|Small Business Information|
Do You Need the Help of a Virtual Assistant?
Running a business, whether large, small or in your home, is full of challenges. Getting the day-to-day tasks completed, e-mail, faxes and telephones answered, bills and statements sent out, reports run, schedule updated, travel arrangements made, marketing pieces and website updated, as well as a plethora of other tasks, can be downright daunting.
In swoops the "Virtual Assistant" to handle these and many other tasks for you and help your company's bottom line. In case you're still working out of a cave (as you may be if you're still doing it all yourself), a Virtual Assistant, who has been touted as one of the must-haves of the modern entrepreneurial arsenal of time and money-saving tricks, is a highly skilled independent contractor who handle their client's administrative (and sometimes personal) needs in a large variety of ways.
Because Virtual Assistants (VAs) are business owners themselves, they have a vested interest in your company's success -- your success leads to their success. They really aim to please because their business depends on it. And who better to understand the trials and tribulations than another business owner? Also, most VAs came from the corporate world and were executive or administrative assistants (secretaries), customer service managers or representatives, paralegals, project managers or coordinators, database administrators, or bookkeepers.
Here are just some of the services a Virtual Assistant can provide:
Typing / Word Processing,
You have a lot of work you could delegate to a Virtual Assistant, but you're still not convinced one would be right for your business. According to Hackett Group, a Hudson, Ohio consultancy, "outsourcing, in general, can cost 50% less than hiring a full-time employee." Because your VA is an entrepreneur and not an employee, you don't have the extra expense of paying additional taxes, providing insurance, purchasing office supplies and equipment, updating software, sick, vacation and personal time, office space to provide, and you only pay for the time the VA actually works (you're not paying for coffee breaks, downtime, etc.).
Hiring a temporary can come with a whole host of problems including their lack of skills, the need to provide equipment, supplies, and office space, as well as going through several temps (or agencies) to find one that can adequately provide the skills you need! Also keep in mind that temporary services normally take about 1/2 of the monies you pay them -- when the temp only receives $7 - $11 an hour, you really can't expect a high quality person. If you still think it's best to do it yourself, you'll find that your time is much more profitably spent on revenue-generating activities. Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant adds to up increased profits for your business.
Work is transmitted via e-mail, fax, mail, overnight service, etc. -- they will coordinate with you to provide the work to you in the most timely and inexpensive manner possible. You can also keep in touch via telephone, e-mail and instant messaging.
Costs of a Virtual Assistant run from $15 - $50 per hour (depending on the scope of the work and their skill level) and some work by the project or on a monthly retainer. I know of a few VAs that are willing to barter for the right products and/or service. Always read any potential Virtual Assistant's website and take a look at their testimonials, client list, etc. If you notice grammatical and spelling errors anywhere on their site or newsletters, you can be assured that your work will come back with spelling and grammatical errors. A highly skilled VA will be very detail oriented and will not put out work with these errors.
I recommend contacting a few VAs via e-mail, then by telephone to see if the rapport is there, which is very important for anyone you work with. The one you are most comfortable with that charges a reasonable cost is the one to try first. You may want to keep the contact information of your second pick where you can easily find it in case your first pick is unavailable for any reason. Then give them a small project and work up from there.
Soon you will find that a dependable, accomplished VA will become your indispensable partner for years to come.
(c) 2005 Nita Helping Hand? - All rights reserved
You are free to use this material in whole or in part as long as you include the following:
About the author: Nita Ammon is a professional proofreader, copy-editor and the President of Nita Helping Hand? Please visit Nita's website for additional information about proofreading, copy-editing and other administrative needs available at http://www.NitaHelpingHand.com or contact her at info@NitaHelpingHand.com. Nita is your 'Partner In Perception'.
Building Your Business for Success in 2005
It's a strange anomaly.
Your Practice is Only as Valuable as Your Referral Base
Many physical therapists in private practice have the appearance of a very successful business that is built on the backs of about four to five doctors. Now if anything would happen to any of these guys, the value of these practices would drop markedly. How can you run a practice for many years and then take a good look at it and realize that you have five doctors that represent more than 50% of the referral base? Exactly how can that happen?
7 Tips To Improve Your Cash Flow
Cash is King?That is what everyone tells us and it is true! You cannot function successfully in any business without proper cash flow. So if this Cash Principle is so well known, then why is it that so many businesses struggle? Sometimes the obvious is not always so obvious when you are entrenched in running the day-to-day aspects of your business. Here are 7 Tips to Improve Your Cash Flow!
Marketing a New or Small Business on a Budget
There are almost as many opinions and views on marketing as there are companies to market. The big names and multinationals will have an extraordinary amount of funding set aside in which to convey their marketing message to the masses.
Starting is the Hardest Part
You can't imagine how many people ask me how I did it. To turn my back onto convention, to turn a deaf ear on the people who wants what is best for me, to snub my nose at people who thinks I am making one of the biggest mistakes in my life?etc. Hey, this is what I do best, so, I am really good at this. Granted, not everyone is as good at defying convention (and logic) as me, so, I'll keep that in mind. :-)
Job Costing - Do You Know How?
What's your job profitability? I meet with business owners every day that are unsure of their profitability at a company or job level. They "think" they are making money because they have a few dollars in their checking account. Having money in your checking account doesn't mean you are profitable. It might mean you haven't paid all the bills yet, so you have a little cash. Cash and profit are two different concepts. If you aren't profitable, you won't have longevity in your business.
