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Archive for the ‘Small Business Articles’


Making Your To Do List Less Overwhelming – Part 2 0

Posted on February 16, 2017 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

The following morning, when you get to your desk, before you do anything and I mean anything, so that includes before collecting your email, making any calls, opening the post or making your first cup of coffee, do the first three things on your NOW List. No ifs, buts or excuses, just do them. When they are done schedule in the rest of the tasks in the NOW List for the rest of the day. If there is simply too much and you can’t see how to get all of the NOW List tasks done in one day, revisit the list. See if some of it can be delegated. If you can’t delegate items on the list can you delegate something else that takes up your valuable time so you can clear some space? For example you can divert your calls to a call handling service, get your emails filtered and replied to by an email service. If you have no one to perform these tasks speak to My Virtual Assistant to see how we can help you.

As more To Do items occur to you throughout the day, add them to you Standby List. If you have time to do them at the end of the day great, if not you can relax in the knowledge that they are written down and will be re-evaluated again at the end of the day.

At the end of the day take your NOW List and Standby List and go through the process again. Transfer immediately any items from your NOW List onto a new NOW List for tomorrow. Then go through your Standby List and rank the items as before. Then add the 1′s to the new NOW List, the 2′s to the new Standby List and the 3′s to a new Delegate List. Simple but very, very effective.

I’d love to hear if you find this system useful and end up calmer and more organised as a result. So try it for a week and let me know how you get on.

For more information about our services and how we can help you, don’t waste any more time, contact My Virtual Assistant today.

Making Your To Do List Less Overwhelming – Part 1 0

Posted on February 11, 2017 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

We all have a To Do list as long as our arm, any many of us have to steel ourselves to look at it as a whole mile long list of what we have to do can seem overwhelming to say the least. Try this practice for a week and see if you find you actually get more done and feel less like your drowning in a whole heap of stuff to do.

At the end of the working day have a good look at your To Do list and rate everything on it between 1 and 4. Only mark items with a 1 if they are those that absolutely must be done within the next 24 hours or the sky will fall down, the seas will boil (you get the picture). Items marked with a 2 are those that absolutely must be done, but not necessarily within the next 24 hours, they could perhaps wait one more day. Items marked with a 3 are those that you could actually delegate to someone else. If you work with My Virtual Assistant that could be us and it could perhaps be tasks like getting your accounts in order, writing that sales letter, setting up or writing articles for your blog or putting together that Customer Relationship Management system. Items marked with a 4 are those which could actually fall off the bottom of the list and no-one would really notice. Cross them out now and let it go, there are only so many hours in the day.

Ok, so now you have a long list with lots of items with rankings of between 1 and 4. Transfer all the items ranked 1 to a new list that we’ll call the ‘NOW List’. Write them down in order of priority with those at the top being the most important. Next transfer all of the items marked 2 to a new list we’ll call the ‘Standby List’. Next make a ‘Delegate List’ and put on it everything marked 3 that you can get someone else to do, then delegate it! Send it to My Virtual Assistant, your secretary or whomever you have to delegate to. All items marked 4 can now be consigned to the bin.

Now tidy your desk and forget it for the evening.

Join us soon for part 2 of this article

To offload some of your daily work burden, why not download our Information Pack and find out how you can get some professional support. My Virtual Assistant

Are You Addicted To The “You Have Mail” Ping? 0

Posted on January 28, 2017 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

It’s a very good idea to limit the amount of time you spend checking email and switch off email alerts. If you are constantly checking your inbox or are responding immediately to email alerts you could be wasting hours every week, not to mention finding it very difficult to concentrate. Limit email checking to 2 to 3 times a day and stick to it. Your email will still be answered within a reasonable time but you will be able to concentrate on more involved projects without constant distractions or interruptions.

Alternatively, let us handle and filter your email for you. We can pick up your email on your behalf, filter out the junk and spam, answer requests for information as you instruct us and only forward you the handful of messages you actually need to deal with yourself. How many hours would that free up each week to work on the more important things?

To offload some of your daily work burden, why not download our Information Pack and find out how you can get some professional support. Click on the box on the right >>>

Outsource Your Social and Online Networking Profile and Account Management to a Virtual Assistant 0

Posted on January 26, 2017 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants can undertake a whole range of business support jobs. From basic administration through to web site marketing and online business management.

Have you thought about outsourcing your Social and Online Networking Profile and Account Management

Want to benefit from social networking but don’t have the know-how or the time to start? Hire us to create your accounts and profiles on Ecademy, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites. Once you’re all set, you can focus on creating and developing relationships.

For more ideas, download the free guide “25 Things You Can Delegate Today” using the link on the right >>>

Outsource You Commenting and Linking on Social and Online Networking Websites to a Virtual Assistant 0

Posted on January 19, 2017 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants can undertake a whole range of business support jobs. From basic administration through to web site marketing and online business management.

Have you thought about outsourcing your Commenting and Linking on Social and Online Networking Websites

Leaving comments on blogs and social media sites is a great way to make new connections and leave back links to your own sites and blogs, and we all know how much Google loves those. We can take care of the process for you. Create a list of sites (or have us create it), give guidelines on comments you’d like to leave, and off you go! You can also have us send you links to new articles or sites that you should check out personally.

For more ideas, download the free guide “25 Things You Can Delegate Today” using the link on the right >>>

Creating First Class Podcasts 0

Posted on November 05, 2014 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

Don’t be baffled by the terminology, podcasting is simply the production of audio content which people can download from a web page and listen to either through their computer or on an MP3 player like an iPod or mobile phone.

