Uncategorized, Virtual Assisting

Welcome Niki Smith, Our Newest VA

Extra, Extra read all about it!

We are proud to announce that we have added a new virtual assistant to our team and we would like to welcome Niki Smith. Nikki holds an Associates in Accounting Degree, is graduating this year with a Bachelors in Business, is QuickBooks Certified, and also holds a Real Estate License. She is a highly experienced and results-driven professional with a strong accounting, administrative, and real estate background. She demonstrates solid leadership and problem-solving skills. Nikki portrays many of the skills that make a successful VA through her attentiveness to details and her ability to produce consistent quality results. Because the company’s services are completely virtual, they can provide assistance to clients throughout the U.S. and have clients in multiple states.

 

“Nikki brings a variety of qualities to the team and is extremely passionate in helping others within their business challenges. I am pleased to have her joining us at Executive Business Services. Nikki is heading up a new satellite office in Kerrville, TX and is eager to start building a client base in and around the Kerrville area. I have no doubt she will be successful.”   Tina Holtz, Owner & VA

 

Niki Smith
Niki Smith

 

Virtual Assisting is not new to the business industry, but it’s still not a widely understood term. A Virtual Assistant or VA is a highly-skilled professional who provides administrative support and other specialized services to businesses, entrepreneurs, executives, sales professionals, and others who have more work to do than time do it. A Virtual Assistant is a vital and trusted member of the business team and works remotely with leading-edge technology to communicate and manage business projects, tasks, and client relationship needs.

The beauty of a VA is that most small businesses need assistance with marketing, project management, daily admin duties, emails, newsletters, business taxes, bookkeeping etc., but they can’t always afford to hire an employee. That’s where the VA comes in. Your VA is available when you need them and there is no commitment. Use your VA 5 hours this week and 20 hours next week and not again for two weeks, whatever you need, the flexibility is there. It saves your business money in the long run and if you think you can’t afford a VA, that usually means you really need one.

So feel free to reach out to our Facebook page and give her a warm welcome, or contact us today and become a happy client.

business growth, Business Savvy, growing your business, Marketing, Social Media/Online Marketing, Virtual Assisting

Outsourcing 101

So what is outsourcing you ask?

Well some people actually think that it means that you are sending your work overseas to some foreign company for cheap labor and non English speaking representatives, and although that is a possibility with some firms, that’s definitely not the case with your typical virtual assistant or virtual assisting firm.

Traditional VA’s offer outsourcing as a business service for busy professionals who struggle with a variety of situations, like time management issues, possibly lacking the specific skills or confidence with certain business tasks, or just find themselves in a position where their not ready to bring a staff member aboard to perform these duties. That’s where a well trained VA comes in.

Teamwork
Photo Courtesy https://www.workquotes.net

Outsourcing is available for pretty much everything and anything business related. A majority of small businesses already hire a group of professionals outside their business for the usual services, like an attorney, accountant, business advisor, etc. and your VA should be part of this team.  VA’s have the ability to outsource an enormous amount of business tasks. Common ourtsourcing duties include social media services and management, data entry, basic administrative needs, public relations, data maintenance, research, scheduling, purchasing, business development, marketing, training, and much, much more.

Outsourcing provides business owners with a very unique tool. Imagine that you want to get involved in the social media gold rush but you’re intimidated by the internet and all that technology stuff, and you’re probably working hard on keeping your customers happy and fulfilling their needs. Lets face it, when in the world are you supposed to have the time to start a facebook page and keep up with the content updates? More than likely, you know it’s something you should do, but it’s the least of your worries at this point.

However, in this situation it would be in your best interest to meet with a VA and review how having a social media outlet presence could help your business gain revenue and what specific methods should be used to get you there to accomplish your goals. A VA can set your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and website pages up for you, review them with you, and then once you develop a strategy, the VA can manage them on your behalf as often as you need. Your VA can also incorporate a nice professional weekly, monthly or quarterly newsletter that will keep you in constant contact with your clients. The key to keeping your clients is to remain in contact and to be seen as an informative source, rather than a pesky business who just wants to make a quick buck. Set the stage, be the leader in your market by being the go to source for what your clients need.

teamwork
Photo Courtesy http://www.carrie-persichini.blogspot.com

 

Something that is always in the back of my mind when I go to the vet clinic with one of my animals is that I think how nice it would be if my vet actually could notify me when my animals are coming due for their booster shots or their annual checkup.  I have 4 dogs and 3 cats, and trying to keep track of when they are all due for shots is a nightmare, but what an awesome service that would be for the vet to provide and I can guarantee you that there would be in increase in revenue for the vet if they had a VA who could incorporate this into their business. The same can go for any business, a dentist, doctor, chiropractor, eye doctor, service station, etc.

