Redefining “Mother’s Helper” – 8 Ways A Virtual Assistant Could Revolutionize Your Life

photo courtesy of / taner ardalı

photo courtesy of / taner ardalı

Time is a precious commodity, and with the lazy days of summer past and school in session again, there are days when it really does seem like time is flying.  Between sports practices, music lessons, sleepovers, playdates, and birthday parties (not to mention those small minor details like grocery shopping and mowing the lawn), the life – and schedule! – of a parent is not for the faint of heart.  There are days when a little help could definitely go a long way.

A virtual assistant is the perfect solution for small businesses who need administrative help with lower overhead costs than full-time employees would incur, but did you know that a virtual assistant could revolutionize your home life, too?

Here are eight tasks you could easily pass off to a virtual assistant in no time at all that could save you a ton of time:

1. Managing your (many!) calendars

Football practices, scout meetings, dance classes, music lessons, after-school clubs, school schedules, homework assignments – every activity comes with its own calendar of events, and these days, almost everything has a website to keep track of, too.  Pass all of that off to a virtual assistant, who can put everything on one glorious, color-coded calendar for you – along with every single piece of information you need for each event, including travel times, and what to pack for the day.

2. Scheduling appointments

Need to take the dog to the vet or get a haircut, but just can’t seem to find time to call for an appointment?  With access to your calendar(s) and knowledge of your preferences, a virtual assistant can make those appointments for you!  Your VA can even keep track of your annual appointments, and help make sure that next year’s appointments make it onto your calendar.

3.  Sending Reminders

A VA can help you keep track of your schedule (and everyone else’s) by sending timely reminders, using a system that works best for you – emails, texts, calendar alerts on your mobile device – whichever you prefer.

4. Vacation Planning

Dreaming of that perfect vacation, but don’t have time to figure out a cost-effective way to make it happen?  Put your assistant on the hunt for great deals, last-minute specials, and the best prices on flights, hotels, car rentals, and restaurants – and then delegate all those travel arrangements and reservations!

5. Grocery Shopping

No joke.  Think about how much time you could save just by sending your VA a shopping list!  Having your groceries delivered to your front door is incredibly convenient – and depending on where you live, you may even be able to support your local economy by shopping with local dairies and organic farms.  (Your VA is a whiz at researching these things!)

6. Gift-Shopping

Looking for the perfect gift for your daughter or a co-worker?  Give your virtual assistant a general idea of the sort of gift you’re looking for and what you want to spend, and have them create an Amazon Wishlist or a Google Shortlist of ideas for you.  Just choose the gift you want, and they can order & ship it for you.

7. Finding the best ________________ 

Whether you need a plumber, an electrician, or a laundry service, delegating the search for a reliable company to your VA could save you a ton of time.  Your VA can look for reviews, find pricing, and recommend the best options – and even schedule a time for repairmen to come to your house at your convenience.

8. Event Planning

Looking for the perfect place for 20 kids to celebrate a birthday?  Delegate the research – and the planning! – to your virtual assistant.  Hosting a fundraiser for a neighborhood cause?  Your VA can help you plan the event from start to finish.

And these are just a few of the ways a virtual assistant could help streamline your life.  Get creative and think outside the box – what would you delegate today if you could?  And how could a virtual assistant help with that?  (If you’re not sure, just ask!)

Inspired?  Virtual Felicity would love to help.  Monthly plans start at just $125/month – and task-by-task contracts are available as well.  To learn more, contact Virtual Felicity today!

5 Simple Ways To Find More Time For Your Business

photo courtesy of / Sonja Langford

photo courtesy of / Sonja Langford

No matter what career path we choose, there’s one common denominator for almost every working person: the busyness that comes with being in business.  There’s always something more to do, and if we’re not careful, the busyness can start to overwhelm us (and our business!).

But what if there was a surefire way to guarantee yourself a healthier pace, and the mental margin you need to achieve greater success?

What if you could find:

  • more time to grow your business into everything you want it to be
  • more time to get to all those things that only you can do
  • more time to dream about the future of your company
  • more time to invest in becoming the best leader you can be
  • more time to cast a clear vision and to mentor your team

If the very idea of having more time feels like the greatest gift in the world, then it’s time to think about hiring a virtual assistant.  There are several reasons why hiring a VA is a fantastic idea, but here are five simple ways that hiring a virtual assistant can free up more time in your busy schedule:

1.  Travel Research

Have a business trip coming up?  Flight research is one of the easiest things to delegate to your VA.  Why spend an hour looking for just the right flight when a VA can do it for you?  Give your assistant some general parameters and an idea of your preferences for the trip, and let them do the research for you.  A great VA can find you 4-5 flight options in under an hour – all you have to decide is which one you want, and whether you want to book it yourself or pass that off to your assistant as well!

