Bookkeeping is central to business operations regardless of how big or small an organization is. While a small business owner may have some idea of managing and tracking cash flow, the truth is many are not trained to do that, although some could be. The fact of the matter is bookkeeping is painstaking work. It requires time and keen attention to detail — something you won’t have if you are untrained and too busy running your business. Any mistakes you make can cost you dearly.
While bookkeeping is part of business, it is a tedious task that can swallow your time and attention — especially as your business grows. Likely with business growth, there will come a time you will want to consider outsourcing your bookkeeping — and a virtual bookkeeper is a great option. Here are four reasons why.
They help you save time and money.
As a small business owner, you might not have the resources to hire a bookkeeper in-house. With a virtual bookkeeper at the helm, you don’t have to pay for sick and overtime pay and social security benefits to reap the same quality output an in-house bookkeeper can provide. A virtual bookkeeper does the same work as a physical bookkeeper yet you don’t have to pay for office space, furniture, and office supplies they will need. Additionally, they can do menial tasks for you such as filing your tax returns on time, financial reconciliations, and data entry — all of which take time from actually running your business.
They monitor your cash flow.
Monitoring what you spend and earn is an important task yet one that can also eat up a lot of your time. A virtual bookkeeper, on the other hand, has time to gather, enter, and organize data to evaluate your profit, capital expenditures, and profit margins. They can also deal with delinquent accounts that have yet to pay you what they owe.
They offer accurate and real-time financial reporting.
When you become more involved in other aspects of your business, bookkeeping tends to be put on the back burner — which in turn can lead to painful mistakes. A virtual bookkeeper ensures that the data entries are always up-to-date. Both you and your virtual bookkeeper can access and change data real-time as they would use cloud technology that will allow you access to your data anywhere you are where there’s an internet connection. Also, with a third party involved in your finance work, you benefit from an unbiased opinion concerning the financial state of your business. With a more objective view of your financials, you can make better-informed decisions that could impact your business.
They give you peace of mind and help you focus on growing your business.
Because they take a lot of load off your shoulders, you can prioritize other crucial tasks in your business such as meeting with potential partners and clients. You can rest assured in the fact that there is someone who is handling your accounting for you.
Because of the variety of benefits that a virtual bookkeeper can offer to your business, it makes sense to try hiring one for your needs. You inevitably need someone trustworthy and competent enough to handle your financials, especially when your business is quickly growing.
If you’re looking for a professional VA to assist you, My BTLR is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.
As restaurant owners don’t set up shop just to be cooks and dishwashers, you didn’t choose to be a solopreneur just to tend to emails and follow up on appointments with clients. While you may like to do most or some of these menial tasks, there are other priorities you have to deal with. It’s crucial to shift your attention to these important tasks so you can grow your business effectively.
When you’re at a point where juggling admin duties and money making endeavors are beginning to strain you and your business, it’s time to get some help. Perhaps you have heard of the term “virtual assistant,” but you don’t know what the word means. As the name implies, virtual assistants (VAs) are individuals whom you can rely on to do your admin tasks without having to be physically present at your place of business.
Thanks to the rise of the internet, you can have virtual assistants working remotely from other cities, states, time zones, or countries for as long as they have a stable internet connection and technology to do the tasks you assign them.
One of the best things about VA services is the only cost you will have to pay for the time used. This means you save money compared to hiring an employee on things like employee downtime, payroll taxes, benefits, vacation pay, workers compensation, overhead, etc. — all the things associated with having an employee in the office.
There seem to a lot of misconceptions floating around when it comes to virtual assistants. To help you separate fact from fiction, here are four of the most common misconceptions employers have about virtual assistants.
Wrong Idea No. 1: Only big companies can afford to hire VAs
The fact is small startups and corporate giants alike can hire VAs. The only difference is that the number of VAs each company may need to employ can be very different. While a solopreneur like you may do just fine with a single virtual assistant, larger companies may need to have more, depending on the size and geography of their business operations.
Wrong Idea No. 2: The only thing VAs can do is administrative work
What can a small business owner let a VA do? That depends on your needs and on the capacities of the VA you hire. If your VA has a background in finance and accounting, then you can let them handle your bookkeeping tasks.
Professionals such as lawyers often hire VAs as researchers or librarians to assist them in their work and you can do the same if you have no time for research related to your business. You can let them write your business blog, proofread your letters, and make promotional videos and graphics.
These advanced tasks are on top of the admin duties they have to do such as checking emails, following up with clients, paying your business bills online, and even recruiting new staff.
Do you see how much time you can save and productivity you can reap from having even just one VA?
