funding for your side hustle (and the rest of your life), at least for now. You may start seeing traction in your side hustle, but you can’t use that as an excuse to disregard your responsibilities in your primary job. You’ll still need your primary source of income to pay the bills until you can focus on your side hustle full time—if that’s your end goal. Until then, don’t give your employer a reason to fault you for poor performance.

Establish a routine and set goals

Having a routine will help keep you on track. If you start working on your side hustle every evening after dinner, you’ll train your mind that it’s time for work after dinner—not time to scroll yourself down another rabbit hole. When your side hustle is part of your routine, it will feel less like a drain on your resources.  Bring your family onboard at the earliest opportunity so that if you have a home life, the new project can blend harmoniously.

Of course, you’ll need to be sure your routine is based on solid goals. Sketching designs or designing a website after dinner could go on forever—what’s the goal? When time is a limited resource, you need to be specific and realistic about your goals (try using Zapier  SMART goals to get started). Remember: you are now your own employer, and no one else is holding you accountable – a big personal responsibility.

Set Realistic Boundaries

A side hustle doesn’t mean working during all your free time. But if you’re not careful, it’s easy to fall into that trap.

Set boundaries to ensure that you don’t end up taking time from other priorities in your life, like family time and engaging in relationships that enrich you. There are plenty of ways to set boundaries for yourself:

  • Try time blocking. Decide ahead of time when you’ll work on your side hustle, and stop working on it when that time is up. Apps like Time Hero are worth checking out.

  • Use focus apps such as Freedom. If you’re totally focused while working on your side hustle, you’ll make more of your time and be less likely to need to work outside of your planned hours. Focus apps can block distractions on all your devices, allowing you to use your motivation and energy on meaningful work.  Even still, you will power with soi many enjoyable distracti0ns online; you can easily lose the plot and find yourself fiddling around on social media sites or time-consuming Facebook groups.

Get Yourself Automated.

It can be tempting to do everything yourself: we sometimes make the mistake of valuing money over time. But time is also a limited commodity. And a side hustle in particular means limited time. Your focus should be on the activities that fulfil you and generate revenue.

Take stock of all your processes to figure out what you might be able to automate. If you’re not sure when to automate, look at these 5 things you should automate today. Once you’ve automated your tedious tasks, you’ll have a better understanding of your actual capacity. You’ll be able to set expectations for clients—and yourself more clearly.

Don’t Be Shy – Get Feedback.

A side hustle is a great opportunity for you to do something you love. But, as with any skill, it will take time before you’ve mastered your craft.

From the start, make sure to get feedback from your customers and clients to find out where you can improve. Whether it’s the quality of your offering, your processes’ efficiency, or the ease with which your customers can find you and do business with you, everything should be reviewed for potential improvements.

Learn as much as you can from others who do what you want to do—and ask questions. Remember: you’re testing an idea and working your way to product-market fit on your terms. Your biggest advantage with a side hustle is that you have time to test your business model and validate your ideas over time without the stress of wondering how you’re going to pay the bills. Use that time to make sure your business is the best it can be.

Think long-term

Side hustles don’t turn into income-generating businesses overnight.   It is naive to imagine they would.

With this in mind, you need to play the long game. Ask yourself if your current habits and routine can be sustained for several years—or more. As with any business, your actions have to be guided by a long-term strategy that should motivate you to keep going even when faced with adversity.

If you do decide to pursue your side hustle full time, your confidence after having experimented and learned everything on your own terms will be more than someone diving into full-time entrepreneurship with no prior experience. Even if you don’t decide to go full time into your side hustle, the skills you develop from running one can help you excel at your full-time job and life in general. Your side hustle doesn’t have to overrun your life. What’s important is that you lay the right foundations to draw the most value from your experience.  Many executives can use their side hustle as a ‘sandbox’ for their regular employment and maybe get some new ideas from thinking outside the box.  These ideas can be fed back to your current employer and give you a leg up without even going it alone.

Develop A Good Support Structure.

