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All About Online Business Management

One of the biggest questions I’m asked as an Online Business Manager (OBM) is, “What exactly it is you do?”

There are many Virtual Assistants (VA) out there that are now classing themselves as an OBM however the truth is, it takes more than your generalist Virtual Assistant to be an Online Business Manager.

By all means, up until 6 months ago, I too classed myself as a VA, however after years of not being able to quite put my finger on what it was I actually did and specialised in as a VA, a client called me their “Lighthouse”, when I asked what this actually meant, I was told that I am the lighthouse that directs his “ships” back into shore, the pillar of strength behind his business, with the light to guide everyone and the person who coordinates the team and projects to ensure safety in the business. I was his most trusted and therefore the Business Manager. Given that I work in an offsite capacity, born was the Online Business Manager.

The Official definition of an Online Business Manager is:

A virtually based support professional who manages online base businesses, including the day to day management of projects, operations, team members and metrics.

From my own perspective, an OBM is the person who creates time for the business owner, who handles the day to day running of the business, projects and teams. They are the ones who manage the tasks and the teams to ensure projects are completed on time. They are not the ones who do the actual work but the ones who oversee and manage the day to day works to ensure deadlines are met.

As a business owner, when do you need an OBM? We recommend hiring an Online Business Manager when you become the bottleneck in your business. Put simply, when you have built your business and can no longer grow as you simply can’t be in all places at once. You need support at a top level by someone who will treat your business as their own.

The beauty of an Online Business Manager is that they don’t need to be hired fulltime, you can hire for as little or as much as you need. In fact, most OBMs prefer to have up to 3 clients at a time for variety and growth.

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Uncategorized

Work from home – Receptionist Required

We are currently seeking Australian residents for a work from home role as a Virtual Receptionists.

This role is paid per call answered. The pay is $1.50+gst per call taken and can average anywhere between 5 – 50 calls in a particular shift.

There is a pay increase after a 3-month probation period and at this time, pay will be raised to $1.80+gst per call.

You must have an ABN as this is a subcontractor role. We are happy (and encourage) for you to work for other clients during your rostered hours as long as incoming and outgoing calls are taken as needed.

We require the successful candidate to be available to take calls on the following shifts.

Hours

Monday: 8am – 2pm

Tuesday – Friday: 8am – 11am

Technical

  • A strong Internet connection. (Min 5mbps download and above 0.7 for upload, see speed test below)
  • Google Chrome is to be used as the browser.
  • Have a quiet space to work – minimum to no background noise.
  • Have your own ABN (preferred GST registered but not essential)
  • Have a reliable computer with USB connected headset (VoIP Compatible)
  • Have an intermediate level of PC skills. You will be required to use many online applications and setup processes. We also use Dropbox for file sharing so downloads and uploads are a given in this role.

 Personal

  • A friendly and warm phone voice
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Likes a challenge
  • Be able to deal with complaints in a professional manner
  • Attention to detail
  • Empathy
  • Can work as part of a team and individually
  • Be confident on the phone
  • The ability to pick things up quickly and ask for help if needed

This is the perfect opportunity for a work at home role for someone who is already at home during the required hours, going about their day, to earn some extra money. This is not a role for someone who relies on an income as you are paid per call and we cannot guarantee call volume. It would suit someone who is already at home during the required hours and doesn’t mind answering calls to earn a bit of pocket money.

If you feel you are a good fit for our team and can commit to the required hours, we would love to speak with you.

Next Steps:

  • Please take the following speed test on your Laptop or PC. Just click on the link and start the test. http://speedtest.net/ We are looking for a speed of 5.0mbps or higher and upload speed of 0.5 or higher.
  • Email your results with resume/profile to korrync@vos.net.au with subject heading: Virtual Reception Application – (Your Name)
  • Include your available start date
  • We will be in contact with you if you are a suitable candidate

 

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Uncategorized

Virtual Receptionist Required – Sunshine Coast Work from home opportunity

We are currently seeking a resident of the Sunshine Coast for a Virtual Receptionist to work from home.