Start getting creative and think of ways to increase your bottom line and contact a VA to start implementing these services for you. Trust me, the investment is worth every penny and then some.

 

All the Best,

Miss Executive- Tina

Virtual Assisting

VA’s do what?!

Services You May Not Know a VA Provides………

As more and more people are becoming familiar with the term VA and virtual assisting, not everyone has a clear understanding of what it is that a VA does. Although I’ve writeen a previous blog post on some of the most common services provided by a VA, theres more, which to some might come as a surprise. Each VA sets their specific services based on their unique skill set so the types of services offered by each will vary significantly.

Here are some additional services that you might find being offered, many which are offered by me at Executive Business Services.

Online Media Consulting- setting up and maintaining social networks, creating online marketing strategies and advertisements like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, ScoopIt, Google Adwords, etc.

Ancestry and Geneology Research- want to know about your ancestors or find missing relatives or learn more about your family heritage?

Proofreading- reviewing documents and materials for grammar and spelling errors.

Budgeting and Forecasting- both corporate and personal. Need a budget, need guidance, need help getting back on track or finding ways to cut costs and un-needed expenses?ballpoint-pen-on-pie-chart-100101384

Shopping and Gift Buying- a VA can many times arrange to purchase gifts both locally and online worldwide and have them delivered right to your door.

Corporate and Personal Travel Arrangements- airfare, hotels, meetings, events, retreats, golf tournaments, concerts, vacations, etc.

Locating Hard to Find Items- VA’s are very informational and highly experienced in research, chances are your VA can find what you need in a short period of time.

Wedding and Event Planning- weddings, ceremonies, honeymoons, reunions, parties, retirement celebrations, anniversary’s, baby showers, etc.

Personal and Executive Assistant- an assistant for everything you need! VA’s are well versed in all sector’s of business. Find the one that can best service your needs and you’ll be well organized and spoiled.

Finding Suppliers and Vendors- VA’s are very good at establishing relationships and setting up new accounts for your business often times researching where to get the best service and price for you.

Cold Calling- Many VA’s will cold call prospective clients on your behalf including setting appointments for your sales staff.

Building Customer Lists- locate new prospective clients or markets for you and provide that information in list form.

Letter, Invitation and Card Writing- sending cards, letters, and invitations for you, this is a highly time sensitive process that many businesses don’t have time for.

Gift Baskets and Floral Deliveries- want to send a bouquet to a sick employee, or a gift basket to a customer, maybe flowers for your wife, your VA will handle this task, just call and give a budget and the rest is done. smart-phone-carrying-the-shopping-trolley-100237564

Reminder Services- VA’s are very good at maintaining a schedule for their clients and setting reminders and notifying you of important appointments so that you NEVER miss another meeting.

Corporate and Personal Research and Special Projects- you never know what you might need to research and you may lack the time to complete effective research, call your VA and they can do this fairly quickly for you.

Relocation and Moving Services- moving your business or perhaps your family. Need help finding a moving company, or changing address, notifying customers, vendors, etc. Your VA can help with this. Your VA can even find your new location or home as well.

Homestaging/Decluttering/Organizing- some VA’s specialize in these services and are highly savvy when it comes to these needs. If you need help getting a home sold or becoming more organized, this could be just what you need.

Referral Service for Trades, Contractors, etc.- with the many relationships that VA’s have they have a long list of businesses, contractors, and trades in your local area and can more than likely quickly find them for you anywhere in the U.S.

Scheduling- setting up and maintaining a schedule for you.

Contact and Database Management and Setup- want to track your customers, vendors, or family better? Maybe you have a database of information that you don’t have time to maintain. Your VA can take care of the implementation of several database management and CRM systems and maintain them as well.

