VAcations – Enjoying Time to Rejuvenate Thanks to a VA!

Enjoying time away from your business with the knowledge it is still running smoothly even in your absence is the dream of every entrepreneur. This is possible when you partner in your business with a Virtual Assistant. In order for this to happen there are three key steps you need to take.

VAcation

Step #1 – Change your mindset

Many entrepreneurs hold limiting mindsets when it comes to outsourcing. Do any of these sound like you?

   No one does it as well as me …

  My clients don’t want to deal with anyone but me …

  My business won’t survive if I’m not there …

The reality of the situation is while, yes you are good at a lot of things in your business there definitely are some things others are probably better at than you. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. It’s time to work to your strengths and add people to your team with strengths that compliment your own.

Your clients will be okay dealing with others if you handle it the right way. Take the time to introduce them to your new team member and let them know you are still around and still vested in them. Let them know what your expectations of your team member are and how this will effect them. Most clients are completely understanding and will be excited for you that your business is growing and thriving!

Once you change your mindset and realize it really is possible to have a thriving business without you having to be hands on all the time you will be ready for Step #2.

Step #2 – Learn to delegate and let go!

Start by making a list. What are those things which:

a) You really don’t like to do;

b) You really aren’t that great at anyways; and

c) Absolutely must happen to keep your business moving in your absence

This will be a great start of a list of things your Virtual Assistant can handle and allow you to take that much needed rest and vacation! Some examples in my business were:

   Social media postings

   Email management

   Calendar management

Having these things still happening while I took some time away meant no one really knew I wasn’t around!

Step #3 – Begin your search now

Now is the time to start your search, even if you aren’t planning a vacation for months. You need to give your clients time to get used to your new team member and you, yourself need to build the trust before you turn over the “wheel,” so to speak! Way too many people come to me with only a couple weeks before they want to get away and this doesn’t give anyone enough time for planning and making sure things are running smoothly. The more trust you can build over time the more confident you will feel with truly letting go and indulging in your vacation!

Remember summer is coming and will be here soon so now is the time to start getting things in place so you can have a business that thrives while you enjoy time away rejuvenating! If you are ready to start putting things in place then contact me today so we can talk about how to get started in your search for the “perfect” VA.

There is More to Finding the Perfect Virtual Assistant than Skill!

Frustrated EntrepneurI’ve seen the frustration of business owners one too many times to keep quiet any longer! Time and again I am left wondering why business owners are okay with playing the “VA-revolving-door” game. Yes, I stand behind what a lot of coaches are saying that you have to hire slow and fire fast, but I think entrepreneurs have grasped the concept of fire fast, but not the exact meaning of hire slow. Not only does slow mean taking your time, but it also means slowing down and doing the right searches. So what exactly are the right searches?

#1 – Personality matters
Skiils are one thing, but I believe based on all the clients I have matched with Virtual Assistants that as entrepreneurs we should hire for personality and train for skills. Now don’t get me wrong, you want them to have the skills you need, but I believe wholeheartedly that the most important factor in finding your ideal VA is finding someone with a personality that matches yours. What personality traits are important to you? Can you have an easy conversation with your VA candidate? These are important questions to ask yourself.

#2 – What values are important to you?
We all have values we bring into our business that are important to us. Finding a VA who has similar values to you is going to mean a greater chance of success with the Virtual Assistant. For example, are you a family first or business first type of person? The values that become the forefront of your business are important for your VA to mirror, especially as they represent your business. The easiest way for a VA to mirror your values are if they hold the same values in their own business (and life).

#3 – Compatible working styles
Finding someone who has a compatible working style to yours is an important, yet often overlooked, consideration in your VA search. If you are a workaholic and the ideas pop into your head at a mile a minute you are going to want to find someone that can keep up with you. Perhaps finding someone with a laid-back attitude and who has stringent turnaround times is not going to be your ideal candidate!

