Make a difference. How a Virtual Executive Assistant will help you

So, how exactly can a Virtual Executive Assistant help you? They can make a massive difference with your business and personal life, doing everything an Executive Assistant would do and so much more.

Whether you need help with administration or specific skills, an experienced VA can tailor their knowledge to save you time and money. Having a VA means you have more time to focus on developing your business.

One person can make a difference, and everyone should try
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Engagement is essential
One of the most time-consuming activities in a small business is setting up and running marketing and advertising campaigns. This often involves drawing help from various sources and project managing this to conclusion. If you’re using digital media to achieve this you need to allow lots of time and technical knowledge to move quickly.
Too often marketing is the most important part of your business but how can you do this and still have time to work with clients. This is where a Virtual Executive Assistant can step in. Outsourcing your VA to develop your digital marketing can make all the difference ensuring your brand profile remains high and your reputation remains strong.
A VA can take care of your blog, acknowledge the retweet, like Facebook share or love that latest pin on Pinterest. How do I know? Because this is exactly the service provided for our clients as well as increasing their online presence through social media posting on their behalf.

Respect the Process
Trying to stay on top of everything without support can sometimes be chaotic and seriously detrimental to your productivity and your brand. It can lead to lack of focus, stress and anxiety.
A Virtual Executive Assistant can assess your needs and develop process that work for you to ensure you and your business are working more effectively. This is not process for process sake but making sure you have systems that support your consistency. This means you will have a better result for your clients. Processes can be used for creating text, proposals, emails, organising your paperwork, your finances and expenses. For social media, it can be setting up automatic processes or ensuring your digital presence is duplicated across multiple platforms.

Take control
Having a VA available to respond to simple questions, organise meetings and monitor your diary takes away pressure from you and frees up your valuable time. It also demonstrates to clients that you are professional, you have a team supporting you and your business. Clients who receive calls from your virtual PA will experience exactly the level of professionalism you want them to receive.
Having a VA means you are always available to your clients. Although this may appear to make the business seem less personable, it also positions you ahead of any conversation or meeting, you are in control of your valuable time and you’re not driven by client’s priorities or conflicting demands.
If you are busy, a Virtual Executive Assistant can relieve pressure by monitoring your leads, your clients and queries to ensure you capture all your potential clients.Make a Difference
You can’t help but be professional and reliable always.

Relationship matters
Getting clients is one thing, keeping them is whole other skill. When you’re on your own or your team is small, you often find yourself struggling to stay in touch. Working on developing new business whilst maintaining effective client support can lead to burnout as you try to juggle too demands at once.
A professional Virtual Executive Assistant can help you manage your client support function well, leaving you to focus on the tasks that help grow your business. A VA will make sure there are no gaps in customer service, no missed opportunities, no missed calls or emails. A VA will make sure you are where you need to be and you have everything you need.
Having a flexible freelance VA means you have the benefits of a strong consistent reliable working relationship for you and your clients but at the fraction of the cost of hiring staff.
Make a difference, find one person to help you achieve more. Get in touch today.

Vivs

@vivslf

vivslf@outlook.com

 

The benefits of hiring a virtual executive assistant?

Many small business owners and freelancers need assistance to help manage their workload and so, they think about employing a personal assistant. However, have you considered virtual services?  Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a virtual assistant for your organisational support.

  • Engaging with a virtual assistant offers flexibility to suit peaks and troughs in your business
  • You know you require assistance but you cannot afford to employ somebody permanently.
  • You do not have the time or resources to recruit, hire and train a personal assistant.
  • Your company does not have the physical space to accommodate another member of staff.
  • You need only pay for the work you actually require.Your business saves money by only paying for productive time whilst at the same time a VA can be part of your team.
  • You will receive focused, dedicated assistance, a productive working relationship with your virtual assistant.
  • Good-quality virtual assistants are trained; therefore, you will not need to train them yourself.

Are you ready to discover the benefits of using a virtual executive assistant for yourself? You can road test the service by getting in touch for a free consultation.