Competitive Research- want to know what your competitors are up to? You will also need this information for drafting a business plan or starting a new business.

So no matter what you need, you might be surprised to find that a VA is actually just what you need! For more information feel free to contact me or another VA. You can find a list of VA’s at www.leapfrogvanetwork.com, www.ivaa.org, and www.vanetworking.com.

Miss Executive, Tina Holtz

Virtual Assisting

What does a Virtual Assistant do exactly?

The virtual assisting industry is taking business by storm, but the services offered from one VA to the next vary significantly. Some VA’s specialize in a certain niche while others cover general administrative needs. 

When I tell people what I do as a VA, often times they still have questions on what it is that I really do. The services list for me is a long one, as I provide a multitude of administrative and business related services with a niche in business development, management, and social media. I do however provide basic administrative functions in addition to the niche services. 

Common VA services are as follows:

Transcription, Reminder Calls and Cards, Database Management, Meeting and Event Planning, Newsletters, Mailing Services, Bookkeeping, Competitive Research, Concierge Services, Gift Buying, Travel Arrangements, Contact Management, Desktop Publishing, Digital Imaging, Editing/Proofreading, Contract Negotiations, File Conversion, Bill Paying, Collections, Graphic Design, Word Processing, Database and Spreadsheet Creation & Management, Resume Writing, Internet Administration, Online Marketing, Internet Research, Interpreting, Translation, Organizational Services, Photocopying, Presentations, Public Relations, Realtor Support, Social Media Management, Systems Management, Tech Support, Webinar Creation & Management, Transaction Coordinator, Purchasing, Web Design/Development/Maintenance, Content Writing, Marketing, Advertising and Brochure Creation, Business Development, Sales, Cold Calling, Appointment Setting, Paralegal Services, Investigations and Research, Answering Phones, Blogging, Lead Followup, Surveys, Policy and Procedure Creation. The list goes on and on and on.  

Virtual assistants are highly skilled professionals, with most of us having obtained our experiences on the job, many times through several employers and industries over a life long career. We remain up to date on the latest business programs and technology to ensure that we are as productive as possible and that we provide our clients with the solutions they need most. 

Most people believe that they need an in-house assistant to handle their day to day needs, but most of the time just the opposite is true. VA’s can handle all of  your business needs from afar. With our business knowledge and the technology available today, we can do everything but take out the trash and lock the door, however we can happily make arrangements for those things to be done as well.

Often times prospective clients explain to me that they only need someone part time, or they feel they need someone full time but they struggle in creating enough work for a full time person. They simply believe they need a full time person to man the phones just in case it rings. A VA is the solution!

For instance, I created my VA firm based on the needs of the small to mid size business, as I had experienced these issues first hand as a business owner and manager. It was hard to find qualified people who had all the skills needed, but who could work for the pay being offered, without benefits and that would be available at the drop of a hat when needed or that could work a varied schedule.

Temp help was not an attractive choice because I would never end up with the same person and I would need to constantly retrain each temp, so it was very inefficient. I couldn’t always afford to hire someone, and other times it wasn’t fair to the employee to not be able to guarantee a certain amount of work each week, and then other weeks it was difficult to just have them sit there and twiddle their fingers because I had nothing for them to do. But most of the time, more often than not, I just couldn’t find people with the right skills. So we just went without. 

Fortunately, that is where the joy of working with a VA comes in. You always get the same great service from the same great person. You know the skill set and the qualifications of that person and that they are qualified to complete the work you need. You never have to retrain anyone and you don’t have to pay any benefits, taxes, worker’s compensation, insurance, or vacation pay. Your VA is an Independent Contractor and you simply pay as you go and call when you need help. Whether it’s five hours this week or 20 hours next week or one hour the week after, your VA is there and ready to serve your needs no matter what. The relationship that you’ll create with your VA will be much like other business partners, like your accountant, your business advisor, attorney, insurance agent and more. 

In my local area, I provide free local pickup and delivery of projects if my clients need it. I also make an offer to visit their offices as needed for an additional fee, if they feel that I really need to be there in person. Because we are virtual, we can work and coordinate with clients virtually all over the world. There is no limit to what a VA can offer you. 

