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By C WALKER 29 Jun, 2017

Broadly speaking, in life you tend to come across three types of people; the pessimist, who constantly complains about the wind that blows; the optimist, who expects it will change; and the realist who adjusts their sail to cope with whatever wind that blows, facing head on the challenges posed by present circumstances whatever they may be. The question is, which one are you?

More often than not, the way you deal with life's challenges is very likely the way that you will deal with the challenges that you face within business.

Having a pessimistic spirit in business will only see you giving up at one too many hurdles. Being an optimist is great but things will not always turn out as planned. However, optimism is great at keeping you going in times when things seem bleak.

The realist is one who looks upon and evaluates a situation and makes plans to navigate their way to where they desire to be. Along the way they make adjustments to ensure that the current takes them to their destination. This actually requires quite a lot of optimism.

So how can being a realist in business help you to push forward? Well, success in any endeavor requires prior planning and preparation, and part of this preparation requires you to be honest enough about the situation that you are currently in and the likely hood that financially, emotionally and physically you can sail through the storms to get to your desired location.

It is important to realise that planning is a key ingredient in success. The popular saying goes "fail to plan and you plan to fail". I couldn't think of better words to express such a timeless philosophy more succinctly than these. Before the planning however, comes something of even greater significance; and that is vision. Our vision enables us to project far beyond our present circumstances. Having a clear and concise vision about where you want to end up is something that many people take for granted. No matter how much optimism you may have about a project or business idea, without vision you will be unable to make adequate plans to make it the success you desire.

It most definitely will not be an easy sail, but if you can get clear on your vision, that will be more than half the battle won. Once you know where you are heading, it will just be a matter of drawing up the plans and mapping out your journey. You will undoubtedly come up against many hurdles, and when you do your vision will see you through.

So, although easier said than done, get clear on your vision, then take out that pen and paper and map out your journey, all the while being fully prepared to re-evaluate your plans and make adjustments along the way.

We hope that you have found this article useful. Please look out for the next 'When thank you just is not enough'.


Written By Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 29 Jun, 2017

There are times in your life when you just must sit back and reflect on the things that are most important. These are the moments in which you ponder over how and why you were able to get through those challenging times in order to be where you are at this very moment.

You reflect on the few who rode the rough waves of uncertainty with you, never letting you give up hope. The ones who made the sacrifices and shared the ups and downs emotionally, mentally and at times even physically despite having their own personal issues and responsibilities.

In this article I'd like to take the opportunity to name and thank the people who have been key in the success of The Hired Secretary thus far. No doubt there will be others who will join us along the way and who will contribute to our future success, but I think that it is important to take the time to acknowledge the loyalty and dedication of those who have worked hard in behalf of your business vision, and I would encourage every company to do the same.

Firstly, my wonderful business partner Jodianne Griffiths, I have to say a massive thank you for taking such a huge risk and agreeing to come into business with me. I do not believe that many would have made the sacrifices that she has made and endured along with me over the last year. Despite the immense responsibilities that comes with being a mum of young twins, along with full time study commitments, not only has she stuck with it but she has never ever lost faith in the results of what we are trying to build. Thank you for helping to drive us forward in those moments when we felt like giving up and for sticking by us when situations seemed almost impossible.

Our second business partner Sophie Perianayangassammy, started as an employee and friend, not expecting the heartaches and the difficulties that we encountered. Yet when the storm hit the ship she has never faltered in her devotion and loyalty towards us a company. She is fully aligned with our vision and has always sought ways to help us grow and keep the business alive.

Loyalty is a quality which holds the fabric of our relationships together. It takes great strength of character to remain loyal to anyone and anything especially during adverse conditions, so thanks to you both for your trust and support over this past year and a half.

Next up is Angelina Perianagasassammy, our soon to be apprentice. From the very first day of her work experience here at our office we saw something in Angelina that she had not yet seen in herself. Her strong sense of character and focus has helped us to achieve a great many things as a company, which is why it was so easy to accept her as an apprentice through the Croydon College for September 2017. Wise beyond her years, Angelina has been a real inspiration to our team and we look forward to growing alongside her.

Last but not least I would like to thank my sweet angel, my precious daughter Shakira. Admittedly it has not been the easiest year this past year, but she has never gave up hope. She has supported me and the company and has dealt with situations in a very grown up manner. I can't tell you how proud this makes me feel as a mother.

Sometimes, in the hubbub of daily life we may not take the time to say those all important words that employees may just long to hear. Some people feel that it's simply not necessary to say "Thank You", after all, they get a wage don't they? Isn't that enough? The answer is quite simply, no, it is not enough. The relationships you build with people are of far greater value than money. Start by reflecting on the difference that people have made to you on your journey and acknowledge it. There are so many ways to express gratitude for those working hard day in day out to achieve success for you and your company. You could host an office lunch in their honour, award certificates or small gifts for any significant achievements, but more often than not, a simple "thank you for your help today" or "well done on the way you handled that situation" goes a very long way in making your employees feel valued and part of the bigger picture of your company vision.

However you choose to express your gratitude, start today. I can guarantee that you will have a more cohesive team effort with everyone working together to achieve the best results.

Once again, I'd like to say a big "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart to my team and clients for their loyalty and hard work. Let's continue to work together to achieve something better for all involved. I am looking forward to a stronger more successful year for us all.

 Written By Chenella Walker and edited by Jodianne Griffiths.

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 29 Jun, 2017

If you have ever watched a cat chase the dot of a laser beam you will know how frantically they follow its lead, trying hopelessly in vain to get a hold of it. In the end, for their efforts they are rewarded with less energy.

Can we relate this to our feelings in business? Chasing hopelessly after every red beam that presents itself in our lives. I'd certainly say so!

Some people are very focused, they know what it is they are looking to achieve and they will not be side tracked. Then you have those who pounce on every hopeful sounding business venture that presents itself. These are the easily distracted, the ones who just like a cat are trying in vain to catch a laser beam, only to find that the reality was a lot different from the dream they had been sold.

Is there anything wrong with this? Let me say that I'm not here to judge; each to his own I say. In the end, it really depends on your 'Why'. Why do you do what you do? For some it will be to support themselves and their loved ones; for others it's the thrill of earning money and still for others they do it because they would like something to look back on knowing that they have achieved the goals they set for themselves. For you, it could be one or more of the above.

Chasing the 'laser beam' can lead to unwanted and even disastrous results which leave us lacking in energy and motivation to pursue our 'Why'. This is why one must be very selective about how and what you choose to invest your time and finances in. Many of the so-called business opportunities with which we are presented either require far more energy than we initially thought, or are just designed to sell us dreams, side-tracking us from actually making any real progress in achieving our vision.

So, is the red beam tempting you? Take a step back, evaluate whether you can juggle the demands that your present business needs and that of what the new opportunity may demand from you.

Once you have considered all this and have come to the conclusion that it is worth the distraction, take some decisive action.

We hope that you enjoyed this article. Please look out for our next one.

Written by Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffiths.

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 29 Jun, 2017

This is a very hard article for me to write. As you probably know I am someone who will always write about either what I have come through in business so as to help others who may be experiencing the same issues or to inspire others as we all need a little inspiration from time to time. At other times I simply write about what my heart motivates me to write. I would never claim to be an expert, as I see life as one big, amazing learning experience.

What I can say is that I am passionate about what I do, about people and I'm real. Whatever you want to call it; a gift or talent, we all have something that makes us stand out in some areas and not so much in others. When we harness those talents in the right way, beautiful things can happen and when we do not the consequences can be disastrous. So far along my journey with The Hired Secretary, I have experienced both these realities some bits have been pretty and others not so pretty, and I imagine that throughout this journey, there will continue to be elements of both, this is business after all, it is inevitable.

Every journey begins with a first step, and the first step for The Hired Secretary was on the 5 of January 2016. With high hopes, we started as a company that would offer freelance secretarial services to new and upcoming CEOs and businesses at a rate that would combat the new living wage. Our mission was to revolutionize the recruitment industry by helping companies who would struggle financially to meet these new regulations whilst helping people back into work. We were so very passionate about finding a solution that could get people back into work; the unemployed, those with disabilities, parents with young children, anyone who needed a more flexible solution to getting back into the workplace. This solution was to give people the opportunity to work from a remote location, more often than not, from the comfort of their own homes.

Within a few months, we had our first two customers, and our first workers, these were very exciting times. We realised very quickly however that the whole concept of our business needed to change and that in order to offer a fairer working relationship to the people working on behalf of us for our clients we needed to step in and take direct responsibility for them by switching from freelancing to PAYE. What a minefield of government rules and regulations this turned out to be!

Admittedly, this was neither mine, nor my business partner's area of expertise, so we had to draft in the experts. This was a period of major re-adjustment, but thanks to the help of a few amazingly knowledgeable fellow networkers we met along the way, we made it out the other end. These people are experts in the field and so were able to guide us swiftly through avoiding common pitfalls.

Later on that same year we started the office recruitment side of our company by popular request. To our thinking, this was going to be a simple extension of what we were already offering. We couldn't have been more wrong and found ourselves swimming neck deep in a sea of uncertainty due to our lack of knowledge. Even after spending countless hours researching we still found ourselves lacking in knowledge and confidence. The worst part was reaching out to people who did this type of work only to find them being elusive as though they were sheltering some closely guarded secret.

Meeting Sarah Gordon, a recruitment mentor expert from Recruit Mentoring was one of the best things to happen to us as a company, she soon got us on the straight and narrow. It took a while to try and get our head around the information and we had to pause that side of the business while we put all that was needed into place.

Meanwhile the challenges just kept coming and the hardest by far was the one that was most personal, one which nearly crippled our company; that of a business betrayal by a company that I set up for those most closest to me. It was difficult at this time to continue with The Hired Secretary because my heart was so broken that it was hard to even want to get up, it was hard to accept and even harder to reason on, it shattered my world and my confidence went with it. I truly did not believe that I would ever get back to being me.

As a company that never took out a loan or credit, we relied on what little business income we were generating and on our personal funds. It lead to people losing their jobs and us trying to play catch up with the bills. Thanks to the patience of those we owed we got through that period at the beginning of January 2017.

So, what kept me going throughout all this? Knowing that I had a responsibility to my daughter, and the people who also worked with us, needed us and had faith in us, it was the love and support of close friends and loyal employees that got us through that period.

Now for a whirlwind tour of the last few months in the world of The Hired Secretary. In a bid to raise much needed finances to fund the next stage of our growth we embarked on a crowdfunding campaign. What a disappointment this turned out to be. This was a lesson and a half never to be repeated. An enormous amount of effort went into this campaign which in the end fell far short of what we were hoping for. I must say this however, that what made this easier to bear were those few people who did support our campaign. We are so very grateful and will be forever indebted, especially to Karthik Nagesan, who was a pillar of support, offering tips and advice to help our campaign along, not to mention just being an amazing friend providing moments of joy and laughter in the midst of challenging times.

The disappointing results of this campaign led us to take drastic measures and we gave the company a complete facelift sacrificing a larger room in my home so that we could have a more comfortable and purposeful office space. We got our company App designed in a more affordable way, amongst other things which have served to put our name out there and bring in new business.

So, what have been the results of all of this? Well, we are emerging into a more stable state, one in which we are aiming to revolutionize the recruitment industry by being completely transparent in the way that we operate whilst offering our clients the highest standards of service. This for us is key because without satisfied clients and candidates, we are nothing.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that we have met along the way for the support that you have offered us as a company.

In the meantime we will continue to strive to raise the bar and the expectations for the recruitment industry as we continue to increase in knowledge, experience and success.

Written by Chenella Walker Edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 01 Jun, 2017

In business, the stakes are high and the financial risks are even higher. Yes, from the day that you take the leap of faith and devote yourself, your finances, and your precious time into starting a business, you are like a parachute jumper that jumps for the first time, hoping for a safe landing.

You have seen many proceed before you, and perhaps even offered them advice. Now you find yourself in that very position experiencing the challenging reality of running a business. Although challenging, these can also be exciting times. Yes, you have to work incredibly hard to lay a solid foundation and position your business well in your chosen field, but challenging times also present opportunities for incredible growth and creativity. Settling for average was never your intention and frankly is just not good enough. So when those inevitable, seemingly insurmountable challenges surface, see them as a unique opportunity to take your business in another direction. Rather than let the challenges break you, allow them to mould you into something even more amazing than you already are.

How long does such a process take? Just like a fine wine it takes time to mature, this is not something that can be rushed. Just like that fermentation process, you may not always understand exactly what is happening in that bottle as all the magic happens away from human eyes. However, when that wine is eventually poured, oh how great a taste and well worth the wait it proves to be.

So you see, it takes time to position yourself well in business. From the laying of the foundation, through to the constant readjustments necessary due to changing market conditions and government regulations amongst numerous other forces, it takes some time to become settled. That is because, no matter how much experience you have in business, in a new field you may need to dance to a different tune and there are so many lessons that you need to learn to become better, stronger and to develop yourself.

To help you on your way, a business coach can be of tremendous help here, as they can advise on how to navigate your way much more successfully to your desired position. They will give you advice and show you how to craft out your space, develop yourself, spring clean your business monthly to improve with each customer experience. A good business coach will motivate you and help you to not settle for the "we are okay where we are now" mentality. This type of thinking leaves you vulnerable and open to takeover by others who have been much more open-minded and who have kept abreast of changes in the field allowing them to seize opportunities when you choose not to.

So where are you wanting to be in a few years from now? I would suggest you get a large piece of paper and map out your journey. Sometimes this is not something that we can do on our own, and I would highly recommend you enlist the help of a business coach to help you to do this successfully. Forward planning is the only sure way to ensure that you land on your feet.

We hope that you enjoyed this article. Please look our   'First year in business - What have I learned?'

Written by Chenella Walker Edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 23 May, 2017

Yes, you read it right,   I hate networking   – sorry to all you networking lovers out there. You might be wondering why? Well the reasons are quite simple:

  1. It takes me out of my comfort zone   (I am not a sales person by nature and I hate large crowds)   one on one is my preference any day.
  2. I have to take time out of my already busy day to attend – The worse by far is having to lose those precious moments of sleep in the morning.   Need I say more?
  3. I shall remain Silent.....

So, why do I keep on attending networking events? The answer is simply because they work. This is one of the most powerful ways of getting your brand out there and establishing yourself in your field. Big names have built themselves up through networking; making vital contacts that they may not otherwise have made, but for networking.

Quote "If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people."

 Networking is not an easy process, it takes dedication and strategy. You need to understand why you are attending first and foremost, but at the same time you have to remember that it's not all about you, but rather for mutual benefit. If you forget that last ingredient, you won't get very far.

So, let's take a closer look at what I mean by strategy. Right from the start, you need to be clear in your own head about your reasons for attending. You need to tailor your presentation to the area and to the people that attend a particular networking group.

For example, if I know that we will be attending a meeting where there will be a lot of new small businesses; I know that they most likely will not be in a position to take on our full office packages, so we may have to pitch more about our calls and email answering or even copywriting services etc, due to its affordability, and it being a common issue for smaller businesses. But that does not mean that I can not mention the other larger packages we do, as networking is not limited to those in the room, but who those in the room may know outside that room. This is what I mean by strategy. Be aware of who you will be pitching to in order to maximise your networking effectiveness.

I also know that I need to make each networking event that I attend count, because to be frank time is precious, and no one can give it back to me once it is lost. So, I refuse to come away feeling that I haven't made the best use of my precious time. Even if this means speaking with one person and getting to know them with a view of how I can help them to grow, that is something. Once you have gotten your message out there with a view of who you would like to talk to further, then let the rest take care of itself during that meeting. No need for the hard sell. If you have prepared well, are good at what you do – there will be gain if you are patient with it.

So, now you know that I am not the biggest fan of networking. I eagerly await the day when I will be paying someone else to do it for me so that I can concentrate on what I am good at   (Though I know I will still need to attend a few, as I am always told, 'I am the face of the business.' Great!)   But until such time, I am actually learning quite a lot, even if it pushes me outside of my comfort zone, apparently that's good as that is where you grow the most. And let's face it, the great results achieved are what ensures that our bills and staff are paid and our business continues to be a success; well worth those early mornings. As for that third reason, I haven't mentioned it have I? and you know what, I think it's better left unsaid!

So, in short Networking works and is essential for any new business and even those in big business to continue to move with the times and to grow. This is the reason why although it will never become my hobby, I will keep attending because it is an essential part of my schedule.   (Oh dear!)

Great networking quotes:

"The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity. Keith Ferrazzi

"Too many individuals network with the purpose of accomplishing an immediate goal. That's not networking, that's selling.   Unknown.

Thank you for reading - Look out for our next articles:

Our 'First year in business - What have I learned?'

and 'Positioning yourself in business.'

Written by Chenella Walker Edited by Jodianne Griffths

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 23 May, 2017

Anyone who owns a business will understand the hardships that one has to face in order to establish a firm foundation on which to build for the future.

You start off as a tiny seed and have high hopes of emerging as a strong durable tree in your area of business. But before that can happen there are any number of trials which you must face, the first of these being emerging from the soil as a young shoot.

Just like those pesky birds and harsh weather conditions in the natural world; so there are many elements which pose a threat to your survival in the business world, ranging from current market conditions, business costs, and even yourself.

