Can We Help You with That?

Can We Help You with That?

Can We Help You with That?

Many entrepreneurs experience anxiety over delegating tasks. Yes, you’re buried in work and know that you need help, but you can’t possibly see yourself handing over your precious work to anybody else.

Is this you?

Understand that delegation benefits your entire company. By delegating, your processes move faster, you have more time to focus on income-producing tasks and you are better positioned for growth.

Yet, delegation remains as one of the most underutilised management capabilities. Countless studies have found that most people say they are too busy to delegate. They simply don’t have the time to train somebody else to do it and they find it more efficient to just do it themselves.

If you’re having trouble delegating tasks or relinquishing control, can we help you with that?

How VA Connect Can Help You!

VA Connect simplifies your life by helping you delegate without the anxiety attached to it. We upskill and allocate a suitable person according to your needs.

With a virtual assistant, you grow your business without growing your staff. We handle all the nitty-gritty while you focus on income-producing activities.

Here are nine reasons to hire a virtual assistant:

  1. It takes a long time to find the right person.
  2. Employee costs are on the rise. With a VA, you pay only for what you need.
  3. Hiring permanent staff means setting them up with an office and equipment too.
  4. You need to keep the permanent staff you have busy.
  5. Availability isn’t the same as competency.
  6. Permanent employees don’t really work eight hours per day.
  7. The recruitment process is a hassle.
  8. Your staff budget is suffocating your margin for growth.
  9. You hate admin work.

Here’s a personal experience from one of our clients who said yes to hiring their first virtual assistant:

When they came to us, Maxiware needed help with the workload in their business. They chose VA Connect and were allocated a VA with the right skills for their needs. We asked the Managing Director what he thought of VA Connect, here’s what he had to say;

  • What do you love about VA Connect? / What would be the one thing you mention to a friend about VA Connect?

I love that VA Connect handles the billing of the relationship as well as provides a pretty cool solution for handling the phone calls side of things. That simplifies things greatly. It’s an easy way to get tasks off your own plate.

  • What do you think about your Virtual Assistant?

Annie is great at hounding people. She’s super friendly while doing it but also super persistent. And she’s so friendly with me, as well. I love working with her.

  • What has your experience been with the onboarding process of your Virtual Assistant?

Onboarding has been easy.

What are some of the tasks you can delegate?

  1. Filtering Emails / Handling Spam
  2. Database Building / Updating Contacts or CRM
  3. Answering Customer Service Emails /Support Tickets / Chat Support
  4. Sending of Greetings Cards / Birthday Messages / Event Invitations etc.
  5. Calendar Management
  6. Email marketing
  7. Appointment Scheduling
  8. Travel Arrangement and Planning
  9. Reminder Services
  10. Audio / Video Editor
  11. Content Writer
  12. SEO / Web Marketer
  13. Graphic / Web Designer / Web Developer
  14. Dropbox / Google Drive Organization
  15. Creating / Managing Spreadsheets
  16. Preparing PowerPoint / Keynote Presentations
  17. PDF Conversion, Splitting and Merging
  18. Transcription of Video and Audio Files
  19. Simple eBook Layout / Formatting
  20. Preparing Online Meeting Minutes
  21. Report Creation
  22. Forms Creation
  23. Document Template Creation
  24. Online Research
  25. Data Mining & Development / Lead Generation
  26. Blog Publishing Management
  27. Moderating Blog or Social Media Comments
  28. Adding Tags & Images to Blog Posts
  29. Receptionist Duties
  30. Voicemail Checking
  31. Invoicing Clients
  32. Basic Bookkeeping
  33. Personal Errands (Purchasing Online Gifts, Reminders, Planning Family Holidays etc.)
  34. Project Management Between You and Team members
  35. Training Employees or Delegates
  36. Preparation of Training Materials
  37. Onboarding of New Virtual Staff
  38. Deadline / Deliverables Tracking
  39. Social Media Management Tasks
  40. Creating Social Media Fan Pages / Groups

If time is your most precious commodity and you can’t afford to waste it, give us a call!

Tips to Get More from Your Virtual Assistant

Tips to Get More from Your Virtual Assistant

Tips to Get More from Your Virtual Assistant

Whether you have hired your first Virtual Assistant or have had one for years, there’s still more you can do to make sure she’s functioning at her fullest potential. In this blog, we will discuss what you can do to get more out of your VA!

Train Your VA

One thing you should never let go of is training your Virtual Assistant on your processes and systems. This is even if she’s been working with you for years. Sometimes assistants have their own way of doing things which may affect their productivity. It’s important to teach her tips and tricks to get her work done quicker.

Besides your personal training, you should also enroll her for some online courses. These courses can help your VA bring a new idea to your business.

Also, request your VA to document her process. This will not only help you to identify where the productivity inefficiencies are, but it will also help you to transition to a new VA quickly when your VA is sick or when you hire a new one.

