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Why Every Start-Up Entrepreneur Should Have Virtual Support

Posted by in Virtual Assistant

Establishing a new company can be hard work especially if you are attempting to do everything on your own. While being the sole director allows you to manage and oversee these start-up phases, you can end up doing a poorer job as a result. After all, you may spread yourself too thin having to allocate time to too many jobs. To help you prioritise your schedule while still getting everything done, we’d recommend hiring some sort of virtual support for the following reasons. Reduced Costs and Effort First of all, outsourcing tasks such as message taking, data entry and copywriting is much more affordable than hiring full-time staff to do the same job. While the wages may be more per hour, you’ll only have to pay your assistant for the time they work. Outside of this, they won’t cost you a penny! You will also free up your time so you can focus on more important areas of your start-up. Hiring some virtual support to take care of the menial corporate tasks will then leave you with additional time to work on finding leads, working for clients and promoting your new business. These areas are the real money bringers and should be your top priorities! Decreased Office Space Since you’re establishing a commercial start-up, you probably won’t want to spend a lot of money on rent. The virtual PA helps you lower your lease costs by giving you a variety of business services without the need for an extra desk at your office. Thus, you can still hold onto that small but cosy workplace and expand your staff at the same time. They will also provide their own equipment, saving you from having to buy and store this extra gear in your office! Added Project Flexibility When running a business, you never know what will arise especially since you’re just starting. Hiring a virtual assistant will give you added flexibility in dealing with a range of situations. To give you an idea of exactly what we mean, here are some examples in which you may find yourself in a pickle: There may be a need to work after hours on an urgent client project Potential customers may phone your closed office on the weekend You may suddenly find yourself with too many incoming calls to cope While you could bring in additional staff to handle these matters, the overtime wages can be downright costly. Instead, you can hire some virtual support to take care of all unexpected matters without costing you a fortune in the process. No Taxes and Benefits  Lastly, it’s important to remember that these outsourced assistants are working for you on a contractual basis. Since they...

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3 Reasons why you don’t want to hire a Virtual Assistant right now

Posted by in Virtual Assistant

When I start to talk to prospective clients about what I do, I often find that many business owners have been struggling alone for far too long before they decide to ask for any help. There are many explanations as to why people do this. And if this resonates with you then I’ve set out below the 3 main reasons why you don’t want to hire a virtual assistant right now. You think that you’re saving money by doing it yourself.  Why pay someone to do tasks when you can do them yourself ?  It doesn’t make sense to you.  However, those accumulated hours that you spend updating your website, typing up a report or putting together a newsletter are time that you could be focusing on doing client work and attracting new leads.  Remember that every minute that you spend on these types of tasks is a minute that you’re not earning money for your business and if this stacks up then it could seriously affect your bottom line. Nobody knows your business like you do.  That’s true especially if you’ve built the business from scratch yourself.  But if you want to grow your business then you need to understand that it’s important to build a team of people to help you.  Whether that’s a bookkeeper to handle the finances, or a virtual assistant to manage the back office tasks.  If you try to do it all yourself then you’ll end up burnt out and your business will just become a burden on your shoulders.  By delegating tasks to others, you will be able to leverage your time so that you can focus on what’s important for your business. You’re frightened of damaging your business reputation.  Trust is a major issue for people when they start to delegate work to others. How can you trust other people to do a good job and not damage the reputation that you’ve built up with your clients?  One way round this is to have a clear set of policies and values for your business and communicate these to anyone that you outsource work to.  Also create a contract with terms and conditions for any associates or contractors that you take on so that there is no misunderstanding about what is required. These are just 3 issues that people have when outsourcing to a virtual assistant or any contractor or associate that they bring into the business.  I’m sure that there are many more and feel free to leave a comment below with your feedback. And if you want to find out more about how we help clients save time and money in their business then check out our virtual assistant services. ...

