Tasks To Outsource to Virtual Assistants

Portal CFO Virtual Assistant

If you are serious about your business and want it to grow, you are going to need to hire help. That being said, you may not have enough work to hire a full-time or even part-time employee. For this reason, many small business owners start by hiring virtual assistants.

A virtual assistant is someone who works from home, helping multiple clients run their business. They can do a variety of tasks, including:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping tasks. This can include almost anything that pertains to your book work, including entering numbers into your accounting software, payroll, and even doing your taxes. You may want them to take care of your invoices. They can create them, send them out, and make sure that you are paid on time.
  • Content Writing. Any piece of content that you send out can be written by someone else. This includes content on your website, your blog, your emails, social media posts, and much more.
  • Data entry.
  • General errands. Many virtual assistants shop online for their clients, answer phones and emails, and much more.
  • Marketing is very commonly done by virtual assistants. They can help with your email, social media, blogging, and even your traditional marketing. Many help by responding to comments and messages.
  • Many virtual assistants plan events and parties that you may be hosting. They can even book travel arrangements and other things when you have to travel to give talks.
  • Receptionist duties. You can hire a virtual assistant to answer your phones, schedule appointments, confirm them, and other duties that you may hire a receptionist for.
  • Research.
  • Website development. If you don’t have a website, they can design the perfect one for you. If you do, they can improve it, so you get more notice.
  • And so much more.

Basically, a virtual assistant can do almost anything that you don’t have the time or want to do. In fact, many say that you can’t grow your business until you hire help. There is only so much one person can do.

Contact us today to learn more about how to hire a virtual assistant for your growing business.

Why Taking Care of Employees is Good for Business

Increase Employee Engagement

The concept of “good company culture” has been thrown around a lot in entrepreneurial and small business circles in recent years. There is a lot of talk around increasing employee engagement through recreational spaces, company retreats, etc., but do tactics like these actually make employees more productive? More importantly, is it a good use of time and resources to implement strategies that increase employee welfare? In this article we will discuss why focusing on workers’ happiness and welfare is absolutely critical in the success of a growing business.

Point of contact 

Much of the time, the individuals we hire for our companies act as the middleman between us and our clients. Whether we are operating a business to business or a business to customer endeavor, the employees with direct contact to our clients contribute greatly to the image of our company.

If our employees are chronically unhappy in their roles, it will be evident in the way they handle dealings with our customers. Similarly, a happy employee is highly likely to provide excellent service to our clients. As such, it is important to ensure that we not only treat our employees with care and respect, but that we also hire individuals whose values, missions and visions align with those of the company.

Employee Engagement

Just as our external focus should be on acquiring and maintaining a loyal customer base, our internal focus should be on acquiring and maintaining a loyal and robust team. As mentioned earlier, we should ensure that we hire individuals whose values and visions align with that of our companies. Properly vetting employees so that we avoid the high cost of having or replacing ill-suited and often unproductive workers is critical to the health and longevity of a business.

Not only is it important to focus on having a team with matching values, it is crucial to make sure that existing employees feel heard and understood. Recreational areas, retreats, and other fun perks are nice, but actually listening to our employees’ concerns and suggestions is even better. Doing this will allow employees to feel like their contributions matter and are of value to companies they work for.

The focus on company culture may be cliche, but the results of employee engagement are not. Happy employees create pleasant workplaces which translate to happy customers. Time and resources spent on productive employees is definitely worth it.

For more tips on employee engagement contact us today.

Want to Attract Great Talent? Take a Look at Your Employee Compensation Strategy

employee compensation strategy Portal CFO photo

As a small business owner, it’s important that you understand the role of talent retention for your growth goals. An unpredictable or changing workforce can make it difficult to adequately plan and implement any kind of business growth, especially when you end up spending a lot of time training new talent. Want to attract great talent? Then take a look at your employee compensation strategy. Here are a few ideas to help you adjust your compensation strategy in a way that will retain your staff.

