Mid-Year Review – are you making the most of your VA?

We’re nearly halfway through this year, so let me ask you – how’s business? Are you going in the right direction? Are you making headway on your business goals? Have you started implementing all those goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year – and by the way, are you making the most of your VA?

I thought I’d throw that last question in there, as your VA is an essential part of your business success. You’ve invested in a VA, so are you making the most of them?

We’re now past the May bank holiday and still have a little time before the kids are off for the summer holidays, or your clients start taking their summer holidays. This means now is the perfect time, to carry out a mid-year review on your business and to make sure you’re utilising every means at your disposal, in order to help you reach your business goals.

If you are a parent of school age children, you’ll want to spend some quality time with your kids during their summer break. Maybe you’ve even planned a summer break away with them, so prior to that, get your hustle on to ensure that it can happen and you can take some guilt-free time away.

Take the time now, to review what you’ve already achieved, start finishing off those projects that are on the home stretch and to begin planning for the rest of this year. The work you put in now can set you up for the rest of this year – and it can make sure you’re utilising your VA to the full.

Apart from the usual task you hand over to your VA, there are various other tasks you can hand over to them, in order to free up your time now and to ensure you can switch off and recharge whilst you’re away during the summer – and ensure you hit the ground running, when you get back. These include:

  • Researching and compiling product material, presentations etc.
  • Planning your launch schedules and sequences
  • Researching and creating batches of content (such as blog posts and social media postings) for the months ahead
  • Updating your social media accounts and profiles
  • Clearing and archiving files and emails on your computer

So why not take the time now, to review your progress so far this year, reassess where you’re headed and work out how best your VA can help you achieve those goals?

Have you carried out your mid-year review yet? What tasks, above and beyond the usual ones you outsource to them, have you decided to assign to your VA? Why not share your opinions and task ideas in the comments box below!

What can I outsource to a VA?

Saving time is frequently at the top of most entrepreneur’s wish lists. They appreciate that outsourcing some of their workload to a Virtual Assistant would save time, but one of the top questions they have around outsourcing is ‘What can I actually outsource to a VA?’

Routine and repetitive tasks

We all have lots of routine and repetitive tasks that eat into our time. Whether its organising meetings or updating databases, these tasks can easily passed to a Virtual Assistant. And, more often than not, they can complete these tasks a lot faster than we can! Continue reading “What can I outsource to a VA?”

Why a Virtual Assistant is more cost effective than hiring staff

When you first start thinking of building a team, you immediately start worrying about the costs involved. There’s also the legalities to consider, contracts to be written and employee benefits to be worked out. However, before you start panicking over the extra cost and work involved, building a team doesn’t have to involve hiring employees – you could hire a Virtual Assistant and team and save both time and money. Continue reading “Why a Virtual Assistant is more cost effective than hiring staff”

Can a VA manage my social media?

When it comes to hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA), there is one common question that keeps cropping up – what can a VA do for me? Most small business owners are swamped with work and dream of hiring in help – but they don’t know WHAT help they can pass over to someone else! Continue reading “Can a VA manage my social media?”

Can a Virtual Assistant really understand my business?

Virtual Assistants (or VA’s) can be a real lifeline to any business. Whether you’re a busy coach or online entrepreneur, a Virtual Assistant can help manage the background elements of your business, giving you the help and freedom to concentrate on growing your business.

However, one of the most commonly asked questions of a Virtual Assistant is “Can a Virtual Assistant really understand MY business?” Continue reading “Can a Virtual Assistant really understand my business?”

How can a Virtual Assistant manage my diary remotely?

Virtual Assistants (or VA’s) can manage a variety of tasks for you, however one of the most popular roles a Virtual Assistant is hired for is managing an online diary. This leads to one of the top questions asked by business owners – “HOW can a Virtual Assistant actually manage my diary for me?” Continue reading “How can a Virtual Assistant manage my diary remotely?”

