Working with me

I have written a number of blogs recently, I have gone from once a month to weekly (minus one week where I forgot to schedule), and I thought on this occasion maybe writing a blog about me and working with me might be a good thing.

So, who am I?

That’s a straight forward one really, I am Claire and I am your Remote Admin lady! I have been a VA now for over 4 years, but have been in admin support in some shape and form since I left school back in the 90s.  It was a field that I enjoyed, and it grew from there, so getting made redundant from my last employed position, which was more than just admin, I saw this as the opportunity that I needed to create a business around me and my family, and hey presto here I am.

Why do you need me?

Running a business is so rewarding, you sit back now and then and look at what you have created and feel a sense of pride and achievement, but equally, it brings you a whole heap of work you are either unsure of or don’t want to do.
And this is where I come in or in fact most VA’s, we know that employing someone full time is probably not on your radar just yet, so having someone on hand to help you with those annoying, time-consuming tasks is really handing, and with a VA you are only paying for the time they have been working for you. We do also support businesses that have staff, but you may not be in the position to employ another member,  but just require a little helping hand.

So, if a task takes me an hour, that is what I charge you. There are loads of comparison blogs out there that give you all the breakdowns of how much employing someone full time vs hiring a VA and it’s an interesting one at that.

What can I do for you?

What exactly can I do for you?  how can I enrich your business life?  simple! I free up your time so you can go do what you do best! Whether that is to make things to sell, go fix a boiler, go create and sell some classes, or if you are supporting your own clients with their pain points. I help you build your dream but removing those time-consuming, relentless or just plain boring tasks that you don’t want to do or just do not have the time to do.

My services are varied and you can find them here, I try to grow my list services each year, if I can, I like to stay on top of new systems and trends, I like to put myself forward for online courses to help me better serve my clients, so whilst my lists of services is vast it is always changing, if what you are struggling with isn’t on here do check with me just in case.

How does it work

This one is straight forward too, we tend to have a discovery call on a day suitable for both of us, we run through the things you are struggling with, or the things you need to outsource, once we have gone through the requirements and discussed the finer details, and we both happy to proceed, I then set up secure sharing folders where we will share any work that is needed to be carried out or work completed.

It is all about communication! If you need to call me or email me several times at the start then so be it, I am here to support you, so if you feel that you need time to get used to having someone work alongside you, helping you grow your business then that is fine. If you feel happy only out-sourcing an hour a month to start, again this is all fine, I will work with you at your pace!

I will let you know when that work is complete, and send over my invoice and timer report, and we start all over again for the next month and so on.

FAQ 

When it comes to working with a VA there are always questions, and that is fine, at the end of the day this is YOUR business, and I will be supporting you, so if you have concerns or questions please tell me.

But here are some that are asked on a regular basis:

Q: Is there a minimum amount of time I can use you for?
A: Yes, I have a minimum of an hour

Q: Are the shared folders secure?
A: I use Dropbox which is secure, it is shared with you via a link that I send you.

Q: How do we stay in contact, when we are not in the office together?
A: I am online often, you can either email, Skype, Google Hangout, Facetime, Messenger, phone call, I am pretty flexible on most forms of communications.

Q: Do you work a standard 9-5, Mon-Friday?
A: No, my hours of work are flexible, I focus on deadlines, once the work has been outsourced to me, I will work the necessary hours to complete the work and get back to you within the set deadline.  I am at my desk between the hours of 0930-1530 Mon-Fri and these are the times I am contactable. There are more details in my paperwork when we agree to move forward.

Q: Do you visit?
A: If you are local and need me to visit the office or your place of work then yes this can be arranged. If it is going to be a regular thing there will be a small additional travel cost.

Q: How will you work on my tasks as well as your other clients?
A: I have a very strict working policy and routine with all my clients, I know what they are giving me, how long those tasks will take, I schedule in my time on a weekly basis.

Q: Do you work under my business name?
A: No I will always work under my business name, but should I be making calls or chasing on your behalf I will say that I am calling on your behalf your company.

These are just some of the questions I get asked regularly, I have a few blogs that cover outsourcing, but the one I have had most communication on is ‘How to stay calm when outsourcing’ – a lot of people do go into a panic when they start working with a VA for the first time, so this was just a little guide to help.

One tip from me, if you can, outsource before you feel you really need to or get someone in place for when workload takes off! This will just eliminate some stress.

Yes, please……………. 

If this is something you have been thinking about and have decided that NOW is that time, then get in touch with me, I would love to have a chat with you, and run through those things that are causing you a headache. You can either contact me via here or email me on claireb@remotedminservices.co.uk

I hope to chat with you soon and work with you to grow your business.