Small Business Failures in America - Cash Flow Issues
We are noticing an increase in the length of time it takes Large corporations to pay on their invoices to our team. Fortune 500s are tending to pay their vendors more slowly, which will hurt the already strapped small businesses in America. These same small businesses employ 2/3 the population and do a great service in supplying the needs of corporations.
5 GREAT WAYS to Gain New Contacts
What are the 5 best ways to gain new contacts?
Secrets of Cleaning Truck Trailers in Your Fleet from a Veteran Truck Washer
Cleaning the trailers towed by big trucks is not easy, those big forty-foot to fifty-three foot boxes are quite intimidating up close when you are holding nothing more than a brush and pressure washer gun, looking at a soap bucket. The hardest thing to do is to clean the back doors of trailers because they get really greasy from all the debris and stuff the truck has driven through. When they run through bad weather areas, they get even dirtier. Pay special attention to rear doors on trailers. Sometimes you'll have to brush them twice. You may even have to do them three times until you get them right. Use a harsh soap or degreaser and watch for left over dirt around the tubular bars that act as the door locks and sealing mechanism. Now on the top of the sides of the trailer you'll have lots of soot if you have a tractor that's been leaking or maybe has a small oil leak or an exhaust problem. This leaves this big exhaust stain down the side of the trailer from the exhaust stack on the tractor. This is a problem because it is hard to clean and you need to clean it. So sometimes you will have to stand on top of the tractor and brush downward. This is done because you cannot get enough leverage from the ground. You may need to pour cleaner directly on your brush or you may need to put cleaner directly on the sides of the trailer. You may need to do both. Make sure the brush is really wet and then set the nozzle on the spray bottle for a steady stream. Spray with the wind and shoot the spray up to the top of the trailer and kind of saturate it a little bit. Then brush it. Now it should be able to come clean. Make sure you rinse really well; otherwise you'll have soap streaks running down the sides. These will be black soap streaks because they will have some of the exhaust mixed in with the soap.
Five Tips for First Time Entrepreneurs
It seems so long ago that I started my first business. Since that time, I've created several successful businesses and learned a lot of lessons along the way. There are several things I wish I would have known in the early days of my entrepreneurial efforts that I hope will help some other first time entrepreneurs on their path to success.
The Perfect Mission Statement
One way to determine your companies mission statement is based on a general overview of the company. Some important questions are asked like: Why does the company exist and what kind of business is it in? Is there a particular market or niche that it will concentrate upon? How will the company be distinctive in its business methods? Once these questions are answered, the focus moves to the accomplishment of these broadly expressed objectives. What actions will the company take toward increasing and maintaining profitability, innovation, market standing, or productivity? What financial and physical resources can be depended upon? How will the company oversee and assure manager performance and development while also controlling worker performance and attitudes? In what ways will the public be responsible for determining the success of the company?
Nevada Incorporation: The Advantages of Incorporating in Nevada
Incorporation in Nevada has become an attractive option for savvy business entrepreneurs, and for good reason. Nevada corporations enjoy many benefits just not available anywhere else. We will not only investigate why this is so, but you will also know what to be aware of when incorporating in Nevada, and how to avoid the most common first-time mistakes.
Consistency with Janitorial and Cleaning Businesses
Consistency is a huge word when operating your business. I believe it is one of the key ingredients to success. You should strive to keep things exactly the same on a daily basis. A quick example, something that upsets me, if I go to McDonald's at 10:30 P.M. a 1/2 hour before they close and ask for a cheeseburger and chocolate shake. What answer do I usually get "sorry the shake machine is closed for cleaning" This to me is not fair I believe the first customer coming through the door, should receive the same service and items as the last person coming through the door. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Obtain Maximum Results For Your Small Business Through Better Time Management
Most small business owners are faced with so many responsibilities and an unbelievable workload throughout the day. Mainly because of the many different roles that we have to play. On any given day a small business owner must be a customer service representative, collections specialist, marketing specialist, public relations representative, and the list continues. It's enough to drive the average person crazy. But we small business owners are made of a different stock yet still we succumb to normal, everyday pitfalls caused by poor time management. Poor time management can severely negatively impact your business through lost sales and disgruntled customers. A small business owner can't afford either.
Reaping the Rewards of Cost Cutting
In these days of insecurity and uncertain futures, the tendency is to manage for survival but the smart business leaders are actively hunting for profits.
Small Business Checks ? Money Saving Options
When you go into business for yourself, there are many things to consider. What you don't want to worry about is spending too much money on unnecessary items. Business checks are one of those things. They don't have to be expensive. Your bottom line keeps your business going, and it is important to keep it that way.
Is Your Business Profitable?
What's your job profitability? Do you know?
Small Business Marketing Secrets: Look Like Sizzle, Be The Steak
You've heard marketing and advertising gurus quip, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." Advertising initiatives best reach their target audience with benefits and the "wow" effect, not the value or features of their product or service. This may work well to get customers in the door. But once they're in, you better have some substance. How can you ensure you uphold the integrity of your business and still maintain the "Wow Effect"? It just takes well executed strategic steps for business AND personal development:
Is Your Success Predetermined?
Your on-line success is based on your efforts and yours alone. Sure there are many tools that help you, but it is still you. If you are going to succeed, it will take all the time you can put forth. After all it is a business and yes you work from home, but that does not mean post a website and make money. An on-line business is like any other business, it needs to have a plan and goals or steps to set the plan in motion. Your success is directly proportional to your efforts.
Work is a Four Letter Word
I love work, I can watch it all day.
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