Hire a Virtual Assistant or an Employee? Which is a Better Option?

Hire a Virtual Assistant or an Employee

 

One way or another, your business will grow. By the time it does, you will realize that the more you work alone, the more it doesn’t feel like a business. Your hands will be tied to doing all the work when you already have the means to take the burden off of yourself and start expanding and growing more. So what’s the better option? Hire a virtual assistant or an employee?

 

The choice to whether hire a virtual assistant or an employee cannot be a rash decision. You need to sit down and consider your business needs. So let’s begin…

 

Should I Hire a Virtual Assistant or an Employee?

 

Comparison 1

 

If you choose to hire a virtual assistant, you will not think about securing healthcare benefits, paying employer taxes, pay vacation leaves or sick leaves, or even setup an office with complete equipment. Your virtual assistant will do all that for himself/herself.

 

The employee, on the other hand, is required to have healthcare benefits, paid vacation and sick leaves, an office equipped with tools he/she needed for work, life insurance, and others mandated by the labor law to employers in your location.

 

Comparison 2

 

Those who hire a virtual assistant do so because they only pay for the work hours or on a project basis. As a business owner, you have the option to choose how many hours your virtual assistant can work. You can also choose to arrange per project work setup or part time work on an as needed basis.

 

For your employee, you need to pay him/her by the time he/she gets her foot inside the office, whether you have work for him/her to do or not. You are paying your employee by the hours he/she spends in the office and not how much work he/she completes.

 

Comparison 3

 

One of the perks you get when you hire a virtual assistant is you don’t need to spend too much on training and onboarding. This is because of the fact that virtual assistants are highly skilled remote professionals who come to you because they know they can perform the job.

 

Employees are not unnecessary. There are things that an employee can do working at an office compared to a virtual assistant working remotely. For example, someone can greet visitors for you or fix the mess on your table, perhaps. Some employees have several college degrees and some have one or none. But all of them need training and onboarding so they can get into the same page as your company. This may mean hiring a certified coach or trainer to do that for you or having an entire HR department on your payroll.

 

These are at least three things you need to consider when deciding on whether to hire a virtual assistant or an employee. They both have their purposes, but you should choose based on the size of your company and how much you’re willing to spend.

 

If spending more on overhead doesn’t bother you as long as you have someone at the office to make you coffee, then hire an employee. But if you want to spend less but still get the quality you want and use the money you save on scaling your business even more, then you should hire a virtual assistant.

 


 

Want to learn more about how to hire a virtual assistant? Feel free to drop your questions in the comments or send us a message through our Contact page.

Top 5 Ways to Save Your Business During a Pandemic

Top 5 Ways to Save Your Business During a Pandemic

The situation today around the world, because of the COVID-19 caused by coronavirus, is devastating. I mean, the virus is not killing people by the thousands or millions (at least not yet) but it has already caused uncertainties for everyone, including how to save your business.

 

Some businesses have been closed and only a few essential establishments are allowed to operate. Business owners had to lay off some of their employees. Some employees begin to panic and some brought it to social media to protest. Schools closed early and students are asked to stay home.

 

Then there are those who are able to adapt almost immediately and made work from home arrangements with their companies. Some businesses started bringing their products and services online. Some creative schools opted to do their classes in a digital classroom.

 

So what now? With people staying home, businesses are losing money because there is few to zero foot traffic. What do you do to save your business during a pandemic?

 

Here are a few tips you may want to consider.

 

Consider Running Your Business At Home

 

By this, I mean running your business online since there is a need for social distancing these days. So ask yourself, “Is it possible to bring my products and/or services online?” Or, if you have different types of products and/or services, “Which of my products and/or services can I bring to the online world?”

 

While deciding, consider the logistics for physical products. Will you be allowed to go out to do your business – get in touch with logistics for pickup and delivery?

 

If you are unable to bring any of your products and/or services online, then consider getting into the digital space while waiting for things to get back to normal. You never know, what you start may become a long term venture even when things are up and running again.

 

Renegotiate Your Rent

 

If you are renting your office or commercial space, consider discussing a new payment scheme with your landlord. Ask if a discount is possible during this time of crisis. You won’t know until you do it – renegotiate to save on monthly rent if you want to keep the space. This will help save your business.

 

Relocate to Save Your Business

 

Sometimes it is hard to renegotiate rent for commercial spaces, so you might want to consider relocating to a smaller office/space for lower rent. That is if your government allows you to leave or move around. But even after the lockdown is over, it will not be easy to get back your losses so finding a smaller office or commercial space may save you a few thousands every month.

 

Lay Off Non-Essential Employees

 

This is one of the hardest decisions a business owner has to make during this time of crisis. Some of your employees will surely take the step negatively and some would understand. But as the business owner, you cannot continue paying for a non-essential employee when you are running low on cash. If you do out of pity, you may be out of business and then risk losing your source of income as well as risk having to fire every one of your employees, essential ones and non-essential ones.