Put yourself in a better position to combat these issues, by ensuring that you do all you can to research your industry, conduct necessary market research and know your business inside out, so that you can portray it in a confident manner to others.

Drawing once again an analogy from the plant world, just as without roots a plant is unable to become firmly anchored in the soil and unable to gather much needed nutrients for its survival, so in business, strong roots are paramount. But this is the part that businesses tend to leave out, only realising their error when they are caught in critically important situations, that could see their very survival coming under threat.

What are these strong roots? Things such as having water tight terms and conditions in place, company policies correctly drawn up, amongst other vital documentation needed as a company to protect against any number of "birds" that threaten to uproot you.

Equally as important as guarding against threats, is preparing for opportunities. A properly established sales funnel which defines exactly how you will convert prospects into customers and how you will deliver customer after care, makes a tremendous amount of difference.

Funnels can be set up to manage almost any process in your company; from advertising through to hiring.

You might be thinking, how is this just the foundation? Well, most jump into business without putting these things in place and then as they grow they find that they have no process in place, which leads to unhappy customers and staff and thus a business that stays stagnant and unable to get past a certain point. It is so much harder to turn things around mid-course than it is when you first start. Yes, as you grow you will need to adjust, but the adjustments are easier when the foundation is already in place.

Once the roots are established, then comes the growth, your little head of plant will now start to emerge from the soil ready to grow and thrive. Plants are tougher then they look and if you as a business owner set the right foundation you will find that with time and patience you too like that plant will emerge.

We hope that you have found this article useful please look out for our next one entitled:

Why I hate networking – but why I persist

Written by Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffths

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 23 May, 2017

After being in a job for a number of years, it is no bad thing to desire a break away from the seemingly monotonous routine of life. This is the position in which many people find themselves and for some, the frustration of this feeling has led them to seek a new challenge altogether, perhaps in a completely different career field.

The trouble is, as an employer, it is heart-breaking to see well established, knowledgeable staff members go. Is there anything an employer can do to keep their staff motivated, engaged and on fire for the work they do? The answer to that question depends on the employee and on how well you know them.

You see, whilst some employees thrive on being constantly challenged, others like a few surprises thrown in the routine now and then; and still there are others who just need to have a steady routine.

 Knowing which category your employee fits into can help you as an employer to get the best out of your workers and keep them engaged and on your books for the foreseeable future.

Just as you wouldn't expect a fish to climb a tree or a monkey to survive very long at the bottom of the ocean, so you shouldn't expect your employees to function at levels not suited to their abilities. This works both ways; if someone thrives better in a more stable routine-driven setting, then you wouldn't want to constantly throw curve balls in their path. Whereas someone who is more creative in their approach to their work and constantly thinking outside of the box would relish such challenges and would quickly become frustrated in a mundane routinised setting.

In either case, you would be running the risk of having extremely dissatisfied employees, who won't hang around for very long before seeking greener pastures.

So, as an employer it is important when hiring to find out which category your new hire best fits into, so as to ensure that they can survive in your company. Ask open questions that will give you a good insight into what it is that makes them tick when it comes to their work. Probe them as to what they were like at their last employment, what motivated them, and what they did not like.

Get to understand their character, so that you can ensure that you have the right employee that will stay engaged and focused on your company and in turn their own success .

We hope that you found this article helpful.

Please look out for the next one.

Written By Chenella Walker Edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 04 May, 2017

That's impossible you might say. How can the recruitment industry be revolutionised? The answer requires us to think outside of the box asking questions such as: What is missing? What are clients crying out for? How can we change the way that people view the recruitment industry?

Just as one man cannot change the world, so any meaningful change would require supporters, but this should not stop individuals or organisations making small changes and trying new things which have the potential to impact the future for the better.

The Hired Secretary are seeking to be that change. Right from the start, we have set very high standards regarding who we are as a company and what we are about. Over the course of time as we have grown we have looked to ensure that we raise the bar when it comes to service, placements, and customer experience.

We have gained a wealth of knowledge from our candidates and clients by listening to what they want and how they want it.

Over the last few months, we have made many changes to improve on what we are already offering and to ensure we are getting the best results for our clients and candidates in turn.

Here are some of the things that make us stand out in our office recruitment and remote recruitment services:

  • We offer a transparent service – meaning that you the client have access to view the progress of any one order as well as the hours spent on filling your role.
  • If we have overestimated the hours it will take to complete an assignment we refund the difference.
  • Personalised service according to your needs
  • Grammar test completed by all of our recruits
  • Loyalty points system for our customers
  • Quick and simple information enquiry/booking form
  • Company App to log candidates attendance on all temp roles
  • Ticket support system should issues arise
  • Online chat centre (Prioritised from our app)
  • Second to non-customer service and care
  • Remote recruitment

Yes, this is good old honest recruiting at its best.

Why have we done all of this? Because we love what we do, we take pride in the industry and are determined to ensure that we give our very best every time both to our candidates and clients.

Whilst the road to travel has certainly not been easy; we appreciate both the highs and the lows because of what we have learned, gained and how it has refined our practice and will continue to do so for some time to come. But most of all we love what this business does to the lives of those who come into contact with us and we look forward to positively impacting on the lives of many others.

So, if you are thinking of recruiting – look no further than The Hired Secretary and experience recruitment at its best.

Call us today on 0800 368 9994 for more information.

Written by Chenella Walker Masterly Edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 04 May, 2017

As an employer, you understand the difficulty in finding the right candidate who is committed to their role and has a long term view of growing with you as a company.

Is there a way for an employer to better gauge the seriousness of the candidates that they interview?

Here are some important questions that you can ask?

1: What do you know about us a company? This is an interesting one. You will find that only a small percentage of the ones that you interview have even bothered to visit your website. Taking the time to do a bit of research on a company that you are applying to work for is the least we would expect as employers, but many candidates neglect to do so.

Here are a few tips to give them an opportunity to look up information about your company; when you send your interview invites, be sure to include the link to your company website and any social media platforms that you may be associated with and encourage them to take a look before attending the interview.

If after all this they still don't do their homework on you as a company, then you really have to question their level of commitment to your company ethos as you may just be another gap fill employment until they move onto the next one.

 2: Why were you drawn to this opportunity? This question can reveal a lot about the reasoning and motive behind their applying for your role. Listen carefully to their reply and write down what they say in the interview so that you can review this at a later time.

Was it that they just needed a job? If so the likelihood that they will remain with your company for the long term may not be the same as someone who said that this is a field that they love and desire to excel in.

3: How do you see this role fitting into your long term career goals? Now, this is a really targeted question and is aimed at giving you insight into whether you are in their long term plans. It will highlight if they are ambitious or just content with where they are at. Listen carefully to what they say, take notes and look out for any potential contradictions. This can highlight if they are just saying what they think you want to hear.

Remember that each candidate is different and that there are no hard and fast rules. These are just a few points on how you can assess the seriousness of a candidate when considering them for a role. By applying good questioning techniques, you can increase your chance of finding a suitable candidate for your team.

We hope that you have found this article useful. Please look out for our next one:

Keeping your workers engaged.

Written By Chenella Walker Edited By Jodianne Griffiths


The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 07 Apr, 2017

Recruiting can be really challenging at times, not only is there a heavy workload, but as recruiters, we also have the huge responsibility of ensuring that clients and potential clients are kept happy. There is also another pressure that we face everyday, and that is the constant need to find fresh new candidates, keeping them happy and trying hard to find them an appropriate post that will suit their needs.

In pursuit of this, there is one particular challenge that I am sure all recruiters are faced with, and that is the problem of an interview no-show. After sifting through the hundreds of CVs in response to an advertised post and narrowing them down to a few suitable candidates, a portion just do not turn up for their interview. No phone call and no email to say why.

What could be the problem? and what steps could be taken by the recruiter to reduce the amount of no shows? and how does it look to a recruiter when a candidate does not turn up for a scheduled interview with no reason as to why?

First let us look at some of the reasons why a candidate may not turn up for an interview.

  1. It could be that they are currently in a job and the time of the interview clashes with their working hours
  2. It could also be that they are just playing the job field
  3. On the day, perhaps they just could not be bothered to attend
  4. They could be interview shy
  5. Some just forget that they have an appointment

So, is there anything that recruiters can do to limit or get around these issues? Here are some tips that we have found to be helpful:

  1. For applicants who are currently in a job - As a recruiter, it is good to enquire if the applicant is currently in employment. If they are, then book their interview at a time suitable for them, rather than giving them a time slot suitable for you.
  2. For Applicants playing the job field - You can weed out these ones by testing their commitment and asking very direct questions as to their goals and aspirations.
  3. For applicants that could not be bothered to attend - They may just need a little coaxing. But if they are already showing this attitude, it could be a bad sign if you were to put them forward for posts in the future. You may just find that they are no shows to a potential client also.
  4. For applicants that are interview shy - From the time that you pick up the phone to arrange an interview with the candidate, ensure that you make them feel settled and comfortable from the start. Let them know that there is no reason to feel intimidated as you only want the best for them.
  5. For the applicants that forget about their interview - To reduce no shows, it is good to call the applicant the day before to remind them of the interview. Also, having a system in place from the beginning that will automatically remind you the recruiter, and the applicant at the same time of their appointment goes along way in reducing no shows, saves time, and helps to keep things consistent.

As recruiters, we understand that there are times when situations arise that make it difficult for an applicant to attend an interview. Sometimes on the very day of the interview a recruiter gets told by the applicant that they have just had a job offer. That's wonderful! The fact that they have kept the recruiter informed goes well for them should they need the recruiter again in the future.

But when it comes to interviews, it is essential to keep the recruiter informed so as not to put yourself in a bad light and cast doubt on your seriousness and professionalism. This will bode well for your reputation with the recruiter and show that you are trustworthy to be considered for roles big and small in the future.

Written By Chenella Walker edited By Jodianne Griffiths

 We hope that you found this article useful. Look out for our next article

Are candidates just another number?

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 30 Mar, 2017

Stand up and stand out in business

Most if not all of us have at some point in our lives, had to stand firm for something we believe in. I'm sure you would agree that this is certainly not the easiest thing to do. In fact, when you did stand up for what you believed in, you probably stood out as being different, you may even have been ridiculed or labeled as a little odd.

Today the trend seems to be going in the opposite direction. Everyone wants to stand out as different and if they are classed as odd it is mostly considered a complement. There is however one area of life in which being different and standing out has always been regarded as more of a positive rather than a negative. Can you guess? Yes, it is the world of business. In this arena, you can be as different as you dare. In fact people are always trying break the mold in business, constantly in search of the next big idea. The more uniquely creative a concept is, the more attention it will receive and will ultimately be very successful.

Think of Steve Jobs and Apple. There is nothing that comes even remotely close.

But, for some this move to stand out can be a big one, especially if the people around them do not seem to support what they are wanting to do, or feel that they are taking too great a risk. However, I think that it is important to remember that some of the most genius ideas have come out of what people have thought were the craziest. Now that does not mean that every idea should be acted upon before considering all the facts and doing all the relevant research, taking into consideration the impact that it may have on yourself and others around you. But what it does mean, is that you should not be fearful of taking a stand and giving life to a new way of thinking just because there are a few people who don't have faith in you and your ideas.

The ones who take the leap of faith, after taking into consideration all the above-mentioned points never know where that so called crazy idea may lead. Who knows? Perhaps you will be the next Richard Branson.

Yes, at times in order to stand out, you need to stand up. The question is, are you brave enough?

 Written by Chenella Walker and edited by Jodianne Griffths

By C WALKER 23 Mar, 2017

The culture of society has long been moving in the direction of instant gratification. We have been dubbed the 'buy now pay later, fast food, instant coffee and instant tea generation'. So, when it comes to waiting for something that we really want; for most people, today is better than tomorrow.

What impact can such an attitude have on starting and running a business? So many today are desiring rapid solutions to their everyday problems and this is especially true when it comes to monetary matters. The internet has seen a proliferation of so called 'get rich quick schemes', often in the form of business opportunities which promise people high rates of return for a comparatively small investment. The problem is, this 'small' investment usually sees the average person shelling out hundreds if not thousands. So many people buy into these 'business opportunities' after being duped by claims that little effort is required to reap fantastic rewards. The veil of deceit soon falls away, leaving the plain truth that in order to make a success of the venture, hard work and dedication will be required. Most will soon lose enthusiasm, opting instead to move on to the next big scheme promising to help them make millions.

For anything in life to be a success, consistency is key. You have to keep up the hard work, dedicating yourself to the achievement of the goal. If you want to see the results that you long for, patience and resilience are a prerequisite as there is no end to the constant flow of things that need to be done in the background to keep things moving forward.

'Patience' Not a word understood by many in our society today! But definitely a quality needed in order to make a success of any venture.

Trying to take the short cut to success will in all likely hood lead to frustration and troubles of all kind as it usually entails the undertaking of risk. Instead of thinking things through, people make bad financial decisions which leave them out of pocket and facing some very difficult and in a few cases seriously life changing consequences.

So what is the solution? Take your time, look at the road to success as a beautiful road with many life changing experiences that will add value to your life, maybe not now but definitely at some point in the future. View the challenges as the next step in your business education that will serve you well at some point.

Success means different things to different people. For some it means having the means to support their family, for others it means building an empire. Whatever it means to you remember one thing; there are no shortcuts.

We hope that you found this article useful.

Please look out for our next one entitled 'Stand Up- Stand Out in business' released on Friday the 31st of March 2017 before 12pm

Written by Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffths.

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 16 Mar, 2017

We would like to announce Josephine Perianayagassamy as a new director at The Hired Secretary.

It has been a long time coming, but Monday the 13th of March 2017 it became official. Josephine Perianayagasammy, better known as Sophie is now a director along with Chenella Walker and Jodianne Griffiths at The Hired Secretary.

Josephine has many years experience as a manager and has always been a great asset to our team. With her dynamic energy for business; and ability to think outside the box, we are happy that we got her before someone else did. Josephine has 4 girls under the age of 15, and they are delighted for their mummy. Josephine runs the recruiting department, and deals with all staff training issues. We hope that you will join us in welcoming her as a new director.

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 16 Mar, 2017

Some may wonder if there is some secret formula for ensuring that one gets hired every time. The obvious answer is no, as in the end it comes down to what an employer is looking for at that particular moment in time.

But to be sure, there are some key qualities that employers are always looking for irrespective of the role for which they are recruiting. These qualities are:

Determination

This really comes across in your actions. From the very moment you send in your application or CV you are being scrutinised. Have all the relevant boxes been filled in? Are there any errors? Was a cover letter included along with your application? All of these points can highlight your seriousness and determination to be successful in getting the post. It informs an employer as to whether you are a laid-back or proactive character.

  Are you a team player?

Team dynamics is of paramount importance for employers. They want to know that not only can you work well with others but that you will also bring something of value to their organisation. Which is why an employer will want to know how well you have worked with others in the past as a measure of how you will fit into their current working family. Right from the start you should demonstrate that you are there to support and not hinder the current team dynamics.

Initiative?

In my opinion this is one of the more important qualities, as there is nothing worse than having to carry someone in a team. Someone who needs to have their hand held every step of the way can quickly become burdensome to their teammates. It is important that you demonstrate that you know your role, and know how to use your initiative. This does not mean you're not expected to ask for help at times, we all could use a helping hand or a word of advice every now and then. After all, you're in a new role with a completely new way of doing things. But there are times when common sense tells you what you should do next.  

Punctuality

Arriving just on time and looking flustered is definitely not the way to impress any prospective employer. Always aim to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes before in order to set up for the day and gather your thoughts.

Know your strengths

In nearly every interview the question "What are your strengths?" will arise. So get to know them, this will help the prospective employer to balance out your weaknesses with another team player. It also shows that you know who you are.

Goal orientated

There is nothing more attractive than someone who knows who they are and where they are heading in life. But what is even more impressive is when they can demonstrate the steps they are taking to get there. A goal orientated person has their head screwed on, so to speak, and 9 times out of 10 will just get on with their role as they are not easily side tracked.

In all truth most employers know what they are looking for, and most of the time they want hard working, dedicated and honest employees. From the moment you apply for a role remember that you are being judged, so make your application count by paying close attention to detail and taking pride in the way you present yourself. On interview day, follow through with your actions, by presenting yourself as a confident, capable, goal oriented individual who can get the job done.

Will it guarantee you every job you apply for? No, but it will go a long way in ensuring you leave a lasting impression on any recruiter. You never know, they may contact you in the future. Not to mention the sense of pride you feel at knowing that you have put your best foot forward. There is nothing worse than the feeling of regret after an interview when you know you are so much more than what you portrayed.

Written by Chenella Walker and edited by Jodianne Griffiths

We hope you found this article useful.

Please look out for the next one which will now be published on Friday's and will be entitled:   There are no short cuts to success.

By C WALKER 16 Mar, 2017

If I were to ask a room full of people if they were afraid of the competition I would say that the majority would respond in the affirmative. For those of you who may be shaking your head, saying to yourself "no way", think on how you would feel attending a networking event, where someone else running a similar business was also present. I could bet my bottom dollar that being at an event alongside a competitor would leave you feeling worried about losing prospects to your competition.

Being afraid of the competition is healthy, but if a balanced view of the situation is not maintained then this can quickly become an unhealthy fear. What is the reason for this?

