Here’s How to Work on Improving The Financial Health of Your Nonprofit

Each nonprofit is built around its mission. That is, nonprofits contribute to worthy causes in society.

However, one thing stands between nonprofits and their contributions: finances. In other words, nonprofits are often pressed for funds, and this prevents them from reaching their goals.

But that’s where virtual assistants come in.

Virtual assistants (VAs) help nonprofits advance their goals. Because they are affordable, they promote better financial health. Above all, VAs foster flexibility in any organization.

So, no matter what your nonprofit does, it needs a supportive team. With a reliable crew of virtual assistants, you can drive consistent growth and meet your goals.

Understanding The Virtual Workplace

Today, businesses recognize the potential for greater productivity with low overhead costs. One way to achieve this is by hiring virtual assistants.

According to a recent report, 3.9 million Americans (2.9% of the workforce) work from home at least half the time. In fact, this practice is becoming even more popular as we enter 2019.

Since remote workers don’t need employee benefits or office space, delegating tasks to them lowers costs. With VAs, you can focus on the work at the heart of your organization.

VAs are competent in many administrative tasks. They also offer knowledge around online marketing strategies and research. They absorb daily tasks in a range of fields relevant to nonprofits. Whether it’s customer support or bookkeeping, VAs bring distinguished expertise to the evolving virtual workplace.

Effective VA Hiring Tips For Nonprofits

Ready to save time and money by hiring virtual assistants? There are a few things to consider first. Answer the following questions to determine your specific needs:

  • Which tasks can anyone outside of your nonprofit organization accomplish?
  • What tasks does your current staff not have time for?
  • Are there priorities you have consistently dismissed because you lack the resources? What are they?
  • How will you manage virtual relationships? Will you use phone, email, or web/video conferencing tools?

Introducing Your New VA to Your Nonprofit

Once hired, introduce your new virtual assistants to the staff of your nonprofit. Use an email announcement or web conferencing event.

In addition, an onboarding experience that includes training and mentoring is important. Your organization will benefit from connecting with your VAs.

After all, nonprofits understand how important it is to build relationships. This is how they achieve uniquely defined success. Therefore, using a virtual assistant to grow business is an investment in long-term potential.

Has your organization outsourced tasks to virtual assistants? What was your experience?

Comment below, and share your insights!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Adobe Stock

holiday-virtual-assistants

Get A Team of Expert Virtual Assistants This Holiday Season– With VEPAA

These days, it’s all about virtual assistants.

Although there are around 4 million individuals working as secretaries and administrative assistants in the United States today, many businesses don’t have the ability to hire full-time staff members to perform these necessary support services. For businesses small and big that need an extra pair of hands, hiring a part-time virtual assistant presents the optimal solution.

With VEPAA, you gain a major benefit: you get access to an entire team of expert virtual assistants so you can run your business with ease.

Here are the top three reasons you need VEPAA this holiday season:

Delegate To Your Team During Busy Times

Picture this: you stay up till 2 a.m. in the morning trying to finish your bookkeeping tasks. You wake up the next day feeling like a zombie, and barely make it through the day without falling asleep right at your desk. Then, you’re forced to stay up late again to complete that pesky sales pitch. The cycle continues.

But no one can keep that up for long. You can’t, and nor can your in-house team.

Our team of part-time virtual assistants, on the other hand, will rush in to carry out these tasks– even during the Christmas holidays. Delegate your work. Let our virtual assistants take care of the rest through vacation season and beyond.

Economical, Attentive, and Flexible

For small businesses, employing a team of virtual assistants is cost-effective. VEPAA ensures positive outcomes.

Virtual assistants are extremely flexible in their roles. From administrative services to design and marketing, they can do it all. With VEPAA, we give you access to an entire team of assistants. They come with a range of skills, so you can get the help you want as and when you need it.

Focus On Your Vision, Let Virtual Assistants Do the Rest

You’re a big-picture thinker. You don’t have the time or energy to deal with bookkeeping and branding. Instead, these minor tasks are cluttering your mind. You have a vision, and you built your business from the ground up in order to see it through to fruition.

Your business is slowing down because you’re not there to steer the ship.

Cue VEPAA.

