Seven Tools To Increase Bookkeeping Productivity

I’m honored to have a guest post over on WiseStamp. Be sure to check out their really slick email signature tool here.

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bookkeeping-2What exactly is productivity? How do we define it? Essentially it’s about setting up systems, which allows tasks to be performed as efficiently and effectively as possible.

There are many posts that have been written focusing on various aspects ofproductivity – they range from checking email at certain times of the day, working in 90 minute blocks to maximize your personal energy, delegating to virtual assistants, and everything in between.

Many small business owners experience high levels of anxiety and frustration when it comes to bookkeeping and understandably so. Today’s technology offers small business owners the ability to automate a number of bookkeeping tasks.

Read the entire post here.

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Have you been wondering "How Do I Start A Virtual Assistant Business? or "How To Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?".

Now Hiring: Social Media Monitoring for Pharma

Facebook Monitoring Job

Now Hiring for Part-Time Contractor Position!

Overview of what team members do:

Our team provides social media monitoring for our pharmaceutical clients during evening hours, on the weekends, and major holidays. The majority of the work is done on Facebook Pages but there is also some work done on Hootsuite (Twitter), YouTube and it’s expected that Instagram will be coming soon.

To accomplish that, we utilize a combination of tools, including third party cloud-based software, Excel and by working directly on the social media platforms as well. Our team members monitor comments left by consumers on the social networks. Each client / network has a unique workflow designed specifically for the account, which describes what steps to take based on the type of comment left on the page. Most of this work is fairly routine, however critical thinking skills and the ability to function well under pressure are necessary. We are required to have less than 1% error rate.

Hours/Pay:

Our team is responsible for covering 6-10 pm CST Monday through Friday and 9 am – 10 pm CST on Saturday, Sunday, and major holidays. We split evenings shifts with people covering the shift from 6-8pm and another covering the 8-10pm shift. On weeknights we also have a secondary who is scheduled from 6-10pm who must be available as needed during those times. Weekend shifts are typically 3-4 hours in length. Our team is compensated for actual time worked, not the length of time scheduled.

Below are the various factors that determine how long a shift will go (and we don’t have control over any of these factors):

  • how often the page posts content
  • how engaging that content is – the more engaging it is, the more people that comment (and we have to process each comment according to the workflow)
  • if the company is running any paid/sponsored posts
  • how many fans a page has – the more fans they have, the more potential eyeballs there are
  • how many comments include product mentions – the product mention process is more detailed because it involves Google research, emails to the team and text messages to an internal list (basically the texts alert us that we have to check our email for a product mention). If the product mention is an Adverse Event then it takes even more time as we have a long form that has to be filled out and submitted to the Pharma company. (NOTE: Not every product mention is an Adverse Event)

Right now we’re just looking to hire for our “weekend” Facebook pages. Those particular pages are just checked once every 24 hours. We’ve had shifts that are as little as 15 minutes. We have had other shifts that are 7 hours. Most of our team members who work those particular pages will check the night before to see if it’s busy and, if so, they will get a head start on the work that night.

Scheduled days: based on current needs this position will start off as a weekend only position so we need consistent, availability during our weekend hours – primarily 9 am CT through 2 pm CT (both days). The hours could increase in the future based on new assignments and other factors.

This is not a W2 employee position. It is a part-time, 1099-MISC position. The starting pay rate is $14/hr. followed by a review after the training period and a potential increase given at that time. The opportunity exists, for the right individuals, to take on more responsibilities and, as such, an increase in pay.

There is Adverse Event (AE) training that needs to be completed for each pharmaceutical company. Most are self-paced and each takes about 30 minutes. This is paid training time.

