Virtual Assistant

Happy “Business” Campers – Badges of Wisdom from the Boy Scouts

Posted on February 8, 2012. Filed under: Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , |


[tweetmeme]I recently had the joy of going camping with my son and his Boy Scout troop. While any amount of time spent with him is enjoyable, this particular experience was actually very beneficial to me as well. It is said that if we look closely, there are lessons to be learned in any situation. This happened to be one of those experiences where I learned quite a bit not only about the Boy Scouts but also how the lessons they are taught can be applied to life and business. I would like to share with you some of the “badges” of wisdom that I observed and hopefully this will be something you can apply to your business as well. (more…)

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Implementing an Advisory Committee

Posted on August 4, 2011. Filed under: Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , |


[tweetmeme]One of the benefits of a normal working environment is the colleagues you have at your disposal. They are easily accessible to help brainstorm, push through deadlines, or just listen when you need to talk through a problem. However, as a small business owner or a solo entrepreneur, a more creative approach is needed to obtain the advice and counsel that we require.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed to replicate the workplace experience by building my own professional relationships. My solution was to implement an Advisory Committee.  An Advisory Committee is a small group of trusted individuals that you can turn to for advice and feedback. They should have a genuine interest in your business as well as a strong desire to help you succeed. (more…)

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Creating Systems for Success

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: How To ..., Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , |


[tweetmeme]Most of us run our lives on a handful of systems. Between our cell phones, our planners and our email in-boxes, we have organized ourselves and our time quite effectively.   Yet as important as these systems are, most of us don’t take advantage of other creative ways to improve our business procedures. By documenting processes, they can occur without so much thought or reinvention.  And most especially if you are a solopreneur, having your processes documented and in the hands of your Virtual Assistant, your business can continue to run smoothly, even if you are sick or on vacation.

For most of us, there are dozens of similar repetitive tasks, large and small, in our businesses that could be systemized. To identify where, step back from your routine and look at it all objectively. As you go through the analysis, ask yourself why you created a particular process in the first place.  For every process you find that could be automated with a new system, you may find another that can be eliminated altogether.  Reviewing your business this way may in fact prove to be both valuable and enlightening. (more…)

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What is Wasted Time?

Posted on December 14, 2010. Filed under: Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , |


[tweetmeme]I want you to really focus on how much time you spend on doing things you just don’t need to do and how much time you waste because your mind is cluttered. I don’t mean a vague feeling, I mean an honest analysis. People don’t do this because they are afraid of how ridiculous they might feel. We carry this burden because “it is what it is” and we’ve never been able to change it. We wish it were different but there’s nothing we can do about it, “we are who we are”, and whatever attempts we’ve made at improving this aspect of our lives, we have found that we quickly slip back into the same ways. IT IS DEMORALIZING.

Well, allow me to help you with this analysis – no charge, no obligation. Simply, at the end if you feel I could take over some of your business and personal tasks in a way that will make your workday more effective, and that the cost of doing so is worthwhile, hire me as your Virtual Assistant. If not, you will have had the frankest look at what you need to do and a new awareness.

I have saved hundreds of hours for clients. The relief they feel is astounding. The energy they gain is priceless. The attention they place on business growth and customer service pays enormous dividends.

I can make this happen for you. I can handle so much of what you do every day. I’m sure you’ve imagined and wished you could feel better about your work life, but feel constantly frustrated. The impact of my work on my clients might amaze you. Just visualize for a moment starting every workday with a relaxed mind and passion. That is the impact of my work on clients. Click on Testimonials and see!

After our analysis, you will be welcome to call any of my clients with questions about how the process works for them, and in particular perhaps how they were able to transition from doing everything themselves to “letting go”.

You can really TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE both at work and at home when you feel good about what’s going on. Make this that pivotal moment you will look back on as the moment your life changed.  Email or call me at 877-798-7701.

*To receive a FREE copy of my Ebook, “Social Media Marketing Strategies”, use this link to subscribe to my mailing list: http://bit.ly/A0pq0Y.  

