New to Working from Home?

If you are new to working from home, here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. 80% of communication really is non-verbal.  Turn on video during your conferencing calls.
  1. If you are working from home full time, you need to ensure your seat supports your posture and that you take regular breaks from your screen, even if it means just looking up from time to time.
  1. If your step count has dropped significantly, devise a regular way to keep moving.
  1. Take some time to just chat to someone in your household or grab a virtual coffee with a colleague or friend.  Remote working should not make you feel alone.
  1. Look at your diary and re-imagine how it could work, just switching to digital may not be the only answer.
  1. Dogs bark, kids cry – there are many distractions, we all have lives.  Make people comfortable with this, I have noticed a mild professional stigma.  Homeworking is cool, I’ve been doing it for years, you just have to stay motivated.

Anything to add?  Please add your comments below to get the conversation started.

As well as taking regular breaks why not try some of these exercises to keep your muscles and bones moving and your heart pumping throughout the day, at your own risk of course!

 

 

 

How a Virtual Assistant can help to Brexit-proof your business

Britain has a new Prime Minister who is promising to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by the end of October. It’s set to be an uncertain time for business – changes in supply chains, funding and legal requirements are definite but are still to be decided. Add to this a lack of consumer confidence and the business environment becomes a hotbed of uncertainty.

But Brexit doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Robust planning will enable you to position your business for Brexit success. Taking on this extra work can be challenging, and that’s where using a Virtual Assistant can help.

A good Virtual Assistant can step in and seamlessly assist your team with a minimum of fuss. You may have teams dedicated to preparing for Brexit and a Virtual Assistant can support them with tasks such as research, project management or preparing presentations.

Likewise, many businesses find that with so much resource dedicated to the impact of Brexit, they could benefit from an extra pair of hands to take care of day-to-day activities.  An experienced Virtual Assistant will give you the confidence to hand over time-consuming tasks such as bookkeeping or managing social media accounts – leaving you free to concentrate on getting ready to Brexit.

As well as this, using a Virtual Assistant service can help you to save money. Expensive costs associated with staffing are minimised, for example, there’s no need to invest in equipment or office space for your latest team member. This leaves you free to invest in other areas of your business or perhaps you’d rather use this money as a safety net over the next 12 months?

The flexibility offered by Virtual Assistants is another factor which could help you to successfully Brexit. Venice Virtual is ready to jump in and help when you need it. We work around the needs of the businesses on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ or retainer basis, giving you total control over the budget – imagine having the freedom to employ someone only when you need them!

So, with the next few months promising to be a rollercoaster of opportunities and threats to businesses, the question is:

Are you prepared to Brexit?

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Time Flies

Wondering Where January Went? 

Don’t Leave It Too Late Before Getting On Top Of Your Business!

They say that time flies when you’re having fun … and if you’re passionate about your business then you’ll probably find it flies just a little too quickly to get everything done!

There are always those few critical tasks that seem to slip through the cracks as the days, weeks and months go by, and before you know it:

● Your CRM software is horribly out of date
● Your diary looks like an ink-covered spider crawled over it
● Your email inbox is overflowing
● Your social media pages are a barren wasteland
● You have customer service issues backing up

And of course, if you managed to grab even a few days of relaxation over the festive holidays you could find these problems getting even worse!
But don’t worry … there is a simple, reliable and cost-effective way to get things back on track (and keep them there!).

Virtual office services are the perfect way to get all those pesky tasks back under control, helping your business run smoother as we push on into 2019.

Starting right now, a virtual office service could help you with any of the following:

●       Repetitive Tasks

From data entry to CRM maintenance, bringing in outside help can get the job done cheaper and with greater accuracy, whilst freeing up you and your team to focus on the core tasks in your business.

●     Skilled Tasks

Bookkeeping, email management, diary management … the list of day-to-day tasks required to keep a business in tip-top condition goes on forever. Virtual office services cover all this and more.

●     Tasks Outside Your Skillset

Let’s face it, there are some parts of running a business in today’s marketplace that are just unfamiliar to many of us. So whether it’s managing your presence on social media platforms or organising your next business event, using a virtual office service can get the job done to the highest standard, faster, and more cost effectively than trying to take it all on yourself, or hiring a full time staff member.

Why Virtual?

It’s a good question. After all, why would you trust your business to an “outsider” when you could employ someone to take on the tasks that need attention?