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8 things to outsource to a VA

8 things to outsource to your VAHaving been speaking to my clients over the years of running my VA business, the one common thing I am hearing is ‘I thought I would have more time!’ or ‘getting stressed with running out of time’ – this runs through not only my clients but most other VAs that I know all say the same.

And if you are reading this as a business owner I would imagine you can resonate with this, and once again its ok to feel like this, what you need to do is not stress about it as it is not going to make it go away.

Time Consuming Tasks

There are so many time sucking tasks that land on our desks whilst running our businesses, to the point of not knowing where to turn. I thought today I could share with you tasks you can outsource to a VA:

Social Media Support

This is one of those tasks that you could easily spend all day and all week on, it seems to be one of those that has no end, and one that always throws up more issues and things to add to your list. You need to have a presence on social media nowadays, it’s your key marketing tool. If you outsource this to your VA, you can have them partially helping you with the small things like sourcing industry specific images, to the more in-depth tasks like scheduling, creation and comment moderation.

E-Marketing

Another big one for small business owners, we need to stay in touch with our crowd and hitting their inbox or RSS blog feeds will make all the difference. Having a VA help you with such a task can free up a stupid amount of time. Again, you can go with handing over the small tasks of scheduling the e-newsletter to go out and cleaning your list of bounce backs, to scheduling in blog posts, con-tent and image sourcing. The level of what you want to hand over is up to you, but let’s face it, even if you get your VA to send out your newsletters its freeing up valuable time.

Research

Yep that dreaded task, how much time does it take you to research things? And it is one of those easy to hand over tasks.

Invoicing 

If you are running a business and have clients you have to invoice them on a regular basis, and can be time consuming especially if you have a few tricky clients that don’t exactly play by your pay-ment terms. Having to continuously chase overdue payments is demoralising for you and sucks up that valuable time!

Events

If you hold events then you will know how much time these take, it really isn’t a 5 min job and not one you can cross off your to do list in a hurry. Having a VA assisting you on an event will free up so much of your time, from pulling in venue ideas, gift ideas, drawing up guest lists, sending out save the date emails, the list is endless on what a VA can do for you on this task.

Data Entry

Whether this is CRM data entry, or a stack of business cards from an event you of if it is specific in-formation for your business, it’s a job that will suck time like no other, and you will quickly find oth-er things that need doing before data entry, why not find a VA that can take this extremely time-consuming task off your hands.

Travel Arrangements & Diary Management

If you are a regular traveller then you’ll know what must go into your itinerary, from flights to transfers, hotels, train, hotel or venue bookings, as well as the meetings that work around the itin-erary. There are a lot of things to remember, I had to do in my employed days a lot of travel ar-rangements, I had one sales guy visiting several countries in the ASPAC region so tying them all up was tricky to say the least!

Having a VA you can delegate these tasks to them, they should have an extensive knowledge of where to go and how to find the best deals etc
Whilst you are away your diary still needs to be looked after, as you will probably have a fair amount of catch up meetings on your return, having a VA to make sure you are on track will be a godsend. You do not need to have a full time PA to hand when that could be a waste of money for you

Email Management

Sometimes our email can be a huge distraction, and in this day and age it’s hard to ignore as its eve-rywhere, laptop, tablets, smart phones, you will always know when you have an email, and you feel compelled to reply straight away. Having a good VA they will be able to tidy up your inbox, create folders, unsubscribe from lists you don’t require anymore, create templates and signatures.

These are just some of the things a decent VA can do for you as a business owner. If any of these shout out to you then please do get in touch, I would love to be able to help you in your business. I have some availability through August and I am booking into September, so do get in touch if you feel this would benefit you.  And check out my latest freebie HERE

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5 Tips on staying Calm when you outsource your dream

Staying calm when you outsource

Recently we have spoken about outsourcing, what to expect and how to do it, but one of the biggies my clients have told me is staying calm, they know they are doing the right thing, but when the day comes to handing stuff over they get all jittery!

This is so normal, don’t feel that you are over reacting because you are not, remember this is your dream, you have been working on this for months if not years, this concept has been in the making for such a long time and now you are having someone else come in and start poking around in your systems, your templates, your work and it can be daunting and really unsettling.

Just make sure you follow these quick little tips:

  • Make sure you only delegate a few small things for the first few weeks
  • Make sure they are done to your satisfaction, don’t feel your VA will be annoyed at the amendments, they will be more annoyed that they haven’t done it to your complete satisfaction.
  • Communicate with your VA regularly, on a new contract for me it is normal to have a least one email a day for the first few weeks, then I find that they have become settled and more comfortable with my work so we tend to touch base once a week.
  • Don’t feel pressured, if you are not happy or you are not ready to hand more work over, be firm!
  • Enjoy! Don’t feel guilty that you have outsourced work, you need to do this to grow your business and free up your time, you are not lazy, you are being honest with yourself, you know that you need help! There is no shame in that!

