We have seen small business right from their infancy when they are start-ups, go through different stages of development, iterations, grow and mature as a company beating their competitors. While nothing is constant in changing world of start-ups, there is one thing that never changed and that’s your VA.
One of the chief requirements of running a business is multi-tasking. And while you take care of most of the tasks, it is redundant to be doing the tasks that are not worthy of your time. As a CEO/ founder you need to be managing your time along with managing the resources at hand. What makes you and your business stay ahead is your thinking capacity and utilization of the resources available in the best possible manner. Over time you find yourself buried under a pile of tasks that are repetitive and painfully boring.
Why its time you start working on your business:
- To stay ahead of competition: While you sulk under the pile of your to-do list, your competitors are preparing their new marketing strategy. Like a boxing match you can never let your defense down. You need to be ready to embrace the market challenges and take them head on.
- Make the most of your existing clientele: Your data needs to be up –to- date always: how long has it been that you updated your database of your existing clients. Or even bad scenario can be that you don’t one set up as of now. Well it isn’t too late. Your Virtual assistant can have all your records, pervious sale history, customer contact details, updated on an online database. Next time you want to run a promotion of any product or service, you can do that easily by a click of a button.
- Harness the power of social media: Connecting with your customer base on a personal level and understand their changing needs and expectations have never been easier. Communication on one on one level and asking for feedback and checking response in real time gives you direct customer insights.
- Set up email campaigns to reach out: Setting up custom email campaigns, via icontact, constant contact or mail chimp, creating custom html templates to make you stand out, sending out emails, tracking replies and finally analyzing the response. if you had no time to do this yourself, your SEO assistant can set up a marketing email campaign to give your business the kick it needs!
- Make updates on website: Keeping your website updated with new services or products that you have launched recently, running banners, specials or introducing best sellers on your website to let your clients know what’s new!
You need to connect and stay updated to beat your competition. to do so you can hire assistants with specific skillset ranging from web designers, graphic designers, internet marketing experts to admin and personal assistants. They work on your tasks big or small and free up your valuable time to focus your energy on work that needs your attention. Virtual help makes it possible to hire dedicated resource with no long-term contracts at reasonable rates. Tasks Everyday helps you with tasks that are important and need to be done to make your business a success!
Over the years we have provided assistance to clients from all over the world with tasks requests ranging from personal, bookkeeping, SEO and web design. The reasons that we get from our clients repeatedly resonate strongly with the one’s mentioned below:
I was juggling more tasks than I could handle: My son was moving to London and there was too much work that I needed taken care of each day. I was not getting enough time from my schedule to spend with him. I knew I had to do something about it and that’s when I decided to go virtual. It has been a great experience having someone manage your personal and work life. My assistant helped with my website updates, blogs, planning a party for charity that I am a member of and planning my travel to London. I finally get to travel without worrying about my work back home and also have my itinerary planned for each day which covers all the places I need to visit before I get back to windy city-Chicago!
I needed to focus on the big picture, but I just didn’t have the time: When my business started growing I knew I needed help with tasks. I was busy all day handling most of the backend of the things that I wasn’t left with any productive time to think of newer strategies for customer retention and marketing. There is so much more that can be done in growing your business if your mind is not crowded with receipts, reports, endless research and so forth. I went virtual to get my creative time back, doing what I want to do!
I needed someone to take care of repetitive work: As a CEO of technical recruiting company our database was our engine. It needed to be up to date all the time. It was repetitive but essential at the same time. I realized I needed someone who was fast, efficient and trustworthy. I hired a Virtual assistant to help me with our daily updates, make calls, schedule interviews for our staff. Now my in house team could focus their hours on productive work rather than worrying about updating the database that they didn’t enjoy to do in the first place. What’s more wonderful is that our staff has access to the same assistant and we all share his hours. He is our team member and not to mention a very important one, the one we cant do without!
