Tag Archives: delegate

Making the decision that you need help in your business is easy, however taking the next step to delegate the work out to another person is not as easy.  We tend to think we can do it all, but the reality is we can’t, and we really shouldn’t try to do everything required to run a successful business.

Hiring a virtual assistant to take some of the burden off your plate usually turns out to be the best decision you can make for yourself and your business.  But how do you find someone that will fit your needs, the culture of your business and relate to your personality?

The easiest way to do this is to start making lists that include the following information.

List #1 : business operations that you would like to delegate.
List #2 : business operations that you hate to do.
Is it book-keeping, marketing, online research, scheduling appointments, etc…?
List # 3 : professional skills that you want a virtual assistant to have.

List # 4 : your personality traits and what kind of personality you think you would work well with.
Do you want to work with a creative mind, an analytical mind, someone who is not afraid to share their thoughts with you, or someone who will just take direction and do the job?

Once you have your lists completed, the best thing to do is to work with a professional placement company who can review your needs and discuss exactly what your objectives are for hiring a virtual assistant.  You will want to be matched with professional VA’s who have been pre-screened for you. Someone that you know will be equipped to accomplish your goals and will be an asset to your organization.

Working with the right virtual assistant or virtual team can give you the time to devote your full attention to your business growth and development.  Investing the time to build the right virtual team will help you scale your company to the next level.

What helped you choose your virtual assistant?

When you think about spring cleaning, you generally think about your surroundings- -your home, your car, the backyard.  As a business owner, spring cleaning should include your digital “house” too.  That could include, email inboxes, electronic documents & folders, web browers, and online bookmarks just to name a few.

Digital clutter is a reality that many of us deal with on a daily basis as we conduct much of our business electronically through computers, tablets and even on our smartphones.

Sometimes digital cleaning is about restoration. Spring may be the right time to get your online accounts back in order.  Go through your Amazon wish lists, work on organizing your social media accounts or revisit learning how to use them.

Dealing with digital clutter or digital restoration is a great task to delegate to your virtual assistant.  Feeling empowered by your digital world instead of bogged down by it can help you be more efficient, more productive and ultimately more successful.

Some tasks to delegate to your VA could include:

Sort & Delete Email Messages

  • Go through your inbox and identify the emails that you want to keep vs. discard. Keeping emails takes up storage and can also potentially be a security risk if your account is compromised.
  • Take out attachments! Attachments take up a lot of room and shouldn’t be kept in your email. Make sure you create a folder on your hard drive for important attachments. If you need online access to those attachments, consider saving them in the cloud.
  • There may be some emails that you don’t want to delete. Move the “keepers” into specific folders. Create specific folders by topic or by sender’s name.
  • Delete all the emails that you know you will never need or want to look at again, they are just taking up space.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, retail offers, or others industry specific emails that you don’t look at and find no value with.

Web Browser

  • Organize your bookmarks. The best way to do this is to look through all your links and determine which ones you still need. Create folders that makes sense to the links you are bookmarking.
  • Clear the history, cache, cookies, and old temp file.  Your VA should know how to do this with whatever browser you are using.

Documents (files)

  • Sort files into 3 categories…Keep , Trash and Backup.
  • Delete documents you no longer need.  That would include files that you haven’t opened up in the past year or two– chances are you won’t need it. It’s time to delete or remove those files and remember to empty the recycling bin!
  • File e-docs sitting on your computer deskop that you use all the time or are project or customer oriented.  Have your VA create folders that make sense to you, for easy access.
  • Determine if you have any irreplaceable documents or projects that you are particularly proud of.  These should be backed-up on an external hard drive, CD or other back-up system.  Photos should be included in this process.

Social Media

  • Unfollow people that do not influence or add value to you or your business.
  • Follow  social media users that add value or are influential to your business.
  • Join industry related groups on Linkedin.
  • Attend or host a TweetChat that interests you.  Learn how to use #hashtags.
  • Organize your followers/friends into lists.
  • Re-engage with social media if you stepped away from it.
  • Get suggestions on what Social Apps to load onto your smartphone for easy access to each platform.

Business events are designed and implemented in many different formats.  There are online events (webinars, & video training) and events that require a physical location, like a hotel banquet room, conference room, or restaurant space.  Executing any of these takes time, preparation and planning.

A virtual assistant is the perfect solution to helping you with the following tasks when it comes to event planning.