Remember that you will not have all the corporate structure to support your venture when you are building a side hustle. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to set up some virtual office framework to keep your new business separate from your home life.  Business service companies such as Hold Everything on Regent Street can offer a secure business address with mail forwarding and even a registered office location when you incorporate your new venture.  Many other people have built;t their side hustle into a full-time income-producing, and if you follow our guidance, you can join them in 2021.

London Business Base Post-BREXIT

london business base

It has been said many times that the EU will negotiate deals right up to the wire.  With BREXIT they certainly didn’t disappoint. Any longer and we would have been eating Xmas dinner when the white smoke floated over Brussels.    So now we know that from Jan 1st we will be dealing with the new rules and regulations of the deal the UK has finally negotiated with the EU.    More qualified voices than mine will put some meat onto the deal but what I can say is that it opens the UK up to. many global opportunities.   It will make our country more flexible and nimble in many spheres and certainly make London a very exciting place for foreign companies to invest in and establish a London business base.

What occurs to me is that many non-European companies will be looking to establish a London business base to develop strong trade links.  Many commonwealth countries will suddenly find the UK a profitable place to export to now we are no longer tied to EU trade agreements. These companies will need to build a new presence in the UK and test the market as changes get implemented.    With office rents beginning to soar again and new legislation still being created and enacted it makes good sense to set up a virtual office in central London to provide a prestigious UK address and an administrative framework.

I think you can see where my reasoning is going?  Hold Everything can be the ideal solution for a company in Australia, India or Canada to establish their new UK trading base. For a minimal outlay, they can have a London address and a secretarial team to handle all their office functions.  Phone calls and mail will be dealt with seamlessly and we even have a meeting room that visiting executives can use when setting up those exciting tariff-friendly deals.   London is destined to become a truly global hub in the hi-tech sector and the creation of free ports will make us a centre for the re-export business.  The opportunities are boundless and we are there to help it all work smoothly.

For the past 9 months, we have been a panacea for the Work From Home #WFH business community and we have risen to the challenge of providing non-stop secretarial services through the great COVVID-19 disruption.  Now we look to a new year where we can be at the forefront of helping ‘Global Britain’ follow its new path establishing new trading connections around the world.  If you need guidance on how our virtual office can help you reach your trading goals with a London business base, do get in. touch with us.

Top Qualities to Build Your Business.

business success

Build Your Business.

As in all aspects of life, there are five essential ingredients for success: passion, enthusiasm, optimism, inner strength, and perseverance.  So in a post-Covid world what qualities will help us succeed as entrepreneurs?  The last 9 months have made many of us reassess our work and our business direction.  Like many who use Hold Everything, you are probably working from home building a business.  Perhaps you have been nudged on the freelance path by redundancy or a major shift in the way your industry operates.  But whatever the reason is that brings you to our door we want to help you succeed in building your business quickly and efficiently.   As you know, we do all the heavy lifting for you by answering your calls, sorting and forwarding your mail and generally providing a backbone of essential office services for you.   But what are the qualities that you need to focus on to build your business when you are working from home?

After working with thousands of successful entrepreneurs I can say that the characteristics that have stood out are:

Clear goals. They are extremely precise regarding the objectives to be achieved; They spend a lot of time designing their purpose and adjusting anything that throws them off course. They permanently evaluate their performance, not comparing themselves with others, but with themselves. They have a high standard of excellence in everything they do.

Build Your Business.

A positive self-image is very important.

Positive self-image. Self-image is the internal representation of who you are and what you want when you look in the mirror each morning. Winning-minded people can see beyond, they know how to self-observe in-depth, enhance the good and improve what they still lack. They know that there are always new skills to be learnt, be it a new language or mastering a new software product. You understand that each extra skill will help build your business.

Self-confidence. Winners trust themselves and their potential. They tend to have a high tolerance for frustration, disappointment and failure, from which they recover quickly. They are aware of how others relate to them whether as a business partner or as a competitor.

