If you have elected to use the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA) you have thought through how much it will save you over having an on-site assistant. You’ve probably thought about how nice it will be to not have to deal with the hiring/firing process or having to carry all the insurances associated with a full time employee. But what can a VA actually do for you? Every VA offers different services but these are 4 things that most Virtual Assistants can do.
Bookkeeping: It’s one of the easiest things to hand over to your Virtual Assistant. You will have to relinquish some of your control but if you find the right VA it won’t stress you out because the job will get done right. Having your bookkeeping needs taken care of will allow you time to focus on bigger parts of your business.
Online Research: Online research can time consuming and difficult to some. Outsourcing this task to your VA will free up a lot of time for you. The results can be put into a simple format for you to easily take the information you want from it.
Database Creation/Maintenance: Creating a database is easy if you know what you are doing but can be difficult to get going if you are inexperienced at it. You can give your VA your information and in no time they can create a database to meet your needs. If you have already made your own database from time to time you will need to update and maintain it. You could even set up scheduled maintenance with your VA so you never run into any problems accessing and using your database.
Social Networking: Social networking is one of the most important things when it comes to promoting yourself or your business. Like anything else though, it is very time consuming. It is 24-7 networking. So it is nice to have someone to help you keep up with it. Multiple usernames and passwords, remembering to update, re-post, tweet, and doing it all on time are all things a VA can take care of for you. It takes away a lot of the stress of social media.
Remember, every VA is different. They offer many other services that may be advantageous to you.. Look at what things seem to cause stress or cause snags in your daily business and let your Va take over. Learning how to utilize your VA will make the most of your time and your dollar.
As a conventional employer your responsibilities vary from interviewing people, hiring them, training them and then sometimes firing them if they are not adequately suited for the position. All of this time is money to your business. The act of firing someone can land an employer in court fighting about unlawful termination or discrimination. Because of those things a lot of business professionals are turning to virtual assistants. With a VA you can avoid all that hassle. You hire the VA to do a job or project and if things go well, you continue to hire them. If it doesn’t work out then you move on and it’s that simple.
With a VA you are not bound to conventional office hours. Depending on the terms of your contract with your VA you can expect to hand over the work and have it completed by the agreed upon deadline. You wouldn’t dream of asking your Office Administrator to input data after 5:00pm, in order for it to be available before 9:00am the following day. A Virtual Assistant doesn’t close the office at 5. There are VA’s available during regular business hours but many are available to work nontraditional hours providing flexibility with no added expense. The virtual assistant is quickly becoming the more practical business solution.
The way we do business is evolving and traditional models don’t fit all businesses anymore. A VA is a great way to manage your business. The new conventional office allows a business owner the function of a full office with less responsibility and a lot more flexibility.
There are so many options for promoting yourself or your business on the internet. Twitter has become a top choice for business professionals to network with minimal effort and time. However, just because it’s a top choice doesn’t mean it’s easy. Just like other networking sites, there are certain rules and etiquette that must be followed to make your twitter account worth it. First thing to remember is that you have to post valuable tweets. Tweeting about how the office ordered Chinese food for lunch isn’t going to cut it. Post things that are meaningful and important to your business and its goals.
Links are the way to go when trying to get people to visit your company website. You should put links in your tweets so that when your potential customer reads that you have a new type of wood flooring they can just click on the link right in the tweet and it will redirect them to your website with a picture of that flooring. By getting them to your site, you have gotten one step closer to that person buying your product or telling a friend about it.
One other thing to remember about twitter is that it is all about who is following you and who you are following. If you don’t have a good ratio of followers to people being followed by you, twitter can actually delete your account. It also doesn’t look good to potential customers if you don’t have a lot of followers but you are following everyone under the sun that has anything to do with your business. A good rule of thumb is that if you are going to follow someone they should follow you back. There are exceptions to that rule though, for example if you are following a tv show don’t expect them to follow you back.
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Think you can do it all by yourself and be a star Entrepreneur? Maybe you can but on the other hand maybe you need some help… Here are some signs indicating a virtual assistant may be your answer:
1. Piles of Paperwork – A cluttered work area is a sure sign you could use some help. A Virtual Assistant can assist you in organizing all of your files online, update contacts, help you prioritize your goals and ideas.
2. Your To Do list is Multiple Pages – Is completing your daily task list impossible? If your task list is so long that there is no way you are going to finish it and move on to your next set of goals, then you need a virtual assistant. Having a virtual assistant on call will allow you to delegate those non-income tasks that you either don’t want to do or that don’t seem like a priority although you know they are important.
