How Millionaires Manage Their Time

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a good chance that you have a big to-do-list and are constantly trying to figure out how to get more done in less time.

The truth is, we all have the same amount of hours each day. So how do ultra-successful people manage a business, keep up with personal development, family, friends and fitness, without being overwhelmed and stressed?

After researching and modelling numerous success stories, we’ve come up with the most common traits of the most productive and highly successful business people.

1. Morning Rituals

Starting your day off with a consistent morning ritual gets you into a positive state. Getting up early to work-out, go for a run, stretch, meditate, or listen to inspirational music or podcasts is the foundation for a productive day. Starting your day off by dedicating yourself to your body and mind is a winning game!

2. Get Crystal Clear

Millionaires have a crystal clear vision of their goals and values.

They rarely get sidetracked by distractions and know when to say NO to things that aren’t in alignment with their life and business goals.

Time Management

3. Break down your Big Goals 

Breaking down your big goals into small tasks daily is the secret to achieving anything you want. 

You need to know exactly why you’re working towards that goal and what the outcome will be like. Then reverse engineer your goal with an achievement date in mind.

4. Knowing the Best Kept Secret to Productivity 

Leverage your time.

Instead of getting bogged down with mundane tasks and stifling the growth of your business, a virtual assistant can help you get more accomplished by helping you with your marketing strategies, completing your day-to-day tasks, advertising campaigns, designing creative assets, and coaching you to stay on track with your big goals, while working with your office hours and schedule. It’s a win-win for any growing business!

Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to test-drive support staff and identify people who can become key players for your business.

There is no better time than now to get started.

Reply to this email or click here to find out how we can help!

Hiring a VA lets you focus on the things that matter most—growing your business, spending time with your family, or just giving yourself a few more moments to catch your breath. We look forward to hearing from you today! Contact us here. 

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6 Easy Ways to Work with a Virtual Assistant

So, you have considered hiring a Virtual Assistant, otherwise known as a VA?  Maybe you’ve even hired one, and now what?

How does it all work?

Here are 6 steps to a successful partnership with a Virtual Assistant.

Contracts

Most professional Virtual Assistants offer contracted services to their Clients. A contract is a necessary requirement for most, as it protects not only the interest of you as the Client but also the Virtual Assistant. Be sure to carefully read your contracts and don’t be afraid to ask questions if needed.

Documented Processes

It will be easier to delegate projects and/or tasks if you have clear processes for repetitive tasks outlined. This will reduce the margin for error by letting your VA know exactly how you carry out processes within your business. Once you and your VA are up and running together then you can hand over updating and creating procedures to them. An easy place to keep processes for everyone to access is in programs like One Note or Evernote. These programs allow you to create chapters, sections etc. and that makes it easier to keep things current.

Communication

Be crystal clear on your needs and your wants. Decide right off the bat what the best form of communication is for you both. Some VA’s prefer tasks to be added directly to project management software like Trello or Asana. Other’s preferring to receive instructions via email. You as the Client may prefer a phone call, email or even text messages. Whatever the form of communication, be sure to set out expectations.

Instructions

Further to documenting your processes be sure to provide clear and detailed instructions. Although most VA’s would love to add mind reader to their resume alas it is not an ability we yet possess! If you are not sure how to communicate via writing then be sure to call your VA directly, or do a little walkthrough video. Find a way to give clear instructions in a way that is easiest for you.

Use Technology

There are so many fantastic programs out there that make working remotely and with a virtual team easy. Here are some of the most common ones out there (most of them free):

  • Last Pass – Allows users to store and share access to programs, information etc. in a safe and secure manner without sharing your usernames and passwords.
  • Asana – Project management program that allows you to set up teams, projects, delegate work, communicate, set deadlines and more.
  • T-Sheets – Allows VA’s to track their time by the minute for accurate and honest billing.
  • Screen-Cast-O-Matic – Create videos, presentations, capture your screen as you work to provide a video operation manual. So many great features!
  • One Note or Evernote – use these for online manuals, policy and procedures, store your blog topics and mark them done, create checklists and more.