Offer Coaching Sessions

Training and coaching are two different things. When coaching, you want to focus on building up your VA’s confidence in her abilities. This will help her to do her work more efficiently.

Coaching can take the form of one-on-one sessions, courses or even advising her to listen to a motivational CD for 30 minutes daily. Include this as part of her job and soon enough you will have an excellent assistant.

Give Constructive Feedback

If no feedback is given, your VA cannot grow. Similarly, if you give destructive criticism, it won’t help either one of you.

Focus on giving constructive criticism. This is when you point out both the good and the bad, and recommend ways for improvement.

Here are tips for giving feedback:

  • Make sure you give written and verbal feedback.
  • Use the feedback sandwich method (Positive-Improvement-Positive) often used at Toastmasters and the corporate world. This is when you begin by laying out the positives, then you criticise, and finally, end off with another positive.
  • Criticise the work, not the individual.
  • Be very specific. Instead of saying; “You need to pay attention to detail”, say; “You made grammar mistakes in your recent article. I pointed them out in red. Just make sure you focus on grammar and punctuation.”
  • Only criticise things that can be changed. There is no point in telling someone they need to improve their voice for example.

Show Some Appreciation

Human beings love recognition. It pushes them to work harder to get even more recognition. Recognise any hard work or improvements made by your VA by giving something of value. Gift cards, days off and verbal appreciation work well for a VA.

Throw Her in the Deep End

They say when someone is thrown into the deep end it’s either they sink or swim. Hopefully, your VA will swim when given a difficult task. Push her to take on projects that she hasn’t before. This will not only help her grow but keep her challenged in her role.

Make Room for Growth

If you want your VA to stay with you for a long time you must make room for growth in her role. Challenge her to take on more responsibility and speak to her about where you see her in the future.

That’s all the tips for teaming up and getting more from your Virtual Assistant. If you are yet to hire your first one, there are reasons to hire a VA:

  • They are often highly skilled individuals who left the corporate world for work-life balance
  • You can pay them per hour or per project
  • There are no company costs involved
  • They can work during off-peak hours and high seasonal periods
  • They often give their all because they’re responsible for their own income

Ready to hire a VA? Give us a call!

How to create order out of chaos by Debbie Phillips

How to create order out of chaos by Debbie Phillips

How to create order out of chaos

My love and passion for taking a heap of chaos and organising it into an orderly and neat system has always been a love of mine that extends back to childhood.

In fact, I still try to incorporate order and organisation into any client’s life and business. But it’s more than my warm memories and the great skill and talent I have with administration that makes me want to work for and with clients. As a long-time administration professional, I’m so inspired and excited by the difference I can make to my client’s lives and businesses, and I love being a part of that effort.

As a child, my mom would often lose sight of me in a supermarket and find me in the next aisle busy re-packing the stock items on the shelves. Asked what I was doing, my reply was “tidying up”. All the labels should be facing the front and all the piles need to be neat and tidy. For the first few years of primary school whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, my answer was a shelf packer! That was my way of saying I wanted to organise and create order where other people did not see it and were not interested in doing it.

Well, I have come a long way from wanting to be a shelf packer, but being an admin professional ticks all the boxes for me and I love helping executives and business owners create order in their lives and businesses! Not only does it help make them into highly successful individuals but it also helps their businesses become more successful too, because they now have time to focus on what they are there for – doing business – and they leave the organising and administration to me.

Most executives or business owners come to me as their virtual assistant, not knowing what I can do for them. They often don’t have a list of tasks for me or a checklist of things that must happen, but one thing they all have in common is that their admin is out of control and they have no way of getting a handle on it! That doesn’t faze me in the least, in fact I love it. I systematically start at the beginning and work my way through a set of process and solutions to give them the outcome that they desire. My mind works in systems, lists and processes and that is what makes me feel safe and comfortable. I apply this to their office or business and soon they start to emerge for their administration mayhem.

Being a virtual assistant is the perfect fit for me because I can apply my skills as an admin professional in different businesses and with various clients at the same time and I can see that through my work and support there is a little more order and organisation where I have been – and I love that!

The Best Password Managers for Your Small Business

The Best Password Managers for Your Small Business

The Best Password Managers for Your Small Business

Most of us either use weak passwords or use the same password across multiple accounts. This makes us more susceptible to identity theft and other crimes.

Perhaps we do this because we fear we won’t remember those super long unique passwords? Well, the secret to managing passwords efficiently is by using a password manager. “A password manager will generate, retrieve, and keep track of super-long, crazy-random passwords across countless accounts for you, while also protecting all your vital online info—not only passwords but PINs, credit-card numbers and their three-digit CVV codes, answers to security questions, and more—with encryption so strong that it might take a hacker between decades and forever to crack.” – Consumer Reports, 2017.