 

Make Work at Home Arrangements for Your Employees

 

In relation to tip #1, you can make work at home arrangements for your employees, if possible, instead of firing them. Depending on how big your company is or how much your budget is, you can provide each one with a computer set and an internet connection. If this is not possible, then use only employees who have computers at home and then do tip #4 for the rest. Hard decision but necessary.

 


 

Do you have other tips that you can add to save your business during a pandemic? Share in the comments or submit a guest post.

How to Delegate Work to a Remote Assistant

How to Delegate Work to a Remote Assistant

 

If you can learn the power of delegation early in your business, then you will have saved yourself enough time to do big things and become successful. Today, it is easier and more convenient than ever to delegate work to a remote assistant.

 

As scary as it may seem to those who are new to this setup, working with a remote assistant has helped many small businesses take their products and services off the ground. Others have become more productive that they were able to accept more clients and grow their email list! Isn’t that amazing?

 

So how do you begin delegating work to a remote assistant?

 

1. Have a plan in place.

 

If this is the first time you are hiring a remote assistant to help you in your business then you definitely need a plan! You need to have a list of tasks or projects you would like to delegate. Your list will help you decide what type of assistant you’d be bringing onboard.

 

Your plan should also include how long you expect to work with the remote assistant and whether or not you need to get on a trial work period. Decide on a budget—how much you are willing to pay your assistant per month—and prepare a work agreement if you want to, although not necessary.

 

2. Schedule a time to meet online.

 

Meeting your remote assistant online through Skype, Zoom, or whatever call app you wish to use will instill confidence to both parties. During this first meeting, you could get to know each other and learn how you can both benefit from the work relationship.

 

Some projects may not require a meeting; sometimes an email would suffice. You will have to work it out with your remote assistant. The purpose of the meeting is to make your assistant feel valued and part of a team, if you already have a team (virtual or not).

 

3. Agree on a work process.

 

Will you be sharing documents through Google Drive, Dropbox, or Asana, for example? Do you prefer to receive weekly invoices every end of the week or twice a month or monthly? What will your main communication channel be? How can you contact each other in case of emergencies or, say, in case of power outages or loss of internet connection? How often would you like your remote assistant to send you an update about his/her work progress?

 

4. Prepare to train your remote assistant.

 

Training is often not necessary when you work with a remote assistant because he/she comes with all the skills you need to perform the job. But in case you have a platform that he/she may not be familiar with, then prepare a video tutorial. Processes that are only known to your company/business should also be taught. Most often, training will only take a short time for a skilled person.

 

5. Give constructive and appropriate feedback.

 

At the start of the working relationship, when your remote assistant is still learning the ropes of your business, it is helpful to give regular constructive and appropriate feedback. This will help him/her understand your business better and improve based on your feedback.

 

Once he/she gets the hang of things, you can stop with the feedback, although from time to time, it would be good to give words of encouragement and appreciation for the work he/she does.

 


Want to know what tasks/services you can delegate to a virtual assistant? Click here.

Understanding Digital or Online Marketing

Understanding Digital or Online Marketing

What is Digital or Online Marketing

 

You can call it web marketing, online marketing, or digital marketing. It is the practice of using digital tools to make people aware of a product or service you offer.

Digital marketing is a great way to grow your business. To start utilizing it, you need to identify a product or service to sell. Then craft your unique selling proposition so you can attract the right audience. Next, take advantage of online marketing for free or choose to pay for tools and/or services.

Your online marketing is most effective if you connect with the right people/companies. Here are some of the ways you can do this.

 

Forms of online marketing:

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is positioning your web page so that it appears at the top of a user’s search. Being placed at the top of a list of results means that you have a better potential for people to visit your web page and see what your company has to offer.

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is another powerful form of marketing for any business. You use it to position yourself as an authority in your industry. Through it, you position your business website as a resource for potential consumers by posting free content. It could be in the form of blog posts or ebooks.

 

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing uses channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to promote a product and/or service. One of its goal is to generate organic followers that can be turned into customers.

 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is basically paying a third-party business for referring new customers. This is also known as referral marketing. If you think about the logic of the system, you’ll notice that it works the same way as the network marketing system where affiliate marketers receive commissions for products they sell through an affiliate link.

 

Content Automation

What’s special about it is you do not have to be present at all times to make it happen. You can use scheduling tools to send out email campaigns, for example, or post updates across all your social media accounts without logging in to each one every time. Before you automate your content, though, you still need to plan. You still need to collect data and make your content attractive before scheduling them for automation.

 

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is when a business tries to attract a high-profile, influential clientele and use that clientele to attract more consumers. This is becoming more and more popular these days in most industries like food, fashion, recreation and travel.

