Get a Virtual Assistant to say it for you

Here at Time Saving Heroes we know how hard it is for business owners to hand over any aspect of their customer service to a complete stranger.  Your customers are everything, and you want to make sure that every part of their interaction with your business goes smoothly, and leaves them wanting more.

We totally understand that.

However, communication is one of the most time consuming aspects of any business.  Answering the phone, dealing with queries, replying to emails, scheduling appointments – it all takes up a huge amount of man power.  And when there’s only you, or a small team, that’s a lot of hours lost that could be spent doing something else that could be earning more money.

It can seem daunting at first, but it’s important to remember one thing: as your business grows it will become impossible for you to manage this aspect on your own.

Once you can accept that fact it starts to make sense to outsource some of the work to someone else now, so you can get the right processes in place to make expansion even easier.

Here are just ten ways you can free up your time by allowing a Time Saving Hero to communication on your behalf:

  1. Sending cards, thank you’s and invitations
  2. Checking and responding to voicemail
  3. Filtering your inbox and deleting spam/junk mail
  4. Writing, editing and sending follow-up emails to clients
  5. Creating templates to answer common questions
  6. Proof-reading and editing outbound messages you’ve already drafted
  7. Providing live chat support to online visitors
  8. Making outbound calls
  9. Dealing with support tickets/complaints etc
  10. Answering all your calls and taking messages, dealing with queries or passing on information

 

There’s so much more a Virtual Assistant can offer, but these are some of the key tasks that will allow you to focus on what you need to achieve to move your business forward.  Imagine how much more productive you could be if you weren’t constantly distracted by a ringing phone or an email notification.

To find out more simply give us a call on 0161 883 2024 or email lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

 

 

 

If you leave your marketing until you have time, it’s too late

What do you do to promote your business?

Every business is different, but the one thing that’s always essential is marketing.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve got people forming an orderly queue for your services, you still need to market. NEVER make the mistake of thinking you’re busy, so it doesn’t matter.

Yes, you might well be busy, and therefore remembering to do all the important things like updating your blog or posting on social media can seem impossible.  But, the reality is, you should never wait until you’re quiet to promote your business.

That’s just insanity.

Hiring a virtual assistant can ensure that you can juggle everything that your business needs.  You can stay focussed on meeting new clients, or doing the physical work whilst a Time Saving Hero takes on all the time consuming, yet essential, digital marketing aspects.

Here at Time Saving Heroes we can:

  1. Manage your business blog
  2. Moderate comments via your blog, and respond where necessary
  3. Add images and tags to your blogs
  4. Create lists for email marketing campaigns
  5. Keep email lists up to date (adding and removing subscribers as necessary)
  6. Creating and scheduling newsletters and marketing emails
  7. Write blog posts
  8. Update content on your website
  9. Produce other content marketing material (infographics etc)
  10. Do research on keywords

 

If these are things that you keep meaning to do, but just can’t find the time for, get in touch with one of our Time Saving Heroes today.

Just give us a call on 0161 883 2024 or email lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

 

 

 

Let me be your chicken

As headlines go, you’ve got to admit that one went and got your attention, didn’t it?

This morning I decided to treat myself to a plate of bacon and eggs (scrambled, for those of you who are curious and crave the details). The kids were occupied with their toast, all was quiet (briefly), and I got to thinking about a riddle I’d heard years ago.

In a bacon and egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the chicken and the pig?

The simple answer is that the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.

For many employers, recruiters or business owners it may seem that when faced with the chance to work with a chicken or pig, you want the pig. You want someone who is going to be all-in. However, I’m not so sure that’s really the best option.

When you think about the role the pig has to play in our breakfast scenario (apologies vegans and vegetarians out there) his sacrifice is perceived as commitment. In order to be part of the plate, he has to be slaughtered. The problem with this is that the pig can only be slaughtered once (no doubt something the pig, himself is relieved about).

Equally, the pig has no say in the process. The pig is caught up in someone else’s agenda, and remains a passive bystander until he is taken to the slaughter house and his lights switched off.

I’m not sure that’s actually commitment.

Not when you stop and think about the chicken. The chicken is born to lay eggs. It is in her very DNA. She does so without any prompting, coercion, very little encouragement and with no fuss. She voluntarily contributes to your breakfast, all you have to do is touch base with her once in a while and collect the eggs.

Your chicken will continue to lay eggs for as long as she is physically able to. Unlike the pig, she is not a one-time contributor to the plate.