With VEPAA, you get a team of virtual assistants at your beck and call. While they deal with back of office matters, you can stay focused and make your vision for your business a reality.

What’s on your to-do list for this busy holiday season?

Share in the comments below!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

intelligent virtual assistants

Deciding Between Virtual Assistants and Intelligent Virtual Assistants

With the Internet as vast as it is today, it can be difficult to know what information is correct, and what’s not. For instance, many people are misinformed about intelligent virtual assistants and virtual assistants.

Although people have been led to believe that intelligent virtual assistants and virtual assistants are one and the same, the truth is that the two are distinct.

Intelligent Virtual Assistants

PCMag defines an intelligent virtual assistant as “an application that lets people ask questions by speaking in their natural language and listening to verbal answers.”

In short, intelligent virtual assistants refer to automated virtual assistants. Siri, Alexa, and Cortana are among the most popular intelligent virtual assistants today. Although these applications can schedule appointments, perform research, and set alarms, they are mostly for personal usage. For example, such assistants cannot take a phone call for you when you are in an important meeting.

Virtual Assistants 

PCMag.com  defines a virtual assistant  as “an individual who works at home performing administrative functions for clients.”

Put simply, virtual assistants are people. They are the people found on websites like Fivver, Upwork, Craigslist, and through independent agencies.

Human virtual assistants are usually freelance workers, who are able to perform a variety of tasks. From scheduling appointments to running research for various employers, they perform key support services. They are able to step in on short notice company and fill gaps in any business.

Finding Middle Ground 

There is one key problem with intelligent virtual assistants: they cannot work with other people at the same time.

X.ai , however, is a company that works around this problem. X.ai uses the AI personal assistants “Amy” and “Andrew”. They sound human-like, and can correspond with multiple parties via email.

Here  is a video showing how Amy helped Harry Wallop, a feature writer for The Telegraph, go through his day.

Now that you know the differences between virtual assistants and intelligent virtual assistants, which type would help you run your business? Find more details on our  FAQ  page, so you can make an informed decision.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo by Fabian Hurnaus from Pexels

 

The Top 5 Ways to Communicate Effectively– Even When Working Virtually

According to the (SIOP), communication is “an integral component of success for any team.”  Because of this, it is vital that virtual teams, like the ones you can access with VEPAA, find a way to communicate effectively.  In fact, when it comes to virtual teams, SIOP says that effective communication is “imperative” for a virtual team to be successful. 

Utilize Communication Guidelines 

When it comes to a virtual team, there is no way to drop by someone’s office for a quick chat.

Instead, it’s best to have an agreement in place that helps answer who talks, when they talk, what they talk about, and how they talk (email, instant message, phone, Skype, and more).  Teams can communicate effectively only when they know what is expected and required of them. 

Acknowledge Diversity 

Virtual co-workers may live in any part of the world. Because of this, it’s possible that you will have a very diverse team of co-workers and employees. It’s important to understand that different cultures have different norms around communication. This can help you avoid any potential culture clashes or misunderstandings. 

Don’t Guess 

Entrepeneur.com points out that to truly communicate effectively, you have to make sure that you understand what the other person is saying.  In other words, if you aren’t sure what is being said, ask for clarification.  Don’t assume that you know what the other person is trying to get across.  If something is unclear, work together to make sure everyone is on the same page.    

Avoid Non-Verbal Miscommunication Woes 

Five of the main elements of non-verbal communication are eye contact, voice fluctuation, position in the room, facial expressions, and hand gestures, according to PR Daily.

Unfortunately, being in the virtual world means that you won’t often get to use non-verbal communication.  Therefore, to avoid problems, make sure that you choose words that clearly convey what you’re trying to say.  It’s okay to be informal in certain communications with your virtual team, but avoid jokes that may be taken the wrong way.

Recap Your Conversations 

It never hurts to go over what you’ve already said.  Some forms of online communication, such as chat rooms and instant message programs, can provide a chat log.

Further, if you’re choosing to use the phone or Skype, spending an extra few minutes to recap your main points can be impactful. It can be the difference between ineffective and effective communication. 

 

Which tip do you find most helpful for your virtual team?  Have you ever encountered a communication problem because someone failed to follow one of the tips?

