Category: Entrepreneurship

The interview is critical point in the recruitment process. In fact it is too important there are usually two to three interview stages for one job opening. The interview is the first time an employer or client interfaces with a candidate. This is a make or break moment, the time where you get to know more about your candidates and determine whether you would want to make the commitment to work with one of them. Since an interview is that important, below are 5 Tips to help you make that interview count.

1. Know the Role

And I don’t mean knowing a “job description” but well beyond it. The job description doesn’t show a person. It is a list of items that the potential candidate or contractor needs to deliver to you. Thing is you will not be working with a list but with people and as such you need to know whether the candidate you are talking to can deliver the minimum requirements of your job description. This is where your understanding of “Competencies” come into the picture. Competencies are the knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes of a person. Understanding how to do competency based interviewing will help you in making sure you hire the best person for the job.

2. Read Up on the Candidate

A common mistake of hiring managers is not doing their research of the candidates prior to the interview schedule. Reading up on the candidate allows you to have an idea of candidate’s competencies and experience. You can use this information to compare the candidate vis-a-vis the job description allowing you to write relevant questions. Which leads us to point # 3.

3. Ask Relevant Questions

I’m sure knowing if your candidate can golf  will do wonders for your social life but it may not contribute much to completing the work that needs to be done in the workplace.  A method done in competency based interviewing is the S.T.A.R. method. When doing this, a candidate is asked if they can remember a time in their career they found most challenging they are then asked questions related to:

  • Situation: What was the situation at the time?
  • Task: What are you supposed to deliver for the client/manager/customer?
  • Action: What did you do to deliver on your task in spite of the situation?
  • Result: What were the results of your action?

4. Have an interview form handy

An interview form functions as a guide that will help you stay on track in the interview. Some interviewers use the candidate CV as their interview guide. Some companies will have their own templates ready for use.

5. Take notes

Found something impressive? Write it down. Saw a red flag during the interview? Take note. With all the candidates you will meet it will be difficult for you to remember them all, especially those items that made significant impressions.

Selling is an Art, but it is also a Science. Selling real estate is one of those industries that rely heavily on the application of both. Do you want to take you real estate business to the next level? Hire a Virtual Assistant! Your Real Estate VA can help you manage the following process.

Listings

Marketing! This is how your business will be known. Hiring a VA who can handle your social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. – will help in getting the word out!  These platforms will drive business to you. There’s so much repetitive work that goes into the development of online marketing and this is where a virtual assistant can help.

Leads Generation

This is key in making your real estate, or any business for that matter, flourish. As an entrepreneur engaged in real estate your cold calling and converting them to hot leads is the most time consuming. Generating and qualifying leads can be done by someone trained by you. Not to mention Leads Generation in this day and age have changed. Blog writing, website management, and legitimate social media accounts can help in generating a pool of leads.

Leverage

The third is sales support. Having someone call and talk to clients is important in pre and post sale. Most agents focus on making two or three contacts to someone. The challenge is what if they’re not ready to buy today or sell on the day they were called? As a real estate entrepreneur you can have your VA follow a call system so you wont lose touch with your clientele. You can also have your VA manage the paperwork and contracts.

The “in thing” these days – superhero movies. What’s awe-inspiring about these movies is that it is a world where individuals make the impossible happen and such character is Iron Man. If you’ve seen the movies or read the comics you’d find that Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) is a multi-billionaire and has a strong desire to help humanity and he does this by donning an iron armor. Between running his company and being Iron Man, you’d have to wonder how he gets things done? That’s where J.A.R.V.I.S. comes in.

Just A Rather Very Intelligent System (J.A.R.V.I.S.) is Tony Stark’s AI computer. He programmed it to speak with a male voice in a British accent mainly because he was patterned after his butler, Edwin Jarvis who is a key person in his childhood. He was described by Tony Stark in one of the movies as just a natural language UI. Now he runs the Iron Legion. He runs more of the business than anyone besides Pepper.

What does J.A.R.V.I.S. do for Tony Stark that allows him to function between his business and calling?

He Keeps Tony Stark/Iron Man Up to Speed

Managing his calendar? Yes. System failure? He got it covered. Makes phone calls and appointments? That too. J.A.R.V.I.S. has been shown plenty of times to manage all of these and more in the movies and comics.

He is a Business Partner

Not in the strict definition of the word, but whenever Iron Man is in a bind, J.A.R.V.I.S. has his back. He also manages Stark Industries with Pepper. 

He Manages some Areas of Business

In one of the movies, Iron Man had J.A.R.V.I.S. control the Iron Legion and he has each and every one of them to fight along side Iron Man.

He takes Care of Tony’s Personal Affairs

J.A.R.V.I.S. doesn’t only have access to Tony’s calendar but his whole home. Heating, Security, you name it, he has it covered.

