Getting hired to work from home for the first time is like a dream come true. You’re really excited and start telling everyone you know of your good fortune. While your celebratory state will ensure that you’re all smiles on the first day, here are important tips to ensure you keep your first virtual position:
Start on time – Make sure that when your client needs you to start, you are available. This is a job and being late regularly, is a sure way to get fired.
Do what you’re asked – If you’re trying to “WOW” your client or employer and keep your virtual position, you’ve got to complete the assignments that your client feels are important. Don’t try to impress your client with what you think is important. If you’re not adding value, or your client has to go behind you and do your work, you will be let go.
Make sure you have a quiet home environment and are actually working – If you’re always answering from a smart phone or have background noise whenever your client calls, this is a sure sign that you’re not ready for a virtual position. While it’s fine to do some work on the go, you need to commit to a definite time and professional work space to make a success of working virtually.
Years ago, one of the most difficult things for me to do was to delegate important assignments or client work to someone else. I’ve taught myself the fine art of delegation and doing so without micro-managing the person or team member you’re delegating to. If you’re an entrepreneur whose business is growing, these tips may help you as well:
Trust your hiring process. Make sure that you’ve put in place an iron clad hiring process that will provide you with insight into the work ethic of potential candidates. This is especially critical when you work site unseen with virtual team members. The interviewing process can be time consuming and stressful. If you need help with this key piece, feel free to contact me, as I have excellent references when it comes to recruiting in various industries and sectors.
Schedule weekly or daily verbal or written updates with your team member or employee. This will ensure that they stay on top of things and understand the importance of meeting deadlines. Delegation only works if the team member you delegate to is freeing up your time. If you find that you’re constantly giving reminders to the team member to do the work you’ve delegated or to send in updates, it’s time to find someone else.
Delegate with confidence. Let your team member know that the reason you’re delegating the work is because you trust their work ethic and believe in their skill set and then let them have at it. When you allow team members to prove their worth, those worthy will rise to the top. It’s a great way to build confidence as well.
If you have tips that have worked for you, please feel free to share in the comments.
In this economy, it’s not unheard of to meet an employee who has taken on back to back temporary or temp jobs. As a temp, you may feel that you’re not at the level you want to be; however, there’s much to be gained from steady temp work.
Learn as much as you possibly can while also adding value. Every employ is different and uses different tools and techniques. Get enthused about adding to your skill set, while learning the tools of the trade for each employer. Every software program or skill set you master, is one more bonus for your resume.
Start blogging about your temp experience. Keep it positive and outline what you’ve learned and how you’ve added value at each company. This blog can be used during your search for permanent employment and will also showcase your writing skills.
Network on and off hours. Make the most of the connections you make while you’re a temp. You never know who may have a contact in your chosen field. While you don’t want to come off as needy, definitely let your current co-workers know that you’re looking for permanent work. Many temps have been referred to permanent positions by their temporary employers.
Last but not least, work as if you’re a permanent employee or team member on every temp assignment you have. When you add value during a temp assignment, there is typically always a chance you may be hired permanently.
Hiring your first team member can be very exciting and a bit nerve racking for an entrepreneur. However, as the business owner, you will have to calm your nerves, as the new team member is no doubt a bit more nervous and will need you to be “Cool, Calm and Collected” Here are a few tips to ensure that the on-boarding process for your new team member is a pleasant experience for all involved:
Make sure you have all new hire paperwork in a packet for the new team member to read over and sign on their 1st day. Your new team member will want to know about pay periods, conduct codes, etc. and having all of this paperwork prepared and ready, will help put their mind at ease.
Set aside time for the new team member to have a virtual meeting with key members of the team. Ensure that the team treats your new member with dignity and respect so there is a good vibe on all fronts.
If your new team member is going to hit the ground running, as is the case with most virtual work, double back and ensure they are not overwhelmed and are performing your new tasks properly.
Working with several clients a day can be a challenge for a growing business. For some it may take a while to put processes in place that allow for smooth on-boarding of new clients. However, there are practical tips and online tools that can truly help you take the fear out of taking on new clients.
Prepare a list of things that you can delegate to a team member and then meet with that trusted team member to hand off ideas.
