The Admin Guru Blog

Welcome to the Admin Guru blog, where we shine a spotlight on the questions, facts and general information about Virtual Assistants, and how Virtual Assistants can support you and your business in a variety of ways. 
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You’ve taken the time to research and choose the VA you think will be the right fit for you and your business. Congratulations! This is the beginning of what should be a hugely beneficial and profitable partnership for both of you. But, before you can reap the rewards, there are a few things you need to do to maximise this remote working relationship and ensure your VA is as productive as possible.


Here are a few tips to help get you started:



Start Off On The Right Foot With a Good Onboarding Process


The first step towards success is an efficient onboarding process to get your VA up to speed as quickly as possible. This should include getting all the relevant contact info, discussing preferred communication methods, and establishing clear expectations and goals. Being as clear and concise as possible in outlining what you need will save you both time and frustration down the road.



Make Communication a Priority


Communication is key in any relationship, and it’s especially important when working with a remote team. One thing to consider is how often you will be in communication with each other. The best way to ensure that communication between you and your VA runs smoothly is to have a designated plan for how you will be in touch. Decide on the frequency of check-ins (will they be weekly or monthly), and what type of communication (e.g. email, instant messenger, phone call) will be used. This will help avoid any miscommunication, ensure that both of you are always on the same page, and help keep everyone organised and on track.



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Give Your VA All the Information They Need


Your VA is not a mind reader, so make sure you give them as much information as possible upfront to avoid them having to spend time searching for files or trying to track down access permissions. This could include everything from contact lists, files and passwords to specific instructions on how you want things done. Think about everything they need to do their job effectively - the more organised and prepared you are, the smoother your working relationship will be.




Establish Clear Working Routines, Deadlines, & Boundaries


When working with a virtual assistant, one of the most important things to establish is clear working routines and deadlines. Will the hours worked be in a single block or split across the week? What are the specific deadlines that need to be met? Clarity here is key in ensuring that you and your VA can work productively together towards common goals and there is no confusion or overlap in work. It's also important to set boundaries - this is a professional relationship and separating work and personal time is essential.



Agree On Deadlines For Checking & Approving Work


If you are handing work off to a virtual assistant, it’s important that you agree on deadlines for checking and approving the work. This will help ensure that everything flows smoothly and there are no misunderstandings about what is expected. If your VA needs something checking, ensure you are aware of the appropriate deadlines (for example, checking scheduled social media posts before they are published).



Any Relationship Worth Having Takes Communication & Effort


Finally, remember this is a two-way business relationship. A remote working relationship with a virtual assistant takes communication and effort from both parties in order to be successful. Don’t forget to take the time to commend your VA on a job well done and be open to feedback so that you can continue working together in a productive and efficient manner. Your VA is there to help make your life easier - make the most of their skills and knowledge and, most importantly, enjoy the benefits of having an extra set of hands to help get the job done!



Managing a remote working relationship with a virtual assistant can seem daunting at first, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to a more productive, efficient work life.


Happy remote working! :)


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Starting a business can be both exciting and scary. It is often difficult to know where to start, how to get customers, or what you should do next. There’s so much to do that it can be difficult to stay on top of everything, and it’s easy to get stuck in the smaller, daily tasks of running a business. Unfortunately, when this happens, there is often no time to focus on your business growth, and your goals can start to feel out of reach.



This is where a virtual assistant can help. Outsourcing some of the day-to-day tasks that are distracting you from your business goals can free up your time and allow you to focus on what’s truly important for your business, ensuring that it has the best possible chance at success.



Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits to see how a virtual assistant can help a start-up business...



Day-To-Day Tasks or Specific Expertise


A virtual assistant (VA) can support a small business start-up in many ways, including:


• Competitor research

• Setting up a website and social media handles

• Creating a social media and marketing plan

• Posting on social media

• Preparing a press release or newsletter

• Setting up systems for client data or order processing

• Creating a lead magnet

• Organising inbox and setting up auto-responses

• Setting up a filing system for documents

• Uploading products to a website


Outsourcing will also allow you time to decide what people are responding well to within your industry or niche - then double down on that activity.


Additionally, if you’re launching a new business and find yourself needing some expertise in a particular area you’re not well-versed in or don’t have time to learn about, a VA can be a fantastic asset. You have access to skills and knowledge that would otherwise take months of research or learning on your part - which is invaluable when time is short! And -because you can hire a VA for 1 hour at a time, it’s much easier and more cost-effective to seek out their help as and when you need it.



Cost Savings


If you are just starting out in your business journey, spending money on a VA may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, outsourcing can actually help small businesses save money in the long run. When your time is freed up to focus on your business, it will result in faster business growth and higher profit margins.


Many important yet time-consuming business tasks can be outsourced effectively, often eliminating the need for a full-time team member. Outsourcing your social media management, for example, will mean someone else is posting on Facebook, Twitter and other channels while you are focusing on bringing in new customers. This type of outsourcing allows startups to stay active even when they don’t have the resources to dedicate a full-time social media manager. Similarly, outsourcing to a VA may also mean that you don’t need to hire an admin assistant, freeing up money for other things and reducing your business costs in the long term.


As your business grows, it’s important that employees are not distracted with tasks that can be done by a VA at a lower cost. Outsourcing can help to alleviate some of the pressure on your team, ensuring that they are focused on their strengths and working on high-value tasks.