Healthy fear of the competition

  • Having a healthy fear of the competition motivates you to ensure that you are delivering the highest standard customer service.
  • It encourages you to seek out ways to improve the structure of your business.
  • It ensures that you are offering what the market is truly demanding, in the way that consumers are looking for it and at the appropriate time.
  • Can help you to avoid common pitfalls.
  • It can stop you from becoming complacent

Yes, your competitor can improve your business.

Unhealthy fear of the competition

Having an unhealthy fear of the competition could be detrimental to your business, leading you to take actions that you would not otherwise. A terrible consequence of this could be the loss of your brand identity.

Some of the unhealthy traits of being in fear of the competition are:

  • Undercutting your competitors on prices to win customers over to your side. I remember being coaxed by a company wanting me to switch services over from a current provider to theirs, by offering to cut the price of what I was already paying, yet they didn't know what my needs were and how much time it would take them to cater for what I need. It turned me off completely because it came across as desperate. It is a lesson that I would never forget.

Remember, there is a reason why you are in your profession. If you believe wholeheartedly that what you are offering is valuable and that you are good at what you do, then value your time and efforts enough to charge the price you feel you deserve. Just ensure that your offering warrants the prices you charge and do not lower these costs to keep up with the competition. You will find that the average person wants quality services rather than just a cheap price.

  • Losing Brand Identity

Some are so consumed with keeping up with the competition that they eventually lose their brand identity and blend into the market. What a terrible mistake! People buy from people, this is the bottom line. When you started your business, you already knew what it was you were offering and to whom, thus the type of consumer that you wanted to attract. Therefore, why try and step into the shadow of your competitor who has their own goals, their own budget and their own target market? They already know what they can afford to lose and what they can't.

Falling into the trap of trying to keep up with the competition could leave you falling flat on your face as you may not have the budget to keep up the pace. Being busy trying to follow their every lead may mean that you are no longer your own business and you may find that the zeal and the love that you had for what you were doing becomes clouded by your need to keep apace. In the end, the loser is you.

So, what is the advice?

  • Know who you are.
  • Know your worth.
  • Know that even in a room full of competitors you are unique because you are behind it.
  • Know that in the end, people buy from people, they want value, someone who cares about the service that they offer and they want honesty.

No, you will not win every deal, and neither will your competitor. But you will win the ones that see the true value in what you do and have to offer because you believed in you.

We hope that this article made your day.

Please look out for our next article   'What do employers look for?'

Followed by   'There are no shortcuts to success'

Written by Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 02 Mar, 2017

Throughout my business career, I have had the opportunity to be involved with the establishment and growth of other people's businesses as well as my own and I have seen first hand that there will always be challenges to overcome; roadblocks, learning curves and at times even desperate struggles which literally leave you teetering on the edge of sanity. Yet when a business is undergoing these challenges, there seems to be some kind of taboo, some kind of shame that your business should find itself in such a situation. So people play pretend that all is rosy. It would seem that keeping up appearances is the thing to do.

But how does keeping these facts hidden in the background help today's hopeful entrepreneurs? When budding entrepreneurs meet challenges in their businesses would it not be encouraging to know that others have faced similar issues, which can serve as an example to better understand how such issues were overcome and might just be the beacon of hope they need to continue their own journey to success?

If you are an established business and have been for many years, it is good to reflect on some of the highlights and the challenges you faced along the way, whilst helping the next generation of entrepreneurs to overcome challenges which may surface on their path, and even further than that, prepare them for some of the potential issues they may face later on. When they do face challenges it is good to remind them that rather than dwelling on the negativity, they should concentrate on what is actually going right. This will go a long way in helping them to become even more robust and dynamic entrepreneurs.

To all you entrepreneurs, The Hired Secretary would like to say to you, well done on taking the leap of faith. Know that at times there will be problems that you will need to overcome, there will be negativity from those whom you may not expect it from, at times because they cannot see the bigger picture. There will also be times when you feel alone on your journey even if you have many around you. Because they do not carry the same load that you must every day.

But along that path there will be glorious flashes of hope as you see things starting to take shape, there will be joys as you land those hoped-for deals or new clients, there will be satisfaction as you show yourself what you are truly made of.

All in all, never be ashamed to speak of the difficulties that you face on your business journey, but always be aware that those who may like to keep up appearances may not always value such honesty. You will get through those difficulties if you apply the right solutions and when you do, you will know the ones who truly have your back and the ones who are only there to tag along if they feel that they have something to gain from your success.

We hope that you found this article useful.

Please look out for our next article 'Are you afraid of the competition?'

Written by Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 22 Feb, 2017

Over the last year, I have read a lot about how people view recruiters  (In this article we will use the term recruiters instead of recruitment agency/ies) and I must say that it surprised me how negative the majority of people were in their views. So much so that I had to take a step back and try to imagine what it may look like from the standpoint of an applicant before drawing on my experience and putting into context the reality of being a recruiter, leaving you to make up your minds as to whether you think recruiters are heartless or not.

So let me paint you a picture; a client calls in requesting help to fill an opening for a position within their firm. You look through your database only to find that there is no one suitable for the role or those that may be suitable may not currently be available for one reason or another.

In response to this you post a job ad and within 30 minutes you receive over 100 applications for the position. Over 100 people earnestly seeking employment for many different reasons and each one having their own unique story to tell. Most of them are not suitable for the role but are desperate for a chance to prove their worth, but you must stick to the brief, as the client has put faith in you to find them a perfect match.

You sift through these 100 CV's pulling out the candidates with the strongest skill sets, all the while examining them against what the client requires.

Imagine, that out of the 100 CV's, 10% are not really wanting a job, and maybe only 15-20% of the ones who do will be suitable for the position, sometimes even less. You then contact the ones who have been successful, inviting them in for an interview and some do not even turn up! The ones who do, must fill out all relevant forms etc, and once all interviews have been conducted successful applicants will need to be fully vetted and references collected. In the case of The Hired Secretary a grammar and writing test will then be conducted, all in time for a specified interview date set by the client, whilst you hope with all you've got that you have succeeded in meeting their request. Pressure? I'd say, but what's life without a little pressure?

Over the course of this process, imagine listening to each applicant's story as they tell you their desires and wants all in an effort to show you why they are the right candidate for the role (But it is not your role to give). They ask you many questions about the company for which they have applied because they want to have the best chance of landing the job.

In your heart, you wish all of them could be successful, but you know the reality. The 100 have now been whittled down to just three who have been interviewed by the client. The client, then calls you the recruiter and says the words all recruiters long to hear. We have decided to give the position to X. You are overjoyed, because you have successfully met your client's needs, and someone has a job.

Then there is the other side of the coin, the two unsuccessful hopefuls whom you must now inform that they did not get the role. You take a deep breath and think of the best way to break the news to them, so as not to leave them feeling deflated or cause them to lose hope.

You think to yourself sending an email would be so much quicker, but it would also be so cold. So before sending the email, you pick up the phone, try to assess their state of mind and then tell them the hard truth, that they have not been successful on this occasion. You hear the disappointment in their voice but your job is to reassure them that there will be a job out there just for them and that they should not give up hope.

Then to remind yourself of why you do this job, you call the successful one, (sometimes I personally like to play a trick on them by sounding very sad when they pick up the phone. Then I say 'I'm so sorry to tell you this but YOU GOT THE JOB!') They are excited, you the recruiter are excited, it's a beautiful moment, it's why we do it.

And then the process begins all over again with another client, and with other applicants.

The majority of recruiters have gone into this field because they love what it does for people. Every day a recruiter changes someone's life, their hopes and even their future, that change can even extend to those around them, helping them to support their family, feed and clothe them and put food on the table. What a gift! What a privilege!

Recruiters also have the exceptional privilege of helping businesses to concentrate on the running of their business. We save them vital time as we do the running around for them so that they do not have to. When a recruiter provides a client with the right applicant that fits into their team, or work environment, the recruiter has the privilege of knowing that they made a vital difference.

So, what do you think? Are recruiters really heartless?

That is for you to decide, but whatever your opinion we hope that this article has given you a useful insight into what we do.

Written by Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017
By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017
The Hired Secretary have started the process of completing their new office base. We still have some things to complete, but feel free to take a peek by clicking the picture above to watch the video.
By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017
Chenella Walker one of the Director of The Hired Secretary met with Karthik Nagesan on the 15th of December 2016 to discuss crowdfunding and it's trials. 

We defiantly got to see why he is so lovable. Please watch for more information.

This is what he had to say about working along with the Hired Secretary during that time:

'I had a brilliant time working with Chenella and her team while filming a Facebook LIVE video on crowdfunding. I have found her attention to detail and professionalism top notch and would readily recommend her firms services anytime.'

Want to know more about the Hired Secretary? Call our team now on 0800 368 9994.
By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017

It goes without saying that every journey begins with a first step. That very first step can sometimes feel like the hardest, but the beauty of life is that you just do not know where that first step may take you.

Nearly every day I meet people who seem deflated and at times even defeated by the process of starting or even running a business. If this is you, I am here to tell you that this is quite normal.

But how can you break the pattern? In the end, it all comes down to perception. So many people want tomorrow today, or as my mum would always say, they want to run before they can walk.

You see, many are busy worrying about the cares of tomorrow, almost driving themselves crazy trying to prevent things which are not even certain to happen, worrying unnecessarily over incomplete tasks and projects. By all means, sensible preparation for likely future outcomes is necessary which is why we have things such as insurance, but whilst it is impossible to bring tomorrow into today, why not break the cycle of discouragement by not beating yourself up over tasks you haven't been able to complete. Setting yourself reasonably attainable goals and actively working towards their completion is a far healthier way to approach the situation.

To keep your business going in the direction that you desire, write a plan of action with measurable outcomes and at the end of each day evaluate the results by noting down the successes as well as areas for improvement, but most importantly, note down the lessons learned from the day. Then at the end of the week look at the whole set together and congratulate yourself on each one that you managed to achieve and learn from the ones that you did not.

Why do all of this? In order to enjoy the process of starting and growing a business, you need to see that you are moving forward. It is, therefore important to celebrate the mini milestones so as to maintain a sense of joy and excitement as you journey towards your desired situation, and if you go beyond that, then it is a bonus.

When we cannot see progress, it is only natural that we become discouraged.

I will leave it here for today, but I hope this article has been of some help to you if you find yourself suffering feelings of discouragement.

Remember, achieving a successful outcome for your business is a process that takes time, and in order to keep from becoming deflated or discouraged too often, you need to remember to celebrate each milestone. Congratulate yourself when you successfully attain one of your goals, and if situations should not go quite as you expected and you miss one or several of your targets, re-evaluate. Rather than looking to hurry the process along by attempting to bring tomorrow into today, take a step back and see what lessons are to be learned from each of the situations, and readjust where needed.

You have taken the first step, so continue putting one foot in front of the other, and you may just experience the moment when you will be able to run with it.

 Look out for next weeks article entitled 'Are recruiters really heartless?'

Until the next time, please take care of yourselves.

Written by Chenella Walker and Jodianne Griffiths.

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017

In this article, we will be looking at the effects of betrayal in business and how to overcome it.

When a person starts a business, usually it is born out of a deep desire to fulfil some purpose or other, therefore you throw yourself into it with all your heart, mind and soul. It becomes like a baby that you want to nurture and protect. You spend countless hours working behind the scenes that no one else sees, but yet without it, things would simply fall apart. There are nights when you stay awake thinking about how you can improve, or just simply crunching numbers and getting policies and conditions of contract together to make your business stand out above the rest. The more people that your business benefits, is the more you want to protect it and see it grow.

So, is it any wonder that when you are faced with betrayal in business, either by an employee, or business partner that you came to trust, spent many a day or night with, that the anguish, pain and mental distress can be so overwhelming?

The simple answer is no. You are human and have a right to feel the way that you do, but, it is how you choose to act on that betrayal that will define or reveal who you really are in life, and in business as well as help to refine your character and business nous.

If you have gone through such an ordeal, our hearts go out to you. Depending on the gravity of the betrayal, you may feel depressed for a while or find it hard to want to get out of bed in the mornings. The closer the person was to you, is the deeper the pain or feeling of depression.

To help you to overcome such feelings it is very important to keep a routine. At the time, it will feel like an almost impossible thing to do, but once you've gone through this period of hurt and depression you will find that keeping a routine is what kept you sane.

If you have had a split with your business partner, you may find that you are now trying to figure out what you would like to do next. Give yourself permission to grieve over the loss, because it is a loss, and allow yourself the time needed to discover what steps you would now like to take next. Will you start a new business? Travel for a bit, or go back to regular employment?

Whatever you choose to do, don't waste vital energy on trying to get back at the one you feel has wronged you. The day will come when they may have to realise the error of their ways with regret. Just, don't you have any regrets, by acting out on your feelings.

Look after your health.

This will help you to feel the best you can under the circumstances. Taking to comfort eating may leave you feeling worse, and can even start affecting your health at a time when you need all the strength you can muster.

Overcoming Debt

If the betrayal has left you in a trail of debt, take the time to reach out to the ones that you owe, and without going into everything, see if you can offer affordable repayments. You will find that most of the time your creditors will be accommodating once they know they will be getting paid. This will also alleviate some of the stress that you would otherwise suffer.

Moving on

Once you have permitted yourself time to grieve, accept the situation and move on. By remaining angry, the only person you will be hurting is yourself, and you deserve so much better.

Forgiveness is the key to many things, it may even lead you to reconciliation with the person as well as an invitation back into your life again. Only   THIS   time a little bit wiser as to how they might need to fit into your life.

Betrayal in business can be hard to overcome, but it is not impossible. Refine your strength of character by letting go, and moving on to brighter and better things.

But is there a way to limit the possibilities or effects should you ever have to face such an ordeal?

The answer is   yes!

Going into business with someone, especially a friend or with family can be an exciting prospect, but do not be naive that it will always be that way. Things change and so do people.

Therefore from the very beginning, it is important to ensure that a contract exists between you both. This will ensure that there are no misunderstandings.

Ensure that you list the things that are important to you in case either of you should ever decide to go your separate ways. Make sure that things like roles, payment arrangements, holidays, debts incurred, arrangements for repayments, things not permitted, or things permitted are already agreed, are in writing and signed in the presence of two witnesses, and keep it safe.

By taking this step, it does not mean that anything bad will take place, but you are simply ensuring that should something change in the future, that you limit the impact by a simple but clear set of agreements that have been put in writing beforehand.

This could not only correct wrong perceptions should they arise but even safeguard valuable relationships.

The above may seem like small details, but these small details could save you a lot of heartache and stress at a most crucial time. No matter whom you go into business with, please ensure that you take the correct precautions.

We hope that you have found this article useful.

Written By Chenella Walker

Edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017

You against a Salmon. Who do you think would win?

The journey to business success can be long, hard, and very tedious at the best of times. Is there an example that can help us to better understand the difficulties as well as the rewards?

Once again we can look to Mother Nature, for the fabulous examples of animals exhibiting survival techniques that match perfectly with the attitude and mental toughness that we need to have in order to reap the rewards of a successful venture.

Today, we would like us to consider the example of the humble Salmon. At first glance, this well-known fish may represent little more than a tasty meal for you, but believe it or not, the Salmon is a remarkable creature with qualities of determination that would serve us very well in business.

The Salmon begins its life in fresh water, where the eggs of the female are fertilised. These eggs will then remain in the gravel until they hatch releasing baby Salmon, known as alevins . The alevins hide away in the nest until the time is right and they emerge from the gravel as young Salmon now called Fry.

Starting a business can be much like the baby Salmon swimming around in freshwater. You are about to begin a new journey, the results of which are not yet known. You have chewed over the idea in your mind, and laid the seeds for future growth. Your ideas have had a period of incubation and are now ready to emerge from the gravel, stronger and more equipped for survival.

After emerging from the gravel, the fry then starts to swim to the surface of the water, whilst filling up their swim bladders with oxygen before starting to feed. As a business owner, you will need to take the necessary steps to ensure that your business does not remain buried, but comes to the surface for all to see.

Your all-important business plan should contain everything down to the slightest detail regarding your budgets, advertising plans, equipment needed, etc. This is essential not only from a financial perspective but also during those times when you are feeling overwhelmed and defeated by it all. At such times it helps to look over your plans, and be reminded of your vision, which should give you the boost you need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

There is another stage in the salmon's development known as smoltification which takes place before the Salmon makes their transition from the freshwater to the sea. This is a complex internal change that allows their bodies to adapt to salt water. Without this process, the Salmon would become dehydrated and die. Again, a beautiful illustration of the change necessary for growth. Adapting to change and making the necessary adjustments to your mindset is vital for business growth and success. Without this, like the Salmon, your business would die.

https://youtu.be/mnzHjkm1Fxc?list=FL6MhBXafg-Gymx08ZSSVnZQ

(Watch the wonder of the Spawning Migration -Which one are you?)

As the Salmon start their seaward migration, some of the small fry allow the river to take them tail-first downstream, whilst, the larger swim actively. On your journey, there will be times when like the small fry, you can afford to travel tail-first downstream by allowing others to help you on your journey to success. In fact, it is important that you have contacts around you that act as that river and are willing to assist you, either by word of mouth, or that you can call on for SMALL favours now and then and visa versa, (be careful not to take advantage of that help, and to be willing to help others yourself).