You don’t need any special equipment or training to record and produce a podcast and it is a great way of communicating because people can listen to it at their own convenience, wherever they may be. I often listen to them during a coffee break at my desk, or download a whole series to listen to while running or on a car journey.

The real strength of podcasts is they enable you to engage in such a powerful way with your audience. People who you have never met will hear your voice and connect with you in a way that is much more compelling than simply providing the same content in written form on your web site.

So how can you go about creating first class podcasts?

1. Know your material. It probably goes without saying but if you speak about a topic that you know inside and out, such as yourself or your area of expertise, you can give people real value.
2. Know your audience. Who are you aiming your podcast at; prospects, customers or a particular sector of your audience? What level of knowledge do they already have about your subject? Do your homework and know who you are speaking to so you can gauge their expertise so that you don’t talk down to them or above their knowledge level.

Keep your eyes open next week for two more tips.

To offload some of your daily work burden, why not download our Information Pack and find out how you can get some professional support. See the link on the right >>>

More Tips For Managing Your Own Workload 0

Posted on September 24, 2014 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

Create email templates
If you answer an email to the same question more than once, create an email template so that the next time you are asked the question, you already have an email ready to send.

Back up everything
If you have ever deleted anything accidentally, or suffered a computer crash, you will probably not need to be told about this. Back everything up at least once a day. I use Carbonite, which automatically backs up my whole system every day at 6pm. So, if I lose something or my system dies, I have a copy of everything easily accessible online.

Bookkeeping and invoicing
I would recommend allowing time, twice a month, about two weeks apart, to pay all your bills, input all your expenses, raise all your invoices and check that payments have been made.

For help with managing your workload find out how easy and cost effective it is to delegate some of it to My Virtual Assistant. Download our Information Pack by completing the box on the right >>>

Managing Your Workload 0

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

When you are in business for yourself, especially when your business is becoming full, you spend a lot of time juggling your schedule to fit in all the needs and requirements of your various clients.

As you become busier with client work, it is often easy to forget to schedule time for the work associated with running your own business. Tasks such as keeping up with your bookkeeping and invoicing, making time for your marketing activities, and networking, often fall by the wayside.

If you let these things get away from you, they can quickly become the downfall of your business. There is no point working your fingers to the bone if you are not invoicing your clients, or if you lose track of whether you are being paid on time. If you stop marketing your business, what happens if you lose your main clients? With marketing, it takes a long time to build the momentum back up again. And, if you have stopped networking, a lot of your old contacts will simply assume you have gone out of business… Not a great impression for them to have of your business!

The following series offers some simple steps that you can schedule into your working week to work effectively on your business, so that it remains healthy and robust.

Schedule your email
Although you may be regularly monitoring and collecting your clients’ emails during the day, collect your own business email just twice a day and deal with all enquiries in batches.

Sort your emails
Do you have an inbox with more than 10 emails in it? If you have, it can be a huge waste of time trying to find what you are looking for, and the clutter can be overwhelming. Have files for incoming email, and set up rules for all mail that can be dealt with later, so that it goes directly to those files.

File your emails
Similarly, have a filing system for emails that have been dealt with. When you have replied to or dealt with each email, file it or delete it.

For help with managing your workload find out how easy and cost effective it is to delegate some of it to My Virtual Assistant. Download our Information Packby completing the box on the right >>>

Automate Your Business Relationship Building with Auto Responders and Newsletters 0

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

Are you spending a large amount of time each week following up with prospects or customers? Are you checking they are ok, asking for feedback, telling them about other products or services that might interest them or the special offers you are currently running?

Do you capture the contact details of the visitors to your website and include them in your regular newsletter? We all (should) spend time on a regular basis touching base and following up to ensure happy customers, increase sales and profitability. But unless you have a system in place that can do this for you, it can become a full time job.

What you need is an auto responder system that is linked to your shopping cart and can also produce your regular newsletter. 1 Shopping Cart has all these features and allows you to automate the follow up of prospects and customers.

Now you can get prospects on your mailing list, get paid online for products and services (there’s even no need for a merchant account with your bank), send out a series of timed emails to every customer or prospect relevant to what they have purchased or shown an interest in, and send out your regular newsletter to individual groups or your entire list. And all for far less than you’d imagine.

If you’re something of a technophobe, at My Virtual Assistant we can set the whole thing up for you. For details of our Shopping Cart Set Up and Management services, contact us today.

Developing and Selling Your Own Information Products 0

Posted on September 05, 2014 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

Building a business around information products has become a bit of a hot topic in recent years. Many online businesses were developed selling other peoples digital downloads of information, but what information products could you develop with your own knowledge, and how can you sell them?

Information products are things like ebooks, ecourses, teleseminars, audio programmes and online training programmes. An information product is simply a product whereby you deliver information to your customer in an electronic format, so a downloadable file. You can of course package your information product as a hard copy and send out things like a folder containing printer material, cds, DVDs, etc. But most people deliver information products online, to keep production costs to a minimum and the efficiency of the business high.

For example, if you are delivering information products in a written format, such as a Word document, you might turn that into a pdf file and call it an ebook. Of you might decide to deliver that written information over a series of emails, delivered over a period of time, and call it an ecourse.

If you prefer the spoken word, you might record an interview or telephone conversation, turn that into an mp3 and call it an audio programme. You could also have that information transcribed and turn it into another written information product, an ebook or ecourse.

Don’t be put off by thinking you have to write a book on a subject either, most information products are relatively short in length, so rather than books, think guides or tip sheets. Internet users want concise, easy to consume products that answer their questions or solve a particular problem and you shouldn’t need to write reams in order to do that. If you do, serialise the information and turn it into an ecourse.

For more help with developing your information products, take a look at the services we offer by downloading our Information Pack using the box on the top right >>>

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