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.

Comparing Assistants: Executive, Administrative, Personal, and Virtual

All businesses need assistants, and at VEPAA, we know this well. 

Are you looking for someone to answer phone calls? Follow-up on leads? Or make key decisions that will impact the future of your company? With that in mind, extra hands on deck are always useful.

But choosing the right type of assistant requires research. Thus, understanding the differences amongst varying types of assistants can help small businesses to a great extent.

In order to help you make your decision, here are the major differences amongst different categories of assistants:

Executive Assistant 

Executive assistants can make decisions on behalf of the executive or owner. Their work involves managing communications between the executive, and internal and external parties. They may also be called upon to stand in for the executive at meetings and industry events.

An executive assistant should have superior business thinking. In addition, they should have at least five years of experience in an administrative assistant role. Notably, top earners in this category make over $75,000 annually. 

Administrative Assistant 

An administrative assistant may support one person, or multiple people on various teams. Standard tasks include managing the inventory of office supplies, handling any incoming or outgoing mail and packages, coordinating meeting logistics, and organizing files.

In a corporate environment, administrative assistants often report to the executive assistant.

As a result, two years of experience is usually enough, with a salary around $38,000 annually. 

Personal Assistant  

Are you in search of someone to pick up your kids from baseball practice? Take your pets to the vet? Prepare your meals, or tidy your home? In that case, you’re looking for a personal assistant.

In other words, personal assistants are an integral part of ensuring your daily personal affairs are in order.

They earn up to $15 an hour. Corporate experience is not necessary for this role.  

Virtual Assistant 

A virtual assistant (VA) supports business owners from an offsite location. Through email, web-conferencing, and platforms such as Dropbox and Basecamp, VAs stay connected around the clock.

As a result, VAs perform various tasks. They can do work ranging from managing calendars and bookkeeping, to designing brand materials, and writing for company blogs.

In addition, they are typically self-employed. This means that they pay for their own resources. However, they can work from anywhere in the world.

Fee schedules for VAs differ greatly. They tend to have varying levels of expertise in their respective backgrounds. In addition, most VAs should have experience assisting in non-virtual settings as well. 

In conclusion, all assistants have an important role to play. They help you keep your business operations in order. In addition, they ensure that your work and personal life stay balanced.

Each type of assistant offers useful knowledge and skills. However, it is important to take some time to decide which kind of assistant fits you and your company needs best. 

 

Do you have any details to add to the explanations above? Comment below.

Boosting Productivity: 5 Tips to Help You Manage Your Emails With Ease

Do you ever feel like you spend the majority of your day sending, reading and responding to emails? Want to get your email management under control but don’t know how?  

You’re not alone. In fact, services like VEPAA can help you ease your burden.

As a business owner, your company thrives on your constant communication with clients, prospects and employees. Afterall, communication is how you win new business, hire workers, and keep your organization growing!

But that doesn’t mean emails have to consume your entire day.  

Here are some easy tips to help you master email management. With these, you can spend time checking off other tasks on your to-do list, and less time glued to your inbox:  

Use the subject line wisely

Make sure that the recipient of your email understands exactly what the message is about before they even open it. If something requires immediate attention or action, the subject line is the best place to begin the request. Messages with generic or irrelevant subject titles tend to get overlooked, and sometimes deleted. 

Keep the body short and sweet

Nobody has an infinite attention span. Thus, in order to increase the chances of your email getting read and responded to quickly, make sure you are concise. Challenge yourself to get right to the point and cut back on unnecessary wording. 

Know when it’s time to pick up the phone

Emails tend to get confusing when complex topics are being discussed between two parties. To avoid too many unnecessary correspondences and get matters resolved quicker, it’s best to simply call the person and discuss the situation verbally. 

Schedule time intervals for checking mail

It’s very tempting to check your mail every time you receive a notification. But this habit is counterintuitive. It causes you to lose focus on the task that you were doing before the notification popped on your screen. As a result, it could take you 15-29 minutes to refocus your thoughts.

In order to avoid losing your focus, check your email only at certain times. Unless you are waiting for an urgent correspondence, the rest of the emails can hold off until the scheduled time. 

