Welcome back from a short break from our monthly blog posts. It doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy here at Westbury Admin Services, but we felt it was a good opportunity to use the extra time away from writing our monthly blogs to take stock of our business and make decisions about what other services we could potentially offer our clients – more of that to come in our blog next month!
What a strange year 2020 has been so far – the Covid-19 pandemic is something none of us could ever have predicted; even now there is a huge amount of uncertainty about how the next few months will pan out.
We are unfortunately fully aware that there are many businesses out there in a wide variety of industries that have really struggled to keep all of their staff and remain open. Coupled with this many have had to make huge changes in a very short space of time to ensure that their staff and customers stay safe. Sadly, some have had to close altogether, or are likely to close in the near future unless things change drastically for them.
On a recent trip to London (with social distancing and wearing of masks of course!) this was all too apparent. Some of the streets in London were eerily quiet – and even Covent Garden seemed like a ghost town – hardly anyone walking around or sitting having a coffee to watch the world go by. There were so many pubs and restaurants with closed doors and dead flowers in their window boxes. Theatres were still advertising amazing productions – but their doors were sadly firmly closed. Many shops (especially independent) were also closed, perhaps never to reopen.
The repercussions of Covid-19 will affect businesses in many different industries for a long time to come, especially with a new level of uncertainty about rising cases and local lockdowns.
Luckily for us at Westbury Admin Services, we have managed to continue providing our usual full range of services for our clients and have carried on working throughout lockdown. And for that, we feel incredibly grateful and in no way complacent about the situation.
In a way, this is a good time for Virtual Assistants. Firstly, we work from home as a matter of course – so it hasn’t been unusual for us to live and work within the same four walls as it has been for some people. All of our work equipment is already set up at home and fully operational (most of the time!). It has been a big challenge for many companies to quickly set-up and maintain the logistics of so many employees working from home, ensuring everyone has the correct equipment/connectivity to be able to carry out their jobs effectively and with as little stress as possible.
As Virtual Assistants we are naturally proficient at juggling our workload and adapting to challenging and new situations; we usually have a number of clients on our books, all requiring different services with varied time constraints. This allows us to be able to offer our clients support in adapting to the changing situations that they themselves are facing – offering advice and carrying out any necessary research on their behalf.
Virtual meetings rather than face-to-face meetings have now become the ‘new normal’ for many companies by way of Zoom/Skype/Microsoft Teams etc and many employers and employees that weren’t familiar with these have had to train on these platforms very quickly. However, this is something we are already used to, having never met some of our clients face-to-face, instead of relying on virtual meetings/phone calls and email communication with clients that are not local to us or are even based abroad.
With ever more reliance on a virtual way of working, companies may find that having a wider-ranging and more regular social media presence is more important to them than ever to get noticed and maintain and improve their reputation (3.2 billion people use social media worldwide, with 11 new users every second so it’s not something that can be ignored!). Social media management is becoming more popular to outsource and is one of the many services that Westbury Admin Services offers to our clients. We can create, schedule and analyse content posted on a range of social media platforms for our clients in order to either reach new customers online or to maintain or improve their reputation – which is especially important in the current climate.
There is likely to be a reluctance at the moment to take on new permanent employees even as the economy improves – this could be due to the time-consuming work involved in finding and recruiting suitable staff, training and the potential worry of having to make redundancies if the COVID crisis worsens. Outsourcing admin/HR/credit control etc will save ongoing employment costs, holiday pay, sick pay and pension. There will also be the added saving from not having to provide office space or equipment. Businesses benefit from only paying for the time that they need – which is especially beneficial in quieter periods or periods of adaptation.
We all hope the end of this year and next year sees continued improvements to our economy and that businesses begin to thrive again. We all have to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and if that means we at Westbury Admin Services can help you in some way with any aspect of your business, we hope to hear from you very soon.