Home Office Tip 2 – Create a permanent, comfortable and healthy desk space.

When choosing a desk make sure it is large enough area to accommodate the work you will be completing. It is tempting, particularly when using a small space, to go for a small desk or one of those cupboard work stations. Just make sure you have enough room to spread out.

Make sure the chair you choose is fully adjustable and comfortable. You will be spending a lot of time at your desk so ensuring a healthy sitting posture is essential.

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Tips For Setting Up Your Home Based Office

One of the fun parts of setting up your home business is setting up your home office. Here are some hot tips to make sure you invest wisely in everything you will need.

Tip 1 – Create a dedicated space that is your ‘office’.

Ideally this should be a dedicated space, an entire room if possible or at least a sizable portion of one. You will need a clear space to work that has sufficient power sockets and a phone line connection nearby. Make sure your work space is clear from noise and distractions like a t.v. or washing machine.

Also think about the additional room you will need for other furniture you will need including a filing cabinet, stationery storage etc.

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Online Book Keeping With Kashflow – Accounts Made Easy!

As a virtual assistant, we deal with many different customers, using varying systems and programmes to complete all sorts of tasks. If you offer book keeping services you will have come across everything from basic spreadsheets, to complex systems such as Sage, we’ve seen it all. My personal favourite has become Kashflow. It’s incredibly simple and designed specifically for small businesses.

Kashflow is an online system which has several overriding benefits, firstly your accounts are held online so you can access them from any computer with a browser (after entering your secure login details). This means several things; if your computer should crash you haven’t lost everything, you can give live access to your client and you can give access to your clients accountant to compile their required information. As there is one live copy of the accounts, the changes are available instantly to everyone given access so you don’t have multiple out of date copies everywhere.

Secondly, as you pay a monthly subscription for Kashflow, rather than a large upfront software cost, it is easier to budget as a small monthly fee. Critically within this fee the software upgrades are included. Anyone who has purchased accountancy software in the past will know that purchasing upgrades is necessary when you have several people updating your accounts at different locations. Generally the software is not backwardly compatible so as soon as one person upgrades, you all have to and upgrades can be very costly.

What is more, you get to try before you buy. You don’t even have to give a credit card number that you might later forget to cancel should you decide to use an alternative program.

Try it today completely free here

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How To Get Involved With Social Media – Twitter

Twitter has become increasing popular over the past year or so with everyone who’s anyone Tweeting their little hearts out. Twitter is a micro-blogging site which limits the length of the comments you can post to 140 characters. It’s no go for posting large chunks of content but ideal for posting links to interesting information.

Twitter is highly interactive and users re-post other peoples comments (Tweets) if they are useful and also respond. You choose who you ‘follow’, i.e.: whose Tweets you read, so it is a great platform for making contacts and establishing relationships.

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How To Get Involved With Social Media – Blogging

With a blog you can post content in the form of text and pictures and it is possible to have a two way dialogue by way of people commenting on your posts. You can have control over what comments actually appear on your pages if you manage your comments using your preferred blogging software so you can approve, delete or mark them as spam.

Blogs can be written in many styles from the very informal personal right through to a professional corporate blog. It’s important as a small business to inject some personality into your blog as your followers are trying to get to know you as well as read your material.

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How Can Social Media Help My Business?

There are various social media platforms you can use to deliver messages to your readers and followers which we’ll look at through the remainder of this series. But before embarking on any marketing activity, it’s important to know why it’s useful.

Social media is instant so your messages can be delivered as they happen, and most importantly, it’s interactive – you are actually inviting comment and suggestion. Of course the most important point to remember is that the search engines love social media is its content is current and fresh. Your comments will be picked up by the search engines – how exciting is that?

 

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What Is Social Media and Why Is It Important to My Business?

We’ve all heard the phrase social media, but what actually is social media and how can you use it to help your virtual assistant business?

In short, social media is a term that encapsulates a number of online communication platforms which make it easy for people to not only publish their own news and views but also comment on that posted by others.

Why Is Social Media Important?

Social Media has provided everyone with a platform to air their opinions, views and grievances with anyone around the world. People who use Social Media often become highly influential and are seen as experts in their own sphere and can develop large audiences around their area of interest.

Communities of like-minded people are forming around common interests over the Web regardless of where they are based in the world because the regular restrictions of geographical locations do not apply.

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Advertising Your Virtual Assistant Business on a Budget – Lesson Six – Test Everything

As much as is possible, you should always test your advertising and marketing efforts. You might want to jump in and try a range of different ideas and formats and that’s great, but try and keep tabs on where each enquiry comes from, and which enquiries go on to convert into paying customers.

With this data to hand you can then look at has been cost effective and what has not. For example if you paid £500 to join a networking group and attended 50 breakfast meetings costing £10 each over the course of a year, and as a result you got one new client, that client would have cost you £1000 to source. If you put an advert in the UKAVA Directory for £49.95 and over a year that advert resulted in 5 new clients, each client has cost you less than £10 to source. In this scenario you may decide to drop the networking group and advertise more widely in the Directory.

The important point is that you can’t improve on what you don’t measure so if you don’t know what is working for you, and what is not, how can you expect to improve your results next time around?

Sometimes you may find that the lower cost advertising and marketing strategies are the ones that bring you the most business.

For a listing in the UKAVA Directory visit: http://www.ukava.co.uk/html/join_the_uk_association_of_vir.html

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Advertising Your Virtual Assistant Business on a Budget – Lesson Five – Online Presence

It goes without saying that as a virtual assistant you need a website. But have you really thought about the best way to use it? Some visitors will arrive at your website as result of you telling them about it or seeing the URL on your business card or marketing material.

What you really want though is visitors who have arrived at your website because they are actually searching for a virtual pa. These are not just visitors these are prospects. They have actually gone to the trouble of going to a search engine and entering a relevant term into the search bar and are busy looking through the results to find someone they want to work with. So how do you make sure your website ends up in front of them?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) companies charge a small fortune for ‘optimising’ your website in an attempt to make is appear at the top of that search engines results. And with good reason. The search engines constantly change their indexing criteria to keep out the spammers so the SEO companies have to consistently keep one step ahead. If you don’t have the budget to compete with the big players the best thing you can do is get listed on their websites. Visitors to their websites will then see your information and click through to your website.

There are several directories advertising virtual assistants and their services in the UK. Ours consistently appears on the first page of Google and can be found at http://www.ukava.co.uk

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Advertising Your Virtual Assistant Business on a Budget – Lesson Four – Press Releases

Press Releases are useful for generating a buzz about your  virtual assistant business. The business editor at your local newspaper will always be on the lookout for a good business story to fill the business news section of the newspaper.

Of course, the business editor understands the economics of running a paper and is more inclined to run your story if you buy advertising in his/her publication, but will still print stories for special events and openings. Think of an angle, could you offer a competition prize, could you help a local charity.

The important thing to remember about Press Releases is that it must be constructed in the form of a news story. Even if you are a sole proprietorship, quotes from you should be written in a third person format: John Doe said, “Your quote here.”

A Press Release should pack the most important information at the beginning of the copy, and leave extra details towards the end.

You should always provide the reporter who gets the task a simple and easy way for him/her to contact you directly. Often the reporter will want to contact you to get details that will enhance their take on your story.

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