You have been working on your business for a little while, things are going well but time is getting tight. You want to grow but you can’t do any more by yourself. You think you need some help but are you ready to let go of some aspects of your precious business?
There are lots of VA’s, OBM’s and SMM’s out there.
What kind of support do you need so that you have more
time to grow and build your business?
I have put together a handy list of things to consider
>> Know what you want
Be clear on what you want your VA to do for you.
As a VA I like to be able to offer some advice on the
type of tasks clients might like to consider outsourcing but it is helpful if
you have an idea of what you expect your VA to be doing.
Without clear expectations, you could end up wasting time and money.
>> Have your processes in order
Get your processes in order FIRST.
This will save you time when on-boarding or training and will set your VA up to succeed.
You don’t want to end up being the bottleneck in your business if your VA has to keep contacting you to find out how you want something done.
A good VA should be able to refine your processes as time
>> Expectations and Boundaries
Look at the tasks you have decided to delegate. Work out
whether you want a VA to be available daily, weekly, monthly or on an adhoc
basis. These expectations will help you hire the right person for you and your business.
Boundaries are super important. If you set these at the beginning, there will be no disappointments. Make sure you are clear when you are available for your VA and vice-versa. How do you want to communicate – email, phone, basecamp or similar.
Like with most things in life getting a recommendation is
the best way to hire.
Ask your business buddies if they use a VA or know of any
with a good reputation. Ask for recommendations within a Facebook group that you
are a member of or any other platforms you prefer. It may take some time to find
the right person for you but putting the effort in at the beginning will be
well worth it.
Most VA’s will offer a free physical or virtual meeting to discuss requirements and talk about offer and suitability.
>> Try before you buy!
This may not always be possible but if you can get to know a VA a little you will quickly establish if you are on the same page and whether a working relationship will grow. A VA is likely one of the first people you allow into your business, your first team member! This is a big deal.
I took part in an online course and ended up working with
the course creator and one of the other participants. This is great for both
parties – they got to know me and how I work and I got to learn about their
businesses and if we were a good fit for working together all before any money
changed hands or contracts signed.
>> Start Small
Delegate one task at a time (and whole tasks are better
than little bits). This way if you and your VA are not the best match you
haven’t wasted lots of time training.
You can gradually build your VA’s task list.
>> Sign on the line
Contracts are there to protect both parties. Don’t put
this off, they can always be amended or adapted as the business relationship
Hiring a VA should feel like a huge weight has been lifted. You have someone on board who will love and care for your business, take on those tasks that stop you doing what you love (a better work-life balance or the opportunity to grow), they will become your business cheerleader and a source of support.
Having your own business can be a little like a marriage.
It is important to keep things fresh and exciting.
I still love my business and the mother it allows me to be.
I still have a couple of clients I have had from the beginning, of
course some new ones and
things are ticking along very nicely.
have to admit that every now and then I can become a little lazy at pushing
I get busy with family life and the day to day tasks that seem to take over.
Some wise words I was given when I first started my VA business were… ‘you are your business’. It is important to take care of yourself and in turn your business will thrive.
Three areas I have been working on:
>> Keep on top of your game, update your knowledge and understanding in your field of work. There are often lots of online webinars, podcasts and courses as well as groups on social media to share skills, tips and advice. I love sharing tips and every now and then finding a knowledge gem that allows me to better serve my clients.
>> Do what you love, this doesn’t have to be work related. All work and no play is not always fun so make sure you make time for yourself. Reading, exercising, socialising, Netflix, shopping! Whatever it is that makes all the hard work worth it. All of the above work for me!
>> Pursue personal development opportunities, this is slightly different to training and keeping updated on current affairs within your business. This is something to allow you to grow or change as a person and in turn should have a positive impact on your business. For my personal development I have been working on my mindset…it is often the case that we are our own worst enemies and self-doubt is what can stand in the way of our success. Adapting my mindset has been nothing but positive for me, my family and of course my business.
If you are feeling all fired (or sparked) up the rest should follow…You are your business.
Don’t worry I haven’t gone mad; I know it’s only October!
BUT there are only 5 weeks until Christmas!
As much as I would love to sit and watch the Christmas 24/7 channel it would be much better to put my time to good use so…
This is a good time of year to explain that a Virtual Assistant, much like a personal assistant, can be available to assist with more than just business related tasks.
In the lead up to Christmas it might not be work pressures that are stressing you out.
Instead you may be planning Christmas parties and need someone to coordinate. You may have a huge gift list you need to get through, reservations that need to be made and travel arrangements to organise. These can all be time consuming tasks whilst trying to run your business. It is ok to hand these over and let your VA handle them on your behalf.You can then show up to Christmas relaxed, feeling accomplished and knowing everything is sorted.
If there is anything you would like to offload from your business or more lifestyle related tasks please get in touch and let me be your Christmas helper!
I have been asked many times as a virtual assistant… ‘how does it work?’
The short answer is…easily!
Rightly or wrongly we are all virtual these days; emailing, texting, messaging and phoning. We often communicate in many different ways before actually meeting someone.
I have a couple of local clients which enables face to face opportunities to discuss work and attend offices if needed. For those that are truly virtual we have a number of different working strategies and platforms in place.
Each client works differently and as a business support serviceI pride myself on being adaptable to the preference of the client and to work in a way that best suits their needs.
Email is a regular and reliable way for VAs to communicate with clients, where work can be sent back and forth. Some clients like to provide me with an email account that I log in to. This allows me to email on the company’s behalf using an email address associated with that client or company.
However, it is much more fun to use task management software such as Asana and Trello to share work load!