Me and my girlfriend wanted to travel to Italy, but had so much to do before we could leave that it seemed almost impossible to go: It was one of the things that we wanted to do together. Every year we would end up postponing it for one reason or another. She is phd student and this was her last semester. And what better way to celebrate than taking her to italy. I wanted it to a surprise, but when it comes to planning I would let her take charge. But this time it was all upto me. I knew I needed help to make sure all is planned and perfect. I hired a va who helped me plan my trip to the last detail.
My business is growing and I need more hands: When I first started my business, I took care of all things new and ongoing tasks. With growth comes more responsibility and work. I had to get to more meetings, present more proposals, stay ahead of my competition, do more marketing and all this led to some very important tasks left on the backburner because I didn’t have enough time. I realized I needed help but didn’t want to commit to a full term employee. I hired a virtual assistant and since that day until now, I have never looked back. Hiring a virtual assistant has proven to be very efficient and also very cost effective solution to all my tasks. I am getting more done each day!
While surfing the web we come across successful bloggers, entrepreneurs, businesses who have taken the bull of social media by its horns and ride it like a Pro. Big companies have designated marketing teams and have big budgets to create campaigns. How can a small business or a start up founder who is already juggling more than he can handle, manage and run an effective marketing campaign?
Personal branding is not an option anymore. Creative and passionate individuals who have used the power of social media to earn the big bucks by promoting themselves and their businesses are a tall example before us!
How to build your online platform!
- Identify the right channel: Build your own website using WordPress or other content management systems (there are also many drag and drop website builder tools you could use yourself and make your own website or you could outsource the development of your website). Start a blog, again word press is a good blogging platform it is available in 2 versions, dot org and dot com. based on your requirements you can choose the right fit.
- Social media profiles: Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, linked in and also Pinterest and Instagram you have many options to pick from. Find the right medium that resonates with you.
- Do not wait for it to perfect –just start: The problem with blogging and writing articles is it takes time and so does building an online audience. And we all like to be perfectionists before we launch our product to the world. It doesn’t have to be the case in social media. You need to start connecting and sharing without waiting for your website/blog to be perfect.
- Authenticity: The key to engage and connect with your fellow readers, bloggers or consumers is to be authentic. the content that you write and want to promote needs to strike a cord and that is possible only if you are “Being Yourself”!
- Add value: Define your audience and identify what they are searching for. Writing content that will add value to their work or life will earn you their loyalty and appreciation.
- Build your email list: From day one you need to build your email list. Efficient email marketing, by sending them specials or updates based on your products, services, new e-book launch, tutorials or update on your new podcast. And you do not want to loose this opportunity. Include a form or place for your readers to drop in their email addresses on your blog or website. To send out bulk emails (if your list is huge), there are service providers like constant contact, mail chimp etc. You can also hire an internet marketing assistant to create a custom email template that define and relays your voice to your readers more effectively.
- Reach out to fellow bloggers who have authority on the domain of your interest. Participate in discussions; check out cool tips that these ”influencers” have to offer. Your potential customers are reading and recognizing your voice with each comment of yours. There is a lot more you can learn by engaging with the online community, the issues, and concerns, factors that influence their decisions. It is valuable insight into the mindset of your target audience, much like conducting surveys the beauty is it’s available for free for you to grasp and utilize.
- Info graphics: It is a cool term for graphic representation that says a thousand words. Why you need it is because all stats are in favor of people connecting with what you have to say when you represent it visually. if you do not have the skills of a graphic designer, you can hire one to create these for you. Everything that you want to represent needs to have class and continuity. It needs to reflect of your brand and resonate with your consumer without being pushy.
In the info graphic below you will see steps to personal branding for your inference.
Building an online brand needs time more than passion and creativity. And what usually happens is in the beginning we are very zealous (passionate) but over time the work pressure mounts up and writing a blog or working on social media takes place on the back burner. Do not let your work -load get the better of you. Online presence and media has the power to connect you directly to the decision makers. Hear out what they have to say and engage with them. Internet marketing assistants at Tasks Everyday work with you in accomplishing your goals. They examine and analyze the statistics to see what works and what doesn’t and help you stay ahead and stay connected!