Reliability …. the essential personal quality

Reliability.

What are the qualities you need to be good at your work, your job, your business? Whether you’re a virtual assistant, a manager or freelancing which personal attributes should you develop.  I have been reflecting on this for quite a few weeks and will share some personal thoughts over a series of posts.

First essential ingredient is definitely reliability

This is one of the most important qualities that people need and sadly seems to be a personality trait that is disappearing.  Too many people have shared they have been let down by others who’ve messed them about, haven’t fed back on their progress, or simply haven’t delivered at all.

Sometimes they’d have a chat, given the individual the brief – and then nothing. No response. Similarly working with agencies and suppliers the same experience.  No response for a quote didn’t answer  calls or emails and generally messed them about until they stopped chasing them and went off to find another supplier or assistant who did want their business.

This is totally inexcusable and not only gives a perception that people don’t care but is extremely rude, disrespectful – reliability is now more valued than ever.

Professionalism is paramount in all industries whether in employment or working as a freelancer.  If your boss or client calls you, then reply, acknowledge the communication. It doesn’t have to be immediately but does please respond within 24 hours.

The same is if you are part of a team. A great team player is a constantly reliable day in and day out, not just some of the time. You can be counted on them to get the job done, meet their deadlines, keep their word and provide consistent quality work.  With excellent performance, organisation and follow-through on objectives this approach develops positive, constructive work relationships and adds value to the whole team. tasks they develop

So make sure you are always reliable, make it part of your key values.

Managing time

My mind is very focused on time management and being productive. In fact currently I am obsessed. It’s not easy at the moment, and as I have blogged previously its very easy when working in social media, digital worlds to get distracted as there is so much to learn. Some people refer to this as butterflies. For example, you start the day deciding to focus purely on Pinterest and then spend the day looking at how SEO works, or see some useful course available, which once you sign up for it isn’t useful at all. You can spend a whole morning watching you tube videos showing you how to use plugins and widgets, most of which don’t seem to be very useful at all.

So how do you stay productive and focused? I find myself following very strict time management or time strategy rules to help me avoid this scenario. It doesn’t work all the time but does help most of the time and I am sharing my golden rules below. Yes, they are common sense, there is nothing new here but the secret is to follow-them, not just think about them. So I recommend you make sure you put theory into practice. And the one tip I use the most? Definitely blocking out your time for the day, week – this way you keep reviewing your progress and remind yourself what you should be focusing on!

I have also created a Tip Sheet Time Management to help feel free to download and share.

Pin Time Management.jpg

 

Distractions

I had this week all planned out. I was going to continue with my great marketing course online (loving’ it). Plus look closer at how pinterest works as a promotional tool.

Have I achieved any of these goals? No, of course not, and why not is all down to distractions. What I have learnt is working in the online and digital world its easy to be drawn off in other areas which are interesting, but not important, not a priority.

Distracted by neighbours having an emergency, questions on how to deal with html links, researching a question takes me off into another direction, the phone, emails, the washing machine. Even writing this blog post I have had to answer the door twice!

Nothing has gone to plan and you know what it’s all fine. It will happen when it happens. And although I have mastered pinterest yet, I know that I will soon. However, here are a few tips to remain focused and manage day to day distractions:

To do list: Keep it manageable and realistic, with no more than 10 items for a week. Review regularly and carry forward whats outstanding, remember to address the biggest task or challenge first.

Notifications: Turn off the notifications, in fact turn off ALL notifications on your technology, you think they are useful but they are not. Whether its news updates or your email it will disrupt your focused thought.

Email: Manage your inbox efficiently and try to check email twice or three times a day. Nothing is ever that urgent.

Phones: Put your phone on silent or let people know you need to focus on a big task or project.

Internet: Find yourself browsing, then again switch it off. Take a short break, a cup of tea or coffee to put your thought processes back on track.

Space: Make sure your work space helps you. It’s fairly quiet and you wont be distracted by family, washing machine, kettle brewing etc. This one can be difficult when you work from home but its important to have a designated space.

