Tag Archives: priorities

Goal setting is an important step in your business success. But sometimes our best intentions to accomplish a goal is met with interference, or lack of planning.

Now is a great time to set attainable goals to kick start the New Year. Short-term goals can be just as important as long term goals. Accomplishing goals gives you immediate gratification and will help you maintain motivation with future goal setting.

Here are a few easy goals you can implement, or you can choose your own. Just make sure you write them down, put them on your electronic notes or calendar and/or tell someone about them, who will hold you accountable.

  1. Clean out your email inbox or computer desktop – start off the year with less digital clutter. It will help you feel much more organized!
  2. Set your daily schedule – what time you will get up every day and what time you will try and go to bed.
  3. Reconnect with your clients -drop them an email, or pick up the phone to call them. Don’t try and sell them anything, just call to say hello and see how they are doing.
  4. Invest in new technology -decide if upgrading software or hardware, is beneficial to your business success. Figure out if newer technology can save you time, or allow you to work faster.
  5. Delegate work -determine if your budget allows you to hire someone that can help you and your business. Figure out the tasks you would love to delegate and see if hiring someone makes financial sense. A virtual assistant can be hired on a project or as-needed basis. It may be great to have someone to outsource work to in 2018.

See our blog post – Tips to Clean Up Your Digital Clutter

 

The month of November is always a time when we remind ourselves what we are thankful for. In business it may be a strong loyal client base, an awesome team of people who support us, a contract win, or even the fact that we enjoy doing what we do. For personal gratitude, it may be our family, our friends, or even the barista who makes our morning coffee exactly to our liking every time we stop in.

The thing about gratitude that is important to remember, is that it really should be something to think about and demonstrate all year long, and not just when the calendar reaches the month of November.

It is easy for all of us to get wrapped up in our daily lives. With the stress of deadlines, bills that need to be paid, phone calls or emails that need to be returned, and demands on our time, it is easy to forget about being grateful.

Expressing gratitude can be super powerful for a business. According to Randy Raggio, a marketing professor at the University of Richmond, in an article published in Fortune magazine in November 2011, “Gratitude motivates positive reciprocal behavior,” If a customer believes that a business has his best interests at heart, that customer is more inclined to develop a long-term relationship with the business.

The article also mentions that gratitude is an effective tool largely because “it is a precursor to developing trust,” and trust itself is an extremely powerful driver for loyalty, no matter the type of relationship. Just the same, gratitude is only valuable when it comes across as genuine.

So, as we move through this month, and towards 2016 , make it a New Year resolutions to add daily gratitude into your life, and let us know what happens.

The idea of working with someone that is not physically by your side can be challenging. Just like any business, you must have a structured business plan that keeps your daily operations running smoothly. When hiring a virtual assistant, the same thought process applies.

Here are some important factor to consider when you are interviewing potential virtual assistants (VA) to work with.

Hourly Expectations: Your business may have specific hours of operation, so it is important that the VA you work with is available when you need them to be. If time-zone compatibility is important to you, then be sure to communicate that when you are looking for someone. Don’t bother interviewing a VA on the East Coast if you really need them to work during West Coast hours.

Response Notifications:  If you are the type of business owner that wants immediate email response to your requests, or will require fast turn around times on the work being assigned to your VA, then make sure the VA you work with is fully aware and agreeable to those expectations. A virtual assistant who will only commit to giving you a 24-48 hour response time may not be the right fit for your personality, and would probably not be the right VA choice for you to work with. Be sure to be direct and honest about what kind of response time you will require, so that expectations are clear at the beginning of your working relationship. This will help avoid confusion or frustration for both you and your VA as you start working together.

Knowledge Expectations: When selecting your virtual assistant, be clear about  what programs and software you need your VA to use. Let them know if you are an expert on these programs or if you are looking to the VA to take the lead on working with them.

By having a structured plan in place, you can eliminate the problem of hiring the wrong virtual assistants. Being very clear about your expectations and what you need your VA to do, is very important when forming a trusted and successful virtual business relationship.

