Having your own business and being an entrepreneur is not the usual 9-5 work grind but rather a 24/7 with no days off job. As demanding as it is, it’s hard to keep tabs on everyday to-do list while thinking of more ways on how to make the business more profitable.
Thanks to technology and globalization, an upward trend of hiring Virtual Assistants has been the key for entrepreneurs to escalate their business’ productivity and profitability with a lesser cost.
Hiring a great virtual assistant for your company is tedious and not an easy task. You should know if both of you can work together as partners and the skillset, he/she has that will be useful for the company.
So how would you know that he/she is a perfect fit for your company and where can you find VA’s?
Having the job title of Virtual Assistant has a lot of gray areas to cover. The position is too broad since a VA can do lots of tasks depending on one’s skillset and experience. This just proves the flexibility of a VA on their job.
Here are some of the tasks a VA can help in your business:
One of the leading sites for freelancers, here you can hire all sorts of virtual assistants with different skill sets and experience. The good thing about Upwork is that it has a thorough screening process that weeds out the bogus candidates from the real ones. Also, it has its own billing and time-tracking system which makes it more convenient for both the VA and business owner. From hiring to managing a VA, Upwork makes sure that you and your VA have a hassle-free work relationship.
A freelancing site built by Filipinos for Filipinos. Filipinos are known to be honest and a hard worker so it’s not surprising that a lot of business owners hire their VA’s on this site. Also, the labor cost is so much lesser compared to having an in-house employee or hiring from other freelancing platforms. It’s both a win-win situation for the parties. Navigating on their site is also easy for both the employers and job seekers. You can also manage your VA on their site with their built-in billing and time-tracking software.
One of the leading virtual assistant agency online that offers workers who have a minimum of 3 years experience. The price of their service is costlier compared to others, but you will surely get what you paid for.
Customization is the name of the game for this company that sets them apart from others. They will match you with a virtual assistant that fits your wants and needs for your business and even complementary to your personality. They have proven to have long-term work relationships with their clients to prove that their system actually works.
Their company base the selection process through a relationship-based approach. They personally handle the hiring process by having an initial interview with you and pair you with your perfect VA match. Afterward, they also handle the coaching of your VA for 100 days to check both of your progress.
It’s important that you hire a Virtual Assistant that loves what he/she is doing and not just for the sake of it. Also, asking an open-ended question will help the candidate talk more about himself/herself and ease the tension. This replaces the usual “Tell me more about yourself” question.
This question not only gives a continuous casual atmosphere while having the interview but this also makes the candidate feel that you are interested to work with him/her. You would also be surprised to know what his/her interests are after work hours. He/She may be managing his/her own business on the side. This information may be helpful in the future.
This question helps you gauge on what skill set you want your VA to have. It’s important that your VA knows his/her strengths and weakness. Honesty is important in a healthy work relationship and it’s best that you don’t start on the wrong foot. Also, if a candidate says that he/she doesn’t have any weakness, then move on to the next one. The last thing you want is an arrogant VA who doesn’t accept constructive criticism.
Some would answer that they will go to the nearest café to work or have a back-up internet connection in case of an emergency. But the most important thing a VA should do is contact the employer and give information about the situation. Proper communication is the main key for the best work relationship and work-related updates should be given to know one’s progress and status.
This helps you gauge if your candidate can commit to your work or not. It’s best to clear things up on the interview rather than discussing the complications afterward.
This helps you track down the tasks done by your VA and how much he/she spends on each of them. This gives you an overview of your VA is being productive or just slacking off. Trust is a crucial part for every worker and employer relationship, but it’s best to verify things just to make sure. Besides, work is work and it’s expected that VA’s should deliver.
One thing about the online world is that people come and go so easily. You’ll never know when someone will go MIA on you. To lessen the effect of this blow, it’s best to document your processes and SOP’s so that you won’t start from scratch every time you hire new VA. Better to be ready and prepared.
Communication is very important for this work setup. Weekly meetings and daily updates should be done to keep each other on the loop. Make sure to choose a communication tool that suits you both.
This is the most advisable payment terms when still starting with a new VA. After 6 months or so, you can move to a monthly payment instead since you’ve already established trust between you two. Make sure to communicate this properly to your VA to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.
To make things legal and binding, it’s important to establish terms and situations into writing. This also holds your VA accountable for any unethical practices that may arise.
I graduated from Boise State University in December of 2002 and launched my first marketing company in August of 2003. My degree was in International Business, a degree I chose because I speak Spanish fluently and could test out of the language requirement, saving me a semester’s worth of language classes credits. A dumb reason to choose a major, but what can I say? I was just a kid trying to get out of there as soon as possible.
As you can probably imagine, this degree as done little to help me in my 15 year marketing career and has done even less in helping me understand how to run a business, manage employees, price our services, keep up with accounting procedures, wade through government red tape, and everything else that goes along with running a small business. In short, everything I have learned about being an entrepreneur has come through self-study.
Fortunately, as the internet and other technologies (such as streaming video) advanced, our options for keeping pace with an ever-changing business environment has improved drastically.
You can become an expert on virtually any topic in less than a year by devoting an hour a day to intense study and by having a strong internet connection.
One of my favorite techniques for learning is to study others who are successful and trying to identify commonalities, personality traits, and more that I can apply to my own journey. I mostly accomplish this through reading autobiographies and biographies, but documentaries about various individuals and companies have exploded in recent years, finally giving me a real reason to “Netflix and chill” as the young ‘uns say these days.
