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How Hiring a Virtual Assistant can Save You a Fortune Every Month

How Hiring a Virtual Assistant can Save You a Fortune Every Month

 

You should hire a Virtual Assistant if any of these incidents have happened to you:

You reconcile your books and realize you failed to collect a large amount of money for services rendered to clients the past few months because you forgot to send invoices.

You filter your e-mail and missed multiple job offers for your services that amounted to $10,000 in foregone earnings because you didn’t have the time to prepare and send a formal proposal.

You enter a dry spell because you couldn’t find the time to network regularly during your busy months.

Entrepreneurs are guilty of 2 things: micro-managing and working too lean. These are admirable traits but you can never do things on your own. And if you work too lean, eventually you’ll reach a point where your current level of scale can’t accommodate an extra output of productivity. You end up flushing thousands of dollars down the drain.

The best solution is to hire a Virtual Assistant and save up a fortune every month through the following ways:

Organize Your Business. Meetings, payments, follow ups, interviews, submissions of business proposals; the list just goes on and on. If you don’t organize your business, many of these tasks will accumulate, remain undone and result in opportunity costs.

A Virtual Assistant can organize your business by attending to the following tasks:

Calendar Management
Appointment Setting
Phone Handling
Follow Ups
E-mail Support

Your Virtual Assistant will constantly remind you of deadlines and scheduled dates at least 2 days prior or earlier depending on the level of priority.

Free Up Your Time. If you’re spending too much time attending to administrative duties and support services, you are working IN your business not ON your business.

As an entrepreneur, you should be judicious and strategic with your time if you want to succeed. Your time is best allocated to matters that readily translate to more dollars and cents to your bank account. How much time do you spend filtering e-mail?

By delegating administrative and support services to a Virtual Assistant, you can re-align your work hours and focus on functions that will fast track the success of your business.

Keep Your Payables Up to Date. How would you feel when you are in the middle of an important Skype call and then the Internet gets disconnected? What if you were printing materials for an important presentation then power shuts off?

You did not intend to but somehow the Internet and power bills went unpaid. Although there are ways to get through these inconveniences, it remains a hassle, a time killer and a source of stress.

A Virtual Assistant will keep a schedule of your payables, send you a copy as a reminder and still message you 2 days before the due date.

Streamline Your Business Costs. Hiring a Virtual Assistant will hardly move the needle on your monthly expenses.

The Virtual Assistant is self- employed; technically, he or she owns a business that provides virtual assistance services. Thus the Virtual Assistant is responsible for his or her costs of business.

You do not pay your Virtual Assistant benefits as mandated by the government or your company as he or she is contracted but not employed by your business. Your Virtual Assistant as a proprietor also has other clients to attend to and is not exclusive to you.

As an entrepreneur, learn to relinquish control and delegate work to your Virtual Assistant. Start out with the non-essentials and slowly transfer the more crucial aspects of your business. Contract another Virtual Assistant if necessary. By hiring virtual assistants, opportunity costs will be things of the past.

Will Artificial Intelligence Replace the Human Virtual Assistant?

Will Artificial Intelligence Replace the Human Virtual Assistant?

 

With the largest technology companies investing in Artificial Intelligence, will the AI soon replace the VA or Virtual Assistant?

Apple started the AI revolution with Siri in 2010. Understandably, there were many faults and errors in the initial programming which was to be expected with new innovations. Siri’s issues which included voice recognition and problems conducting specific search queries led to a number of class action lawsuits in 2012.

But technology companies were undeterred and followed Apple’s lead. Over the last few years, other technology companies have followed suit.

Here is a short list of AI Assistants developed by select technology companies:

Siri – Apple
Cortana – Microsoft
M – Facebook
Braina – Microsoft
Alexa – Amazon
Google Now – Google
BlackBerry Assistant – BlackBerry
Duer – Baidu
Echo – Amazon
Assistant – SpeakToIt

These AI Assistants offer users the following advantages:

Reduced probability of errors
Higher precision and expected level of accuracy
Not subject to physical afflictions as human Virtual Assistants
Incapable of emotional instability as human Virtual Assistants
Can work 24/7 without issue

Some of these AI Assistants such as Duer will complete your tasks without having to notify you. It knows what you like to order from your favorite restaurant and will find ways to have your food delivered by coursing it through the technology companies contracted courier services.

But while these AI Assistants are providing a convenient service, it is not without cost.

For these technology companies, every time you use their AI Assistant you are giving them more information on your behavioral traits. They have information on what you like to eat, the movies you want to watch, the places you frequent for vacation and the airlines you often patronize.

