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.

blogging, businessbuildingstrategies, onlinemarketing, personal assistant, process management, small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

Small Business Start-Up Tips

So, you’re wanting to start a small business? Here are a few tips when it comes to figuring out the type of company you want to start and other important details. 

Figure Out What Interests You 

Identify how you’re spending your free time and what gets you excited to learn more. Maybe it’s a hobby you spend a lot of time doing, books you read, magazines you subscribe to, clubs/groups you’re a part of, or places you travel to. 

Identity a Problem 

Some of the most successful businesses are the result of finding the solution to a problem many people are facing in everyday life. These can make the best kind of products and/or services because everyone loves a solution that makes their quality of life better. 

Research Your Market

A lot of markets are becoming oversaturated as time goes on and people make knock offs/ the same product with another brand name. Doing research in your selected target market is a huge factor in determining your possible success. 

Build A Team

In order to run a business smoothly and deliver the best consumer experience, you may want to look into building a small team. During the start-up process cost is normally very important, so virtual assistants are your best bet. They handle most of the busy work while you can focus on making your product and/or service as great as possible. 

Life by Design has numerous VA’s on standby to truly help you with the crazy journey of running a small business. Schedule your free consultation today! 

small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, time management, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

5 Simple Tips for Small Business Owners

In the year of 2020, we all know small businesses took some of the hardest hits due to the pandemic, but it’s 2021 now and time for us to bounce back! 

Our country is full of millions of small businesses- owned by “ordinary” people like us who want to take their passion and turn it into a profit making machine. Below are some tips for my fellow small business owners. 

Stay Focused

Many small business owners make the mistake of trying to appeal to too many target markets, too quickly. Depending on the type of company you run, sticking to your niche can have a huge impact on your growth. 

Brand Imagery

People don’t know who you are, what you do, or even where you came from; so having not only a consistent but solid brand message/image can really let people in on your personal story. This also gives consumers somewhat of a backstory as to where their product or service is coming from and depending on your story can tug on those heart strings- promoting sales. 

You Will Wear Many Hats

When first starting a small business you’ll probably be wearing MANY hats to fulfill all needs of your start-up. From CRM to making and shipping your products and/or services, you have to have basic knowledge of all business concepts in order to deliver that consumer experience people won’t forget. At Life by Design our goal is to help/take over on some of those responsibilities. 

Take Advantage of Social Media

In this day and age social media is one of the biggest and best tools for growing your business. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have millions of people waiting on standby in your target demographic to buy your product or service. With a budget as low as $5 you can reach thousands of people a day. 

Pay Attention to Consumer Needs

Sometimes business owners are unsure of how to deal with customers/consumers and deliver that great experience. Having a smooth checkout process, keeping engaged, offering good customer service, and keeping them at a high priority are just a few of the things to overall improve their needs and keep them coming back for more.

Life by Design’s goal is to assist you in/with these daunting tasks and keep you focused on your passion. We offer a free consultation HERE. 

I personally wish each and every small business owner the best of luck. 2021 is our year.

executive assistant, process management, small business, social media management, sop creation, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

It’s a Good Year for Better Time Management

Happy New Year! Here’s to an amazing and productive 2021!

How do we accomplish that in our business? We manage our time well.

Time management is a key skill in becoming/being successful and it includes setting aside the perfect amount of time for each and every task being thrown at you. Here are some tips to better manage your time, which will result in higher productivity in 2021. 