Self-determination. They are permanently affirmed in their strength and not in their weaknesses. They do not victimize themselves and go to the front without neglecting that there may be others who find it difficult to keep up. They are also skilled and quick in decision-making, they do not procrastinate for days over every tiny detail.  They have unusual speed in processing a lot of scattered information.  They can see how various factors would fit together in the changing business landscape can affect their situation whether from a legal or accountancy or a fulfilment perspective.

Self-discipline. When they commit, they go deep. They always act in direction to achieve what they seek. They are determined and rarely hesitate to define crucial issues. They have a good relationship with the risk/opportunity factor. They are usually ordered, or surround themselves with people who help them in their high performance, to focus in that case on what gives them the most pleasure and what they do best.

There are of course other important things to consider in developing a winning mindset and build your business, such as keeping a close eye on costs and seeking value from your budget.  But then, as a client of Hold Everything you are already exhibiting these qualities by choosing to avoid the expenses of a rented office and full-time staff.  Business development is always an ongoing process but by having the team at Hold Everything working on your behalf you can be the entrepreneur you always dreamt of becoming.

Building a Virtual Team – How to Stop Being a One-Man-Band.

virtual team in action

a virtual team

The One-Man-Band.

Let’s discuss the one-man band syndrome. I don’t know if its a syndrome but here at Hold Everything  I see a lot of entrepreneurs struggling to grow beyond this point without adding a dozen of other stress and anxieties to their plate.

The majority of marketeers start out as a “freelance” type of marketer to customers, 1 on 1 before building an agency and then scaling to a full fledged business.

Why is that some marketers can’t seem expand beyond a one man band? In today’s post I want to shine the light on what I feel the main reasons are in hope that I can point you in the right direction for building your own virtual team.

Sometimes You Need to Go Back to Go Forward

This is a big growth curve which I really feel everybody needs to go through if they want to scale beyond themselves.

It’s based around the idea of: “You can not move beyond where you are by doing what you’ve always done”.

Common sense I know but most marketers are trying so hard to hold onto what they are doing whilst also trying to scale. Something must give.

In this case you need to go backwards initially before you can go ahead into a new pathway.

In this particular instance, you need to decrease and slow the speed of your business down which yes, may mean you might be earning less for a few weeks or even months before you accelerate by adding a virtual team to your business and getting them up to speed as a production line.

Finding The Right Talent For Your Team.

virtual team in action

There is also a lot of confusion about where to find talent for your virtual team. Should you employ A-Players? (the reply is no) Should you ask inside Facebook groups? How about Fivver or oDesk or People Per Hour or even Legiit?

The truth is that it matters not where you commence hiring and building a virtual team from, provided that you kick off building them.

Progress forward is better than no progress at all. However, personally, I have a lot of success using Odesk.  You need to write very specific job postings and a take time to filter through talent to find out the right people for the job.

But Can I Afford to Build a Virtual Team?

I could answer this with the most annoying response possible which would be, “You cant afford to NOT afford to build a virtual team”. As corny as that sounds, there is a lot of truth to this.

Building a virtual team and building your production line should be your number 1 priority alongside closing sales and serving clients.

It’s not the action of building a crew that is what you’re chasing but rather what comes at the tail end of having a virtual team. Speed of service, more predictable and steady results for customers and a general surge in your sales volume.

However there comes a moment when ever marketer must make the and leap and decide that this month, they’re really going to begin developing their own dream team.

Best of all, when you adhere to a “production line” mentally to building your team its generally easier and a lot more lucrative. It’s not unheard of to have a virtual team that costs $6 per hour generate the same quality as a $120 p/h contractor.

What If they walk off with my clients?

This is a big argument I hear from new marketers who are trying to get their heads around developing a team.

They are stressed that the contractors, freelancers and the virtual team they build are simply going to turn around and steal their clients.

This may be a feasible case when you only work with A-Players who are all round problem solvers and creative geniuses. However, when your business and the clients results are built on strategies and an assembly line process– No single specialist or team member can take your client.