But, this will not eliminate the fact that to grow a successful business, like the larger fry, there will be times when you must actively swim, by networking, increasing brand awareness, developing business relationships, etc. Do not expect success to just fall into your lap.

After several years of life in the salty ocean, the Salmon instinctively start migrating back to their original birthplace, the freshwater pool where they came into this world. This is where the fun begins, with the incredible phenomenon known as the spawning migration .

When the Salmon had reached the freshwater they stopped feeding. During the journey, their bodies had been instinctively preparing for spawning. Now, their journey homeward will be taxing, and will draw energy from the fat storage of the Salmon including their muscles and organs, but with the exception of their reproductive ones.

So, let's imagine you are now in the freshwater, and you have been instinctively preparing for the challenges that you knew would come with the growth process. But nothing could have prepared you for how taxing that journey was going to be, you are now relying on your reserves as you try to navigate your business through the waters that are ahead of you.  Are you ready? Then let's go for a ride, because upstream is where you are heading, and against the tide is where you are going. Will you make it?

Swimming distances which can reach almost 2000 miles, swimming upstream against raging current, scaling waterfalls, dodging predators such as whales, eagles, sea lions and bears not to mention the threat posed by parasites and polluted waters. Yet despite all of this, the Salmon will just not give in, truth be told, they would sooner die than not do what they were born to do.

What obstacles are you facing on your journey? What parasitic thoughts are polluting your vision causing you to fall prey to the predatory self-limiting beliefs you may have of yourself and what you are trying to accomplish? Friends, let me tell you this, that no matter what raging current you have trying to push you back right now, if you have the determination of the humble Salmon, if you cultivate their life or death attitude, then you will succeed!

So, at full throttle, you take your turn only to be sent spinning back by the raging waters called life. You try again, two, three, four times and are just about to give up, when, a surge of determination from deep within you sees you hurtling through the water at full speed. With your eyes shut, you jump and not daring to open your eyes you land and take a deep breath. Slowly you open your eyes, and for moment or two you are startled only to realise that you have made it. You have overcome what seemed to be impossible, and have now reached the point of owning a successful business.

So the moral of the story our friends is this:

Yes, you can do the seemingly impossible! Yes, you do have the determination! Yes, you will find the energy! And Yes, you can be a successful business.

So, whenever you feel like giving up. Remember the journey of the humble Salmon, and swim on says The Hired Secretary.

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

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By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017

How can one be innovative in business?

If you have had the opportunity to study business, I'm sure that you will remember the emphasis made on thinking outside of the box.

When it comes to thinking outside the box, you may find that the process is not as straightforward as seeing what is immediately in front of you.

In order to have a business idea that stands out, innovation is key. How so? Even though a stretch of the imagination may be required, you will find that coming up with a new concept or improving on what already exist will win you a new audience or even entice previous customers away from your competitors.

Many have toyed with the idea of starting up a business, but have found the process of coming up with an innovative concept that will appeal to the market, challenging.

What can help them to think outside the box?

Whether you are thinking of starting a business or are thinking of ways to grow your existing business, it is important to observe current market trends. For example:

  • What are today's consumers interested in?
  • Where is there a need?
  • How can I improve on what consumers are looking for, that does not seem to be readily available?
  • How can I be of better service?

Be aware that sometimes it may not be about coming up with a completely new concept but simply improving on an exsisting one.

We are living in a fast pace society where the needs of people are constantly changing. Innovation comes when one reaches out to keep up with the needs of that ever-changing society.

To tap into that need, you may need to ask such questions as:

  • How can the load of today's consumers be lightened?
  • What is missing in existing industries that everyday people want and need?
  • What are some of the common complaints that I have heard about existing industries that could be improved?

If you are thinking of expanding or improving on an idea that already exists, it is important to ask:

  • How can quality be improved whilst at the same time maintaining value for money?
  • Is the idea or need powerful enough to appeal to enough of the market to justify the sacrifices that will need to be made, and the efforts that will need to be put forth?

By really pondering over such questions, you may then be in a better position to make a choice as to whether it is worth pursuing an idea, whether it is innovative enough, and if the idea and market potential outweigh the sacrifices that will need to be made.

Thinking outside of the box might be a brain exercise, but it is a brain exercise that can lead to a worthy goal, that of seeing a business idea succeed. By being aware of the growing trends of today's consumers, you can improve the chances of being innovative in business.

We hope that this article was helpful.

Written and edited by Chenella Walker and Jodianne Griffiths.

By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017

A crucial step in the growth of any business is the desire and the drive that you have to create new opportunities.

It is important to not rely solely on your current client base as a means of sustaining your company long-term. While you shouldn't neglect your current customer base, the future prosperity of your company is dependent on you seeking out new opportunities for growth.

How can you create these opportunities?

  1. Ask for referrals - why not ask your current customers to recommend your service to others? If they are happy with your work, they should not mind this request. Referrals are a sure way of helping you to establish a solid foundation of your business' future.
  2. Network - this is another way to create vital opportunities for your company. Networking in the short term may not always show its benefits, but if you are consistent, determined and can demonstrate the value of your service you will find that you are building trust in your company, thus paving the way for future referrals and customers for your business.
  3. Be active on the social media scene - Keep your brand active by posting videos and other useful content. Connect with others and build relationships over time. Take a personal interest in the people you connect with, and when you are able to support them do so.

On your journey in taking your business to the next level, you will find that there will be times when opportunities present themselves, but, more often than not, you must create these opportunities yourself.

Make it your business each week to search for opportunities for your company, thus helping to secure its future.

By C WALKER 21 Feb, 2017

The Hired Secretary asked Nori T, a high-flying property developer based in London, about his initial fears in using our remote PA office services, and his experience with us.

  • Why did you choose The Hired Secretary?

They were straight forward, very direct and concise

  • What were your initial concerns?

Whether they can handle my work load

  • Do you still have the same concerns?

No                                                                                              

  • What do you particularly like about the service?

The fact that everything is being recorded and registered. It is a normal PA service

  •  Would you recommend it?

 Yes and I have recommended it

 If yes, why?

 Because it is a very good product

We would like to take this moment to thank Nori T for allowing us to share his thoughts on our services.

Nori T had a package that consisted of the following services:

Package 1 Remote Virtual Office just £18.62 per hour (ex. VAT)

Remote personal assistant, dealing with calls, scanning, emails, data entry, etc. Phone and fax line with a local number. Included in his monthly allowance: 250 sheets of paper for printing, 50 envelopes, 10 first and second class stamps, mailing service and £10 worth of professional SMS service.

As a standard, the main office team leader stepped in when the PA took paid leave or needed to attend appointments.

All our packages come with full staff monitoring, connecting you to the active work of your PA. Included on our new packages is business IT support. For more information about our services please go to -   www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/prices

Need more information? Call us on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 02 Feb, 2017

Did you know that a lion is classed as the 'king of the jungle'? Lions are symbols of strength and courage, qualities that are needed to run a successful business. They are also common symbols for royalty, thus giving them the well-known name 'king of the jungle'. What can we learn from the lion when it comes to running a successful business?

Did you know that lions have terrific night vision? Their eyes are 6 times more sensitive to light than those of humans. This gives them a distinct advantage over some prey when hunting at night. In the same way, when running a business there are times when good vision is needed and even insight. Vision can carry you through the dark times and assist you in driving your business forward. Insight can help you to avoid unnecessary pitfalls that could prove costly, and it could help you to make good decisions that will assist in your business growth.

Lions are also the only big cats that live in groups. These groups are called prides, which are close family groups. Together they defend their territory and hunt. You may agree that to run and grow a successful business, you must be willing to work as a team. By treating your workers well, recognising and appreciating what they each bring to the table as individuals, and refusing to take advantage of them or their time, you may find that it goes a long way in helping to build a hardworking and willing team. It will also more often than not, ensure their loyalty to you as they assist you in defending your business territory, even helping you out on the hunt or in other words assist in bringing new clients into your business when needed.

Did you know that the females in the pride do most of the hunting? Using intelligent hunting tactics, as a group, they can catch prey that would be too fast for them to catch were they to each hunt alone.   Clever, I am sure that you will agree.   If you are a business owner, it is essential to recognise your limitations. By doing so you are showing intelligence and assuring the future success of your business. There are times when you must tactically outsource, hire and delegate. Do not be afraid to do this, by doing this you may find that you are able to reach or even go beyond the goals that you make year on year.

As mothers, lionesses are extremely caring, they will even take care of a neglected cub giving them a chance to survive. Many businesses as they grow, start to neglect their smaller customers or even the ones that have been with them from the beginning. Growing up, my mother taught us to never bite the hand that feeds you . It is important that you never forget the ones who helped you on the way up. It would be fatal to feel that the ones who helped you in the beginning, are no longer valuable by mistreating or offering them a more substandard service. By not neglecting your clients you help to give your business the best chance of future survival and a great reputation.

Did you know that lions roar to communicate their position to other prides? A lion's roar is the loudest of any big cat, and can be heard up to 8 km away. Like a lion, make a loud roar about your business and the services that you offer. Use social media channels, take advantage of other free advertising methods, provide an excellent service that will give you the best chance of immediate and future recommendations, network, and link with others for mutual business benefits.

We can learn a lot from the 'k ing of the jungle'  when it comes to running a business. By taking on some of these points you may find that you may be The King or Queen of your business territory or industry also.

We hope that this article will prove helpful to you on your business journey.

Facts on the lions taken from:

https://onekind.org/animal/lion/  

By C WALKER 05 Jan, 2017

What does the word standard mean? According to one dictionary, the word standard can be defined as – 'Something used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations.'

If you want to be the go-to company in your industry, you need to aim high from the outset. Not only should you be seen as the expert in your field,   you need to be the   expert in your field. Every company in your industry should desire to follow in your footsteps.

This requires you to set your standards high from the start and ensure that you only improve on those standards for the future.

How can this be done?

  1. Know your industry. You need to thoroughly understand the industry that you are in. This Includes having knowledge of the laws and regulations that may apply to your industry and your business. It would be wise to have an industry expert that you can rely on for sound advice as well as keeping you updated with the latest changes. This person can provide immeasurable value to your company.
  2. Engage the services of a business coach or mentor who can help to steer you through the challenges thus enabling you to clarify your vision as you journey on to your destination.
  3. Have the right team behind you. This is so important, it can take time to find the right people for your team, but the effort is well worth it if you are aiming high. You want people in your team who buy into your vision, and desire to grow with your company. It is important to create the correct team dynamics as early as possible.
  4. Match the right person with the right job. You have a team, but how will you utilise their skills? It is so important to know why you have hired a particular team member and to ensure that you help them to thrive in that area.
  5. Providing regular training for your staff and team can help keep skills sharp, and also help them to develop other skill sets that aid in the growth of your business, whilst setting the highest standards.

 I'm sure that we would all like to be the standard in our industry, but the truth of the matter is that it takes time, effort, determination and emotional investment to get there. But if you take the necessary steps and tread wisely, who knows, you may just become the top dog in your field after all!

This article was written by Chenella Walker and Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation to virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at  www.hiredsecretary.com  or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

By C WALKER 16 Dec, 2016

One dictionary has this to say about the word   team   -

A team comprises a group of people...linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.

Teams normally have members with complementary skills and generate synergy through a coordinated effort which allows each member to maximise his/her strengths and minimise his/her weaknesses.

Team members need to learn how to help one another, help other team members realise their true potential, and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond their limitations. A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members. -   Explanation from Freebase.

Working as a team can push a business through the most difficult of hurdles, can help a business to thrive beyond expectations, and creates a seamless performance for your customers.

How can business owners, get their staff to work better as a team?

  1. Show your team that you value them all as individuals
  2. Set the example by working as part of the team yourself
  3. Hold regular meetings to ensure that the staff are happy, and deal with any reoccurring issues to ensure that the team spirit does not become fractured
  4. Ensure that the staff understand the company structure and their individual roles 
  5. Keep your staff up to date with the necessaries
  6. Encourage your staff to help each other when they can
  7. Never correct your staff in front of others
  8. Empower your staff. All your staff.

Working as a team is not always easy, but it is essential if you are looking for high performance and structured growth.

At The Hired Secretary teamwork is essential, this means that we have to ensure, that all new staff are trained and can understand how things work so as to ensure high performance.

If you have a business where teamwork is essential, it will be beneficial to have either a handbook or training material that each new member of staff can have access to and be trained by to ensure that you get the best out of your team, and reach the full potential for your business.

We hope that this article helped!

The Hired Secretary Team.

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The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation to virtual office solutions, supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money, whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at   www.hiredsecretary.com   or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

We are also currently crowdfunding can you help? Visit our crowdfunding page for more information     http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-hired-secretary-need-your-help

By C WALKER 10 Dec, 2016

The Hired Secretary are asking for your help as we are currently crowdfunding.

You may ask, What is crowdfunding?

One dictionary puts it this way:

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.

This concept is innovative in that it allows people to support and fund anything from £1 and more and relies on the hearts of others to help a company or individual to reach their intended goal.

'This is Money' 2013 comments: Until recently, financing a business involved asking a few people for big sums of money. Crowdfunding is turning this idea on its head, using the internet to help entrepreneurs talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders that each contribute a small amount.

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/smallbusiness/article-2333399/Crowdfunding-does-work.html#ixzz4QAFXnuoy  

With this in mind, The Hired Secretary are reaching out to ask if you could help us fund the next stage of our growth? This will ensure that we can continue to help even more people back into work. We need £25,000 but are aiming to raise at least £10,000 before January so that we can get sufficient office space. As we grow we need more team leaders, these team leaders will now have to work onsite and no longer remotely as is currently the case so as to ensure that all our remote PA's receive the best assistance possible and also to ensure the best results for our clients. This means that office space is now essential for us.

We also have a need to buy essential equipment, also a percentage of the funding will help in assisting with our advertising for fresh new candidates as well as clients, and in ensuring more staff training.

How The Hired Secretary was born

The reason that we started this company is that as a single parent for over 14 years I remember the struggles as well as the fears of finding and keeping a job that worked around my desire to be there for my daughter growing up. I tried so hard to find work from home but all of them either involved paying out money or lead to nothing.

In 2015 I started up my family's business which was run from home it became very successful and was Which? approved within 6 months I realised that I could help other's to work from home whilst assisting startups and others to have the same advantage. So I asked my now business partner Jodianne Griffiths who is a mother of twins under 2 years if she would like to join me and she said yes   (to my relief as she is the perfect compliment and we work so well together)   and thus The Hired Secretary was born.

From our beginnings, The Hired Secretary did not take out any loan or run off of an overdraft or credit card. From our beginnings, we have self-funded but now we are at a point where we need funding.

We are helping to change lives, by assisting back into work single parents, as well as parents whilst enabling them to still be there for their growing children, we are aiming to assist those who may have a disability but able to work to find roles that they are able to fulfil. We are very passionate about what we do because we truly care.

Please help us in this exciting yet vital stage of our company's growth. We need you!

Please do not hesitate to give what you can from a £1 and more we are grateful for your support whatever the amount.

Please find the link to our funding page for more information and instructions on how to help:   http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-hired-secretary-need-your-help .

Please further support us by spreading the word on your social media platforms and sharing this page.

For more on The Hired Secretary please see   www.hiredsecretary.com .

Have a query please email us at   mail@hiredsecretary.com   or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

The Hired Secretary are sending you a team hug.

By C WALKER 10 Dec, 2016

What would you say is the hardest thing about running your own business? For some it is the cash flow, others support, yet for others, it could be simply staying focused with so many competitors around them.

Most businesses have competitors, some are new while others have been in the market for years. The temptation could be to try and go up against them, by offering lower deals to undercut and win business.

But the truth is there are enough customers out there to share and, what one customer may look and settle for another will not. For example, look, how many gas companies are out there, yet even the most recognised out there does not have all the customers.

Take that as a landmark to run your own race and stay in your own lane as the saying goes.

Running your own race in business, what can it mean for you?

Running your own race in business means that you have an opportunity to be different, to have a unique selling point that may be missing from other similar business to your own. You have an opportunity by running your own race to showcase why your business and service is second to none. You have an opportunity by running your own race to plug a hole or gap in the market that maybe your competitors have not been able to see. Why be bog standard when you can be great?

So now you are running your own race. Are you in your own lane?

Stay in your own lane, do not be afraid to stay focused on the lane you chose when you started in business, adapt your running style when you need to yes, but don’t jump onto your competitor’s lane trying to outdo them on pricing, for example, that is exhausting.

True, you need to know about your competitors, but it should be with the aim of improving on what they do or have so as to offer a better solution or service thus pulling in your part of the market.

Stick to your principles, know who you are, know why people should use your service or purchase from you and let that shine through. Win customers on your own merit and not on the merit of others and most of the time you will have a loyal customer for life.

Do not let what others are doing define what you should be doing, think outside the box by running your own race and staying in your own lane, because you can.

_____

The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation to virtual office solutions supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when we put full running office's in the cloud, saving you time and money whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at   www.hiredsecretary.com   or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

We are also currently crowdfunding can you help? Visit our crowdfunding page for more information     http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-hired-secretary-need-your-help


By C WALKER 10 Dec, 2016

One dictionary defines grit as courage, resolve and strength of character.