  1. Set Goals 
    1. A fundamental part of time management is not only setting goals for everything you need to complete, but also prioritizing them. One way would be to rank your goals by importance so you have a better idea of what you need to do first, second, third, etc.
  2. Set A Time Frame For Each Task 
    1. Try to estimate the amount of time you will be spending on each and every task so you know when and where to fit in those tasks. It’s very important to have enough time to complete each one, leaving wiggle room in case it takes longer than expected. I can’t tell you how many times I have underestimated the amount of time a task will take me and I had already waited till the last minute to complete it- that doesn’t result in a good outcome. 
  3. Reward Yourself
    1. No matter how big or small your personal reward is, you should have one. It not only gives you greater motivation to complete the task in a timely manner but also gives you something to enjoy and promotes self care. 
  4. Take Out Unnecessary Tasks
    1. Cleaning up your to-do can have a huge impact on not just your stress levels but also your productivity. Having a bunch of unnecessary and just straight up time consuming tasks on your list will only slow you down. 
  5. Give Yourself A Break 
    1. Taking breaks are known to increase productivity as long as you stick to your set break time. Think of it as a recharging period to re-center and boost motivation. Examples include working for maybe 3 hours then giving yourself a 20 minute rest. 
    2. Delegate. Give tasks that you don’t want to work on to an assistant. Hiring a virtual assistant is one way to get rid of those extra tasks and free up more of your time for the things you want to do.

Productivity and time management are serious factors when it comes to not only your mental health surrounding the areas of stress, but also important factors to putting out quality work- no matter your area of expertise. 

Here at Life by Design our team values time management and quality work. We focus on the busy work while you continue to run the business of your passion. If you want to learn more, schedule your free consultation here.

businessbuildingstrategies, onlinemarketing, personal assistant, small business, Social Media Marketing, time management, virtual assistant

5 Ways To Grow Your Business Using Digital Media Marketing In 2021

Marketing your business in the era of 2020/2021 may seem like it’s more difficult than ever, but that’s not necessarily the truth. More people are having to stay home instead of going out or going to work in general, which has resulted in a massive increase of social media usage. 

What does this mean for marketing in this day and age? Digital Media. 

Digital media may be that key ingredient to growth and success in your business. Millions of people are right at your fingertips and those people are in your businesses demographic. 

With all of that being said, here are 5 ways to grow your business in 2021 using Digital Media Marketing. 

  1. Have your business known across all platforms. 

No matter your avenue of business, having an account with your brand image across the board is the most important thing you could ever do. Some of the most well known social media platforms to market on include, but are not limited to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. 

  1. Develop a cohesive brand image. 

Having a consistent and cohesive brand image across all platforms helps develop a sense of identity in your business and allows consumers to gain trust. 

  1. Build trust. 

Consumers like trust. They want to be able to buy your product or pay for your service with a guarantee that you will hold up your end of the deal and meet their needs. Ways to do this is making clear not only your refund or guarantee policy but having a mission or about us statement to where they can learn about the person “behind the screen”. 

  1. Take advantage of paid ads. 

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest give you access to millions of people in your businesses target demographic using keywords and an age range. You can set daily, weekly, or monthly budgets where you gain insight on the number of people who will see your business. 

  1. Take advantage of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). 

Once you create a solid website for your company, SEO can be a major factor in getting your name out in the world. What is SEO? It is a set of keywords put in both the front and backend of your website in order to show up higher on search engine rankings. 

Doing these 5 simple, yet impactful things can lead to serious growth in your company. 

Not sure how to start doing these things or simply don’t have time? We here at Life By Design have you covered. Reach out today and learn how we can take this weight off your back.  www.lifebydesignvaservices.com/contact

businessbuildingstrategies, Goal Setting, small business, Social Media Marketing, time management, virtual assistant

What is a Virtual Assistant and Why Would I Ever Need One?

Whether your business is a one-man show that’s just begun or an established company with more than one team member, a virtual assistant may be in your best interest. Their purpose is to allow you to focus on what matters most, your passions and running the business you love. 

No matter if your business is completely online, in person, or maybe both- tremendous benefits come along with hiring one. 

Managing a consistent/cohesive brand image across all of your social media platforms, website, local listings, and more can become a serious challenge. Alongside keeping up with all of your clerical/general administration tasks can seem nearly impossible. That’s why Virtual Assistants are there to help you! 

Save Money 

Most brands like to outsource when it comes to hiring someone to handle all of the busy work because it normally results in a profit save. As well as cutting back on things like training costs.  Virtual Assistants are already knowledgeable in everything that comes with the job. 

