Blogs & Quotes

Merry Christmas And End Of The Year Reflections

Over the last twelve months I’ve covered many different topics through the Focus Guru and RachaelChiverton blogs. Some of the blogs have been written to address common questions I’m asked about business and contracts and others have been about mindset, creating habits and making the best use of time.

End of year reflection, what have you achieved
End of year reflection, what have you achieved

Here is a re-cap of everything I’ve covered, from my Communications and Cashflow Workshop with James Perryman, to the business skills we can learn from our pets.

I’ve had some lovely feedback from clients in different sectors who are gaining huge benefits from the improved time management and streamlined processes I have helped to implement.

If I can help you or your staff with any business related issue, please contact me either by emailing rachael@rachaelchiverton.co.uk or by telephoning 07756 772950. I offer a free 15 minute consultation and will work with you to make small changes that make a big difference.

January

February

March

April

May

June

August

September

October

November

December

Thank you for sharing this year with me. As 2019 draws to a close, I hope to continue working with you, developing new strategies, boosting your social media presence, creating new habits and being accountable with sticking to them, writing your contracts and enhancing your processes and productivity. Let’s make 2020 your best year yet!

How To Schedule Your Social Media So You Can Spend More Time Doing What You Want

Social media is arguably the most powerful way to transmit your message around the world in seconds. From the moment you think it, you can type it, speak it, video it and within the blink of an eye your message is online for anyone to read, listen to or watch.

It's easy to stop social media overload
It’s easy to stop social media overload

If you want to be seen, social media is a great way to publish news about yourself and your business. Writing a post about taking on a new employee, launching a new product, or attending an event, are popular messages to broadcast.

As soon as your post is online, your message is instantly available to people in your circle of friends and connections. Using relaxed privacy settings, friends of friends can view your posts and, if you choose, your message can be broadcast to the world at large.

But, keep in mind your posts aren’t the only posts on the Internet. How will someone see your news above your competitor’s news? Why would someone want to follow your company? How will it benefit them?

If you want to be remembered, it’s important to keep posting new items, new stories and new news that your viewers can absorb. It takes time to remember someone and even longer if there are lots of things to remember at once.

With the quantity of information online, to be remembered takes consistent effort to keep your message at the front of people’s minds.

It’s no longer enough to post once a month as your message will be seen by several people, then pushed further down in their memory as new content from other people supersedes your message. Even posting once a week is having a limited effect for many businesses.

Building up a loyal following takes time and each time you post, the content must add value to the reader, the listener or the watcher. It must inform or entertain. Or both. You may remember the last video clip you watched, or the last Live you watched. Or, as quickly as you watched it, the content perhaps made you think or laugh, and then it was forgotten.

So, the consistency of posting then becomes important. Creating a post a day across different platforms is the consistent way to keep your message at the top of people’s minds. If they need a window cleaner, they’ll think of you. If they need a new car, they’ll think of you. Or an accountant, web designer, solicitor etc. they will think of you. Social media is available for every type of business.

If you don’t think you have enough news to share or are concerned people may find what you do boring, this isn’t the case. There is always something to write. It could relate to trending news, or an anniversary, or to something that’s happened in your working day. Your daily post could mention upcoming events, promotions, awards, functions, legislation changes, motivational quotes.

Anything that could be of value to your audience is worth posting.

But creating content isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. This is where I can help you with the writing and scheduling of your social media to free up your time for the things you want to do. Creating interesting, quality content and scheduling the consistent release of new news and information is a simple way to add lasting value to your social media presence.

Launching this month, I am happy to share my new service called “A Post A Day” which is available to individuals and business owners who want to enhance their social media presence with consistent quality posts every day.

For more information and details about signing up for a trial, please visit https://getfocus.guru/a-post-a-day or call me on 07756 772950 and I can answer any questions about this exciting new service available for your business.

How to look after yourself and your business in the Christmas party season

December is a great time of the year for social get-togethers and work parties. Lots of people relax, let their hair down, and there’s a party atmosphere that lasts for most of the month. I always have the feeling of closure as the year ends and lots of anticipation to see what’s next.

Many of my clients have their planned work-dos, office parties, meals out and in-office celebrations. If you have a partner who works in an office or has a team get-together, then you may have double the number of invitations to indulge in the festive spirit.