Questions to ask a Virtual Assistant BEFORE you hire them

Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) is going to be a really important step in your business growth. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re hiring someone that understands you, your business AND what you want to achieve… and that’s before you’ve even got started on what you want them to do for you! Continue reading “Questions to ask a Virtual Assistant BEFORE you hire them”

How to afford a Virtual Assistant

Most solo and small business owners dream of having their own Virtual Assistant (VA). They will lament at how it’s a catch-22 situation – they need the VA, but need to be earning enough to afford a VA. Another common statement is “I’d love a VA… if only I could afford one”.

The benefits of having your own VA are numerous. They include freeing up your time and energy, doing those tasks you hate doing and helping you to cut your ‘to do’ list in half. This is all well and good… but what if you REALLY can’t afford to hire a VA? Continue reading “How to afford a Virtual Assistant”

Become a VA: Step 7 – Social Media and Your VA Business

For the past 6 weeks, I have shared 6 tips that I hope are helping you to launch, grow and boost your VA business.

Are you putting them into action?  Which has been your favourite?  Which have you found the easiest or the hardest to apply?

This week I want to talk about ‘How to use social media to boost interest in your VA services’.

Regularly when I ask VAs or Business Owners in general why they are on social media, they tell me its because someone else told them to be on it.  A lot of them think Social Media is a waste of time, or they say “I don’t have time to get round to doing it”. But are just doing it for the sake of it.

Well the reality is, if you think about how many people you could get exposed to, online, it’s actually far greater than what you would be able to achieve in terms of the number of people you would meet if you were going to your local networking meeting.  As an example, when I look at my 576 LinkedIn connections, I could be connected to over 11,411,482 business connections world wide and that doesn’t take into consideration Twitter or Facebook.  The potential is far reaching.

Although I say, you rule social media and social media doesn’t rule you.  It is imperative that you are consistent in your approach and have a strategy of what you are trying to achieve with your interaction.  I always recommend having a social media strategy and a social media plan, so that you know what you are writing about every week.

There are literally hundreds of social media platforms available but you don’t need a presence on all of them.  Think about where your ideal client is and the platforms they are using and then use those platforms. 

1580-businessFacebook

Facebook is an ideal platform for Business to Consumer type businesses – it’s a great way to showcase your expertise, link to helpful articles and build relationships with potential clients.  Your posts have great longitivtiy and visual content works well on Facebook.  However, it can be a slow process to build your likes and gain traction, so remember this is part of the long game and not a short term social media platform.

social-network_110002685-012814-intTwitter

Twitter is great for Business to Business interactions and Business to Consumer.  It can be fast, fun and addictive and a great tool for signposting individuals to your other platforms.  You can ask advice, give advice and share articles.  Business colleagues of mine, recently described Twitter as “going to the pub and being able to ask the silly questions”.

linkedinLinkedIn

Someone new joins LinkedIn every second.  It is seen as the number one  social media tool for Business.  Often regarded as the more formal social media networks, it is used by professionals in all fields. It encompasses the ability to give and receive recommendations. LinkedIn works really well for relationship building.  I recently wrote a guest blog for the Virtual Assistant Coaching and Training Company on the subject of 15 steps to creating a professional LinkedIn profile. I also posted a post about why you need a company LinkedIn page which I thoroughly recommend.

So feel free to connect with me on the Social Media Platforms mentioned by clicking on the name of the platform below (it turns into a hyperlink) and if you connect after reading this blog please do tell me:

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn


Have you enjoyed the Blog series?  Has it left you thinking that you need more information about setting up as a Virtual Assistant before you make the transition?