#4 – Communication break-down
Communication goes beyond being able to talk and listen (although both important too). One of the things I talk to my clients about is the importance of having a similar communication style. Nothing can eat away at you more than trying to communicate with someone who loves email when you are already bogged down by email. Take the time to ask your VA how they prefer to communicate and how quickly you can expect an answer to voicemails and emails. Make sure this matches how you want and need your Virtual Assistant to work.

Keeping these four factors in mind when you do your next VA search together with considering the VAs skill can mean increasing the chances of avoiding that wonderful game of VA-revolving-doors. Of course, taking the time to learn about all these factors will take time out of your day, but is an important thing. For those of you who understand the importance of doing the VA search right the first (and every) time, but who don’t have the time to dedicate to doing the search right, I’m here! Send me a note and let’s talk about how I can help you find your ideal VA and figure out exactly what you are looking for in your own ideal Virtual Assistant!

3 Ways to Reach (and Exceed) Your Goals in 2015 with a VA

As a New Year starts many of us take the opportunity to set goals for our business, Including financial goals and targets.The only problem with goal setting is it usually will mean more work is needed in order to achieve those goals because let’s face it the only way to achieve a goal is through implementation.

As a result many of us turn to the excuses “some day,” “if only I had the time,” “I know there is a need for this, but I don’t have the knowledge/energy/resources to make it happen” …

I challenge you to make 2015 different, this year it’s time to meet and exceed those goals and here are 3 ways how …

1.  Hire a Virtual Assistant
The problem with goals is they create a lot more work and for many of us we don’t have the time to implement all the steps that go with achieving a goal. This lack of time means our goals take longer to achieve. A Virtual Assistant can be working concurrently with you allowing you to achieve your goals faster and often more efficiently. Be sure to work to both of your strengths when determining who will do which tasks. If your goal means only you can do those tasks then look at your to do list and find something to outsource so that instead of spending more time you are using your time more efficiently and effectively!

2. Hire a Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants can keep you on track and focused on your goals. Sharing your goals with your Virtual Assistant is important so they can see your “big picture” and ensure that everything you are doing in your business is with the end result in mind. I always suggest a strategy call at least quarterly (although I myself believe weekly is best) to share those goals and brainstorm how to achieve them. Start looking at your Virtual Assistant as a partner in your business – someone who can help you achieve your goals and make 2015 your year to shine!

3. Hire a Virtual Assistant (okay you knew I had to go there LOL)
Having a Virtual Assistant taking care of the implementation means you can focus on generating money for your business. A large part of your 2015 goal planning should be to increase your income. Take the time to get on the phone and call some of your contacts and generate the money to not only pay your Virtual Assistants fees, but put a little more in your pocket as well. Too many people make the mistake of not re-allocating the time they save by hiring a VA properly and as a result the VA becomes an expense and not an investment. Until your income level reaches where you want it to be in 2015 your primary focus MUST be money-generating activities!

So I guess you get the idea. A Virtual Assistant is a must-have if you want 2015 to be different. Not having a VA is keeping you from achieving those goals and allows you to continue leaning on the excuses of “some day,” “if only I had the time,” “I know there is a need for this, but I don’t have the knowledge/energy/resources to make it happen” …

If you already have a VA it could be that you need to utilize their services in a different way in 2015! Be creative and keep the 3 ways I talked about above in mind.

Your dreams and goals can be achieved this year and if you are ready to make them happen I am offering a free 30 minute VA Q&A where I will answer all your questions about how adding a VA on your team or how better utilizing the one you already have can help you do just that. Sign up today!

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About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties getting started with your Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1

 

How Get Started with a Virtual Assistant and Make More Money

One of the first things I always hear from my clients is “I know a Virtual Assistant can help my business, but I wouldn’t know where to start.” So let’s get you started …

Step #1 – Know Where a VA Can Help Best

Too many of us make the mistake of getting our Virtual Assistant to assist with the wrong tasks. This is because you haven’t taken the time to look at everything as a whole and really figure out the best places to use your Virtual Assistant. What are your biggest time wasters? This is the best place to start.