And talking of spirits, and wine, and beer, this month is renowned for excess. Lots to eat. Lots to drink. Late nights. Lots of socialising and partygoing. These indulgences can have a huge toll on our health and wellbeing, sometimes without us realising. The effect on our body and mind can be slow going, things taking longer, clouded thinking and poor decision making.

But, just like a winter cold, these symptoms can be treated without missing out on the fun.

4 Steps Hangover Kit Cure
4 Steps Hangover Kit Cure

I can recommend four things which will help your after-party hangover and keep you feeling fresh and fit to cope with your end-of-year workload.

  1. Complete Hydration

When drinking alcohol your body needs to rehydrate to clear that fuzzy, sludgy feeling that makes everything seem more difficult than usual. Complete Hydration is a product filled with electrolytes to support rehydration and make you feel normal again!

  1. Fizz Sticks

I love these and use them nearly every day to boost my health and wellbeing. Each fizz stick is packed with antioxidants, ginseng, vitamin B and natural caffeine. These help with improving your mental alertness and reducing fatigue.

  1. Rescue and Renew Detox Soap

Who can resist relaxing in a warm bath to ease away troubles? These quick-dissolving sea salt crystals contain grapefruit, orange, lavender, rosemary and ginger oil and are perfect for unwinding after talking and dancing all evening.

  1. Bio-Hydria Herbal Infusion Drink

As if these ideas weren’t enough to revitalise you, there are more ways you can stay hydrated, relaxed and focussed. Instead of relying on traditional tea and coffee, these hydrating teabags filled with chamomile, rosemary and wild thyme, are designed to give you a natural boost throughout the day.

While you’re looking after yourself and making sure you’re feeling 100%, this will naturally help your business to run smoothly, which in turn can lower your stress levels, which in turn keeps you on a healthy track for success in 2020.

If you want more time and more energy and more choice, take the time to look after yourself even more than usual during the party season.

If you would like to find out more about these “hangover cures” please get in touch on 07756 772950 or call into my pop-up shop next Thursday (19th December 2019) at the Wet Led Bar in Church Street, Macclesfield. Next Thursday is also the last posting day if you would like to order energy products to be delivered in time for Christmas. Please see my online shop at www.rachaelchiverton.arbonne.com for exciting Christmas gift ideas for friends and family.

Relax and Buy Your Christmas Gifts at the Wet Led Pop Up Shop

Are you finding Christmas shopping a little bit stressful? Or are you guilty of putting it off altogether? Don’t worry, you’re not alone and I have the perfect solution for you!

Many people spend more money on Christmas gifts and activities in December than they spend in all of the other months combined. This could be to do with buying something for everyone all at once, rather than staggering purchases throughout the year. It could be to do with the constant TV advertising reminding us the holidays are coming. Then there’s the peer pressure to have the latest gadgets and technology.

With this in mind, wouldn’t it be nice to relax and buy everything you need in a friendly, no-pressure atmosphere? To say, “Cheers to Christmas”, raise a glass with your friends and get some Christmas presents purchased at the same time?

If this sounds like a great idea and you’re in the Macclesfield area, come and join me at the Wet Led pop-up shopping experience on Thursday the 19th of December. I’ll be there with my pop-up shop and I know you’ll find top quality gifts at great prices. You can even have a drink in your hand while you browse.

I’ll have some of my favourite gifts on sale including the “Pampermint Foot Care Gift Set”, “Mulled Cider Hand Care Duo” and a “Hangover Cure Party Season First Aid Kit” which promises five steps to a better morning after!

All of the gifts in my pop-up shop are formulated from quality natural ingredients and are sustainably sourced. They are plant based, cruelty-free gifts and don’t contain artificial colours or fragrances. From pocket money stocking fillers to full beauty sets and pamper packs the range of gifts is sure to catch your eye.

Did I mention you can enjoy a drink while browsing? Whether you prefer a winter-warming whisky, a cold beer, a traditional glass of Glühwein or a cup of coffee, you’ll be able to relax and get into the Christmas shopping spirit, without leaving the bar.

