32 Ways Virtual Support Services Scales Your Small Business

32 Ways Virtual Support Services Scales Your Small Business

Business owners, CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs have a hard time letting go of pieces of their business, many times it’s because they don’t know what to hand off. Some are great at delegating while others, let’s just say they need a bit of coaching and prompting. That is where our Onboarding Concierge comes in. However, the problem with delegating is that usually, you don’t know what to give to your assistant or team member. Or they are great at delegating a task but terrible at giving them the information and access they need to complete it.

 

The Vicious Cycle of a Business Owner/CEO

You may have gone through this cycle as a Business Owner, CEO, Entrepreneur or Solopreneur.

Step 1: You are bogged down by various tasks, a bottleneck in the organization and when asked how many hours you work you say, “all of them”.

Step 2: You recognize the need for support, so you search the internet and ask peers for recommendations.

Step 3: You choose someone and hire them either on payroll or contract.

Step 4: You delegate a task to them.

Step 5: They ask for access or do something incorrectly or not the way you do it.

Step 6: Instead of correcting the error or granting them access, you do it yourself without providing feedback.

Step 7: You keep doing that task yourself and stop delegating because “I can do it myself faster.”

Step 8: You fire or ghost your new hire.

Step 9: You are bogged down by various tasks, a bottleneck in the organization and when asked how many hours you work you say, “all of them”.

Step 10: You recognize the need for support…

…you get the idea. If this sounds like you, here are the top tasks to delegate and here is how VEA onboards all of our clients with goals, clear communication and a clear plan of action to help you exit the cycle for good

 

Top 15 tasks for a Virtual Executive Assistant (VEA):

1. Email management: Efficiently organizing, filtering, and responding to emails to maintain communication flow.

2. Calendar management: Scheduling appointments, meetings, and events to optimize time management.

3. Travel arrangements: Planning and booking travel itineraries including flights, accommodations, and transportation.

4. Meeting coordination: Scheduling, preparing agendas, and taking minutes for meetings.

5. Administrative tasks: Handling paperwork, filing, data entry, and other general administrative duties.

6. Research: Conducting online research on various topics to gather information and data.

7. Correspondence: Drafting and editing letters, memos, and other business communications.

8. Document preparation: Creating and formatting documents such as presentations, reports, and spreadsheets.

9. Project coordination: Assisting with project management tasks, tracking deadlines, and coordinating team efforts.

10. Event planning: Organizing company events, conferences, and team-building activities.

11. Client/customer support: Providing assistance and support to clients/customers via phone, email, or chat.

12. Database management: Updating and maintaining databases with accurate information.

13. Follow-ups: Sending reminders and follow-up messages to ensure tasks and deadlines are met.

14. Vendor management: Coordinating with vendors and suppliers for procurement and deliveries.

15. Personal assistance: Providing personal support to executives, such as managing personal appointments and errands.

Top 10 tasks for a Bookkeeper:

1. Accounts receivable: Invoicing clients and tracking payments owed to the company.

2. Accounts payable: Processing and recording payments to vendors and suppliers.

3. Bank reconciliation: Balancing and reconciling bank statements with financial records.

4. Payroll processing: Calculating employee wages, taxes, and benefits, and ensuring timely payroll.

5. Expense tracking: Recording and categorizing business expenses for accurate financial reporting.

6. Financial reporting: Generating and analyzing financial statements such as balance sheets and income statements.

7. Tax preparation: Gathering financial data and documents to prepare for tax filings.

8. Budgeting: Assisting in the creation and monitoring of budgets to manage company finances effectively.

9. Financial analysis: Analyzing financial data to identify trends, opportunities, and areas for improvement.

10. Audit support: Providing documentation and assistance during financial audits and reviews.

Top 7 tasks for an Online Business Manager (OBM):

1. Strategy development: Collaborating with business owners to develop and implement strategic plans and goals.

2. Team management: Overseeing and coordinating the activities of virtual teams and freelancers.

3. Process improvement: Identifying and implementing systems and processes to streamline operations and increase efficiency.

4. Project management: Planning, organizing, and executing projects to ensure timely completion and quality deliverables.

5. Performance tracking: Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure business performance.

6. Client/customer relations: Managing client relationships and ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction.

7. Revenue generation: Developing and implementing strategies to increase sales, revenue, and profitability for the business.

