Q: "I am really struggling in keeping on top of everything in my cake business. We are about a year old and quite small but doing quite well in that the orders are coming in thick and fast. The problem is I am just overwhelmed with paperwork- including insurance, tax, environmental health etc. I just want to get on with the creative side. Is there anyone I can employ to deal with all this stuff and how much should I pay if so?"

 A: It certainly sounds as if you need some help.

In an ideal world having a competent virtual or personal assistant to help you with your paperwork would allow you to concentrate on being creative. However I guess that paying between £20-£30 per hour for one of these is out of the question. So I suggest you start by asking your friends and family if they can help or know someone that can. Facebook could be a good starting point.

When I first started my sister-in-law came in for one or two morning a week to help with all my administration, it worked really well. Since those early days I have employed quite a few people but my best staff have all come through recommendations. It’s amazing what a difference it makes when there is someone else to help especially if they want your business to be a success too.

Another tip is to join a local business network for help, support, training and contacts, I have found belonging to such a group invaluable. You’ll need to find a group that works for you, but again ask around for recommendations.

Good luck

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