At Tasks Everyday we have had the pleasure to work with hundreds of founders during the most exciting period of their lives, which in addition are also the most stressful. As a business founder there is a lot you can and have to do at the same time. Initial goals of all start-ups invariably are consistent growth while keeping the costs low, compete with competitors and survive.
The initial to-do list of Founder’s and how does a Virtual assistant add value during this most crucial stage of your business start up!
- Scheduling Appointments and Meetings: Your partners and future employees, everyone is busy. And in the absence of an HR team or an HR agency that charges a bomb to organize the meetings and appointments, you are left to do all these calls and appointments yourself. Instead you can have your personal assistant do the pinging and calls and set these up for you. It leaves a good impression and helps to keep you organized.
- Marketing Database set up: Like Janet emphasizes on having one as a start up. It saves you lot of time, that you could utilize working on the creative iterations of your possible marketing campaign. Something much more useful of your time than doing endless research and working on CRM. You can hear Janet discuss the challenges of growing a start up, and how her virtual assistant, Poonam, helped her with the database tasks.
- Need a website or some version of it: You need at least some iteration of one and you asked a local agency and the cost is nowhere less than $5000. You can have your web designer at Tasks Everyday create a landing page to capture initial leads and work on the beta version till the new website is ready to be launched. So that no client or potential customer is lost in the transition.
- Help with all sorts of tasks: As a start up you are in a wild child phase. There are so many things you need help with which can be both personal and professional. The beauty of hiring a virtual assistant is that you can get help with any tasks. Be it endless research, booking you a dinner reservation, keeping you informed about the upcoming events and keeping a tab on your competitors, act as your personal assistant and your HR person at the same time, design you a cool logo and business card, help you figure out anything that you don’t have the time for.
While your business model might change, your company name can change overnight, your products or services can be replaced, you might be travelling from London to New Zealand for a urgent conference, in all this crazy schedule and meetings, there is one thing that is constant, your virtual assistant, your secret weapon of success!!
Unlike getting your driving license from DMV, delegation is not a course you need to train and then get licensed for. Delegation comes naturally to us thanks to our teachers, managers at work and wife! We are good with taking instructions, knowing what needs to be done and the easiest way to get those tasks done.
The only problem is that we think we are better than everyone else and no one other than you can do those tasks as efficiently and quickly. If you delegate half of the tasks that are due this week, and even if they are done in double the amount of time you might take, it still creates a huge leverage in terms of time and money that you saved and can be used to do something more productive and worth your time.
Quick Guide to Delegation in 4 steps to your Virtual Personal Assistant:
- Write everything down you have to do this week: Yes, lets make a full to-do list. This list should include everything like doing laundry, cleaning, research you need to do for your next project, filling reports, making reservations, finding the best deals on snow blowers (we are not seeing the end of snow storms this year any time soon and you are done shoveling!), all personal and professional tasks need to go on that list and the time you might devote to do each one of them. This list will be an eye opener as you will see how many hours a day are truly being utilized to do something fun or productive.
- Organize these tasks into 3: Tasks that only you can do (go in the Me pile), Tasks that are repetitive and mundane (go in the Delegate pile), Tasks that can be done more efficiently if someone else did the leg work (go in the delegate pile): When delegating the best practice is to start with repetitive and mundane tasks. Your assistant knows the clear objective and after doing them for a day or two, your assistant completely understands the requirement and these tasks can be delegated and get done like a well oiled machine. After you have established a clear bond with your assistant you can start asking him to work on tasks that are higher in value and an extra pair of hands at work will be of advantage. All research, reports, database etc come into this category. Once your assistant becomes the master of your work schedule you can send tasks and forget about them.
- Empower your personal assistant with all the tools: Sharing and communicating ideas, files and meetings has never been easier. Let your assistant know the tools you like to use and they can sign up if they don’t already have accounts on them and start sharing instantly. Some of the common file sharing tools are: Google drive, Dropbox, box it. you can share your calendar if your assistant is going to be managing it for you. if there is any specific database or CRM that you use, like Salesforce, Zoho etc, you can create account and set privileges for your assistant. Preparation of login information and notifying your assistant in advance the names or accounts on all the tools ensures less effort on your part when you assistant is working on the task and will need the login information anyways.