A=Allocate
Allocate time to enjoy your summer.  What does that mean exactly?  It means all work and no play will make you a dull “boy” or “girl”.  Plus, everyone needs to recharge their batteries and summer is a great time to do that.  If you are thinking, “sounds great, but how could I do that, when my weekly business calendar is full?”  Start by scheduling down time on your calendar.  Just like you schedule meetings with clients, schedule time in your calendar just for YOU!  If the thought of that scares you, try and start off slowly with just an hour per week, and then move up to a couple hours per week until you can see the benefits.  What you do with that hour is up to you, but extra time in the gym, reading a book, watching a movie, or just relaxing away from the computer can be extremely beneficial to helping you recharge your spirit and your stamina, which in turn will benefit your business.
B = Basics
Getting back to basics this summer can also help your business.  Try and remember why you started your business in the first place, and how excited you were to get it off the ground.  Are your emotions today the same as they were when you made the big decision to move forward with starting your own business?  If not, try and figure out what about it is different.  Are you overwhelmed? Are you unable to do the things you need to do to make it exciting? Are you too busy with the minutia involved with running your business that every day seems like a blur?  Basic human nature is to try and do everything ourselves, but consider enlisting some help where it makes sense.  Try and think about what you can take off your plate,  and what you can realistically delegate. The goal is to get you back to that place where your excitement level outweighs the stress of running your own business.
C = Commitment
Sometimes making a commitment to yourself is harder than making one to someone else.  Isn’t summer a great time to commit to making a few changes in your life?  With longer days and more sunshine it is easy to put in longer work hours, but why not commit to using those few extra hours to reconnect with family and friends this summer.  Having positive relationships in your life will help you be more positive and energized.  It is easy to sabotage yourself if you start to feel guilty when you choose to miss out on things like family parties, dinner with friends, youth sporting events, or even grilling with the neighbors.  Commit to participating in a few if not all the summer activities you can with family and friends.  You will see that making a conscience effort to enjoy the people around you can be the best use of your time in the long run.

If you need help trying to figure out what you can delegate or who you can work with to give you a few extra hours in your day, we have a team of amazing placement specialist that would be happy to assist you. https://assistantmatch.com.

Don’t get SPOOKED by the holiday rush this year! Halloween is creeping up on us and then the countdown clock begins. Plan on being proactive and get some virtual help to delegate tasks to.  Wouldn’t it be a nice treat to really enjoy the holidays, instead of being rushed and stressed out about them?

Here are 5 ways to utilize a virtual assistant right now:

  1. Get current with your book-keeping. End the year with your accounting in order. Make it a goal to enter the tax season organized and confident.
  2. Prepare you holiday cards.  A virtual assistant can order custom cards, setup client address lists, print labels or even set-up e-cards to be sent on your behalf.
  3. Do an end of the year marketing/sales push.  Give your ideas to a marketing virtual assistant and let them create an email marketing campaign, setup 1ShoppingCart, prepare creative graphics, etc…
  4. Attend Holiday networking events.  This is a great time of year to mingle and spread good cheer while reminding people who you are and what you can do for them   Have your virtual assistant research local networking events and put them on your calendar.
  5. Prepare a sale if your product/services are especially useful at the end of the year.  A virtual assistant can promote your products or sale through your social media accounts, prepare marketing materials and help you write and send out email blasts.

Be sure to plan early for some holiday help, because it will be here in a blink of an eye.

 

No matter who you are, there are only 24 hours in a day to get things accomplished.  For a small business owner, most of those hours are spent working to keep their business running, growing, and staying competitive.  It is not an easy thing to do, and a smart business owner will usually realize that they can not (and should not) try to do everything  by themselves.

When the time comes to find help and delegate some of the daily job duties to an assistant, the first thing a business owner should consider iswhat are my expectations and are they realistic”.
Here are 4 things to consider about job duty expectations when delegating work to a new  virtual assistant.