This role is paid per call answered. The pay is $1.50+gst per call taken and can average anywhere between 5 – 50 calls in a particular shift. There is a pay increase after a 3-month probation period and at this time, pay will be raised to $1.80+gst per call.

You must have an ABN and be working for other clients as this is a subcontractor role. We are happy for you to work for other clients (in an admin capacity, no phone work) during your rostered hours as long as incoming and outgoing calls for us take priority.

We require the successful candidate to be available to take calls on the following shifts.

HOURS

Monday 8am – 2pm

Tuesday 8am – 2pm

Friday – 8am – 11am and 2pm – 5pm

We work together as a team and some flexibility will be required on occasion to help fill in or take on extra shifts at times of staff leave etc. In return, we offer the same to you for your leave requirements. Please don’t apply if you are unable to assist the team out in extra hours.

There will be a training period where you will be required to come to the office at either Caloundra or Burnside for your first week. The hours for face to face training will be Mon – Fri 8:30am – 2:00pm however, we can be flexible on this too.

Technical

  • A wired ADSL2 or stronger Internet connection. (Min 5mbps download and above 0.7 for upload, see speed test below) must be wired – no wifi.
  • Google Chrome is to be used as the browser.
  • Have a quiet space to work – minimum to no background noise.
  • Have your own ABN
  • Have a reliable computer with USB connected headset (VoIP Compatible)
  • Have an intermediate level of PC skills. You will be required to use many online applications and setup processes. We also use Dropbox for file sharing so downloads and uploads are a given in this role.

 Personal

  • A friendly and warm phone voice
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Likes a challenge
  • Be able to deal with complaints in a professional manner
  • Attention to detail
  • Can work as part of a team and individually
  • Be confident on the phone
  • The ability to pick things up quickly and ask for help if needed
  • MUST be able to commit to working your rostered hours starting ASAP for a minimum 3-month contract.

This is the perfect opportunity for a work at home role for someone who is already at home during the required hours, going about their day, to earn some extra money. This is not a role for someone who relies on an income as you are paid per call and we cannot guarantee call volume. It would suit someone who is already at home during the required hours and doesn’t mind answering calls to earn a bit of pocket money.

If you feel you are a good fit for our team and can commit to the required hours, we would love to speak with you.

Next Steps:

  • Please take the following speed test on your Laptop or PC. Just click on the link and start the test. http://speedtest.net/ We are looking for a speed of 5.0mbps or higher and upload speed of 0.5 or higher.
  • Email your results with resume/profile to korrync@vos.net.au with subject heading: Virtual Reception Application – (Your Name)
  • Include your available start date, and you ABN #
  • We will be in contact with you if you are a suitable candidate

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Virtual Receptionist Required – Sunshine Coast Work from home opportunity

We are currently seeking a resident of the Sunshine Coast for a Virtual Receptionist to work from home.

This role is paid per call answered. The pay is $1.50+gst per call taken and can average anywhere between 5 – 50 calls in a particular shift. There is a pay increase after a 3-month probation period and at this time, pay will be raised to $1.80+gst per call.

You must have an ABN and be working for other clients as this is a subcontractor role. We are happy for you to work for other clients (in an admin capacity, no phone work) during your rostered hours as long as incoming and outgoing calls for us take priority.

We require the successful candidate to be available to take calls on the following shifts.

HOURS

Monday 8am – 2pm

Tuesday 8am – 2pm

Friday – 8am – 11am and 2pm – 5pm

We work together as a team and some flexibility will be required on occasion to help fill in or take on extra shifts at times of staff leave etc. In return, we offer the same to you for your leave requirements. Please don’t apply if you are unable to assist the team out in extra hours.

There will be a training period where you will be required to come to the office at either Caloundra or Burnside for your first week. The hours for face to face training will be Mon – Fri 8:30am – 2:00pm however, we can be flexible on this too.

Technical

  • A wired ADSL2 or stronger Internet connection. (Min 5mbps download and above 0.7 for upload, see speed test below) must be wired – no wifi.
  • Google Chrome is to be used as the browser.
  • Have a quiet space to work – minimum to no background noise.
  • Have your own ABN
  • Have a reliable computer with USB connected headset (VoIP Compatible)
  • Have an intermediate level of PC skills. You will be required to use many online applications and setup processes. We also use Dropbox for file sharing so downloads and uploads are a given in this role.