Self-Care: Look after yourself. Stay hydrated, take short breaks, stretch your body a little, take a walk. Make sure you look after you and your brain.

work-life

Being freelance and your own boss takes a lot of guts; you take all the risks and will entail hard work, lots of it. Long, endless days, working at weekends and jumping from one client to project to client with no time to catch your breath or reflect. It’s easy to lose sight of work-life balance and how important it is to ensure you are productive.
The benefits of work-life balance means having more time to spend on your friends, family, free time and for me, more time walking the dogs. Other recognised advantages include greater creativity, confidence, less burn-out, better sleep and higher levels of productivity. Don’t ignore it and invest in finding your work-life balance. Here are some tips for you to start your work-life approach:

Time
There was a time when the 9-5 were the norm. Long hours may be effective in a factory or an office but more and more are opting for a shorter work day of 5-6 hours. Its long been considered that being at your desk for 7, 8 or 10 hours doesn’t mean you are actually working or productive. The reality is we are only really delivering 3-4 hours of actual work. So think about adapting your work hours, and try for shorter periods, start later or finish earlier. Take a longer lunch break. Alternatively try finishing earlier on certain days like a Friday afternoon.

Technology
Take some time out to automate as much as possible. Let technology do more for you. Use apps to post automatically to your social media, yes it will take time to plan but in the long-term its one less thing to worry about it. Look at your software, are you still using email mailing software from another lifetime? Review and see what other options there are.

Holiday
Freelancers, small business owners and consultants find it difficult to take a break. Time, money are all reasons given but in reality the benefits should not be ignored, your health, your productivity. So book a break, even a short one, now you probably need one. Try for a long-weekend if week off is impractical. And when your off stay offline! Nothing worse for everyone work-life balance to be on holiday checking work emails and taking calls.
Unsubscribe

How much time do you waste reading emails that really should go straight to the bin. Take a moment to unsubscribe to newsletters and emails you no longer need or have an interest to you.
White fluffy clouds
Think about where your documents are, your photos and data you share. Make sure its secure (and backedup) but take a look at google drive, one drive and other options to give you more options to save your documents, images, photos and presentations that you share with colleagues and accessed wherever you are.

No more worries about buying more solutions, upgrading technology, using cloud based tech gives you greater flexibility to run your business.

A few ideas – what other work-life tips could you share?

 

To do or what to do

To Do lists may seem outdated, but they are still one of the best productivity methods around.

Whether you use pen and paper (which is perfectly fine) or an app like Wunderlist or Evernote, it’s up to you. Many use their phone or create a personal bullet journal. The format for your To Do list is not what’s important.

The benefit lies in the process of capturing, clarifying, organizing, and completing your tasks. This process can be broken down into 5 steps:

– Capture all your ideas and tasks. Put them into a notebook, Word doc, your phone or planner.

– Break each task down into actionable steps. For example, if your task is “write blog post” then segment that into: – Set due date – Decide topic – Do research – Write outline – Write blog post By breaking down each task into smaller steps, it’s much easier to make progress each hour (or day) until you finish the entire task.

– Organize your actionable steps by priority, and assign due dates. Set reminders to yourself to complete certain steps, or follow up with other people. Accomplish higher priority items first.

– Get to work, and start crossing items off your list.

-Write tomorrow’s To Do list the day before. That way, you have an accurate and updated To Do list every morning.

Beyond the obvious benefit of organizing your tasks into actionable steps that are easy to finish, there is another huge benefit here. Since your brain can only handle so much information at one time, simple tasks like “Call Mom” or “Go the bank” take up valuable mental space. By writing everything down, you free up mental real estate and can think more clearly. This reduces stress and allows you to think more creatively about your business and life.

But a word of caution. Keep to do lists short. Too many people fail because there list become pages and pages and pages of things to do. So prioritise. What needs to be done today, this week or this month? What are real tasks rather than aspirations?