Attraction Marketing, business management, businessbuildingstrategies, Digital Marketing, executive assistant, Goal Setting, healthandwellness, Implementation, Marketing, Marketing, Mindset, onlinemarketing, organizational behavior, personal assistant, process management, small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, SOP, sop creation, Standardized Process, time management, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

Achieve Your New Year Goals With a Virtual Assistant

We’re here! It’s officially 2022! Many people have spent a lot of time these last 2 years indoors, in pajamas, binge-watching all the shows to ever exist on every TV platform, but not busy business owners! The ones of us who have a strong vision and clear goals have been preparing for this new year! Are you ready to thrive in 2022?

 For a business to prosper, it needs to be running smoothly and efficiently. Take time during the first month of the year to make a plan for how you will be more productive and efficient in the new year. Some popular resolutions for business owners include: ‘become more organized’, ‘improve my social media marketing’, and even ‘work less so I can spend more time with my family’. How are you going to make this happen? 

Working on tedious and repetitive tasks can start to really take a toll on a business owner. What you really want to be doing is focusing on paying customers and clients; but how can you do so when all your time is spent answering emails or creating graphics for your social media pages? 

Don’t start the new year feeling overwhelmed by small, tedious tasks. Start fresh and set new goals. This is a new beginning, and you’d be amazed by how much time you could get back by hiring a virtual assistant. If your goal is to work towards your passion, by outsourcing to a virtual assistant, you are opening up hours to refocus on the things that make you passionate about your business. 

Social media is critical for all businesses. How will your consumers build a deeper connection with you and become more loyal customers if you don’t utilize social media? Through proper social media marketing, your business can reach larger audiences and grow your brand awareness. However, this can’t be done in a day. 

Having a strong social media presence requires many hours to be put in working towards building that audience and engaging with it. Luckily, there are thousands of virtual assistants who specialize in social media management. They can take care of creating graphics, engaging with audiences, video editing, post scheduling, and so much more. If one of your resolutions is to grow your audience and social media presence, don’t spend countless hours a month doing it, hand it off to your virtual assistant! 

Toward the middle and end of the year, we can start to feel so overwhelmed by our workloads that we begin to lose touch with more important things outside of our work life; such as family and friends. Make it your New Year’s resolution to take time for yourself. Enjoy your time away from work, take an extra day off, spend time with your loved ones, without the hassle of having to worry if work is getting done. Your virtual assistant is there to make sure that you are living stress-free while your business continues to grow and prosper. 

A virtual assistant has your business’ best interest at heart. It is our job to watch you succeed and aid in the process. You will have somebody to bounce your ideas off and provide you with support, which is indispensable when you want to achieve goals. Your virtual assistant can give you opinions and suggestions for things you may not even notice about your business. They work to make your life easier. If you haven’t hired a virtual assistant yet, what are you waiting for? Now is a perfect time. It’s a new year. Start fresh! Hire a VA! http://www.lifebydesignvs.com

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business management, businessbuildingstrategies, Digital Marketing, executive assistant, Goal Setting, Implementation, Marketing, Mindset, organizational behavior, personal assistant, small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, SOP, sop creation, Standardized Process, time management, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

Preparing Your Business for 2022

Time flies when your business is booming. It’s that time of year again, the new year comes around and we have new goals to set for ourselves. As things slowly transition back to normal after the past two years, we need to prepare ourselves for whatever 2022 may throw at us.  How are you looking to change things in the coming year? Will you have a new vision for yourself and your business? Having a plan in place for the new year will help you review past performance and make adjustments to your business as needed. How do you plan on following through with your goals for this next year? We have gathered some tips on how you can prepare your business for the new year. 

  1. Reflect on the past year.

It’s no secret that the pandemic has probably affected all kinds of businesses in one way or another. Many have continued to work from home, others have returned to their offices, and some businesses have grown or shrunk as a result of the pandemic. Whatever the case, it is important to review the business activity in the last year to know where you can make improvements for the new year. Think about what your business has accomplished and how you can build on these in 2022. If your business is performing well in a particular area, the new year is a great time to increase that growth. What goals were you unable to reach in the last year for your business? Were they realistic? Why did they fall through?