Wrong Idea No. 3: You can only have short-term VAs
The length of time that a VA will work for you depends on the ebbs and flows of your business. The person who can best determine how long you will need a VA in the long-term is none other than you. If you think you will need someone to keep your books or keep content releases for your website steady for a year or more, then you might need a VA willing to develop their career and skills with you. As your business grows and administrative tasks become more complicated, you might need another VA in addition to the one you already have.
Wrong Idea No. 4: All VAs can work 24/7
Some VAs handle other people’s admin matters and not just yours. While this does not mean they won’t give enough attention to your needs, it means you should not assume they are someone you can call any time of the day and any day of the week. VAs, no matter where they are based, need time to rest. If you want a VA who is always at your beck and call, you must indicate that in the job description.
Are you looking for a virtual assistant? My BTLR is here to help! Contact us today to see what we can do for you.
Increased productivity is one of the things many working professionals and entrepreneurs strive for in their job — and one of the ways to increase productivity is to hire a virtual assistant. However, even after you have done this, there are other things that you can do to take productivity to a completely new level. Below are four apps that will help you and your virtual assistant to be even more productive.
When everyone knows the goals of a project, the tasks that need to be done, the deadline, and the current progress of each person, productivity goes up significantly. Asana offers you the ability to keep track of all these things and more! It allows you to manage your team, assign tasks, and let employees know what needs to be done. Responsibilities are clearly assigned to each member, meaning that people are held accountable for their work. This will increase productivity and enhance work quality. Asana also allows you to set tasks, prioritize them, and set a deadline. This means that your team will know where to focus their efforts first, ensuring that the task is done on time.
Furthermore, you can coordinate tasks and communicate ideas on the app, allowing everyone to see it at once. A vast improvement to slow email communication, Asana is perfect for making sure that everyone on your team is on the same page.
You know that effective communication is crucial for productivity. However, sometimes even written messages are not effective enough to convey new concepts or ideas. Loom offers a solution to this problem by allowing you to send video-voice messages, voice recordings, or plain old video messages to your team. This is a great way of providing a “how to” guide and showing visual ideas. By creating a prerecorded video or message, you don’t have to waste time writing long emails or messages. Furthermore, since it is a recording, you can send it to your team from anywhere, eliminating the need for a meeting, a huge time waster that negatively impacts productivity. If you need to show your virtual assistant how to do a task, Loom is the perfect tool.
Having a strong social media presence is becoming more and more necessary for businesses worldwide. This means consistently posting content and marketing to your audience on various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Managing so many different accounts is time-consuming. Fortunately, you can streamline this process using Hootsuite. The app allows you to manage all of your social media accounts from a single dashboard. This can save you a lot of time in the long run and allow you to get on with more important work.
A fantastic feature to ensure that you are posting new content consistently is the scheduling tool on Hootsuite. This tool allows to upload content in advance and set a time and date for it to be posted. Once you’ve uploaded and scheduled everything using the tool, the posts will be published automatically when the scheduled date arrives. This allows you to plan posts for weeks in advance without having to worry about it until the final post is made.
4) G Suite from Google
G Suite has many useful tools for increasing business productivity including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and more. For example, Google Docs allows teams to share documents and let others view or edit them. This is great for content creation as writers can upload their files and allow you or an editor to quality check it. There is also Gmail that allows each employee to have a dedicated company email. This means all company-related communication won’t be lost amongst personal emails or put in the spam folder, helping communication to be more effective. Google Hangouts is also useful for video conferencing with your virtual assistant and team, allowing you to talk quickly and in real time. This, again, helps improve productivity.
If you’re looking to scale your business, you may want to hire a VA. My BLTR is one of the best places to find a virtual assistant. Contact us today and see what we can do for you!
If you own a startup, you may have wondered why you haven’t seen as much growth as you’d have expected. Perhaps you’ve been seeing new businesses growing in the industry growing much faster than you have, even when they started out much later than you. So what are they doing differently that you are not? Here is what you should know.
Maybe they’ve had help.
Instead of trying to do everything yourself – to save money – you should be looking at prioritizing where your time is spent and concentrating on activities that bring in the most revenue. For the necessary, but non-revenue generating tasks, you should consider getting help – and that’s where a virtual assistant comes in. A great virtual assistant is efficient and costs effective too – you only pay for what you need (unlike hiring employees). Plus, if you need specific task specialization, you can use multiple virtual assistants when and if needed.
Here are a few reasons why virtual assistants can boost startup growth:
Maximize Your Resources
It is common knowledge that startup businesses are not rich in resources. You may have the ideas that can make you money, but you just don’t have the funds to make it grow as fast as you’d like. That means you need to make the most out of the dollars you do have and resources that are available to you.
