Friday, June 16, 2006
For those of you who are still in the dark, a Virtual Assistant, or VA, is an executive level, administrative professional who works from his/her own office to support clients using some of the latest available technology. The Internet has brought many skilled professionals out of the corporate environment and back into their homes, enabling them to create a better work-life balance, while still performing in the roles they love. The VA is one such professional. Working from their home-based offices and making use of the Internet, telephone, fax and email, VAs are able to offer small and medium-sized businesses a quality of administrative support, previously only available to the corporate giants, in a cost-effective manner.
A Virtual Assistant’s service offering may vary, but you are guaranteed to find one out there who is able to perform the exact functions your business needs. You will find that hiring a VA will REVOLUTIONIZE your business.
A VA brings invaluable work experience and training to the table. You may even find that they will teach you a trick or two. Be it software, hardware or grammar, you can be sure that your VA knows his/her stuff!
2. Because VAs run a business themselves, they have a unique understanding of what your needs as a small business owner are. They will be able to assist and advise you on matters pertaining to Marketing, Branding, Web Design and e-Commerce. What avenues of advancement have you not yet explored with your business? Are you sure that you have all your bases covered? Your VA can help.
3. Get organized. If you attend conferences and AGMs I’ll bet you have a ton of business cards cluttering up your desk. Let your VA scan and enter them into a database for you. Future mail campaigns will be a breeze with a ready-made contact list all neatly stored on a CD.
4. Is there a special project boiling over on the back-burner that you’ve been wanting to do? Your VA can help with research, planning and coordination, leaving you free to continue your focus on your core-business function.
5. If you’re too busy to remember important dates, anniversaries and meetings, your VA, with a tailored reminder service, can assist. From ordering flowers for your mother, to sending a thank you note to a client and even arranging gift baskets for investor, they aim to please.
6. Conceptualizing marketing items can be agonizing if you don’t have the know-how, equipment or creative flair. Most VAs have a wide range of software packages at their finger-tips, as well as experience in creating flyers, brochures and business cards for their own company’s. Put your ideas to your VA, they will dazzle you with the results.
7. Planning a much-needed break with your family? Let your VA take care of the details; flights, car hire, accommodation, even a list of “must-see” places of interest. Your VA can handle it all, down to the very last detail.
8. If you’re on the road a lot, chances are your cell-phone is often out of signal range and there is no one in your office to take a message should that all-important client call. With the call answering service provided by many VAs, you can divert your calls and rest assured that your client will receive the personal touch rather than dealing with an annoying automated answering device. Your messages will be passed on to you in order of importance and you won’t need to sort through lengthy messages on voicemail.
9. Conferences and networking functions can take a lot out of a small business owner. It is imperative that you attend and make a dazzling show of it, but in order to do so, you have to neglect existing clients. This will no longer be a problem with a VA. They can handle all your conferencing arrangements; table-hire, banner design and creation, even gift bags for client samples. It’s that easy!
10. If you have a lot of correspondence, and you’re a bit of a “keyboard klutz”, your VA can help. Many VAs offer a fully digitized transcription service. Simply record your memos/letters onto your computer and email them to your VA, s/he will have it neatly typed and ready for mailing in no time! Other VAs may provide dictated typing as a service, so that urgent e-mail is just a phone-call away.
Now that you’ve heard all that a VA can do, where can you find one? That’s easy. VANetworking at http://www.vanetworking.com is an invaluable resource when looking to partner with a VA. With over 2,300 professional VA members you are certain to find exactly the service you are looking for. According to Tawnya Sutherland, founder of VAN, and author of the Virtual Assistant Start-Up System states, “Our forum is leading the way in revolutionizing the VA Industry by offering expert advice to VAs on how to be the best VA they can be. That’s why partnering with one of our VAs can help your business grow and operate on a more proficient level.”
Diana Ennen, president of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and Publicist for the site states, “Our team of VAs are varied with different skill sets and different visions for their business. That’s why teaming up with a VAN VA can give your business all the support it needs.”
So if you’re looking for a Virtual Assistant or want to start a virtual assistant business, now is the time to stop by VANetworking and see everything they have to offer.