Clarity

We hope this brings clarity to our three most popular virtual support services. VEA has helped hundreds of business owners, CEOs, Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs delegate administrative, time-consuming, and energy-draining tasks since 2016. Allowing them to focus on high-level tasks that grow their business. What do you need to delegate to free up your time and energy?

 

Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales & Marketing

11 Tasks, Projects & Processes to Outsource to Professionals

11 Tasks, Projects & Processes to Outsource to Professionals

As a Solopreneur you are taking care of everything from the top of the organization to the bottom.

 

  • You stock the copy machine and order supplies.
  • You run the whole sales process down to customer service.
  • You are the one ultimately responsible for everything in your business including its success and your failures.

It is manageable in the beginning but as you grow there are more and more unanswered emails, balls in the air, and to-dos that are not getting done. You want to hire your first employee, but you have no idea where to start.

This article will help you understand the who’s and what’s of outsourcing. We highly recommend reviewing our post on “What is One-Hour of Your Time Worth” to start prioritizing the tasks you are currently completing and understanding better what to outsource. The first piece of advice we will give is to hire fractionally.

Hiring fractionally means instead of onboarding a full-time employee at 40 hours a week, hire 4 professionals at 10 hours a week. For example, this could get your bookkeeping, administrative tasks, marketing, AND graphic design miles ahead.

List of Tasks

Many companies start by hiring a marketing person at 40 hours a week but quickly run out of work for them to do or try and make them a customer service representative, assistant, and janitor to justify their hours.

Here are the 11 tasks, projects & projects to outsource to Professionals as a Solopreneur:

Creative

  • Copywriting

Tasks to delegate: Blog posts, landing pages, website copy, social posts, and email newsletter.

  • Graphic Design

Tasks to delegate: Logo re-design, social posts, website, landing pages, brochures, email templates, business cards and handouts.

  • Professional Photography

Tasks to delegate: Headshot, product, location, and behind-the-scenes photos.

  • Web Developers

Tasks to delegate: New website design, website refresh, landing pages, technical setup, SaaS integration, and marketing integration.

 

Virtual Executive Assistant

Tasks to delegate: Email management, calendar management, meeting assistant, data entry, research, travel organization, and vendor/supplier liaison.

Tasks to delegate: Social media strategy, content calendar, graphic design, copywriting, scheduling, posting and engagement.

 

Virtual Bookkeeper

Tasks to delegate: Bank and credit card reconciliation, sales tax filing and compliance, and monthly/quarterly financial reporting.

Tasks to delegate: Following up on late payments, invoicing clients, paying bills, and scheduling payments.

Tasks to delegate: Ensuring your team and you get paid on time while following local and national laws.

 

Online Business Manager

Tasks to delegate: Create job descriptions, recruit and interview prospects, onboard team members and mentor your team.

Tasks to delegate: Document current processes, hand off processes to an Executive Assistant, remove bottlenecks and streamline internal systems.

 

Conclusion

Congratulations! You are well on your way from Solopreneur to Entrepreneur. Putting yourself in a position of working in your strengths and what you love. Doing what you always envisioned when you started your business. If an Executive Assistant, Bookkeeper, or Online Business Manager is the next piece you are looking to hire, VEA would love to help you onboard an expert who will scale with you and your business.

Book a call to learn more about our services and to see if we are a fit.

 

Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales & Marketing

How an EA Transforms Businesses

How an EA Transforms Businesses

If you’re a business owner, hiring an Executive Assistant can be a game changing addition to your work life. You might not have an Executive Assistant yet, but there will likely come a time when you should consider investing in one.

Are you able to perform many daily tasks efficiently and on your own? Of course you can. After all, you’ve probably been doing them all since the early days. But your company is bigger now, or you’re trying to grow it, so it could be time to consider the opportunity costs of going it alone.

A skilled Executive Assistant can be the backbone of your more efficient operations. Their primary purpose is to perform a range of administrative tasks, like managing schedules, making travel arrangements, and organizing your inbox–so you can focus on strategic decision making and other higher-value responsibilities. More specifically, a virtual Executive Assistant can swiftly adapt to your changing needs, because they are skilled at using digital tools to handle tasks, manage schedules, and provide crucial assistance without needing to be in a physical office.

Butterfly in Flowers

Curious about what jobs you should hand off first? Here are some guidelines about what we recommend you outsource first to a virtual Executive Assistant.

Case Stories

Rather than talk about the benefits of hiring a virtual Executive Assistant, the following case stories exemplify how two of our clients at VEA have incorporated these skilled practitioners into their businesses in the real world.

