Small Business? You Should Consider Automation*

 Happy woman using laptop in cozy living room at home

 

*This is a collaborative post*

  

If you are running a small business, you'd have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the developments in technology that are more prevalent than ever. The developments in artificial intelligence are, for many, too complex to follow. However, you could be indulging in some artificial intelligence without even realising that you're doing it. When you are in charge of your own small business, you are going to need to learn how to introduce technology into your business in new ways. Artificial intelligence is not something that you can ignore in your business, and automation especially is something that can change the way that you do everything.


There are so many benefits to introducing automation into your business. From the ability to connect to customers with automated emails to the live chat operator service that you can run to answer questions outside of the usual business hours. People want convenience, and you could benefit from offering more convenience in your business, too. If you haven't considered how automation could help your business, then you need to check out the tips below.


  • Bookkeeping Help. There are a lot of technological tools out there to help you with your bookkeeping in your business. It can help you with the basics, but you can also bet that there are some bookkeeping options that are designed around artificial intelligence and automation. From setting payment reminders to setting invoice reminders, releasing payments on the right schedule and more, you can utilise automation to help you with the financial side of your business.

     

  • Nurturing New Leads. It doesn't matter how skilled you are, there are limits. If you're running your business by yourself, there are always going to be road blocks because you're not made of magic! You have time constraints and you are only one person. When you invest in the right automation tools, you can better nurture your leads because you have the right tools to do so. You can be reminded to keep up with your customers and you can send your emails on time, too. This will make you far more productive and the programs out there that are designed for lead nurturing are those that are designed to help!

     

  • Helping Customers. We talked about live chat and messengers as tools for customers to get in touch with you, and automation is going to help you here. People can get in touch when they need to and it can be expensive to hire full time customer service reps to help - so avoid it with automation and artificial intelligence instead.

     

  • Virtual Assistance. Automation investments can lead you to picking up help from virtual personal assistants. There are those that remain intelligent, suitable to your business and even can arrange your meetings for you!


Automation is going to change the way that you do business and it's so important that you are reaching out to the right outsourced help in your business as much as possible. You may be running a small business, but that doesn't mean that you can't emanate a big business energy! 

 

*Image source: Pexels 


Helping Your Child Transition from Nursery to “Big School”*



*This is a collaborative post*
 

When the time comes for your child to move up to big school, the chances are your family are probably feeling a little overwhelmed. We must all learn to adjust to change; it’s a vital life skill. Change is unavoidable and knowing how to cope with it is an essential part of growing up. The fact that your child has attended nursery is great because they will already be familiar with the structure and rules associated with attending an educational establishment. However, moving to Reception is still daunting, particularly because everything feels so much bigger. It’s absolutely normal for there to be a variation of emotions, from excitement to nerves, and it’s crucial that parents help support the transition for their little ones. Here’s some advice from a nursery school in St Margaret’s


Be sure to answer your child’s questions as honestly as you can. This will help settle their nerves and clear up any concerns they may have. Take your child for a visit to their new school so that they can become familiar with their new surroundings, even if it’s just the outside of the building. You could also look at the school’s website and browse the photos. 


Talk to your child about what they can expect by pointing things out and using uplifting language to help turn their anxiety into excitement. For instance, if you spot the playground, you can say “Look, there’s the playground where you will be able to play with your new friends during breaktime”. If you notice a sports field, you can say “Look, that looks like a football pitch, maybe you can join a team and play after school”. It’s absolutely crucial that you use optimistic terminology so that your child can feed off of your positive attitude. 


Another way to help your child prepare is to practise the morning routine so that their new schedule doesn’t come as a shock to the system. Get up early and eat breakfast. You can even go as far as getting your child to practise putting on their new school uniform. Perhaps make it into a fun game so that your child doesn’t feel like getting up for school is a chore before they’ve even started. 

 

*Photo source Pexels




Exploring Creative Writing with Your Child*



*This is a collaborative post*

There are many benefits to exploring creative writing with your child, both academically and on a personal level. It will teach them a variety of key skills that they can carry through their childhood and well into adulthood. Of course, we already know that children tend to have very active imaginations, so why not encourage them to channel this in a fun yet educational manner? I have teamed up with a private boys’ school in Surrey to share some advice when it comes to exploring creative writing with your child. 