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How Much Money Are You Ignoring?

Posted on December 1, 2010. Filed under: Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , |


[tweetmeme] When I speak with prospective clients, often they don’t realize how much income they are losing due to their lack of follow through.  They most frequently contact me simply to handle items on their To-Do list, but the most attractive (and proven) offer I can make to them is to help them increase their bottom line.  Often it seems they don’t have a clear awareness of the fact that they are losing money by letting prospects ‘get away’. Hiring me to follow up and maintain contact with prospective customers will assure this never happens – I am very thorough!

Based on my experience, a pressing problem common among almost all clients is that their prospective clients aren’t staying in their sales ‘pipeline’.  Prior to a client working with me, a prospect would email or call the client to express interest in their services.  Since my client was so busy with keeping on top of their administrative tasks, the prospect would often fall through the cracks.  My client may reach out once and then simply fail to follow up, or not send their proposal for several weeks, or simply not keep to whatever commitment they made during their initial call.  Their prospect would go elsewhere. (more…)

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Why A Virtual Assistant and How to Choose the Right One?

Posted on October 11, 2010. Filed under: Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , , |


[tweetmeme]This post is directed to those of you who have all your own business ideas but need someone you can rely on specifically to handle the administrative functions of the business. Traditionally you would first think of an in-office employee and that might still be the answer. However a Virtual Assistant can often be a better alternative, and here are 5 reasons why:

1. You save money! There are no office space costs, no equipment or furniture costs, no fixed salary, no payroll taxes, no employee benefits and no sick pay or paid vacations.
2. If you are working in a limited space, a Virtual or Online Administrative Assistant will be less in your way than an office employee, and you have the opportunity for greater concentration.
3. With an office employee there is inevitably down time; an Online Administrative Assistant works for you “as-needed” and you pay only for the time actually spent on your tasks.
4. An Online Administrative Assistant, working in quiet from home, can accomplish more than an office employee, plus there is the additional benefit of often being available outside normal working hours
5. An Online Admin Assistant will generally have more wide-ranging business experience.

Choosing the RIGHT ONE is obviously key. Here are 5 suggestions: (more…)

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As Seen on Forbes.com … “How Virtual Assistants Have Evolved”

Posted on October 5, 2010. Filed under: As Seen On ..., Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


[tweetmeme]I met Jaimie Skultety while researching how organizations can avoid being “held hostage” by an employee or contractor (see “Don’t Let Your Business Be Held Hostage“). An experienced executive assistant and office manager, now working as a virtual assistant, she recommended documenting key processes in a company operations manual, a standard service she offers to her clients.

This introduced me to the idea that a virtual assistant could be more than some kind of Internet-enabled secretary. If you find the right person to work with, you may get more than just someone to do the boring administrative work you can’t seem to get around to. You may get a consultant on some of the essentials of how to make your business work better.

Certainly that’s how Skultety’s clients talk about her. For example (click here to read more …)

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Don’t Be A Slave to Your Admin Tasks – Grow Your Business!

Posted on October 4, 2010. Filed under: Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |


[tweetmeme]Inwardly and logically you know it, in your business everything can be delegated except that which makes you unique. There are many tasks that do not require your focus to get done. Ask yourself how much value you are getting versus if you had an assistant. How depressing is it to be looking at a long to-do-list every day and realizing there won’t be enough hours to get through everything. If you spend all your time “in” your business and not “on” your business, your frustration level impedes your ability to challenge yourself as a thinker and innovator who can move your business forward.