What do you think?

Many would agree that running a business takes courage as you are stepping into the unknown.

Takes resolve because you have to decide mentally to stay firmly on the course that you have decided upon through the good and the bad moments.

Takes strength of character, because starting and running a successful business will defiantly test what you are really made of.

Do you have the Grit? If you have already started your own business, then you have already shown that you have courage. The question is do you have the resolve, the ability to overcome all the obstacles, doubters, knockbacks that will surely come your way, and still see the vision that you have of the successful business that you are   going to build.

The trick is to have faith in that vision and not to lose hope.

Know what it is that you are aiming for, and set the pathway to ensure that you will achieve it. When obstacles do come your way, look at them as an opportunity to learn, manoeuvre and grow as a business person rather than a sign that you should give up.

Remember nothing that is worth it comes easy, and if it does, it may become undervalued, but when you must fight for what you want and you do it in an honest and kind way, you will appreciate it a lot more when it does come.

And when you do get there, remember the ones that helped you. Ensure that your journey is one you will be proud to look back on. In the meantime, remember:

  • Be courageous
  • Keep your resolve
  • Develop and show your true strength of character, and you will succeed

_____

The Hired Secretary are an office recruitment agency as well as the next generation of virtual office solutions supplying you with your own remote PA, phone and fax line as well as printing, HR and accountancy and much more. Today's tomorrow has arrived when The Hired Secretary put full functional offices in the cloud, saving you time and money whilst providing you with just one monthly bill.

For more information please visit our webpage at   www.hiredsecretary.com   or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

We are also currently crowdfunding can you help? Visit our crowdfunding page for more information     http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-hired-secretary-need-your-help


By C WALKER 10 Dec, 2016

What makes The Hired Secretary stand out above the competition?

The Hired Secretary are more than just the standard virtual office. We are the next generation of what we feel will be the future of virtual office solutions. We have taken what is a normal everyday working office and put it into the cloud. We have tapped into the needs of today's consumers.

How have we done this?

Most virtual offices offer you a virtual office address, mail forwarding or a call answering service that is limited to call forwarding or the taking of a message on your behalf as if you are out of the ‘office,’ and then they will send you a message to continue with the call yourself.

This is not to be undervalued, as it has allowed the busy entrepreneur to grow their business knowing that they have a virtual call answering service, ensuring that they do not miss out on what could be their very next customer. For this service, you may pay as little as £6.99 per week. You get your own phone line and an agent to take your calls.

This is a good start. But what if you need more than that? Would it not be nice to have an agent that will answer your calls, can explain a little bit about your company, as well as inform customers of prices or even send them information via email if essential?

Well, from £9.99 a day ex. VAT you can. Yes, you pay a bit more, but with that you receive a stronger and more beneficial service that gives you a more professional look makes you look more established and taps into the needs of today’s consumers, the need to know now, or I will go elsewhere.

But wait! Maybe another question comes to your mind. What if you could have your own phone and fax line, printing, mailing, scanning, accounting, HR as well as your own PA working remotely who oversees all your admin requirements, such as calls and emails, appointments and can even go to a meeting on your behalf? Would that not be great! Well, at The Hired Secretary we offer you this very service.

Still not sure we are different? What if behind the PA’S were team leaders that oversaw, assisted, and managed your account, could visually monitor the activity of each remote PA to ensure a better quality of service and act as a backup in times of need?

Still not convinced we have the edge? What if you, the client, could also monitor all the activities visually from within your organisation, have complete access to your PA to impart instructions live in real time?

Well, The Hired Secretary offer all this and more. We are the experts at putting your office into the cloud whilst maintaining the look and feel of a full running office to your clients and customers, and at the same time supplying you with all your office essentials such as scanning, mailing, printing, accounting, HR and a remote PA.

We give you flexibility and just one monthly bill. No headache, no stress, just service!

Compared with the traditional virtual office world, we are the Champagne – the caviar.

We   ARE   the next generation of virtual office solutions.

Would you like to know what some of our customers are saying about us?

Client in London    

Incredible how light weighted my working life has now become after employing The Hired Secretary - this also stands for my personal life as well.

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Recruitment of Two Receptionists   (In office recruitment for the NHS)

Very professional ly   handled and most of the CV's passed on were well matched to the posts offered and we were able to appoint from the batch of candidates shortlisted.

Client in Thornton Heath.

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Secretarial Duties

Excellent work to a high standard.

Client in Bromley

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General Administration, Accounting, Marketing

Very pleased with quality and standard of work carried out. Found … to be professional and competent and have no hesitation when it comes to working…again in the future.

Client in Bromley

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For more information please visit our webpage at   www.hiredsecretary.com   or call our team on 0800 368 9994.

We are also currently crowdfunding can you help? To support us as well as donate to Cancer Research visit our crowdfunding page http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-hired-secretary-need-your-help

By C WALKER 13 Nov, 2016
The Hired Secretary are asking for your support in our crowdfunding. Whatever you can give whether 5p or more we will be so grateful for your support as we continue to strive to help placing candidates into work.

Please click the link below for more information and to see how you can support us:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Thehiredsecretary

Thank you so much from The Hired Secretary in advance.


By C WALKER 13 Nov, 2016

How do you look at running a business? As a journey where you just want to get to the destination as quickly as possible, or as an adventurous journey where you enjoy the scenery and learn from the potholes and bumps in the road.

Many of us when we start up in business just cannot wait to get to the destination which is totally understandable. But the reality is that many times the journey to that destination can be a long one.

Therefore, how can we ensure that it does not become a long boring journey, thus stamping out your fire to make your business a success?

About 4 years ago I had to drive to Scotland which is an 8-hour journey and I had two choices, stress myself out by hurrying myself to the destination. Or take my time and make it an adventure to remember and talk about with fond memories in the future.

I decided to make it an adventure with my daughter and another young passenger that I had in the car. Every two hours we took a break rested a little and ate. And we even stayed in the car overnight in a safe carpark which I always wanted to do, (I must say, it was not at all as I imagined.) But it is something I look back on with pride, joy and a sense of deep satisfaction. I could have made it a negative and stressful experience. But just by changing the outlook it became a peaceful and joyful experience. The next day we finished off the journey. (It was so much fun!)

Starting and running a business is a journey, you can either make it a stressful one or an adventure.

How is it possible to make it a journey with all the ups and downs that you may experience?

Well going back to that journey to Scotland, there were plenty of times when I felt threatened by those large lorries and fast cars that just seemed to be coming my way every time that I looked in the rare view mirror. If I panicked, I would have jeopardised the lives that I had in the car with me. Instead, I had to stay focused on the road ahead of me. This was just another thing for me to add to my adventure and to be proud of, as I did not allow my fears to dominate my actions.

This is the same in business. There are times when situations or issues arise in business that seem threatening and could cause us to make decisions out of panic or you could become discouraged and feel like you just want to give up.

Turn that threat on its head, remembering that this is part of your journey adding to your adventure on your way to your destination. It also adds to your knowledge base of how to maneuver yourself in business, and grow thus making you more equipped to help others in the future.

Ask yourself, what can I do to shrink this issue that seems to be a threat to my business? And then do it, whilst staying focused on the destination to which you are heading.

There were also times on that journey to Scotland that even though I was following the SAT NAV I still took the wrong slip road on the motorway. Believe me, that is not funny as it can take so long to get back on the right road and it also adds time to that journey. So what do you do? Raise your hands in defeat and go back home.

What would be the sense in that? Part of a journey is looking at how far you have come so as not to become discouraged and give up. So, you may have taken the wrong road from time to time only to find that you have added time in getting to your destination. But do not forget, that this is a journey, better still, it is your journey. So, enjoy the scenery, overcome the threats, make it an adventure, your adventure, to your destination and we will see you there.

Sending our greetings and love to all business owners.

From The Hired Secretary Team.

The Hired Secretary are crowdfunding please see why by clicking the link below and feel free support us:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Thehiredsecretary

By C WALKER 26 Oct, 2016

So, you have started your own business and now you are just waiting for the customers to come leaping your way, the phone to ring off the hook. But to your surprise, this has not happened!

So where is everyone?

You are on Google, you have leaflets going out every week adds in your local newspaper. Has it all been a waste of time? You ask yourself.

Slowly that excitement that you originally had starts to wane and reality starts pressing in, that this is not going to be some overnight success like the ones that you have been reading about in the books.

So, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to throw in the trowel? Or are you going to readjust yourself to thinking long-term and fight?

While there are times that due to financial or health reasons, a person may have to park the dream aside for a time. If this is not the case, do you have what it takes to take new steps in achieving your business goal and not get side-tracked while doing so?

Do you have the determination and stamina needed to keep that dream alive until it becomes your reality?

I believe that you do! It will take hard work and dedication and balance but you can do it. After all, you took the first step!

How?

Well! If people will not come to you, then it may be it is time for you to go to them.

There are various ways, but I am going to mention just a few you may not have thought of.

  1. Contact your local council about setting up a day where it is busy so that you can do a demonstration of your services or products to the locals and bring awareness to your brand (this is normally free and an application will normally need to be filled in). If you do this step, ensure that you have enough marketing material and maybe even a stand. Be sure to present your company well, aim to speak and engage the locals in conversation that will allow you to explain your company and maybe get a few emails or referrals.
  2. Do not be shy to go to, rather than email a few companies that either needs your services or have connections to others who may. Be sure to look the part and know your aim and how you will approach each one. (Tip: you can even offer them an affiliation agreement for any person/s or company recommended who accepts your services through them)
  3. Go to local networking groups and join one that you feel fits your company’s needs.

Whatever you do, please do not become desperate, this can lead to disastrous decisions that distract you from your business identity at a time that you need to be focused on it to refine and give the best service to your customers now and in the future.

For example, what would you think about a toy shop that suddenly started to also sell hair products and food items? I would be completely confused, in fact, I would not even want to enter that shop. Who are they? What are they? A hair shop, toy shop or grocery shop.

This is a sure sign of a business that has lost its brand identity and it does not look good to an outsider.

Be confident in the service that you offer, hone it and respect it and others will come to also.

Know what you want and aim for it, but do not forget to enjoy the view and learn from errors which you will make along the way, but these will help you grow.

Ensure that you get plenty of rest and don't forget to live along the way, this will help you to keep loving what you do thus keeping you doing what you love.

But always remember when you do get there, do not lose the values that you want your company to stand for. Be honest and true with yourself and your customers and I am sure that they will always have a place for you and your service and be willing to share their experience that they had or have with your business to others by means of valid recommendation.

The Hired Secretary Team   wish you all the best as you try and grow your business. We are here for you if you need us.


By C WALKER 19 Oct, 2016

How does Instant coffee and Instant tea translate into recognizing the trend of our consumers today? and how can we implement this trend in our businesses?

I am sure that any business owner who has been around for over ten years and maybe even less have recognized that consumer wants, needs and expectations have changed over those years and therefore as a business may have seen the need to adapt as essential if they wanted to attract new clients and keep thriving as a company. What was accepted ten years ago, may not go down so well today.

(What do you think? Do you agree with this point or disagree? We would love to hear to hear your views)

Society is growing and every day as technology makes communication easier, consumers expect businesses to keep up, they expect rapid service, rapid replies and instant results where possible.

A quote from BBC News Talking Point that was published on Wednesday, 11 April 2001 entitled   Is the art of writing letters dead? says:

I find the pressure of replying to emails much higher than it was with letters. People expect an instant reply to instant communication, I could take my time with a letter.

Simon, UK.

This was written in the year 2001. Could you imagine the response now?

(What do you think about this comment? do you agree or disagree with it? Please let us know your views)

Technology has made things quicker and easier to get done. Long gone are the days of handwritten letters, even typed letters are on the decline since the convenience of emails, PDF and other forms of attachments. As Technology improves we can expect even more changes in the expectations of our consumers.

Yes, we are living in a time of instant coffee and instant tea my friends, a time of convenience. Smart companies are capitalizing on this fact such as fast food restaurants, reported to being worth over 96 billion pounds in the year 2014 according to   'Why Britain is Bonkers for Fast Food and Spends Billions on Greasy Grub'

What about other companies such as   Just Eat   who reportedly have over 3.2 million visits to their website each month, and 13 million people regularly online who order a take away more than twice a month.

Companies such as these have capitalized on the fact that today’s consumers want convenience, they want a choice to hand and they want it quick and in one place if possible. It is all about saving time. Most, no longer have time to search the internet across hundreds of pages for what they want and companies such as   Just Eat   make sure that consumers do not need too.

This attitude is translated into almost every angle of society today, and therefore businesses need to take stock if they are to offer the type of service that today's consumers are needing and want.

If time is precious to consumers as a business it needs to be important to you.

So how does this information slide over into everyday business?

Let me ask you a question. How long does it take you to answer an email on average?

Less than 15 minutes? 1 hour? 5 hours or more? The first two are more acceptable to many today than the last few. The truth of the matter is the amount of time it takes to respond could mean the difference between gaining new business or losing it.

We are living in the generation of Googlers (or Google searchers) if you are not available to answer most potential client’s enquiries, calls or emails when they need you too, they will simply Google a company until they find someone who will. (Believe me, I know I am that generation!)  While some are prepared to wait for 12 and even 24 hours for a reply. The generation of instant messengers and Googlers is creating a different trend.

Quote from   'This is how fast you should reply to work emails' published in 2014 states: “People are more demanding, especially millennials, and want real-time communication, which is why texting, instant messaging and Facebook chat are so popular,” he says. “If you don’t hear from someone in an hour, you immediately feel like they are ignoring you because you’re used to instant gratification.”

It also continues by saying   'Respond promptly. Waiting 12 hours to answer a work email is one sure fire way to lose business and alienate people. “Turnaround demand is at least twice that fast,”   says Jonathan Bernstein, president of public relations consultancy Bernstein Crisis Management.   “I have both landed and retained business because of how promptly I respond.”

So with all this information to hand, how can start up business measure up and ensure that they keep up with what consumers are demanding more and more so as to   more likely   secure business that may come their way?

One solution is virtual offices, they have tapped into the growing need of today’s consumers and are a growing force year on year. One of the reasons that it is growing, is that virtual offices have tapped into the need for business to keep up with the instant coffee and instant tea, instant messaging and the Googler generation thus bridging the gap between them and the consumer.

Each virtual office company has their own strategy for their services and in the end, it really depends on what you are looking for. Many mostly offer anything from answering emails to taking calls and others offer virtual PA’s.

The Hired Secretary, however, offer a more bespoke professional service according to today's consumer and business’s needs whilst at the same time we have taken the rule of an office base and put it in the cloud saving business hundreds if not thousands a year.

How are we bespoke?

On our email answering and call answering service alone, The Hired Secretary do more than answer a call to take a message to pass on to you the client to complete which could still take hours as the reason that most may choose to use this service is that they are not available during the hours that they are paying for.

The Hired Secretary have tapped into this need and offer a call and email service that allows our agents to give basic information about your company and even prices. We have a range of packages such as your own remote PA as well as complete office solutions.

We are not a one size fits all company, but rather we listen to what you the customer needs and try to tailor a package to suit your budget and wants.   (Please see our website for more on the services and packages that we offer.)

We are the next generation of Virtual Office Solutions and we plan to be the pioneer in our field. We desire to be known as a company that offers affordable rates and high-quality service.

We truly care about the progress of every company that comes our way big or small and this shows in the service that we give every one of our customers.

So, the question is, have you come to understand the needs of the next generation? Do you recognise the trend that keeps on growing since the time of Instant Coffee and Instant Tea?

The Hired Secretary recognise the trend and that is why we are the next generation of virtual office solutions.

By C WALKER 09 Oct, 2016

I am sure that you would agree that thinking and planning your business is so much different than when you actually start running it.

All of a sudden you find yourself bombarded by all these promising offers that seem so hard to pass up. But the question is, do you really need it? if so, do you need it now? and is there a cheaper alternative?

When you are on a small budget you need to focus on the essentials needed to run and get your business out there. How can you ensure that you do not get sidetracked along the way?

Have you done a business plan?

Most of us hate this step, but really it is amazingly helpful in measuring where you are from where you aimed to be. But also it is a guide to keeping you on track financially.

Before you make any financial decisions, it would be good to refer back to your business plan and see if you can afford it, need it or can do without it at that moment.

This will lessen the chances that 6 months or so down the line you don't find that you have run out of cash.

You don't have to spend heaps of cash to have a professional look!

There are plenty of platforms out there that you can use that are free or role many things into one, so that you are saving money.

Let us go through a few of them:

  • Setmore (Appointment booking system) If you are a company that has a high turnover of appointments and have a team that you also need to book appointments for, then this is a great platform. You can also have your customers book via your website. Once an appointment has been booked it will remind all necessary parties automatically.

