There are limitless potential customers for any salesman, but finding those customers can be difficult. There’s tremendous pressure to locate new leads, but there’s seems never to be quite enough time.
A virtual assistant can actually make the process much simpler for you. Finding new leads is perfect work for virtual assistants; they can do the time consuming research to ascertain whether corporate clients are right for you and precisely what they need – or they can compile lists of individual consumers who might be interested in your product. Furthermore, they can work from anywhere and can always be available to answer queries and provide routine feedback for potential clients, ensuring that sales don’t slip through your fingers.
Training a virtual assistant to find leads for you doesn’t have to take long, either. Many of the processes of hunting for leads are somewhat repetitive, involving searching online and communicating by email. Once you train your assistant and perhaps provide a few templates for emails, you can move on to other things while the leads come in – allowing you to focus on delivering a perfect pitch and completing the sale. All those parts of the job that tied your hands are still being done, and you’re available to focus on other matters.
Whether it’s answering email inquiries, entering data or doing research, a virtual assistant can be a very significant aid. A qualified assistant could be exactly what you need to move your business forward.
If your to-do list frequently remains undone at the end of the workday, unchecked time wasters are the likely culprit. Ask yourself these five questions before you complete each task to ensure maximum efficiency.
1. What will the outcome of this task be? If you can’t identify a concrete result, save it for later, delegate it, or scrap it altogether.
2. Are there more urgent things I could be doing? Maybe you’re tackling easier, more pleasant tasks in order to avoid more pressing but less appealing ones. Be honest with yourself, or your may end up completing mindless jobs while ignoring important items on your agenda.
3. Is email habitually eating away at my day? Email, one of the most common time wasters, decreases efficiency in two ways: volume and disorganization. Unsubscribe from email lists or alerts that don’t add significant value. Utilize all forms of automation available in your email program and keep your inbox and folders organized.
4. Could I delegate this task? You may be avoiding delegating certain items for a variety of reasons. You might be using them as pleasant ways to ease into boring tasks. Or maybe you feel uncomfortable delegating in general unless it’s entirely necessary. If you’re a perfectionist, you might be concerned that someone else won’t get the job done the same way you would. Ask yourself what the outcome would be if the task weren’t completed perfectly. Most likely, the result would not be catastrophic. Hand it over to the best person for the job, and move on.
5. Does what I’m doing fit into my plan for the day? Even the most meticulous planners sometimes get sidetracked by constant email checking, needless interruptions and other time wasters. If it doesn’t help you accomplish your goals for the day, move it to another spot on your calendar.
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Every office is full of time-saving electronic devices. Sometimes they work. Sometimes it’s better to do things the old-fashioned way. Here is what ditching the word processor, and picking up a pencil, can teach you.
1. Pencils are lightweight and there for you: You’ll find that a pencil is easy to keep. It’s small, has a great reputation for reliability, and erases all your mistakes. In all seriousness, something has to be pretty versatile to replace this simple tool – which is something you can transfer to every part of your business.
2. It’s temporary: There are times when what you write needs to be temporary and disposable. Pencils give every office dweller the opportunity to erase mistakes quickly and replace the blank page with something more suitable. Writing with a pencil also feels temporary. It’s a feeling that can relieve stress for someone that is not yet ready to make their ideas final.
3. Pencils keep you involved: With a pen, you write and scratch out. The mistake is still there in front of you, taunting you and disrupting your train of thought. When you make a mistake with a pencil, you can erase it and start over. This adds a dimension of power to every project. It also makes the sentences on the paper easier to read and less messy. Whatever you’re doing, it can always be helpful to work in rough before committing to the final form of a piece of work – that’s where great ideas come from!
When you follow these simple tips, you can make yourself more useful and reduce the stress your projects put on you. Doing things the old-fashioned way can sometimes inspire fresh ideas, a break from it all and a sense that you can correct yourself. What you write is temporary and therefore fixable. The next time you pick up a pen, consider whether you really want to and, if not, put it down and search for a pencil. Sharpen it and go to work with a whole new attitude.
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Using a company credit card is a great way to keep your personal and business related purchases separate. However, there is every reason to look for ways to simplify the process even further. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to save time while using a company credit card.
The most important way to save time while using a company credit card is to save all receipts and to keep these receipts organized. Many professionals will need to submit these receipts to their employer, which can be unnecessarily problematic if they are not kept in one place. You may even want to separate youe receipts by whether the expense will be billed to a client or reimbursed by your employer. While this make take an extra minute at the time, it will save a great deal of time when later organizing one’s finances.
Another way you can save time is by using a business accounting program like Quickbooks. Quickbooks helps professionals automatically download, track, and record their credit card statements. You can use this program to easily view you purchases, determine which expenses need to be billed to a client and which will need to be reimbursed by your employer. Instead of going through one’s receipts every month and filling out detailed expense reports, you can use Quickbooks to simply share your statements. Having all of one’s credit card statements saved in one program can also save a great deal of time during tax season.
It is also important to know when their bill needs to be paid each month. If you are very busy, you may want to set an alarm on your phone, reminding you a few days in advance. This will ensure that you have time to organize your receipts and get your expenses in order. Taking the extra minute or two to stay organized really will significantly reduce the amount of time you pend on managing a business credit card.
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Expanding a company means finding new customers, hiring new employees and changing operating procedures to handle the increased business. However, with the demands of running a business on a daily basis, many small business owners are unable to find the time or energy to do the things necessary for growth.
An outsourcing firm can assist business owners in completing the tasks necessary to grow. When a business owner outsources jobs, he passes responsibility to the firm for tasks that would normally be performed in-house. Through outsourcing the owner gains the extra set of hands necessary to complete tasks, at a relatively low price and without acquiring a long-term employee.
A company cannot grow without increasing its customer base and profitability levels. The solution to this is the fact that outsourcing firms can help market your business to attract new customers. Whether you are using tried and tested marketing methods or developing something new, an outsourcing firm can help design and disburse marketing materials. This lets you focus on fulfilling orders, thereby earning money to support expansion. Public relations, too, can be handled by an outsourcing firm.
An outsourcing firm can do much more than just attract attention to your company. Firms can also function as a human resource department. By searching for, hiring and training new employees an outsourcing firm directly saves you time – time that can be better spent making sales and pulling in cash. Similarly, outsourcing firms can provide secretarial or other support services, again reducing your workload and enabling you to focus on expansion rather than operations.
One of the best aspects about outsourcing firms, however, is their cost. Often, outsourcing firms share the workload for considerably less money than a full or part-time employee. Altogether, therefore, outsourcing firms may just be every small business owner’s dream.
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