 Personal

  • A friendly and warm phone voice
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Likes a challenge
  • Be able to deal with complaints in a professional manner
  • Attention to detail
  • Can work as part of a team and individually
  • Be confident on the phone
  • The ability to pick things up quickly and ask for help if needed
  • MUST be able to commit to working your rostered hours starting ASAP for a minimum 3-month contract.

This is the perfect opportunity for a work at home role for someone who is already at home during the required hours, going about their day, to earn some extra money. This is not a role for someone who relies on an income as you are paid per call and we cannot guarantee call volume. It would suit someone who is already at home during the required hours and doesn’t mind answering calls to earn a bit of pocket money.

If you feel you are a good fit for our team and can commit to the required hours, we would love to speak with you.

Next Steps:

  • Please take the following speed test on your Laptop or PC. Just click on the link and start the test. http://speedtest.net/ We are looking for a speed of 5.0mbps or higher and upload speed of 0.5 or higher.
  • Email your results with resume/profile to korrync@vos.net.au with subject heading: Virtual Reception Application – (Your Name)
  • Include your available start date, and you ABN #
  • We will be in contact with you if you are a suitable candidate

 

Categories
Virtual Assistant Virtual Business Virtual Executive and Personal Assistant

Safety vs. Stability – what do they mean in business?

Do you feel safe in business and your life in general? By safe, I don’t mean having a body guard to protect you from life’s dangers; I mean do you have stability?

This week, I had a client tell me that the trust he and I have built, over the past 6 years together, has earned me an ongoing contract between our two businesses. This got me thinking, is it only the trust he values or does it go much deeper than that? So, I asked the question; “What makes you feel safe in our business partnership”?

He responded by saying that, together, we have been able to form trust and been able to grow our businesses.  He also loves the honesty in my approach and values my commitment to his business and staff. He said the one word to describe what it means to be partnering with me is….stability!

This got me thinking – do I feel stable in my own business? Do I feel stable with my business practices and do I feel I have an edge over other Virtual Assistant companies…absolutely!  I offer excellent services and aim to build profound business relationships with my clients. The services I offer and the partnerships I create with my clients give me stability not only in my business but also in the marketplace against my competitors. Unfortunately, these practices don’t necessarily make me financially stable nor do they make me safe from losing clients and losing income.

Knowing this, while I continue to grow my business I continually work on key areas to reach financial stability and feel intense safety.  Here are a few tips:

 

  1. Track your current spending and income information down to the fine details. Keep this information in an accounting software package or even something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Continually analyse your spending vs. income – if your spending is greater than your actual income you need to look at changing this straight away.

 

  1. Be sure to create a budget, whether weekly or monthly.  Ensure you stick to your budget and determine where costs can be cut, if necessary. For example, you may be able to cuts costs by outsourcing parts of your work, downgrading online software you are using, changing suppliers or even something as simple as changing the quality of paper that’s used in the office.

 

  1. Ensure all bills are paid on time. These days, the majority of suppliers charge a late fee if invoices are not paid on time.

 

  1. Determine if you can use new suppliers to not only cut your own costs but to also forward some of those savings to your customers. This is a win-win; you save money on services/products and your customers get a more cost effective deal, which they will love you for.

 

  1. Offer referral discounts. I do these two ways. I always offer a referral finders’ fee to anyone who refers clients to me and I also offer the potential new client a discount as a referred client. This not only means that the referrer keeps referrals coming my way, it also helps potential clients make the decision to employ me as, straight up, I offer them a discount that my competitors, more than likely, will not offer.

The above are just some ways I like to ensure my business in on the right path to financial stability. I would love to hear what you think is important to create stability in your business.

 

 

 

Categories
Virtual Assistant Virtual Business Virtual Executive and Personal Assistant

How to turn warm leads into BFFs

Recently I received a lead from a potential client.  Although they did not end up using my services they still wanted to keep in contact with me.