Save Time

Starting a business can be so exciting and gives you the opportunity to make a profit from something you truly enjoy doing, but will soon be followed by busywork. These amazing assistants truly will take a tremendous amount of pressure off your back so you can stop sweating about the small things and dive deeper into your passion. 

Virtual Assistants are becoming more and more acknowledged today, especially with everything starting to be done remotely. Most assistants work from home allowing a very flexible schedule to fit all of your company’s needs. 

Social Media

  • Content creation 
    • Using your brand colors, the content will be created to match your brand image and engage your following. 
  • Grow Your Following 
    • It’s a proven fact that when business social media accounts post consistent and engaging content- follower counts go up. 

General Admin  

  • Email Marketing / Regular Usage 
    • Including management and cleanup, sorting, scheduling newsletters and general emails, email autoresponders, automations, as well as mailing list setup. 
  • Proofreading 
  • Basic Bookkeeping 
  • Calendar Organization
    • Including management and appointment scheduling, creating daily to-do lists, and creating employee schedules. 
  • Media Creation 
    • Including slides for presentations, word documents, spreadsheets, and more. 
  • Research 
  • Data Entry 
  • Website Management

Life by Design is known for exceptional customer service and guaranteed client satisfaction. Each one of our team members has the same goal in mind – making your life easier while you continue to dive deeper into your passions. Hear from our past clients on our home page where reviews are located. See them here.

2021 can be your best year in business yet, with a little help. 🙂

To your success,

Genean

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

Growing Your Business With a Virtual Assistant into 2021

As e-commerce platforms are growing in the business world, hiring a virtual assistant is becoming more and more needed. As a virtual assistant myself, I believe that we, as professional VAs, should possess certain qualities to help your business grow.

As the need for virtual assistants is growing, more and more underqualified and inexperienced people are starting a virtual assistant business. When hiring a virtual assistant, it’s imperative that you screen them well, ask many questions about their prior experience, and make sure they have the qualities of the kind of person you are looking for in your business.

I have heard from many business owners who hired a virtual assistant, then soon regretted it because the assistant was not as skilled as they claimed. At that point, it’s a little awkward letting them go, not to mention the business owner is now gun shy on hiring another VA.

There are many quality VA’s out there who will do a fantastic job for your business. Many are looking for work right now! A couple things to ask for is a portfolio of past work, and a referral.  These two things can tell you a lot about the professionalism and quality of a VA.

You also want to ask questions to find out the quality of the person. Integrity and honesty, being punctual, and meeting deadlines are things you need in a VA. Here are 3 more qualities to look for when hiring a virtual assistant.

  • Detail-Oriented. A virtual assistant should always have great attention to detail. A quality virtual assistant is one who does the task promptly, does it correctly, and does it with a positive attitude.
  • Responsiveness. Virtual assistants are just that, virtual. So, it is important to have good communication since they are not in the traditional office setting.  Depending on where your virtual assistant lives, the time difference can be a challenge for both the company and the VA. So, it is important to discuss these issues in the initial consultation, before hire, and set expectations.
  • Effectiveness and Efficiency. Effectiveness and efficiency are critical aspects of making any task successful. When running any business, it is of great importance that all deadlines are met, and all work is completed thoroughly and professionally.

If you are currently in need of a virtual assistant, or maybe you are just window shopping for now, you can see what we at Life by Design VA Services do by scheduling your free consultation here.

personal assistant, small business, Social Media Marketing, time management, virtual assistant

5 Stress Reducing Methods – Busy is Not a Badge of Honor

It’s become the norm for small business owners to feel very stressed out while running their businesses. If you are a business owner, I’m sure you will agree that it is hard work, and not everything is always going to go smoothly. There are bumps on the road to growth, lots of them. Those bumps cause stress, frustration and lots of pressure.

As a small business owner, there are so many things to get done. If you are a solopreneur or have a very small staff, then you have to do most of the work yourself. This includes taking care of clients and customers, employee recruiting and retention, troubleshooting issues and putting out fires, marketing yourself, meetings and so much more.