Tools/Software used:

As mentioned previously, our team uses a variety of tools to perform these tasks. They include:

  • Google Docs / Google Drive
  • Specialized software specific to the task functions required (each team member is issued their own unique login)
  • Excel (cannot be an open-source alternative such as Libre or Open Office and cannot be a free, trial version)
  • Freshbooks (for time-keeping and invoicing)
  • Paypal (for payment), we do not mail paper checks
  • Hootsuite
  • Facebook Fan Pages
  • YouTube
  • Instagram (expected in the future)

Necessary Skills:

  • Ability to follow written instructions
  • Sharp, catches on quickly
  • Scheduled days: based on current needs this position will start off as a weekend only position so we need consistent, availability during our weekend hours and major holidays – primarily 9 am CT through 2 pm CT (both days). The hours could increase in the future based on new assignments and other factors. (Having consistent weeknight availability is not necessary, but preference will be given to the candidates who have it.)
  • Good written communication and comprehension skills
  • Working experience with tools and software listed above (we’ll provide training on the specialized software mentioned)
  • Eye for detail and critical thinking skills
  • Commitment to doing an excellent job
  • Must be able to handle multi-tasking and be able to have a quick turnaround with little to no errors
  • Must reside in the United States and English must be your native language
  • Not necessary but preferred: solid working experience with Hootsuite
  • Not necessary but preferred:  Twitter (either for yourself or clients) and be well-versed in all Twitter terminology

If interested, apply here.

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Have you been wondering "How Do I Start A Virtual Assistant Business? or "How To Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?".

Office Break Room Hacks for Better Productivity [Infographic]

Here in the United States, smoking is on the decline and has been for several years. Although smoking is dangerous for our health, a colleague of mine recently pointed out a positive aspect of smoking. Back in the days when smoking at work was popular, at least it was a reason to take five or ten minute breaks from work. People would walk outside for their smoke breaks and get a little sunshine.

productivity-hacks-office-break-room-infographic

These days though, it’s more popular to just work straight through those breaks, which doesn’t help our productivity. The break room productivity hacks I’d like to share with you today will help you make the most of your short work breaks.

According to this infographic called Time for a Break: Break Room Hacks for Workplace Productivity (by Quill.com), what we do and eat during our office breaks can play a big part in how productive we are after those breaks. According to the accompanying blog post:

Taking a few breaks during the day has many advantages. It sharpens concentration, improves health and boosts productivity. That’s why it’s so important to make your office break room inviting so employees want to use it.

With all the bad things I’ve read about caffeine, it’s nice to read the positive effects of caffeine in this infographic. It’s also nice to see the small list of items we can eat during our breaks which can help boost productivity.

Berries, seeds, nuts, avocados, yogurt, dark chocolate and green tea are all things that can recharge our batteries during our breaks, which sets us up for more productive work afterwards. I also think it’s interesting that coffee makes us more friendly at work. I giggled when I read that. I’ve personally noticed that I’m more tolerant, helpful, friendly and support of others after a cup or two of coffee.

If you have any additional tips for how to maximize our office breaks, please leave them in the comment section below. This is fun information that can help us all to be more productive.

(Click Infographic to Enlarge)

productivity-hacks-office-break-room-infographic

Source: Design Taxi
Photo credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg / Quill.com

The article was written by Diana Adams and seen on PodJam.TV Blog.

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Have you been wondering "How Do I Start A Virtual Assistant Business? or "How To Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?".

22 Fundable Ideas for Your Next Startup [Chart]

A couple weeks ago, I received a tweet from someone who asked my opinion about which startup he should choose. At first, I thought that was an odd question. Everyone knows that startup entrepreneurs have to eat, sleep and breathe their business, so it seemed obvious to me that the answer would be to pursue a startup that he’s passionate about. Without that burning desire, it’s easy to get burned out.

city-skyline-rainbow-colors-water

However, it turns out the question of which startup to pursue can be more complicated than that. According to an article on TechCrunch entitled How to Choose Your Startup Idea, there are many things to consider.