Information that translates to big money for these technology companies; they will send you coupons and offers that match your consumption behavior.

Many will probably agree to this as social media remains popular despite becoming an efficient lead generator for the likes of Facebook and YouTube.

On the other hand, Virtual Assistants will just work to get the job done for you. You pay exactly for the service that is rendered. It is an amicable arrangement not parasitic where one feeds on the needs of the other.

The criticism that human virtual assistants make mistakes completely misses the point. Virtual assistants have the power of foresight and rationale. They have the ability to anticipate potential risks in the horizon. And if they make a mistake, they can remedy the situation by running down prepared courses of action.

If you have customer service, the last thing you would want is to automate the process. Successful customer service is all about creating a feedback loop where clients or subscribers and the Virtual Assistant can bounce off ideas to arrive at an immediate resolution. An irate customer will only get more frustrated dealing with an automated system.

An AI does not have the ability to understand urgency but human Virtual Assistants do because they can empathize with you. If you have an important presentation, an AI can get you accurate facts but content is not just about precision. The material must be compelling enough to solicit the desired emotional response.

While AI Assistants have their purpose, they cannot supplant the Virtual Assistant. It is through their imperfections that the Virtual Assistant reveals their true value to the client.

How to Build Your Career as a Virtual Assistant

how-to-build-your-career-as-a-virtual-assistant

 

As a Virtual Assistant, you are not stuck where you are managing work for your current portfolio of clientele. You are a business owner; a proprietor offering virtual assistance services. You can build your career and build your business just like every other entrepreneur. Here are 4 tips you should consider:

Expand Your Scope of Services. Initially you should focus only on your core competence; the skill or offering wherein you can guarantee quality and timely submission of projects.

For example, if you are a good writer you may start out by offering blogging services. As you gain traction and confidence, you should slowly expand your scope of services to include the following:

Web Copy
Short Form Articles
Marketing Copy
E-Books
Resumes
Market Research

Each type of writing has its own style and set of nuances. This is why slow and easy does it when expanding your scope of services. E-books for example can be more informal in tone and content.

Keep in mind that these types of content will have different time tables for delivery. Short form articles, resumes and web copies can be daily while market research could be bi-monthly. Expanding your scope of services demands expert time management.

Focus on Volume of Work. The ultimate goal of every Virtual Assistant is to land long- term engagements. But this takes time and consistency in the quality of deliverables. Also, clients may like your work but depending on the status of their own business, job orders may be sporadic.

If business remains inconsistent, focus on increasing your volume of work. There are many online job market websites such as Fiverr that offer short term work but provides a source of steady income. You can land 5 to 7 short term writing jobs per day such as 500 word articles, 200 word web copies, and generate an additional $700 to your monthly income.

It will also increase your portfolio of market and gives a large market to promote your skills and services.

Create a Virtual Team. It’s hard to say “No” to additional work. After all, why should you decline an opportunity to add to your coffers right? Logic states that you should only accept work you can accommodate without compromising quality and timely submissions. But it’s hard to decline an offer to make extra money. The best recourse is to create a virtual team.

Before you seek out more clients, build your network of virtual assistants. Keep in touch with them and come up with an agreement that if you have additional work, you will hire them. But it would be best to discuss with them your proposed payment structure.

For example, if you charge a client $12 per 1,000 word article you can pay your Virtual Assistant associate $7 for the article and keep the $5. You may not have earned your usual rate but at the same time, you still add to your income.

Diversify Your Services. Once you have your team of virtual assistants running efficiently, you could now look at diversifying your services.

If you are currently focusing on writing services, you could look at other projects such as website design and programming. You just have to make sure you have a good website designer to rely on.

You can charge $1,500 to the service and pay the website designer $1,000 while you keep the $500.

Growing a business is a process that takes time. But with planning and determination, you can dramatically increase your income levels and sustain earnings over the long haul.

5 Successful Entrepreneurs who Have Virtual Assistants on their Teams

5 Successful Entrepreneurs who Have Virtual Assistants on their Teams

If you think virtual assistants are only limited to providing support services, think again! Many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world owe a great deal of their success to their virtual assistants. Having virtual assistants onboard their business meant more than delegating non-essential tasks; they were able to fine- tune operations, improve the quality of work and of course, streamline costs.

Tim Ferris. If there was a jump off point that heralded the value of the Virtual Assistant, it would be Tim Ferris’ breakout book, “The 4-Hour Work Week”.