 

Case Story: Improving the Intake Process

One client regularly sends multiple intake forms to its customers. For years, these forms were attached to emails and sent to individual users. Not only did customers often forget to attach and send back completed forms, but gathering was a manual process, leaving the door open for human error.

Using a combo of Microsoft Office Suite, Power Automate, SharePoint, and Power apps, our VEA Executive Assistant created online forms that could be updated in real-time and sent out as a simple link. Fewer attachments translated into fewer mistakes and a welcomed uptick in customer compliance.

Versioning issues are a thing of the past. Information is digitized, eliminating all that copying and pasting that was eating up employees’ time. An error-prone system was cleaned up, and since all data is stored in one place, our client can run reports and learn more about customer behaviour. With just a few small changes, so much was gained.

 

 

Case Story: A Better Billing System

Our professional services client needed to streamline its time tracking system and invoice clients more efficiently. Under its legacy system, they were still creating all invoices manually. It took two whole days to compile information and send invoices!

Working in partnership with a VEA Online Business Manager, the virtual Executive Assistant successfully implemented new digital tools to improve processes and meet newly formed goals.

Using a mixture of Clockify, Excel, and business analysis, this virtual Executive Assistant was pivotal in reducing the billing process from two days to just two hours, saving the client 14 hours per month in labor. Freeing up time by creating better processes enabled the business owner to grow without a lot of added administrative muscle to make it happen.

 

Business Gets Personal

Do you ever feel like your personal life seeps into your workday? It happens to the best of us. At VEA, our virtual Executive Assistants not only handle administrative jobs, but they are also happy to take on personal assistant duties, like arranging social plans, ordering household basics, and even sending flowers and gifts, all in the pursuit of giving you more ways to stay in the game rather than getting yanked to the sidelines throughout the day.

 

An Executive Assistant can even drop work blocks into your schedule, giving you permission to simply focus rather than be pulled into last-minute meetings that sabotage your flow. They can also help you strive for “inbox zero”, a productivity strategy and philosophy that seeks to declutter your mind by decluttering your inbox through methodically deleting, sorting, and clearing incoming emails.

Is it Time for an Executive Assistant?

The right virtual Executive Assistant can truly transform how you structure your week and make it more productive. VEA prides itself on hand matching business owners to their Executive Assistants to ensure a good fit from the onset.

Give VEA a call to talk about your virtual Executive Assistant options. Our team can explain what to expect and then walk you through our tried-and-true onboarding process that ensures you and your virtual Executive Assistant work together as an indispensable team.

Book a Call or email me directly at  [email protected]. I am always happy to help.

 

Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales & Marketing

Busting Top 5 Myths About Outsourcing Bookkeeping Services

Busting Top 5 Myths About Outsourcing Bookkeeping Services

I say it all the time, 99% of business owners did not get into business to do bookkeeping, you got into business to sell your products and services. Bookkeeping is usually the first task to get pushed down your to-do list and the task that gives you the most headaches. Which means, it is the first task that should be outsourced.

But it shouldn’t be outsourced to anyone, the bookkeeper you hire should be experienced and you should understand the fundamentals of bookkeeping. A good bookkeeper will help you understand your financial statements but before you hire you probably have a few questions (or hesitations) about how bookkeeping works, how to find a great bookkeeper and where to even start the process. Let’s break down the top 5 myths of outsourcing bookkeeping.

Image with a calculator and spreadsheet in the background and "myth" written on the front

Myth #1: A Business Owner Should Do Their Own Bookkeeping

True…and false…A business owner will probably start by doing their own bookkeeping but if you don’t complete your bookkeeping according to standardized accounting practices’ and don’t know how to read the financial statements, you should hand it off immediately. Most business owners who engage us to do their bookkeeping usually have the same story: They are spending evenings catching up on receipts, categorizing expenses wrong and spending thousands more on an accountant who has to tidy up at year-end.

If you are not making mistakes and understand how to read the financial statements, great, but your time is still better spent elsewhere doing high-level tasks that grow your business. Your bookkeeping can be done by a professional who checks in to ensure you are sending the documents they need so that when it comes time for you to meet with them to review the statements, they are accurately prepared.

Truth #1: A Business Owner does not need to do their own bookkeeping, however, they do need to hire someone qualified and understand how to read the financial statements.