Assistants can be either a pig or a chicken. The pigs are full of enthusiasm, but once they have given what they can, they burn out and have nothing left to offer.

Chickens can go the distance.

The chicken is the one with the real commitment.

Now, excuse me while I go and re-brand the business. What do you think of “Time Saving Chickens”?

Your phone and the Pavlovian Response

These days phones are almost everywhere. You probably have one in your pocket or handbag, one on your desk at work, and you no doubt have a landline at home too (though these days, it’s often hard to see why). You might even make the distinction between a personal and work mobile, to add more crazy in to the mix.

Phones are there to make communication easier; however, they make getting things done so much harder.

It rings, you answer it; it’s a Pavlovian response and a habit the vast majority of us can’t resist.

However, if you want to get more done it is essential you remember your phone, whatever guise it comes under, is meant to be a tool to help you, not constantly interrupt your day.

Here are my top tips for putting your phone in its place and ensuring you remember who owns who in this relationship!

#1 – Busy? Don’t answer it

You have a phone so you can be reached, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be available constantly. I have a client who will answer her phone no matter where she is – even when in the bathroom!

If you’re busy, you’re busy. Let it go to voicemail, trust me, if it’s important they will leave a message or call back!

#2 – Turn it off

Did you know you can actually turn your phone off? I know, it seems to be news to a lot of other people too. When you really need some quiet, uninterrupted time I strongly suggest turning your phone off. It doesn’t have to be all day, maybe just an hour, but knowing you can’t have any rings, bings or notifications for a whole glorious 60 minutes is an amazing feeling.

Personally I just put my phone on flight mode, but it’s amazing how productive I can be during that short space of time. If nothing else, it stops you being tempted to keep checking if you have missed something. It’s off, just leave it be for a while!

#3 – Respond with a text

If I have my phone on, but I’m not in a position where I can, or want to answer it I tend to cancel the call and immediately reply with a pre-set message such as “Sorry, currently in a meeting, will call you back shortly” or something to that effect.

It can be a great way of acknowledging the call (which is the main reason most people want to answer it in the first place) without being bogged down in having to deal with it there and then. It also buys you some time so the individual won’t phone you back in five minutes simply thinking there was a problem with the connection.

Of course, while everyone can no doubt accept the benefit of having periods of peace and quiet, there is always The Fear. The Fear that the call you miss is going to be the next big lead, client or job. What if they don’t leave a message, and you can’t call them back?

If you suffer from The Fear, then consider getting someone in to handle your calls for you.  Using our call handling service might give you the perfect solution – available for an ongoing basis, or just temporarily to give you the peace and quiet you need to get on with the vital things.

Receipts, expenses and mileage: three words a VA loves to hear

Every three months or so a pile similar to the one in the cover photo ends up on my desk. In fact, that photo was taken this morning, and the contents are still staring at me, whispering “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”.

It’s at this point I realise I’ve not left the office for days and I might have a few “issues”.

However, I digress.

This pile of papers is evil, and gives one of my clients a serious case of the heebie jeebies. Which is why it has navigated its way to me instead.

The contents include bank statements that need to be reconciled with numerous receipts, cash receipts for expenses claims, cheque stubbs that need to be tied to paid invoices, invoices that might still be outstanding … and in all honesty, a host of other nasties.

However, it’s come at a great time for me to provide another example of something you can outsource to a PA (whether virtual or otherwise). If you run your own business chances are you don’t have time to deal with this sort of admin. Yes, it’s important, and if you did do it on a regular basis the pile wouldn’t get so high but let’s not kid ourselves, in a toss up between filing a receipt or quoting for a job, we all know what’s going to win.

There is no contest.

Being able to drop a pile of paperwork like this off with a VA is a hugely liberating experience (so I am told, anyway). One client recently said

Giving you a carrier bag full of receipts is like a two hour therapy session. I immediately feel like a weight has been lifted because I know whatever is in that bag of c*@p is no longer my problem. You will deal with it and send me a lovely little spreadsheet a week later.

So there you have it – a VA is like therapy, but significantly cheaper.

If you have receipts piled up, mileage that needs to be recorded or expenses that need to be claimed give me a shout. Time Saving Heroes are on hand to deal with all the time consuming tasks, we can even upload to cloud based accounting packages or scan documents for later reference. Whatever you need, we can get it done because we are your secret weapon in the fight against time.

Call 0161 883 2024, comment below or email lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk if you want to book in for some time therapy!