Locate a great customer support system for your growing client list. Many software programs keep track of client data and even archive old assignments. Educate your clients on how to use the new system.
If you handle a team of virtual workers, you might want to look into an intranet system that allows the team to collaborate seamlessly.
If you’re like me, just about every day of the week, you’re wondering where the time has gone. I thought a mini-break from tweeting and blogging might help me get more done in promoting our new business venture “Freelance Family“. However, what I found is that there’s always something else to fill in the free time, especially when you work from home. I therefore decided to make myself sit at the desk in my home office as if I were going into a brick and mortar office. This can be a novel idea, when you’ve worked from home as long as I have; but I’m blessed to have a home office and ‘By Golly’ I’m gonna’ use it!
Let’s face it, we’ve all been programmed that sitting at a desk equals work. From the pre-school projects we did with our parents or older siblings to the more than a decade of time spent in school; sitting at a desk typically means it’s time to concentrate our efforts on getting things done. That’s not such a bad thing. Trust me, as much as I love to dangle my legs off the side of my bed and work, when I sit in my office, at my desk, I focus more. I’m glad I re-introduced myself to this disciplined way of working, if only for the time being. Let me know if working at your desk helps you with productivity.
How many times have you had to explain what a virtual assistant does? Well, for many VA’s it’s too many times to count. It can be confusing for some clients or employers; as they may not understand the breadth and depth of many virtual assistants. What I mean by that is many VAs come from a specialty in the Corporate arena. HR, accounting or PR may have been their specialty in the corporate world and now they’re offering these skills virtually. The word “assistant” can water that down a bit.
It’s one of the reasons I named our company: Virtual Work Team. We cover a wide range of areas of work, however, we do it in a virtual manner. This is true of most VAs as well. Many become adept at all the new and latest software programs that online business owners are using. This typically puts them a step above their brick and mortar counterparts. So the next time you’re asked what a Virtual Assistant does, just say: “It’s been redefined to include a wide range of duties to help business owners like yourself. How can I help you today?” All the best!
Have you thought about paying to join a freelance website, but feel that they are just too expensive? Are you afraid to spend money to bid on the projects of potential clients because you don’t know their name or where they’re located? Are you afraid you’ll do the work and then not get paid? Freelance Family is for you!
Have you heard about outsourcing either here or abroad, but you’ve also heard the horror stories as well? Do you feel that you have the funds but not the time to manage an overseas team? Are you concerned about a possible communication or language barrier? Then Freelance Family is for you too!
We recently posted an article about growing your business as a Solopreneur and one of our Newsletter subscribers asked if I felt she should continue marketing once she reached her client limit. Meaning, she could only handle so many clients as a solopreneur, so why continue to market her business, if she’d already reached her limit. She said she didn’t have the skills to manage a team and didn’t want to spend time developing such. She also said she’s happy and content. Wondering whether you should continue marketing as a solopreneur is a great question. The short answer is: “YES!” Always market! Marketing equals “SUCCESS!”
At Virtual Work Team LLC our goal is to staff up and grow as a business, so we’re always looking for new “Ideal Clients“; always marketing our services. However, if you feel you’re satisfied or reached your maximum capacity, do not stop marketing! No one can predict the future and you never know when your client load my change, for various reasons. A client could be met with a circumstance that prevents them from moving forward in their business and/or continue working with you. You could elect to drop a client. However, if you’re always marketing, you won’t have to worry about either.
You can always start a waiting list for clients who are able to hold out a bit, until perhaps you have more free time. You also can recommend potential clients to others. Also think about your future. As humans, we’re always growing and changing. What you enjoying doing today might change down the road. However, if you’ve marketed your brand regularly and positioned yourself as a “Thought Leader” in your field, if you change gears, you’re guaranteed to have a following. So don’t stop marketing, it’s one of the keys to success.
Happy Monday my friends. Every time I learn something new that I believe will help other Freelancers and Entrepreneurs, I like to share it. So today I’m going to show you some tips on what to do if you’re having trouble logging in to your WordPress website or dashboard.
Do you see an error similar to the following, when you try to log in to your WordPress dashboard: It’s pretty scary I know, but don’t fret! Watch the video below and I’ll show you how to troubleshoot and fix the error above.