  1. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan is essential when you first start a business. However, it is also very useful to have a yearly business plan to nurture your success in the new year. What direction will you be going in? Will it be the same as last year? In your business plan, you should also include budget and revenue goals for the coming year. Your goals should be business-specific, easy to measure, realistic, and relevant to your overall strategy. It is a good idea to think of 2 or 3 main business goals for the year, these could be related to financial outcomes, your customer base, or anything relevant to your overall business strategy.

  1. Consider Expansion

Plan for growth! If your business has been doing increasingly well, you may want to get ahead of the game and consider expanding your team. It is easy for a business owner to become overwhelmed once their business starts to take off. Remember, when expanding your team, the ultimate goal is to strengthen your existing team. Hire carefully and make sure you are hiring employees that fit the vision and mission of your business.

Starting a new year is an exciting time. I have been so grateful to see my business grow in the last year and I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for us. Our team is so excited to continue to help small business owners grow their businesses. For the solopreneur, we can help you get your time back. Are there too many tasks including employee training and development, and you simply cannot get everything done, at least not without working yourself to death? We can help! Visit us at http://www.lifebydesignvs.com

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business management, businessbuildingstrategies, Goal Setting, Implementation, Mindset, organizational behavior

The Power of Gratitude for Your Business

It’s officially the holiday season, a time for cozying up next to the fireplace, enjoying winter festivities, and most importantly, a time for giving thanks. According to Harvard Health, “Research suggests that one aspect of the Thanksgiving season can actually lift the spirits, and it’s built right into the holiday — being grateful.” Showing gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. This is true not only in our everyday life but also in our work life or in our business. Gratitude in the workplace can affect the overall work climate and promote a sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves–to feel a sense of meaning at work. With gratitude, the more you give the more you get in return. So how does showing gratitude affect your business?

Showing gratitude towards employees or coworkers can be extremely beneficial to a business owner. When hard work is not only recognized, but appreciated, this can directly influence performance, productivity, and retention. When a person feels acknowledged and appreciated for their work, they are more likely to continue to perform well and are more inspired to improve business outcomes. The best part of all, a simple thank you can go a long way, at no cost for you.

By showing gratitude in the workplace, you are creating an environment where all employees are happy to go above and beyond because they feel valued and appreciated. The direct results of this will include overall happiness amongst your team, trust from your team, boosts in self-esteem, and better performance. Let’s face it, no one enjoys an ungrateful employer. Many times, acts of gratitude are not received well because they are achievement-based as opposed to employee-focused. Authenticity is key in creating a positive environment in the workplace. Consider writing handwritten thank you notes to your employees to show your appreciation. It is also important to acknowledge the small things that sometimes go unnoticed. This will encourage your team to pay close attention to detail. 

Gratitude is a form of self-love. Pass it forward and improve organizational behavior. As you begin to acknowledge and appreciate the small things, you’ll be surprised at how your company culture begins to change. Gratitude leads to kindness, generosity, and empathy and it even promotes better sleep & improves your mental & financial well-being. Take every opportunity you can to make your business more personal, and never forget about the ones who have helped you reach the point you are at right now.

business management, businessbuildingstrategies, Digital Marketing, executive assistant, Goal Setting, Mindset, small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

Vision and Belief for Business Owners

In all goals or tasks we complete, we are guided by a purpose. Having a clear sense of vision for your business allows you to define and achieve short-term or long-term goals. This is the first and most crucial step in starting or running a business. If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you plan on getting there? More than just a goal, a vision is the embodiment of our hopes and dreams for your business. With the tools at your disposal, you make those dreams a reality. You don’t need a degree in business or years of experience to build a vision for your business. Trusting in your capabilities is the key to making a change and seeing results. We’ve gathered our tips and tricks for building and growing your vision as a business owner. 