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing, or SEM, uses paid advertising to increase a website’s visibility in search engine results. When you search anything on Google, you often find featured websites listed at the top; you can identify these websites with the “Ad” tag below the titles. These websites paid for their marketing so they come up more often than regular, non-paid websites in the results page of a search.

 

Email Direct Marketing

Email direct marketing is when a business uses email addresses supplied by its consumers to send out marketing information. This may include promotions and discounts, updates, launches of new products, and any other campaign that the business wishes to let its audience know about.

 


 

Our clients benefit from our online marketing services. Want to be more productive in these areas? Get in touch today!

6 Things You Need to Setup a Business Website

6 Things You Need to Setup a Business Website

Websites are becoming more and more a necessity for businesses (even for hobbies and interests!) than ever before. With social media platforms changing their terms and conditions every now and then, you may be getting worried about losing your businesses; plus put your content and marketing efforts to waste.

Having your own platform in the form of a website can give you the peace of mind. With your own website, you can set your own terms and conditions. So are you ready to create one for your business?

 

What are the six things you need to setup a business website?

 

1. Domain Name

In the virtual environment, you will need a virtual address so people can find you. This is called the domain name. It is the name of your business website. It is your business identity online. Some people use their registered business names as their website names because it is easier for their audience to remember and find them.

You can register for a domain name with well-known and trusted registrars like GoDaddy, BlueHost, and Hostgator, among many others. These three domain name providers have been around for quite a while now. When choosing a registrar, make sure you take your time to compare prices and features, plus read what others have to say about the service before you decide which one you’d go with.

Domain names come with different domain extensions. Examples are *.com, *.org, and *.net. These three are most commonly used.

Recently, a lot of domain name extensions have cropped up and will continue to do so. You see extensions like *.biz, *.xyz, *.online, *.coach, *.me, and so much more.

 

2. Website Hosting

Without a website host, your domain name is useless. You need a web host to publish your business website and make your domain name go live. Think of it as your business establishment. Your domain name is your equivalent of a business name and probably a business license in brick-and-mortar business scenario. But a name and license is nothing without a dedicated office or space. People will not know you exist unless you open your space and get yourself out there.

This same thing is true with creating a business website. A domain name is just a domain name, nothing more. When you get it “hosted”, you claim a space on the Web where you can then make your business known to the world! Many web hosting companies offer domain name hosting as well as web hosting. But you also have the option to choose a domain name host that is different from your web host.

 

3. SSL Certificate

Is this really necessary? Yes, it is! SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is used to protect your website and your visitors from spams and harmful bugs.

Some would say you do not need this when you’re starting out or if you are not conducting money exchanges on your website, but what about the exchange of information? How can you assure your visitors that information they enter into your website is safe? How can they be sure that the links on your website are virus-free unless you have an SSL?

Your visitors will know you have one when they see “https” on your site’s URL instead of just “http”.

 

4. Business Logo

Since you are setting up a “business” site, it is also recommended to have your business logo ready. If you don’t have one yet, you can use an image that represents the purpose of your site. Your website will not only look dull without a logo as an identifying mark but it will seem like your business is nothing serious.

 

5. Basic SEO Skills

Search Engine Optimization skill is a necessity if you want your business website to be relevant and visible to your target audience. You don’t have to be a master of SEO in order to run your website, but understanding how keywords work on the Internet is vital. Otherwise, forget having a website!

By knowing the basics of keyword research and keyword placements on your website pages and posts, you’ll get a better chance at ranking on Google and getting in front of your target market. If you do not know the basics, here’s a few:

  • Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or KeywordTool.io to search for keywords in your niche that are mostly searched by people when they hit Google or any search engine.
  • Keywords should be at least two words or a phrase; think about how your target market would search for the information you want to provide when they go online. One-word keywords are very broad so it is not recommended.
  • Once you’ve chosen your keyword, make sure it is mentioned in your article’s URL, title, and several times in the body of your article. Do not bloat your business website with keywords, though. Include them in your sentences as naturally as possible.
  • Finally, add your keyword to your image’s “alt text”.

 

6. Consistent and Relevant Content

Your content should always have a purpose. Do not write when all you want to do is blabber. When you write, you should tell a story that’s relevant to your market. Your business website will get more traction when it provides information that people are looking for. It isn’t bad to talk about your personal experiences, but make sure you are not simply sharing them for the sake of ranting or bragging.

When your readers visit your site, will they find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems? Or will they find you talking about your own problems that they’d click away and never visit your site again?

When you keep in mind that your business website has a purpose and that it should produce consistent and relevant content according to that purpose, then there’s guarantee that your website will live for a long time!

 


Need help setting up your website? Check out our pricing and contact us to get started!