The pop-up shop is open on Thursday the 19th of December from 5pm to 6.30pm at the Wet Led bar in Church Street, Macclesfield. This is a free event and everyone’s welcome. For more information please contact me on 07756 772950.

Will Outsourcing Your Admin Help You Grow Your Business?

If you’re a small business owner, it might seem an extravagant luxury to outsource your admin. The thought of someone else filing your receipts, invoicing your day’s work or chasing a payment, might feel too small to warrant delegating to someone else.

You might feel you can do it better, or it just takes five minutes, they’ll make a mistake, it’ll take longer to explain, or think you can’t afford it right now. These comments are extremely common, but the reality is unless you’re superhuman, you can’t do it all by yourself forever.

How outsourcing can help grow your business
How outsourcing can help grow your business

There comes a point when it genuinely makes more sense to outsource the admin tasks than to persevere doing everything yourself. That mountain of paperwork can disappear off your desk. All those receipts you’ve stuffed in a box can be organised neatly by name and by date. You don’t need to worry about picking up the phone to chase for a late payment because it’s all done for you.

Warning Signs

From speaking with clients there are some common warning signs that the overload of admin is stifling the growth of their business. If you identify with any of these then outsourcing some of your admin tasks is definitely worth considering.

  • Have you missed meeting friends because you’ve needed to catch up with your paperwork?
  • Do you stay up late answering emails, sending out quotes, or doing your accounts?
  • Has your partner commented that you’re always working and they don’t see you as much as they would like?
  • Do you feel stressed about how much paperwork your business seems to need?

Left unchecked, these warning signs can escalate into bigger problems which can go on to affect your health and wellbeing and give concern to your family and those who care about you. This is the reason why it’s important to make your time count. If you can outsource your admin, you’ll find you do have more time to spend on the things you want to do.

So, my question to you is simple:

Will outsourcing your admin help your business grow?

For many people the answer is yes! I have been helping Steven Wade from Full Moon Coaching with some of his admin tasks over the last few months and he has seen some amazing results.

Example

Steven came to me saying he’d been working hard with clients to the point where he didn’t have the time to keep on top of his admin and it had built up to a mountain of receipts and a jumble of paperwork which needed sorting. He knew the end of the tax year was coming and told me he’d been dragging his feet.

Rachael told me to ‘eat that frog’. I needed to bite the bullet and get something done about my paperwork. I know I can earn more in the time not organising and typing up the receipts than if I was to do this myself. Rachael is professional and organised. She takes the pressure off and gets the job done.” – Steven Wade, Full Moon Coaching.

Steven gave me a huge box of unorganised receipts. There were receipts for business and personal expenses to separate and receipts dating back several months where nothing had been done with them since the items had been purchased.

To enable Steven to focus on his business I separated the business and personal receipts and organised them by date and supplier into clearly labelled folders for easy accessibility. This seemingly small task made his tax return and end of year accounts much easier. It also gave Steven an easy way to add new receipts into the folders to keep things simpler going forward.

Outcome

With Rachael’s help, the new system is efficient and manageable. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders knowing the background jobs are getting done. I can focus on my clients, meeting people and running my business.” – Steven Wade, Full Moon Coaching.

I enjoy restoring order to admin chaos and believe it’s possible to turn the most disorganised of filing systems into smart, efficient, easy to use systems which will increase your productivity. It will certainly save time at the end of the tax year knowing your receipts and expenses are available at the click of a button.

It can also help with the smooth running of your business if your daily, weekly and monthly expenses are available in graphs and charts to predict your outgoings and cashflow. When using my services, I can promise you confidentiality, accuracy and honest suggestions for improvement.

If, like Steven, you have piles of receipts that need sorting, or any admin headaches you would like cured, please get in touch on 07756 772950 or visit getfocus.guru and I will be happy to help.

How Small Social Media Changes Can Make A Big Difference To Your Life

There’s no denying social media plays a massive role in our everyday lives. It’s a never-ending source of amusement and entertainment, a bottomless pit of information, research and knowledge. You can keep in touch with almost anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night.

Having an active social media presence for your business is almost as expected as your business having a website, email address and telephone number. Rather than contacting you by traditional methods, people want to find things out for themselves. It’s quicker for them and saves you time answering common questions if they can get what they want online. You may have already noticed that your telephone rings less and your mobile beeps more.