Guess what? You can also have your very own J.A.R.V.I.S.. You can make your business work and spend some time doing activities that you are passionate about. Isn’t that a liberating thought? Just send us a message and we’ll set it up.

Have you ever wondered how successful entrepreneurs keep themselves productive?

Going through some articles I found that these entrepreneurs have common practices, one of them is answering productivity questions. These questions keep their minds focused on their goals and their energies at their peak. Below are the top 4 productivity questions that can also help you become more targeted and productive on your daily grind. Try answering these questions before starting your day and see your productivity increase!

1. What’s my 20%?

The Pareto Principle says “20% of your tasks will yield 80% of your intended result”. Your calendar is, and will always, be full but try to look through your list. Try to see what activities, when completed, will yield the highest result. Try to cross them out first.

2. What will help me complete my 20%?

Once you have determined the 20%, think of the tasks or items you will have to do to complete them. Do you have a client presentation? If so, is your presentation ready? Do you have your numbers and are they accurate? Do you have brochures if needed?

 

3. Who should I communicate to?

Over the course of the day, you will have to communicate your tasks. This can be to the secretary of our client, a supplier, or even your assistant. Ensuring that you communicate your agenda with certain individuals will help in holding yourself accountable to making them happen. You can do this through text, video, email, or any platform that you think will work best in the situation.

4. What can I delegate?

It’s a liberating idea that there are some things that you do not have to do personally. Entrepreneurs always fall into the trap of doing things themselves. When you figure out your priority items, delegate the other items that are secondary. This will allow you to conserve energy and direct them towards completing your 20%.

For more productivity hacks visit www.codymclain.com

Mark Twain was once quoted saying “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” This quote is commonly used to refer to our efforts to manage time. In working with many entrepreneurs, I have come to realize that time is a very precious commodity. In fact, it is too precious that it becomes an overwhelming activity for them to make sure that every second count.

If you are an entrepreneur, more often than not, you are caught doing tasks that do not really contribute to the business goals. Writing emails, making phone calls, managing your calendar and the like are important activities but may consume too much of your time that less of it is spent being productive to more strategic activities. Let us change that. Here are some tips for you to be able to make the most out of your day and triple your productivity.

Know Your Goals:

You must first know your business goals. What is it that you aim to achieve and how soon do you want it done? The answer to this question will depend on which stage of maturity your business is in. Whether it is generating leads, building a demand, or penetrating the market, the answer to this question will allow you to do the next step.

Prioritize:

Based on the goals you have identified, you can now see your different objectives and prioritize them based on Feasibility (the ease/difficulty this goal can be achieved) and Impact (effect this goal has on your business). The common practice is, you prioritize the goals that have the most impact as the most feasible.

Know the Activities to Complete the Goal:

Armed with the knowledge of which goals to prioritize, identify the activities necessary to achieve the goal. At this point, you may also begin sourcing for business partners that will serve as support to achieving your goals.

Filter:

Once you have the activities clear. You can cluster them according to the following:

  • Do: The activities that have the most impact should be done by you.
  • Defer: Some activities that have the most impact can be deferred to a later date or can be accomplished after a set of other tasks are completed.
  • Delegate: These activities are important to achieve your goals but can be delegated to someone else. For these activities, you can hire contractors/virtual assistants that can give quality and output. To know where to get the kind of Virtual Assistants that are topnotch and can help you 3X your Productivity click here.

Once you have done all the activities above, you will be able to conserve your energy to complete bigger and more strategic tasks and optimize the use of your time. To know more about how to do this, send us a message and we’ll be more than happy to assist you to achieve your business goals by multiplying your productivity.

We all know the value of virtual assistants for entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a startup owner or an executive of an established company, the benefits of having a VA is undeniable. Aside from having lower operational costs, you can actually focus on the more crucial aspects of your business.

Hiring a virtual assistant can be both exciting and terrifying. It’s exciting to know that you have someone to delegate tasks but terrifying knowing that you’re letting go some control in your business. If you’re considering hiring one, here are 5 things to consider before moving forward:

Create a list of what you’re looking for

A lot of business owners are complaining that they have too much to do and that they need help. However, they did not take the time to sit down and write the areas wherein they need help. If you’re a business owner thinking of having a VA, it is suggested that you write everything that you do for your business. This means everything – from the most mundane tasks to the big ones. Label these tasks according to which ones only you can do and which tasks can easily be automated, systematize and hire out to. You’ll be surprised to know that there are tasks that doesn’t necessarily have to be completed by you.

Do your research

You should never be hasty when hiring. Don’t be afraid to source out multiple VAs to understand packages and pricing. Most importantly, you need to assess personality types. This person will be a part of your business so it is crucial to select the right fit. Conduct interviews and background checks and ask for references.