Well it comes down to cost … but not just the money.

Of course there is a financial cost to employing someone. And it’s considerable. On top of their salary, taking on a new employee will hit you with recruitment fees, training, desk space, equipment costs, plus you’ll need to pay pension and National Insurance contributions, sick pay, holiday pay, bonuses… it’s a long list!

Hiring a virtual office professional immediately dispenses with all these peripheral costs, so you’re really only paying for the work you have done.

But there’s an additional cost that is often unseen. When you use a reputable, professional virtual office service, you’ll get expert assistance in the areas you need. That’s not always the case when you choose to have the work done in house. When you put a member of your team on “social media duties” or task them with organising an event, their learning curve is paid for by your business. Every mistake, every missed opportunity for excellence, hits you on your bottom line.

So, if 2019 is already passing you by (yes, it really is February already!) then NOW is the time to act.

Call Venice Virtual for an obligation-free discussion about how we can bring our expertise and dedication to your business, saving you time, saving you stress and saving you money!

A Most Unusual Request!

Here at Venice Virtual we’re quite used to receiving unusual requests for help; but this week we took a call that was a little out of the ordinary, even for us!

It went a little something like this…

Caller: “Oh hello, yes. I have rather a large event coming up, and I was wondering if you could offer some help”

Venice Virtual: “Certainly, what kind of help are you looking for?”

Caller: “Well, I have two VERY large lists of names and to be honest, I’ve got myself in a complete tangle trying to keep them up to date and well maintained. Do you think you could give them a look through?”

Venice Virtual: “Absolutely! We’ll cast an expert eye over them and make sure everything is in order. Anything else?”

Caller: “Can you help with diary management? I’m working to a very specific deadline that absolutely can’t be missed and I have so much to do I just can’t see how I’m going to fit everything in.”

Venice Virtual: “That’s exactly the kind of challenge we love! Just let us know your deadline date and we’ll help make sure you’ve got everything organised with plenty of time to spare.”

Caller: “What about bookkeeping? I’ve got a stack of invoices from suppliers all around the world and, to be honest, my little helpers aren’t the best at keeping tabs on the finances.”

Venice Virtual: “No problem at all, just send us what you’ve got and we’ll get it all properly logged and accounted for.”

Caller: “And travel planning? I’ll be making a rather long journey very soon. It’s a bit of a logistical nightmare.”

Venice Virtual: “You just let us know where you need to go, and we’ll take care of it.”

Caller: “Oh, and how do you feel about customer service? You see, I’ve got more letters here with requests for products (and a few grumbles about last year’s deliveries) than I could possibly deal with in the time I’ve got. And they all seem so important!”

Venice Virtual: “Yes, of course, we can take care of that for you as well.  Is there anything else we can help you with?”

Caller: “Well, there is just one thing…

… how are you with reindeer?”

The truth is, Santa probably has Christmas well in hand by now … but whatever’s taking the festive spirit out of your work we can probably help. Just give us a call to find out more about our event management, social media and virtual office services.

In the meantime, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Here’s to 2019!

Virtual Assistants … and Why You Probably Don’t Employ a Mechanic!

Here at Venice Virtual we’ve spent a lot of time recently trying to come up with the best ways to clearly explain what a Virtual Assistant service is, and why busy business people like you could benefit from a service like ours.

And then it hit us: you’ve been hiring Virtual Assistants for ages!

You already know all the benefits; you’ve already outsourced so much you’re probably as big an expert in the field as we are!

Let’s take an example.

You’re driving into the office one morning, and you hear an unfamiliar knocking noise coming from somewhere under the bonnet of your car. Now we all know cars develop these little (or sometimes big!) issues from time to time … but it would seem silly to employ a mechanic and keep him on standby (or busy him with tasks that aren’t in his skill set) just in case such a situation arises, wouldn’t it?

Of course, you could have a go at identifying and remedying the problem yourself. Perhaps you’ve even got some mechanical knowledge and a decently equipped toolbox. But you’ll need to find a spare few hours to undertake the investigation. And you’re going to have to roll up your
sleeves and get covered in oil, or try to squeeze into awkward spaces to see what’s going on.

It’s not everybody’s idea of fun.

