HR outsourcing is a great way of keeping your team running smoothly and strengthening the relationships between business leaders, middle management and staff. With outsourced support, your business will benefit from a fresh pair of eyes and an independent perspective – two valuable assets when it comes to personnel management.

We caught up with HR expert Louise who shares her knowledge about the benefits of HR outsourcing and how it works in practice. 

Why are employee relations so important?

Louise: People are your most important asset. It’s easy to think running a business is all about the bottom line, but the reality is that your business won’t grow without good management to bring out the best in your personnel. 

Many employers are struggling to recruit at the moment, which makes employee retention more important than ever. Fortunately, with good communication between management and staff, you can hold onto your employees. A long-term employee offers better value than a newbie, and a happy, well-managed staff means higher productivity and savings right across your business. 

How can outsourced HR support help employers?

Louise: All too often, people are promoted to management because of length of service rather than because they have the right experience. It’s a shame to see managers with great potential and business knowledge fail to manage their teams well simply because the manager hasn’t received the right training to bring everyone together. 

However, HR outsourcing can help you to get the basics of management in place, like a solid employee handbook and up-to-date policies. With these for reference, you should be able to handle day-to-day issues. A good employee handbook also forms a great foundation for further training. For example, I recently trained managers in inclusivity and awareness – this has helped them meet the diverse needs of their teams and make everyone feel included. And a happy team is a productive team, so it’s a win for the business too. 

How do you work alongside an in-house HR team?

Louise: Many businesses I’ve supported have excellent in-house HR managers. However, most HR issues only arise once in a while, meaning that for small and medium-sized businesses, it doesn’t make financial sense to employ a full-time HR team. Instead, HR managers outsource general and specific HR support as the need arises. This is usually better value and also brings a fresh perspective. 

For example, I’ve recently carried out an investigation on behalf of a client – the situation needed someone from outside the business to ask the right questions and give an objective view. 

HR outsourcing from Get Ahead

Louise is just one of our amazing virtual experts ready to share their skills and experience with business owners like you. To find out more about what HR services we offer, explore our HR pages or scroll down for more blogs about business support. 

Business administration support from Get Ahead always works well, but it works even better with strong teamwork. 

One of our administration experts, Lisa shared her experiences of working as part of a team for our UK/US-based client Elevated. In this blog, we look at how this situation came about, the advantages of teamwork for the client, and what that teamwork looks like in a regular working week. 

Developing the client relationship

Elevated is a UK/American business consultancy offering a wide variety of support to its international clients. Get Ahead has been supporting their client team who provide medical training in neuro-critical care. In November 2022, Andrew at Elevated approached Emma, regional director in our East Midlands office (who had provided him support with a previous business), looking for business administration support. He needed help covering email management, customer service, reporting, minute taking, event support, client liaison and ad-hoc project management. Emma immediately matched him with three possible specialists who could deliver all the work remotely from their UK-based home offices.

Although the initial plan was for Andrew and his US business partner to select one or two VA specialists to deliver the requirements, after an introduction meeting, they ended up engaging all three. This was because they were so impressed with the breadth of knowledge and experience of all three candidates…and it turned out to be a very wise decision. 

Why? Because in March 2023, Elevated upgraded all its tech systems. And like many tech refresh projects, this one has had its share of teething troubles, including a sizeable email backlog. Fortunately, the three-person Get Ahead team has the right skills and experience to clear these emails and help Elevated offer the service it prides itself upon. 

What does Get Ahead teamwork look like? 

Lisa, Ruth and Jessica were chosen by Emma because she thought they’d work well together, and because she thought they’d be a good fit for Elevated. She was right! The three VAs quickly found effective ways to work together. As remote workers in a different time zone from their client, they’ve had to do their own team leadership, with support from regional director Emma. 

A weekly Thursday meeting gives them a regular time slot to share information and updates, but also find time for emergency meetings. They have a WhatsApp group for quick questions and are always at the end of the phone and ready to support each other.  