Myth #2: My Accountant Can Do My Books

At a premium, absolutely they can! Accountant rates are at least double the price of a bookkeeper and many accountants hand-off the bookkeeping to a trained bookkeeper anyway but still charge the accountant rate. (Not so fun fact, many Accountants don’t know how to do bookkeeping.) As mentioned above, if you are using an Accountant to do your books, it is usually done at year-end which gives you 12 months without proper data on how your business is doing. If you prefer higher rates and no financial picture for 12 months, hire an Accountant instead of a Bookkeeper to do your books.

Truth #2: An Accountant can do your books at a much higher rate.

Myth #3: A Bookkeeper Isn’t Trustworthy with My Bank Accounts

No one should have direct access to your bank accounts unless you absolutely trust them and review bank statements separately on your own. A Bookkeeper should have access to your bank account but with limited permissions. By giving them limited permissions this protects both of you. If a Bookkeeper is eager to have your username and password without limited permissions, you should find another Bookkeeper.

To get around having complete access to your accounts, Bookkeepers will receive your financial statements through software like QuickBooks Online (QBO), Zoho or Sage. This is outside of having limited permissions, but using a proper software and giving your Bookkeeper limited permissions means less work for you.

Truth #3: A Bookkeeper doesn’t want or need full access to your bank account.

Myth #4: Virtual Bookkeepers are Less Experienced

True and false. This should be a concern for you so only hire a Bookkeeper with years of experience, comes with references and never sign a long-term contract. Go month to month and if you don’t like what they are doing or feel they don’t know what they are doing, remove their access and move on to someone else.

At VEA Office Professionals, our Bookkeepers have at least 5, but most have 10+ years of experience working with business owners. They have seen it all and are not afraid of messy books. Our team will have your books up to date with financial statements coming out every month, so you know exactly where your business stands financially. Our team is also located across North America, so they understand the expectations of the federal government when it comes to bookkeeping. Whether you need a Bookkeeper in Calgary, a Bookkeeper in Toronto or a Bookkeeper in New York, our team knows the ins and outs to keep you on track and within the laws.

Truth #4: The right Bookkeeper is experienced and will help you grow your business.

Myth #5: I Can’t Send My Receipts to an Outsourced Bookkeeper

With the software that we use, you never have to send a physical receipt to anyone ever again. Dext allows you to take a picture of receipts or forward email receipts or invoices. From there it syncs up to your bookkeeping software, meaning those shoe boxes full of receipts are great but basically obsolete.  It also saves your Bookkeeper time from having to reconcile all your receipts, which saves you money.

Truth #5: You don’t need to send your receipts to your Bookkeeper.

Conclusion:

You should be hesitant about hiring anyone, let alone a virtual Bookkeeper, but you should also be vigilant about ensuring who you hire is certified, experienced and up-to-date on local regulations. If being clear on the financial picture of your business, not having to hand off receipts and not staying up in the evening to complete your books sound too good to be true, book a call with VEA to get back to high-level tasks while trusting that your books are well taken care of.

Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales & Marketing

 

 

Finding a Virtual Bookkeeper in Canada: About VEA

Finding a Virtual Bookkeeper in Canada: About VEA

Watching your dollars and cents doesn’t have to cost you a lot of dollars and cents!

Many small to mid-size companies are discovering that they don’t require the services of a full-time Bookkeeper. In-house Bookkeeping can be costly and there are often wasted hours if you do not have enough work to keep your Bookkeeper busy 40 hours per week. This is where a virtual Bookkeeper comes in!

Hire an Experienced Virtual Bookkeeper

What does a Virtual Bookkeeper do?

VEA is a virtual Executive Assistant and Bookkeeping company with 100% Canadian staff. We offer full-cycle Bookkeeping services including:

 

    • Accounts payable (entering invoices and recording expenses)
    • Accounts receivable (invoicing your clients and receiving payments)
    • Bank reconciliation
    • Credit card reconciliation
    • Payroll and payroll liabilities
    • Intercompany transfers
    • Budgeting and budget reporting
    • Monthly accounting processes
    • Monthly reporting

We have reliable, experienced and dedicated virtual Bookkeepers available. Our specialty is long term partnerships that come at a fraction of the cost of traditional, in-house employees. There are no minimums and no guarantees with VEA. You pay only for the time that your virtual Bookkeeper is actually working on your tasks. Set-up is quick and easy and you will be amazed at how quickly your virtual Bookkeeper becomes a vital part of your team.

Contact us to learn more!

 

Lanna Thompson
President, VEA
1.833.VEA.PROS (832.7767)