This leads into one of the common problems with social media. The notifications. The pings and beeps. The red dots next to your apps with numbers letting you know how many messages you need to look at. The noise and the numbers are designed to grab your attention. Even the bright red colour is psychologically designed to make you stop and look.

It's easy to stop social media overload
It’s easy to stop social media overload

Recent research indicates many of us spend up to 12 hours using our devices for social media, messages, responding to emails, gaming, streaming TV, films or radio, looking at articles, posts and status changes, every day!

Why the notifications work so well

Once the red dot with the number flashes on your phone or browser, it sets off a reaction in your brain to let you know something has happened, that something needs your attention. However, if you stop each time a notification arrives, you may find you’re losing hours each day simply from the distraction and the micro decisions you make whether you need to stop and respond, to delete it or deal with it later.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of using social media to boost your self-esteem and self-worth. The reaction from social connections and sharing news is physically and psychologically addictive. Excessive social media is said to give you a high, similar to taking an addictive substance, and the comedown can be devastating causing depression, negative body image, paranoia and loneliness.

How to make changes to be more productive

Making small changes does make a big difference. I work with clients to help distance themselves from the volume of notifications on their social media accounts. I can help analyse the time spent on social media and make suggestions for managing the incoming notifications to improve wellbeing and productivity. The results have been amazing.

“Rachael showed me how to turn off notifications on some of my Facebook groups and set up a timer so I can check how much time I spend online. It feels more manageable now. I’m less anxious and I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything.” – Alison Stead, Spiritual Medium and Copywriter.

My top tips for managing social media

  • Look at the groups you have joined – do you gain anything from being in them? If not, simply turn off the notifications or leave the group altogether.
  • Use a timer to measure how long you are on social media. It’s easy for “just a quick look” to turn into half an hour or longer. Ask yourself, “has this been a productive use of my time?”.
  • Aeroplane mode is your friend – I spoke to a client about this, she removed all shortcuts to social media from her phone and used areoplane mode when going to bed. She texted me the next day

“So grateful for your flight mode tip. I actually slept last night and haven’t even looked at social media today! Fx”

When working with clients I always ask, “what do you hope to achieve from your social media platforms?”. I can help clear the online clutter and enable you to make the best use of your time to achieve your goals.

If you want to interact with more clients or prospective clients, I can help.

If you want to stop using your time unproductively, I can help.

If you have FOMO or are addicted to checking your phone and friends and family have commented, I can help.

Please get in touch on 07756 772950 or visit getfocus.guru.

Do You Need To Update Your Contract For 2020?

As the end of the year draws closer it’s a good time to review the different elements of your business. You can check your stock and your sales, your products and your people. In fact, there are many areas which can be analysed at the end of the year and it’s important to check you’re using your time and your resources efficiently and effectively.

Review your contract before 2020
Review your contract before 2020

By carrying out a review, you may discover what’s worked well, where you’ve found new customers, which events were worth attending, which products were popular and which services were profitable. You may also find things which didn’t go so well, and these may be areas which can be improved for next year.

One of the key things I recommend checking is your terms and conditions, your contract of business with your customers. Many people consider their terms and conditions as something they do once, they get them written and that’s it. However, if something has changed during the year, it’s really important to check your contract is still up to date.

There are 3 key times when you need to update your contract.

These are:

  • Any changes to your business structure.
  • Any changes to your location or trading name.
  • Any changes to your products and services.

You’ll also need to advise your customers and suppliers of changes to the contract. Not only could this influence their decision to use your products and services, but you may have invalidated your existing contract with them if something major has changed.

When changing the terms in your contract, it’s usual to send notifications in writing, either with the changes or directing people to your website. If using your product or service relies on the customer agreeing to any changes in your contract with them, then they will need to sign the contract again either in writing or electronically.

Updating your terms and conditions and contract doesn’t need to be scary. Contracts can still be robust and reliable without being complicated or over-wordy. In fact, having a Plain English straightforward contract is the preferred option for many customers and suppliers. Everyone knows what’s included and it makes sense.

If you’re unsure whether your current contract contains everything you need to protect yourself, your business and your customers, or if you don’t have a contract at all, please contact me on 07756 772950.