Accordingly, we’ve raked up the top password managers for small businesses.

LastPass

LastPass has a business option which helps you to manage employee passwords. The built-in password generator creates long, randomized passwords that protect against hacking. Once you’ve saved a password in LastPass, you can have access to it when you log onto the system. The system also pre-populates online forms so that it makes it easy for you to shop online.

Although the free version has great features, the premium version gets you:

  • One-to-many sharing
  • Emergency access
  • Advanced multi-factor options
  • Priority tech support
  • LastPass for applications
  • 1GB encrypted file storage

Pros:

  • Syncs passwords across all devices.
  • Strong multifactor authentication
  • Automated password changing
  • Enhanced password sharing
  • Actionable security report
  • Password inheritance

Cons:

  • Default settings for password generator could be more secure

Dashlane

Dashlane is one of those free password managers that give you just as much as a premium one. The Wall Street Journal said; “Neither Dashlane nor a hacker (or government agency) breaking into the company’s systems could access your data without knowing your master password. This setup prevented Dashlane from even being vulnerable to the recent Heartbleed security catastrophe.”

Pros:

  • Smooth user experience
  • Fully supports seven languages
  • Supports PC, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Automated password change for 500 sites
  • Secure sharing
  • Advanced form-filling
  • Captures receipts for online shopping.

Cons:

  • Defaults could be more secure

LogMeOnce Password Management Suite

One of the only password managers that allows you to log in with a selfie or USB. Free from hassles, worries, duplicates, keyloggers, or weak passwords.

Pros:

  • Works on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and Ios
  • Advanced two-factor authentication such as selfie and USB
  • Anti-theft system can locate a lost device and remotely log out or wipe your data
  • Automatically fills web forms including credit card data
  • Actionable security report

Cons:

  • Extra costs for more authentication methods
  • Too technical for non-tech users

Sticky Password Premium

This password manager has great features. If you choose the unusual no-cloud Wi-Fi sync, your passwords never leave your home network.

Pros:

  • Syncs across all devices
  • Wi-Fi syncs available
  • Manages application passwords
  • Online console manages trusted devices
  • Fingerprint authentication on mobile.

Cons:

  • Basic report that doesn’t list all weak passwords
  • No online access to passwords
  • No two-factor authentication

Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault

Pros:

  • Supports all platforms browsers
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Secure password sharing
  • Synced storage for up to 10GB of files

Cons:

  • Lacks certain features found in competing products
9 Fun Things to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

9 Fun Things to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

9 Fun Things to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant can help you get your job done, but she can also help you achieve a work-life balance. Here are 9 fun things to outsource to a VA:

1. Plan and organize your next vacation 

You most probably don’t have the time to plan your holidays and wish someone could do it for you. Give this task to your VA. Not only will it be fun for her to complete, but you can use the extra time to do something more important such as responding to clients.

2. Record and transcribe your meetings

Fee like zoning out at meetings but scared you’ll miss important information? Have a VA record and then transcribe your meetings so that you can relax during meetings without the fear of missing the details.

3. Order gifts for birthdays and special occasions 

It’s becoming more difficult to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Automatic services are great, but even my little sister knows they’re automated and not personal. To keep that personal touch, outsource this task to your VA. Have her construct personal cards and messages to send to your network.

4. Tweet on your behalf 

The key to success on Twitter is to engage with your audience. Engagement doesn’t mean dumping a bunch of automated tweets either, it means actively responding and tweeting on topics that matter to you. You can outsource this task to a VA. She will enjoy chatting with people online and finding out what’s trending in the world. Just make sure to let her know what’s important to you as well as what your personal tone is when it comes to writing so that it’s not obvious that you’re not writing your own tweets.

5. Engage with your audience on your behalf

Engagement drives online sales. If you want to be a thought leader online, you must be continuously interacting with people. Your VA can help you to respond to all social media queries, comments etc.

6. Reach out to bloggers to help promote your product/service

The more backlinks your website gets, the higher its ranking. Most people get backlinks by contacting bloggers in their niche. As great as this method is, it’s time-consuming. Outsource this task to a VA.

7. Post ADS on websites

If you need to post a job AD or a social media AD, let a VA do it for you and let her track the analytics. Then, have her report the results plus give ideas on how to improve next time.

8. Sort your emails

Wish you could clear all the junk in your mailbox? Let a VA do this for you. She can create two folders, one for important and one for other. When you log into your mailbox, you can start with the important ones first which will make your life much easier.

9. Order your coffee online every morning

Are you one of those people that must have their cup of coffee every morning? Well, you can outsource this task to your VA to make sure that your coffee arrives on your desk, wherever you are. It will be fun for your VA to discover different coffee houses that deliver to your doorstep and you won’t have to worry about not having your daily dose of caffeine.