In it, Ferris details his struggles of running his first company on his own. Ferris claimed he was putting in 14 hours of work every day with nothing to show for it.

When he hired a team of virtual assistants, he was able to focus more on the tasks that matter and become more productive.

“What if you never had to check e-mail again? If you could hire someone else to spend countless hours in your Inbox instead of you. This isn’t pure fantasy.”

Ramit Sethi. According to Sethi, he made every mistake in the book when he first started hiring virtual assistants. But once he was able to get organized, understand what he wanted and moderated his expectations, the Virtual Assistant became an integral component of his success.

Sethi is a New York Times Bestselling Author and founder of IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com.

“Working with a skilled virtual assistant – and using a systematic approach to save time has been the best investments I have made in my life.”

Michael Hyatt. Hyatt is a popular blogger, writer and Founder of 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, Platform University and Get Published.

He is an active proponent of hiring virtual assistants. Hyatt credits his team of virtual assistants for helping him manage his time for writing, speaking engagements and consultations.

“I am convinced that virtual assistants are the future.”

James Schramko. After spending days as a General Manager for Mercedes Benz and nights as an online marketer, Schramko decided to go full- time with his night job.

His company SuperFastBusiness helps entrepreneurs grow their business using Internet marketing. He has regularly advocated the use of virtual assistants as one of the first steps to take in growing your business.

“One of the best things you can do is to hire an Assistant. These days you often hear of a Virtual Assistant or a VA.”

John Lee Dumas. A daily routine of listening to podcasts during long drives while starting a career in real estate, Dumas realized none of the podcasts offered content that interested him.

Dumas started his own podcast EOF or Entrepreneur On Fire which featured various successful entrepreneurs. One year after its launch, EOF was named Best of iTunes. EOF earns 7 figures in annual income.

“Do away with the robot act and get to know your Virtual Assistant! They are real people with families, hobbies and passions.”

If you are planning to expand your business, follow the lead of these successful entrepreneurs and hire a Virtual Assistant. You may be surprised at the significance of the assist they can give your business.

4 tips on developing a healthy diet plan on a budget

When you’re on a tight budget, planning your meals can be challenging. Eating health is even trickier. With the right tips, you can still maintain a healthy diet without breaking the bank.

Here are four tips on developing a healthy diet plan on a budget.

Tip #1: Buy Seasonal Produce and Freeze

Buying fresh produce is great, but the costs can quickly add up without you noticing. Stick with buying seasonal produce and stock up when you encounter a great deal. You can buy food like corn, green peas, etc. and separate them into freezer bags for storage. They should last several months.

Tip #2: Learn to Enjoy Beans and Whole Grains

Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and freekeh are quite inexpensive and an excellent way to bulk up your meals. Black beans can help stretch meals, especially meats. You can incorporate beans with ground turkey for burgers and even chili. Whole grains can add bulk to a meal and keep you feeling fuller longer.

Tip #3: Plan Meals According to Market Sales

The local markets offer savings weekly. Use this to your advantage and consider planning your meals according to what’s on sale. Planning your meals accordingly may help you save even more money without affecting your nutrition. It may even allow you to get creative with your meals.

Tip #4: Consider Budget-Friendly Meat Cuts

Meat lovers can still enjoy meat without having to spend a fortune every week. Opt for less expensive cuts of chicken thighs instead of breasts or meats with bone-in and skin on options. There are more flavorful and nutritious. Consider meat cuts such as beef skin, whole chickens, lamb necks and more.

What are your best tips for developing a healthy diet plan on a budget? Comment below!

3 reasons why your health and finances are related to each other

As Herophilus, the ancient Greek physician said, “When health is absent, having wealth is useless.” The relation between your health and finances is high and even involved. Let’s take a better look at three reasons why your health and finances are related to each other.

Bad Habits are Expensive

1

To put it simply, following unhealthy choices are expensive. For example an average pack of cigarettes costs less than $5. However, if you consume two packs a day, that’s near $3,600 a year just on cigarettes alone. The same thing goes with obesity. Spending high amounts of money on food can lead to an increase in weight gain – ultimately increase health risks.

Financial Problems Lead to Health Problems

2

The cycle of health problems and financial problems is non-stop. Having financial stress can affect your health causing anxiety, insomnia, and other poor health related issues. This will then lead to skipping medical checkups and poor dietary choices. In the long run, this can lead to much bigger health problems – causing a larger amount of financial stress.

Poor Health Cuts Life Short

3

Aside from the unfortunate effect of losing one’s life, this can also lead to a poor financial legacy for your family. While money may help you maintain and improve your health, focusing too much on earning can also be unhealthy. In fact, America is considered to being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet far from being considered as the healthiest.