Tawnya Sutherland, founder of Virtual Assistant Networking (VAN) (http://www.vanetworking.com) and author of The VAS System, a Virtual Assistant Startup System, is a Certified Internet Marketing Specialist sharing much of her online marketing experience at VAN to help aspiring and successful VAs turn clicks into cash at their websites. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Publicity Rep for VAN, Diana Ennen at email@example.com.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I don’t know about you, but when I started my business and even today with a son in college and two kids at home who love to shop as much as mom, I don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. I need to make sure that every penny I spend is spent wisely, very wisely. So when I market my business, I need to make sure that I’m creative and use all the tools I have available that don’t cost money. Here are some tips that I have found that worked for me.
Radio/Media - It’s not that hard. Have a plan of action and stick to it. Each week decide to send out so many press releases, contacts to radio stations, local media, etc. Look to woman’s networks, work-at-home networks, and others who actively look for guests.
Stay in tune with what’s currently happening and see if it’s something that you can share about. I’ve found that having an angle works. Once you have that angle write and pitch your angle hard.
Also consider starting your own radio show. Jill Hart and I do a weekly podcast and it’s a great way to network. Check it out sometime at http://www.cwahm.com.
Forums / Listserves - Being active in forums and listserves is so beneficial to your business. You establish yourself as an expert and also you gain friendships and alliances with others. Plus, it’s a great way to promote your business. Naturally you never want to blatantly advertise your business, but when you answer questions and show your expertise, people listen. I know I’ve found many a subcontractor this way. Take advantage of these. Remember you also establish those friendships that can last a lifetime. And then when you get the opportunity to meet them in person, you already have a bond.
Writing Articles - Submitting articles is an excellent marketing tool and I highly recommend it. Make sure you submit to your targeted market. Write on topics that you are familiar. Don’t just write for publicity --Give something back. Make sure that your topic and information is of value. Write articles using “The Top 5 or 10” or “The Best 5 Ways To Do Something.” Think about the magazines you buy at the stores, don’t you normally gravitate to those articles. I know I do. Get those keywords in the title. That’s where they count.
Also, plan, plan, plan. What are you going to do today that is going to gain recognition for your business?
Marketing a business doesn’t have to be expensive if you just remember to network and use all the tools available to you. In fact, it can be fun as you get to meet new people and develop new ways to sell you and your business.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Contact: Diana Ennen
Online Bookstore Offers the Best Fiction and Non-Fiction Books
Margate, FL, June 2006. Do you love to read a good sci-fi book? Are you looking for information on how to start your own business? Then focus your sights on Virtual Word Publishing’s Online Bookstore. When browsing through the bookstore at Virtual Word Publishing http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com, you’ll find a variety of categories to suit your every need. From Science Fiction books, Cookbooks, Christian and Inspirational Books, to Business Books in Marketing/Sales, Word Processing, Virtual Assistance, Work at Home-Moms books, and E-books too.
Our fiction category features the highly acclaimed Sledgehammer, a gripping medical fiction thriller. This book sets theme in a Los Angeles emergency room where terrorists are using smallpox as a biological agent, with plans to release it into several sports arenas, airports and shopping malls to maximize its deadly effects. This book has received numerous five star reviews and begs to ask the question, “What if?” Its terrific plot and characters you grow to love, have you eagerly turning every page.
Words From Home gives you the steps to start, run and profit from a home-based word processing business or secretarial service, including typing, medical or legal transcription. You can also learn how to market your small business, make money and be successful with the best online marketing and web marketing books, which are written by industry experts. These books are a must for all entrepreneurs.
The Book of the Month is Virtual Assistant the Series, Become a Highly Successful Sought After VA; a complete reference guide that will lead you on your journey to running a successful virtual assistant business. The site also has the newly released workbook that goes along with the Series. Virtual Assistants are, highly skilled professionals, working as independent contractors, who provide publicity, administrative support and other specialized services to businesses, entrepreneurs, executives and sales professionals to name a few. Virtual Assistant the Series is the Bible of the VA Industry.
Our Christian Books and Inspirational Books provide you with the motivation needed to face your everyday struggles. And for you moms who love to cook, delicious recipes can be found in the BizyMoms Cookbook.
All this and more can be found there. Just type in www.virtualwordpublishing.com and click on your category of interest to purchase any of these books. You are guaranteed to experience some wonderful and informative reading. And in June, receive 10% off all books when you sign up for the Virtual Edge newsletter.