If I was going to begin another startup, I would want to choose an industry that matters. In other words, I’d want to know that I was making the world a better place. I’d also want to choose something that would make getting funded seem like a no-brainer. But what are those industries?

startup-ideas-tweet-adamsconsulting

Y Combinator is a company that provides seed funding for startups. According to their website:

At Y Combinator, our goal is to get you through the first phase. This usually means: get you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale. Then we can introduce you to later stage investors – or occasionally even acquirers.

Recently Y Combinator compiled a list of 22 fundable startup ideas for industries “that matter.” Funders and Founders then took their 22 ideas and compiled them into this handy chart. If you click over on the Y Combinator link above, you can read more details about each one of these 22 startup ideas.

As a technology geek, I’m thrilled to see that almost all of these are technology based. I’m going to send a link to this article to the person who sent me the tweet asking my opinion about which startup to choose. I hope this article helps him with his decision.

startup-ideas-that-are-fundable
Photo credit: Sunciti_Sundaram
Infographic credit: Funders and Founders

Article was written by Diana Adams and published on Podjam.TV blog.

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Have you been wondering "How Do I Start A Virtual Assistant Business? or "How To Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?".

Now Hiring: Full-Time Executive Virtual Assistant

Help WantedCEO is looking to hire a full-time Executive Virtual Assistant.

Note: This opportunity is only available for US or Canadian service providers in Central and Eastern time zones.

The ideal candidate will be able to:

  • Manage web services, emails, domains, web hosting, etc. (go Daddy, App River)
  • Manage email marketing and write and send (2) weekly email blasts to distributors (1) email and distributor prospects (1) email
  • Manage social media in order to gain new distributors and end clients
  • Manage PPC and SEO activities
  • Interface with CEO and IT/developers for all online and offline marketing activities including strategies, trade shows, PR, and speaking engagements
  • Call distributors, end clients, and finance companies for past due payments
  • Communicate with all distributors on an ongoing and scheduled basis
  • Support incoming distributor calls: software questions, lighting questions, help desk, etc.
  • Manage CRM system Salesforce: all leads for end clients and distributor prospects
  • Manage DNC list
  • Keep schedule and organize CEO and suggest systems to help keep CEO organized (ie: calendar system)
  • Place online orders for delivery of goods and services needed for business and personal use
  • Multiple research projects but mostly pricing research
  • Make reservations that are scheduled each week, including dinners, events, and both business and personal travel
  • Update, manage and eliminate unnecessary recurring monthly expenses for business and personal
  • Manage and coordinate shipping of goods from warehouse or freight forwarder to customer
  • Register warranties on a weekly/scheduled basis after installs
  • Arrange for freight pick up/delivery
  • Research and source products from international vendors
  • Update product database with new products and/or price changes
  • Update payment information and process payments, create ARB within Virtual Merchant Terminals
  • Make payments on a timely basis to all suppliers, vendors, and commission payments to distributors and personal payments
  • Place orders with suppliers
  • Quickbooks (AP and AR) Calculate commissions and make certain they are paid on timely basis until our system are automated and is calculated and paid and then oversee it

Full-time (40 hours per week)

Budget: Open and subject to experience

Application Deadline: June 11, 2015

Central and Eastern Timezones Preferred

Client is looking for someone who is friendly and outgoing, takes initiative/self-starter, great with follow-up and is willing to work on a virtual team.

If this is you…..continue on!

If interested, apply here.

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Have you checked out these virtual assistant resources? There are a lot of free or low-cost tools, ideas, etc. you can use in your business.

The Fine Print:

I provide this service on a referral fee-based system. If a client I’ve referred contracts with you, my referral agreement requires just 10% of your gross revenue, and only for the first 90 days you work with that client. This small referral fee is simply a courtesy to cover the significant amount of time and resources required to maintain this list and filter potential leads and VAs – not to mention the reputation I’ve worked hard to build; which is the very reason I receive so many leads each month. (Before you reply to this lead, please take a look at the portion of the contract that spells out my referral terms and fees.)

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Have you been wondering "How Do I Start A Virtual Assistant Business? or "How To Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?".