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How a Virtual Assistant Can Manage Your Events

Posted by in Event planning, Virtual Assistant

This is the first in a series of blogs detailing how a virtual assistant can help you in certain areas of your business. The first one covers handling the administration of events and future ones will include helping to set up webinars, e-courses, podcasts and videos. There are many ways that you can market your business; putting on workshops is a great way to raise your profile and credibility, and videos and podcasts are becoming increasingly popular too. However, you may not have the expertise or time to learn how to set these up yourself. So this series of blogs will show you how a virtual assistant can help you. If you are someone who organises training events such as workshops or seminars, it can be easy to get bogged down in the details of organising the event rather than focusing on preparing the necessary materials. If this is the case, then here’s how a virtual assistant can help you organise events that your delegates will benefit from attending. Bookings and payments. You can easily set up an online booking and payment system using applications such as Eventbrite. A virtual assistant can set up a booking page on Eventbrite and keep track of the number of attendees. If payments are being made by invoice, then the VA can raise and send out the invoices and chase up payment. Event promotion. Eventbrite integrates with MailChimp so the virtual assistant can upload on to MailChimp the details of people who have booked in and then send out further emails about the event. They can also post a link to the booking page on your Twitter profile, and use the events feature on Facebook and LinkedIn to promote the event to your online connections. Manage attendees/speakers. It can be time-consuming handling all the enquiries from attendees and speakers so let a virtual assistant do it for you. They can deal with any issues or enquiries via phone or email, as well as add a FAQs section on the booking page. A virtual assistant can also prepare and collate any materials such as agendas, name badges, goody bags etc, and manage equipment requirements for the speakers. Liaise with venue. Ensuring that everything is set up properly at the venue is essential for the smooth running of any event. A virtual assistant can liaise with the venue to ensure that the room is set up correctly, all the necessary equipment is in place and working properly, there is sufficient catering, and there is a front desk to book in attendees if necessary. Follow up after event. Once the event is finished, it’s essential to get feedback from the attendees as this is invaluable when...

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Take a break from your business: Take a holiday on us!

Posted by in Outsourcing, Small business, Virtual Assistant

After speaking to some business owners recently, it seems that there are quite a few who won’t be taking a holiday over the summer period.  In fact, many people feel that they are not in a position to take a break because without them, their business would not survive.  However, in order to fully achieve personal and financial freedom from your business, it needs to be able to exist without you actually being there.  This can be something that a lot of people struggle with in the early days but one of the first steps is to start outsourcing those essential but non-fee earning tasks, such as admin and book keeping. So if you are now feeling that your business is running you rather than the other way round, here are 5 ways a virtual assistant can give you the freedom to take a break from your business. Manage your team.  If your business is made up of a team based in various locations then a virtual assistant can liaise with them while you’re away.  With your instructions, they can co-ordinate team activities to ensure that they stay on track and deadlines are being met. Manage your clients.   One of the main things that a lot of business owners worry about when they’re away is ensuring that their clients are being properly looked after.  A virtual assistant can handle enquiries or issues via phone or email, or forward them to another member of the team.  They can also keep a record of client activities on a CRM system so you can track of what’s been happening. Manage updates.  Having a holiday can result in a hiatus with your marketing activity.  If you’ve spent time building up an online following you don’t want to suddenly “disappear” for 2-3 weeks.  A virtual assistant can continue to post important business-related updates to Twitter and Facebook while you’re away, as well as schedule your regular blog posts.  They can also keep your contacts up to date with the latest news or promotions by sending out newsletters or updating your website. Manage projects.  Don’t put off your holiday just because you’ve got a project or event coming up.  For example, a virtual assistant can handle many aspects of your events, such as liaising with attendees and speakers, organising the venue, handling enquiries, dealing with bookings and payment. Manage your payments.  You don’t have to stop getting paid just because you’re on holiday.  A virtual assistant can raise and send out invoices to your clients and chase up payment as necessary.  They can also manage your expenses and reconcile your expenditure and income with your bank statement.  This means that you can keep the cash...

