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Small Business

 

Ten Ways Your Small Business Can Benefit From a Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant can provide customized administrative support solutions to help your small business succeed. Here are ten ways that a VA can help your business today!

virtual assistant, small business, business solution, administrative support, office support, Rosanna Tussey

Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) can be one of the smartest business moves you will ever make. A good VA will be able to assist you in handling your administrative workload, allowing you more time to focus on growing your business and generating revenue. Here are just ten of many ways that a Virtual Assistant can provide much-needed support to your small business:

1. General Administrative Support
If you ever wished you had an administrative assistant on call, a Virtual Assistant may be the perfect solution for you! VAs can provide general administrative services such as word processing, data entry, spreadsheet and database maintenance, desktop publishing- the list goes on and on. In fact, if you could give it to an administrative assistant, you can give it to a Virtual Assistant!

2. Invoicing
A Virtual Assistant can facilitate your invoicing, ensuring that your clients receive timely, accurate invoices. By partnering with a VA to prepare your invoices, you can gain a tremendous amount of time each month to focus on other aspects of your business that require your specialized attention.

3. Email and Voicemail Management
If you get large numbers of emails or voicemails, a Virtual Assistant can manage your inboxes. They can sort through the spam and reply to messages that don’t require your attention, leaving you with fewer messages to wade through everyday. A VA can also provide you with a consolidated report of voicemail messages, allowing you to return a number of important phone calls from a single report.

4. Online Marketing Management
A Virtual Assistant can assist you with your online marketing plan. They can manage your pay-per-click campaigns, post articles, submit your website to search engines, add your website to online directories, create banner ads, prepare and send email newsletters, etc. Since VAs make their livings online, many of them keep abreast of the latest trends in online marketing.

5. Customer Response
Use a Virtual Assistant’s services to keep existing and potential customers happy and returning. A VA can effectively and efficiently handle customer questions and complaints in an appropriate manner. By providing your customers with a timely, helpful response, a VA can help you build a stronger relationship with your customers.

6. Event Planning
Nothing is better than a well-planned event. Enlisting the help of a Virtual Assistant in coordinating your seminars and company functions can take a tremendous amount of burden off your shoulders, allowing for stress-free coordination of your events. They can make arrangements for the location, speakers, catering, photography, etc- and notify the attendees, too.

7. Travel Arrangements
Whether your business requires you to travel extensively or occasionally, a Virtual Assistant can help coordinate and consolidate your travel plans. A VA can arrange your transportation, accommodations, in accordance with the meetings and events you will be attending. They can compile a detailed itinerary for your trip, ensuring that your travels are well-planned and hassle-free.

8. Internet Research
A Virtual Assistant can efficiently perform internet research, consolidating the information you seek and saving you both time and money. A VA can use their extensive research skills to your benefit, providing you with incredible value by investigating requested topics and providing the results in the desired format.

9. Calendar Management
Managing a busy schedule effectively doesn’t happen by chance. Team with a Virtual Assistant to help you stay atop of important dates, appointments, contacts and events. They can help you stay organized and prepared each day, with minimal effort on your part, reminding you of obligations and events ahead of time.

10. Project Management
Large and small projects alike can be managed by a Virtual Assistant. A VA can keep your project on track by organizing and coordinating resources, objectives, deliverables, etc. They can relieve the everyday stress of project management while ensuring that deadlines are met and progress continues.

A Virtual Assistant can provide you with customized support solutions for your small business. By teaming with a Virtual Assistant, the unique needs of your business can be accommodated while reducing your workload and providing you more time to grow your business and achieve your financial and personal goals.

 

The Value of Web Presence for Small Businesses

Undoubtedly, the internet can make the difference between a successful small business and one ignored by customers. Due to the global nature of the Internet surpassing physical frontiers between nations, and even making it unnecessary to use printed business cards when they can easily be hosted online.

web site, small business

Undoubtedly, the internet can make the difference between a successful small business and one ignored by customers. Due to the global nature of the Internet surpassing physical frontiers between nations, and even making it unnecessary to use printed business cards when they can easily be hosted online.

Web presence can make small businesses more competitive from any angle, allowing you to understand new trends, as well as discover opportunities and problems without wasting time. A small business with Internet presence improves your opportunity to connect with a number of suppliers and customers that otherwise might not be possible in your local area.

Furthermore, traditional printed business cards including an Internet address, not only opens a new range of possibilities to succeed, but also is a way to increase your communications, showing an appealing professional appearance, no matter how big or small your business or company is actually. Magnetic business cards often create a long-lasting marketing image.

In fact, you will be surprised to see prospective clients seeking what they want through search engines. Others might check for URLs in business cards instead of browsing the printed yellow pages, because a web presence translates is synonym to having a shop or booth in every corner of the world, where every individual or small business can have the same presence as the big enterprises.

Of course, budget, skills, knowledge and other Internet resources determine the performance of every small business online. However, it will always be beneficial to develop your business web presence if you want to get customers from every location around the world or, as a practical alternative, you can create online business cards for you, your partners and employees.

On the Internet, you will find a number of websites offering both services, development of your web presence and creating your online business cards, ranging from low-mid prices to those unaffordable for people who are just starting a new business venture. However, you do not need a big budget to start.

There are a number of free Web hosting services that will gladly give you web space to develop your presence. If you have no idea how to create a website, they usually have facilities called online tools or web site builders, allowing you to create a nice looking page with just a small amount of information regarding your small business, products and services.

If you do not feel comfortable with those tools, there are other options for you. If you want to create only a business card that looks like real printed business cards, you can always get free or cheap web templates, coming in a variety of designs and only requiring your information to be uploaded, which will create your web presence instantly.

 

Special Considerations for Small Business Phone Systems

Small businesses have special needs, especially in comparison to larger, more established companies. The term "small business" often really refers to "new business", in that many small businesses that have been around for a while are as large as they are likely to ever become simply because of the type of business they are. Some small businesses, however, are destined to become large businesses. These companies in particular need to weigh the considerations of their unique situation when purchasing a business phone system. Knowing one's options when it comes to business phones can save a substantial amount of money and time.

Telephone, telephones, phone, phones, telephone systems, telephone system

Small businesses have special needs, especially in comparison to larger, more established companies. The term "small business" often really refers to "new business", in that many small businesses that have been around for a while are as large as they are likely to ever become simply because of the type of business they are. Some small businesses, however, are destined to become large businesses. These companies in particular need to weigh the considerations of their unique situation when purchasing a business phone system. Knowing one's options when it comes to business phones can save a substantial amount of money and time.

If a company is in a physical location that will be able to meet it's needs for many years to come and their number of employees is well into the double digit range, they may wish to go with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system. PBX systems offer increased expansion capabilities and can come with more available features for the end user. Installation expenses for PBX systems can be extremely high, however, and should be factored in any organization's business phone system budget.

The alternative would be to use a Key System. Key Systems are cheaper and require less in the way of installation expense. Still, they are only expandable to provide service to thirty or forty terminals. For businesses that will eventually require more handsets than Key Systems are capable of supporting, replacement with a PBX system would be inevitable.

The worst case scenario would be for a business to buy a phone system that barely meets it's current needs only to find that it will have to be replaced soon after. Properly planning for growth will help any business end up with a phone system that can expand with it's expansion and allow the most value for the overall investment. Like any business investment, phone systems do not last forever, so it is often unnecessary to purchase the very best (and most expensive) system on the market. Still, it does pay to purchase a business phone system that is certain to meet your company's needs, both now and well into the future.




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