It’s safe to say the last 12 months have been trying for many businesses out there. If your business is still running a massive WELL DONE to you. It has not been easy for anyone, and certainly not smooth sailing. If you’ve managed to ride the waves out you may have found, for the survival of your business, you’ve had to reduce your staff numbers. Whilst this is a horrible process to have to go through for all involved, you have to do what is right for your business. So let’s have a chat about where to go next!
Take a breath and think that through. Your business is still standing – perhaps in a different format than before. But the nuts and bolts are all there holding together. Usually, we aim to thrive rather than just survive, but I think with COVID-19, we need to take a little time to thank our lucky stars that our business is still here at all. Did you know that in three months last year 370,000 people were made redundant in the UK? There can be feelings of guilt when you are a small business owner and have to reduce your staff numbers – these are people you know well from working together daily. As a small business owner myself, I know how tough a decision like that can be. But you must do what is best for the businesses – and the team that remains all have a more secure future due to those difficult decisions.
Some of your staff losses will not have been your decision. Many parents have had to home school their children for significant periods and haven’t been able to come to the workplace, and not everyone can carry out their role from home.
If you have had to reduce staff numbers and have now found you are in the position of having lost vital team members who covered tasks that really do need to be done, you may wonder where to go next. You are most likely trying to spread their tasks over the rest of the team to manage. While that is a temporary fix, long term, this could lead to burnout for those that have remained.
You are not a clown, now is not the time to learn to juggle
So, rather than you, and perhaps your team struggling to juggle the extra tasks into your current workload, consider using a professional outsource provider such as a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants (VAs) usually have a speciality; for example, we specialise in credit control and are a bolt on to your accounts department. A good VA will fit in with your team and ensure that work is kept accurate and up to date. All while in their own office using their own equipment.
This is a super cost-efficient way to manage your business – you only pay for time used and have no running costs or employee contributions to cover. Should your needs change, you can increase or decrease the number of hours you book your VA for on a week-to-week basis.
We have found that some of our customers have not survived COVID-19 and have had to close their business. We’ve also had some clients that outgrew us that have returned now that they have let staff go. Their workload has reduced, so they need a part-time team. We’ve also had clients return that have let all staff members go and plan to run their entire business with a remote team – with a specialist in each core area. Every business is different; it is crucial to find what will work best for you to grow as a business.
Planning for 2021
Don’t be afraid to reach out to us to discuss if we can help you, our telephone consultations are free of charge, and you will get expert, honest advice from us. It may be that you are not sure if it is time to use a VA, or be unsure how to work together remotely. We are based in Wombourne in the West Midlands, so most of our clients are based in Wolverhampton and Birmingham, but we do have clients in Scotland and London. The beauty of a VA is we can help from anywhere in the UK with credit control. Please get in touch on 01384 626 313 and speak to one of the team to find out more.