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How to get an extra hour a day with a virtual assistant

Posted by in Time management, Virtual Assistant

When you’re running your own business, time is a precious resource and many of us wish that we had more of it.  We’re often juggling so many tasks and projects that we end up feeling burnt out and exhausted.  And we end up thinking “this isn’t why we went into business!” So how would it feel if you could discover how to get an extra hour a day; the time to focus on those projects that would really move your business forward?  Well, this is where outsourcing can bring real benefits to your business.  By bringing in people who have the skills to help you with those tasks that you’re struggling with, you will not only have that extra hour but far more time to focus on growing your business. Let’s take virtual assistants as an example; they can help you to reduce your workload by taking on those tasks that you don’t have the time or skills to do yourself. So if you want to find out how to get an extra hour a day, here’s how a virtual assistant can help you: Type up a 6 page document Put an event on Eventbrite and send out an invite via MailChimp Book travel and organise hotel accommodation for a business trip Type up and format 10 slides on PowerPoint Create and send out invoices to your clients Add and format content to an email newsletter and schedule delivery Type approximately 40 contacts into a database or CRM system Input your monthly expenses into an Excel spreadsheet or accounts software Take calls while you’re out of the office Organise meetings, arrange venues and liaise with attendees Go through your email messages and organise them into folders Create or edit a page on your website with text, images and links Post and publish content on your blog and send it out via social media Set up a page on Facebook and a profile on Twitter Post details of your promotions or events on your Twitter and Facebook accounts Research relevant content on the Internet for your blog or email newsletter Set up 4 autoresponders (scheduled emails) to send out to contacts after sign up to mailing list or as part of an e-course Design a cover for your EBook giveaway and put the image on the sign up form on your website to increase conversions Analyse your email marketing campaigns to ensure they’re delivering the right results Set up search terms on Twitter so you can track conversations and find relevant followers This is just an overview of what a virtual assistant can do to help you reduce your workload.  So the next time you’re struggling with multiple tasks, think...

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How outsourcing can increase profits by 185% !

Posted by in Outsourcing, Virtual Assistant

When I’m out networking, one of the responses that many people give when I start talking about my virtual assistant services is that they are not in a position to outsource at the moment.  Yes, their client work is growing and they’re feeling overwhelmed by their workload, but they’re just too busy to think about it right now. They may have a list of projects that they want to tackle such as starting up a blog, or sending out a newsletter. Or perhaps it’s that pile of paperwork that they know needs to be sorted but they either don’t have the time or inclination to get round to doing it.  So these tasks that could be adding value to their business just get left behind until they’ve got the time to sort it out.  And that time never comes. My response when I hear this is “What is it costing your business by not doing these things?”.  Because what they haven’t realised is how outsourcing can increase profits for their business. You may have business cards that you need to follow up on, or receipts that need to be inputted so you can track how much you’ve spent that month.  Perhaps you’ve promised your contacts a newsletter but just never get round to sending one out.  So think about how it would make you feel if these kinds of tasks were handled quickly and efficiently, leaving you to focus on doing the work that you enjoy. Also consider the financial impact if you’re spending time doing your admin tasks yourself.  It could actually be seriously affecting your business profits.  The illustration below was put together for an online chat I did the other week about how hiring a virtual assistant can benefit small businesses.  This shows how a business that works 30 hours a week at £50/hour can gain a profit increase of 185% by outsourcing admin to a virtual assistant. Your chargeable rate = £50 per hour Virtual assistant chargeable rate = £25 per hour Scenario 1 – Not using a VA 30 hours available Max Billable hours per week = 22 @ £50 per hour = £1100 charged out to customers Admin hours per week = 8 @ £50 per hour = £400 lost time not charged out Max Gross Profit = £700 Scenario 2 – Using a VA 30 hours available Max Billable hours per week = 30 @ £50 per hour = £1500 charged out to customers Admin hours per week = 8 @ £25 per hour = £200 VA cost Max Gross Profit = £1300 Results in 185% potential profit increase! Now you know how outsourcing can increase profits, the question you should be asking...

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