  1. Researching possible event locations or online tools, including catering needs room setup or technical requirements.
  2. Creating the marketing and publicity through social media, email marketing or affiliate links.
  3. Managing the registration process either through your website with 1ShoppingCart or through an online event registration page link through Eventbrite.
  4. Preparing any and all training materials, including Powerpoint presentations, marketing sheets, and take away items.
  5. Keeping you on target by creating or managing a checklist for facilities, attendee information, speaker needs, etc…

There are plenty of other details and prep work required when doing an event, but these are just a few to get you thinking about delegating some of the work to your virtual assistant,

As the event approaches it’s a fact that you can expect last-minute alterations and possible drama. You really don’t want to be dealing with those especially if you are the main speaker at the event or training.  You equally don’t want to be bogged down in trying to find a solution in terms of any event you’re planning. Most Virtual Assistants have far more dexterity and problem solving ability than you do in these situations, if you’re honest with yourself.

Virtual assistants skilled in event planning have experience in negotiations, online tools, and much more .Executing a successful event should be your goal, and working with a qualified virtual assistant can make that goal a painless reality.

 

 

Earlier this week we discussed the many different social media platforms businesses are using in their marketing plan. Updating your social media accounts, monitoring and responding to the engagement is key to having a successful social media marking campaign, but most of us just don’t have the time in our day to devote to one more task.  Having a virtual marketing assistant is an investment you need to make in your business now.

A virtual marketing assistant can:

      1. Pull content off your website, blog, e-books and training materials and create short concise social posts that lead someone back to your website.
      2. Update your social sites by scheduling posts using tools like:
        Hootsuite
        Buffer
        Social Oomph
        TweetDeck
        SproutSocial
      3. Monitor and respond to engagement, or notify you if engagement is needed.
      4. Set-up contests or promotions using 3rd party tools like:
        Upickem
        Wildfire
        Shoutlet
        ShortStack
      5. Research and share trends or information related to  help educate your followers about your business or services.
      6. Monitor your reputation management on review sites like:
        Yelp
        Epinions.com
        AngiesList.com
        MerchantCircle.com

Remember that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter help drive traffic to your website so that someone buys your product or service, joins your email list or makes a donation. Publishing useful content on a blog and promoting it through social networking also helps you achieve better organic search engine optimization (SEO) results.  Sharing tools on social sites creates a viral opportunity for your business that didn’t exist before the launch of social media.

Have you invested in your social media marketing yet?  Are you attempting to do it on your own?  How is that working for you?

Social media is a term no one had even heard of 10 years ago.  Today it is a vital part of every marketing campaign of major brands and retailers.  As a small business owner we tend to watch what the “big brands” are doing and scale it down to fit our time and resource budgets.
Social media is an increasingly important business tool for communication, promotion, recruitment, and lead generation, and there are many different social media sites.  Understanding what site you should be on and why can be daunting.

The social networking sites businesses are utilizing today include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Foursquare
  • Yelp, and many more.

The options can be overwhelming and many small business owners are not sure which social media tools may be most effective or the best way to get started. .  A professional virtual marking assistant can help you determine what social networking site you should focus on and he/she can help you set up and mange your social marketing strategy.

Later this week we will discuss specifically how a virtual marketing assistant can be a vital part of your social media marketing team.

It is hard to believe that December is here and we will be welcoming in the New Year very soon.  Many of you still have a list of things to do before changing the calendar to 2014 that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.

Here are 5 things to outsource for the end of the year push.

  1. Website Review.  Make sure all the information on your website is updated with new business testimonials and photos, so that the website is refreshed and ready for visitors in the new year.
  2. Email Organization.  Many of you should start the new year with an inbox that isn’t cluttered.  With proper guidance from you, have your virtual assistant purge both your active or reference-only emails and create folders to stay organized.
  3. Follow-Up Help. The end of the year is the perfect time for you to have your VA check on any open proposals, invoices and projects that you are working on, and make sure there is a plan in place for revisiting them after the holidays.
  4. Tax Preparation.  A VA with expertise in this area, can organize receipts, research end of the year charitable donations, or just look over business expenses.
  5. Marketing.  Make sure you have a plan in place for the new year.  Have your VA create an editorial calendar for blog posts, social media and print ads to help keep you organized and accountable.

 

roi

“I have a small budget – how can I decide what to have a VA do for me?” I hear that question all the time. My answer is “whatever will be the biggest bang for the buck”.