- Send clear instructions and set deadlines: This holds true for both parties in play. Be as descriptive as possible on what the objective and expectation of the task is. You do not have to explain to your assistant how to do the task. However, clear instructions on what the report or work at hand should accomplish must be specified. If you have one sample report that you worked on before send it to your assistant it will be of much help. Accountability is very important. Your assistant should know how much time needs to be spent on any particular task. Encourage your assistant to ask you questions and make yourself available to answer those. in the long term your results will be great!
Delegation when done effectively can save you from the stress that your to-do list was creating. You will stop working on things that you can easily send off and save you MORE time and money to do the things you love doing. If you do not have a virtual assistant yet and want to know more, call us how we can help you. This is your ticket to freedom!
Time and again we try to emphasize the beauty of virtual personal assistants and there is no single list that can outline the tasks that they can help you with. They are your lifestyle managers and their role in your life goes far beyond than making reservations at your favorite restaurant.
We often say it’s the little things that matter. When you first start working with your assistant, define clearly what needs to be done and what are the goals you are trying to achieve. You can start by sending smaller tasks first that are straightforward like basic research and working on some pending documents or sheets that you haven’t gotten around to doing them. As you keep sending the tasks that you hate to do or don’t have the time or skill to your VPA, you will see the pile of tasks that you had burdened yourself with, is getting shorter. The weight is lifted off your shoulders and you will find yourself in a very calm productive space.
As your relationship grows with your Assistant just like any other employee at your workspace, you will find yourself delegating more tasks and allow yourself to concentrate on the major chunk of your business.
Small list of tasks that your Virtual Personal assistant can do for you
- Research: Do preliminary research for your blog posts, projects, or finding the best services or products that you asked them to.
- Managing your calendar: They make sure you are never late for an appointment or a meeting. They schedule, re-schedule, confirm and update. If you are in recruitment industry you can definitely use a VPA to organize the meetings and interviews.
- Comparative research on products and services, so that you get the most bang for your buck, finding the best deals that you can lay your hands on.
- Work on your database and make sure it’s always updated, so that you never loose out on your potential customers.
- Work on your spreadsheets, word docs, excels and all those receipts that need to be filled and we know how much you hate doing that!
- Remind you it is your sister’s birthday, send flowers and win you extra brownie points with your mom!
- Give you an unbiased honest opinion about your latest strategy or podcast. Sometimes your friends are too polite to point out your mistakes.
- Take care of some technical issues, like fixing up your website, designing your brand’s Facebook and twitter page etc. Your VPA has access to a swivel of virtual assistants with different talent and skills. If they are too technical and beyond their expertise, your assistant can just send an email to the concerned team and have your tasks done, without you having to worry about a thing.
- Remind you, that you need to pat yourself in the back more often and take a break. Enjoy your time and be more Productive.
This is not all and I am sure you understand that the value of a quality virtual assistant cannot be pointed out in one blog post. What ever your goals or business, we all can experience the joy of having our own VPA and once you start delegating, you will find its hard to let go!
Over 500 million people are on Facebook alone, making it the biggest social media engine out there. And as a matter of fact, your potential customers, readers, competitors, everyone is on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media engine. As a business owner you are already wearing too many hats and do not have the time to focus on your social media strategy and be consistent with it. There are days when you will blog more, tweet more often and then there are those days of absolute silence.
What you are doing wrong or not doing at all:
- Lack of a proper strategy: Not all social media platforms are worth your time. You need to evaluate your options and start implementing your plan based on your business model. If you are a photographer, and you don’t have an Instagram account, you are lacking in some serious audience engagement.
- Commitment and engagement: As business owners, we are eager to see the results and social media needs patience and steady presence. Something that is hard for a business owner to do. Especially when it’s hard to see a quick ROI. Constant presence and engaging with your customers is a very time consuming affair. Your personal assistant can help you embrace the power of social media, instead of fighting it off.
