5 Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

March 26, 2014

MP900385402Benjamin Franklin once said that, “Time is Money.”

Not being able to master one’s time is like shooting without a target. However, having a good business efficiency technique can grant you the power to save wasted time, and thus money – as well as your sanity.

Here are 5 tips on how you can make time work harder for you:

  1. Do a Time and Motion Study. This is the direct observation of a task from the time you initiated it to the time it was done, keeping track of the activities in between that may or may not contribute to productivity. The idea is to recognize the things that can be controlled and discontinue the tasks that inhibits productivity (e.g. emails, texting, Social media, etc).
  2. Use the 80/20 rule. This rule basically says that 80% of your results come from the 20% of your efforts.  Identify the 20% of your daily schedule where your business productivity is heightened and focus your attention in it.
  3. Learn to delegate. Create your own set of minions, your own version of mini me’s that can work without your supervision, but you can be guaranteed that their work will always gain your approval. Train them well to be just like you.
  4. Turn Off Your Email Alerts. This will save you from looking being distracted every time an email comes in.  You can focus on the task at hand in total concentration and then YOU determine when you check your emails.
  5. Beware of the Shiny Object Syndrome. These will be distracting you from your goals so keep away from such temptations.

Of course, because I’m a VA my favourite is number 3, how about you?

Blame Your VA For Your Mistakes

March 17, 2014

Stressed Schoolboy with Head in HandsWhattt???   Just think of a time you’ve made a mistake – you know it can happen any time. We all make mistakes, and as we all go merrily along on our regular course of doing business, a few missteps are bound to happen.

However, did you know that having a virtual assistant can make you look good without having to make her look bad?

Here’s a true story of how I helped my client save face last week.

I sent an email blast for this client who had inadvertently misspelled someone elses name in the body of the email. As I didn’t know the person my client was talking about, I didn’t know the name was incorrectly spelt.

One of the email recipients picked it up and told my client that they were unimpressed about the incorrect spelling of a well-known person in this particular industry!  YIKES!!

Here’s how having a VA helped my client!  What my client did was just simply to offer an apology and say that it was because of me – her VA.   She made out that I had made the mistake, which is totally fine by me because HER client doesn’t have a clue who I am.  I felt great that she was able to save face, placate her rather irate client and save the day!

So while I don’t advocate totally blaming your VA to your clients for every error – (and to be honest, if there are grammar and spelling mistakes and your VA isn’t correcting them, then you should get rid of them anyway, they’re not doing their job right!) – it can come in handy if you make a big boo-boo like this lady did.

Till next time,

Chris

 

Top 5 Reasons Small Businesses Should Hire a Virtual Assistant

March 11, 2014

Who needs a virtual assistant?  As a small business owner, you do!

There’s a lot of stuff you need to do to run a small business!

As a small business owner you need to effectively promote your business to generate new work and to keep it afloat.

Would you agree that you engage in a lot of activities that take up a lot of your precious time… time you could be out earning money!

These activities may include:

  • online marketing
  • bookkeeping
  • order-taking
  • delivery of products or services
  • customer relations
  • other administrative tasks

Yet, so many small business owners are reluctant to hire virtual assistants and do not understand that hiring one will actually help to increase the bottom line.

Not convinced yet? Here are the top 5 reasons why you need to hire a virtual assistant:

  1. You need to increase productivity. By productivity, that means activities that lead to profits and daily repetitive administrative tasks are not one of them.
  2. You need to cut costs. How much are you losing by doing tasks that you can otherwise outsource to someone at a lesser rate? Let’s say your 1 hour has a hypothetical cost of $100. No matter what you do, whether you’re doing sales activities or office tasks, your costing your business $100 per hour because that’s how much you’re worth.
  3. Hiring full time employees is not cost-effective. Aside from paying salary, you need to consider other overhead costs that go with hiring a staff – like office equipment, superannuation, holiday pay, sick pay, stationery, software, etc.
  4. You’re doing everything yourself. Yes, we know, your hands are not just full, they’re overflowing and your head is doing some sort of weird spinning thing!
  5. You’re feeling burnt-out.  If every day it feels like a chore going to work, then you’re not running a business anymore – it’s running you – and that’s burn-out.

So, who needs virtual assistants?

Yep, it’s you, or maybe someone you know!

Till next time, Chris x

7 Reasons Dropbox Is Awesome!

March 5, 2014

C squared Dropbox

Today I’d like to share with you why I think DropBox is Awesome!

Any business owner who is constantly online needs to have a safe repository that not only keeps their pictures and documents protected, but also syncs multiple gadgets at the same time.

For entrepreneurs and business owners on the go, having their files in one place is very important. And something which they can access easily wherever they are is a must.

