Tag Archives: problems & solutions

Have you ever heard of a “VA” and wondered what it was?

It’s a best kept secret! Most small business owners have their hands full and are often in constant scramble mode. This is particularly true if you are new in your business. This can lead to perpetual long hours, disorganization, things falling through the cracks and potential burnout. Not a pretty picture.

Some of us are lucky enough to have family members or willing friends who can be pressed into service. There is also the possibility of arranging for a college intern. This requires it’s own form of organization. Still another possibility is finding a high school student who will work for minimum wage. This brings up the issues of training and trusting someone in your space, etc.

For those of us who need a better option, allow me to introduce the concept of a “virtual assistant” and how this can give you some leverage. Envision a person (or one with a team) who have made it their business to provide support services for business owners like you. They already know how to deal with contact management, social marketing, setting appointments, transcribing notes, making travel arrangements, doing research, cleaning up email, putting together a newsletter…

The point is they can do all of the things that are slowing you down and keeping you from spending more time actually doing business. Since this is their specialty they will do it better and faster than most of your other options. Yes, you need to pay them, but the money will be well spent. No need to train them or micromanage, and if you don’t have work for them they just move on to help the next client. They usually have monthly packages where you can commit to needing them for a set number of hours per month. The one thing they can’t do (unless they are local) is to come in and help with things on site like filing.

The next time you are wishing you had a clone, consider how much it is costing you to not have help.

To your business success!

What Would Make Your Life Easier?

The other day my search for a better contact form for mobile websites led me to one that is an object lesson in how one person’s ideal solution can be another’s overwhelm. What started out to be a simple contact form turned out to have a ‘laundry list’ of added features: along with the more standard option of hooking into an autoresponder, it can

  • initiate a video conference call between you and the sender,
  • record the call,
  • hook into your online schedule and synchronize with your desktop calendar allowing visitors to set appointments,
  • collect payments—
  • and those are just the highlights.

Does this add up to feature bloat or perfection?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and understanding your own needs is where we all need to start.

Consider what parts of your business and life are tolerations and stuck spots. Do you end up playing tag with your clients a lot just to set appointments? Are you trying to find a way to migrate from a paper planner to a digital one—or keeping both and having things drop through the cracks? Is your personal email getting cluttered with clients and business messages?

Spotting the trouble spots is the first step to being open to the discovery that there are solutions to be had. Changes don’t have to be scary or bad—sometimes they can be sanity savers.

To your business success!