 

Now that you have some tips to help jumpstart better email management, we can move on to online tools that provide mailbox assistance.

 

Have any other email management tips that help you keep your days as productive as possible? Let us know in the comments below. 

 

Do You Want To Improve Efficiency In Your Small Business? Go Paperless

When you’re running a small business, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are key.

One of the main ways to increase efficiency, as well as encourage better communication among employees and clients, is to run a paperless office. Running an office without paper can save small businesses more than $25,000 a year!

When you make the move and go electronic, you encourage business growth and allow for a range of other advantages to unfold:  

Make Sharing Easier  

People spend 5-15% of their time reading information, but up to 50% of their time looking for information.

Aside from saving you all the time it takes to rummage through your office and find the documents you need, it makes sharing between coworkers easier.

Running a paperless office means taking information out of file cabinets, whether literal or digital, and uploading them to a cloud service. This allows everyone access to the documents they need, cutting out the need for hand-delivering, faxing, or emailing files.  

Get Rid of Distractions 

Paper can be a major distraction. Making your office paperless means that you ensure data is always at the tip of your fingers. Using a tablet or laptop in meetings to access information is faster allows employees and clients to focus.

Help the Environment and Yourself  

Running a paperless office means using less paper, and that’s great for the environment.

In addition, going paperless also encourages employee productivity. This is because it allows your employees access to information more easily with more speed. That means that everyone in the company can communicate and collaborate without any hassle. They can edit documents in the cloud or uploading newer versions of an image for everyone to see. In turn, this makes the workflow of your small business much more fluid.  

 

These are just a few of the benefits that come with a paperless office. In conclusion, eliminating the paper trail helps coworkers communicate more efficiently. Going paperless will ensure that your small business is always on top of its game.  

Ready to learn more about your paperless office?

Contact VEPAA, and see how we can help you run an office fit for the digital age.

Here’s Why Your Small Business Needs A Team of Virtual Assistants– Now

No matter how organized or efficient you are, there’s just never enough time in the day to get everything done. But what if you had a virtual assistant who could help you out?

Even as the average working day is getting substantially longer, with 65 percent of workers saying they’re expected to take work-related calls at home, workers have less free time and more responsibilities than ever before. If you’re ready to increase your productivity and lower your stress levels, you’re going to want to consider hiring a Virtual Assistant. 

What is a Virtual Assistant and how exactly can one make your life easier?

Read on to find out everything you need to know. 

A Virtual Assistant is a Way to Make Life Easier 

When we think of those with assistants, we think of multi-millionaire CEO bigwigs.

But the truth is, virtually any worker, regardless of status, can get a virtual assistant to help them out. At its core, the biggest difference between a digital assistant and a traditional assistant is location. While the latter needs a designated workspace in the office, the former does not. 

In fact, virtual assistants are rarely (if ever) in the same location as their client. Most virtual assistants work remotely, allowing you more space and resources for what matters most at your office. 

A Virtual Assistant Offers Flexibility 

Aside from not needing physical proximity, there are tons of different conveniences that digital assistants offer.

For instance, since they work remotely, they’re able to work wherever, whenever. No more worrying about hazardous weather conditions or getting stuck in traffic! Your virtual assistant is here to assist you as needed. 

As a result, all they need is a laptop or smartphone, an internet connection, and an assignment to work on. This gives you more time to focus on increasing sales, and improving customer relationships. 

Enlisting the aid of a Virtual Assistant provides you with flexibility. There’s no need to stay at the office to take calls and manage your calendar. Your assistant can update you as needed. 

Virtual Assistants Can Complete a Variety of Tasks 

It’s true that your Virtual Assistant can help with basic administrative tasks, like scheduling and day-to-day management.

But that’s not even scratching the surface of what most assistants are capable of! 

For instance, are you looking for someone to run a social media campaign? Sure, you could outsource to a marketing company, but that’s going to cost tons of money that you may not have. 

Instead, let your assistant help! Most assistants are well-versed in marketing, SEO, blogging, bookkeeping, and even HR. By hiring a Virtual Assistant, you’re consolidating administrative, creative, and technical tasks. 

 

What is your experience with hiring a Virtual Assistant?

Share in the comments below!