Stop giving away the stuff best done by you … you absolutely must be the voice of your business yet too many of us delegate calling leads to a Virtual Assistant.

Step #2 – Create an Ideal Virtual Assistant Profile

Your ideal Virtual Assistant profile should extend further than simply the skills a Virtual Assistant has, yet many hire a Virtual Assistant based solely on skills. In my opinion it is so much more important to find someone you feel comfortable with and has the personality to suit you best. Although skill is important, personality will take you so much further … let’s face it the skills you need today may not be the skills that will serve you in the future, but a great VA is someone that is trainable and can grow with your business.

Step #3 – Use the Time Gained When Your VA Starts in the Right Way

The fastest and easiest way to make money once you hire a Virtual Assistant is to use the time you gain on the right things … the money generating activities. This is how you will make the money. Don’t make the mistake of using the time gained to catch up on learning a new skill or reading a business book.

Remember getting the right VA on your team is an investment in your business and not a cost … the time you will save will free you to generate more money in your business. Finally you will be working smarter and not longer!


About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties getting started with your Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1

 

Learn to Love Your Business Again

Do you remember the feeling you had when you first started your business? The “I can’t wait to get to work” feeling that overcame you every single day. The passion, the excitement, the drive to succeed …

If you are one of the lucky ones that still feels that drive and passion each and every day congratulations, but if you are like most (and will honestly admit it) there are some days that you “just don’t feel like working!”

I believe one of those reasons is because the reality of running a business is really hard. There are so many hats that you need to wear to succeed that trying to find a hat rack big enough to hold them all can be a challenge. One minute you are the sales manager, then you are the account collector, then in the next instant the receptionist. In any given day you can wear 10-20 different hats in your business. If you are like most you just wish you could wear that one hat, the one that makes you happiest, the one that speaks to exactly why you started this business in the first place; your fulfillment hat! You know the one, that one that means you can just get lost in your passion and get back to producing/fulfilling those products and services for your clients!

So why, if we are happiest with just that one hat do we tell ourselves that we need to wear every single hat in our business? This can only result in one eventuality … you will burnout and you will “lose that loving feeling.” So if you are ready to love your business again the answer lies in just three simple steps.

  • Allow yourself to take a break
  • Admit you can’t do it alone
  • Open yourself up to finding your mojo again

Allowing yourself to take a break is something entrepreneurs often forget. It is like we are waiting for someone else to give us permission to take time away. My husband reminded me this week I was an entrepreneur and I make my own schedule so I didn’t have to answer to anyone if I wanted a day off. So why is it some of us feel guilty when we take a day off and unplug? I believe that entrepreneurs are some of the most hard-working people out there, yet we are the ones that are going at it full tilt and not taking time to relax and recharge. This is an important first step to getting your loving feeling back. So go ahead (not that you need my permission) take a break and recharge. If you are like me, your production level will sky rocket as a result.

Take a moment and think about your personal life. Think about your family, your friends, your community and all the other support networks you have. We wouldn’t dare think about going through life alone, yet many of us are going through business alone. Why is that? You need support. You need peers, you need a community, you need a team. One of the best investments you can make in your business is to share one of your hats with someone else. Taking the first hat off is always the hardest, but when you do you will wonder what took you so long. So I encourage you take that first step and invest in a bookkeeper, a sales manager or in my opinion the best investment; a Virtual Assistant!

Finally on those dark days I always look for some words of encouragement or motivation to inspire me once again. A call with my business coach always brightens my day and recharges me, but on the days I don’t have a call scheduled I like to read inspirational quotes, watch motivational videos or listen to an inspiring teleclass.

The biggest thing to remember is you are not alone. Every one goes through this at one point or another. Just know that even though you are in business for yourself you are never by yourself!

When is the Right Time for a Virtual Assistant?

alarm clock placed on top of American bank notesI believe this question can be answered in one quick sentence, “it is always the right time for a Virtual Assistant!”