This got me thinking – why?  Why would a potential customer want to stay in contact even though they had no desire to work with me?

The answer, once I sat back and looked at this scenario, was very simple; they were not yet ready for the financial outlay, which is totally cool, but they did want to keep the communication lines open for when they are.  Clients may not be ready now but that does not mean they won’t ever be ready to spend money with you.

Here are my top 10 tips on how to stay front of mind with all your warm leads.

  1. As soon as they contact you, either via your website or by direct email, acknowledge them within minutes. This shows your responsiveness – first impressions count. A great idea is to set up an automatic email in your CRM system that will send them an immediate response.  Thank them, give them as much information as possible and finish this email by advising you will be in contact, shortly, via phone.
  2. Create an email response that stands out from your competitors. The email that you send is this initial contact can set you apart from others that offer the same service. My email doesn’t necessarily showcase the benefits of working with me. Initially, I concentrate more on telling them who I am, what I stand for and how I may be able to help eliminate some of the pain they feel in their business – after all, they have reached out to me because they need help.
  3. Find out who they are and try to connect with them. Research their business online and read their website and social profiles.  This will provide an understanding of their business, their values, and what they like to do in their spare time, etc.  A great start, if possible, is to connect with them on LinkedIn.  Common connections on LinkedIn are a great conversation starter.  For instance, I had a lead come in a while ago from a potential client.  I looked at their LinkedIn profile and could see we had a common connection. It turns out I had already spoken to this particular person via the work I do with another client. I mentioned this during our conversation and they remembered who I was.  It was a great way to start a conversation and chat on a more personal level.
  4. If possible, show you are familiar with their industry. If you have a lead from say a Tradie, use your familiarity as leverage. Mention that you have worked with Tradies before, state what you have done for them and describe what worked and what didn’t. If you haven’t specifically worked with anyone in their particular field, you may find a connection via a family member that is somehow linked to that field or you may have had an interested in that field when you were back in high school. Basically, you are looking for any type of connection that shows you have or once had an interest in what they offer.
  5. Tell them how much you enjoyed their website, social profiles or that great article they may have recently written. This demonstrates you have taken the time to get to know them and are interested in their business.
  6. Give some advice on a possible pain point they have. If you receive a lead asking for help with a website, take a look at their website and find the areas that could do with some change. Now, there is a fine line between constructive criticism and just showing off, so be careful here. For example, recently I received a lead from a client who was looking for virtual reception support. I called them right away to introduce myself and was greeted with their voicemail. I left a message, sent them an email and continued on with my work. Later that day, I received a return phone call from them and, during our conversation, I let them know that I understood why they needed support on their incoming lines – it took all day for them to return my call! If I was a client looking to use their services, I would more than likely have moved onto one of their competitors already.  Saying this was perfectly in line with their reception inquiry and I was able to demonstrate why they needed help in this area.
  7. Follow up a few days after your initial contact. Give them time to process the information you have either emailed or spoken about. Don’t follow up the very next day as chances are they have not had time to digest it all yet. I suggest following up 2 days later with a ‘checking-in’ email. Depending on the circumstance, I usually enquire if they received the information they required and ask if there is anything I can do for them at this stage.
  8. Call them a week later. If you have heard nothing from them since your initial contact, pick up the phone. This will demonstrate you are not just ‘shooting them an email’ and that you care and have taken the time to actually call them.
  9. Keep the communication lines open no matter the outcome. If your lead either does not come back to you or they let you know they are not proceeding with your service at this stage (no matter the reason) ensure you keep them on your radar. For instance, in a month’s time, if you see an article you believe to be beneficial to their situation, send it to them and let them know you thought they may like it. Connect with them on their social profiles and comment on their posts. If you hear of someone looking for their services, send them both an introductory email stating you believe there may be a connection here. Showing that you are thinking of them will keep your own name in the forefront of their mind.
  10. Celebrate with them. If you see, on social media, that they have had a big win in their business, congratulate them – send them a card or a personal email. If they have a birthday, send them a card or a personal text or email to wish them a Happy Birthday. Making personal connections outside of business shows you care.

