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4 things that every business owner should have when doing business virtually.

More and more businesses are moving away from the traditional bricks and mortar type business to alternative business setups. No matter what business you are involved in you are probably doing some or all of your business online.

The following are 4 points that every business owner should have when doing business online:

  • Internet 

    this is a given as there is no way you will be able to work online unless you have access to the internet. Get the best broadband connection available in your home and also have access to wi-fi so that you can work remotely. If broadband is still not an option in your area check out some of the Satellite companies that are providing alternative connection solutions.

    Laptop

  • Equipment 

    what surprised me the most about starting a new business online is that you can get started with the basic equipment. Some kind of laptop/desktop is essential but make sure that it is reliable and efficient. Technology is advancing constantly and the choices are endless. Invest wisely and  ensure that you do your research and understand your needs of your business and don't forget to factor in potential goals and business growth.

  • Software 

    to work efficiently online there are great tools/software available to help you work smarter.   Some of these tools are free to use and download while others will have a cost (some significant). For everyday business I would recommend Skype, Dropbox and Google Apps. As your business progresses I would then suggest, Evernote to stay organised and focused, Aweber for your email marketing, Postplanner for your facebook scheduling and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to help improve interactions with your customers/clients.   Check out another Love2Assit blog on key tools 5 Online tools I cannot live without.

    Handshake

  • Trust 

    handing over trust and responsibility of your business to other people can be hard. If you're a client of a VA or you are looking to outsource, then it's essential you trust your VA. Love2Assist believe that delegation and trust in a professional online VA company will ensure that your business is on the right path to success and growth.

Posted at 21:38

The Rise of the Virtual Assistant

Many small business owners and start-ups struggle to grow their business because they try to do too much. As business owners you seem to need superhero-like qualities to stay on top of your game, but it can be impossible to do everything - no matter how amazing you are. Outsourcing and working with a Virtual Assistant (VA) can allow you to leverage your time, become more productive, get organised and let you focus on your core business.

In broad terms, Virtual Assistants consist of either individuals or companies who work remotely as independent professionals, and use technology to deliver a wide range of products and services to clients. They've been around as a service for quite a while, but have only recently found a broad title for their services.

Not simply an administrative assistant!

Over the past 6 years or so the Virtual Industry has evolved from the traditional roles of PAs and administrative assistants to more specialised virtual roles that are usually experienced employees from a corporate environment that have set up their own virtual offices. These specialists include virtual project managers, virtual marketing assistants, virtual content writing assistants and virtual web content owners, to name but a few.

It is impossible to say how large or small the virtual industry is, however it is estimated that there are somewhere between 5,000 and 25,000 virtual assistants worldwide. So there is very likely to be a virtual specialist to suit your needs!

With technology and internet speed reducing the barrier to working remotely individuals and small business owners are outsourcing work and building their teams that include one or more virtual assistants.  Small web agencies have employed the 'bodyshopping' model of building virtual teams for quite a while, and this is now translating into more traditional office environments too.

Your aim as a business owner or entrepreneur is to not work in the business, but on it!

No matter what industry or how big or small your empire is, VA's can give back your freedom so that you can do more of what you love to do, and spend less time on those tasks you 'have' to do. Think of a Virtual Assistant as a partner, someone who wants to see you succeed as much as you do and provides the support to help make that happen.

Here are five key benefits a Virtual Assistant could bring to you business:

Time

A virtual assistant can save you so much time by taking on the tasks that you never liked doing or just don't have the time to. This means that you have more time to concentrate on the more important, revenue-generating aspects of your business, and probably what got you doing what you do well in the first place.

The Cost Factor

Employing a full time staff member is costly, time consuming and can put a lot of extra work and pressure on you and your business. Virtual Assistants work virtually for you, meaning we work remotely from home offices and collaborative coworking office environments, which means expenses such as computer hardware and software and office overheads don't apply. You only pay the VA for the hours actually worked for you, and even better you don't need to cover payroll taxes, super, or any other tax (apart from GST if applicable).

Take the stress out of your day

A VA will take the hassle and stress out of your day by providing those tailored services that meet your needs for a successful business. A VA can take control of your emails, appointments, manage projects, employees and clients. This leaves you free to concentrate on what you love to do, what you do best and what is important to your businesses success.

Balance your work and home life


It's what we all drive towards - a perfect balance between work and home life but sadly the reality isn't always that. A VA can take control of aspects of your business, putting their skills, expertise and years of experience into use and freeing you up to finish work on time and still have a life.

VAs might just know more than you do

As business owners themselves, VAs are very savvy at keeping up with the latest trends and technologies, and at developing streamlining processes and simply just know how to get things done more efficiently - because that's their job.

Finally, from our experience, to work well with a Virtual Assistant you need to make sure you set out clear guidelines from the start of what role the VA will take in your business.  It also greatly helps if you're confident utilising technology, are comfortable delegating, and have good, timely communication.