In all seriousness, as much as I believe every business owner needs a Virtual Assistant and needs one from the very beginning, there are a few telltale signs that it is definitely time for a Virtual Assistant.

  • You don’t have time in your day (each and every day) for the money-generating activities (eg. sales calls, client fulfillment, networking events, etc.) because your day is being filled with the day-to-day administrative duties that come with being an entrepreneur

  • You realize you are spending time learning applications and programs that you know will grow your business but you are still so confused you aren’t implementing what you have learned (or you absolutely hate the implementation part)

  • You are feeling overwhelmed by all the hats you need to wear and just want to get back to what you love and why you started your business in the first place

In working with my clients many are aware of the value of a Virtual Assistant but it is still very, very hard to give up the control. It isn’t until you take that leap of faith that you realize what you have been missing for all this time. This is the very reason I love what I do; seeing the results entrepreneurs are able to enjoy in their business when they take the “administrivia” off their plates and just concentrate on what they do best.

So back to the topic of when is the right time to get a Virtual Assistant? Bottom line is sooner rather than later. The problem most entrepreneurs make is they way too long and then they are so busy they can’t onboard a Virtual Assistant properly.

If you have big plans for your business in 2015, waiting until January to partner with a Virtual Assistant will put you behind the eight ball. It’s going to take time to conduct your search and get your Virtual Assistant “set up” to run with your ideas. This can take several weeks. Don’t allow your competition to beat you to the race because you aren’t ready to run with your ideas until weeks into the New Year.

So for all of you that are in holiday mode I encourage you to get out and start your search now. That way when you are ready to “hit the ball running” so to speak in January your Virtual Assistant will be there right beside you ready to run!

If you are ready to start the New Year right and have a VA on your team right from the start of the year, contact me today to help you with your search!

 


About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties getting started with your Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1

 

How to Find a Virtual Assistant Successfully

Virtual AssistantTime and again I speak with my clients and they have tried to find a Virtual Assistant, but had very little success from the results. As suggested in my previous blog post “Best 3 Places to Find a Virtual Assistant,” they start with their colleagues, but often times the referrals (because they are so great) have a full business and can’t take them on as a client.

I decided to help you answer all your questions about how to find a Virtual Assistant successfully like:

  • Why you absolutely need a VA on your team
  • What stops us from taking that step to find a Virtual Assistant; and
  • What a successful search looks like

By recording a class entitled “How to Find a Virtual Assistant Successfully (with a VA Matchmaker).”

So if you are ready to take your business to the next level, start making more money and successfully find your own Virtual Assistant, take 15 minutes and listen to this recording today!

Click Here to Listen Now

3 Steps to Getting Started with Your Virtual Assistant

First and foremost congratulations! One of the best things you have done for your business is hire a Virtual Assistant (and if you haven’t yet then these steps should be filed in an important place for when you do take the leap in your business). If you are like most, hiring your VA was just the first step and you are left thinking “now what?” So let’s get you started!
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Step #1 – Get it in Writing
Without a doubt protecting yourself is as important with your Virtual Assistant as with any other business relationship you enter. If your Virtual Assistant hasn’t already provided you with a document outlining his/her expectations for your relationship, be sure to ask. This will ensure there are no surprises in the future. For most this document is a simple agreement, but for some it can be a formal contract. Ensure that both parties have signed the document and agree to all of the conditions. You will want this agreement to outline the following critical success factors:
  • Pricing – this should not only include the actual price, but also pricing policies such as how time will be calculated, when billing will be done and how, and what guidelines are in place for price changes.
  • Responsibilities of Each Party – this should outline exactly what each party needs to “bring to the table.” For example who is responsible for final proofs? Does the Virtual Assistant need anything from the client to get started or proceed with a task? Outlining this in advance is important so nothing is overlooked.
  • Working hours – What hours will the Virtual Assistant be available? This is especially important for those working across time zones and you need to be aware of what time zone the working hours are being “quoted” in. Working hours should also outline what holidays the VA will be taking, including both statutory and personal holidays.
  • Communication – How will you communicate (telephone, email, skype, etc.), How often and how quickly will communications be returned? It is important that all of these factors be clearly outlined.
  • Standards – What will the average turnaround time be? What constitutes a rush job and are there extra fees for this? Some VAs charge a premium if a project is expected returned quicker than their usual turnaround time and it will be important for you to know this in advance.
  • Termination – how can either party terminate the contract? Just in case things don’t work out it will be important to know your “escape” clause!
Some like to also add in Non-Compete and Confidentiality clauses and if you are working on a project that this is important for you be sure to get it in writing. If you truly want to ensure your rights are protected consider having the agreement/contract written or reviewed by a lawyer.

