Monthly Archives: March 2016

Triple your efficiency with a Virtual Assistant

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I use a virtual assistant (VA). You probably would expect that the owner of a VA firm would use a VA and you’d be correct. In fact, my VA posted this blog for me and added the fun graphic and made sure it was posted on all of my social media. I write the content but she helps me come up with topics and makes sure the world sees what I write.

I use to do everything on my own but then one day I found myself in a vicious cycle of marketing, then on-boarding new clients and repeat. I would spend hours for a few weeks each month marketing and posting on social media. Then suddenly I’d have a bunch of new clients that needed the service and I would get so busy, that I’d quit marketing. I’d then spend weeks on-boarding the new clients and once they were all set up and working with their VA I’d have to start marketing again to get new clients. See what was happening? Two weeks marketing, two weeks on-boarding clients and repeat. I realized I wanted a constant stream of new clients and in order to accomplish that I’d needed a constant stream of marketing.

Since I didn’t have enough hours in the day to do it all, I decided I needed to use my own service. It made total sense and what better marketing tool for my business than to show how successful my company had become from using a VA. Duh! My efficiency has tripled since I hired my virtual assistant. I now get to spend my days visiting with clients, finding out what they need and talking to them about how we can help! I get to do what I love best – helping people grow their business and their income by using my service!

My assistant has allowed me to continue to grow the company without all the stops and starts. She keeps me organized and I no longer stress about getting everything done. As the company is growing, her role is growing and that’s been fun for both of us! She has helped me grow my business and my income.

 
Are you ready to triple your efficiency?

Branding-Tell Your Story!

In business, branding is everything. People want to know who you are, how you started and what your company stands for. I don’t know about you but, I’ve never done business with a company that did not have an “About Us” page. I want to know who I’m dealing with and who they are.

 
There are several ways to tell your story. Talk about why you created your business in the first place, how you are helping people, your goals for your company, etc. Most businesses branding stories are based on the following concepts:

 
• You found a new creative way to do something that had been done the same way for years and years.
• You built a business on something that didn’t exist before.
• You solve a problem – I realize every business should solve a problem but the idea that you solve a problem can be your branding story.
• You are creating a positive change in the world. Maybe you make eco-friendly products or you hire disabled people. Whatever it is – talk about it!
• You are trustworthy – you tell things about your company that the competition doesn’t. You share that you don’t spend money on advertising to keep overhead low and pricing competitive. You share that your company is small and debt free. Whatever the truth is – you tell it.

 
What’s my branding story?
I graduated from ISU in 1999 with a degree in Journalism and immediately fell into the financial industry working with financial advisors and financial marketing organizations. After seven years in the industry I started working for a REIT firm as a scheduling assistant. I LOVED scheduling appointments for wholesalers. My wholesalers were great to work with and really made me feel like I was part of their team. I enjoyed the challenge to see how many appointments I could get each week. I also enjoyed getting to know the gatekeepers and the financial advisors, too.

 
My wholesalers’ company noticed the results I was getting and asked me to help train other schedulers. That was when I saw the need for more successful scheduling assistants and in 2009 Elite Scheduling Services, LLC was born. I did some major word-of-mouth and LinkedIn marketing for six months before I earned my first two contracts. My company grew rather quickly and each year I set new goals for myself. The nice thing about being in a niche market is that it truly is a small world. A lot of wholesalers know each other and they talk. So the more happy wholesalers I had, the more business I was getting.

 
The same can ring true for schedulers. As my company grew I had to continue to recruit the best schedulers out there. They typically came to me from word-of-mouth from other schedulers, wholesalers and financial advisors. My pricing is in line with most competition but I’m one of the top paying scheduling services so I’m able to retain top talent.