Here are 7 reasons why I think Dropbox is awesome:

  • Offline Access to Networking sites. Dropbox automatically downloads your pictures from several social networking sites, like Facebook, and stores them for offline access.
  • Anti – Theft System. In an event that one of your computers got stolen, Dropbox is a hero by tracking down the IP address of your PC via the account security page. How good is that??AND for smartphones, Dropbox will automatically download any file that the thief uploads, thus revealing his identity.
  • Assistance in Synching Multiple Devices. Settings will not be lost once you sync multiple devices with your Dropbox. That means that no matter what device you’re using, whether it’s a laptop or a smartphone, you get seamless integration.
  • Saves game progress. Yes – for gamers this is awesome!
  • A Back-up “My Documents” folder. This is great for saving documents which you can just forget about later until you need to access them.
  • An Online Collaboration Tool. Dropbox enables team to collaborate by allowing them to share files, images, etc. for easy editing.
  • File Sharing. Even if someone doesn’t have a Dropbox account, you can share files and documents with him as Dropbox helps you create URLs for sharing.

Why WOULDN’T you love Dropbox?  I use it every day in my business and I know you will too!!

If you want to learn more about setting up a Dropbox account, simply email me and I’ll help  you set up your account FREE OF CHARGE!

Till next blog,

Chris

5 Warning Signs That You Need To Hire a Virtual Assistant

February 26, 2014

Why hire a Virtual AssistantDoes this sound familiar?

You need to race out the door to meet a client to close a sale, but you can’t leave the office just yet because you have lots of things to do. Your desk is a mess and lots of documents need to be taken care of, the phone is ringing and your emails are pinging. But your rule of thumb is to always prioritise the things that are going to bring in the cash…

So, off you go, leaving that pesky paperwork to either be forgotten or done late at night.

However, without you realizing it, your business might be suffering from losses right now.  You could have reached your goal for this month, but since you’re too busy multitasking, you’ve missed your financial targets already.

If you’re seeing these 5 warning signs, it’s about time you hire a virtual assistant:

  • Your workload is overwhelming you. It’s as if the time in the day isn’t enough for all the things you need to accomplish.
  • Your administrative file has literally become a pile.
  • You know you need an extra hand but hiring staff may prove to be costly at this point.
  • You’re missing your sales KPIs because you cannot seem to buckle down to do the things that’ll get you closer to your profit goals – like, you’re answering phone calls instead of attending sales meetings with clients.
  • You just want your life back!!

Better consider hiring a virtual assistant now. It will be more cost-effective for you in the long run.

And let’s be honest, if it feels like you’re dragging yourself along kicking and screaming to attend to your business needs each day, it’s time to hire a VA!

When Things Go Wrong

January 1, 2014

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,C Squared Virtual Admin
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns;
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won, had he struck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow;
You may well succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the Victor’s cup!
And he learned too late, when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are
If may be near, when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit,
It is when things seem worst you must not quit.

Author : Unknown

How Do You Become a VA?

June 21, 2012

What a great question!  Thanks for asking.

It can be daunting to start up your own business from scratch – I should know because that’s exactly what I did!  I researched the industry and made the decision that this was what I wanted to do.  I mean, who wouldn’t?

You can work from home, set your own hours, make all the decisions for your business, keep ALL the profits for yourself, utilise your talents the way you want to and best of all, there’s no commute to any office. (I’ve saved a fortune on petrol!!)  There are many, many other fantastic reasons for starting and running your own business and let’s not forget the enormous sense of satisfaction and pride you feel when it starts to get successful!

So that’s the good stuff, but there must be some bad stuff right?  Of course there is!  But so far all the things I’ve had to deal with have been relatively small and have come one at a time and I have used these experiences as learning experiences and nothing else.

There was the client who took nearly three months to pay me (at that stage, I had a 7 day payment policy and really needed the money as I was starting out!!).  There was my misunderstanding of a job brief and although I could have done the job, I really didn’t want that kind of work and had to let the client go.  There was the simple formatting job that turned into a nightmare because there was a corrupted file embedded in it!

So what did I learn from these?  Well, I learnt how to chase people for money (I eventually got the full amount), I learnt to make sure that I understand the job requirements properly before taking it on and I learnt that there are loads of VAs out there who will help you out when you get stuck.  Finding another VA to help with the formatting was easy because I’m lucky enough to belong to a have a wonderful network of VAs who all support each other and someone from there helped me out.

These days it’s a lot easier to start up your own VA business thanks to the Start Up Virtual Assistant Workshop I have established. This workshop teaches you how to set up and run your own VA business!  By the end of the course, you will know exactly what you need to do in order to get started with running your own business. Pretty cool hey?

I wish something like that had been around when I was starting out – it would’ve been an enormous help.

Till next time,

Chris