• Bookkeeping

    Perhaps you need help with invoicing, statement runs, VAT returns and/or payroll
  • Credit control

    We can help remove that personal connection when asking clients to clear their account
  • Data entry

    Keeping your database clean and tidy can take up your valuable production time
  • Back office support

    We will be that person back in the office while you are on site with an important client
  • Training course organisation

    Behind the scenes we can help with training material printing, venue and catering requirements
  • Newsletters

    Making regular contact with your client can be done using email updates on services or products
  • ...and more

    if the service you are looking for isn't here please call us

Our blog


Setting up Sage Invoices to send via Email - 6th July 2012


Do you wish you could send your invoices out by email to save postage?

If you are using Sage you can add your logo and all the compulsory information needed to your preferred layout.  The only information you will need is your email settings.

Invoices are then processed to your client via email, with meaningful wording in the body of the email and subject line rather than some of the emails you may have received from your suppliers.

Why not look the business and set up your invoices properly, a little time spent can make your business look very professional.

Jemma - Pink Giraffes Limited

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SEO Starters Guide: Part 2 - 28th June 2012

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Online VAT submissions using Sage - 22nd June 2012

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SEO Starters Guide: Part 1 - 15th June 2012

This is the first blog post in a series designed to give you a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is traditionally thought of as carrying out technical changes that 'make' you appear higher in Google search results. Whilst this may have been possible in the past, improvements to Search Engines over the years mean SEO is now more about content and less about these technical 'tricks'.

If you are familiar with traditional marketing techniques then SEO can simply be thought of as the process of combining all of your digital marketing into a coherent plan.  At Pink Giraffes we like to think of this as creating an integrated digital marketing strategy.

The three parts of SEO:
Search Engine Optimisation can be broken down into three major parts, each of which we will cover in more detail in later blog posts:

  1. Behind the scenes
  2. The front end
  3. Social media and link building

The front end is focused on your websites’ design, layout, structure and most importantly, content. This boosts the keywords that appear on the website and helps customers find the information they require as quickly as possible. A good navigation structure is also essential if you want your visitors to convert into customers.

Finally, social media and link building encourages you to grow your businesses presence and brand online. This has the benefit of finding new opportunities, as well as offering a valuable service and interaction with existing and potential new customers.

The most important consideration when undertaking SEO is combining them to form a structured and focused plan. When linked with an online marketing strategy, SEO should see your website gain more visitors and then get more conversions from those visitors.

Next time:
Behind the scenes – The technical changes that many people consider the foundation of SEO. The jargon explained and the myths debunked!


If you can't wait for our next SEO blog, get in touch with us to find out how we can help you create an online marketing strategy.


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Working Mums - 8th June 2012

Whilst pregnant with my first child, I planned for a future as a stay-at-home Mum. I felt that spending the early years with my son, full-time, would help him learn and grow, giving him the best possible start.  However, after 7 months as a new Mum, I was losing my confidence, my brain cells and the ability to join in a conversation without mentioning nappies.  It was also clear that living on just my Husband’s salary was not going to be as easy as I’d convinced myself it would be.

I returned to office work, part-time, enjoying the social aspects of commuting and working in a busy company.  Having held a responsible position before taking maternity leave, I’d worked late, been relied upon and felt respected.  My new role was simple which was perfect at first but then became increasingly brain-numbing and unsatisfying.  Being unhappy at work made leaving my little boy so unbearable that eventually I quit my job in favour of working from home.

Working from home sounds great doesn’t it?  If you find a role that will fit around your child then I’m sure it is, but it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be!  It can be stressful juggling work commitments with giving your child the attention you’d like to.  My home-based work was PC-based and whilst my Son would be happy to play with his cars or watch a DVD whilst I worked, it wouldn’t be long before he’d want to sit on my lap and have a go at typing.  When you’re trying to meet client deadlines, your child wants to draw all over your paperwork, the doorbell is ringing, the cat wants feeding, the washing needs to be hung out and you haven’t even started cooking dinner, it’s easy to wish you were back in the office!