Encourage A Company-Wide Work-Life Balance

It’s a common struggle these days to try to fit family care and work demands into the same schedule. As a result, many incoming applicants are going to be looking for options in their compensation package that allows them to work flexible hours, work from home, or otherwise meet family demands as well as those of their job.

When you offer these things as a default part of your compensation strategy, you’ll be more likely to recruit and retain the talent that you want. Any time candidates don’t feel as though they have to negotiate their needs, they feel more valued. This can be a deciding factor for would-be employees as they weigh job offers from multiple companies or decide if they are going to stay in their current role.

Reinforce The Value Of Continued Education

Offering continued education options, especially those that are company-paid, is a great way to invest in your workforce. Continued education helps your employees to refine their skills and grow in their careers.

When you pay for this type of offering, you’re encouraging loyalty in your company, because your employees will feel as though you appreciate them enough to help them grow. Your company will benefit as well because you will be keeping your staff at the top of the newest trends in the business. You can leverage those new skills to help your business grow more successfully.

The best way to do this without breaking your company’s operating budget is to work with a local educational facility to negotiate a corporate contract. Sometimes, those contracts come with discounted tuition rates in exchange for the commitment to use them for all of your staff’s needs.

Motivate Staff With Performance-Driven Compensation

Building a workforce that’s dedicated and motivated often means offering staff an incentive for top-tier performance. Create a bonus structure that will reward success and goal achievement. These types of bonus structures help employees to know exactly what is expected of them and what they will get if they meet these goals.

You can pair the bonus structure with routine performance appraisals. During those meetings, set the goals for each employee so that they fully understand the targets they are working for. The more you can encourage your staff, and the clearer their targets are, the more successful your business is likely to be.

Contact us to learn additional employee compensation strategies. We offer business coaching and growth counseling that will help you take your business to the next level.

How to Avoid Communication Pitfalls in Your Business

how to avoid communication pitfalls in your service business

Communication is central to a thriving, successful business. Since many of our business relationships rely on virtual communication, it is important to keep in mind how to avoid communication pitfalls in your business. Clear and timely communication builds trust in partners, and not having face-to-face time with colleagues or partners can sometimes complicate maintaining a professional relationship.

As you navigate the realities of a virtual business world, keep yourself aware of and learn how to avoid communication pitfalls in your business that you may encounter:

Miscommunication through technology

Technology is wonderful. In fact, it’s the reason you can work from anywhere! Still, when we rely on written communication, it can be easy to miscommunicate. We may type off an email, unaware of how it sounds. We may mistype something; sending a completely different message than we intended.

Fixing this problem can be as easy as pausing a few minutes before sending an email. Ask yourself, how does this sound? Does it say what I want it to say? Don’t be afraid to follow up afterwards and make sure your message was delivered as intended.

Accidentally sending information to the wrong person

We have all been in that situation once or twice. We’re in a hurry and begin typing someone’s name into the address line. It auto-fills, and we don’t double-check it. A little later we get a message from that person asking if you intended to send them that message. Sometimes, it isn’t a big deal. Other times, it could be delicate information.

Again, fixing this problem can be as easy as pausing long enough to check the email addresses. This is especially true if you’re sending sensitive information. If it does happen, you can save face with colleagues or partners by apologizing.

Relying on written communication too much

Yes, technology is accessible and easy. It makes staying in touch with others easier than it has ever been. However, it is important to invest time in maintaining and strengthening relationships with colleagues and partners in other ways.

Even if you are a thousand miles apart, you can still connect with others using other techniques. Skype is a wonderful tool; allowing you to talk face-to-face. Drop a hand-written letter or thank you card in the mail when you a get a chance. And, if you happen to be in the same city, go out to lunch. By strengthening communication in other ways, you show you are invested in that relationship and you increase trust.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.

Business Advice: Training Your Employees

Help training employees for your service business

If you are serious about growing your business, you can’t do it alone. Chances are you have already hired a few employees to increase your workforce which has allowed your business to grow.  Let’s talk about 5 tips to make sure you’re training your employees for success.

Your employees are truly the face of your company and they need to be trained well so that they are putting your business’ best foot forward. Here are some tips to ensure that you are doing a good job training your employees.