I specialise in writing terms of business for companies in many different sectors. I can look at your existing contract and make suggestions or write a new contract from scratch.

If you’re introducing new products or services in 2020, or if you’re changing your business in any way, you may need new terms written into your contract and I would be happy to help with this.

Please visit rachaelchiverton.co.uk to get started.

Are You Looking for Amazing Christmas Gifts for Your Awkward Family and Friends?

Now the Halloween parties are over, and Bonfire Night has come and gone, many of us are turning our attention to Christmas preparations. For those of us who celebrate Christmas, the month-long frenzy of buying presents, organising food, drink and accommodation can be overwhelming.

Christmas is coming
Christmas is coming

It can be worse if you have an annoying friend, or awkward partner, who has either got everything or doesn’t want anything. Yet if you don’t get them something, that will be wrong too!

My solution to this is simple. Don’t even think about trawling the shops in the rain to see what’s available. I can guarantee there will be something online to satisfy them and match their needs. Even better, I can suggest amazing gifts suitable for any member of the family, and you might find there’s something you’d like too.

It’s ok to buy a treat for yourself. I’ve been known to buy myself a small gift when shopping for other people. At Christmas there are plenty of special offers and it’s nice to be able to have a little luxury treat, especially at the end of the year.

My favourite treats come from the Arbonne Festive Collection. I’ve found amazing gifts for friends and family, even those who are the most awkward to buy for. The products are vegan and gluten free. They’re not tested on animals. They contain pure ingredients and are high quality, luxurious items, perfect for special presents at any time of the year.

So, if you have someone to buy for who is hard to please, the Arbonne range is based around botanical ingredients, scientifically tested products for a pure and healthy lifestyle.

For children, there is a fun bath-time range of hair and body washes in deliciously sounding Sugar Cookie, Snickerdoodle and Gingerbread scents. These are popular with adults too!

For ladies, there are extremely soothing hand lotions, perfect for protecting your hands in the cold weather and tempting body butters in a range of sumptuous flavours including vanilla, rose and coconut. There are candles and facials, foot care, makeup and gift sets with everything you’ll need for everyone you can think of.

There’s also a suave choice of festive products for men, even the ones who complain about pampering, there’ll be something they might like. This is the perfect One-Stop-Christmas-Shop which ties in with my philosophy of using my time efficiently and effectively, just what’s needed at this busy time of the year.

If you would like any help with your Christmas shopping, or even to have it all done for you, please get in touch as soon as possible. All I need to know is who you would like to buy for, and your budget per person, and I will make it happen for you.

The Top 5 Business Skills Your Dog Can Teach You

Having a dog can make a big difference in your life, especially if you work from home. It’s their constant presence that means you’re never alone. It’s the way he or she waits for you to return from the shops, a meeting, or even the bathroom. To your dog you are the most important person in the world, and they have much to offer in return for your affection.

Missy is my dog and together we share adventures throughout the day. I’ve noticed subtle ways she encourages me in my working day, and these are the business skills I’m sharing with you.

Missy lives in the moment, exploring everything as we should be doing in business
Missy lives in the moment, exploring everything as we should be doing in business
  1. Simple is Best

Keeping things simple is the foundation of a stress-free life. We lead complicated lives and yet if we go back to the basics and get these right then we can achieve so much more. Three of Missy’s favourite things are walks, food and sleep.

If I incorporate these three things properly into my daily routine, I find I have more energy and motivation to achieve everything I have set out to do. Missy and I walk for at least an hour every day, rain or shine. The outdoor air is refreshing and energising. It clears my mind and allows me to concentrate much better when I return to my desk. Sometimes I’ll make phone calls on our walk and this means I can use my time twice.

  1. Listen then Act

Missy is always listening. Even when she’s asleep, the slightest noise will attract her attention. She makes quick decisions whether the noise is something important or something to ignore. An example is the rattle of her lead. She knows she’s going for a walk. The doorbell rings. She barks to let me know someone’s at the door.

In business, listening is as important as speaking. Being known as a non-judgemental listener enables your staff, suppliers and customers to share with you any success or problems knowing you’ll give them your full attention, even if things have gone wrong.