Your client’s results are not dependable on an individual contractor instead they are dependable on the system you have developed, your production line, not your team.

The second reason why this is extremely unlikely is that if a contractor wanted to have their OWN clients, they wouldn’t be working for you. Simple as that. A contractor desires to do what they are efficient at without the drama of managing clients.

Sorry You Are Not the Only Genius.

you need a virtual team

I’m sorry to break it to you but you are not the only genius around.

You are not the only “best’ professional at your craft as a marketer, if that be e-Commerce, head-hunting or sales.  For some reason marketers tend to think that nobody else in the whole world could ever be comparable them OR will they ever find someone who is capable to produce the same top-notch results that they can for a their clients.

But when you begin to build a team around your system you will realise  hat your virtual team will be able to get the exact same result because you have made the effort to build a predicable production line that allows anybody from any country, to step in, press a few buttons and generate the same result as though you had done it personally.

There are many reasons why marketers get stuck being a one man band. It may be because of growing too quickly where they were suddenly booked out all at once with no time to think about building a team.

Or it may be because they have a hard time saying no.

The above reasons are a lot deeper than what simply scratches the surface.

The truth of the matter is that all marketer seriously need to think about building support mechanism around them in the context of a virtual team.

The quicker a team is put in place the quicker the business can begin to scale and the less the marketer becomes a one-man band. Remember that building a team is even easier if you are controlling it from a hub such as Hold Everything.

Top Tips to Improve Your Business While Working Remotely

remote working

As we settle into our post-Covid world of business we do a round up of useful tips for small business owners in working remotely.  We have been looking around the web for suggestions that can be useful for our readers.

Use These Tools for Working Remotely

Many teams around the country are still adjusting to the idea of working remotely. Luckily, there are some tools and resources that can help to make the transition a bit easier. Read this RightMix Marketing post by Vartika Kashyap for tips and resources to help your remote team.

Create a Social Media Calendar

Social media is an effective way to communicate with customers around the world. To make the most of this strategy, it helps to organise posts and campaigns into a calendar. Ria Gran elaborates in this Startup Cafe post. And members of the BizSugar community commented here.

Focus on Online Reviews

No matter where you operate your small business, the voices of your customers can make a major impact on your messaging.  Not only must you listen to this feedback, you must value it and actually act on it.  This Smallbiztechnology.com post by Ramon Ray features insights from entrepreneur Brian Greenberg about how he’s leveraged reviews as a competitive advantage for his business.

Here at Hold Everything we get good feedback on Google Reviews – here is a sample of a great review on our service that helps drive traffic;

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Great service at the best price! Shopped around for a virtual office & mail forwarding service in central london and this one came out top in terms of services offered on a budget. Was easy to buy online but called up their team to ask some questions which they helped with immediately. Have been using hold-everything for 3 months now and they have been excellent. Would recommend

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Protect Your Business But Don’t Cut back Too Much

Small businesses around the country are struggling to determine the right way to react to the current pandemic.Many are cutting back too much on SEO and Adwords which will weken them when the upturn comes. Francois Goube discusses what steps business owners can take in this Search Engine Land post.

Improve Your Business’s Processes

In order to run your business efficiently, you need processes in place for the functions you perform on a regular basis. Whether you’re working at home or in an office, this Noobpreneur post by Ivan Widjaya includes some tips for making the most of your processes.  Here at Hold Everything we have invested in a huge new custom-built CRM platform to serve our expanding client base even better and leave us more free time to do other tasks.

Boost Organic Traffic to Old Posts

Chances are, you have old posts already on your blog that can still benefit your business. If you want to boost traffic to these posts, read this 99signals post by Sandeep Mallya. Then head to the BizSugar community to see what members are saying.  We continually look at how we can recycle old posts and maybe use them as the basis for a Youtube video.

As the lockdown ends we will be helping our clients move smoothly into a post-Covid world.  Working remotely is our area of expertise and we are delighted to help you make the shift smoothly.