What are the advantages of Get Ahead teamwork for the client?

Elevated are delighted with Lisa, Ruth and Jessica’s work – so we are delighted too! Because there are three people in the team, they can cover each other’s holidays and sick leave. This means continuity for the client – there is always someone to keep on top of the work and ensure that Elevated provides a great service to its own clients. 

This also means more flexibility for Elevated – they can make business decisions without being restricted by the availability of their business support experts. 

Because the three VAs are all part of Get Ahead, it’s easy for them to manage themselves and their own team. They communicate between themselves instead of needing Elevated to act as a conduit. This releases the internal team to address other priorities instead of having to add team leadership to their list. 

Business administration support from Get Ahead

We love putting together teams to deliver great results for our clients. To find out more about how we hand pick the right team for your business, check out our infographic here. 

Copywriting services are a great solution for regular blogging. Outsource your blog and then turn your attention to your core business, secure in the knowledge there’ll be on-brand content ready to share on a regular basis.

However, just because a blog is published regularly, it doesn’t mean it has to follow the same structure every time. In this blog, we look at ideas for alternatives to the usual format. Read on for inspiration!

  1. Listicles

This amusing and oddly high-pitched word wasn’t in the dictionary ten years ago. But it is now. Listicles – lists that are articles – are increasing in popularity. They’re a great way to share information in bite-size chunks, and they’re easy to repurpose into social media posts. Use the listicle structure (like this!) to share top tips, pros and cons or new ideas.

  1. Quizzes

Everyone loves a quiz and the quiz structure works well in a blog too. Dynamic software is now available to gather and interpret answers (we’ve used this for our online quiz) but you can also create a basic quiz yourself. Write a multiple-choice quiz and ask readers to evaluate their own answers. If they scored mostly As, for example, it might mean they’re coping with their workload well. But mostly Bs would indicate that they need your help. Or something else! Tailor your quiz to your business and make sure one of the results is a clear call to action.

  1. Stories

Marketing folk are always talking about “storytelling” – why not use your blog to literally tell a story? Ask your copywriter to get creative and write a fantastic short story about your business. Invite your readers to peruse it on their tea break. Consider creating characters to represent your ideal customer, or use a setting that relates to what you offer. Have fun with it!

  1. Photo blogging

Depending on what your business does, making a picture-led blog might be the best way of showing potential customers what you offer. Consider a gallery format, with stunning photos of your team or products. Arrange the pictures so that they tell the story. This format is particularly good if you have before and after photos, or you’ve worked closely with a client to develop what they need. However, not all blog pages are set up for pictures so remember to check with your web designer before you get too enthusiastic!

  1. Video blogging

Another idea for a visual blog is to embed a video on your blog page and include the same information in written format underneath it. This means that you’ve catered to people who love video as well as connecting with people who prefer to read. The written text will also give you a chance to optimise the video for a search engine – always a good move.

Copywriting services from Get Ahead

We hope you like our five brilliant ideas to liven up your blog! If you need some blogging support, our experienced copywriters would love to help. As well as writing the copy, they can give guidance on titles, subjects and formats to get the best results for your business. Contact your local regional director to find out more.

When you outsource social media content to Get Ahead, your new social media manager will often use a scheduling platform. Scheduling platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer help us keep up a consistent presence on social media channels and definitely make life easier. However, there are some pitfalls to avoid too – our social media managers know them all and they thought they’d be useful to share!

In this blog, we look at the benefits of scheduling social media content, and note the pitfalls to avoid.

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Social media is a fantastic marketing tool, but it’s not without its downsides. Many business owners struggle to find a balance between maintaining their presence online and managing their time. Could the decision to outsource social media be the right one for you?

Let’s take a closer look.

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IT breaches are nearly always serious. No business can afford to compromise data security or risk losing trade because of a computer virus.

In this blog, we look at some of the ways businesses of all sizes can protect their computer systems from hacking, data breaches and other problems. Some of these responsibilities are for management; others are good habits that everyone should get into.