 
My goal is to have happy wholesalers and happy schedulers so I’m always happy to help in any way I can. As my company has grown so has the needs of our services. My scheduling assistants work virtually from across the United States and I started getting calls from people outside the financial industry wanting a virtual assistant. Since Elite Scheduling specializes in scheduling services for the financial industry I partnered with Laura Licursi at Elite Virtual Assistants, LLC (EVA) to provide services to entrepreneurs, authors, podcasters, corporate executives and busy professionals. The virtual assistants at EVA are specialized in specific areas such as, social media, marketing, event planning, travel planning, administration and many other skills so that they can best help EVA’s clients.
And since I’m always thinking of new ways to help others, we are adding a promotional marketing aspect as well. Many of my scheduling assistants started coming to me asking me where they could order promotional items for their wholesalers. After realizing the time and effort they were spending to research these things I decided to offer that as a service. The schedulers can now order whatever they need through Elite and they don’t have to spend hours searching for pens, drinkware, golf balls, business cards, holiday cards and whatever else it was they needed.

 
My company is still growing – heck, I’m still growing as an entrepreneur and as a person! But I’m having so much fun offering great services that my clients can benefit from. My clients love the services for various reasons. Many wholesalers say they “hate making cold calls”, they “hate scheduling appointments” but they “love making money”. A lot of clients love having an assistant that can help them with a variety of tasks, an assistant that can act as a sounding board and an assistant that can do all the busy work needed to operate a business.

 
So what’s on the horizon for me? Helping more people to help more people to help more people. I think the thing I love most about my business and the services we offer is that they truly are a win-win for everyone! I’ll leave you with this-What is your story?

Be More Productive in March!

This week I want to help you be as productive as possible considering St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness are both going to try really hard to knock us off our game! Here are just a few quick tips to help:

 

• Prioritize your to-do list. Make sure you complete at least the first three items each day. If you can complete more than three than you’ll feel like you accomplished way more than you set out to.

 

• Block out time in your schedule to accomplish the three items on your to do list. Put that time in your calendar as you would an appointment. That way you are sure to do those tasks.

 

• Limit the amount of time you spend checking email. Checking email every few minutes can be very time consuming. Yes, you should reply to emails in a timely manner but you don’t have to check your email every second of every day.

 
• Save Facebook, web surfing and games for your lunch hour or before and after work. I consulted with a client of mine that complained about not having enough time in her day. After I had her document everything she did for two days she realized that she was spending too much time on social media.

 
• Hire a virtual assistant – come on, you know I’d throw that one in here. A virtual assistant can take a lot off your plate! Even if you have one working for only 10 hours each month. You’ll be amazed at what they can do in 10 hours and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in your newly free 10 hours.

 
May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light and may good luck pursue you each morning and night!

 
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Risk and Reward

Do you ever find yourself wishing you had the same invincible feeling you had as a teenager? Teens don’t fear consequence, teens take risks and teens don’t lie awake at night worrying about what to do with the money they made from their summer job or how to pay for their car. They just live life.

 
I’m not saying we should all suddenly become reckless teenagers but there is a difference between being reckless and taking risks. Risks are what get you the big payoff, risks are what allow you to live the life of your dreams and sometimes risks are what actually allow you to sleep at night.

 
Take a good hard look at what you want out of life. Are you living the life you want? What would you do if you could do anything? Would you go back to school? Would you find a new career path? Would you live more simply? Sometimes taking risks aren’t as scary as they seem.

 
If you knew you’d be a success what risk would you take today? How could that risk potentially payoff? Write this down on a piece of paper.

 
Now consider what’s the worst that can happen if you fail? Would you have to sell your home and downsize? Would you have to sell your car and get a more practical one? Would you have to go back to the stable job you despise? Write this down on a piece of paper.
Is the risk worth the reward? When you look at ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ scenarios, sometimes you realize that the risk is worth it! Would it really be THAT bad to warrant NOT taking the risk? Why have you waited so long? Tell yourself that failure is NOT an option, believe in yourself and others will believe in you.

 
I took a risk when I quit my stable job to start a company that only paid me when I contracted with clients to use my service. I no longer had guaranteed income, I no longer had benefits and I no longer had stability. But it was all worth it! Today, my company continues to thrive and I continue to think outside the box and take risks for even further growth.