The bottom line on costs is this: using a virtual assistant, especially in the early stages of your business can be an invaluable investment. Not only will it free up your time to focus on what’s important, but it can be much more cost-effective than hiring someone full-time.



Work / Life Balance


Hiring a VA doesn’t just improve productivity - it can also help you reduce your stress

levels.


How?



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Working for yourself can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be tough to find the right work/life balance. When you’re starting a business, it’s often difficult to know when to stop working and start living - after all, your business is your life - but it is important that you don’t burn yourself out and that you still have time for yourself and your loved ones.


Working with a virtual assistant enables you to enjoy the best of both worlds by allowing you to work on your business when it works for you, without compromising your personal life. It’s all too easy to fall into a love/hate relationship with your new business and become resentful of the very thing that you have been working so hard to build when it starts to take over your life. A VA can help to prevent this by taking on some of the tasks that you don’t have time for or don’t enjoy so that you can focus on what you love. You can even give yourself a well-deserved break from the pressures of running a start-up when it’s needed. Of course, it can be especially helpful to have that kind of support if you’re trying to launch a business alongside a full-time job and struggling to juggle work and family commitments!


Conclusion


When starting a business, it’s essential to work smarter, not harder - outsourcing some of your tasks to a virtual assistant can help you do just that. Starting a business can be difficult, but with the help of a virtual assistant, it can be a much more manageable and achievable task.


If you are starting a business or have recently launched one and are looking for start-up support, why not get in touch to see how we can help you? We offer a range of services that can take the pressure off you and free up your time to focus on what’s important.


You can get in touch via email - sarah@admin-guru.co.uk




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  • Admin-Guru

Before the days of social media and internet reviews, it was difficult to find reliable information on a company unless we knew someone personally that had already experienced their service. But today, all that has changed; you can do a quick online search for a nearby coffee shop or restaurant and in an instant, you have all their info together with reviews and ratings straight from people who have been there!



When was the last time you read a review that influenced your decision to buy a particular product or service? I’m guessing it’s recent.


In a world where customer satisfaction is everything, it's no surprise that online reviews are playing an integral role in many business's success. With a digital footprint that lasts for years and an entire industry devoted to reviewing products and services available on the market, online reviews are having a profound impact on customer behaviour across industries worldwide.


What’s surprising is that many businesses don’t realise the power of online reviews when it comes to growing a client base and therefore haven’t taken advantage of the massive potential of collecting reviews from

their customers as a free and easy marketing tool.


So what does this mean for your business?

Let’s look at a few ways online reviews can help you to grow your business and why you may want to consider making them part of your marketing strategy...




Increased Trust in Your Brand = Increased Conversions


Studies show that customers trust online reviews more than any other form of advertising.


Brightlocal’s 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey reports that:


• 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 34% searching every day

• 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 - up from 81% in 2019

• 73% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written in the last month


Reviews provide social proof and create increased trust in your brand, which can lead to increased sales and an improved reputation.



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Higher Search Engine Rankings


Studies show that 90% of all search engine traffic goes through Google and they now have their own directory tool - ‘Google My Business’ - which is quickly gaining popularity when it comes to searching for a business online.


How can this benefit you? Well, reviews are now an integral part of Google’s ranking algorithm for local searches, meaning essentially that the more positive reviews a business has, the higher it will rank in Google Map listings. This makes Google My Business reviews one of the best ways to increase visibility and reach potential customers online.




Free Promotion and Lead Generation...


Online reviews are a free form of promotion for your business - an easy, no-cost marketing tool that can help you generate leads by driving targeted traffic to your website.


Reviews on social media platforms such as Facebook and Google My Business also provide the added benefit of boosting brand awareness with custom audiences.




Valuable Business Insight:


Not only are client reviews an invaluable asset in helping you attract new prospects, but they also enable you to gain valuable insight into how other people view your business. This can be hugely beneficial in helping you to improve your products and services, and refine and enhance the experience for future clients!


At Admin Guru, one way I help my clients increase their online presence is by implementing a customer review system. The best way to do this will vary for each business. The key though is to make it as easy as possible for your customer to rate your service.


There are various ways your clients can share their experience of working with you, from leaving a review on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, or Facebook to sending their reviews to you directly via email.


These reviews can then be used in several different ways. Here are just a few ideas...


• Include them in a 'testimonials’ section on your website

• Send them out in your latest newsletter

• Share screenshots or images of your latest reviews on social media

• Use hyperlinks and anchor text to link to reviews on your social media posts

• Include your best reviews in your printed marketing material


I can assist with setting up a Google My Business Profile and can also create branded social templates to showcase testimonials, so if this is something you feel may benefit you, please reach out!


Whichever method you choose, I guarantee that setting up a client review system will prove to be a great benefit to your business.



Here are some of my own client reviews...




Hopefully, these examples serve as an encouragement for you to start collecting some reviews of your own, and you can see how reading these might influence a clients decision to use me as their virtual assistant.


We can all agree that customer feedback is vital for any business looking to grow its market presence. The truth is, if you are not taking the time to get reviews from your clients, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. So, if you haven’t already incorporated them into your marketing strategy, feel free to get in touch with any questions or to learn more about how I can help you grow your business with reviews.



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