- Have quality likes: We have often come across clients, who want to see their Facebook pages have instant 10,000 + likes. And we strongly disagree with such advice. You need to ask yourself, what good is it going to do for your business, when you are NOT connecting with your real customers. Quality likes from your niche market matter the most. It isn’t about the number of likes you have on your Facebook page, it is about the QUALITY likes and share that will help you grow your target audience.
- Do not have branded social media pages: We say branded, because it is very easy to get lost in this social jungle. It’s important that your business pages just like your website, your store, blog or your fashion merchandise; they need to be branded as well. Work with your Virtual Assistant-VA to create Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus professional looking pages that speak about your brand. Customized quality branded social media pages have higher ratings of getting liked and engagement than poorly designed pages.
- Not taking advantage of social metrics:
- Facebook Fan demographics: You can see the gender, age, countries, cities, and language of your fans. What this allows you to do is create posts that are most intriguing to your fan base. If your fans are in the age group of 40–50 it’s important to talk about posts that they can relate to, posts about someone they grew up watching with a message.
- Post Metrics and page insights: Every post speaks to you about your customer base. You need to understand your audience and engage with them. If a certain quote image got you more response and shares than the other, there must be something that resonated with your audience.
With each passing day technology throws at us some new app to learn, some new ways of monetizing our product or service and amidst of all that is our target market audience. What you need is a virtual assistant, explain to him your insights and thought process and have him work on your strategy. Social media is a powerful tool and to reap the benefits, you need a partner who understands the latest gigs and help you reach your social media goals. Pop over to Tasks Everyday and give your social media strategy a quick face-lift.
When you think of a startup, the word “investment” pops up. The word startup and investment fit in the same sentence. They go hand in hand. What I have realized is over the years there have been many companies, which have carved their niche to the top without investments from angel investors. For a young startup, you can decide to raise investment early on, or at a later stage, or not raise any at all if you are built profitable to begin with. I have talked about productivity and inspiration of young entrepreneurs of today at lengths in my earlier articles. The focus of this article is the key strengths that your business must have to climb the ladder of success.
- Idea fuelled by passion and driven by direction: As a founder of a company you need to be obsessed with your idea. Passion and faith in yourself is what is going to get you through the tough times. You need to be absolutely convinced that it is going to work. Now passion alone without a clear direction is like dreaming to win the grand-prix without a F1 car. Direction is what makes you productive. You need to know where you are going but more importantly the steps you need to take to get there. If your startup has a founder who has a clear vision, and laser sharp focus and clear direction, you are all set to make it big.
- Importance of Iterations or Pivoting: When you are first starting out, there are numerous things and ideas you want to work with. As a bootstrap, often you don’t have the time and resources to roll out all your products and services at the very beginning. When you work through the challenges, iterations will lead you forward. Take feedback from within your company and from your customers. Your startup business is your best teacher. It will give you signs on what’s working and what’s not. Intense iteration allows your business to evolve and grow. Unlike what you may have thought in the beginning, markers of success will dictate the patterns you need to follow.
- Virtual Assistants: They are your technical soul mates. As a startup, you want to save every last penny. They are your secret weapons of growth. They take care of the technical and personal tasks that you should not be spending your precious time on.
As an entrepreneur you want to leverage your time and money. By hiring a virtual assistant you are doing both. As Pareto described in his “Pareto Principle” you should be focusing only on the 20% that matters. When you are starting out, you have errands to run, book flights, file the paper work, find the best hotel deals, need a new website, updating your blog and all this is happening at the same time.
So what do you do: The key is to have someone else do it while you focus on the important part. Like growing your business, meeting your potential partners and making your business successful. When you have more time at your hands, you will find yourself doing more.
If you want to know more about virtual personal assistants or need help with technical tasks, get in touch with us. We would love to know, how we can help you.
We all have our creative self, mostly hidden, undernourished and unutilized. Creativity is a skill that needs to be nurtured and grown. Our busy and hectic schedules take that away from us. We just don’t have time to practice, grow and empower our creative skills.
Our creative spark gets buried under piles of boring, mundane, repetitive tasks and responsibilities.