If you are feeling swamped with work and you feel you could benefit from outsourcing then get in touch, will be happy to run through anything with you.  Grab my latest freebie HERE

11 Things to ask your Virtual Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

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5 things to expect from outsourcing

5 things to expect from outsourcing

Previously I have spoken about the things you should expect when working with a virtual assistant.

But what can you expect when you outsource? So you have spoken to a VA, you and told them what your pain points are, and the possible tasks you want to outsource.

5. Offload THOSE tasks! – we all have those tasks that take an age to do, or forever to get off your to do list, these could be the type of tasks that you can outsource to your new VA, it could be that type of task that would take them half an hour, where it would take you hours or days.

4. Reduced stress – Knowing that you could be working into the dead of night on the endless tasks you have, can be a real stress inducer, so knowing that you have that extra pair of hands at the ready will reduce the stress, knowing that those tasks that have taken you forever to get done are being done by your VA will reduce those stress levels.

3. Having an expert on hand – Now I am not saying your VA is the all seeing all singing superstar, but she/he will undoubtedly have a vast knowledge on may things that will help you move forward in business, and most VAs have a wide support network that they can call upon should the task or problem become troublesome.

2. More time in business – You will find that you will be gaining back more time to spend ‘IN’ your business not ‘ON’ your business, there is an enormous difference with this one. We all know that working ‘in’ your business you are working with clients, selling, making, planning whichever it is you do, basically making money, the ‘on’ the business is the amount of time you are having to spend doing the background work, emails, invoicing, marketing, advertising, social media, overdue payments, the list is endless, but these are the tasks your VA can do, which then turns your ‘on’ to ‘in’ time.

1. Happier you! – This one speaks for itself really, but yes after your initial settling in with your new VA, and things start to tick over and your business relationship grows, the less stress you will have and the happier you will be knowing that they are being taken care off, giving you that time you need to grow your dream.

If you are looking to outsource or you think you could benefit from this, then get in touch, will be more than happy to have a chat with you.  Check out my latest freebie HERE

11 Things to ask your Virtual Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

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3 things to expect when working with a VA

3 Things to expect when working with a VA

The world of outsourcing is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. It was for a long time one of those frowned upon topics, almost a dirty word. But slowly over the last 5-8yrs, this has changed and has changed for the better.

 
I think the main reason for this is the boom in small businesses, more people are realising their dream of being their own boss is in fact easily achievable, and the desire to do well is fuelling this passion too.

 
And with the influx of small businesses, the need for support has grown too, slowly people are realising they don’t have to hire someone full or part time anymore, and you don’t have to reach for the employment agencies number either, as those alternatives are costly, more so to a small but growing business.

 
People have realised that there are an alternative and one that will work hand in hand with you and your business needs, a solution that keeps you in control but frees up that time you are losing carrying out the tasks you don’t need to do.

So, what can you expect?

Reassurance – This is a biggie, a lot of clients that I have now said that when they started to plan the concept of working with a VA, they were filled with fear, for having to hand over work that they and ploughed time into or a project they have put together, or built that connection up, and fearing that handing it over to someone else is daunting. So for me, it’s always been a subtle and slow process, I would rather you handed over one or two small things a month to gain that trust and make sure that everything I am doing is to your 100% satisfaction, then and only then we can start working on other tasks. This is all about working at a pace you are happy with.

Guidance – A lot of people who start working with a VA are new to this way of working, so things won’t always come naturally to them, so for me it’s a case of making sure you have every bit of guidance you need, I will make sure that we have file sharing capabilities set up, with instructions, I will make sure I guide you through giving me permission to work on certain systems, and each step will be in line with your instructions.

Communication – This goes without saying, communication is vital in making the business relationship work, I will make sure that you get an update on tasks that I am doing for you on a weekly basis, this will mostly be via email, but we will always have ‘kick-off’ calls (skype/messenger/Google whichever is your preference) at the start of any new task you ask me to do, this is where we will go through the basic information and any visuals you may need me to have. I will keep you up to date times for the month.

These to me are 3 of the key things you should expect when working with a VA, of course, there is more, but these were the ones I felt needed explaining that they are a given!

If you are looking to outsource or you think you could benefit from this, then get in touch, will be more than happy to have a chat with you.  Check out my latest freebie HERE

 

11 Things to ask your Virtual Assistant

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