It’s important to make human connections with people no matter what the outcome of a situation.  Strive to stand out from a crowd. Become the change they need no matter how you are able to show this. Show how you are different from others and that you are a real thought leader in your space – the best person in your field.

Written by Korryn Campbell

 

Categories
Virtual Business Virtual Reception

Engage with me before you sell to me

Recently, I joined a group on Facebook for like-minded business owners. This was purportedly a support group, aimed at business owners, wanting to discuss solutions for their business challenges. This was not a networking or sales group.  I joined this group to gain fresh ideas, as a way to meet other business owners and to see how we might be able to support each other – or so I thought…

I was introduced to the group by the administrator and was, in turn, asked to introduce myself. Happily, I gave my name and offered some personal information; what I like to do in my spare time, how many kids I have, my marital status, that I run my own successful small business (I did not state what type of business this was) and what pain points I was experiencing in my business.  I also made it clear that I had joined this group to understand how other business owners work to alleviate their pain points – I was looking for support.

The aim of my introduction was not to sell my services, it was to present myself as a human being and a fellow business owner. It was to share why I joined this group and discuss the vulnerabilities in my business. I was hoping to speak in a safe place where I could gain support and understanding from others about what works or does not work, for them. A brainstorming group – this is why I joined this particular group.

Given I am big on creating meaningful connections and building robust relationships with people, I was hoping some of the members in this group would build a rapport with me and tell me a little about who THEY are as a person. What I found was quite fascinating!

I had twenty-three people respond and welcome me to the group that day. However, instead of sharing their own experiences or even asking me any further questions, eighteen of the twenty-three participants jumped in straight away, hawking their services and how they could help me.  In fact, two of those eighteen immediately asked to schedule a meeting with me so they could solve my problems.

This was absolutely disturbing to me. These people had no idea who I really was, they did not know what type of business I own and certainly did not notice when I said that I am big on making meaningful connections with people. They simply did not listen nor did they care why I was there – they smelled new blood and smothered me trying to get my business.

I had offers from business coaches wanting to coach me, personal shoppers wanting to shop for me and a nanny agency offering to look after my children.  I even had a fellow Virtual Assistant offer me their services – asking me if I knew what a VA was and advising how a VA could help my business. (Did I mention that I own a Virtual Assistant company?)

I soon realised that this may not be the best group for me.  I needed support from like-minded business owners who have daily struggles in their own businesses.  I was here to see how others put out their fires, how they work with their teams and how they support their own businesses. I pointed out that I felt the majority of people who responded were trying to sell their services to me without even knowing what it is that I do – more sales than support.

On the upside, out of the twenty-three that “welcomed” me to the group that day, five people were interested in who I was.  I was delighted to learn more about who they were and what they do and, happily, they each asked me what I do, which I gladly told them. Their feedback to me was that they enjoyed getting to know me as a person, mother, wife, business owner and someone who sometimes struggles just as much as they do. I seemed open and honest – someone they could learn from.

Personally, I have learned much from these five connections I have made.  We also decided that it would be more beneficial to set up a private chat than to remain in the original group, which I have now left.

The moral of the story; get to know people before you jump in and try to save them. You might be offering to save them in areas they don’t need and may end up just pushing them away. Engage with your connections – you never know what you will learn and where those relationships may lead.

Written by Korryn Campbell

 

Categories
Virtual Business Virtual Reception

The New and Healthy Way of Employing a Receptionist

Who is usually the fist point of contact for your business?  That’s right!; it’s your receptionist – a customer service professional who will provide a positive first impression for your business.

Every business, whether big or small, should think about adding a receptionist to its team.  However, if you are thinking that cost may be an issue, there is a solution – virtual reception and PA services.     You may be surprised to learn that you can still have quality services without the hefty price tag of a hiring full time staff member.

If you are wondering what the benefits of a virtual reception are or if they are the same benefits as hiring an in-house staff member, read on…

Calls are Always Answered

Hiring a virtual receptionist means your calls are always answered – breaks, annual leave and sick days are always covered by a backup receptionist ready to take your calls.