  1. Believe in yourself: 

Believing in yourself is step 1. If you don’t believe you are capable of achieving your goals, odds are you won’t. One reason many business entrepreneurs fail is that they give up after failing. Don’t get stuck in the situation or dwell on your failures. Instead, overlook the failure and find ways to the road to success. There are millions of business owners who have walked in your shoes and know what it feels like to fail or make mistakes, but they wouldn’t be where they are if they hadn’t picked themselves up and tried harder the second time around. Every successful business goes through phases, but don’t let it be your downfall. 

  1. Write it down:

Once you’ve developed confidence in your entrepreneurial abilities, you are ready to get your vision on paper. I recommend starting with 3 essential pillars of finding a vision: mission statement, vision, and values. Your mission statement will define what you’re there to do. It is the general heading of what your business is. Remember, your mission should be timeless and rarely, if ever, change. 

Your vision is where you aspire to be once you’ve achieved your mission. A strong visions statement defines where the company is now, and where you would like to be in the future. Focus on your business goals and future aspirations. Your vision should be uplifting and inspiring. 

Building upon your mission and vision, you need business values. What do you stand for? What core values make up the DNA of your business? By defining your values, you can better guide business decisions and customers can know what to expect from your service or product. Make sure to use strong concrete language to make it clear what your values mean and how they represent your business.

  1. Patiently, confidently, work at it

You have the power to make an impact through your business endeavors. You have something useful to offer the world. Build that confidence, create a concrete message and vision, and work towards building it. When your audience interacts with you or your business, they should find value in it. As entrepreneurs, we need to have a little faith that if we keep at it, everything will turn out fine in the end. If you set achievable goals for yourself, believe in your abilities, speak into existence what you want for your business, and work towards those goals every day, you will see results.

If you are already in business but have felt overwhelmed with the workloads and stress of growing your business, you may want to think about outsourcing to a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are easy and affordable and can help you achieve all your business goals. It’s no secret that investing in your business is incredibly useful in achieving success. 

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Digital Marketing, Goal Setting, time management

Time Management Skills To Grow Your Business as a Fitness Instructor

Time management, for all business owners, is about being productive while simultaneously being proactive. Doing more does not necessarily mean you’re being more productive with your time. Fitness instructors have a lot on their hands. You must be active and efficient with your time on a day-to-day basis. Considering how active you are, you may start to feel burned out from being so busy. Interacting with your community can take up a lot of your time. Whether that time is taken up answering emails, phone calls, or setting up personal sessions, you may want to get some of that time back. We have some great tips for how you can properly manage your time as a fitness instructor. 

As a fitness instructor, you like to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but this also includes taking care of yourself and having daily, weekly, and monthly goals set for yourself and what you would like to achieve. So one of the most important things you can do to manage your time wisely is by establishing those goals for yourself.

Make a list of all the tasks you have to do and schedule them out evenly on a calendar throughout the week or month. This will help you visualize all the things you want to achieve without overwhelming yourself each day. 

Next, to get into your new routine, you must stay strict with your time and yourself. It can be easy for us to fall into habits of procrastination. But stay disciplined and focus on using your time wisely and efficiently during the times you have planned for your business. By knowing and planning what you have to do during each time window during your day will help you avoid procrastination. There are also a variety of health and self-awareness apps that can aid you in curbing your procrastination periods. Some of our favorites include Focus@Will, Focus To Do, and Rescue Time. 

Limit technology. Unfortunately, it can oftentimes be very difficult to release ourselves completely from technology. Especially in a business, technology is how we connect with our communities, customers, and potential clients. However, making an active effort to avoid social media, emails, and texts when you are trying to stay focused can be very useful when managing your time. When working on high-priority tasks, you want to avoid all distractions. So switch off those phones and TVs to get things done quickly, so you can get back to doing what you love. 

Prioritize your time. If you’re a fitness instructor, you are constantly active and on the move. At times, this can become very overwhelming. Taking care of yourself, others and your business can be a heavy workload. It is important to prioritize balancing your time throughout the week. Always remember to focus on what works best for you, your work schedule and personal schedule.

