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

businessbuildingstrategies, onlinemarketing, Social Media Marketing

Virtual Assistant VS Employee: Which One Do You Need?

Have you been struggling to make a decision whether to hire an employee or contract out a virtual assistant? Sometimes an employee is a better choice, especially if you need someone to be at a job site in person, but many times a virtual assistant can do anything an employee can do, without the extra hassle. Here are a few ways virtual assistants are more beneficial than an employee.

No Extra Hidden Costs

Did you realize that when you hire an employee for a specific rate of pay, that isn’t the actual pay? You have to factor in those extra costs. There are payroll taxes, worker’s comp, unemployment insurance, vacation days, sick days, holidays, and benefits. Those can add up fast.

That means that many times you are actually paying double an employee’s salary by having them on your payroll. But a virtual assistant’s cost is exactly what was agreed upon in the contract. Much simpler with much less paperwork.

No Wasted Time That You Are Paying For

A virtual assistant only charges for the hours they work, most using time tracking software to keep it as close to the minute as possible. You don’t have to pay them for breaks. No socializing at the water cooler. You only pay for the actual time they are working and for the services they are supposed to provide.

No Overhead

A virtual assistant provides all their own equipment, and their own office in their home. You don’t have to pay electric, phone, internet or office space rental for virtual assistants. The savings there can be monumental!

Many VAs Specialize and Don’t Need Trained

It’s possible to choose a virtual assistant based on their experience and expertise. You choose one specifically for projects you need done, either once or ongoing. In most cases, they already know how to do the jobs you need completed, you just have to show them your particular methods and any specifics they need to know. This saves training time and cost!

Flexible Hours

When you hire an employee, there are normally set work hours. However, a virtual assistant, more often works based on task deadlines rather than set hours. This can be a great time saver as well!

There are many reasons to choose hiring a virtual assistant over an employee, but these are just a few of the top ones. If you are a busy business owner who needs some help with getting organized, lowering your workload, or just getting some things off your plate temporarily, a virtual assistant may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION with me today, so that we can see if what I do may be a good fit for you!

Genean Roberts – Virtual Solutions Specialist