This platform is free up to three team members and up to 300 appointments a month (when last checked)

  • Kashflow (Accounts, Payroll, Invoices) This is an excellent start-up platform for any SME, from just £12 a month you can send out invoices, quotes reconcile your accounts. If you have staff you can set up payroll and also RTI. This is a highly recommended app and can save you hundreds a year.
  • Smarty Software (CRM free up to 50 contacts, Email marketing, Diary, Accounts and much more) This is an excellent example of a platform that rolls multiple platforms into one and saves you money in doing so.
  • Smart Pensions For all those companies that are recruiting or have staff this is a great company to have on your side when it comes to organising and setting up pensions.
  • Mail.com This is great if you would like a mail box set up that is free with a professional title like xxxxx@contractor.net.
  • Vistaprint and Wix (Websites) You can get some really good designs and it is easy to use. Vistaprint also does business cards, banners etc that suit small budgets.
  • Skype for business For those long distance meetings (Video call, conference calls etc)
  • World pay Zinc (Mobile card reader) This allows you to take payments over the phone you have no monthly fees only charged when used.
  • Paypal The standard selection is free, you can send out your invoices and collect payment via the invoice. There is a small fee if your client pays via the invoice but you can take that into consideration in your pricing.
  • Law Deport Print or download your customised legal documents such as employee contract, partnership contract, work contract etc and pay a small fee to download it.

There are many things that you can do when you are on a tight budget to protect the long term interest of your company and give your business the professional look needed.

The key is to stay focused, do not allow yourself to be pressured to make long-term deals that you may later regret if you are ever hit by hard times.

Do not be afraid to say no when offers come your way that you know at this time will put your company in a tight spot. Think long term. Many times those same offers will be there again. Be patient! Remember The Tortoise and the Hare! (Slow and steady wins the race.) 'When you approach things like the tortoise , you methodically and steadily work toward your goal. You might not arrive there first, but then again you might! In any case, you're likely to make fewer mistakes and you might just enjoy the journey more than the hare .' (Quote is taken from wonderopolis.org )

Don't be fooled by sells talks like 'The question is can you cope with more customers.' This is just sales talk that appeals to every company owners desire, the need for more customers. Be smart swimming through the sea of many promising offers. So that you do not find your company shipwrecked.

By making wise business decisions now you are more likely to see the fruitage as your company embeds itself into society. Give yourself time to grow, in the future, you may be able to take up the other offers that you so desired.

We hope that you found this article helpful!

The Hired Secretary are a virtual office working for the standard and professional needs of SME's. We are your office in the cloud! Giving company owners the freedom to concentrate on growing their company. We have packages to suit your needs now and for the future.

We are here if you need us, why not give us a call on 0800 368 9994?

By C WALKER 30 Sep, 2016

If you have answered yes, please feel free to examine a few facts:

Statics show that 92% of people trust recommendation from friends and family more than any other form of marketing (Say’s 'Top Tips for successful networking.')

When we consider the success of platforms such as Checkatrade and Which? They are all recommendation driven. They are successful because they have tapped into the needs of their consumers. The need to know that they are choosing a recommended individual to carry out their work or tasks.

This is why networking is so successful it works when done in the correct way.

Quote from Adam Smalls ‘Networking is the single most powerful tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organisation.’  

With this in mind, why then are some so doubtful when it comes to networking?

Quote by Sonia Sofomayer ‘Sometimes idealistic people are put off the whole idea of business networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage…..To succeed in this world you need to be known by people.'

Does it not stand to reason that to be known to people you need to where they are? Networking offers businesses that opportunity.

Let us see a little scenario of how and why it works (See the chart above):

Now that is a happy net-worker!

I personally believe that many just do not understand how networking works and why it is beneficial. Why is this?

1.      They expect immediate results (If that happens well done! But this is just not always possible as networking is based on recommendations . How can you be recommended by people who do not know you? nor your work ethics? Or what your company does in depth?

2.      If you signed up for a club and you are never there (out of sight out of mind) how can the members learn to have confidence in you and the services that you offer so as to recommend you to people who trust them at their word.

Time, I’m sure you would agree is needed for others to get to know you, what you stand for, what you do and why you should be recommended above another company that may offer a similar service.

So what are some of the qualities needed for successful networking?

-         Dedication

-         Patience

-         Honesty

-         Trust

-         Living up to the expectations that you have built into others

But, wait! There is another vital ingredient needed:

Mutual Interest – When I first started networking I was against the whole Idea. ‘I do not have time for this.’ I felt. It was my business partner who knew the benefit of networking. I was scared I was going to be in a room full of people trying to force their services down my throat. I was determined that I was not going to be sold too I was there simply for our company only!

At my first networking event which was SBN Croydon I met Eny Osung who gave me a few words of advice that has shaped me over time ‘if you are here just for yourself, you will not last.’ He said.

I slowly got the point. In networking there needs to be mutual interest as a quote from Bob Burg says:

‘The successful networkers that I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other persons’ needs ahead of their own.’

He also states: ‘I like to define networking as cultivating a mutually beneficial, give and take, win-win relationships… The end result may be to develop a large and diverse group of people who will gladly and continually refer a lot of business to us, while we do the same for them.’

To truly benefit and come to enjoy networking, you need to have the right mindset

1: Make it part of your business plan (Visit a few groups and find the right one for you as I did when I found in BOB'S club in Croydon .)

2: You need to be determined to be there at every meeting (unless you absolutely cannot make it)

3: Get to know each member

4: Be patient (as you are not always going to receive referrals, and people need time to get to know you and feel comfortable to referrer you to others.)

5: Be trustworthy

6: Think about how you can help your team (Because at the end of the day when you are in a networking group. You are a team, working for each other interests)

7: When you see any one in your team get a referral, be happy for them, even if you did not receive one at that meeting. Your turn will come.

 The fact that referrals are taking place should show you that it works.

Remember Networking is a process that works and you can be successful at it, just keep going.

For more helpful advice on networking please take see further tips sent in by Ian Harris

from The First Friday of the month networking group in Croydon attached ( Networking Tips .)

We hope you found this article useful.

The Hired Secretary Team.

By C WALKER 30 Sep, 2016

HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS NETWORKING MORE EFFECTIVE

 

1.       Business Plan

Even before you go to a network meeting, have a written business plan.

This should include: What business targets do you want to achieve over periods, say, a month, 3 months, 1 year , 2 years…

What do you need to do to achieve the targets, If you need 1 new customer a month, you might need 5 warm prospects in the period, and to get the 5 warm prospects, you might need to contact 50 people. How many contacts do you need from networking and from other channels ( eg. web site, social media ) to identify the 50 ?

 

1.       Networking to be only a part of your business development plan.

Having decided you need to make say 30 contacts from networking, how many network events do you need to attend in a month ?

A contact could be someone you have exchanged cards with, or people whose cards you got, and will follow up by email or Linkedin

 

2.       Choice of networks groups

Many people go to the wrong type of group for their business.  ( for example: say the typical attendee at a group is a ‘one man/woman’ size of business, but you are looking for the medium sized company with 15 to 50 employees. ) Ask the group organizer in advance of the meeting about the profile of the attendees. But be careful of the organiser who says “ we don’t have any/many of that size of business at our group, but our attendees have ‘other contacts’. This is rarely successful and if you want to make contact ‘through’ a group, you have to be prepared to revisit regularly, get to know the attendees, then work with the helpful ones…

 

3.       Turn up early / plan to leave late

Turn up 15 minutes before the events starts, and  plan to leave 15 minutes after it finishes . You will meet and talk to good networkers in these periods…

 

4.       Your ‘Intro’ words ( one minute or otherwise )

                Speak slowly and concisely … too many people mumble

                State your name, company, and product or service.

                Confirm who you are looking for   and, try to include a memorable fact

 

5.       Have props / leaflets

If appropriate have a visual prop, or sample, to make your ‘presentation’  memorable.

 

6.       After the meeting communicate back with everyone there

Use email or Linkedin or text message to develop your list of business contacts

 

7.       Talk to the Group Organiser

Most network group organisers are very experienced in running these events. Ask him/her for any advice on your presentation words. Say you are interested to return to further meetings, and, can he/she recommend other network groups to attend ……..

 

8.       Ask about the other person’s business..

When talking to another person before or after an event… ask “ is there anything I can do to help your business” ? Stop thinking about YOU, think about HIM/HER.

 

9.     Following up.

Identify a few people to have follow up meetings with. Have your diary with you

                Log all contacts on a system, excel or a CRM system

 

      10.   Visit the chosen group(s) again and again …

                With most groups you will meet new people at every visit to the same group

                Build rapport with the people you have met.

               

…and finally. Don’t be afraid to talk to people who are ‘selling’ or promoting business building services: ( social media, web sites, business doctors/gurus , etc., etc . ) You will pick up good tips and ideas… and be prepared not to buy anything from him/her. However,  he /she may have something which suits you and your business… ..

 

…and finally, finally …..… look up and read about effective networking . Here’s one suggestion:                     www.businessballs.com

 

                                                                              Published by: Networkingaroundcroydon.co.uk

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By C WALKER 27 Sep, 2016

Ever wondered what it is like from the standpoint of our staff?

Take a moment to read an interview with Sandra Fernandes one of our remote workers who has been with us for over three months.

Find out how she feels about The Hired Secretary and the work.

1: Why did you choose this job?

I chose this job so I could be close to home where my children could have access to me.

2: What were your fears when you first started with us?

 The challenge if I would be able to cope.

3: What were your first impressions of the Hired Secretary?

The feeling that what if this does not work?

4: Would you recommend us to others? and Why?

Yes, I would and have already referred others as they could spend time with family and be around for their children. It would save them a lot of time and money with regard to travelling.

5: How do you feel working with us, and how do you feel about working with one of our clients?

 It has been a wonderful experience and I have received a lot of help from the management team. Working with the client has been great too in terms of pressure and time - the client has been very accommodating.

6:  What are your impression of the Hired Secretary now after the last few months?

It is a wonderful job for anyone who would like to take it easy in terms of travel and also you can work at your own pace and time.

7: W ould you recommend this service to other business who are considering using us? and Why?

They could save a lot of money on expensive offices as getting a place especially in London is very expensive and if something like this is available then it is great.

We would like to thank Sandra for taking the time to go through this interview with us and hope that you the reader feel the same way.

We would like to add that:

Sandra Fernandes is an excellent asset to our team, she is hard working and our client fell in love with her and her work ethic from day one. If you feel that you have what it takes to be a remote worker with The Hired Secretary, then please apply via our link below. We would love to hear from you.

https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/jobs

The Hired Secretary aim to give companies a professional and more affordable outsourcing solution to almost all office needs, and SME'S the opportunity to grow their businesses in a professional, and more affordable way. Last but not least we aim to give professional admin staff the opportunity to work around their responsibilities and be part of an incredible growing team.

Interested in our services? See our website for more information on the services that we offer, and our current prices:  https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/prices


By C WALKER 27 Sep, 2016

In the recent years, there has been a lot of bad press when it has come to our tradesmen or women. And this may have even affected the trust that many have when it comes to choosing one for themselves. But the truth is, that there are many who are excellent and value their profession and reputation. Today, thanks to the growing presence of such platforms as Checkatrade, Which? Trust Pilot, it is getting a lot easier for consumers to choose recommended traders.

But some tradesmen or women, especially those who may work as soloists are facing another issue that many consumers may at times find rather frustrating; but is completely understandable for the trade. That of missing calls, or as we have been informed by a professional platform, another common complaint is that some are not returning calls.

Why could this be the case? Our tradesmen and women work very hard to make a living; at times they are in a situation that we, the consumer, may not always see but may need to understand. That of having to use powerful tools, being in awkward situations in order to fulfill their roles that could be dangerous for them to take or make calls. Another challenge is that they are having to drive from one destination to the next, and at times in heavy traffic leaving them with the same challenge.

After a hard day’s work, when most of us maybe relaxing, they are having to send out quotes and invoices to clients and also reply to their emails. Then, they have to repeat the process the next day probably with aching bones and extreme tiredness. They definitely work hard for their pay and to support their families.

But is there any way that they can receive a little relief, leaving them free to concentrate on the work at hand and without breaking their bank balance? What about a solution that comes with no long-term commitment so that in the slower seasons they do not have to be scraping the barrel so to speak, paying out what they cannot afford? The answer is yes!

The answer: The Hired Secretary. The Hired Secretary was built with this industry in mind, in the beginning. Knowing the challenges that most tradesmen and women face we wanted to help them to maintain and protect their professional look, removing the burden of invoicing, calling and email answering from off of their shoulders.

From Call answering services to email answering services to our great office package deals with your own remote virtual PA we have the budget that can fit your needs.

If you are a tradesmen or women who would like to know more about how we The Hired Secretary can help you with your needs, please call for more information on 0800 368 9994 or email us at mail@hiredsecretary.com   our team will be happy to assist you.


By C WALKER 12 Sep, 2016

Jodianne Griffiths and Chenella Walker

The short answer is yes. Networking works if you are doing it in the correct way are patient and know why you are going.

Networking can help you build contacts that if nourished can lead to a mutually beneficial business relationship that may not seem to bear fruit right away but may do in the future. Your business name becomes more personalised as one is able to get to know the person behind the business, you build your brand, reputation, and trust.

 But how can we ensure that we are making the best out of networking?

Here are a few tips that we have had along the way that you may also find beneficial:

 1. You need to remember the purpose behind going to networking , be honest to yourself. We all want to benefit our companies and grow otherwise we would not go to these events. But do not forget that all who attend networking want the same thing. Therefore it should not be all about you, it needs to be about how both of you can benefit each other.

2. Pick wisely the type of networking event that you go to , they are not all going to be right for your company.

 3. Rather than speaking to everyone, only to be remembered by no-one. It may be wise to single out a few during each event and really getting to know each other and form quality connections.

4. Be honest! What do you do with all those business cards that you collect at these events? Are you building your own card shop ? Or do you get right on to forming a meaningful business connection?

5 . Act quickly before they forget who you are. Do not feel scared to call them, send an email. Let them know how great it was to meet them (if it was!) and that you hope to keep in touch.

6. Once you have made a connection arrange to meet up , get to know each other and each other’s businesses. This is vital, maybe you do not need each other’s services but should either of you come across someone who did, then it will be easier to give a recommendation on someone you have come to know and trust.

 We hope that these points will help you to build meaningful networking relationships.

Let us know how it goes by emailing us at mail@hiredsecretary.com  we would love to hear from you. Why not share your tips and we will include them in our next article on networking.

By C WALKER 09 Sep, 2016

Do you agree that we all have the right to be treated with respect?

From the cleaner to the CEO we all have the right to be treated fairly, after all, we are all made from the same material no matter what our bank balance.

Power, unfortunately, can go to the head. Believe me, I know, I have to fight against this horrible trait every day. If I am ever tempted to become like that, I just have to remind myself of the ones that I know who have, and know that I do not want to go there!

Knowing how a client treats others, is a sure sign of how they will treat your staff, company and you!

If they are dishonest with others, do not expect that they will be honest with you.

If you are a company that offers credit to your customers then be cautious. If you find out that a potential client does not pay his debt on time or at all. Do not expect that they are going to pay you on time or at all. You may have to adjust the way that you work with that particular client. (The Hired Secretary have a full credit checking facility in place for just £11.99 per company we can give you peace of mind on whether to extend credit.

The Credit Check Includes the following: 

  1. The recommended amount of credit limit
  2. Contract Limit
  3. Current Status
  4. Debt
  5. Industry Debt
  6. Shareholders
  7. Financials
  8. Event History
  9. Group Structure
  10. Image Documents
  11. Media Solutions
  12. Company Number, Incorporation date, etc.
 Where large sums of money are involved do not risk getting caught out. Call us today on 0800 368 9994 or email us at mail@hiredsecretary.com for more information)

Once you are satisfied that you and your client will benefit each other's business interests, and both of you are happy and feel secure in proceeding, then live up to the promises you have made to each other and do your best to represent your client's needs and interests.

Work as a team!

We hope that you enjoyed this series, we hope that it proved useful and we thank you for reading.

Please feel free to read the rest of this 5 part series the links are below.

1. https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/core-values

2. https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/is-this-client-right-for-my-company-part-0ne

3. https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/get-to-know-your-potential-client-part-two

4. https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/is-your-client-willing-to-trust-you-as-a-company


By C WALKER 08 Sep, 2016
If the answer is no, that is a bad sign! There needs to be an element of trust to enable you to work without trepidation or fear that they will be breathing down your neck making you dread coming to work the next day. It is important that your clients trust you to deliver the service that you have promised.

If the answer is yes, then this is a good sign that you will work together and build a good long term business relationship where there is mutual respect and trust, they should feel free to come to you if there are any issues and you should be happy to try to resolve them.

Do not be afraid to ask your potential client if they are willing to trust you. If they need reassurance be honest in giving it to them. Show them recommendations, that you have from previous clients job and let them know that you really do have their best interest at heart. After all they are most likely your next recommendation and the future of your company.

https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/is-this-client-right-for-my-company-part-0ne

https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/get-to-know-your-potential-client-part-two

https://www.hiredsecretary.co.uk/core-values

Please call us on 0800 368 9994 or visit our webpage at www.hiredsecretary.com
By C WALKER 07 Sep, 2016

Written by Jodianne Griffiths and Chenella Walker

Do you know what is your potential client looking to achieve? How can you as a company help them to get there? Take a personal interest in them and their company and talk to them about ways in which you can work together going forward. Take them out for lunch or for a coffee, get to know them in a more relaxed environment.

Remember, you want the best for their company and your own and more often than not, the other person desires the same. Getting to know each other is the first step in building a solid long term relationship.