Hire the Right VA for your Business/Needs

It seems like that is a no-brainer, right? What a lot of people don’t realize is that most VA’s will have a couple of niche areas that they specialize in. For instance, some are designers/creative VA’s, others might specialize in certain fields like real estate, law or medicine. Depending on what you need you may hire multiple VA’s who can work together to get your business where you want it to be!

Ready to get your business organized, free up your time and get new projects started?

Contact us today to find out how we can help get your business to the next level!

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DOES YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE WOW?

Does your customer experience wow? For many companies, it is a fly by the seat of your pants approach. For others, it is a very detailed, customer first, approach. Most businesses think that their customer service is adequate. In today’s market that won’t cut it, you need to stand out, be better than the rest. A good experience or a fantastic experience will help create repeat business and generate referrals.

A couple of years ago, I bought a Hyundai from a local dealership. Throughout the course of the purchase and the years to come their customer service was bar none the best from any dealership. Here are the reasons why.

  1. I was treated like I was their only customer
  2. I was called to let me know when I was due for my next service/oil change and what was involved
  3. If there was a delay of any kind I was notified right away
  4. I was consulted before any work was done and educated on what had to be done and what could wait
  5. I was offered a free ride to and from the dealership, the staff was courteous and turn around was quick
  6. I received cards frequently from the sales person I purchased through

When it came time for my mother to buy a new car who do you think I recommended? The same dealership I went to of course and the same sales person. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a Hyundai.

On the flip side, I traded in my Hyundai and purchased a Jeep (long time dream of mine). I love my vehicle but have not been contacted once since my purchase to remind me of service appointments, oil changes, nothing. So, do you think I will recommend that dealer to anyone? Do you think I will go out of my way to give them business when I need to service my Jeep? Nope.

Here is yet another example of where a customer for life could have been made.

I took my Jeep to get new tires, two kept running flat due to nails. They ordered me new tires and told me they would be in by the end of the week. End of the week came, no call, I had to call them. No answer, no reply to my message. I waited a couple more days and called back. No answer. Finally, after a week and a half and a call to the manager, I got someone on the phone and they updated me and said the end of the month. Now you can imagine how irritated I was. Will I use them again? No.

It is imperative that you always provide top notch, customer service to every client. Not just the high paying ones! Bad reviews can cost you thousands. Here are several ways to ensure your clients are getting your best:

  • Anticipate the client’s needs and remember that they are coming to you because you are the expert.
  • Make their experience as easy as possible for them.
  • Educate them in a way that empowers them as a consumer.
  • Remind them of how much your business means to them.
  • Set up systems to ensure no one falls through the cracks.
  • Train your employees and ensure that everyone is on the same page, one weak link will cost you big money.

I am sure that you have had similar experiences. Learn from others mistakes and think about what you can do to wow your next client, spoil the ones you have and generate more money through great customer experiences. If you don’t know where to start, hire someone who can help you build a bulletproof plan to creating win-win partnerships for life.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY AND REDUCE YOUR WORKLOAD

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Ever since I posted my  7 Signs Your Small Business Could Use a Virtual Assistant   blog, my inbox has been flooded with questions from small business owners and solopreneurs. So what’s the number one question on their minds? Small business owners and solopreneurs are consistently asking, “how can a virtual assistant help me to increase my productivity while reducing my workload?”

The key to increasing your productivity is to delegate non-income producing activities that are taking up the majority of your time.  A virtual assistant is a wonderful resource that provides you with the support you need to increase your productivity, and profits because you are spending more time on the activities that make you money. Here are some ways to increase your productivity and reduce your work load.