One of my clients drops all her content into Trello, this is my favourite task management tool. A ‘card’ is created for each task which can include documents and images. A checklist can then be added so all team members can see task progress. As a VA I can login anytime to complete the cards assigned to me. In this client’s case I use the content to create and schedule social media posts, upload blogs to a website and schedule weekly email distributions using another scheduling tool: Convertkit.
Asana is very similar to Trello and both allow you to comment on tasks or cards in order to keep each other up to date.
Canva is a great application that I use for many clients to create social media posts. Clients can add a VA to their Canva account and share templates in order to keep on brand.
Other applications I use with clients are Mailchimp, 17 Hats, Planoly and Active Campaign to name a few. There are so many out there that offer to help businesses with task lists, managing workload and team platforms. These can be brilliant but I do advise clients to take a step back every now and then to check they are not wasting time duplicating or making more work for themselves by using them. There are often efficiencies to be found by focussing on completing the tasks rather than spending time organising them to look pretty.
Toggl is a great tool that I use to log my time spent on a particular task, project or client. Toggl allows me to provide the client with a report to accompany an invoice for my services. There are many applications out there that do a similar job and I have chosen this one as it best suits my current needs. The other great thing is that it’s totally FREE! Who doesn’t love free!
Are you ready to hire a VA?
I am looking forward to hearing from you 🙂
So the snow has melted away and the sun is shining here in Bournemouth and it is positively spring like – hooray!! It has got me to thinking about spring cleaning but not my home, my fridge or even my wardrobe (which is in desperate need) but businesses. More specifically your businesses…
It is coming up to the financial year-end for many and this quite often results in pile of invoices and statements, receipts flying around, client files collecting dust in the corner, lists of meetings that need to be arranged and diarised for the year ahead and this is on top of all the usual day to day.
This is where I can come in, you would be surprised how much can be done virtually these days.
If you would prefer a more traditional PA that is by your side and available to provide your caffeine fix, then read no further! However, if you can manage the coffee machine on your own then let me help you get down to business and clear the clutter…
Email me that list of those meeting that need arranging
Allow me to go through your deleted items to clear what is no longer needed and go through all the sub files to remove any duplication
Let me scan in and catalogue all those client files collecting dust
Offload all those invoices to me to enter onto your accounting software
Meeting notes or audio files stacking up? Send them over, minute typing is one of my favourites
Although I do bang on about being virtual I do have local clients that I am happy to assist in the office should the need arise. For example, I am happy to attend and minute meetings and complete physical filing tasks if required.
So handover all these tasks to free yourself up to grow your business or to get out in this sunshine.
Sound good? Give me a call and let’s have a chat about how I can help you with that.
Carly Rose Virtual PA Services Let me help you with that!
What are your New Year Resolutions? Do you believe in them? I am not sure if I do really. I think we set ourselves up to fail by listing all these things we want to achieve without really thinking about them realistically. When asked about mine, I would always list off the same old things…lose weight, eat healthily, go to the gym, save money. Well by week two I was feeling guilty because I had made the gym once, eaten my body weight in carbs and spent all my money in the sales! These days I write myself goals instead, usually 90 days at a time. This makes it easier to plan out my year personally and professionally.
Furthermore, my method means you are reviewing the goals throughout the year and resetting for the next 90 days, hopefully keeping you focussed on what you want to achieve. I have them written out on a white board so I can see them every day whether they are business related or personal. A personal goal may be to get back to your pre-baby weight so stick a picture of yourself looking great on the fridge so every time you go to open it you remember your goal! My dad used to have a great magnet on our fridge – Fridge pickers wear bigger knickers!! I’ll always remember this and smile. A business goal might be to have a sign written vehicle, so get a mock up image and put it up in your office so you can visualise yourself driving around in it.
My 2017 was a busy one! A new baby, a school starter, starting up my own business, further home improvements, a family wedding abroad and these are just the big events. Life has a habit of taking over and we get swept up in the day to day, so taking a step back to reflect on all you have achieved is important. I sat down and looked over my 2017 goals. I achieved many of them but not all so I have added those that are still relevant to those that are now important to me for the next 90 days and beyond. 2018 looks exciting!
I am getting in touch with all my clients to discuss their goals for 2018 and review how my services can assist them in achieving them.
Lots of people will be considering work life balance and perhaps thinking ‘I must spend more time at home this year’ or ‘I need to take more time for myself.’ If this is the case for you I would love to have a chat to discover what I can do to allow you to achieve your goals this coming year.
This was due to go out last week but as is often the case life got in the way! It was a crazy week with lots of illness at home and a bedroom re-shuffle resulting in a new office for me! You’ll now find me in the en-suite!
As you can see it doesn’t take me long to get to work these days – this allows me more time to work on the tasks you would like to out-source! I have my own desk, laptop, phone and printer – I don’t need you to provide me with these items before I can get your work completed. As you have already seen I also provide my own coffee. All I do need from you is the admin tasks you’d like to be rid of! Look forward to hearing from you wherever you are!
Virtual Assistant, Personal Assistant, Executive Secretary, Administrative Support.
If you google ‘What is a VA?’, this is what comes up….
“A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly-skilled, independent professional who remotely provides administrative, technical and/or creative business support services. They are your off-site administrative professional.”
I couldn’t have summarised it better myself! Any tasks that can be completed remotely can be outsourced to a VA. Tasks that I have completed just this last week have included website updates, social media updates, data entry, diary management, email monitoring and lead calling. Completing these tasks has freed up my clients to actually work on and grow their businesses. These admin tasks all take time which small business owners end up either neglecting, or completing at the expense of spending time with loved ones. By allowing me to take care of their To-Do lists, my clients can spend more time working on their businesses or having a better work life balance – something everyone is striving to achieve.
If you are a small business owner looking to recoup some time to work on rather than in your business, or you would like your evenings back to spend with partners or friends, please give me a call. I would be delighted to support you and your business.