Bottom line, protect your health and wealth by learning for to manage your lifestyle properly. You can still focus on your career while staying physically active and taking care of your health.

5 tips on improving your health and finance

Healthy habits can help improve your overall well-being, fight diseases and even prolong life. But how can you save money while doing so?

Here are five tips on improving your health and finance.

Tip #1: Learn to Sit Less

Studies show that the Average working American spends nearly half their life sitting down. This sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. To prevent this, walks are highly recommended. This may sound like a difficult challenge if you have a desk job, but it is possible to find ways to exercise. Take the public transportation, go for a quick walk away from your desk, and even take the stairs to help improve your health.

Tip #2: Eat less Meat

Cutting back on meat can help to improve both your health and finances. Research tells us that individuals who eat less meat tend to be leaner and less likely to gain weight when compared to those who consume high amounts of eating. Another way to cut your grocery bill is to replace meat with beans and chicken.

Tip #3: More Water, Less Alcohol

As water is vital for our body, it is also inexpensive. The average household spends nearly $800 a year on caloric beverages and can add on excessive weight.

While moderate alcohol consumption can help your heart stay healthy, drinking too much can increase the risk for high blood pressure, cancer, liver damage and other problems. Consumers are said to spend an average of $450 a year on alcoholic beverages. Eliminating alcohol has proven to carry many benefits.

Tip #4: Exercise with Friends

Exercise is a free and easy way to improve your health. It will help control your weight, relieve stress, give you more energy and fight against chronic health conditions. Instead of spending money on a gym, why not run or hike with friends. Having support will help you stay on track with your fitness routine.

Tip #5: Learn to Manage Lifestyle

Many individuals spend more than they need to spend. As a result, they end up spending on unnecessary habits such as smoking and drinking. While you may still be able to pay your bills, an unhealthy lifestyle can damage your health and finance in the long run.

Follow these helpful tips on how you can improve your health and finance. What other ways can you help improve your finance and health? Comment below and let us know!

 Image by: Korr.com

Image by: Korr.com

5 Services Virtual Assistants can provide for Authors and Writers

5 Services Virtual Assistants can provide for Authors and Writers

More and more authors and writers are contracting virtual assistants to write books for them. If you are an author, you will be able to maximize your time better by hiring virtual assistants.

Here are 5 services virtual assistants can provide authors and writers:

Content Writing. Even authors and writers need assistance in writing! It’s a far- fetched concept but there can always be better ways to compose a sentence or paragraph. There could be a more engaging angle to a story.

You can easily find highly competent writers among virtual assistants. This is because content writing is one of the most sought after skills in outsourcing. There are virtual assistants who majored in English or Literature. Some have written e-books and other long-form content.

There are some authors who give the Virtual Assistant the full authority to write the entire book subject to set guidelines and parameters. They write it one chapter at a time. Once a chapter is completed, it is sent to the author for review.

Transcription Work. Writers are creative people. If they get stumped by a case of “writer’s block”, they will take a few minutes off from work in the hopes of getting the creative juices flowing again.

Inspiration can hit them at any time and any place. If they don’t have pen and paper they will record their ideas on their smart phones. As an audio file, the ideas may sound gibberish but they can at least establish the context. They can send the audio file to the Virtual Assistant to transcribe it into text form so they will have a reference to fine tune the content.

Review and Editing. Virtual assistants also serve a valuable role in reviewing and editing the initial drafts.

In writing, multiple revisions are the norm. The reason for this is perspective. A writer views his work through a different filter compared to a Virtual Assistant.

It is possible for the Virtual Assistant to spot potential deficiencies or weak points in the draft. Because the Virtual Assistant has no vested interest in the author’s work, he or she can view it from the point of view of the intended reader.

Graphic Design. Once the final draft has been approved, your focus will now shift on how to package the book or the document.

There are many virtual assistants who have the experience and expertise in graphic design. All you need to do is give the Virtual Assistant your vision of the book and what it represents. The Virtual Assistant can create design samples for your book’s front cover, back cover, front sleeve and back sleeve.

Online Marketing. Of course, virtual assistants are experts in online marketing. You can find virtual assistants who can do press releases, write ups, marketing copy and reviews that can be published on social media, community blog sites and search engine directories.

They can build inbound traffic to your website through blogging, videos and regular postings on social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus and YouTube.

With virtual assistants onboard it is much easier for authors to write, market and promote a book. You can get more things done at less cost without compromising the quality of the final product.