Step #2 – Establish Tasks
As with any new relationship the biggest mistake we make is jumping in with both feet. I always suggest starting out small and as your relationship strengthens and you are ready to go longer term then add more tasks.
A great analogy my business coach once used was, it’s like dating. Way too many of us go for the gusto right away and get “married” immediately. Then when it doesn’t work out it is messy! Instead try a “blind date” this is the equivalent of a small project. If that works then go on a second date until you are ready to take the relationship to a more permanent commitment.

Step #3 – Sharing Files and Documents
Inevitably you will need to share documents and passwords with your Virtual Assistant so that he/she can do their job properly. This is a scary thought for a lot of people, especially before trust is really built. Here are my best tips for sharing with your Virtual Assistant.
  • Document sharing – use an online tool such as Dropbox or Google Docs. Make sure you maintain control of the Dropbox folder or the Google Doc ownership. This way if you sever the relationship you can simply stop sharing the files with your Virtual Assistant. Of course this will not stop your Virtual Assistant from keeping copies of your files, however what it will do is give you access to any files he/she creates on your behalf without worrying the VA will disappear taking your documents with them.
  • Passwords – without a doubt I would suggest using a password management tool such as passpack, lastpass or roboform, to name a few. These programs can allow you to share the usernames and passwords, but it can keep them hidden for your safety. Another good tool to use if you are having your VA do your social media is hootsuite. This way you only have to share a hootsuite login and not your personal passwords for your social media platforms.

Following these steps will definitely give you and your Virtual Assistant the best chance for success, but one last word of advice … open the lines of communication with your Virtual Assistant sooner rather than later. Ask them which of the three steps listed here they already have in place. After all there is no sense in recreating the wheel!


About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties getting started with your Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1

 

Good luck!

Best 3 Places to Find a Virtual Assistant

Teamwork Makes The Dream WorkOne of the most common questions I am asked by potential clients is “how do I find a Virtual Assistant?” Many people make the mistake of hiring a Virtual Assistant just because they met them at a networking function they attended and don’t take the time to make sure a) they are a good personality fit; and b) they actually have the skillset you need in your business. Finding a quality Virtual Assistant means doing a little research and today I am going to share with you the best 3 places to look for your ideal Virtual Assistant.

  1. Your Colleagues

First and foremost you should try asking your friends and colleagues who they are using as their Virtual Assistant. Referrals are a great first place to look because when someone else is recommending a Virtual Assistant it is usually because they are doing a “bang up job!” People love to share their “great finds” and it is the same with a Virtual Assistant.

  1. Online Directories

Another great place to look is Virtual Assistant online directories. Many of these websites will have a large database of Virtual Assistants who have joined their membership. This is a great resource for finding a number of Virtual Assistants all in one place! To find one of these directories simply go to google and type in “virtual assistant online directory.”

  1. A Virtual Assistant Matchmaker

A Virtual Assistant matchmaker is another great place to look for a Virtual Assistant. They will take the time to vet your Virtual Assistant for you so you know they have the skills you need in your business.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant for your business is a great investment! Having a Virtual Assistant in your corner means that you will have more time to spend on the money-generating activities and once you take this next step your business will soar to greater heights!

About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties finding your ideal Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1