IT responsibilities for management

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The marketing community has had cause to wince quite a few times this year, with some glaring mistakes from big name brands who should know better. In fact, these mistakes could probably have been avoided if someone had simply looked at the marketing campaign with a fresh pair of eyes.

In this blog, we look at what can go wrong and how outsourcing can help you avoid it.

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You know you’re about to make your next career move and you know you want to be your own boss. Perhaps it’s time for more freedom, or perhaps you’d like more flexibility and balance in your life. If this sounds like you, you might be trying to work out whether you’d rather set up on your own, or you’d rather buy a franchise of an established business. 

Let’s take a closer look.

Should I run my own business?

Running your own business is exciting, challenging and rewarding. Successful entrepreneurs have a great business idea and the drive to make it succeed.

When you run your own business, there are many benefits:

  1. You are answerable to no one (except your clients!).
  2. It’s as much freedom as you can have and still be at work.
  3. You can choose how to spend any profits.
  4. You can shape your business as you see fit, and take it in whichever direction you feel it will succeed.
  5. You can create your own business ethos – if you want to see something done differently, you have the freedom to implement it.

But there are downsides as well:

  1. Starting a business from scratch is hard work with a lot of demands on your time.
  2. You need at least basic knowledge of finance, admin, client care, data management, marketing and more.
  3. You might not see any profits for a few years.
  4. The buck stops with you and there is a lot of responsibility.
  5. It can get lonely – you might miss having a colleague who can provide some objectivity.

Should I buy a franchise?

If you’re not sure whether or not starting your own business is the right step for you, you might consider buying a franchise instead. A franchise can provide a lot of the freedom of running your own business, but without the pressure of working alone to deliver your own ideas.

There are many benefits to buying a franchise:

  1. Enjoy the freedom to work for yourself
  2. Take advantage of existing brand and reputation
  3. Join a family of supportive franchisees
  4. Continue on your career path, managing your team and making many of your own business decisions.
  5. Benefit from centralised resources like marketing material, training courses and software.

However, buying a franchise isn’t for everyone.

  1. The business model and ethos are driven by the franchise owner. Fortunately, ours is tried and tested!
  2. The role of a franchisee is to lead, not to do – if you like rolling your sleeves up, you might prefer your own business where you can deliver your core work yourself.
  3. You’ll make regular payments to the franchise owner, in addition to the upfront purchase – this covers the cost of centralised resources.
  4. Some franchises (not Get Ahead!) set compulsory targets for franchisees.
  5. Some other franchises (again, not Get Ahead!) impose limits on how and where you work, preventing you from scaling your franchise.  

When we decided to franchise Get Ahead, we identified some of the problems of franchising and set out to address them. That’s why our franchisees aren’t under pressure from performance targets, do receive regular training and, above all, benefit from our scalable business model so they can push themselves and their franchise as far as they like.

Buy a Get Ahead franchise

Whatever you decide your next step should be, it’s got to be right for you. And if do decide to buy a franchise, we hope you’ll choose Get Ahead! Our site is full of resources to help you make your decision. You could also follow our social channels and find out more about our ethos. You can even book in a call with franchisor Rebecca Newenham – why not have a chat and get your questions answered before you take the plunge?

Online safety is an issue for everyone. Sometimes, very sadly, it makes the headlines, with vulnerable teenagers unable to escape social media’s darker side, or celebrities falling prey to trolls or cancel culture.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably not a vulnerable teenager or a celebrity. But social media safety is important for business owners too. In addition to protecting your identity and mental health, business owners are in a strong position to set a good example with relevant content, moderate views and helpful advice.

Let’s take a closer look at online safety for business owners.

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Whatever the size of your business, you should have a business continuity plan or BCP. This will ensure your business can continue in its work, even if problems arise or disaster strikes.

In this blog, we look at why business continuity matters and what should go on your business continuity planning checklist.

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