3 Services and Solutions that Your Virtual Assistant* Can Take On: 

  1. Administrative – this is by far, the most popular service area that many small business owners and solopreneurs inquire about. Administrative duties are a part of every business, no matter how small or large your operation.  That said, spending too much time on administrative duties and not enough time on your income producing activities can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to your profit margins.  A virtual assistant helps to ease the burden, and reduce your workload by taking on the administrative tasks which must be completed so that your business runs smoothly.
  1. Marketing – it’s critical that your company’s marketing efforts are executed in an efficient manner and that all materials that go out are branded in your company’s signature voice and style. This extends beyond print marketing materials and is most often seen with social media marketing, website, and blog updates, to provide you with consistent brand messaging across all platforms.
  1. Consulting – is another popular service area. My Warning: Inefficient Administrative Systems May Be Hurting Your Bottom Line  post, was one of our most popular blog entries amongst our small business and solopreneurs readers.  As a consultant, a virtual assistant can assist you with auditing your existing administrative systems to identify areas of need and make suggestions to increase the efficiency.  In addition to simply making suggestions, they can train your existing administrative staff to bring them up to speed with best practices.

Achieve your goal of increasing your productivity, while reducing your workload and partner with a virtual assistant today.

*Please note that not all Virtual Assistants bear the same skill sets and it’s important that you find a suitable match to your needs.  The service areas discussed in this blog, reflect my industry experience and skillset and are in no way representative of other virtual assistants.

 

7 SIGNS YOUR SMALL BUSINESS COULD USE A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

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I’m contacted daily by small business owners and solopreneurs whose businesses have undergone rapid growth but they’re not sure if now is the right time to outsource some of their administrative work.

Let’s take a look at some telltale signs to determine if your small business would benefit partnering with a Virtual Assistant:

YOUR DROWNING IN ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES

Do you find yourself buried underneath a never ending pile of administrative work?

Small business owners and solopreneurs go into business for themselves because they are passionate about their product or service and want to spend their time with their customers. This often results in a backlog of administrative duties that must be attended to, or you run the risk of it affecting your business.

LOSING CLIENTELE

Are you struggling with client retention? Building up a strong network of clients is crucial for small business owners and solo entrepreneurs, in order for your business to thrive and prosper.

I’ve received many calls inquiring about my services, from small business owners and solo entrepreneurs who are distraught that their biggest client just walked and they don’t know what happened.

After further discussion it seems that they were either too preoccupied with:

  • keeping up with administrative duties to provide the personal attention that they had been giving previously.

or

  • they were spending all of their time with their customers and the administrative duties fell to the wayside. Regardless of the cause, the damage is done and a plan must be created to move forward.

NO BUSINESS GROWTH

Has your growth stalled because you are stuck working on all of the administrative business rather than income producing activities?

In order for your business to grow, you must find a way to spend the majority of your day on income producing activities, while balancing your administrative tasks. When in doubt, delegate!

OVERFLOWING EMAIL INBOX

Feeling overwhelmed by your email inbox?

Is your email inbox inefficient? Prioritizing and responding to email is an important part of running your small business. However, many small business owners struggle to balance responding to emails, and working directly with customers.

TOO MUCH TIME MARKETING THE BUSINESS

I know, this sounds like an oxymoron, how could you possibly be spending too much time marketing your business?

You’re right.  You do need to market your business in order to get clients, it’s a fact of small business.  However, without a plan you can waste countless hours on social media, creating/proofing ads and throwing a bunch of quickly produced, non-brand representing flyers into the wind hoping for something to catch.

NO WORK LIFE BALANCE

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Feeling burnt out?

When your business is your passion, it’s often difficult to create the separation of work and home.  There’s always work to be done and it’s easy to fall into the vicious cycle of working 24/7.  In order for you to be effective and your business to flourish, it’s important to dedicate time for you that is spent on non-work activities.

BILLS ARE LATE ARE LATE OR NOT GETTING PAID AT ALL

Proper bookkeeping is an essential part of all business and it’s important to set up an Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable so that you can keep track of your small business finances.