Deal With Minor Tasks
If you are like most startup owners, chances are you are always busy and don’t have the time to complete all the little tasks that need to be done. You end up leaving emails unanswered, your social media neglected, and the CRM tool you bought is left unused. Sometimes you don’t even know what task you should check off the list first. All the pressure will end up stressing you out. Virtual assistants can take care of these little things so you can focus on more pressing things that can actually create growth for your business. Better yet, you can take a break and relax once in a while.
It isn’t all that easy to train new hires simply because it will take time away from other crucial activities. Virtual assistants who already have all the skills needed to tackle the tasks for your business can significantly bring value to the company. Some might say they only come with simple and low-level skills, but there are loads of virtual assistants out there who possess higher-level skills, including those relating to problem-solving, information processing, and organizing.
Connecting With Customers
Nowadays, customers expect response times to be faster than ever. According to a recent survey, 62% of companies don’t respond to customer service emails. This is another reason why you need virtual assistants. In short, virtual assistants can help improve your response times and retain your customers in the process.
What can a virtual assistant do for me?
If you are struggling to juggle every task all at once, a virtual assistant might just be the key for you. Not only do they have the skills needed for your business, they are also capable of developing strategies and staying connected with customers. A virtual assistant is a perfect choice for you if you need help growing your business without having to go through the trouble of hiring and training a full-time employee.
My BTLR provides high-quality, productive virtual assistants for your business. Get in touch today to see how we can help!
If you are a professional with a blog, chances are you occasionally find it hard to keep up with online trends and quality content to engage your followers. Keeping an eye out for what your target audience is interested in — and is talking about — is crucial as a blogger. When it comes to content writing, timing, and consistency, it can be hard to do all this on your own — unless perhaps you are a full-time blogger. If you’ve got a busy schedule, and still want to remain timely and relevant to your target audience, you should consider hiring a virtual assistant to help you with your blog.
What can a virtual assistant do for my blog?
A virtual assistant can keep track of your target audience's social media trends and what they are interested in. They may also be able to write content for you that is relevant to your audience. If you don't have the best writing skills or struggle to come up with topics to write about, why not look for a great virtual assistant who is qualified to help? Maybe you don't understand SEO (search engine optimization) or how to market your products or services online effectively. A virtual assistant can do all this and more. They will also be able to collect analytics on which marketing strategy is most effective and which posts are getting the most views. In addition to your blog, a virtual assistant can also manage your social media and other marketing tasks leaving you to focus on the business side of things. Here are three specific things they can help with:
1. Quality Content
You will want to discuss your overall vision with your virtual assistant, but overall, he or she will be able to help you create, plan, and write out your content. They will have knowledge of marketing strategies as well as how to engage readers and will be able to bring your content vision to life. Let the professional actually create the content while you throw in your ideas so that they can make your vision a reality. Your virtual assistant will have knowledge of how SEO works and how to add keywords to the content to strengthen your rankings in search engines, further increasing your organic traffic. They will provide the knowledge and skills while you give them ideas on how you want it to look.
You will definitely want someone who is extremely organized. After all, your work needs to be done on time and be of quality standards. As your blog attracts more newcomers, work will increase. Your virtual assistant will need to be able to handle the workload in a timely fashion. They must also be able to get things done correctly, especially since they are not in an office. When it comes to social media, they need to be able to respond promptly and accurately. Answering emails and other inquiries from existing and potential customers is crucial. Excellent customer service can never go wrong. Be sure that you stress organization to your new virtual assistant and make sure that they understand the schedules and what is expected of them. They need to keep everything tidy, checked, and up to date!
Your virtual assistant should have some sort of knowledge in marketing. If they are promoting your blog to catch the attention of search engine algorithms, they will need to know not only how it works but how to initiate advertising. They must be able to handle all your advertising and marketing efforts, create campaigns, and keep track of analytics across all advertising platforms and social media. As important as content is, writing it isn’t the only thing you’ll have to do!
My BTLR provides high-quality, productive virtual assistants for your business. Get in touch today to see how we can help!
Managing your social media accounts can take up a lot of your time and effort — and as a business owner, chances are you have something more important to do. If your day is filled with optimizing sales and managing employees, social media may be the least of your concerns at the moment. However, you have to realize that today, social media is one of the most powerful branding tools in the world. This means you shouldn’t completely neglect the idea of trying to work on it.
If you’re looking to improve your social media strategy but you don’t have the manpower or expertise on the matter, a virtual assistant may be your best bet.