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Digital Marketing, Goal Setting, Marketing, Social Media Marketing

How Coaches Can Sell More Courses

Whether you are a business leadership coach, a motivational coach, life coach, fitness coach, or one of the many other types of coaches out there, there are people who want your expertise and skills. Take advantage of online courses as a form of selling your knowledge. As an entrepreneur, you want to share your success with others so that they can learn and succeed as well. However, you may run into dry spells where you find it difficult to continuously sell your courses. As a coach, your goal should be to consistently find new clients to share your intellect with. We have some tips for coaches on how to sell more courses. 

Podcasting:

A current and popular trend right now is podcasting. Podcasts are great for driving authority in your specific niche. Whether you lead your own podcast or join an existing podcast as a guest, participating in podcasts expands your reach in clients as you are able to reach people within your niche. It may be to your benefit to reach out to podcasters in your niche and ask about being a guest. 

Social Media:

There is no question that social media marketing is one of the best methods to get the word out about your coaching courses. With over 3.96 billion people actively using social media, advertising your courses through platforms such as Linked In, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok is an effective way to gain attention and customers. Identify where your target audience is most engaged and link relevant content and promote your courses on these platforms. 

Online Communities:

Another great method for raising awareness and selling your courses is through online groups, more specifically, Facebook groups. Facebook is a great platform for finding communities within your niche. You can begin by starting your own Facebook group related to your courses where you provide snippets and incite on your expertise. Here, you can engage and communicate with clients directly and share updates. An important part of these groups, however, is consistency. Make a point to be active in the group by posting a few times a day. This will make your group stand out amongst others. As you begin to build a community, make sure to take advantage of the platform to sell your courses and provide value. 

Choose the proper platform for your course:

Now that you have integrated yourself into the online community of your niche, you need to focus on the course itself. Make sure to always provide high-quality videos with high-quality editing. Next, your course needs to be easily accessible to your customers. You can host your course on your own website or you can consider third-party platforms. A marketplace platform can host your courses for a fee and allow you to customize your branding. Some examples of a marketplace platform you might want to consider utilizing are Masterclass and Udemy. 

The selling of your course can be time consuming. Don’t get overwhelmed. This is the perfect opportunity to allow a virtual assistant to take care of these back end tasks that will help grow your business. Delegate and hire a VA to handle your social media, schedule podcast interviews, and upload your courses to your marketing platform. 

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Digital Marketing, executive assistant, Goal Setting, small business, time management

How Time Blocking Can Grow Your Business and Cut Your Hours

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, you are more than likely thinking about how you can maximize your time and still grow your business as much as possible. Time blocking is the answer in many of these instances. With this not-so-new technique, you can successfully plan every hour of your week so that nothing slips through the cracks. There are time blocking apps and weekly planners with time blocking grids. You can use your Outlook calendar or your Google calendar, no time blocking software necessary, or use intricate programs that schedule your tasks automatically. This time management method allows you to keep track of your task management and stay focused.

By setting boundaries, buffering your time, and blocking out time to work on your tasks you can retake control of your day. It’s also good to think about your obstacles so you can plan for them. Does your client always call at the same time during the week? Make a note of it on your calendar and plan for that interruption. Maybe that means you work on items that don’t require much brain power or focus because you know the client will inevitably call during this time. Notice the patterns in your day so you can make a plan.

Here are some interesting statistics on where our time goes:

  • We spend ten minutes every day searching for lost items, from books and phones to car keys and even the cars themselves. 
  • 3,680 hours or 153 days is spent searching for stuff, over our lifetimes.
  • Office workers waste an average of 30% of their workday looking for information

You have a limited supply of energy, focus and will power. And the distractions don’t help. Allowing interruptions and less important tasks to take up your time is a recipe for disaster. It takes on average 25 minutes to get back to a task after a distraction

Where do I begin? Here is a simple way to get started.

Create a new spreadsheet that has the days of the week across the top and the hours, from the time you wake up until you go to bed, down the left hand side. 

Fill in recurring events.

