Work at Home Life

Virtual Assistants, Joining Forces, and Reinventing Work At Home

How Do You Track Time? October 1, 2010

Filed under: Virtual Office Tools — kena-virtuallyassistingyou @ 10:13 am

I know there are several different programs available to use, but how do you track your hours?  I use to only accept retainer clients so this wasn’t an issue.  Within the last two months I’ve begun to take on hourly clients, so tracking billable hours correctly is very important for me as well the client.

I created an excel spreadsheet with client info, date, hours worked and tasked performed that I keep open all day and record as I go.  This has made time tracking much easier.  Then I transfer the specific details to the particular client’s invoice each billing period.

Just a few examples of time tracking software:

Would love to hear your comments and feedback on how you track time.

Happy Friday!

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Business Coaches-Who Are They and Want Do They Do? September 29, 2010

Filed under: Virtual Office Tools,Work at Home — Jennifer Gallaher - VAbyJen @ 11:36 am
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A few weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to start a small series about business coaches-who they are and what type of coaching they do.  Some of us may be feeling stagnant in our businesses and not sure how to turn things around.  This could be as good a place as any to possibly find that specific coach you need.  Still, there may be others out there who have settled on coaches as there “niche.”  These interviews may help you to hone your skills a bit and customize your services to better serve your clientele.  Over the next few weeks I will be introducing you all to several different individuals and their specific coaching interests.

So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you all to the first business coach in my series, Cesar Viana Teague.

Company:  NEXTLEVEL Consulting

Website:  http://www.nextlevelup.org

Contact:  Email – cesar@nextlevelup.org

              Phone – (888) 881-6164

 

What type of coach do you describe yourself ad?  For ex: Life coach, VA, Social Media, Career, etc.  Small Business/Home Business Coach

 

Briefly introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do.  I work with small business/home business owners and entrepreneurs to break through current challenges, work smarter, and reach their desired goals.

 

What are three main concepts you talk about in your coaching program?  Helping you to Focus on the following 3 main concepts:

1. Your DMO (Daily Method of Operation)
2. Your IPA (Income Producing Activities)
3. Your Sales & Marketing Plan

 

What are some of the benefits of having a business coach?  And when is a good time to find one?  Some benefits include:

1. Getting out of being stuck
2. Becoming more proactive with defined activities & direction
3. Having a sounding board to bounce ideas off and receive honest feedback
4. Reaching goals quicker

A good time to align with a coach is ASAP.

 

Since this is a blog for VA’s and other Work at Home individuals, I have to ask – Even business coaches need an assistant from time to time, right? In what way would a VA be beneficial to you and your business?  I have been using a VA (Jennifer) and can highly recommend doing this to work smarter – leaving you to focus on your strengths and IPA’s (Income Producing Activities).

 

If you are a coach or know of a coach that would be a great fit for this spotlight series, please contact me.  I would love to “meet” them!

 

Skype for Small Business September 20, 2010

Filed under: Virtual Office Tools,Work at Home — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 8:47 am
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Oprah has been skyping forever, or so it seems. I’m not really Oprah’s biggest fan, but I gotta love a woman who sets trends worldwide. 😉 Is it time you started utilizing it too? On the very front page of Skype’s website it will tell you all of the things that their service will do for free.

  • Voice and video calls to anyone else on Skype
  • Conference calls with three or more people
  • Instant messaging, file transfer and screen sharing

What is so cool about it?
The screen sharing option I love. Of course, it isn’t as wonderful as remote desktop or Teamviewer where you are able to take over the shared screen to literally show guests how to do something on their computer. Let’s face it though, these options aren’t universal, and not everyone has cash to drop on a Teamviewer license for each client computer.

Think about it though, how often do you have to say: “OK, now what do you see?” when you are trying to walk someone through any task on their computer? And people often remember how and where to do something when they do it themselves other than have you take over their mouse and do it for them right?

How does it compare?
Many of you still use AIM pro for the desktop sharing which I would say isn’t any better or worse than the Skype version. If you don’t have either then you might as well jump on the skype bandwagon since you will likely find more businesses on Skype than you will AOL.

Skype Business Solutions
Skype’s business solutions offer more services like integrating with PBX operators (like if you already use Ringcentral for voicemail boxes and such) and if you have employees across the globe, you can set up an account for them.

 

You Need a Form, You Say? September 1, 2010

Filed under: Learning By Example,Virtual Office Tools,Work at Home — Jennifer Gallaher - VAbyJen @ 1:34 pm
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This post about getting started creating forms has moved to The Virtual Assistant Journal.

Continue reading You Need a Form You Say?

 

Social Media for Business July 23, 2010

Filed under: Social Networking,Virtual Office Tools — kena-virtuallyassistingyou @ 12:44 pm
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As a Social Media Virtual Assistant and a Marketing Manager, I’m constantly asked “Why use Social Media for my business?” “Is it better than traditional marketing?”  To answer those questions and many others, why not check out the statistics for yourself by…

Continue reading Social Media for Business

 

Wiki is Tricky! July 12, 2010

Filed under: Learning By Example,Virtual Office Tools — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 9:58 pm
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Wikipedia is “a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 15 million articles (over 3.3 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site.”

