Keep Your Virtual Engine Humming

by Ali Brown

Whether you are a “team of one” who is just starting out, or a “team of many” with subcontractors and/or employees helping you to operate your business, chances are you will be working virtually with some of your team members.

Operating a virtual team isn’t the same as working in a brick and mortar building where you can shout over the cubicles. I’m very fortune to have an amazing team who supports me from different areas of the country. It can be tricky at times especially when everyone is in a different time zone.

We don’t just make it work; we’re a fine-oiled machine that hums. And I often get asked how we do it. I give much of the credit to my COO, Liz, who started out as my first VA (virtual assistant) a decade ago. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and these factors have played a major role in our success.

**(This is an article by Ali Brown – see more at www.AliBrown.com)

1. Communication.

This one may be obvious, but it can’t be overstated. Staying in touch with your virtual team is vital, especially because you don’t see each other every day. Our team uses every means of communication to touch base including phone, fax, email, Google chat, conference calls, regular team meetings, and in-person meetings whenever possible. We use simple yet effective methods such as marking an email urgent (red exclamation point in Outlook) or adding “HOT” in the subject line as an attention-grabber for top priority tasks.


Ali Brown's Millionaire Protege Club - Gold Tier


Read more


Simple Tags:
Filed under Working with a Virtual Assistant by Linda.
Permalink • Print •  • Comment

outsourcingtips

"I've spent thousands and thousands of dollars on outsourcing, and hundreds of hours of time wasted…" says Ben Brandes,  affiliate manager for leading multi-tool platform FusionHQ

"I'm going to give you the 5 best tips I have learned over the years so I can help save you a ton of time and money."

My very first outsourced project was an online website with an integrated affiliate system and lead generation software built in. It was a huge learning experience for me.

I actually paid someone $1000 to help make sure that it was completed with the least amount of resistance. I was told she had a lot of experience working on projects, so I thought it’d be wise to get her help rather than starting from scratch.

I spent hours writing scopes, videos, flowcharts and was told the project would all be completed in 10 days. Long story short, 3 months later, I had gone through 3 different programming teams and the project was still not completed.

I ended up ditching the project as it was getting too complicated and costing more than I’d like. All up I invested about $4000 in that lesson. So after 3 months of pulling my hair out, what did I learn?

1. Be absolutely clear on exactly what you want done

I'm primarily visual so for this project I actually went and bought some wrapping paper, then drew on the back of it. I drew all the pages I wanted created and their design. From there I could take photos and record it using video. This helped me get clear on exactly what I wanted.
When writing the scope its best if a 9 year old could understand it. Write it as though you’re telling a 9 year old what you want. Make sure you use screen shots if possible.

Read more


Simple Tags:
Filed under Working with a Virtual Assistant by rhoda_pearl.
Permalink • Print •  • Comment

Having a Virtual Assistant may be new to you, as compared to having your assistant in your office for face-to-face discussions about projects. How can you make your new working relationship effective?

In her recent blog post, Sue Canfield offers three tips:
1. Take advantage of today’s technology by utilizing what works best for you. Do you prefer email, telephone conversations, or another tool as your primary communication method? Consider trying something innovative, such as Skype or eFax. Once you determine your preference, your VA will be able to respond in the fashion that is most effective for you.
2. Decide how often you wish to communicate with your VA. If your project has deadlines, you may require frequent progress reports, especially if your working relationship is new. However, if your schedule is demanding, you may prefer to designate a specific date and time (such as Monday at 8:00 am). Remember that your VA’s role is to offload tasks so that you can utilize your time efficiently.
3. Be clear as to your expectations. You and your VA can team successfully if you both have the same goal.

Applying these ideas should make your relationship with your virtual assistant mutually profitable.


Simple Tags:
Filed under Working with a Virtual Assistant by Linda.
Permalink • Print •  • Comment

istock_000003495276small.jpgWe've all heard the term "cut out the middleman," but sometimes a middleman is just what you need. Once you've made the decision to work to a , you will need to decide how much time and supervision you are willing to invest in following up with the VA, and what the consequences to your business might be if she/he fails to deliver your assignments as promised. Read more


Simple Tags: , , ,
Filed under Working with a Virtual Assistant by Linda.
Permalink • Print •  • Comment

A Virtual Assistant can give your business credibility and make your company emerge on the scene as a big player. In this dog-eat-dog world of business it’s a well known fact that often times the little guy gets squeezed out by the larger corporations.

As an entrepreneur it’s important that people– vendors, current and prospective customers and potential investors– not perceive you as a “Mom & Pop Shop”. This kind of perception can spell disaster for any small business. Read more


Simple Tags: , , ,
Filed under Working with a Virtual Assistant by Linda.
Permalink • Print •  • Comment

According to the Internal Revenue Service website, when considering a or other professional, it is critical that you, the employer, correctly classify the individuals providing services as employees or independent contractors.

Employers must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee.

Employers do not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors.

If you classify this individual incorrectly, the IRS can hold you liable for taxes for that worker, and impose penalties as well. Read more


Simple Tags: , , ,
Filed under Working with a Virtual Assistant by Linda.
Permalink • Print •  • Comment

A Virtual Assistant can be a great asset to your growing business. But how do you delegate the various administrative tasks integral to running your business, without the risk of losing control? Excellent communication between you and your VA or outsourcing resource is the key to avoiding this common pitfall. These 5 tips can help you to have a successful delegating experience: Read more


Simple Tags: , , , , , ,
Filed under Working with a Virtual Assistant by Linda.
Permalink • Print •  • Comment

Now that you've decided to hire a to enable you to focus on , you need to ensure that you're choosing the right person for the job. Toni Klym Mclellan offers these tips to help in your decision-making process: Read more


Simple Tags: , , , ,
Filed under Working with a Virtual Assistant by Linda.
Permalink • Print •  • Comment

Warning: require_once(/home3/c2p/public_html/wp-content/themes/New-contentdesk-3-col/footer.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home3/c2p/public_html/wp-content/themes/New-contentdesk-3-col/index.php on line 9

Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required '/home3/c2p/public_html/wp-content/themes/New-contentdesk-3-col/footer.php' (include_path='.:/opt/php52/lib/php') in /home3/c2p/public_html/wp-content/themes/New-contentdesk-3-col/index.php on line 9