Fill in anything that reoccurs from day to day or week to week. These could be meetings, recurring tasks, networking events, work hours etc.  You can now fill in the blank spots with chores, you time, and hanging out with your family.

One of the easiest ways to make it feel like you have more time in your day is to group like tasks together.  Plan a specific day for errands.  Define a laundry day and a shopping day.  Don’t feel like you have to do this all on the weekends.  Laundry can be done while watching your favorite shows mid-week or you can run errands after work on your way home.

At the end of the day, if you feel stressed and feel like you do not have time for things you enjoy, time blocking may work for you. If this technique does not, a virtual assistant from Life by Design can take on any tasks you just don’t have time to do.

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Digital Marketing, Goal Setting, Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Best Practices for Marketing in a Digital World

In today’s digital world, there is no reason a small business can’t thrive. By utilizing the many avenues of digital marketing in efficient ways you will be able to connect with over 4 billion internet users as well as generate consistent clients and revenue. We have put together the top marketing tips for small businesses.

  • Social media allows entrepreneurs, small businesses and influencers to connect with over 3.4 billion users in a nanosecond. This completely free technology is unmatched in the digital marketing space as you can find your ideal clients very easily. The most important aspect to this is time. Utilizing social media scheduling apps you can ensure posts are consistent and less time consuming in the long run. Researching hashtags that are appropriate for your niche can lead you to long term success. Consistent activity, appropriate hashtags, and communication are the most important ways to get the most out of your efforts in this space.
  • Know your customer. Finding and focusing on your ideal client base is key for success in any space, whether it be digitally or brick and mortar based. For example, if you have a nutrition business, you most likely don’t want to find clients that are looking for general contractors.(Unless you do, that’s fine too!) Look at who your posts/emails/and blogs are attracting and you can adjust your approach from there.
  • Focus on the long term. Where do you want your business to be in one month? One year? Five years? By setting appropriate and adequate milestones for marketing, you can make this time a little less cumbersome. Set and write down short and long term goals in an area you see regularly (be it an office space, calendar, or fridge!). This will keep goals in your mind and encourage you to actively work towards them.
  • Remain consistent in design when launching a campaign. Making sure all marketing spaces apply the same design aesthetic shows consistency and will let current as well as potential clients find you more easily. This simple tip will also look more professional and trustworthy. Try to use the same (or similar) colors and fonts in graphics, on your webpage, business cards and logo.
  • Develop Email Campaigns. On average, email marketing returns $44 for every $1 spent – that’s a 4,400% return of investment (ROI). You can bring more money and return customers to your business with the right emails – but what are the best emailing practices? To encourage return visits to your website, you should set up automated responses to thank customers after they subscribe or make a purchase. Consumers like to feel appreciated, with ‘welcome’ emails boasting an average open rate of 82%. A drip campaign needs to add value without spamming. Make sure the emails you create are of value. The marketplace pays for value. Everyone likes to buy, but no one wants to be sold. Keep the sales pitch out of it. Effective marketing tells the prospect WIIFM. (What’s in it for me?, meaning the prospect) What’s in it for your prospect? How will it bring them value?

As with anything, there is a learning curve and a development time. Patience and planning will ensure your long and short term business goals are being met. If at any time you need help with digital marketing for your small business, Life by Design Virtual Assistant Services is here for you. Our virtual assistant staff specializes in all aspects of digital marketing from graphic design to blog writing to email marketing, and much more.

Digital Marketing, executive assistant, Goal Setting, virtual assistant

Virtual Assistant Must-Haves for Saving Time and Money

When you first decide to start your Virtual Assistant business there are so many questions to ask yourself, one of the biggest being “What applications can I use to maximize my functionality as well as keep things cost effective?” As you’ve probably figured out by now, there are a ton of options out there for everything from time tracking to project management and everything in between. It can seem like a daunting task to learn them all and find out which work best for your business. Luckily for you, we have narrowed down the top applications for 2021.