  1. Training is Important

Learning new things is a great way to expand your knowledge and upgrade your skillset. In Missy’s world, she’s always learning. We started with simple skills using simple commands, such as “sit”, “heel”, “catch” and “fetch”, increasing her knowledge through listening and repetition.

These skills mean we can do more together and I know how she will respond. It’s the same for humans. Going on a course, attending a workshop or gaining an accreditation are great ways to learn new skills for personal and professional development.

  1. The Power of Play

If something is fun, we are more likely to enjoy it. If we enjoy it, we are more likely to remember it. This is the reason why the power of play is an essential component in bonding with our colleagues, suppliers, customers and family. It could be sharing a joke. It could be a teambuilding exercise. It could be having a pint after work or meeting up at the weekend.

Play promotes creativity and productivity. Missy doesn’t worry about getting muddy or not looking her best after a run around the park and it doesn’t hurt for us humans to schedule in some playtime either.

  1. Living in the Moment

Dogs are exceptionally good at living in the moment, meaning they can enjoy wholeheartedly what they are doing, while they are doing it. They aren’t thinking about the next activity, or what happened five minutes ago. If Missy is playing “catch” and drops the ball, it’s not the end of the world. She knows I’ll throw the ball again and she has the chance to catch it next time.

Missy takes her time to stop and survey her surroundings, taking everything in one sniff at a time. She’s always keen to try something new, to meet someone new, to eat something new, and loves exploring. Her endless enthusiasm encourages me to be more aware of the present and to appreciate everything that happens, as it happens.

These are the business skills we all could do with using every day of the working week and at the weekend as well. From keeping things simple, to listening, training, playing and living in the moment, these are the skills we can learn from our canine friends.

For more business tips visit getfocus.guru, or call me on 07756 772950 to discover how my training sessions will help you find more time for dog walks and the things you enjoy doing the most.

Do You Need Some Fizz In Your Business?

As we’re drawing towards the end of the year, this is the time when it’s harder to get motivated. With the nights drawing in and the darker mornings it can be more difficult to get started each day. For many of us, the change in season can be an emotional time. All those new year’s resolutions that got broken. All those goals fallen by the wayside.

But, for some of us, myself included, this is the time to get energised and focussed, to see what can be achieved by the end of the year and not worry about what has or hasn’t happened in 2019 already.

Fizz helps you focus and energise
Fizz helps you focus and energise

This is where I recommend adding fizz into your life!

I don’t mean champagne fizz, although that’s a great way to celebrate your achievements and I don’t mean the fizz from fireworks either.

I mean FIZZ.

Fizz is the energy, the zest, that burst of ideas so powerful that things get done quickly and efficiently. We all have fizz, otherwise nothing would get done. But, if you’re feeling tired, demotivated or bored, then maybe you need a little more fizz.

Fizz is the power of concentration, the ability to use your time twice to achieve more tasks. Fizz helps you stay positive, even when things go wrong. It is something we can all use to give us a boost and stay on track at home and at work.

I believe we can be in control of our lives in many ways. From what we eat and drink, to how much we exercise, how we look after our bodies and minds manifests itself into our productivity, our positivity and our performance overall.

From speaking with people from all walks of life at networking events and with my clients, there is a common theme that we all want more energy and more time. I believe these are 100% interlinked.

With more energy we can use our time to better effect. With more time we have more energy to use on other activities. To quote the phrase, we want to “work smarter, not harder”, and that is where having more fizz means more energy and more energy means more time becomes available.

If you’re in the Macclesfield area, come and join me at my New Product Launch event at The Park Tavern on Tuesday 8th of October between 4:30 and 6 or Friday the 18th of October between 2pm and 3:30pm. I’ll be talking about how you can add some fizz into your life to get more energy to do the things you enjoy the most.

New Product Launch

Tuesday 8th October

4:30 pm to 6pm

The Park Tavern, Macclesfield

OR

Friday the 18th of October

2pm to 3:30pm

The Park Tavern, Macclesfield

I’ll be sharing business and lifestyle tips which you can use at home and at work to add some fizz into your life. There will also be products for sale to help you gain more energy and fizz, which can help you achieve more tasks in less time. This is a free event and everyone’s welcome. For more information please contact me on 07756 772950.