Learn the Key Strategies of What You Need to Know When Becoming a VA &

Learn if this industry is for you..
…in our half-day taster sessions priced at only £37!
Nothing ventured nothing gained!

iStock_000010234265Small

Is this you?…

  • Are you a PA who’s a mother, soon to retire or being made redundant and now interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant and yet you are not quite ready to go ahead?
  • Have you conducted lots of research yet still not sure if becoming a VA is for you, perhaps you are a little scared of setting up your own VA business or are nervous about taking a leap of faith?
  • Is this a venture you are looking to start in a few months’ time yet want to get a full understanding before you are ready to get going?
  • Do you need to know the basics first before you fully commit to any full training or business building?
  • Do you want someone who is an experienced expert to guide you towards what is essential for you to know, prior to getting started, so that you start on the right footing avoiding the costly mistakes many makes?  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Join us in London for a Taster Session on Thu 4 Dec at 1330, Premier Inn Meeting Rooms, Euston.  To learn more or to book click here.


Become a VA: Step 6 – Become a Networking Success Story

Do you worry about Networking? Even seasoned Business Owners occasionally worry about networking, so don’t worry if you have that feeling of dread right now. But get networking right it can make a massive difference to your positioning in the business market!

Before I share some tips for getting your networking established, here are some of my favourite quotes about networking:

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living.  – Bob Burg

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  – Maya Angelou

Networking – What to Consider

Would you do business with someone you don’t know, or didn’t like or trust? NO! So in turn how can you expect people to do business with you if they don’t know you?

Building relationships with people is important because, not only do you see whether your first judgements were correct, you grow to like, trust and respect that person and want to support them as well as the fact that you want that person to get to know you – so they can support you also. It all goes hand-in-hand doesn’t it?

People do business with those they know, like and trust.

Be clear on who your want to connect with

1404-businessAs part of your networking strategy become clear about the type of contacts you want to connect with.

If you have a niche, start to investigate where your niche do their networking. There could be industry related organisations, which hold events such as exhibitions or conferences. There could be meet-ups around the country. Source them and then attend as a visitor to get a feel for them.

Not Making the Time to Network – Big Mistake!

Working for yourself, time is of the essence, however, sparing the time to go to networking meetings every month will help to put your business on the map, help you develop your presentation skills; build your confidence in presenting your business to prospective clients and in yourself.

Ring-fence the time in your diary and respect your own business – it will only continue to grow if you continue to lay the foundations and grow your connections.

Your clients should respect that you are a business and are a growing one; any client who values their business should understand this.   Have updates with your clients and plan ahead with them when you are out of the office, even better, organise your associates to support your clients when you are out for the day.

On a slightly sour note, you need to go networking as what happens if you lose a client and need to fill that space with another; if you haven’t taken the time to network – its much harder to fill that slot.

social-network_110002551-012814-intNetworking Online

Networking online should not replace networking in person, although many VAs take on clients having only ever met via social media.

However, there still has been the process of building the trust. Get clear about the outcomes you want to achieve as a result of attending networking meetings over a period of time, perhaps work over a three month period at a time and ensure that online networking forms part of your strategy.

What Do You DO? – Get Clear About What You’re Offering!

I don’t think I know a single VA who has not been stumped by this question as some point in their networking. When promoting your expertise at a networking meeting you need to be clear about the benefits of using your VA services not the features so that you are answering the question “What’s in it for me?”.

When at a networking event and someone asks you what you do, be careful that you are not going into sales mode with them and start telling them what they could need…what they want to know is, who you work with, what services you provide and how your clients benefit from all of this.

Follow Up and One to Ones

The key to any good networking is in the follow up and in getting to know each of the other person in more in-depth. If someone has shown an interest, offered you a referral or you have offered to send them a piece of information, make sure you follow up. Otherwise it doesn’t create the best impression and you could end up losing business to another VA.

You can also follow up with them by connecting and conversing via social media. The more the two of you understand about one another’s businesses, the more likely the trust builds and referrals are generated.

You might also like to read my 3 Tips for Successful Business Networking blog.

Next week, we will start to look at Social Media and how you can use it in your VA business.

VACT-Logo-Green_png-250pxAmanda Johnson of Your Executive Secretary Limited is a licensed Trainer of the VACT.  If you would like to book yourself on the next Taster Session in your area then please click here or if you would like to book a free 30 minute breakthrough call then click here