2.  Appointment Scheduling

Remember last month when you and your business partner had so many meetings it took you three weeks to find a time that worked for both of you to hop on that conference call with your new client in France?  Put your time-consuming scheduling nightmares aside for good and let a VA do all that footwork for you.  Just give your assistant some guidelines on when you will and won’t take meetings, and your VA can make sure that all of your meetings make it on to your calendar, complete with links to maps, phone numbers, and agendas for the meeting.

(Having a hard time keeping your schedule under control?  Here’s a bonus feature: working within the guidelines that you’ve set, your VA can act as a gatekeeper, making sure your meetings are well spaced, so you still have time to do the rest of your job.)

3.  Website Maintenance

Not all VAs have the skills needed to actually build your website, but most are a quick study and can follow your directions to keep information on your website updated on your behalf.  They’re also research experts, so when it’s time to add a new feature or completely upgrade, they can find you the best plugins and web designers out there to help make your website everything you want it to be, leaving you more time to build the business your website represents.

4.  Proof-Reading and Copy-editing

You’ve been staring at this presentation for so long that you almost missed that typo.  Here’s another way your VA can save the day.  No more last minute spell-checks five minutes before your presentation!  Let your VA proofread your proposals and presentations, and even suggest improvements, to help ensure they’re the best they can be.  And while they’re proof-reading your work, you can go get some lunch, or maybe even take a nap.  You worked hard on that presentation – you’ve earned it!

5.  Event Planning

If you have a vision for a great event but aren’t really a “details” person… your VA is about to become your new best friend.  From your office’s holiday party to your nephew’s seventh birthday, your VA can help you plan and organize the perfect event.  Being virtual, they won’t be able to actually run to the store for you – there will probably still be some ground work on your part to do – but you can delegate every detail that can be fielded from afar, leaving you more time for the things that only you can do.

So what are you waiting for?  Hire a virtual assistant today!

Learn more about how Virtual Felicity can help make your life a little happier here.

The Top Three Reasons You Should Hire A Virtual Assistant

photo courtesy of / Alejandro Escamilla

photo courtesy of / Alejandro Escamilla

Let’s face it – most of us have a lot to do.  It can be incredibly discouraging to look at that never-ending task list and wonder how it will ever all get done.  But what if there’s a way it can?

It all comes down to one word: delegation.

What’s on your list today that no one else can do except you?  Those are the things you really need to be doing.  Everything else – you can delegate.  That’s when having a virtual assistant becomes invaluable.

Still not convinced?  Here are the top three reasons you should hire a virtual assistant:

1. A VA can save you time.

You’ve been playing phone tag about that meeting for three days.  Are you capable of scheduling it yourself?  Absolutely!  Do you need to?  Nope.  What if you had a VA who could keep track of all the meetings you need to schedule or attend, who could look up directions for you, and who will always make sure you have plenty of time in between those mid-morning meetings for a quick stop at your favorite coffee shop for that 2nd cup of coffee?  When you set clear parameters about what kinds of meetings happen when and where and for how long, you can walk away from your calendar and let someone else figure out how to make it all work.  (Your stress level just went down about 10 notches just dreaming about that, didn’t it?)

2. A VA can save you money.

Hiring a in-house assistant often comes with a bit of overhead: benefits, taxes, etc. – all the costs that typically go along with hiring an employee.  Most VAs either work as independent contractors (which means they take care of their own taxes & benefits), or for companies that cover those costs already.  In the long run, hiring a great VA could be one of the best investments you will ever make.

3. A VA can help you focus on the things that matter most.

Once you’re in the habit of delegating tasks on a consistent basis (which can include everything from ordering office supplies and browsing the internet for gift ideas to digging up research for your next article and tweeting about it to your followers), you’ll find yourself not only with more time for the things and the people that really matter to you, but with a greater ability to focus.  With all the dozens of “little” things that could distract you effectively delegated to your VA, you’re free to walk into that next meeting with a clear mind, or maybe even take a morning off, knowing that everything that needs doing is getting done.

So what are you waiting for?  Hire a VA today!

Learn more about how Virtual Felicity can help make your life a little happier here.