He Said She Said… Now With Supporting Evidence

January 25th, 2012

We see writers do it all the time; they speak into a recording device to capture ideas and random thoughts that they might use to elaborate into a full story when they have the opportunity. Students can improve their studies by using the same method while having their notes transcribed for better learning and easy references.

There are thousands of books out there on any given topic. You might spend hours reading over the information, hastily writing out notes (usually in point form); at least until your eyes get tired or your hand cramps. With the recording-transcription method, you can focus on finding the right resources and expressing your thoughts and ideas as you progress, further honing your research to your needs. While you focus on the research, you can have the recording transcribed into organized and comprehensive notes for later review.

Does your research involve interviewing people?  Recording these sessions allows you to capture what is actually being said, instead of relying on short hand which transcribes implied information which can lead to skewed results. While you’re collecting data, you can have the research transcribed into question and answer segments.

Recording and transcribing ideas and full interviews is a powerful way to delve deeper into your studies; Focusing on core information by capturing what was actually said while reducing the literary clutter.

Transcribing Your Sermon for Better Communication

December 9th, 2011

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, delivering a passionate speech that stirs the soul and boost practitioners’ spiritual selves through a moral and ethical make-over. Sometimes reality is very different from the way we had pictured the scene. We find ourselves speaking from our hearts and souls but feeling as though we’ve reached no one at all. There is a way to improve our communication so that we can reach and inspire more people all around us.

The simple fact is that we’re failing to reach our target audience because we aren’t speaking their language. On paper the sermon sounds perfects, and it’s been reheard and memorized word for word. Yet upon delivery it came out flat and sounded false. But for some odd reason, they reacted to the unplanned ad-lib, when a modernized version of an old story was crafted on the spot to better explain the moral dilemma presented in the original sermon. What went right?

There are so many nuances behind a successful sermon; the first step is recording and learning from the experience. Analyze what was said and how it was presented, not how we think we said it. Through recording and transcribing your sermons, you can correct unflattering habits and slips of the tongue, while strengthening your ability to communicate with the people that you were sent to shepherd.

Transcribing recorded sermons allows you to comb over your work so that you can pick out the strong, meaningful and effective parts, while eliminating weaker and ineffective portions, all so you can reach your flock and help guide them through their spiritual haze.

Exercising Effective Time Management Skills with a Virtual Assistant

October 25th, 2011

New business owners often feel that they have to do everything on their own in order to cut costs and maintain a profitable business. However these people fail to consider how and where they generate their income. They become so focused on keeping up with the mundane tasks involved with maintain their business that they spend more time keeping up with their never ending to-do list, instead of outsourcing these tasks to a capable virtual assistant while gaining a few crucial hours each day.

Here are a couple of common business maintenance tasks that can be easily handled by a virtual assistant.

Billing and invoicing: If you have a routine schedule when you bill your clients, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, providing your VA with the client contact details and related billable information can help reduce the number of hours spent writing email, printing and mailing invoices.

Data Entry:  If you are the avid networker and go to networking events, you probably get a stack of business cards to take home and sift through.  A Virtual Assistant can make meaning of that stack of cards by entering them into a database that is easily searchable and usable by you to assist in your marketing activities.  In addition, your Virtual Assistant can assist you with marketing and follow-up to those new prospects that you just met.

Answering emails: It’s near impossible to avoid email related tasks as it’s grown from a convenience to a business necessity. The inbox fills quickly and unless you want to spend more time answering similar emails by personally replying to each, you’ll find that you won’t have time to actually sell your services or product, not to mention actually have the time to fill the order.

Ultimately, the key to effective time management is to know what your time is worth and what your service your business is built around, while outsourcing all other tasks to that don’t need your personal attention. Be honest with yourself, do you really need to be the one that mails out all those invoices?

Exercising Effective Time Management Skills with a Virtual Assistant

October 4th, 2011

New business owners often feel that they have to do everything on their own in order to cut costs and maintain a profitable business. However these people fail to consider how and where they generate their income. They become so focused on keeping up with the mundane tasks involved with maintain their business that they spend more time keeping up with their never ending to-do list, instead of outsourcing these tasks to a capable virtual assistant while gaining a few crucial hours each day.

Here are a couple of common business maintenance tasks that can be easily handled by a virtual assistant.

Billing and invoicing: If you have a routine schedule when you bill your clients, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, providing your VA with the client contact details and related billable information can help reduce the number of hours spent writing email, printing and mailing invoices.

Answering emails: It’s near impossible to avoid email related tasks as it’s grown from a convenience to a business necessity. The inbox fills quickly and unless you want to spend more time answering similar emails by personally replying to each, you’ll find that you won’t have time to actually sell your services or product, not to mention actually have the time to fill the order.