3. What Social Media Schedule? – if your business doesn’t have some sort of social media plan or schedule, or if you do but are not implementing it, then get a virtual assistant.
4. Research – most businesses either need to research one thing or another for their personal businesses or for their clients and we all know how time consuming research is. Letting a virtual assistant conduct this research for you will improve your productivity output in your own business and also allow you to provide the information your clients need in a more timely manner.
5. Leads are passing you by – You are a savvy professional, networking every chance you get but you are not making the most of these contacts and you know it. Enlisting the services of a virtual assistant and informing them of the specifics of your lead qualifying process will allow you to nurture those potential leads and grow your business in the meantime.
6. Projects, projects, projects – Another sign you need a virtual assistant is that you are juggling multiple projects at once but are unable to complete any of them. Pass them along to a virtual assistant. Let them know the basics or in detail what you want the outcome to be and let them take it from there. If you are not sure how to direct your virtual assistant, send them your notes, or whatever work in progress and let them come up with a draft for your critique. Once they get something in front of you it will be much easier for you to request edits or changes.
7. Disaster Databases – Hire a virtual assistant to help you update, edit, add to or give your databases a complete overhaul.
What are some other ways you think you could use a virtual assistant?
The McClure Virtual Business Solutions Client Of The Month is Fitness Brokers USA. MVBS assists Fitness Brokers USA on a monthly basis with database management and invoicing. Fitness Brokers USA is a full service, pre-owned fitness equipment company that buys and sells to commercial and residential customers worldwide. They offer personal, one on one consultations to help you reach your fitness goals. Summer is almost here so get back to those New Year’s resolutions and check them out. Get great deals on commercial fitness equipment and strength training items by visiting their e-store at http://stores.ebay.com/Fitness-Brokers-USA. Stay up to date on their latest arrivals by “Like’ their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fitness-Brokers-USA/187670107943109. For answers to all your fitness questions contact, Joe Gulino at firstname.lastname@example.org or Noel Roby at Noel.P.Roby@gmail.com. Check out their website at http://www.fitnessbrokersusa.com/.
At McClure Virtual Business Solutions, we are pleased and excited to introduce three new members to our team. Please take a moment to read there bios and welcome them.
Anne Marie Gill – Executive Assistant & Business Support Specialist –
Anne Marie has recently returned to the work force after raising 4 children. During her time as a stay at home mom she has been active in both her church and her community. Anne Marie volunteered at her local hospital where she assisted in the gift shop, cafeteria, and helped transport patients. She also volunteered at a local food pantry sorting foods and assisting clients. Anne Marie was often seen helping out at her children’s schools. There she substitute taught, helped with fundraising for the PTA and assisted teachers in their classrooms.
Before her children were born Anne Marie worked in a law firm where she was responsible for many clerical duties as well as accounts payables. She has many organizational skills and has experience managing a team.
During her personal time Anne Marie enjoys travelling, reading and spending time with her family. Anne Marie brings with her extraordinary customer service & organizational skills allowing her to provide ultimate support to the team members at MVBS. For more information on Anne Marie’s services, contact her Annemarie@mymccluresolutions.com.
Annette Bouchard – Business Support Specialist & Team Leader –
Britney is a wife and mother with two young boys. She is charismatic and easy to communicate with. Customer satisfaction is her goal. Britney has a great variety of skills to offer and as part of the MVBS team she is able to provide her clients full Office Support without the expense of an actual office. For more information on Britany’s services please contact her at Britany@mymccluresolutions.com
This month’s Client of the Month is Nancy Whitehouse-Bain, Realtor with RE/MAX Property Promotions in Leominster, Ma. McClure Virtual Business Solutions assists Nancy on an ongoing basis with various administrative tasks. Nancy has been a full time broker for over 18 years and as s Top Producer she specializes in Single family homes, Multi-families, Condominiums, New Construction and Land listings.
Nancy’s accomplishments extend to her being a Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE, Certified Buyers Representative – CBR, Member of 100% Club – Top Producer, RE/MAX Hall of Fame, 2009 Platinum Producer and 2010 Gold Producer.
In addition to her accomplishments she is affiliated with the Northern Worcester County Board of Realtors, Massachusetts Association of Realtors, Gardner Chamber of Commerce, RE/MAX International.
She is married to a wonderful man named Scott, and has two children, Dean and Sabrina as well as two step-children, Ashleigh and Jordan. Nancy enjoys playing basketball and racquetball when she gets the chance. For more information on your local real estate market, contact Nancy at email@example.com and don’t forget to check out her website for real estate tips and trends athttp://www.wykesandwhitehouse.com/.