Again each VA has unique skill sets, so when seeking a VA for your needs, try to find one that best suits your needs. The VA industry is tightly knit and many of us work together. If your VA doesn’t offer a service you need, she/he more than likely has a VA colleague that can assist you.  

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself working with several VA’s once you get the hang of using us. You might use one for handling all of your human resources, one for accounting, one for social media management, and another for marketing and business development.

It’s by far more beneficial and cost effective to have these professionals on call and part of your team, rather than to hire one of each when you may not be utilizing them to the fullest. I often times find that small businesses try to put one person into a multitude of positions to try and save money. They may have a receptionist, but she/he might be filing the role of receptionist, bookkeeper, janitor, social media manager, website developer, human resources, and sales & marketing. Pretty soon none of the tasks are being completed correctly or on time, and further more, the person may not have the proper skills to provide you with the return on investment that your business deserves.

To find a VA for your needs here are some great places to look:

LinkedIn

LeapFrog

IVAA

VAnetworking

Here’s to your success!

Miss Executive, Tina Holtz

Virtual Assisting

What is a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual AssistantBasically a virtual assistant, also known as a VA, is a business professional with experience in a variety of administrative and business services, which provides these services to other busy professionals virtually from somewhere other than the client’s office. The term today is interchangeable with that of virtual administrative assistant, VA, virtual admin, and cloud based virtual assistant, but they all essentially mean the same thing.

However, it should be noted that every virtual assistant and their experiences vary significantly as each specializes in their own unique skill sets. There is definitely no two alike. You may often times find VA’s specializing in a specific industry such as real estate, law, architects, medical, non profit, accountants, etc.

A virtual assistant can pretty much conduct every office function except greeting your customers face to face in person or making the coffee in the office each morning, but your VA could order your coffee at Starbuck’s for you to pickup in the drive through!

Virtual Asssistant TypingYou may even find some companies using several VA’s once they get the hang of using them. One might be used for accounting and bookkeeping and another for social media marketing. That’s the joy of using VA’s, you get the expertise needed in a variety of fields, but you don’t have to hire either of them full time. The flexibility when using a VA is great for small to mid size and growing businesses.

So how does using a VA actually work?

When you work with a professional virtual assistant, they provide you with all of the legal documentation assuring you that your business information is confidential and secure, usually signing a Non Disclosure Agreement, and providing a clear working agreement covering all aspects of the work to be performed. With today’s technology such as screen sharing, remote log-in, Skype, etc., it is easier than ever to work with a VA and it’s almost a seamless transition.

VA’s also take pride in being educated on the latest and greatest technology, business tools, and techniques and are often times continually updating their educational arsenal, which for you is an added benefit knowing that you’re working with a highly skilled professional.

Here are some thoughts and idea’s on how a VA can assist you in your business.

  • Scheduling a real estate showing or other appointments
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Website and Online Marketing Maintenance
  • Social Media Management
  • Invoicing, Collections
  • Answering incoming phone calls
  • Newsletters, Reminders, Cards, Letters, etc.
  • Perform outbound telemarketing calls
  • Manage and update CRM systems
  • Create correspondence letters, brochures, presentations, mailings
  • Write policy, procedures, manuals, contracts
  • Respond to emails
  • Event planning
  • And so much more

Why should you use a VA?

Actually, I prefer the question, why shouldn’t you use a VA? A virtual assistant will ultimately relieve you of the time consuming tasks which prevent you from being able to focus on what you do best, which is growing your business. Your time and that of your management team should be spent soliciting new business and developing relationships with prospects rather than filing papers, answering emails and drafting contracts.

Virtual AssistantA VA can also help you find leads, qualify them and basically act as an overall extension of your business. When working with a VA, traditionally it will be a long term relationship much like what you have with a banker, an accountant, a business advisor, etc. Your VA is going to know your business very well and will work along side you to showcase and present your business in a professional manner that will help you grow.

So the next time you find yourself wondering how you’re going to get all those mailings out in time, or how you’re going to find time to keep your social media updated, pick up the phone and call a VA. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Tina Holtz, Miss Executive