For some people it could be having the VA help with things that will bring revenue into the company.

That could include:

  • Helping with marketing.
  • Finalizing an informational product that you will sell.
  • Doing customer service tasks.
  • Adding items to an online shopping cart so customers can purchase more from you.

For others it’s freeing up time so THEY can make more money for the company.

Those tasks are usually admin related and include:

  • Research
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Bookkeeping
  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Formatting documents
  • Data entry

Whatever it is that you decide to delegate to a VA be sure and let us know if we can help you find the right VA that will give you the best bang for your buck.

 

We are on the cusp of the holiday season.  Orders may be coming in, schedules are filling up fast and your time is being pulled in many different directions.

A virtual assistant can be a huge asset to not only your sanity but more importantly, to your bottom line during this busy time of the year.  Give yourself a gift and get a virtual assistant to help you make it through the season.

Below are a 5 ways to utilize a virtual assistant during the holidays.

  1. Don’t forget that your customers appreciate hearing from you this time of the year.  Everyone is in the giving spirit, so have a virtual assistant prep holiday cards, or purchase a gift for those customers that have supported your vision and refer people to you anytime they can.
  2. This may be the time of year to capture the spirit of the holiday with a sale or promotion .  A virtual assistant can help with email marketing, a social media campaign or updating your website.
  3. Networking is another important opportunity to be a part of during the festive time of the year.  You may ask a virtual assistant to research all the upcoming events in your area so that you can decide the best ones to attend.
  4. Responding to or monitoring incoming emails is also a task you can delegate to a virtual assistant to help you stay on top of your inbox during the busy holiday months.
  5. Personal assistance is also an option if you are laser focused on your business.  Ordering presents online, taking care of your family holiday cards, scheduling grocery delivery, or even researching and booking holiday travel can be done by a virtual assistant.

Do you want to enjoy this time of the year?   A virtual assistant can take a big layer of stress off your holiday plate and handle a lot of the details that you never want to slip through the cracks.

I recently read an article published on Entrepreneur.com that was titled 10 Things to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant written in December 2012.

Below is the Entrepeneur.com List:

  1. Online Research
  2. Bookkeeping
  3. Database Entries
  4. Data Presentations
  5. Managing Emails
  6. Holiday Cards
  7. Travel Research
  8. Scheduling
  9. Chasing Business
  10. Industry Knowledge Research

While I completely agree with the premise of this article about how using a virtual assistant can shave hours from your work week,  I think there are a lot more than 10 tasks that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.  The outsourcing options are almost limitless.  A professional virtual assistant can perform general to advanced administrative tasks but there are many professional virtual assistants with expertise in a more specialized field.  The skill level of today’s virtual assistants is extremely impressive.

I am going to add to the list published on Entreprenuer.com  with 10 MORE options for outsourcing work to a virtual assistant.  And honestly, there are even more options than this, but these are the areas that many clients are seeking help with on a growing basis.

  1. Social Media Management
  2. Newsletter maintenance or management
  3. Website updates
  4. Blogging
  5. Event planning
  6. Graphic design
  7. Article distribution
  8. Customer Service
  9. SalesForce or E-commerce updates
  10. Personal Assistance

 

How would you like to reduce your daily workload and increase your annual business revenues?
I am sure the first question you are asking is , “how can I really work less and earn more”?

You need to do more productive work using less hours in your day and make more money with less effort. This can be accomplished when you…outsource…share your work load….delegate to a virtual assistant!

Here are 5 ways a VA can help reduce your daily workload which will allow YOU to do the work needed to increase your annual business revenues:

  1. Determine the core functions of your business and delegate those tasks that are less productive. Don’t get caught in the “busy-work” track.
  2.  Hire a virtual assistant to assist in tasks like organizing your travel plans or planning your events and presentations. This simplifies your efforts, giving you more time to concentrate on effective business tasks.
  3.  Instead of trying to handle the entire blogging process yourself, focus only on content creation, delegate the rest to a Virtual Assistant. Formatting, editing, tagging, SEO optimizing can all be done by a VA.
  4. By letting go of some tasks and handing them over to someone else, you’ll be doing your business a huge favor. Concentrate on the creative parts of your business. Find a VA with the right skills and attitude to get the job done.
  5. If you don’t know how to get started with marketing and promoting your business on Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on, get a VA who has prior experience with Social Media Marketing to help you out.

Can you think of more ways a virtual assistant could help you and your business?  I bet you can!