Top Project Management App:

  • Infinity.  Infinity is a task tracking application with a multitude of uses. As one of the more cost effective project management programs, it allows you all the functionality of the top names for a better price tag. With packages including anywhere from 1 to 30 workspaces, and anywhere from 50GB to 5000GB of storage, it is sure to fit any VA’s needs. Not only is it practical for your wallet, Infinity easily integrates with other top platforms such as Clockify and Trello. The best part about Infinity is you pay once and have access forever, no monthly or annual payments. You can check it out here. https://startinfinity.com/pricing 

Top Time Tracking App:

  • Toggl. Toggl brings time tracking to a whole new level. It is perfect for those just starting out as freelancers as well as companies with large teams. The time tracker itself is completely free to use, allows for multiple projects to be tracked simultaneously, and is very very user friendly.  The time tracker as well as report generation can be easily accessed via web browser or mobile app, and reports can be generated as a pdf or csv file based on any time period, project or client making it easy to share with your clientele. 

Top Messaging App:

  • Flock. Flock is our pick for the top messaging application for any small business. While it has a very similar structure and functionality to other messaging platforms, it is free to use for 1-20 members, making it ideal for those first starting out. This version also includes 1:1 video calling, searchable messages, 5GB of storage, and unlimited 1:1 and group messages per team. 

Top Scheduling App:

  • Acuity Scheduling. Acuity stands alone as my favorite scheduling application for every business both large and small. Starting at a very practical price for one location (and up to 36 for its top package), it works seamlessly with a multitude of other programs such as Zoom, Wix, Mailchimp, Quickbooks, etc. The only caveat is that it can take some time to learn all of the functions available to you. 

Top Video Conferencing App:

  • Zoom. I think, by now, we have all heard of and used Zoom in some fashion as it has become the premiere video conferencing app for both business and personal use. As with the other applications mentioned, it was chosen based on its functionality for both large and small businesses making it perfect for freelancers. 

Top Video Recording App:

  • Loom. As with Zoom, Loom is a video chat app. However, we love it in particular for its function as a recording app making it easy to create training videos and communicate with clients on your own time. A top criteria for this list was cost effectiveness and Loom doesn’t disappoint with its free version

As a new Virtual Assistant, we suggest sticking to necessary applications that will be utilized for your current clients along with a time tracking application such as Toggl. As you continue to learn and expand your business, you can take advantage of free trials to learn more about them and hone your skill set to maximize your potential!

businessbuildingstrategies, Goal Setting, small business, time management, virtual assistant

5 Goals You Can Set For Your Small Business

It is never too late to set some new goals for your small business! Here are five things you can do once or continuously to better improve your small business.

  1. SWOT analysis: S- Strengths, W- Weaknesses, O- Opportunities, and T- Threats. This is a great way to figure out/analyze the current state of your company. Also, this helps target those areas you may need to improve on before setting goals.
  1. Take Advantage of Social Media
    1. Social media is one of the absolute best tools to use when it comes to not only growing your small business but also establishing a key identity that is attached to your business’ name. Try creating a profile on Instagram or Facebook and just putting your logo and company message, and then add consistent content focused on your products and/or services.
  1. Revise Your Customer Service Process
    1. Having a fantastic customer service process is especially important. People like to feel like they are cared about personally when it comes to assisting their needs. If you sell products, maybe start offering an easier method of contact. For example, if you only offer a customer service email, think about opening a business phone line or live chat for people to get a faster response.
  1. Hire Someone to Help
    1. If you find that your business is starting to grow, adding an additional person may be your best bet to maximize productivity. Virtual Assistants are the perfect option to start off with. They have a lower cost vs regular employee and need little to no benefits. It would be great to talk with you and see if our VA’s are the right fit for your business.
  1. Reduce Business Expenses
    1. This is dependent on the type of small business you are running, but there is always some way to cut a few costs here and there. For example: unneeded materials or subscriptions.

Here at Life by Design Virtual Assistant Services, we wish your small business nothing but the best. Feel free to check out the FREE 15-minute consultation we offer on our contact page to see if our services would be of benefit to you.