  1. It is important that you have an idea of how long it would take you to do the same task, so you can have a reasonable expectation for the VA.
  2. If the delegated task would take you an hour to do, you should expect it to take longer for a VA to do the same task (until they understand your business and processes).
  3. An unreasonable expectation on a new VA will frustrate them (and you) and cause the initial relationship to go south even before it has a chance to develop.
  4. With some patience, time and reasonable expectations a virtual assistant can become a great asset to you and your company.

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?

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.

 

Every business owner knows that decisions affecting your business have to be made pretty much every day.  There are easy decisions, and then there are those harder decisions that show up and create sleepless nights, stressful days and self doubt.  These are usually the decisions that are necessary to keep your business moving in the right direction.

For many business owners,  the biggest challenge isn’t making the right decision, it is doing or implementing it.  I love the quote by Tony Robbins, “ A real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken a new action. If there in no action then you haven’t truly decided”.

Think about how much time is wasted or lost making decisions that don’t ever come to fruition.

So, what are the main causes of decisions not being implemented?

  • Lack of Time?
  • Lack of Resources?
  • Lack of Motivation?
  • Lack of Finances?

Every business is different and every person handles decision-making differently. If you’re finding that more decisions are being made than are getting done, it’s time to pause, reflect, reorganize, and re-evaluate your processes  your resources and your time-management skills.

Let me know if you struggle with getting your business decisions moving from an idea to an action.

It’s our pleasure to introduce you to Marissa Levin.  We love having Marissa as a client of Assistant Match and we encourage you to connect with Marissa on her website or through social media if you would like to learn more about her business services.

1. What is the name of your business?
I actually have two businesses:

  • -Information Experts
  • Successful Culture

2. Where are you located?

I am located in Reston, VA

3.Describe your business and what you do:

Information Experts is the leader in integrated strategic communications, online learning, and human capital services.
Mission: To help our clients achieve their strategic objectives through the creation of compelling, transformative, and highly efficient communications and online learning solutions.
Values: Efficient. Reliable. Business-Focused. Solutions-Focused. Innovative. Committed to Responsible Flexibility.
Information Experts is an award-winning strategic communications and education firm. Our core areas of expertise include instructional design/elearning, strategic communications, human capital, and marketing communications & outreach.
We work with government agencies across all sectors, including civilian, defense, and intelligence. We also support numerous vertical markets in the commercial sector. We have won more than 90 awards for our creativity and leadership.

Successful Culture is the leading authority on building extraordinary organizational cultures to attract and keep extraordinary people.

Mission: To help every small business owner build high-growth, people-centric organizational cultures through CEO-to-CEO strategic consulting, enabling all employees and organizations to fulfill their potential.

Values: Integrity. Authenticity. Accountability. Connection. Experience. Transformation. Growth.

4. How has working with a virtual assistant helped you overcome daily challenges associated with being a business owner?

My virtual assistant is an expert with my email marketing tool, which is an absolutely essential part of my growth strategy.  It would take me 4 times as long to do what she does, and I would do a poor job. I dislike this type of work, and she loves it. A CEO needs to evaluate what they don’t like and what they are not good at, and delegate it to someone who loves that work, so that they are then free to do what a CEO does best, which is executing on their strategy and vision.

5. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about working with a virtual assistant?

Call Assistant Match!  If they need further convincing, they should draw a quadrant with these titles on the boxes:   1: Love/Good at it;  2: Love/Not good at it  3: Don’t like/good at it 4: Don’t like/not good at it. Anything not in Box #1 should be delegated/outsourced to an expert. Skip the entry-level route and go right to the expert for dependable results, lower stress, and a strong ROI.

6. How do you market your business and which methods have proven most successful?

Word of mouth, face-to-face networking, outreach through my blog

7. What do you enjoying doing when you are not working?
Working out, spending time with my family, reading, going to concerts

8. What is your Business Website URLs:

www.informationexperts.com

www.successfulculture.com

9.  What is your Business Facebook Page URL

www.facebook.com/InformationExperts

10. What is your Twitter username?
@marissalevin