Here are five reasons why a virtual assistant is crucial to the success of your social media campaign:
1. Saves Time and Effort
The most important metrics in social media are brand awareness, engagement, and reach. The goals for these metrics can only be met with consistent work and constant adjustments of your campaign. As a growing company, it’s typically not the best use of your time and budget to hire a dedicated, full-time social media manager. That’s not a problem you’ll likely run into when you work with a VA, as they require minimal resources and can be assigned to focus on one single task.
This means consistency and expertise are something they are dedicated to delivering, and that will surely yield a better payoff than if you were to train an employee to do it. You can have more than one VA to promote more content, adjust your ad targeting, and do market research. No matter what you’re looking to do with your social media campaign, your VAs can get it done for you.
The trick is to clearly and effectively communicate with your VA, as they have to understand your brand concept and messaging in order to maximize your social media success.
2. More Timely Posts
If you post on random times at your convenience, your followers won’t know when to expect your content. This will result in engagement rate fluctuation on each post depending on when you post your content. You have to know when is the best time to post your content and stick to that timeframe. The problem with that is you don’t always have time to do it, so your valuable content gets pushed back further and further until it loses relevance. If this is a problem you’re struggling with, maybe it’s time to hire yourself a VA. They can help you do research for your content, make infographics that convey the idea, and most importantly, keep your posting schedule consistent and regular. While there are lots of great tools for managing social media and post, someone still has to maintain the content, schedule, and quality. This is a great job for a VA.
3. Better Engagement
Another critical aspect of social media management is audience engagement, and the administrator has a lot to do with the effectiveness of this. If the admin sounds like a robot, or if they rarely ever interact with followers, your audience can quickly lose interest in your page and your brand. A VA can ensure you are always interacting with your audience and provide them with good customer service and great brand experience. This way, you can be sure that no matter which direction you’re hoping to take your page, there will be a group of followers waiting to support you as you have supported them.
4. Improved Ad Targeting
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools in the market at promoting your products and brand. Thanks to the extensive and detailed ads targeting tools and analytics tracker within most platforms, you can fine-tune your advertisements to have maximum return on your investment. Your VA can help you research how you should look to target your ads and implement these changes.
5. Real-time Adjustments to Campaign
Another great benefit of having a dedicated VA is they can monitor your campaign to ensure you are getting the best results possible. Analytics and KPIs tell you a lot about how your campaign is doing and how to improve it, but it can be a lot of work to track what’s happening at all times. A dedicated VA can help you to track these numbers and make adjustments as needed so you can always stay ahead of the game in the marketing department.
My BTLR's virtual assistants can help you get your social media strategy on track. Call us today to find out how.
Customer service is a crucial aspect for any business selling products or services. Excellent customer care can dictate your sales and customer satisfaction.
The person who comes into contact with your clients is a representative of your brand. They may be the very first person your potential customer speaks to, meaning you will want someone who is responsive, helpful, informed, and friendly. Here are a few reasons why you should outsource a virtual assistant to handle your customer care rather than hiring someone in-house:
They Can Handle Help Desk Queries and Information
Virtual Assistants will be able to respond to customers in a timely manner. They will answer any questions or queries that may come up, as well as give out information that might be needed. You have enough on your plate to handle without taking care of customer service as well. It’s best to bring on some help. Your online messages should be taken care of by your virtual assistant. This is a great way to convert potential customers into actual customers. Good customer service will always win over companies with poor customer service, despite the same standard of products.
They Will Help Explain and Sell Your Brand
Virtual Assistants are able to help by being a salesperson for your brand. Excellent customer service can bring in more interested customers and may increase sales. By answering customer inquiries, you are showing that your company cares about making sure that the consumers are happy and well-informed rather than just concerned about profits.
They Can Easily Be Trained
Make sure your virtual assistant knows what you're selling, what the prices of your products are, and how to proceed when they need help. The best thing to do is to create an FAQ to explain things in a more friendly and readable manner. Reading long blocks of text will cause employees eyes to glaze over and may affect how much they really understand. List these questions in a way that they are categorized so that your assistant can quickly find the information they need when they are responding to customer inquiries.
They Will Save You Time for Other Business
Hiring a customer service representative will allow you to focus on other pressing matters that only you can handle. It is important that you have excellent customer care. A professional can take care of these needs while you can work on the business side of things. There are so many things to do, and if you were doing customer service on top of all those things, your responses may not be as accurate or timely as they would be if someone were helping you out with it. A virtual assistant can take these duties off your hands so that you can work on growing your brand.
They Can Be Versatile
Be sure to monitor what is being said about your company online. Having a good customer service representative means that your online presence and reputation will grow. Find out what people are saying about your customer service. A virtual assistant may be able to help you with monitoring as well as other tasks to help grow your business.