How to get that spark back by using a virtual assistant
- Free up your time: You don’t have to be a wealthy CEO to afford a personal assistant, or to have someone else work on your tasks. Personal assistants at Tasks Everyday are affordable and can save you a lot of time without spending a ton of money.
- Being creative is not a hobby it’s a way of life: It sounds simple, but time that you set apart to practice your skills or enhance your creativity easily gets shunned down the priority list. You need to MAKE time to get creative. Whether you spend 15 minutes or hours on playing with the pixels if you are a graphic designer, point of the fact is even few minutes spent setting aside for being creative leaves you more energized for other tasks that need your attention.
- Optimize your tasks: Are you the “know it all and do it all kind of person”. You think that the tasks that you do, no one else can do them better or even as good as you. Well, you might be right but how about outsourcing some of the legwork for these tasks and while you can concentrate on finalizing the reports and submit them by adding your special touch. This will leave you with lot of free time that wasn’t available to you initially and now can be used to get creative.
- Changing modalities and mediums: If you like to read try dancing, if you like to paint try pottery classes or using water colors. Try something new and experience the fresh new ideas that will rush in. There is always something that you can learn and bring back to your usual creative skill. When was the last time you tried something new, and hiring an assistant to help you with your tasks is your first step to change the way you have been working.
- Set up a creativity boosting routine: One important aspect of delegation is to make it a way of life. It needs to be done efficiently and kept organized. You need to make a list of tasks based on many factors that we discussed in our earlier post about art of delegation. Just like any other activity it is a routine that needs to be followed. When you and your assistant are in sync with this routine, you will experience the ultimate joy of outsourcing. In your creative time that you have set aside, make it a part of your everyday life and follow it religiously.
- Find your creative edge and hone it, practice it and endure it: One simple step to do that is to get rid of factors that are stress creators. Eliminate all those tasks that are your serenity killers. These are the tasks that override your creative instinct. Identify these tasks and ask your assistant to get these done first. If they are ongoing, set timelines so that you are always covered and know that they are taken care of.
Explore the activities that refresh you and help you mastering your creative skills. Delegate tasks to your assistant, work effortlessly and enjoy being creative.
We have been asked this question many times and there isn’t one single definition that can explain the beauty of their work. Personal assistant is someone who assists you with your everyday tasks. It does explain how we got the name of our company “Tasks Everyday”. When we first started out a decade ago we were purely into VPA’s offering remote personal assistants to busy professionals and business owners.
Why you need one
Personal assistants are your ticket to a better life. They can do a variety of tasks like research, finding budget hotels, planning your travel and all those tasks that are consuming your time. VPA’s do all your drudgework and at costs as low as $6.98/hr you can have a dedicated personal assistant. Why they are so inexpensive is because they are based out of Mumbai, India and there is a favorable dollar to rupee exchange rate.
Earlier only the rich and famous could afford personal assistants, but globalization and technology has made it possible that your assistant can be miles away and still manage your everyday tasks. You can now afford a great personal assistant and save time to do what you love to do.
Some of the tasks that your Personal assistant can do
VPA’s are lifestyle managers. They make sure you are always keeping up with the pace of your life and never fall behind any meeting, presentation, date or social event. They are your fifth gear or your secret weapon to success.
- Research on anything to everything
- Creating power point presentations
- Booking travel, finding hotels and flights
- Managing your schedule
- Can work on sheets, data, reports or anything that is on your computer by giving them remote desktop, go to my pc, team viewer access
- Clean up your inbox
- Answer calls on your behalf
- Secretarial tasks or front desk managerial tasks
- Updating your social media accounts
- Uploading images on Flickr, Facebook, tagging your friends, sending invites
- Find a perfect gift for your brother’s 16th birthday
- Give you a wake up call
- Finding restaurants and booking you a table
- Work on excel, format sheets and data
- Update your blog
- Any business or personal tasks can be sent out to your VPA and can be taken care of effectively
Once you start using VPA you will never get back to not having one. They are your escape to a better life in which you have time to do what’s important. To find out more about our services and specials email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on our toll free numbers.