I received a referral from a client yesterday who had given my contact information to a friend.   This particular client has known me for about 30 years (since I was a teen) and knows my extensive and diverse background.  Not sure of what this potential new client might need, she suggested to call me.

After speaking with the potential client and finding out she wanted me to help her with sales – calls and in person – I told her it didn’t appear to be a good fit for me/my business at this time.  She told me about her/their project and the item they would be selling and it sparked my interest.  I think her/their idea is fabulous.  We decided to meet later today to discuss it and view the rough draft of the item which is going to print later today.

I thought more about it through the morning and decided to rescind our meeting and my assisting with this sales project.  However, if she needed assistance with social media marketing, creating effective marketing pieces, or building a web presence, this IS what I do as a virtual assistant.  It felt GREAT to say “no” to a project that doesn’t fit my business.

yes noIt may have seemed indecisive because while I really want to help people achieve their goals and ease their anxiety/stress, I had to stay true to what my goals and desires are for my business.

I just read an article by Donna Toothaker (love her!) on being passionate about your own business and how saying “yes” to a project that you really don’t want to do isn’t fair to you or your client.  True!

Best to you,
Jan

Cell Phone Contact List

January 10, 2013

I bet you never think about how many people you connect with in a year.  New potential clients, new subcontractors, other virtual assistants, people you meet at networking groups, other parents at school, someone in cell address bookyour church group, babysitters, etc.  I am known for grabbing my cell, plugging in their name and number and that’s it… done, right?  Great plan if you always have your cell and it operates perfectly.  Mine did or at least I thought so until just after the new year when all of my contacts vanished.  Now what was my babysitter’s number?  Her mom’s number?  My other babysitter’s number?  Hope I don’t have a date next week … LOL!

This post is to remind you to take a little time to either download or jot down all of the contact information that currently resides in your cell phone.   The start of the new year is probably a good time to complete this task – akin to changing the batteries in the smoke detector ;-)

Just my suggestion!
Best to you,
Jan

Here’s some helpful information regarding the upcoming changes to Facebook business pages.  It’s concise and easy to digest.

All pages will move to the new format on March 30, 2012.  I suggest previewing your page in the new format soon (by hitting the Preview button in the top right corner) and take the new features out for a test drive.  You may elect to move to the format early!

Plus, a great link directly to Facebook for more detail.      Facebook social media networking with your virtual assistant

If you get stuck, or need assistance – contact me or your virtual assistant.

Best to you,
Jan

Work / Life Balance

March 2, 2012

I love owning my own business and wouldn’t want to change anything as being a virtual assistant has been an amazing career thus far.  However, sometimes it is difficult to find the best solutions to obtain a work/life balance that fits.

I have found that setting boundaries is crucial but also keep in mind that you don’t have to be super-woman.  To achieve a balance between work and home life, you should know and understand your priorities—and it is vital to cut yourself some slack!

You need to realize that for your career and family life to flourish, you will probably need to adjust your standards when it comes to the some things at home like cleaning and cooking – they may need to slide.  This was extremely difficult for me to accept especially when it came to the cleaning side.  However, try mapping out a comfortable number of home-cooking and cleaning days/times (even schedule it on your calendar), then let the rest go.  And, don’t stress over it.

If you are a virtual assistant or other stay-at-home professional, you will find your workflow will improve because you can stay focused on client work knowing that your family life time is scheduled.

Your kids would rather have you take the time (schedule this, too) and engage with them directly even if it is to just sit down and read a book, color, or play cards with them vs. scrubbing the toilet or cleaning the floor – try it one time and you’ll see it in their eyes.  They will feel important and that is priceless!

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

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

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

Facebook for Your Business

October 14, 2010

As a virtual assistant, I/we are known for being internet and tech savvy professionals.  Lately, I am receiving more and more requests from clients and potential clients about building their Social Media Networks.  I am thrilled to do so, but if they elect to go at it alone, I advise to proceed with caution.  While I personally use several networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are my favorites), today I want to write about Facebook Pages for business.

With Facebook, many people are unaware that it is a VIOLATION to have more than 1 account (i.e. personal profile and a business profile).  This is clearly defined on Facebook, but to reiterate, “”Maintaining multiple accounts, regardless of the purpose, is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use. If you already have a personal account, then we cannot allow you to create business accounts for any reason. You can manage all the Pages and Socials Ads that you create on your personal account.”

The first thing you need to do is set up your personal profile, from there you add a “Page” for your business.  This exudes a professional online presence where people can “like” your page vs. having “friends”.  Your new business page is easily managed from your FB profile.  My suggestion is to post information regularly (weekly at the very minimum) to lay out your business page with information useful for visitors so they will choose to “like” your page.   Facebook like button

Your continued activity and sharing of information on your page will likely (pun intended) garner you followers and assist in building your online network.

Need help?  Contact me!

Best to you,
Jan
FB=EVA-Electronic Virtual Assistant, Professional Business Solutions
Twitter=@evapbs
LinkedIn=linkedin.com/in/janclarkeva

6 Years Ago Today…

September 9, 2010

6 years ago today I launched my eva-colo website telling the world my virtual assistance business was officially open!  Of course, I’m totally revamping the site now, again :) I love what I do and am SO very appreciative of my clients – they/you are the best!  Thank you.

I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by.

Best to you,

Jan

Favorite Social Network

June 30, 2010

Just got off the telephone with one of my clients.  Part of our conversation was about social networks and which ones we like and/or find most valuable.  His personal favorite choices are: FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  He is a very successful Realtor(R) and feels itsocial network is very important to be on Facebook.

What social network is your favorite?

I use all 3 social networks – FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn along with a couple of others Biznik, StumbleUpon, and RainToday.   Keeping my own accounts active is my biggest challenge but I know that continued activity is key to spreading the word/s.  The personal side of these accounts can be a vortex and before you know it, you’ve spent 2 hours catching up with friends you haven’t communicated with in years!

Tips for entrepreneurs/business owners:

1)  select 2 or 3 networks that fit you/your business;
2)  make sure you keep active in and on your social networks of choice;
3)  admitting you need some help isn’t bad – knowing you need help and not asking for it is bad! :)

If you need assistance getting started in social networking or just need help now that you are up and running – hire me! or a savvy virtual assistant who can post polished, relevant information regarding you and your business.

Best to you,
Jan