Listen to the concerns that your potential client raises and if you cannot find a way to reassure them that you as a company can help them to overcome these challenges via the services you offer, be honest! It will look bad on you if you promise the earth only to deliver a stone.

Is that the reputation you want to build?

Do not be afraid to walk away if you find that you are not the right fit for each other and if you know another company that can deliver on their needs, don't be afraid to recommend them.

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/client-right-my-company-part-0ne-chenella-walker



By C WALKER 06 Sep, 2016

Choose the right client for your business

Written by Jodianne Griffiths and Chenella Walker

First, let me start by asking you one question; What is the ethos of your business? In order to identify with and attract the kind of clients that will work well with your business, you first need to understand exactly who you are as a business and what your core values are.   (Read our article on core values)

For example, are you going to be the type of company that takes on anyone as a client, regardless of whether they fit in with your business or you with theirs? How can your business do its clients justice if it isn’t properly able to address their needs?

Surely the aim of your business should be to provide value to clients, thus ensuring your success as a business as these customers keep on relying on the services that your company has to offer.

If most of your time and resources are spent chasing up late payments, trying in vain to contact your client to relay important information, or worst still constantly having to remind your client of the terms of the client agreement which they seem neither to understand nor respect, then maybe it’s time to have a serious think about whether this client is right for your business.

The long-term consequence of such a client relationship is lost productivity and a deviation from your company goals and values. It is crucial to know what you are aiming for as a company, how you want to be viewed and therefore the type of client you would like to attract.

It is all too easy to get in a frenzy trying to gather as many new clients as possible and in doing so invariably attract clients which rather than helping your business to move forward, lead to you becoming side-tracked. So the next time you are in the process of signing a client, take a moment to think carefully and analyse whether it will be a fruitful relationship for all parties.

Look out for Part 2 of this 5 part series of articles discussing how to attract more “best-fit clients” to your business

The Hired Secretary ( www.hiredsecretary.com )


By C WALKER 05 Sep, 2016

Our Core Values

What are core values? YourDictionary.com puts it this way:

Core values are the guiding principles that dictate behaviour and action. Core values can help people to know what is right from wrong. They help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their business goals, and they create an unwavering and unchanging guide.

We all have core values that drive us. Do you agree?

So what are the core values behind The Hired Secretary? I could answer this question with words such as empathy, simplicity, honesty and professionalism, but what does all this mean?

Below is a brief summary of our core values in context.

Equal Opportunities

Right from the start The Hired Secretary was determined to be an equal opportunities employer. In a changing world where ever increasing demands are placed on our time and resources, there is a growing number of us seeking flexible working opportunities. Many people struggle to get back in to work after some life changing event such as parenthood. It could be that someone is housebound due to disability or ill-health but is still fully capable of working from home bringing value not just to themselves and their families but also to the economy as a whole.

Jobs change lives! Creating earning opportunities for people who would otherwise struggle to gain employment gives us a huge sense of satisfaction here at The Hired Secretary.


Creating Opportunity for Growth

It’s not just individuals who benefit from the work we do here at Hired Secretary HQ. SMEs and especially start-up companies with limited capital and resources to adequately address their staffing needs can benefit from our ethos, which is to create opportunity for growth. Our packages are kept simple and are tailored in such a way as to give our clients complete office support for a very reasonable price. This enables growth by allowing business owners to pass over the handling of tedious office tasks to someone qualified, leaving them free to focus more fully on the more important aspects of their company thus taking their business to the next level.


Team Players

Every client is a part of our team. We work alongside each and every one to ensure that they are moving forward in a positive direction and the relationship we have with them is one of honesty and mutual respect. When we engage with the customers of our clients we do so with the utmost professionalism, upholding the positive image of our client’s brand.

Our staff are respected and their views and concerns are treated with the utmost importance. Their happiness and success is the driving force behind our company and as such we are constantly seeking new ways to challenge and develop them, thus enriching their lives, which results in a more efficient service for our clients and the growth of our company.

If you share our values and want to find out more about working with The Hired Secretary or are interested in any of our services, then please call us on 0800 368 9994.

The Hired Secretary are a virtual office with a difference, we are the company that cares.

Don't take our word for it! Try it for yourself. Visit our website for more details at  www.hiredsecretary.com .


By Chenella Walker and Jodianne Griffiths

By C WALKER 02 Sep, 2016

So it is that time again when your staff are asking for days off and going on holiday. Which is great... For them at least! and believe it or not, it is also great for your business.

Why? Because, when that member of staff comes back, they are usually refreshed and get back to work with an increased level of productivity.

But whilst they're away, you have to fill the gap and the deal with the pressure that their absence may bring on the rest of your staff.

This is where you need The Hired Secretary we work exclusively with administrative and office professionals who are keen to help you relieve the pressure that may be posed by staff absences.

We have a database of well trained and vetted staff that is available to you at very competitive rates.

Call us today to fill that gap on   0800 368 9994.   We will be happy to help you.

By C WALKER 31 Aug, 2016

In business, there are enough hurdles that need to be overcome especially when it comes to business startups. But there is one that you do not have to experience. Let me tell you all about it!


I remember the days when I was on the road going from company to company promoting our services. I had office calls being diverted to my mobile phone and sheets of advertising paper to hand. Hoping that the pain and struggle would all be worth it.


The events of one particular day sticks in my mind as though it were just yesterday. I had just delivered a leaflet to an agency and within 5 minutes I received a call to my mobile phone.

I was walking by a Lidl supermarket and in that instant my hope, and at the same time worst nightmare was unfolding.


The hope was that someone would call. The nightmare was that someone would call when I was outside of the office. With all the confidence I could muster I answered the phone hoping that they could not tell that I was on the road with a million cars zooming by in the background and that the same person who had just delivered their leaflet was indeed the same person with whom they were now speaking.


The words I longed to hear were spoken, just not in the situation or environment that I desired to be in;   'we have just received a leaflet from one of your colleagues and wanted to know what your prices are.'   said the voice. My mind was racing as I asked myself what it was that I should do? I had to think quick on my feet to disguise my whereabouts whilst trying to stay calm and collected.

You will be relieved to know that they did become a client and they are till this day.

The truth of the matter is, had they recognised at that moment the whole situation or had I missed that call the business could have lost over £25,000.00 pounds worth of revenue each year.

When it comes to new clientele, as a startup company you are up against companies that have already built a reputation in business. You now need to build yours.

Therefore, can you really afford to miss calls? Can you really afford not show a professional front from the moment that a client decides to pick up the phone and trust you with their reputation, business or home if you are a tradesman?

If you are looking to grow, then the answer is no! This is where The Hired Secretary come into the picture. We are the company that backs up your company at the moment that you need it the most. We understand the challenges that startup companies face and want to give you the best start.

Whether it is that you need a personal assistant working remotely, someone to answer your calls, do your paperwork, scan, print or mailing we have the solution for you.

If you need office staff to cover maternity leave, staff absences or looking for permanent office staff we are the missing piece to your office solutions.

The Hired Secretary offer affordable hourly rates with no long-term contracts and piece of mind.

Don't take my word for it! here is a recent feedback:

All admin related works

Incredible how lightweighted my working life has now become after employing The Hired Secretary - this also stands for my personal life as well.

Call us today on 0203 621 9222 or on 0800 368 9994 for more information or visit our website at   www.hiredsecretary.com.

By C WALKER 07 Jul, 2016
The Hired Secretary are launching a new avenue to their business on the 25th of July 2106.

We will now be providing office admin, personal assistants and secretaries as well as  remote workers. This is because of the demand for this service and also the fact that not all desire to work from home. 

We will have a special team that will dedicated to this side of our company ensuring that we keep our standards high.

Our specialty will always be for remote workers as a company, but now we are allowing making space for choose for both client and applicant.

We hope that you will support us on this new venture and look forward to hearing any comments.
By C WALKER 22 Jun, 2016
We are looking for highly competent, organised and reliable individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds to join our company. The roles we offer are all on a zero hour contract basis and home based and as such you must possess strong time management skills.
 
You will provide remote business admin support from your home office to a wide range of businesses across varying industries.

Our roles offer flexibility as you have the freedom to choose the number of hours you work per week.

You will work remotely from your home office using various cloud services and as such require a good internet connection (internet speed test will be required if successful at interview stage).

We are looking for candidates with experience in any of the following:

* Property Management
* Property Administration
* Legal Administration
* Accounts/Book Keeping
* Office Administration
* Executive Assistant
* Personal Assistant
* Data Entry
* Database Management
* Content Writing
* Copywriting
* Proof-reading
* Ghost-writing
* Digital Marketing

Requirements:*

* At least 2 years' experience in any of the above.
* Computer literate with excellent Microsoft Office skills or Apache Open Office
* Proactive and committed to delivering a high quality of service
* High level of accuracy and excellent attention to detail
* Effective communication skills (both written and verbal)
* Able to prioritise workload and work without close supervision

We are seeking individuals who will grow with our company. We are a recruitment firm dedicated to saving business owners time and money whilst ensuring that the professional look of their company is maintained at all times. We do this by providing them with highly competent remote employees.

Our mission is to help companies to save money on the cost of hiring, whilst providing earning opportunities for the likes of stay at home parents, those who may have disabilities which prevent them from leaving the house and the unemployed.

For those who join our team, or hourly rate starts from £7.20 - £10.50 depending on the work load.

You will receive full training on all the software that you would be expected to use on a daily basis. We will make use of e-conferencing software to facilitate training and skills tests e.g. typing exercises, punctuation and speaking tests, which will all be done online.

We will require at least 2 references from your previous employers and in some cases a CRB check will also be required.

Interview will be via Skype and in some cases the successful candidate will be required to take a typing speed test as well as a test to gauge their knowledge of Microsoft Office.

Don't delay in submitting your application. We have several roles available and are hiring as quickly as possible to be able to fulfil the needs of our growing client base.

Closing date Monday the 27th of July 2016. Interviews will be conducted on Thursday the 30th between 1.30pm and 6.30pm.
By C WALKER 15 Jun, 2016
JUN 7, 2016 @ 08:32 AM                                                                                                        The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets


Why The 8-Hour Workday Doesn't Work

Travis Bradberry   CONTRIBUTOR

I cover emotional intelligence and leadership performance.  

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.


The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.

The eight-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work 200 years ago, yet it possesses little relevance for us today.

Like our ancestors, we’re expected to put in eight-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Heck, most people even work right through their lunch hour!


This antiquated approach to work isn’t helping us; it’s holding us back.

The Best Way To Structure Your Day

A study recently conducted by the Draugiem Group used a computer application to track employees’ work habits. Specifically, the application measured how much time people spent on various tasks and compared this to their productivity levels.

In the process of measuring people’s activity, they stumbled upon a fascinating finding: the length of the workday didn’t matter much; what mattered was how people structured their day. In particular, people who were religious about taking short breaks were far more productive than those who worked longer hours.

The ideal work-to-break ratio was 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest. People who maintained this schedule had a unique level of focus in their work. For roughly an hour at a time, they were 100% dedicated to the task they needed to accomplish. They didn’t check  Facebook   FB +0.30%  “real quick” or get distracted by emails. When they felt fatigue (again, after about an hour), they took short breaks, during which they completely separated themselves from their work. This helped them to dive back in refreshed for another productive hour of work.

Your Brain Wants An Hour On, 15 Minutes Off

People who have discovered this magic productivity ratio crush their competition because they tap into a fundamental need of the  human mind : the brain naturally functions in spurts of high energy (roughly an hour) followed by spurts of low energy (15–20 minutes).

For most of us, this natural ebb and flow of energy leaves us wavering between focused periods of high energy followed by far less productive periods, when we tire and succumb to distractions.

The best way to  beat exhaustion  and frustrating distractions is to get intentional about your workday. Instead of working for an hour or more and then trying to battle through distractions and fatigue, when your productivity begins to dip, take this as a sign that it’s time for a break.

Real breaks are easier to take when you know they’re going to make your day more productive. We often let fatigue win because we continue working through it (long after we’ve lost energy and focus), and the breaks we take aren’t  real  breaks (checking your e-mail and watching YouTube doesn’t recharge you the same way as taking a walk does).

Take Charge Of Your Workday

The eight-hour workday can work for you if you break your time into strategic intervals. Once you align your natural energy with your effort, things begin to run much more smoothly. Here are four tips that will get you into that perfect rhythm.

Break your day into hourly intervals. We naturally plan what we need to accomplish by the end of the day, the week, or the month, but we’re far more effective when we focus on what we can accomplish right now. Beyond getting you into the right rhythm, planning your day around hour-long intervals simplifies daunting tasks by breaking them into manageable pieces. If you want to be a literalist, you can plan your day around 52-minute intervals if you like, but an hour works just as well.

Respect your hour. The interval strategy only works because we use our peak energy levels to reach an extremely high level of focus for a relatively short amount of time. When you disrespect your hour by texting, checking emails, or doing a quick Facebook check, you defeat the entire purpose of the approach.

Take  real  rest. In the study at Draugiem, they found that employees who took more frequent rests than the hourly optimum were more productive than those who didn’t rest at all. Likewise, those who took deliberately relaxing breaks were better off than those who, when “resting,” had trouble separating themselves from their work. Getting away from your computer, your phone, and your to-do list is essential to boosting your productivity. Breaks such as walking, reading, and chatting are the most effective forms of recharging because they take you away from your work. On a busy day, it might be tempting to think of dealing with emails or making phone calls as breaks, but they aren’t, so don’t give in to this line of thought.

Don’t wait until your body tells you to take a break. If you wait until you feel tired to take a break, it’s too late—you’ve already missed the window of peak productivity. Keeping to your schedule ensures that you work when you’re the most productive and that you rest during times that would otherwise be unproductive. Remember, it’s far more productive to rest for short periods than it is to keep on working when you’re tired and distracted.


By C WALKER 12 Jun, 2016
The Hired Secretary have decided that they will no longer be using the services of freelancers from the 1st of July 2016. As of the 1st of July all staff will be of an employed nature. 

The reason for this change:

- We believe that staff deserve the benefits that come with employment.
- This will allow us to offer a higher standard of care,  work and support to our clients than we already do.
- We are striving for a fairer services to all.

You can be assured that this will only improve the services and system that we already have in place for all our clients but also for our staff.

Our company efos is, always and will always be to be affordable and to give companies a reliable services that they need to grow. 

For more information on our rates and services, or for a no obligation quote and consultation please feel free to call us on 0800 368 9994 or to fill out one of our contact forms.

The Hired Secretary
By C WALKER 10 Jun, 2016
Welcome everyone to our new website. We hope that you like it as much as we do. Thank you for all your support and your patience.

It has been a very hard couple of months but we can say that it was worth the wait and all the behind the scenes effort that our team has put in to updating our current policies, and pricing structure etc. 

Our thanks also goes out to Yell for their help in following our brief and all the effort they have put into creating this new website for us.

We thank our freelancers for all the hard work they are doing for the clients, and the understanding they have shown during this period of change. 

We also want to thank our clients for their custom we hope to continue to serve you for many years to come. 

We are working hard in behalf of both our clients and our freelancers and we hope that our efforts and affordable rates will continue to help many now and in the future as we strive to grow as a company.

Regards to you all
The Hired Secretary
By C WALKER 10 Jun, 2016
How can I stay motivated working from home?

Watch this video to find out by clicking the photo above.
By C WALKER 10 Jun, 2016
Ten Benefits of working from home

Click above to watch
By C WALKER 10 Jun, 2016

The search for an office space

Posted on 23 May, 2016 at 16:25

 

Hi Everyone,

I just had to share this with you all. So as you know we here at The Hired Secretary are big advocates of working from home and we run our business from our home office in order to keep costs low for our clients whilst still offering an excellent service.

We realise the benefits of working from home and want others to have the same opportunity. But to be honest, we are a growing company and things are starting to get a little cramped here, so my business partner and I started looking into renting an office space.

We went to see three offices last Friday, all picked out for us by a lovely lady from a local office brokerage company. My oh my what an eye-opening experience! You would not believe the size of the spaces that people are being asked to fork out over £600 per month for excluding VAT. My bedroom is bigger than the spaces that were on offer! So that's £600 excluding VAT, business rates, phone line and internet costs. By the time you add all these things on you are sailing very close to a grand each and every month for a space that's not much bigger than a broom cupboard. Ok maybe a slight exaggeration there, but I hope you get my drift.

Oh and to add insult to injury, you have to pay extra for use of a meeting space. I don't know if I am missing something here, but surely there is something very wrong with this picture.

Don't get me wrong the offices were nicely put together, except the one that looked like a jail cell with the damp patch on the ceiling, but I guess my point is this; wouldn't that money, almost £1000 a month be better invested in growing your business rather than investing in a space which is quite frankly inadequate in the size department? and does not even include running a team. Ah, yeah about that, I forgot to mention that you have to pay per desk space required when you rent most of these offices. Then on top of that don't forget you have to pay all your staff, by the time we added it all up, we may have been looking at being bankrupt by month 6, ha ha.

All jokes aside, if you are fortunate enough to not have a suitably sized space at home, and like us do not want to pay an over the top price for a ludicrously small office space, then the other option is to consider a virtual office and all the services that go along with this, such as that offered by us here at The Hired Secretary.