Create systems in your business

It is highly recommended to create systems for your business prior to having a VA work for you. You should be able to understand first how you do what you do in the business. This way, you can train your VA effectively and eventually seek feedback on additional systems that you need or revisions to those who are already in pace.

It’s a team effort

You’re hiring a team member that will be a crucial part of your working life. At the same time, this person is also letting you in in his/her life. It’s very important to remember that the success of the relationship is dependent on both of you. Set and define your expectations for your VA, and let them do the same for you.

It doesn’t always work the first time

While you may hear success stories from those who are fortunate to find the right fit VA on their first try, understand that this is not always the case. Diligently look for a good fit and don’t give up on the first try, no matter how bad the experience.

Being a real estate agent or having a real estate firm is not an easy job. You have to deal with buying and selling clients everyday. You tend to work longer hours to secure leads, finish paperwork and learning new tools in your industry. You barely have time to have a work life balance because it seems that there’s no enough time of day to accomplish everything. While it crossed your mind to hire another person, you also considered revenue and cash flow.

There are businesses who have included outsourcing to a virtual assistant as part of their strategy since it has various benefits. As a real estate professional, you should consider this too. Now you may ask yourself, where to start, or what tasks should you outsource first? Here’s a guide on the tasks you can delegate to your assistant:

Administrative tasks

You surely deal with a lot of administrative tasks or rather, you don’t have the time to deal with these. Having a virtual assistant (VA) to act as your Administrative Officer would be a great help as it would free hours from your workday . This can include managing your email and calendar; setup and confirm appointments; as well as take minimal calls. Aside from the ones mentioned, here are other tasks that your virtual assistant can do for you:

  • Prepare conference, seminar materials;
  • Order business cards for you and your team;
  • Email old clients for referral;
  • Draft list of questions for your meeting;
  • Proofread listings

Social Media and Marketing Tasks

To keep up with today’s digital technology, you should have a digital presence for you or your business to stay relevant. Your competitors are online as well as your clients. Your assistant can manage content for your social media profiles such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. They can also manage your website for uploading new content and moderate comments. Other tasks you can include are:

  • Run online advertisements through AdWords, Facebook or LinkedIn;
  • Create marketing brochure;
  • Preparing and managing newsletters;
  • Handle feedback forms

 

Research

Research is a vital task in the real estate industry as you deal with information. Having a VA can lessen hours of finding a property’s ownership and deed type, or a comparable listed properties in the area. These information are valuable when pitching to a potential buyer. Other research tasks you can ask your VA to do are:

  • Research a property’s curb appeal on Google Street view;
  • Research for public schools and other establishments within the area;
  • Check out the types of businesses in the property’s vicinity;
  • Research on taxes and applicable prorations;
  • Research on agents for the property seller’s destination

These are just a few of the tasks you can outsource to your VA. You can get started by outlining the things you need to focus on and the tasks that hinder you from doing so. From there you can have a defined job description for your VA and you can start hiring and take back the work life balance you always wanted.

Businesses now include hiring virtual assistants (VA) as part of their strategy as this come with various benefits. However, there are still those who are skeptical in doing so. The main reason for this is that they don’t know what sort of tasks to outsource. If you’re a newbie to virtual assistance outsourcing, here’s a guide on the first tasks you can delegate:

Email management and filtering

You can assign to your VA the management of your business’ email inbox and filter your messages into predefined categories. Your VA can group your messages according to priorities so you only deal with important emails.

Autoresponder setup

Email marketing tools such as AWeber and Mailchimp are used for auto responding to your subscribers. Your VA can setup responses using these tools to automate your marketing campaigns and nurture client relationship.

Research

Your VA can do research for your on possible topics for blog posts, newsletters, podcasts and others. Being on tops of trending topics in your niche ensures  that your content stays fresh and relevant.

Basic reports creation

You can task your VA to create basic reports for you such as weekly sales report, deliverables, and other metrics you are monitoring.  This wouldn’t take much time since there are automation tools that they can use such as Whatagraph.

Slideshow preparation

Slideshows are part of business presentations and your VA can help you with this. Just give a clear brief of what you want in your presentation and they can handle it from there. All virtual assistants are adept in using Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides.

Liaison between you and other team members

If you’re a businessman who has several team members doing different tasks, you need someone who can be a liaison between you and the team. Your VA can be the point of contact of everyone.

Recruitment

Recruitment is another task you can assign to your VA. They can help you out in sourcing other talents such as developers, graphic designers and writers.

Set-up,manage and update social media accounts

Your business needs to be in the the appropriate social media channels to promote your digital presence. Your VA can help out in setting it up, daily management and update. Social media management tools such as Buffer can make this task easier. 