So now I work from home whilst my son goes to a Childminder.  I’m Self Employed and time is money – when I’m ‘in the office’, I have to be strict with myself and ignore the housework.  Being Self Employed rather than an employee gives you freedom, a sense of satisfaction and the opportunity to earn a lot of money in return for hard work and commitment.  But it also means that income can be irregular, which is hard to adjust to when you’ve been a salaried employee for years and able to pin point the date that your wages will come in to cover your outgoings.

Returning to work can be terrifying – whether you go back to a role you held previously or take the opportunity to retrain and do something you’ve always longed to.  But it can be fantastically rewarding to feel your confidence returning, your brain whizzing and see money in the bank that you’ve earned through your own hard work.  As a working mum, you can set an example to your child and you might find that the time you spend with them is far more rewarding - for both of you.


For further information on your options and rights when returning at work, visit www.direct.gov.uk


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Staying in touch with your key contacts - 1st June 2012

As your business grows fast, it’s easy to lose sight of the little things that can make all the difference!

Over time, the collected business cards of contacts, prospects and clients are piled high on your desk or in a box and when looking for a particular email address or mobile number, you find yourself shuffling through the cards or searching your old emails, time and time again.  You get used to 'making do', occasionally wondering if you should put everyone’s details into a database - quickly changing your mind when you look at the avalanche of business cards!

  • Could you be missing opportunities by forgetting to keep in touch with people you’ve met? 
  • Would it be useful to have reminders to follow up leads and organise meetings?

With just a small amount of organisation, you could have easy, fast access to information that would help you populate a sales pipeline or organise client events.  Ensure that your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system or contact database is kept up to date from as early as possible.  Whether you use the contacts section of your email software; a PC or web (cloud) based CRM system or a simple MS Excel spreadsheet, make it a priority to input details of people as you meet them.  Populate the database with:

  • Contact telephone and location details
  • When and where you were introduced
  • What was discussed; where do they network; how could their business help yours
  • Personal information - do they play golf or enjoy clay pigeon shooting (useful to know for future events and hospitality)
  • Manipulate your data to produce regular reports on contacts due a follow up call or a face-to-face meeting

Pink Giraffes can help you with your CRM, leaving you to get on with running your business!  With the information at your fingertips, you can stay in touch with your key contacts ‘on the go’, rather than waiting until you get back to your toppling stack of business cards!

You’ll be organised, in-charge and in-touch!


If you’d like help in staying on top of your leads or any other admin support, drop us a line! enquiries@pinkgiraffes.co.uk


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P11D deadline 6 July 2012: save time with a dispensation - 19th May 2012

Your business must submit its Reporting of expenses and benefits in kind (Forms P11D)  to HMRC by 6th July, or you could be facing a fine of £100 for each month you delay. All employers, including sole traders, partnerships, LLP’s and limited companies, are required to complete and submit a P11D. The form provides HMRC with information about income received by directors and employees from either benefits or expenses paid from their personal accounts. HMRC cross references P11D data against personal self-assessment tax returns to check it all adds up, so you must get it right.

But did you know that you can save time completing your P11D by applying to HMRC for a dispensation? A dispensation cuts form-filling because you don’t have to report every routine business expenses and benefit.

Visit HMRC online to find out if your business qualifies for a dispensation.



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How to work with a Virtual Assistant - 18th April 2012

Being 'Virtual' Assistants, we don’t always get to see our clients on a daily basis. Contact is normally by telephone and email. So how do we form a close working relationship that gives you confidence in delegating your work?

It's always useful to have an initial meeting at your office as this enables us to get a feel for your business and the way you like to work. We’ll stay in regular contact and give you clear visibility of what we're doing for you and the time we've spent doing it. Rest assured that we’re virtually by your side, treating your workload as a priority and focusing on how to make your business more productive. We’re a small, dedicated team – always on the end of the phone and ready to help out.

Jemma & Mirelle

If you would like some support but can’t justify employing a permanent member of staff, why not try Pink Giraffes?


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