Having an office space is exciting, as a business owner, you feel a huge sense of accomplishment when you are finally able to graduate to that next level and have an official space for your business, but really when you think about it, you are quite literally paying a second rent or mortgage. So unless you absolutely have to, do not waste your money, let The Hired Secretary be your office.

 

Call us today on 0800 368 9994 and see how making us your office will save you more than you think.

 

The Hired Secretary Team

By C WALKER 10 Jun, 2016

New Website Design

Posted on 1 June, 2016 at 9:25

 

Dear All,

We are expecting the revealing of our new website this week, don't worry we have kept our domain name. We would love your feedback, so please let us know what you think.

Kind regards

Admin Team

Working from home 'more productive.'

Posted on 16 May, 2016 at 17:35

 

 

 

From the section Magazine

Working from home 'more productive'

 

The UK's largest ever flexible working pilot found workers were more productive, happier and richer if they did not go into the office.

Studies consistently show that working from home is more productive

Although working from home is already routinely used across a range of businesses, the pilot conducted by O2 in February is claimed to be the largest single day when staff who would normally work in an office were compelled to work from home. Studies show that young workers increasingly regard working from home a 'right' rather than a privilege.

Of 3,000 Slough workers, just 125 "mission critical" people worked from their desks as normal. The remaining staff saved a collective £9,000 in reduced commuting costs, while 14 per cent said they saw more of their families and 36 per cent said they were more productive than when at work.

An additional 1,000 hours, time otherwise spent commuting, was spent working. Workers said they spent a further 1,000 extra hours sleeping and otherwise relaxing.

The trial was conducted as part of O2's preparation for anticipated disruption during the Olympics, a period when the Government is encouraging more businesses to let their staff work from home.

The company upgraded its virtual private network to allow computer users to securely access files and the firm's internal websites, and also improved software to allow users to collaborate from home.

Related Articles

Escape to the country: internet paves way for surge in working from home 04 Jun 2014

Whitehall to practise working from home for Olympics 25 Jan 2012

Work from home and save Treasury £15bn a year, says Eric Pickles 07 Nov 2011

Students' 'right' to work from home 02 Nov 2011

Working from home 'exhausting' 09 Nov 2011

Home working 'allows employees to clock up an extra couple of days of work a week' 05 Jun 2010

Home working requires adequate broadband access to connect to work networks, and increasingly also uses domestic video-conferencing. A Government-backed report indicated it could save the State up to £15billion a year if more employees worked remotely.

Environmental improvements, including a 12.2tonne reduction in CO2 emissions, were also recorded while almost 1,000 fewer cars were recorded on the campus. Gas use, however, rose due to the lack of body heat warming the building. Electricity and water use decline 12 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.

Ben Dowd, O2's business director, claimed "The principles underlying flexible working really are the principles that will build the future of work, and determine the way that people, technology and buildings interact in the decades and centuries ahead."

He said the experiment showed that both managers and staff benefitted from new ways of working and also "proves that even the largest organisations can protect themselves from the most severe disruptions to their business".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9182464/Working-from-home-more-productive.html


Our new face lift coming soon!

Posted on 15 May, 2016 at 10:35

 

Hello everyone,

We would like to update you about our new look webpage face lift that should be up and running by early June. We hope that there will be no interruption to our webpage during this time. But would appreciate your patience and understanding if this should be the case. We will continue to keep you updated.

We hope that you are as excited as we are and we look forward to your views when it does arrive.

Kind regards to you all

The Hired Secretary Team

New pricing structure

Posted on 14 May, 2016 at 16:25

 

Dear All,

We would like to inform you that as of the May the 13th our pricing structure has been changed. This new pricing structure will allow us to continue providing high quality staff and to ensure that you will always get the best quality service as well as value for money, it will also allow for a more efficient pricing system for our clients, whilst giving them a more transparent view.

We look forward to hearing you.

Kind regards

The Hired Secretary.

Our first endorsement

Posted on 11 May, 2016 at 0:25

 

Dear All,

We would like to anounce that as of the 10/05/2016 The Hired Secretary became a proud member of Checkaprofessional. We hope this will be the first of many endorsements. Please feel free to view our page and even leave a review by clicking the link below.

http://www.checkaprofessional.com/TheHiredSecretary/

Kind regards

The Hired Secretary Team

 

View Older Entries»  

By C WALKER 10 Jun, 2016

More Changes!

Posted on 5 May, 2016 at 13:40

  comments (0)

Dear All,

We have some more changes coming to our webpage. We hope that these changes will be of great benefit to our customers and future customers.

We look forward to getting your views.

Kind regards

The Hired Secretary.

When do I need a virtual assistant?

Posted on 5 May, 2016 at 7:15

 

Professional posting service

Posted on 22 April, 2016 at 14:10

  comments (0)

Dear all,

Guess what! We have done away with stamps and will now be using a professional stamping system which allows us to offer you even more savings.

This also allows us to ensure that we maintain a professional image for you right down to the envelope we send out in your behalf.

Hoping this brings you a smile!

The Hired Secretary Team.

Vacancies

Posted on 16 April, 2016 at 17:35

  comments (0)

If you would like to apply to join our team of secretaries. Please visit our job section for more information on how to proceed.

www.hiredsecretary.com/jobs

More expected updates

Posted on 16 April, 2016 at 3:15

  comments (0)

Hello everyone,

We would like to inform you that over the next few weeks we will be making a few changes and updating our webpage. We hope that these changes will make navigating, locating and understanding information alot more easier for our visiters.

A few good developements are also on the way.

The Hired Secretary Ltd.

 

Website Updates

Posted on 16 April, 2016 at 0:15

  comments (0)

Dear All,

We are currently in the process of updating our website. We thank you for your patience and understanding in the meantime and look forward to  

 

Advancement in mail forwading

Posted on 2 February, 2016 at 10:45

  comments (0)

Dear all,

We thought you would like to know that we now can now set up your company with its own Central London EC1 mail forwarding address. Making your business stand out even more.

We hope that this is happy news for you. We are always looking for ways to improve or services, if you have any suggestions please let us know.

 

Thank you.

The Hired Secretary Team

New number

Posted on 1 February, 2016 at 0:40

  comments (0)

Hello all, we now have our new number and are very excited. Give us a call! We want to hear from you.

New Number coming soon!

Posted on 25 January, 2016 at 0:50

  comments (0)

Hello all! we would like to inform you that the company's new and permanant number will be arriving on or by the end of January. We are so  

excited to show you all the new changes that are soon to come.

Businesses we have wonderful things in store for you.

Keep watching this space. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

The Hired Secretary Team

Changes

Posted on 24 January, 2016 at 17:05

  comments (0)

Hello all, we would kindly ask for you to bare with us as we are making a few changes to the website clearing up mistakes and getting things ready for the end of January. We thank you for your patience and understanding in the meantime and we are hoping to speak to you soon.;)

Welcome all!

Posted on 3 January, 2016 at 17:15

  comments (0)

We want to welcome you to The Hired Secretary. If you have admin experience, are self motivated, have your own computer, internet service then we are currently hiring please feel free to email us your CV to jobs@hiredsecretary.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

BBC News on minimum wage and you

Posted on

  comments (0)

The new National Living Wage and you

1 April 2016

From the section Business

Shop workers will be amongst those to benefit from the National Living Wage

One of George Osborne's big ideas - the National Living Wage (NLW) - comes into effect on 1 April 2016.

It is likely to be popular with 1.3m workers over 25 who will benefit immediately , but several big employers have said it will hit their profits badly. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has also warned that 60,000 jobs will be lost as a direct result.

Not to be confused with either the National Minimum Wage - or the Living Wage - the NLW should boost the incomes of many of the UK's most poorly-paid employees.

So how will the National Living Wage work, and what does it mean for you?

What is the new National Living Wage?

It will be paid to workers aged 25 and above. Initially, it will be set at £7.20 an hour, with a target of it reaching more than £9 an hour by 2020. Part-time and full-time workers will get it.

It will give a pay rise to 1.3m workers this year, according to the OBR. But it is expected to cost 60,000 jobs and reduce hours worked by four million a week.

Some employers - particularly those in London- have promised to pay even more than the NLW.

How is this different to the National Minimum Wage?

The technical answer is that the minimum wage will remain in place, and the compulsory living wage will be a top-up for workers aged 25 and over.

The fact that it is compulsory has led some to say that this is simply a rebranded minimum wage.

The National Minimum Wage rates are upgraded in October each year.

These are the current rates:

National Minimum Wage rates 2015/16

Age Minimum rate

Over 25 (NLW) £7.20 an hour

21-25 £6.70

18-20 £5.30

16-17 £3.87

Apprentices £3.30

Source: DWP

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33463231

 

We are currently hiring new secretaries!

Posted on

  comments (0)

We are currently hiring new secretaries, you are welcome to send your CV'S to jobs@hiredsecretary.com for consideration..

We hope to hear from you soon!

The Hired Secretary Team.

 

 

 

By C WALKER 10 Jun, 2016
I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I’m super excited to start this journey. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.
By C WALKER 10 Jun, 2016
Anyone can make one:
For better or worse, anyone can write a blog post about anything they want. Everyone has a voice and the best voices will rise to the top.

The writer can show their personality:
In blog posts, the writer has more leeway to add in their voice and personality than other types of writing.

Blogs are a great form of mass communication:
You can help people, learn new things, entertain your audience—the possibilities are endless and amazing. Blogging opens up all of these to a very wide audience.

You can make money:

Get the right blog going and you can make a lot of money through advertising and sponsored posts.

It allows people to craft better thoughts:
Instead of reading haphazard, uneducated Facebook statuses, it’s much better to see people’s thought process in a well-written blog post.

You can establish a community:
Blogging allows you to connect with other individuals who share the same interests. Sharing ideas and opinions within your community helps establish yourself as a thought leader.

Good for SEO:
Keeping content on your site fresh and relevant, you can use your blog to boost the search engine ranking (SEO) of your site and your business.

It brings people back to your site:

If your blog is strong enough and updated regularly, people will come back looking for more and bring traffic back to your site as well.

It’s free:
It costs you a grand total of zero dollars to post to the blog, so if you have something to say, there’s nothing to stop you.

You can establish yourself as a thought leader:

A blog is a great place for your original thoughts, and it can be a wonderful way to show off your individuality. If people like your ideas, you can become a thought leader in your industry!

What else do you love about blogs? Let me know!
By C WALKER 29 Jun, 2017

Broadly speaking, in life you tend to come across three types of people; the pessimist, who constantly complains about the wind that blows; the optimist, who expects it will change; and the realist who adjusts their sail to cope with whatever wind that blows, facing head on the challenges posed by present circumstances whatever they may be. The question is, which one are you?

More often than not, the way you deal with life's challenges is very likely the way that you will deal with the challenges that you face within business.

Having a pessimistic spirit in business will only see you giving up at one too many hurdles. Being an optimist is great but things will not always turn out as planned. However, optimism is great at keeping you going in times when things seem bleak.

The realist is one who looks upon and evaluates a situation and makes plans to navigate their way to where they desire to be. Along the way they make adjustments to ensure that the current takes them to their destination. This actually requires quite a lot of optimism.

So how can being a realist in business help you to push forward? Well, success in any endeavor requires prior planning and preparation, and part of this preparation requires you to be honest enough about the situation that you are currently in and the likely hood that financially, emotionally and physically you can sail through the storms to get to your desired location.

It is important to realise that planning is a key ingredient in success. The popular saying goes "fail to plan and you plan to fail". I couldn't think of better words to express such a timeless philosophy more succinctly than these. Before the planning however, comes something of even greater significance; and that is vision. Our vision enables us to project far beyond our present circumstances. Having a clear and concise vision about where you want to end up is something that many people take for granted. No matter how much optimism you may have about a project or business idea, without vision you will be unable to make adequate plans to make it the success you desire.

It most definitely will not be an easy sail, but if you can get clear on your vision, that will be more than half the battle won. Once you know where you are heading, it will just be a matter of drawing up the plans and mapping out your journey. You will undoubtedly come up against many hurdles, and when you do your vision will see you through.

So, although easier said than done, get clear on your vision, then take out that pen and paper and map out your journey, all the while being fully prepared to re-evaluate your plans and make adjustments along the way.

We hope that you have found this article useful. Please look out for the next 'When thank you just is not enough'.


Written By Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffiths

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 29 Jun, 2017

There are times in your life when you just must sit back and reflect on the things that are most important. These are the moments in which you ponder over how and why you were able to get through those challenging times in order to be where you are at this very moment.

You reflect on the few who rode the rough waves of uncertainty with you, never letting you give up hope. The ones who made the sacrifices and shared the ups and downs emotionally, mentally and at times even physically despite having their own personal issues and responsibilities.

In this article I'd like to take the opportunity to name and thank the people who have been key in the success of The Hired Secretary thus far. No doubt there will be others who will join us along the way and who will contribute to our future success, but I think that it is important to take the time to acknowledge the loyalty and dedication of those who have worked hard in behalf of your business vision, and I would encourage every company to do the same.

Firstly, my wonderful business partner Jodianne Griffiths, I have to say a massive thank you for taking such a huge risk and agreeing to come into business with me. I do not believe that many would have made the sacrifices that she has made and endured along with me over the last year. Despite the immense responsibilities that comes with being a mum of young twins, along with full time study commitments, not only has she stuck with it but she has never ever lost faith in the results of what we are trying to build. Thank you for helping to drive us forward in those moments when we felt like giving up and for sticking by us when situations seemed almost impossible.

Our second business partner Sophie Perianayangassammy, started as an employee and friend, not expecting the heartaches and the difficulties that we encountered. Yet when the storm hit the ship she has never faltered in her devotion and loyalty towards us a company. She is fully aligned with our vision and has always sought ways to help us grow and keep the business alive.

Loyalty is a quality which holds the fabric of our relationships together. It takes great strength of character to remain loyal to anyone and anything especially during adverse conditions, so thanks to you both for your trust and support over this past year and a half.

Next up is Angelina Perianagasassammy, our soon to be apprentice. From the very first day of her work experience here at our office we saw something in Angelina that she had not yet seen in herself. Her strong sense of character and focus has helped us to achieve a great many things as a company, which is why it was so easy to accept her as an apprentice through the Croydon College for September 2017. Wise beyond her years, Angelina has been a real inspiration to our team and we look forward to growing alongside her.

Last but not least I would like to thank my sweet angel, my precious daughter Shakira. Admittedly it has not been the easiest year this past year, but she has never gave up hope. She has supported me and the company and has dealt with situations in a very grown up manner. I can't tell you how proud this makes me feel as a mother.

Sometimes, in the hubbub of daily life we may not take the time to say those all important words that employees may just long to hear. Some people feel that it's simply not necessary to say "Thank You", after all, they get a wage don't they? Isn't that enough? The answer is quite simply, no, it is not enough. The relationships you build with people are of far greater value than money. Start by reflecting on the difference that people have made to you on your journey and acknowledge it. There are so many ways to express gratitude for those working hard day in day out to achieve success for you and your company. You could host an office lunch in their honour, award certificates or small gifts for any significant achievements, but more often than not, a simple "thank you for your help today" or "well done on the way you handled that situation" goes a very long way in making your employees feel valued and part of the bigger picture of your company vision.

However you choose to express your gratitude, start today. I can guarantee that you will have a more cohesive team effort with everyone working together to achieve the best results.

Once again, I'd like to say a big "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart to my team and clients for their loyalty and hard work. Let's continue to work together to achieve something better for all involved. I am looking forward to a stronger more successful year for us all.

 Written By Chenella Walker and edited by Jodianne Griffiths.

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


By C WALKER 29 Jun, 2017

If you have ever watched a cat chase the dot of a laser beam you will know how frantically they follow its lead, trying hopelessly in vain to get a hold of it. In the end, for their efforts they are rewarded with less energy.

Can we relate this to our feelings in business? Chasing hopelessly after every red beam that presents itself in our lives. I'd certainly say so!

Some people are very focused, they know what it is they are looking to achieve and they will not be side tracked. Then you have those who pounce on every hopeful sounding business venture that presents itself. These are the easily distracted, the ones who just like a cat are trying in vain to catch a laser beam, only to find that the reality was a lot different from the dream they had been sold.

Is there anything wrong with this? Let me say that I'm not here to judge; each to his own I say. In the end, it really depends on your 'Why'. Why do you do what you do? For some it will be to support themselves and their loved ones; for others it's the thrill of earning money and still for others they do it because they would like something to look back on knowing that they have achieved the goals they set for themselves. For you, it could be one or more of the above.

Chasing the 'laser beam' can lead to unwanted and even disastrous results which leave us lacking in energy and motivation to pursue our 'Why'. This is why one must be very selective about how and what you choose to invest your time and finances in. Many of the so-called business opportunities with which we are presented either require far more energy than we initially thought, or are just designed to sell us dreams, side-tracking us from actually making any real progress in achieving our vision.

So, is the red beam tempting you? Take a step back, evaluate whether you can juggle the demands that your present business needs and that of what the new opportunity may demand from you.

Once you have considered all this and have come to the conclusion that it is worth the distraction, take some decisive action.

We hope that you enjoyed this article. Please look out for our next one.

Written by Chenella Walker edited by Jodianne Griffiths.

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The Hired Secretary are your specialist office and remote office recruitment agency. You can contact us on 0800 368 9994.


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