For the team at Chief Virtual Officer, our Business Manager, Joel D Canfield, has created some videos. This is one of them. All about Success & Failure. Enjoy!
I’m often asked to recommend tools that a virtual assistant should for their business. Here are my 10 favorite tech tools to use in my business.
1. Basecamp – https://basecamp.com/: This is a very simple, web-based, project management tool. You can store files and create task lists with due dates that can be assigned to different team members. You can share folders with clients or choose not to show certain files to clients. It also has a calendar. There is a free trial and the basic monthly fee is $20.
2. Dropbox – https://www.dropbox.com/: This is a file-sharing tool that can be synced with your computer. You can share links with colleagues and clients and invite them to a shared folder. It’s very easy to use and serves as a good backup for files. There is a free version as well as a more robust paid business version.
3. Google Mail, Drive and Calendar– https://www.google.com/: I use Gmail for all my email needs, as well as all of Google’s tools such as Drive, formerly known as Google Docs, and the calendar. With Drive you can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations. These can be shared and downloaded. You can upload your Word documents and Excel spreadsheets also and they convert very nicely. The calendar can also be shared so other team members know your availability.
4. Skype – http://www.skype.com/: This free tool can be used to speak with anyone else who has a Skype account. For a small fee, you can make calls to landlines and cell phones as well. There is also video conferencing. There are also free tools you can use to record your conversations if needed.
5. Jing – http://www.techsmith.com/download/jing/: Jing is a free tool that allows you to create videos and take screenshots. This has been very usefuly in my virtual assistant business to show a client or team member where to find something on a web page or to provide instructions. Videos are limited to five minutes.
6. Evernote – http://evernote.com/: The free version of EverNote has been plenty for me. I can synch it across all my devices – computer, phone and tablet. I can keep track of notes and to-do items. My lists can be updated from any device and then synched so it’s available on all of them. There is also a great search feature. Now if a client calls while I’m away from my computer, I can just make a quick note of it in EverNote on my phone.
7. WordPress – http://wordpress.com/: If you don’t yet have a blog and, you should set one up at WordPress. It’s easy to use and the perfect way to show off your expertise.
8. EchoSign by Adobe – https://www.echosign.adobe.com/: The free version of this web-based tool has been all I’ve ever needed to get contracts sent and signed by all parties. The perfect tool for any virtual assistant who needs to get their contract signed quickly to commence work.
9. QuickBooks Online – https://qbo.intuit.com/: A great tool I use to track all my income and expenses. I can use it from anywhere since it’s a web-based tool.
10. HootSuite – https://hootsuite.com/: The free version of this tool is all you need to manage your entire social media presence from one place.
What are your favorite online tools?
Have you ever had to let a client or a subcontractor go? How do you handle it?
Over the years I’ve had to let more than one client go and more than one subcontractor. It’s never easy. It’s always an emotional process for me. I hate disappointing people. In the past, I always wanted to explain in detail why we couldn’t work together any more.
Then my husband and I learned the best thing to say in any situation where you know it’s not a good idea to either start or continue a business relationship. You simply say, “We’re not a match”.
There is no explanation. It’s not about assigning blame. It’s simple that “we’re not a match”. And it’s all from your perspective. The other party may have felt it was a match. But if you don’t, then “we’re not a match”.
The reason we use this when letting a client or subcontractor go is because invariably, no matter what, the other party wants to know “why”? The truth is you don’t need a reason. You don’t need to give a reason. When you give a reason, it’s the other person’s natural inclination to reply with their ‘reason’ why your reason isn’t valid. But any reason you have is valid – to you. And that’s what matters.
So next time you need to let a client or subcontractor go, just say, “We’re not a match”. It won’t be easy and they may be left wondering. But you’ll feel a great sense of relief knowing that the people you are working for and with absolutely love you! I know that’s true in my case.
I love all my clients and all the subcontractors I’m currently working with.
I’m always looking for new free resources for my business and clients to make work a bit easier and more efficient. I’ve also found that sharing free resources with others on all my social media networks encourages more interaction and engagement.
Here are just a few resources I wanted to share with you. Some do have paid options as well.
- Evernote: Evernote apps and products make modern life manageable, by letting you easily collect and find everything that matters.
- HootSuite: The leading social media dashboard to manage and measure your social networks.
- Free Conference Call: Free conference calls are simple and easy to use, requiring only an e-mail address to receive an instant account.
- Dropbox: Put your stuff in Dropbox and get to it from your computers, phones, or tablets. Edit docs, automatically add photos, and show off videos from anywhere.
- MailChimp: More than 5 million people use MailChimp to design and send email marketing campaigns.
- PDF995: Its easy-to-use interface helps you to create PDF files by simply selecting the “print” command from any application, creating documents which can be viewed on any computer with a PDF viewer.
Please share any helpful resources you know of in the comments section.
Using your Facebook business page to share your message is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. Of course you want to reach as many people as possible with your Facebook business page so your potential client pool is increased. A word of caution though – don’t pay to get more people to like your business page.
A business person I’ve worked with is Phil Wrzesinski. He’s a retailer in Michigan and always has great business advice – not just for the retail industry. He recently wrote a great article on growing your Facebook reach I want to share. It’s not often that someone in the retail industry ‘gets it’ so well that I’d share with my virtual assistant community. But Phil gets it!
Enjoy Phil’s post and please leave a comment at his blog!