Following - in no particular order - are 6 of my favorite documentaries about business, personal branding, and entrepreneurship:
1. His Way
This documentary is about film producer Jerry Weintraub and is based off his memoir, When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead. During his illustrious career, Weintraub produced such movies as The Karate Kid, Ocean’s 11, The Firm, and dozens more in addition to managing music talent with performers John Denver and Elvis Presley among his more notable charges.
Jerry was a consummate hustler and negotiator. Understanding his life story will show you how even the impossible can get done through sheer persistence, grit, and not taking “no” for an answer.
2. Walt Before Mickey
Walt Before Mickey is the tale of a young Walt Disney, before Mickey Mouse became a household name. I love seeing the story behind successful people before everything was unicorns and rainbows. I love seeing the messiness, the chaos, the near-fatal decisions, and the unbridled determination to make a success of something that seems doomed to fail.
Watching Walt Before Mickey will give you a new appreciation for the spirit of the entrepreneur and make whatever problems you are facing seem trivial by comparison.
3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Of the six documentaries I have listed here, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is probably my favorite by far. It chronicles a tiny - yet insanely successful - sushi restaurant in Japan. The proprietor, Jiro, is an octogenarian with an impressive work ethic and marketing mind.
What really drew me in however, were his exacting standards of quality and passion for creating the very best product and customer experience available. His attention to detail and insistence on serving only the very best fresh fish each day is something from which we can all learn.
4. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Throughout her life Joan Rivers had to overcome monumental and devastating events that would have crushed ordinary humans. Putting her brand of humor aside for a moment, it is impossible not to admire her work ethic and streets smarts in making a dent in the comedy scene.
Her insight into business negotiations and clever marketing ploys are worth studying.
5. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
If you are like me, you are probably unfamiliar with the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) movement. The only images I could conjure about it before watching I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead was of raves, mosh pits, and drug fueled parties.
This documentary follows the life of one of the industry’s most successful DJs, Steve Aoki. Born to Japanese parents, his absentee father, Rocky Aoki (founder of Japanese steakhouse, Benihana) drove him to succeed in order to prove to his father that he could be successful too, even if the path he chose was vastly different.
What I most got out of this movie was how important it is to also look outside the obvious industries and analyze what others are doing to succeed. I have absolutely zero interest in the EDM scene, but Aoki’s passion for what he does and ability to become one of the best in the world at what he does was fascinating to me.
I listed this documentary last because it really segues into what being an entrepreneur is all about: creating a life to live on your terms.
As a young business owner, my driving ambition was to create a business to get rich. And I did that. At the peak of my career I had over 100 employees and was doing nearly 8 figures in revenue. I had a big income and a bigger ego. I bought all the toys required of a young, successful entrepreneur.
And I was miserable.
It was only when I began to search for what was really important to me that I began to understand what I had wasn’t it. I realized that I was more than happy to own a small company with a tight-knit group of employees that were like family to me. I realized that I wanted to know my kids and be involved in their lives more. I realized that I didn’t need nearly as much money as I thought and that the toys and other material trappings just stressed me out and bogged me down.
I’m not passing judgment here on those who do want that lifestyle. To each their own. But what I got from watching Minimalism is that it is far more important to do what is important for YOU than to bow to society’s expectations of how you should live your life.
This, more than anything, has been the most liberating thing I have done.
I’d be curious to hear your take on my list and know what you would add to it. Are there any documentaries you have watched that have helped you in any way as a business owner? Head over to our Facebook page and let me know!
Last week I had the opportunity to go to an event put on by ClickFunnels as part of their 2CCX Coaching program. The 2CCX is a high-end coaching program that consists of online training, mastermind groups, one-on-one coaching, live events, and more. It costs $30,000 a year, so it's not for the faint of heart.
This is the first year I have been a member of 2CCX and it has been worth every penny so far. During one of the sessions, we had the opportunity to hear Myron Golden speak. If you don't know Myron's work, you need to. This guy is the real deal and every word that comes out of his mouth is pure gold.
As part of an open Q&A he said something that made a profound impact on me...
"You will rarely make as much as and you will never make more than any amount of money you think is a lot."
WOW!! I had never thought of building wealth and making money like that before. His suggestion was to start adding the word "only" in front of large amounts when you talked about it.
"We only made $1,000,000 last year." or "We only made $25,000 on that last deal."
The idea is to get comfortable in your own mind with large dollar amounts. Our mind is a curious thing. Your subconscious takes any information you feed it literally. If you view a particular amount as "unreasonable" or "unattainable" your subconscious mind will take that directive and act upon (or not act upon) it. In short, it will limit your capacity to make anything greater than the amount you deem to be "too much."
This is a very real phenomenon. Make it a point to not limit yourself with your own thoughts. Open your mind to the possibilities of building wealth and making more money. Try this exercise of adding "only" in front of amounts you think are a lot. It will change your life!
This is a story about how selling isn’t all about measurable ROI or tried and true closing techniques.
It was a warmer day. Blue skies. I remember feeling cautiously optimistic. This had the potential to be one of, if not the biggest, clients our little startup had brought in to date.
Today I want to talk about one of the most undervalued - yet most important - skills business owners can learn. And that is copywriting.
So, first, what is “copywriting” exactly? Copywriting is simply the message you create for your market. Copywriting can mean the words on a page, it can mean a script for a video or audio broadcast…it can mean the words on your website or in your mail piece. It is the words in your ads…basically any time you are writing in order to promote your product or service....one of the most undervalued - yet most important - skills business owners can learn...is copywriting.