 
I have watched some of the most successful business people try things and fail. But the failure is a lesson learned. They use the failure to tweak and hone the next risk. They know they’ll be successful and they just have to try again.

 
For me, taking a risk and starting my own company has become an adventure. I am having so much fun and I sleep better at night knowing that I am truly living my dream. Whats your dream?

Be Unique & Think Outside of the Box

To Live Your Dream Sometimes You Need To Think Outside of the Box.
Things are ever changing in today’s world. Technology changes daily, industries change, people change and businesses change. The only way to continue to thrive in a competitive market is to continue to change as well. As I’ve worked tirelessly to continue to improve my services there is a valuable lesson I’ve learned – listen to your clients. In an ever changing world your clients needs will change and grow.

In 2009, I started Elite Scheduling Services, LLC. I matched experienced and professional scheduling assistants with wholesalers in the investment industry. It’s a niche market and one that’s hard to get into unless you’ve been in the market for some time. I had 10 years of experience in the financial industry before I started the company. I continue to offer the specialized service to investment firms and wholesalers across the United States. The business has worked so well that our clients are telling everyone about us, so we started getting requests from professionals outside of the financial industry. It was important to me to continue specializing in the financial industry so I partnered with an experienced virtual assistant and created Elite Virtual Assistants, LLC. I continue to work with clients in the financial industry providing them with schedulers that only service the financial industry and my partner, Laura Licursi, works with the virtual assistant clients and matches them with virtual assistants skilled in social media, marketing, travel planning, event planning, and all things that a virtual personal assistant can handle.

It’s worked out beautifully. The company is growing and we are able to accommodate all of the business that my current clients were sending us. During the process of growing and offering two distinct and specialized services, we realized more services that our clients were craving – promotional marketing, print solutions, ecommerce solutions and marketing solutions. After a year of research and planning we decided it was best for our clients to be able to do all of it in-house so to speak, so as of March 1 we will be offering all of those services to all of our clients.
It’s been a super fun ride and many wonder – how do you do it? Well, you probably won’t be surprised to know that my own personal virtual assistant keeps me in line. She keeps me motivated and on task and allows me the free time to dream up the next project I want to tackle to continue to offer a bigger, better service. The sky really is the limit and when you are surrounded by the right people you really can move mountains! There is no one else like me in this world and I wanted my business to be the same – there isn’t anything else out there quite like Elite – and we love being unique.

For more information on the products and services we provide, please see below:
Elite Scheduling Services, LLC – Clients are matched with highly experienced and professional scheduling assistants that provide scheduling services, territory management, marketing and administrative services to sales professionals in the financial industry.                       http://www.eliteschedulingservices.com

Elite Virtual Assistants, LLC Clients are matched with highly skilled virtual assistants to carry out ultimately any task needed. These services are offered to entrepreneurs, authors, bloggers, sports agents, corporate executives, sales professionals and many others. The services are in marketing, social media, administrative, travel planning, event planning and so much more!     http://www.elitevirtualassist.com

Both firms also offer: 
Promotional Marketing Services – Everything from pens, USB drives, golf accessories, drinkware, eco-friendly and recycled products, apparel, food and beverages and so much more. If you can dream it, we can deliver it! We can tailor a promotional program that seamlessly integrates with your marketing campaign while meeting your budget at the same time.

Print Solutions Advertising pieces, banners, business cards, brochures, calendars, catalogs, direct mail, flyers, greeting cards, labels, newsletters, postcards, stationery and more! No job is too large or too small. We can help simplify your business processes by analyzing purchases, enhancing productivity and reducing your costs.

eCommerce Solutions We create custom eStores for clients either from their inventory or ordered promotional products, decorated apparel, print materials and office supplies on demand. Experience the ease that eStore shopping provides – from virtual samples and proofs to real-time inventory and reporting.

Marketing Solutions – We can help you promote your brand message more effectively and economically. From print and promotional products to electronic communications, we’ll help create the integrated mix that will take your ideas and initiatives to the next level.