Processes and Procedures

December 10, 2011

I am an avid fan and huge proponent of having written Processes and Procedures in place for your business.   This probably stems back to my corporate days when I was the business lead for Change of Century (remember that one? LOL!) for our division of the corporation.   While creating a Processes and Procedures guide or manual may seem like a lot of work when starting from scratch, it is essential to document in detail what you do, how you do it, who is involved, and what to do if something happens to you.

Sadly, this recently came into play when a client passed away (RIP Mark C).   His staff contacted me to take down his website and paypal account because the orders couldn’t be fulfilled (and weren’t really a top priority at the moment).  It was several days after his passing and it got me thinking about the overwhelming task his family and staff will be facing as reality sets in and things need to be handled.

  • Do you have a Processes and Procedures guide or manual in place now?
  • If you have one, when was it last updated?
  • Do you have someone delegated to step in should something happen?

This is especially important for small business owners.   Who will communicate to your customers?

I know ;) you are building your GOALS list for 2012, so it is the perfect time to address the need for a Processes and Procedures guide – or at least, review and update your current guide.

If you need assistance putting your Processes and Procedures guide together, contact me, or your virtual assistant and get it done!

Just some thought provoking information you may want to consider.

Best to you,
Jan

Resume Writing Tips

August 30, 2011

Good Day All,

As a general services virtual assistant, I help clients with a diverse range of services.  Over the past few months,  I have been inundated with requests to assist clients/potential clients with writing their resume.  Seriously, crazy numbers of people have been contacting me.  Yay!  In the current marketplace and sheer volume of candidates seeking the best positions, your resume must be high-impact to get you in the door for that all important interview.resume writing tip

While some resumes have some basic big mistakes, in my opinion, there are several things I keep having to address and wanted to put a couple of tips out here.

1) Create your resume specifically for the position you are seeking.  This means you will need to recreate your resume each time you apply for a position – yes, a little time consuming but very important!

2) Keep it 1-2 pages.  A resume isn’t the vehicle to get you the job, it is the tool to get you into the interview where you get to shine and embellish!

3) Be brief but concise with relevant information, successes, and use action words.  Focus on the actions that led to great results not your responsibilities.  You want this potential employer to relate to how you will be a benefit to their organization.

4)  Don’t send a resume printed on an ink jet printer – you know why.

5) Always include a stunning cover letter.

Good luck!
Jan

As a virtual assistant offering Social Media assistance with everything from set up to ongoing posting/maintenance, I am a proponent of using social media to market and propel your business upward.

While there are a vast number of mistakes (some obvious, others not so much!) that I’ve discussed with clients and via blogs and my social media networks, one I’d like to write about today is the importance of evaluating your results.

social media logosYou need to have ways to measure your social media marketing results, otherwise you won’t know if your efforts are worthwhile.  You may be excited to see your friends and followers increasing each month but how many are paying attention to your messages?  Are they looking into and buying your products or services?  Decide on the best metrics that make sense for you and your business (i.e.: click-throughs to your website;  sales resulting from social media site referrals; exclusive social media network coupons being redeemed, etc.).  Analyze and document these results.  It will be extremely helpful to know what’s working and what needs to be improved in order to get the results you desire.

Tip: Set some goals for yourself and be dedicated to achieving them.

Need help – contact me!
Best to you,
Jan

It is the half-year mark and wanted to check in with you to see how you are doing on reaching your annual goals.  Is it going well?  If not, can you analyze each goal and see where you can make adjustments/improvements?

Personally, I’ve encountered so many obstacles thus far in 2011 – things I never imagined – my business and personal goals are way off track at this moment.  However, I will not let this impede my efforts in moving forward to achieve my goals … plus I still have 6 months before I tally up the score for the year.

Best to you,
Jan

I have been known to discuss why we shouldn’t be too open with personal information on Social Media Networks (SMNs), especially when teens are involved.

As a virtual assistant, I’ve been in the thick of SMNs for several years now and help my clients set up their networks.  It is an exciting way to share information with the masses and an exceptional tool for business owners to market their business.  Friends and family members are connecting here, too, more readily than via email these days.  However, when utilizing this for personal engagement, especially those with teenagers need to be fully aware of what information is being posted for public consumption.

Reinforcing this thought is this Yahoo news link I found this morning.  Thieves have found a way to guess pertinent information via information posted on SMNs like your Social Security Number 8.5% of the time for people born since 1989.

My advice, remove or hide key information on your SMNs.  Need help?  Contact me and I’ll help you protect your information.

Best to you,
Jan

Work From Home

January 3, 2011

Watch this video with Tory Johnson about working from home that my long-time friend, Imo, shared with me.  This contains really great information and thought provoking dialouge for those considering starting a work from home adventure.work from home video Tory Johnson

Go for it!  If nothing else, lay out some goals for this brand new year to get yourself on the path to where you REALLY want to be!

Best to you!
Jan

 

Searching for End of the Year deals on electronic equipment?

Here are a few of my favorite picks for best deals.  online shopping cart

  • TigerDirect.com
  • newegg.com
  • amazon.com

For example, I have been considering buying a second monitor to make my life easier when assisting my virtual clients.  TigerDirect has a dozen or so, up to 20″, all under $100!

Happy Bargain Hunting and Happy New Year!
Jan

It is amazing to me how fast time is flying by!  Remember, when you were 14 and you couldn’t wait to turn 16 so you could drive?  Personally it seems like the years are getting shorter even though the calendar still has 365 days to check off.

My point?  2010 is almost over and I haven’t mapped out my goals for 2011 yet – have you?  There are still a few items to check off my 2010 list and frankly, I don’t know if I’ll achieve them in the next few weeks.  However, I can add them to next year with a higher level of attention.  All in all , I’m happy with what I HAVE achieved overall in 2010.

Now that I’ve planted this seed, it is time to get cracking on your 2011 goals list.  And, it is best to WRITE them down.  Start with at least 1 goal for each of the following categories: Financial, Career, Relationships (family/friends),  Free Time, Health, and Personal Goals.

Best to you,
Jan

Sedentary Desk Work

October 22, 2010

I knew the sedentary work of a virtual assistant (or any desk career) wasn’t a virtual assistant at desk EVAgood thing, but this news report on ABC last night was a bit shocking albeit believable.  I think I’m going to get out my exercise ball to use as my office chair again since I won’t be installing a treadmill desk anytime soon!  LOL!

For the full scoop, here’s a link to the report http://bit.ly/b3lIbp

Another tip I used to use all the time was set a timer for 1 hour and place it in an adjacent room.  After that hour of sitting/working on your project, stand up and stretch for a minute or so, then walk out to the timer and reset it for another hour.  This not only helps your body, it also clears your mind for better concentration.

If you have a tip, please submit it via the comments area!

Best to you,
Jan

TIP: Airline Tickets

September 3, 2010

When making travel arrangements for myself or my virtual clients, I

travel tips1) check an all around travel website i.e. Yahoo Travel, Expedia;

2) start with the best ticket that suits my needs and check that carriers website for the same flights;

3) call the carrier direct to see what they offer;

4) if that price is higher than what I found online I advise them and say something like, “well I tried to book it on the internet but it wouldn’t let me”.  They usually give you the www price or extra off for the pain and suffering!

Try it next time you book a flight – hopefully it will be soon and traveling for FUN!

Best to you,
Jan