How did your business measure up?  Is now  the right time to partner with a Virtual Assistant so that you can redirect your focus and attention on income-producing activities?

WINNING PARTNERSHIP – REALTORS® AND VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS

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Having been in the real estate industry in one way or another for over 18 years, I can tell you that Realtors® should be viewing an assistant as a business partner and not an employee. A great administrator wears many hats and can ensure that you get back to your income producing activities. You didn’t get your license to sit at a desk all day did you? No. So hire an administrator, better yet save yourself more money and hire a Virtual Assistant (VA).

More Brokerages are going paperless these days and thank goodness! You know how many forms a Realtor® has to fill out from the beginning to the end of a transaction. A lot, too many if you ask me and most of my Realtors®! And more are being added every year. Of course, we all know that they are a necessary evil in today’s world.

90% of a Real Estate Administrator’s job can be done remotely. No need for overhead costs so you save money. Most Real Estate VA’s are experienced and very efficient in what they do which also saves time and money. Another important note is that a local VA should be versed in your Province/State’s real estate law, ethics and regulations which are very important. Having a Real Estate VA, who knows what is legal and what is not could save your license.

A Real Estate VA can handle the four key components of your business that will free you up to be in front of clients or on the phone.

LISTING MANAGEMENT

A Real Estate VA can help manage every aspect of the listing process, short of having the clients sign the paperwork (Unless you hire a licensed Real Estate VA).

  • Installation of your sign, book the photographer, home stager, virtual tour company.
  • Coordinate showings, open houses.
  • Input the listing into MLS and upload to websites and social media.
  • Ensure that all the listing paperwork is pre-filled and ready to go for when you take it to the client for signature.
  • Enter listing into Database and update and monitor accordingly.
  • Make sure your clients have all copies of the paperwork for their files.
  • Create feature sheets and just listed cards and coordinate with your printer.
  • Call for feedback on showings and pull weekly reports for the seller. The list goes on.

TRANSACTION COORDINATION

Real Estate VA’s can also take on the important task of overseeing the transaction from conditional to close as a transaction coordinator.

  • Schedule follow up calls for 30, 60 and 90 days after close.
  • Ensure all documents are signed and that all necessary parties in the transaction have copies.
  • Submit all paperwork to Mortgage Broker.
  • Assist with organization of moving day.
  • Keep in touch with the clients, provide any information such as movers, lawyers, and other important numbers they may require.

MARKETING MANAGEMENT

The amount of marketing that a Realtor® uses is a personal business choice. Most Realtors® market themselves inadequately. Usually because of poor time management, lack of time, skill or will to do it. VA’s can ensure that you are always putting your best foot forward in the market and that you are well represented and received.

  • Manage your database and all follow-up systems.
  • Create Pre-listing, CMA and Buyer packages/presentations.
  • Just Listed, Just Sold, and other related direct and email marketing.
  • Feature Sheets, Open House Invites and all other marketing related to your listings.
  • Website management and lead tracking.
  • Social media management and more.

ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT

Administrative management is where the day to day running the business comes in. Your VA can ensure that your business, regardless of whether you are out with Clients or on a dock at the cottage, runs smoothly. Some of the key items include:

  • Management of all supplies and equipment in the office.
  • Overseeing all administrative tasks for the business.
  • Operations management and office manual creation. Every business needs an operations manual.
  • Create and manage lead generation, follow up and buyer/seller plans in the database.
  • Hold you, the Realtor®, accountable for your lead generation. Help keep you moving forward and focused.

A Real Estate VA, as I said earlier, is a business partner, not an employee. They are an independent contractor just like you and know what it is like to be their boss. A Real Estate VA should treat your clients as though they were their own. I view myself as a direct representation of my Realtors® and guard their reputation in the business, your VA should do the same. A VA is an invaluable piece in your arsenal to building your real estate business.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level?