When encouraging your child to write a story of their own, ask them to think about the characters’ senses. What can they smell, hear, see, touch, or even taste? What do they look like? What are they wearing? Encourage them to use lots of adjectives to describe what they characters look like or how they feel. It might help by starting with a mind map so that your child can plan a certain direction for their story and make connections between different words and phrases. For instance, if they want to write a space adventure story, get them to include lots of verbs, nouns and adjectives related to space on their mind map. 


If starting a story from scratch is too big a challenge for your child, you could encourage them to re-write the ending of their favourite book instead. This should be easier because the characters and plot have already been formed. Another option is to get your child to pretend to be a journalist and write a book review, in which they explain what they liked and disliked about the story. 


Whatever creative writing project your child embarks on, make sure it’s based on a topic that they’re truly interested in, otherwise they’ll probably become bored and give up. If you do happen to see that they’re starting to get fed-up, mix it up and encourage them to bring their story to life with some role playing. Take it in turns to pretend to be a character from their story and ask one another questions. 


Not only are these activities lots of a fun and a chance for your child to flex their creative muscle, but creative writing activities will also help your child become better communicators, by expanding their vocabulary and ability to string a sentence together. 

 

*Photo source Pexels




The Benefits of Sports in School*



*This is a collaborative post*
 

Physical education (PE) in schools is important for various reasons. Of course, the most obvious benefit is that it is great for a child’s health and fitness, but it’s also a chance for them to develop a range of key skills and character traits. For instance, at this international sixth form, sport is believed to aid self-discipline, resilience, and perseverance.


Boosts Confidence


Unfortunately, not all children have access to a large enough (and safe enough) outdoor space in which they can blow off some steam and get some exercise, which is why sports are such a crucial element of school life. In PE lessons, teachers are able to observe first-hand the maturation and rising confidence of their students as their efforts pay off on the field. When they score a goal or win a game, they get a well-deserved self-esteem boost. This is fantastic because confidence can transpire in all aspects of a child’s life, both in an academic sense and on a personal level. 


Self-Reflection


Another benefit of sports, particularly for older students, is that it gives children the opportunity to reflect and refocus. In other words, they can start to become more proficient at evaluating their own performances to make room for improvement. This is a fantastic skill to carry through life, as it’s important to be able to admit to ourselves where we’ve gone wrong, but also what our strengths are. 


Teamwork


Many sporting activities involve teamwork; a group of students must work together to reach a mutual goal. This involves effective communication, compromise, and support. It underlines the significance of camaraderie. Being able to work well as part of a team and communicate with one’s peers, even if we don’t necessarily like them, is another crucial skill and one that will benefit young people as they grow up and enter the world of work.

 

*Photo source Pexels




How to Raise an Inquisitive Child*



*This is a collaborative post*
 

Babies and young children are naturally very curious because they are still making sense of the world around them. Who are these people? What does this do? How does this work? However, this inquisitive nature doesn’t always continue into adolescence; their enjoyment of learning drops as they get older. Fortunately, there are various things that parents can do to prolong this curiosity and ensure their child maintains a healthy attitude towards learning throughout their school years and even beyond. Here are some tips from an independent prep school in London.


Lead by example and share your own interests and passions with your child. If you’ve read an interesting article or learnt something new at work, share it with your child and demonstrate that learning doesn’t end with childhood. Think aloud sometimes and ask questions to show that curiosity is perfectly normal. Asking your child some thought provoking questions will also spark an interesting conversation and encourage them to think outside of the box. Here are some examples of questions you could ask your child to get them thinking:


  • Where do you think this rain has come from?

  • Where is your favourite place in the world?

  • Why do you think the birds always come back to the same spot in our garden?

  • If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

  • What do you think will happen to these trees in winter?

  • If dogs could speak, what do you think they would say?

  • What’s your dream job?


The more questions you ask, no matter how random, the more likely your child will ask questions back. And when they do, try not to shrug them off or tell them your too busy, because this will just put them off coming to you again in the future. If you don’t know the answers to their questions, use it as an opportunity to do some research together. 


It’s also a good idea to mix up your child’s routine every now and again so that their learning environment doesn’t become stale. Go on some adventures, try a new recipe or read a new book; anything that gives your child the chance to look at things from a new perspective. The idea is to keep things as fresh and exhilarating as possible.

 

*Photo source Pexels




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