poor_project_management

Do You Really Need A Virtual Assistant? Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring

Do you really need a virtual assistant to help with your business needs? A virtual assistant can be many things – a subject matter expert, an administrative consultant, a researcher, the creative spark, the ghostwriter, project manager, an extra pair of hands or eyes, the beginner, the placeholder or the closer. 

I was recently contacted by an infamous blogger who wanted to retain me to help with the administration of her blog {I promised not to use her name or her blog’s name}. After consulting with her about her needs for a little over half an hour, I came to the conclusion that she doesn’t REALLY need a virtual assistant. She needs a swift kick in the butt to keep her motivated for the current task.

This lady has been blogging several years now, receives high and quality daily traffic, has guest blogged everywhere and for almost everyone but she is struggling to produce content. Why?

Because she personally has outgrown her blog’s purpose and she wants to branch out into other fields but feels like she can’t leave the income she is generating, nor the reputation she has built as an expert in her field behind.

I understand this dilemma and I’m sure many of you understand this as well.   How do I grow beyond what was once my specialty?

When I said she doesn’t really need a virtual assistant, it was true and it wasn’t.

Yes, she needs help but first she needs to assess the kind of help she wants.

Does she NEED a virtual assistant to continue the administration of her current blog while she builds her next project? Then the answer to that is YES, except she isn’t sure what her next project will be.

However, since she isn’t sure of her next project it will be a waste of money to pay me and my team to administer her blog/website/brand and she has no clue of where she is going next. It would be the equivalent of hiring a limo driver and not having a destination.

If she wanted to hire me and my team to help her transition to her new niche by researching target audiences and similar brands, creating a list of new public relations contacts, crafting a new editorial calendar and helping to write content, hiring graphic and or website designers; then the answer to that would be YES.

Here are five ways to determine if you need a virtual assistant. Before you decide to hire a virtual assistant:

  1. Ask yourself are you hiring a VA to start something, build something, keep something afloat or finish something?
  2. What will I need my virtual assistant to do? Is it a specific short term project or an ongoing list of projects that you need help with every month?
  3. After that project is complete will it need daily, weekly or monthly follow up work?
  4. Are you hiring a virtual assistant because there just are not enough hours in the day for you to finish your to do list? Are you always burning the midnight oil trying to finish this or that?
  5. Is the hire because you have an aversion to the project and spend days and weeks procrastinating about completing it?

If the answer to three or more of those questions is yes, then you need an assistant.

Once you have decided on hiring an assistant, you need to prepare your business for an assistant.

  • First, write down every project that is Outstanding.
  • Then write down all the projects that are Upcoming in the next three to nine months.
  • Do you need to assign an email to your assistant?
  • Create a package for your assistant of passwords, logos, letterheads, contacts, important numbers and client names – anything important that your assistant will need while transacting your business.
  • Tell your clients and other employees about your new assistant – so they aren’t cold calling people and creating confusion.

If you are interested in a virtual assistant consultation call me at 301-893-4199.

a dream without a plan

Two Months in…Rebooting Your Business Resolutions

hire shai, virtual assistant, leap year, business plan, business resolutionsHappy Leap Day!

Can you believe that it is almost March already?

The New Year is just the year now.

Your mind and hand have gotten used to writing 2012 instead of  20112.

Everyone is back to school and work.

All the decorations are down (hopefully).

Two months in but what have you accomplished toward your goals of starting or expanding your business? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t gotten your resolutions off the ground.

Every year people lose motivation especially between January 11 and January 17  but that doesn’t stop you from retrying.

 Do you know what the most popular New Year’s resolutions are? 

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While all of these resolutions are great none of them focus on the business aspects of life except ‘Get a Better Job’? Instead of get a better job why not start a part time business and become your own boss?

Did you have a resolution to start your own business? Did you write those resolutions down? Have you matched a timeline to each of your business resolutions?

As my favorite personal finance star, Gail Vaz-Oxlade  likes to remind people “a dream without a plan is a wish” 

What are the steps you need to get back on track to starting your own small business?

Did you know that a virtual assistant can research permits, procedures and licenses for you?

Did you also know that a virtual assistant can write your business plan?

Already have a business that is growing faster than you can handle?

What tasks are you spending the most time on? Need help invoicing? Need help planning? Need help doing?

Need a competent extra hand for an hour or two or five a month to take care of those projects that you can’t seem to get around to? Contact me and my associates today for a consultation on how to reboot your business resolutions.

Gal Friday

Gal Friday – Definition: noun

A woman who acts as a general assistant in a

business office or to an executive and has a wide

variety of skills especially secretarial and clerical duties.

 

A virtual assistant basically does anything that you don’t have time or have the inclination for … I can create word documents, spreadsheets, fillable pdf’s, call vendors, handle customer service inquiries, schedule events, make cold calls to potential clients and partners, Tweet, Facebook, remotely answer your business line, return calls, create or update your databases of client information, craft your email newsletters, do research, update your website, post ads, screen employees, compile your daily, weekly and monthly to do lists (or as I call them To Done list). Basically anything you would hire a physical assistant for in your office but with less overhead and crowding in your space, lol.

5 ways to use virtual assistant

Five Easy Ways to Utilize A Virtual Assistant

Let’s face it; you don’t pay me or any virtual assistant out of the goodness of your heart. You pay me to provide you with services that will make your life easier. Here are five ways that you can use Fleur & HireShai better:1.      Text me!Yes, seriously.  301-836-1792. You know when you have a fleeting thought and you mean to get on that idea right away? But someone says something distracting you and you forget until a week later. Text me all the quick ideas you have, I will compile them into short, mid and long term lists and add them to your daily or weekly ToDone lists and even do the initial research to make the idea more solid in scope for you.2.     Let me organize your email.Give me access to your email accounts (because who has just one email) and I will prioritize them into folders for you. I can sort them into the most crucial to least important. I can also provide follow up responses ready & saved in the Draft Folder waiting for you to review and press ‘Send.’

3.     Need something read?

Send it to me for summarizing. Many executives have someone read and provide executive summaries to them why not you?

4.      Use Me to Avoid 1,000 Links Syndrome.

Ever get on the internet to search for one answer to your question? An hour later you are watching YouTube videos and wondering where the time went and you still don’t have the answer to your question. Let me conduct your internet research and you can watch those YouTube videos of the honey badger while I’m busy and without guilt.

5.     Forward your phones to me.

Let me answer the phones so that you can concentrate on the task at hand.

I hope these five ways will help you better utilize me. Call me at  301-836-1792 for more ideas, suggestions and tips on how to orgaize your day!

Thanks,

Shai