Ensured Customer Service

Virtual receptionists are, in their own right, business owners who understand the importance of professional first impressions.  You can expect quality customer service from the first  ‘Welcome to…’, to the last ‘ …and Thank You for calling’.

Savings

Hiring a virtual receptionist is cost effective because you pay on a per-call basis – you aren’t paying a full time salary during those sometimes slow periods.

Maintain Professionalism

As the saying goes, ‘the first impression is the last impression’!  Hiring a virtual receptionist maintains professionalism – your customers will welcome the fact that they can speak with a knowledgeable, professional team member instead of just leaving a message.

These are only some of the benefits of virtual reception and how it may be beneficial for you business.  If you are still doubtful or have any questions about whether hiring a virtual reception and PA service is for you, reach out to us – you’ll be happy that you did.

 

Categories
Virtual Business

How Virtual Office Systems can Benefit Both Employees and Business?

When we talk about flexible work hours in a company, there is nothing better than a virtual office as it allows employees to work wherever they are and whenever they like. Besides this, there are many other added benefits that prove to be advantageous for the employee and the business.

Let us take a look!

No commute time

Taking time to get ready and traveling to the office incorporates at least two to three hours, which is surely not productive. The need to indulge these hours back into business productivity has made many entrepreneurs opt for virtual office services.

Reduce health risk for employees

According to many studies, sitting at the desk for long hours increases the health risk of employees. The need to keep people moving has brought Virtual Assistants into the picture. This helps employees to work from their favorite location or in their favorite place in the house and need not require sitting on a chair at an office.

Flexible timings

Wish to work at lunchtime because you have to visit your child’s school? Not a problem anymore! A Virtual Assistant provides you the privilege of working at any point of time. Consequently, this helps you in managing all the things whether personal or professional.

Reduced expenses

The need to do the task from a remote location helps reduce the expenses of a business like utility payments, office lease, and no hardware installation costs etc.

Increased productivity

Lastly, this helps in increasing the productivity because you are allowing the employees to work from a remote location which is of their choice rather than putting a bunch of people together in an office to work and making them sit and work forcefully.

So, these are a few virtual office business benefits that prove to be bliss for both employees and entrepreneurs.

 

Categories
Virtual Assistant Virtual Business

How to Choose a Reliable Virtual Assistant

Outsourcing companies offer real support for business owners.    They manage administration work, which, in return, allow the owners to concentrate on other important tasks.

Any business can surely benefit from them, but before hiring any company here are a few questions that you need to ask:

  • Are you sure they are good at their work?
  • Do you know how satisfied their past clients have been?

If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, you may need to revise your decision of hiring a certain company or individual.  Here are a few things that you need to consider when choosing the right Virtual Assistant–

Experience

This is the most important aspect when looking to hire a Virtual Assistant.  With experience, comes the ability to offer quality services that will help you meet your business requirements.

  • Will the Virtual Assistant help you meet your deadlines?
  • Will they see possible time-saving alternate ways of doing things?
  • Are they productive and proactive?
  • Will they take the time to learn your business and industry?

Testimonials

The next aspect that you need to consider is testimonials from their past and current clients.   Ask to see both written and verbal testimonials. Written testimonials are great but verbal ones are even better – jump on the phone and speak with a few clients to hear what their feedback is. This will help you in determining the work credibility of the company or individual and their seriousness towards the work.

Cost of the service

All companies and individuals have different costs for virtual assistant services.  It is important for you to determine which company provides quality services in your budget.  Comparing costs is important to shortlist the companies that fall into these criteria.

  • Cheapest is not always the best – Do they have the experience you need?
  • Do they have great feedback from past clients?

Remember the old saying, “you get what you pay for”.

Role & Responsibility

Lastly, before hiring any kind of help, you should check whether the Virtual Assistant offers a guaranteed solution in an estimated timeframe.   After all, it is your hard-earned money that you are going to invest. Checking out the roles and responsibilities of a company or individual are important to get optimum results.

These are a few key points that you need to consider before hiring any outsourcing company for any virtual office assistant services.