However, there are some stress management methods that have been proven to help many business owners who have experienced the pressures of being too busy.

Here are 5 tips for helping with the stress.

Take Breaks

I know, I know. You don’t have time for breaks. Did you know that one reason why many small business owners get so stressed is that they don’t take enough time off? Some take 0 days off in a year. That is not healthy for your body, your mental health, or your relationships. When you spend too much of your time working, it takes a toll. Taking time away from work will help you to recharge your batteries. So take a day off! The business will still be there when you go back!

Self-Care

Self-care is vital for stress management. Again, I know, you don’t have time. If you aren’t eating right and your sleep schedule is off, then you’re going to feel it, and it’s going to affect your health over time. I also know business owners who get so busy that they go all day before realizing they haven’t eaten and it’s now 11pm so they binge eat junk food before going to bed. That’s also not a good idea for the waistline. So, take time to at least get lunch and get enough sleep each night. You should also try to get some exercise in when you can. Yoga/pilates is a great stress reliever and good for the body.

Don’t Neglect Those Most Important to You

Make sure you separate work from home life. I know many business owners, I have been guilty of this as well, who feel like they need to think about work or work on projects even after the work day is over. Many business owners also work from home now, which can lead to even more work. It easy to get lost in constant work when your office is in your home. But when you’re at home spending time with your family, it’s important to leave work at work, even if that work is only steps away to your office. Set business hours and only work inside those hours, unless a business emergency happens.

Focus on the Positive

It’s easy to see the negative things and all of the challenges of running your small business. For some reason, our minds see the negative more so than the positive. It’s normal human nature. But we can adjust our thinking. We can choose to focus on the good. Being intentionally grateful and counting your blessings can make a huge difference in how you feel. Maybe set a reminder in your phone for every single day to stop for 1 minute and say 3 things you are grateful for that day.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

Maybe you are simply doing too much. Maybe your business is growing and you simply can’t keep up anymore and it’s stressing you out. Maybe it’s time to get some help. A virtual assistant is a great way to get some of those general admin, website, social media, scheduling, email marketing, and other tasks off your to-do list, so that you have more time, and more productivity.

Here are a few things hiring a virtual assistant can change for you:

  1. Delegate those time-consuming tasks that keep you from growing your business.
  2. Free up your time to focus on the things that are most important to you.
  3. Check off those tedious tasks that never seem to get done.
  4. Feel calm, productive and a lot less frustrated!

Schedule a free consultation with me today so we can see if what I do as a Virtual Assistant may help you in your business. Let’s Talk.

Virtual Assistant
businessbuildingstrategies, Goal Setting, Mindset, time management

Investing in Your Most Important Asset as a Business Owner

As a business owner, many of us have a tendency to work too much. It’s easy to get sucked into working ALL THE TIME. If your office is in your home, it’s easy to keep going back in and doing just a little more! Wait…is that just me? It can’t be!

Can anyone relate to the above? If so, I bet you can also relate to burnout, stress, overwhelm and zero self-care. I don’t know about you, but this mom, wife and business owner has been there too many times.

So, what is your most important asset as a small business owner? Duh, it’s you. Yes you! You are your most important asset in your business!

Investing in yourself and taking care of yourself is the most profitable decision you can make, in my opinion. It can help you to be more productive with less hours. Learning new skill sets, setting priorities and achieving a better quality of life are all results you can obtain by investing in you. Putting in effort now can have a big difference in your future in a much more positive way.

So maybe you’re thinking how in the world can I invest time into me when I have a million other things to do? The simple answer is just do it. Seriously, you just have to make a decision that it’s an important aspect of growing and maintaining a healthy life in all areas. Here are 2 things that have made a difference for me. FYI – number 2 should actually be number one.

1. Developing Your Skills. This can take on many forms. The niche you are in will determine some of the skills you should hone in on, but for the most part we all need to invest in personal growth and learning new skills regardless of the industry we are in currently and regardless of how long you have been doing a particular type of work. Things are always changing and to keep up we have to be prepared with new skill sets.