Posted at 13:29

5 Online tools I cannot live without

Over the last year of working from my little (but comfortable) home office,  I have found that there are tons of great apps and tools available that have helped to manage my daily working life and in return I have become more productive (well sort of!).

The following are my top 5 online tools that I use daily and what I love the most is that they are all free!

1. WhatsApp - a great app that I use every day to send messages and images from my Phone.

2. Google Apps - email calendar, docs. What's not to love?

3. Facebook - this is a no brainer a free social media outlet that shouldn't be underestimated.

4. Skype - a great communication tool that allows me to speak to clients from all over the world.

5. Evernote - is a great tool that "remembers everything". I find the free version fine for what I need it to do.

P.S another "tool" I certainly can't function without is my coffee machine..although it wasn't free it's priceless to me!!
Coffee  

Posted by Helena at 13:10

Get SMART with your Goals!

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time - Abraham Lincoln

It's amazing the amount of people that ask me how I do it all, care for my 2 kids, keep some kind of order in my house, 'me' and 'us' time, start and run a new business.....

Looking at it on paper it does seem endless but I'm really not that amazing…well not really!

My secret? I love lists! I write lists and set goals for every aspect of my life and it honestly helps me to get to where I want to be, including living a stress(ish) free life!!

Whether you're setting professional, personal or business goals, documenting everything you need to accomplish and monitoring your goals to see how you're doing, means you are more likely to achieve what you need to.

It's all about being SMART!! It's simple really.

GOALS



Specific - make sure you are clear on the detail and what you want to accomplish. The more specific you can be the more likely you are to accomplish the goal.

Measurable - define how you can measure your goals so you can monitor the progress and know you've succeeded. When you measure your progress, you stay on track. Think about: How much? How many? 

Achievable - be confident that you can actually achieve the goal, make sure it's attainable. Are you willing to achieve the goal?

Realistic - be sure that you have the capabilities to reach the goal. Are you the right person for the goal?

Timely - Set deadlines and timeframes to keep on track and make sure they are realistic to allow yourself to accomplish the goals set.


Pencil Tips Resized

My top tips for achieving success with Goals


1. Write them down: This might sound obvious but writing down your goals gives you clarity and helps turn the idea into reality.  Write your goals on paper, enter them onto an excel document or into MS Project...it doesn't matter where you write them down but as long as you can revisit the list of goals and their tasks continuously, you will achieve success.

2. Plan wisely: Make sure your goal is something you really want and not just something that sounds good or is something everyone else is doing. You can achieve any goal when you plan your steps/tasks wisely and establish a time frame that is realistic.

3. Stay Positive: If you set a goal knowing that you probably won't succeed then you won't!! Being positive will keep you motivated and create a much higher likelihood of achieving your goals.

4. Challenge yourself: Don't set goals that you know are going to bore you and therefore you will lose interest fast. You need to challenge your mind and in turn this will keep you motivated.

5. Congratulate yourself: Don't dismiss your achievements, recognise them and
congratulate yourself!!! Some self praise never did anyone harm!

So why not take a moment to consider whether your goals are SMART, and how well you are working towards achieving each goal.

And remember every small step will take you closer to your desired outcome.

Posted by Liz at 20:27
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5 Reasons why you should hire a Virtual Assistant

Do you love all aspects of your job? In my experience most people don't love all aspects of their work, they like it and tolerate it.

What if you could outsource all those tasks that you dislike so much and spend more time on the stuff (or people) that makes you happy?

Here are 5 reasons why hiring a Virtual Assistant will be good for you and your business.

1.   Cost Effective: Employing a full time staff member is costly and time consuming and can put a lot of extra work and pressure on you. Virtual Assistants (VAs) work virtually for you. Meaning we work remotely from our home offices and you never have to provide office space, equipment or software for us. You only pay the VA for the hours actually worked for you, and even better you don't need to pay payroll taxes or benefits.

2.   Take the stress out of you day: A VA will take the hassle and stress out of your day by providing tailored services to meet your needs for a successful business. A VA can take control of your emails, appointments, manage projects, employees and clients. This leaves you free to concentrate on what you love to do, what you do best and what is important to your businesses success.

3.   Balance your work and home life: It's what we all drive towards - a perfect balance between work and home life but sadly the reality isn't always that. A VA can take control of aspects of your business, putting their skills, expertise and years of experience into use and freeing you up to finish work on time and literally have a life.

4.   Hassle free: You don't have the hassle of recruiting, hiring, and training a physical employee. And you may not have the work or money to hire a full time resource.

5.   VAs might just know more than you do. As a business owner, VAs are very savvy at keeping up with the latest technologies and at developing streamlining processes and simply just know how to get things done more efficiently…..because that's their job. 

Hiring a Virtual Assistant means you will have a trusted business partner who is focused on your success as well as their own businesses success. VAs understand the complexities of running and growing a business so tapping in on their knowledge and resources can only benefit your business.

Interested in hiring a Virtual Assistant? Contact us and lets see how we can work together.

Posted by Liz at 20:49