We provide virtual assistants that can help with a range of tasks, get in touch today to see how we can help!
If you’ve already turned your startup into a functioning business, it might be time to start getting some help and taking some of the work off your shoulders. After all, you can’t do everything yourself.
Because you now know the ins and outs of your business, you can easily hand it over to another person, like a virtual assistant, after teaching them the processes you are familiar with. Give them the rundown about how you run your business, what expectations you have, and what works best for you and how you like it.
Need some convincing? Here are some great reasons to hire a virtual assistant:
It allows you to focus on more important tasks.
Give yourself the time to do bigger, more important things and leave the daily duties to a virtual assistant.
Instead of working on draining customer service, emails, social media accounts and other time-consuming things you’ve been doing all by yourself, spend that time to run your business and work on being present at meetings and other important networking work that needs to be done.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with smaller tasks that someone else could be taking care of. Keep your business going while you both separately work at the success of your company. Outsourcing can really be the best thing you can do for the success of your company.
Improve customer service.
Dealing with customers can be quite a hassle and may just add more unwanted stress to your already busy life. If you think you could be spending your time doing better things rather than trying to handle customer issues, it is definitely an indication that outsourcing your work could be the answer. A virtual assistant can help get the burden off your chest. They can be your front line and answer any questions customers might have — and know when to get you involved for escalated issues. You can then put your time, energy and attention to other tasks you need to pursue to grow your business.
Part-time costs with full-time availability.
You may not need a full-time assistant. With a virtual assistant, you only paying for what you need and don’t have the burden of a full-time salary, benefits, and other employment related costs. You also don’t pay for downtime, space, and equipment necessary for them to do their job.
Virtual assistant rates can vary. Many charge by the hour, some may charge per task or project, while some will accept a flat rate for a certain amount of time. Whether you pay by the hour, the task, or for a block of time, make sure you are tracking what they are doing and seeing your expected result.
If you are willing to look internationally, you can get really low rates from virtual assistant websites or freelancers online. However, keep in mind that you will get what you pay for. Make sure that the person you’re hiring has the experience and expertise you need for whatever role you will have them do. Hiring internationally also opens you up to other issues such as fraud, data protection issues, etc., so make sure you know who you are dealing with.
If you are very busy and are willing who pay a higher rate, you can hire a remote executive assistant who will basically help you handle multiple things rather than just one role. A person who is an all-around assistant can do a wide range of business and personal tasks on your behalf. They will act as your right-hand person and can assist you with whatever needs you might have.
My BTLR specializes in providing virtual assistants to SMEs and entrepreneurs. Get in touch today to see how we can help. Our assistants are USA-based, background checked and ready to start helping you.
Interviewing can be quite daunting and intimidating but there are some things you need to ask to make sure you will be confident with your new hire and that you will get along well. Here are some questions that might help:
What’s your story? How did you end up as a Virtual Assistant?
This is a great opening question to get to know your new virtual assistant. This may also give you a little insight and backstory to who they are, where their values lie, and break the ice so you both feel more comfortable with each other. Through answering this question, they will also show their ability to sell themselves, which is a win for you.
What are your core skills? Give me examples of your experience with customers.
Another opened-ended ice-breaking question. This offers them an opportunity to tell you, specifically, about their strengths, and what their experiences with other people.
If I asked you to perform a task, and after accepting it you realized you couldn’t do it on your own, what would you do?
Most virtual assistants will take on tasks they are not completely confident in because they enjoy a challenge and because they don’t want to seem incapable. Keep a close eye on their answer whether they seem like they never previously thought about it or if they have already experienced this. Find out whether they would try to complete the task or would go to you for assistance.
Do you currently have another client? If so, how many hours do you work each week? What time zone are you in and what hours are you available?
You’re looking for someone who will be committed to you. Even if the role is temporary, ensure they have enough time to provide the services you need — when you need them
How long were you with your previous client and why did you leave?
Online and digital work moves fast and understanding why their last job ended and how long it lasted can give you a better idea of their commitment level.
Have you worked in a call center before?
The idea here is to gauge their experience with customer service. Customer service is a fundamental skill that is hard to teach, but easy to learn if the experience is there. While your virtual assistant likely won’t be working in this environment for you, call centers teach these skills and you might be able to benefit from it.
What is your least favorite task and why? Would you be OK with this type of task if it wasn’t regular?
Nobody likes to work on things which they aren’t good at or don’t like to do. Respecting that, or at least understanding it will help the assistant feel like a valued part of your team.