Virtual Assistants

February, 7

Former CEO Tells Virtual Assistant Success Story

LOS ANGELES-Have you ever used a virtual assistant? Have you ever spoken with anyone who has? Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson, shared his experience using a virtual assistant and offers some interesting insights into the issue.

“I left my role as CEO of Thomas Nelson in April 2011. I thought I could get by without an assistant,” Hyatt says. “Boy, was I wrong. As a result of greater focus on writing, my blog traffic spiked and my comment load doubled. I started getting more email. I had to book my own travel. I soon felt overwhelmed.”

As his story goes, Hyatt looked to hire a part-time assistant. But then he ran into common challenges that go with working from a virtual office: Where would you put the part-timer? Would you have to supply her with a computer and other office equipment? Would you have to keep up with payroll taxes and various other government-required paperwork?

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January, 31

Realtors: Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant?

LOS ANGELES—Keller Williams is one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in the United States. So when I saw a blog post on the KW Blog entitled, “Should you hire a virtual assistant?” I was intrigued about the possibilities of virtual assistants for real estate agents.

Keller Williams asked Mike Incorvaia, Jr. about his experience with a virtual assistant. His team discovered virtual assistants two years ago and Incorvaia said it was an “aha moment” for his team.

As his story goes, his office started out working with a virtual assistant for 10 to 15 hours, then transitioned to 25 hours with their virtual assistant. Now, the team is moving up to 30 to 40 hours a week with the virtual assistant.

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January, 24

Could You Use a Virtual Assistant?

LOS ANGELES—Could you use a virtual assistant? That’s the question in a headline from the Wall Street Journal way back in 2010. You see, although virtual assistants have become quite the buzz in the past year, virtual assistants are nothing new to the entrepreneurial—or corporate—scenes.

“Between work, chores, an almost-two-year old and another baby on the way, my to-do list seems to be growing rapidly,” writes columnist Michelle Gerdes. “Some of my most-pressing to-do items: packing up baby clothes for the attic, painting the spare room for nursery No. 2, getting a billing situation straightened out with a doctor’s office and applying for tax-free commuting dollars through our benefits website at work.”

Virtual assistants may not be able to help you pack up your baby clothes or paint a spare room in your nursery, but virtual assistants can help you get a billing situation straightened out with a doctor’s office and applying for tax-free commuting dollars through your benefits website at work.

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January, 17

How About a Virtual Assistant Researcher With Your Coworking Space?

LOS ANGELES—I read an interesting article in Business2Community this morning. It’s called “Employing Virtual Research Assistants in Co-Working Spaces.” That gave me an idea: why not employ virtual assistants in your coworking—or your virtual office space or executive office suites—to handle your market research tasks?

“If you are running an online business or relying on your website to get more clients, working with a market researcher is a good way to go. The online market is a vast area where businesses grow, thus competition is tough,” Jobette Escobanas wrote in the article.

“As a busy entrepreneur, who has time to research about the newest marketing trends? The answer is hiring a virtual assistant researcher who can lay down all accurate facts about your target market or the latest update on marketing itself.”

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January, 10

Why Overachievers Use Virtual Assistants

LOS ANGELES—I was reading an article in Forbes today called “5 Things Overacheivers Do Not Do.” TJ McCue penned the article that looks at what you should NOT do if you want to be a high achiever. He talked about not thinking small, not asking permission, not using e-mail before 9 a.m., not ending weakly, and not trying to do it all yourself.

That last point is where a virtual assistant comes in. Let’s listen in to McCue’s reasoning and notice how he specifically points out the value of virtual assistants in his fourth point, which is: Go-Getters Do Not Try To Do It All Themselves.

“Did you read that post years ago about a Wall Street Journal reporter who tried to hire out ALL of his work to a virtual assistant (VA)? He even tried to send his VA to his therapy appointment. His therapist drew the line and said no, that he had to attend his therapy sessions on his own. Trying to do everything yourself is a recipe for face plants. Not good.”

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December, 27

10 Things Virtual Office Users Can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

LOS ANGELES—You need more time, but there aren’t more hours in the day. What’s a busy entrepreneur to do? How about outsource some of your administrative work to a virtual assistant?

“Using a virtual assistant can shave hours from your workweek, but knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky, whether you’re starting or growing a business. Most virtual assistants are contract or freelance workers who do their jobs from home and focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary,” Entrepreneur magazine reports. “Entrepreneurs can use virtual assistants for everything from making vendor or customer service calls to sending out thank you cards to prospective clients.”

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December, 13

Using Virtual Assistants to Grow Your Business

TORONTO-Ecommerce Bytes had a good run down on using a virtual assistant to build your business. The article echoes some truths about virtual assistants that I’ve been pounding for a long time.

A virtual assistant is a person who works remotely to help you with various administrative tasks. A virtual assistant typically works from a virtual office, which means you don’t have to accommodate them with bricks-and-mortar office space. And with virtual office technologies they are never more than a click away for a Skype call or a web conference.

Virtual assistants can handle tasks from answering phones to setting appointments to creating calendars and more. Some virtual assistants even specialize in social media, web development or public relations. Indeed, there’s a virtual assistant for just about everything under the sun these days.

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November, 30

Breaking More Virtual Assistant Myths

TORONTO—I wrote a piece last week about breaking myths around using virtual assistants. But I realized I left out a major misconception that is worth nothing.

In my first post, one of the biggest myths I worked to bust was that virtual assistants are too expensive. People often have the misconception that they can’t afford a virtual assistant. More often, that truth is that you can’t afford not to have a virtual assistant.

But let’s move on from there. The second most common wrong thinking I’ve seen associated with using virtual assistants says “My company isn’t large enough to justify hiring a virtual assistant.” That’s sort of related to the first myth, but it’s different in that no company is too small to benefit from a virtual assistant.

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November, 19

Virtual Assistant Calculator Proves Value of Online Administrators

NEW YORK—Ever wonder if it’s worth it for you get a virtual assistant? Check out Davinci Virtual Office Solutions’ nifty calculator.

As we see it, every virtual office user could benefit from a virtual assistant. But maybe you need more proof. That’s why we’ve developed a handy dandy online calculator that can help you make economic sense of the virtual assistant equation.

Our virtual assistant calculator is easy to use. First, we ask what your time is worth. You can calculate the dollar amount on an annual basis. Next, we ask how many hours a week you spend on the following tasks on a daily basis:

  • Answering general/solicitor calls
  • Scheduling/confirming appointments
  • Processing/tracking orders
  • Answering customer service/sales questions
  • Making basic outbound calls
  • Administrative tasks a secretary could handle
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November, 16

Busting Virtual Assistant Myths, Part 1

NEW YORK—Do you want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about virtual assistants? There are a lot of myths milling around about virtual assistants these days. If you haven’t ever used a virtual assistant—or might I say a great virtual assistant—you may be buying into those misconceptions.

Wrong perceptions, erroneous information and all out myths are still alive and well in the virtual assistant industry. If you’ve decided not to dip your toe into the virtual assistant waters because you’ve heard the horror stories, it may be time to reconsider. Although there are bad virtual assistants out there, you can’t just throw out the baby with the bathwater.

One wrong thought pattern I want to correct is says, “I can’t afford to use virtual assistants.” That may or may not be true—but it’s probably a myth that’s holding back your company’s growth. Hiring virtual assistants can save your company time and money.

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