Blog commenting

Commenting on relevant blog posts in your niche is still an effective way of gaining links towards your site. You can task your VA to do this for you, just make sure there’s a set guidelines on how will they comment on blog posts.

Discussion forums participation

To increase your personal online presence and be an authority on niches you’re targeting, you can participate on discussion forums such as Quora. You can have your virtual assistant do the posting for you, with predefined set of guidelines.

These are just a few tasks for you to get started with a virtual assistant. There are other aspects  that you can outsource so you can focus in scaling big for your business.

 

The evolution of digital technology has paved the way on our perspective towards hiring Virtual Assistants (VAs). Businesses before used them to do excess work and most work are categorized as non-essential tasks. However, with the development of the Internet and social media, Virtual Assistants are now hired for their skills. Most businesses have included VAs in their business agenda regardless of their size and scale. Here are 5 reasons why you should too:

Lower cost of business

Hiring a virtual assistant over a full time employee can save you 78% in operating costs annually. The reason for this is most VAs are self-employed. They are the ones in-charge for the expenses they incur in the delivery of their service. This includes, computer setup, Internet fee and other utilities. Having a VA, you don’t need to pay for additional benefits or allocate office space.

To even lower your costs, you can hire virtual assistants from the Philippines. VAs from this country are the most affordable yet have very competitive skills and expertise.

Increases productivity

With so many tasks you need to accomplish in running your business, delegating portions of it would be a great help. Some of this tasks include managing your calendar, social media posts, data entry and the likes. Since VAs nowadays have more skills across different disciplines, you can assign tasks that are vital to your business but do not necessarily need to be done by you, personally. By doing this, you can afford to have more time in focusing in the core functions of your business that require your expertise such as scaling. 

Improves efficiency

Compared to a full time employee, you are required to pay them on a fixed rate per hour as mandated by law. This means that in a typical 8-hour workday, you are required to pay them a fixed hourly rate whether they are productive or not.

Hiring VAs improve efficiency since more work are being accomplished with lesser time and cost. Most are paid on a productive per hour basis. This means that they are only paid when they have accomplished predefined goals that you set for them. 

Adds business flexibility

Professionals who make career changes as VAs often do so because of flexibility. This is in terms of work schedule since they want to manage their own time for their families and social relationships. This flexibility can also benefit your business because you can delegate and schedules tasks that would provide the most benefit for your business.

An example of this is hiring customer support representatives from different parts of the world to cover your 24/7 customer inquiries. This way, all issues and concerns from your clients will be attended to.

Achieve work-life balance

We all want to have time for ourselves, family and friends. Having a VA can help you achieve a balanced life. With the benefit of time and a trusted VA or group of VAs, your business can continue to run while you’re out spending time doing the things you love.

Working with a Virtual Assistant (VA) can be the most challenging yet rewarding undertaking a business owner can ever have.  A VA can help manage your workload but before they can do that, you should set your expectations with them upfront. Communication is key for this relationship to work.

Here are some tips and tricks to improve your communication with them:

Create a Shared Folder

Chances are, you will be sharing a lot of documents with your VA that they either need to review or edit for you. One can use Dropbox to share documents and other files like e-books and images.  You might also need to share some login and passwords to them so they have access to sites and applications that you need for business. The best tool for this would be LastPass as it will save all your username and passwords and your VA can just launch everything from there.

Provide Clear and Precise Instructions

Giving instructions over the phone to your VA is like a technical support rep giving instructions to a customer at the other end of the line.  You don’t see what they’re doing and their errors surface only after they followed the instructions you gave them. So it is best that you give a list of instructions that are detailed and easy to understand. Once you have given the instructions, a follow up is important.

Be Patient with your VA

It takes a while for VAs to adjust to schedule and workload. Not to mention adjusting their work ethics and personality to yours.  The first few tasks should be managed carefully so that they get a feel of how you want things done. When they get used to the routines and how each task is carried out, you will not have to micromanage anymore.

Give Only Tasks that are Aligned with their Skills

Entrepreneurs have different business needs, therefore, hiring a VA with the skills you require is crucial. Not all VAs are armed with advanced technical skills so don’t expect them to do web development for you. Some VAs who carry out the technical tasks may not be as good in communication as those who perform customer support for your business. You’re lucky if you can find an assistant who will be skilled in all but that’s reaching for the stars.

Delegate Routine Tasks

For sure, you have routine tasks that happen daily, weekly or monthly. If these tasks are something your VA can do for you, might as well assign it to them and make sure they are reminded. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about them and you can focus on other tasks that require more attention. A tool like Todoist is a great online task management app that your VA can use.

 

Over time, working with your VA will be smooth sailing. As long as you communicate with them on a daily basis and you are consistent with follow-ups. Work with them on improvements and praise them for a job well done.