You may not have the space or number of hours to justify an on-site employee. The answer is an Online Office Assistant whose hours are billed strictly on the actual time spent working for you. All your repetitive daily/weekly/monthly items can be taken care of, and other tasks/projects can be handed over on an “as needed” basis. The initial “letting go” understandably could trouble you, but your motivation to be free of so much administrative work and the vision of having real time to devote to your customers, and to new strategies and initiatives, has to be your inspiration. Thousands of entrepreneurs have taken that leap of faith, and a burden has been lifted. (more…)

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How to Develop a Relationship of Trust With Your Cyber-Clientele

Posted on July 20, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Virtual Assistant |


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As a “Virtual” Assistant, I rarely have the opportunity to meet my clients in person so it’s vital that I do all I can to make a connection with them and that we develop a relationship of trust.  After all, most of my clients provide me with credit card and other confidential information related to their business.  Integrity and trust are among the most valued traits in developing a long-lasting relationship.  So how do my clients KNOW that my priorities are in alignment with their values?   I consistently demonstrate these traits in everything I do for them.

My clients are scattered throughout the country, in different time zones and they are extremely busy, so it’s rare that we have an opportunity to speak on the phone, let alone meet in person.  Our relationship is almost exclusively developed through email communication, so I have to do all I can to promote confidence as well as a sense of familiarity.

The issue of  “bridging the distance” is not exclusive to my business model.  In these technological times, Coaches and Consultants alike as well as many other professions work with clients whom they may never meet face-to-face.  I am pleased to share some examples of how I have been able to nurture my client relationships from afar:

  • Keep them updated regularly on all assignments, pending projects and reminders.  For example, “Do you want me to follow up with Mr. Smith on the proposal we sent him last week?”  To keep my updates brief and concise I use bullet points, e.g. “I have submitted your Press Release to the following outlets …”
  • Make them look good to THEIR clients.  I have clients who provide direct access between myself and their clients. Whether through email or on the phone I handle all communication using a professional yet friendly tone.  Often times I receive feedback from my clients such as “Mr. Jones sent me an email and commented on how helpful you were.”
  • Proofread for content.  Many of my clients have top-notch writing skills but they appreciate that when they ask me to proofread their work I check not only for edits in grammar, spelling and punctuation, I also read for content.  I often include my own redline suggestions to enhance their message and include comments such as “You may want to mention your upcoming event in this paragraph.”
  • Manage important correspondence appropriately. Although my clients trust in my abilities to communicate their message effectively, for more important/sensitive correspondence I send a draft to my client first so they have an opportunity to add or edit anything before I send it out.  Once approved, I copy or blind copy them on the final email.
  • Make it MY business to know THEIR business. Even if it doesn’t pertain directly to me, many of my clients copy me on all their email correspondence so that I am “in the loop”.  I keep a ‘tickler’ file on my desk so pending items won’t fall through the cracks.  Generally I hear “Thank you for reminding me.  I had forgotten about that.”  I also keep their business in the front of my mind and send articles or other items I think would be of interest or relevance to them.

Although your business model may not be the same as mine, I hope these examples have provided some helpful ideas for you to consider and that I have provoked you to think of ways you can enhance your own cyber-clientele relationships.  I would love to hear your feedback and ask that you send me some of your ideas that I can post on my blog.

*To receive a FREE copy of my Ebook, “Social Media Marketing Strategies”, use this link to subscribe to my mailing list: http://bit.ly/A0pq0Y.  

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Expense vs. Investment

Posted on June 29, 2010. Filed under: Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , |


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DEFINITIONS FROM WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY:

Expense – financial burden or outlay

Investment – the outlay of money usually for income or profit

Many business owners, particularly small business, do not truly differentiate in their thinking between expense and investment but tend to view the overall picture of how much they are spending and where costs can be saved or reduced. Let’s look at Expense as the financial outlay essential to conduct your business, such as Telephone, Office Supplies, Power, Internet etc., and Investment as the financial outlay that is strictly focused on acquiring income/profit, such as Advertising, Public Relations, Networking, Social Media etc.

Do you have anyone working for you? If not, you are spending your own time on administrative tasks. These tasks are essential to conduct your business. You could hire someone, but you probably and justifiably feel that is too costly an Expense. Having an employee not only involves a salary as well as other benefits, but there is inevitably downtime you are paying for, and also of course there is the added expense of the space and equipment an employee would require. (more…)

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