Tip #1: Begin by hiring the right people in the first place.

No matter how hard it can be to find the right person, don’t give up. He or she is out there and will be delighted to work for you. Because of this, he or she will be much easier to train. You also won’t have to worry about people coming and going, after you have spent time training them!

Tip #2: Hire them for jobs that fit their skills and personality.

It is important that your employees are given a job that suits them well. It is a delicate balance.  You don’t want them to have a job that can lead to boredom, but it is important that they are able to do what you need them to do.  If the job is too hard, they will quit because it will be too stressful for them.

Tip #3:  Cross-train and promote within your company.

As your employees grow and learn, teach them how to do more. Not only will this make them feel helpful, they can step up if someone is out for a day or two. Many employees also like to feel like they are working toward something better, so never hesitate to promote your best employees.

Tip #4:  Make sure that your employees know that learning is constant and very important.

Your employees should strive to continue to learn and grow in your business. Not only should you train them well from the first day, you may want to host seminars and lunch-and-learns in order to keep their learning moving forward!

Tip #5: Partner with an excellent training and development partner.

Training and development firms like ImpactHR are qualified to utilize the most well-known tools in the industry and, as a result, can incorporate the most effective solutions for individual, group and organizational assessment to determine the best training and development programs.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more information on growing your business, read through our other posts on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your business profitably.

 

Questions before Making that New Hire: Important Things You Need to Know

Your hard work is starting to pay off.  Your business is growing and you want to make some new hires in order to continue growing and keep your customers happy.  Here are some important questions for you to consider before making those new hires.

Read moreQuestions before Making that New Hire: Important Things You Need to Know

How to Conduct a Job Interview: 4 Ways to Go Beyond the Typical Questions

When you run your own business, the question of how to conduct a job interview is one that you will have to answer eventually.

Knowing that, it’s important for you to realize that conducting an interview involves much more than simply asking the right kinds of questions.

So what is it you need to do to ensure you conduct the best interviews and, as a result, be able to effectively screen the right candidates?

That’s a question we’ll be looking at in this post as I explain how to conduct a job interview, so keep reading to learn more.

Read moreHow to Conduct a Job Interview: 4 Ways to Go Beyond the Typical Questions

Characteristics of a Good Employee: 4 Things You Need to Look for in Your Staff

What are the characteristics of a good employee?

It’s a question that business leaders across the spectrum ask, and with good reason.

For just about any company, public perception ultimately comes down to the employees with whom your customers interact, so you want to be one-hundred percent certain that the people working for you are having nothing but positive impact on your business.

In order for that to happen, I believe that those employees should possess certain qualities that are necessary, no matter what industry you might be in.

So keep reading to learn more about the characteristics of a good employee and you’ll see just what it takes to make your business a success behind the scenes.

Read moreCharacteristics of a Good Employee: 4 Things You Need to Look for in Your Staff

Effective Management and Delegation: How to Let Go While Still Staying in Control

 

As a business leader, two things you will need to eventually pair together are effective management and delegation.

This is something that’s going to become a priority as you grow and will be a necessity if you wish to continue to grow, so the sooner you learn, the better.

That’s why this post will focus on the importance of delegation and the steps you can take to ensure things that need doing get done without you having to necessarily micromanage everything.

So keep reading to learn more about effective management and delegation, why the two are intertwined, and what they mean for you as a thriving small business owner.

Read moreEffective Management and Delegation: How to Let Go While Still Staying in Control

How to Be a Better Boss: 5 Things You Can Do For Yourself and Your Employees

The question of how to be a better boss is one that you should always be asking yourself when it comes to leading your business, because there is a lot that depends on your leadership style and ability.

This is especially true in the formative years of the business when every decision counts and nothing should be left to chance.

So in this post, we’ll explore becoming a good leader and how it can affect your company’s development as you move things forward.

By the end, you’ll have a clear answer to the question of how to be a better boss and can use that information to take your company exactly in the direction you want.

Read moreHow to Be a Better Boss: 5 Things You Can Do For Yourself and Your Employees