The easiest solution? Drop your car off at a reliable garage. A qualified expert who knows what they’re doing will spend just as long as necessary fixing your problem. It’s faster, it’s much more cost-effective, and you get to focus on what’s really important to you while they do the work.

You see where we’re going with this, yes?

Just like your occasionally rattly car, there are tasks around your office which, whilst extremely important, either don’t merit taking on a full-time member of staff or are not within the core skills that you or your team possess. Perhaps, even, you simply don’t enjoy doing them! And that’s where a Virtual Assistant service comes to the rescue. Just like the trusted, qualified, time-served mechanic who will breathe new life into your ailing car, a great Virtual Assistant will take the hassle and stress out of the tasks you can’t or don’t want to perform and deliver you quality results.

It really is as simple as that!

So next time you think about taking the car to the garage (or going to the hairdressers, or having a chef cook you a meal in a restaurant, or…) take a moment to realise that outsourcing your requirements is actually something you already do all the time.

Doesn’t it make a lot of sense to do it around the office as well?!

For more information about the remote services Venice Virtual can offer, check out our services page, or call us for an obligation-free chat.

Discover How You Could Claw Back At Least 24 “Man-Hours” In A Working Week!

Virtual Office AssistWhat would an extra 24 working hours a week mean to your business? Without staying open longer or taking on extra staff.

Right now, your team could easily be “wasting” that much time carrying out tasks that are essential but not core to your business. Outsourcing those non-core tasks to a Virtual Assistant could give you an extra 24 hours each week to focus on what really matters to you.

Here’s how…

Social Media Management (5 hours per week)

There’s no denying the importance of social media in today’s tech-savvy marketplace. Increasing percentages of enquiries are coming through from “online” sources … and your reputation can be made or broken by how you engage with your social media audiences. But even an hour a day making sure your pages are in tip-top condition is time that you can’t spend closing sales. Outsourcing your social media management to real experts not only gives you back that time, but will almost certainly get you better results, too!

Conducting Research (8 hours per week)

Business research comes in many forms, from sourcing leads to identifying event venues. The one thing all research has in common is that it chews up your time! A great Virtual Assistant can handle all your research needs. They can do it faster (because it’s what they do) and there’s no distraction from your key business needs.

If you’d rather convert leads than Google them, a Virtual Assistant could be the perfect solution!

General Enquiry Response (5 hours per week)

Of course there will always be some enquiries that only you can handle … after all, you’re the expert! But what about all those “do you have a brochure?”, “do you stock…?”, “how do a find you?” general enquiries? They take up time that you could be devoting to more pressing matters. Getting a Virtual Assistant to handle the day-to-day questions buys you time … and of course a great VA will know when to transfer that hot lead straight through to you!

Data Entry (2 hours per week)

Databases are powerful tools that can help you keep track of everything from finance to customer interaction. But let’s be honest … keeping them up to date is a drag! So what you typically end up with is a semi-up-to-date pool of information. And that’s no use to you.

Virtual Assistants can help you bring your current databases right up to date, or even get you set up with a new system that will provide you with all the information you need, right at your fingertips. And like everything else a great VA does, it won’t take time out of your day!

Telecoms (4 hours per week)

Did you know that in a typical small to medium sized business, up to 4 hours a week are spent just answering the telephone and transferring calls? Imagine if you could have your telephones answered for you, with the calls routed straight to the person best equipped to deal with that particular enquiry. Or being able to jump into a team meeting knowing you won’t be interrupted by ringing phones. A Virtual Assistant can cover your phone lines, remotely, whenever you need it. They can provide a screening service to make sure the right calls go to the right people, or simply cover you when you don’t have enough hands to answer the phone yourself.

And there you have it…

That’s how easy it is to inject an extra 24 hours into your team’s working week. Simple, cost effective and available “on demand”, a great Virtual Assistant could have your business running smoother and leaner in next to no time.

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For more information about these and other remote services Venice Virtual can offer, check out our services page, or call us for an obligation-free chat.

6 Reasons to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Outsourcing work is a big part of small and medium enterprises. There is something to be said about recognising your own shortcomings in business and utilising the best person available to fill those shortfalls. However, the idea of outsourcing your administration is still considered an unusual offering. Especially when that work is done remotely. It’s a big step to hand over work to someone outside of the company but in this list, we’ll discuss the difference getting a virtual assistant (VA) can make.