  • People skills. No matter what industry you are in, there are people. The money is in the hands of the people. The marketplace pays for value. Upping your people skills makes you more valuable in whatever line of work you pursue. Consider listening to personal development daily for 15 minutes.
  • Free and paid training that fits your niche – enroll in online workshops, go to live conferences or participate in webinars that fit your industry and the areas you want to see growth in more.
  • Grow your knowledge – Read books. Leaders are readers! Listen to podcasts. Schedule at least 15 minutes a day for just listening or reading positive things.
  • Care for your body. Self-care is so important for every aspect of our life. And it’s normally the one that we put last on the list. For most of us with families and businesses, there is little time left for ourselves. But it is so important that we make it a priority. We cannot pour from an empty cup. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Take a spa day, get a massage, take a day to binge Netflix, take a drive or even a weekend away. Whatever it is for you, just do it. Make the decision to practice self-care every week.

Investing in you can truly make a difference in your life, your relationships, and your ability to grow in your business and utilize your skills to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, caring for your mind and body, making self-care and learning new skills a priority, can make a world of difference in your entire life.

If you are a business owner who has too many tasks taking too much of your day, it may be time to think about getting some help. A virtual assistant can help you by doing the back-end work like social media management, website management, calendar and email management, and much more.

If you are a business owner who needs a bit of a break, let’s talk. Schedule your completely FREE CONSULTATION here.

Genean Roberts

http://www.lifebydesignvaservices.com

businessbuildingstrategies, Mindset, time management

The Power of Delegation and Why You Need To Start Now

Whether you have been in business for yourself for 1 year or 20 years, you probably have felt the need to delegate. Some of us do well at delegating and some not so much. For me, delegating has always been tough. We have all heard the saying ‘If I want it done right, I will just do it myself’. That is normally because we feel like we can either do it better, or we at least feel like we understand it better than anyone else will. That kind of ego can lead to all kinds of problems in our businesses, not to mention our physical and mental health.

As a result, nothing gets delegated and burnout is on the horizon.

The issue in most cases is not that there is no one capable, it is more often that we just can’t delegate well. There are plenty of willing and able potential employees or contract workers out there ready and willing to learn and prove themselves. But it’s normally the business owner that is the issue. Delegating seems hard, and it shouldn’t be.

Here’s my thoughts on how to become a professional delegator

1. Research. It’s important to know you need before you begin searching for it. If you need to help setting up your monthly newsletter, then find someone with experience using Aweber, Constant Contact or MailChimp. Finding the right person for the job is the first important step in delegating the work. Specific skill sets are imperative when hiring and delegating work projects.

2. Plan it out. Write down everything you do in your business each day/week. Then highlight the parts you either don’t want to do or don’t have time to do. Then find someone with those specific skills to do them. Taking a few things off your plate can make a world of difference in your overall well-being.

3. Provide specific information. Once you begin delegating work, be thorough: make sure to include deadlines and guidelines about how you’d like the work to be done. Don’t just assume the person knows. Most people want to do a good job. Set them up for success instead of failure by making sure they have all the details up front.

4. Keep in touch. If you’ve delegated a work project, keep in contact once a day and ask for progress updates. Regular meetings will help with issues and allow for any adjustments needed. It would be awful to get a completed project that has been done incorrectly because you didn’t communicate effectively. Time is money!

5. Build Rapport. When you work with someone you are in a relationship with them. That doesn’t mean you have to be best buds, but it is important to grow that business relationship. Be sure to answer questions about the projects they are working on quickly so that they can stay on track and on time. Your work together will require regular communication – either written or verbal.

Delegating can be a powerful way to leverage your time and grow your business drastically. But you have to be willing to let go and delegate some things to others, whether that be an employee or an independent contractor.

Once you do, you will be able to breathe a little easier, work on the things that grow your business instead of all the busy work, and you may even see your income and business start to explode!

If you are thinking about delegating some things, set up a completely free consultation with me HERE to see if we are a good match!

To your success,

Genean Roberts – Life By Design VA Services