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

What Wiki Is:

Too many entrepreneurs don’t understand the beauty of this particular information system. This website was created for us and is constantly being updated by us to share accurate information. You might even call it a “living” encyclopedia. All information that is edited there is to be referenced with verifiable sources and must meet Wiki’s high quality standards. To leverage the value of Wikipedia means contributing well researched information to it’s already vast library. Wikipedia can be a tool to prove that you are an expert on your topic or in your field of business. Sharing information and having others verify the accuracy of the information is a great way to show your expertise. They keep tabs on who has made what edits, and believe me when I tell you that there will be a wiki administrator who will either undo any information without a good source or delete the wiki page altogether if the it isn’t deemed “notable” enough. Of course, when you accurately and holistically contribute a good article, you should blog about it and be proud of sharing your piece of wisdom with whole world. 😉

May I use myself as an example? You all know that I am a virtual IT assistant right? But what does that mean? A little under a year ago you wouldn’t have found any information if you looked up “IT assistant” on Wikipedia. I am proud to say that I contributed the IT_assistant page. When an employer puts out a classified ad for an IT assistant, you can find out what the skill requirements are for an IT assistant’s position. Even if you have never worked under that title, you may have experience to fit that job well.

What Wiki Isn’t:


Start Quote MeNot just anyone can go to Wikipedia and create a wiki page about how fantastically interesting they are.Quote Me End


There are many of us “gurus” who have been quoted here and interviewed there, but that doesn’t make us wiki material. Maybe you have worked extensively in our chosen field. You might have a successful business or single handedly spun yourself an extensive social network and have become quite popular. You may have written articles for popular websites like Mashable.com or Monster.com, but you don’t have recognition on Wiki. Not just anyone can go there (or hire someone else go there) and post up a wiki page about how fantastically interesting you are. Until you are interviewed for your expertise on CNN or Time magazine wants to put you on its cover, you probably don’t belong in the encyclopedia. (Sorry, but it’s true.)

There are dozens of wiki articles deleted everyday because so many newbies want to sign up and use it as some kind of social media tool that grants them an opportunity to market themselves, create backlinks to their blogs, or to just get their name out there. It just is not what Wiki is for. I mean, it is social, but its not about networking its about information.

Stop Selling Short

Wiki is not the place to validate or establish yourself; the quality of your work will do that for you. Maybe someday you’ll have your place on Wiki, but for now, let’s use it for what it’s good for: information.

 

Getting The “Message” Out July 7, 2010

Filed under: Virtual Office Tools,Work at Home — Jennifer Gallaher - VAbyJen @ 1:59 pm
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In my never-ending quest for easy and quick ways to maneuver around Microsoft Outlook, I came across these two gems from Heinz Tschabitscher.  He writes a weekly column on Microsoft Outlook for About.com.   Normally, I read his tips and sock them away for a later date for my own personal use; however, I felt these two tips were worth sharing. 

I don’t know about you, but one of my pet peeves is getting an email with misspellings.  It drives me bananas and if I have to forward that same email on….what’s a girl to do?  Fortunately, I have found the answer, thanks to Heinz Tschabitscher:

  • Double-click on the message that needs to be edited so it opens up fully in its own window
  • From the toolbar, click on “Other Actions”, then “Edit Message”
  • Next, make all the changes you want or need within the body of the email as well as the subject line (if necessary)
  • Finally, press the “Control” key and the “S” key (to save it)

Now you can forward the email with confidence!

Now, have you ever received an email or a forwarded email with another email sent as an attachment?  I have and I’ve always wanted to know how to do that.  Not only because the email looks “cleaner”, but because it makes more sense, organizationally, as well.  Let me explain.  I am all about simplifying things and that extends to emails, too.  When I receive an email that has several forwards to it, I usually end up deleting it.  I don’t have the time, nor do I have the patience to read clear down to the bottom of the email to see what was so important.  However, if someone was to attach the original email and then send it on its merry way, I bet, it would get read and answered more quickly.  The message is considerably shorter and therefore, would seem at least to me, of more significance.  So, I went on a hunt and found out how this “cleaner” way to forward an email can be accomplished:

  • From the menu, click on “Tools”, then “Options”
  • Select the “Preferences” tab
  • Next, click on “Email Options”
  • Under “When forwarding a message” make sure to select “Attach original message”
  • Then, click “OK” and then once more
  • Next, highlight any messages you want to forward and click “Forward”
  • Finally, address and send the email with the original messages as attachments and include any comments in the body of your email

These two tips were definitely “AH HA” moments for me and I have been utilizing them ever since.  I hope they are as helpful for you.

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