Having a VA means having the security of professional help

VA’s are trained in many areas – including human resources, data input, recruitment, transcription and many more aspects of administration. Having someone at the end of the phone who knows their ‘stuff’ can be invaluable.

headlessSave on in-house costs

You don’t need to expand your office or buy any new equipment to cover a new employee. Virtual assistants come with their own space and everything they need to get started.

Freelancers manage their own hours, holidays and benefits

Since most virtual assistants are freelancers, you and your business won’t have to fork out for the usual benefits that come in place with hiring a member of your in-house team. They also tend to be more flexible than most employees, as they can work at any time to suit you, by prior arrangement of course!

You are under no obligation to maintain a working relationship

If the working relationship with your virtual assistant is not to your liking, you are always welcome to end the working relationship and try another VA. Of course, you will always need to adhere to any contracts and being professional is always best practice. We all understand that sometimes having the ability to walk away takes away the stress of hiring and gives you the confidence to hire others.

A VA rarely needs management

Since the majority of VA’s are handling a business of their own, you know they are already organised and motivated. They work on their own initiative and have lots of experience in managing others. All of these skills make for a great assistant with little management necessary!

Increase your own productivity

Having someone to do the ‘fiddly’ parts of your work means that you have more free time to cover your own priorities. Reducing your own workload and knowing that your work is in the hands of a professional means your own work-life balance is improved.

Hiring a virtual assistant can be the simplest solution to a complex problem. Working with professionals who are already well-trained and experienced, in either the short or long-term, can mean the difference between growth or stagnation in business. And of course, having the invaluable input of a knowledgeable freelancer allows the business owner to get back to what they do best- bringing in the business!

You Don’t See Us, You See the Difference!

Have you ever felt bombarded with the onslaught of work? Ever felt the need for experienced, skilful, knowledgeable, inexpensive input? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Venice Virtual, we have identified a growing need for remote management services and we’ve devised an innovative solution at competitive rates. From small to medium-sized enterprises and one-man bands, Venice Virtual can cater to all with its remote services. Our services include calendar management, document creation, customer service, project management, social media marketing, website management, event planning, ahard workccommodation and travel, email response, VAT, sales & purchase ledger; all geared towards helping you with your everyday tasks. You do business while we take care of business.  We’re your back-office support and we’re available even when your office is closed.

Virtual assistance covers an array of services all directed towards providing you with easy access to the necessary services required in the management of your day to day business. We provide bespoke packages to each of our customers with the required resources to support administration and related services including bookkeeping, VAT, accounts to trial balance, copy typing, correspondence, project management, diary management, travel arrangements, meetings, presentations and proposals. Hire us for an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year.  Our team of dedicated professionals help you decide the best fit for you and your business.

Venice Virtual also provides a social media management service to help you build your brand and increase visibility.  Many small to medium-sized businesses do not have the in-house resources necessary to effectively implement social media.  That’s where Venice Virtual comes in, we manage your social media channels i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn increasing reach, engagement and click-throughs to your website, maximising your brand’s visibility, tapping into new markets via virtual communities and increasing product sales and/or services.

We also have a combined experience of over 50 years in end to end event management and will shortly publish our portfolio here.  In the meantime, we would be happy to quote for your next corporate event.

Our dedicated team are ready to answer your every query and provide you with the perfect service package to suit your requirements.multi task

All About Venice Virtual

At Venice Virtual Services & Event Management, we’ve built our reputation over many years, by ‘word of mouth’ referrals. From simple seminars to delightful dinners and complex conferences, we’ve experienced it all and we can help you every step of the way.

The planning and management of events requires strong negotiation with in depth knowledge of the industry. Venice Virtual offers a high level of experience and can provide a planning service that will ensure your events run smoothly and with a professional edge that sets them apart from competitors.

Are you a small business or ‘one-man band’ who simply doesn’t have enough time or permanent resource for admin? That’s where Venice Virtual Services comes in.

The business landscape has changed immensely over the last 10-15 years and with it, the way we do business. Most SMEs do not have the resource to build and manage their social media requirements and more importantly, are unfamiliar with the benefits. We can take care of all your Social Media requirements.

We also offer the full complement of ‘virtual PA’ services, remotely. Including book keeping, VAT, accounts to trial balance, copy typing, correspondence, project management, diary management, travel arrangements, meetings, presentations and proposals.

 

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