Ultimately, the key to effective time management is to know what your time is worth and what your service your business is built around, while outsourcing all other tasks to that don’t need your personal attention. Be honest with yourself, do you really need to be the one that mails out all those invoices?

Full Play by Play: Going Beyond Meeting Minutes

September 12th, 2011

As your business grows, you’ll have an increasing number of managers and departments designed to help you get things done, while focusing on their key knowledge and expertise in their related field. Eventually, you’ll have to talk to them in order to gleam project status, or share your evolving vision and generate a plan of action to see these projects through to your desired outcome.

Transcribing your management meetings doesn’t come as an obvious asset. After all, it’s just a bunch of people just talking and sharing ideas, brainstorming plans of action, and providing insight from their professional perspective. Why would you ever want to record and transcribe that information?

If you record meeting minutes, you will have quickly realized that they only capture an outline and decisions made on certain topics. The hope is that upon reading over this information, you’ll remember the conversations that took place. Being human, we never remember exactly what was and how it was said, not to mention that our perception of the information and how it’s presented is determined by our instincts and emotional state at the time.

A transcription of the full meeting, would present the raw facts, much like a court transcription for later review. In much the same way, you would be able to review the information, and make an informed decision in future meetings which will aide in growth and productivity.

As an added bonus, you’d be able to give credit to whom it belongs, thereby booting moral and productivity. Who doesn’t love that?

A Virtual Angel to Handle Your Busy Work

June 27th, 2011

You got into business to do what you love full time. Who would have thought that there’s so much that went into running a business: cold calling, requesting feedback, testimonials, status reports, invoicing, receipts, bills, taxes, inventory, production, research, etc. The list is never ending.

With all that needs to be done, it’s a miracle that you have time to provide your best for your clients.

If you’ve hit the problem where the busy work outweighs the profit generating work, it’s time to call for back up. Hire a professional to handle design, get a marketer to handle the promotion, hire a virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant does so much more than answer the phone and relays messages. These virtual angels are there to assist with the everyday work that comes with running a home business. The best part is that they can be anywhere in the world. While you sleep, your client files are being organized and your tax receipts are being filed. Over breakfast your itinerary has been sent you, reminding you of those crucial meetings that need to be attended. While you’re delivering that killer presentation, those emails in your inbox are being responded to, invoices are being sent out, and reports are being written.

A great weight will lift from your shoulders, knowing that while you’re doing what you do best, all that other ‘business stuff’ is being handled. For peace of mind and a little less daily stress, a virtual assistant is a god send.

Lead Generation by Recycling the People You Know

June 14th, 2011

Remember Billy Meyer who sat three seats behind you in Math class or Jessica Foster who threw sand at you in 1st grade? It’s time to let old grudges go for sake of lead generation!

When you start your own business, you know that you have two powerful promotional tools at your disposal. The first being your friends and family, and the second are your former co-workers. We often forget about the third: school.

We endure 12 to 13 years of being crammed into the same place as these random people. Some move away and news ones move in to take their place. You develop crushes, cliques, and enemies along the way. The beauty of all this is that they already know you!

Granted you’re an adult now and probably stopped putting gum in your sister’s hair, you still have that basic connection to that person. You were at some point in the same class room as him, giving you a solid starting point. It also gives you something to say that doesn’t necessarily deals directly with sales. No one likes a salesman.

The best part is that people love to talk. It’s an odd occurrence that someone from their past suddenly gets into contact with them to reminisce about school and ‘catch up’. It’s rare that someone would say ‘oh that’s nice’ and drop it. The conversation often flows into career and family. This gives you an indirect method to advertise your service.

Quote of the Week

May 25th, 2011
“When all is said and done, success without happiness is the worst kind of failure.” - Louis Binstock

Busy work versus productive work, what are you doing?

May 17th, 2011

Efficient time management skills are crucial when it comes to running your business. It can be overwhelming trying to check off the ever growing to-do list that you’re often focusing on things that aren’t maximizing the return on your home office ventures.

It’s easy to feel productive when making business calls, answering e-mails, creating a website, marketing, or organizing your client files. Though these areas are no doubt important, they really just an excuse for you to not do your job.

The most important part of your business is your service to your clients. Your interactions, the quality of your work, and how you present yourself to your client, all reflect the core value of you and your business.

If you feel rushed or overwhelmed, it will show. Maybe not at first, but eventually it will take its toll and the quality will drop, your mood will shift, and the enjoyment that you once felt for your business will quickly run dry.

The easiest way to figure out if the task that you’re doing is busy work ask yourself: What is my core business? Do I need this to do business now? How does this help my business now? Do I have the skills to do this at a professional level? Can I give this to someone else to do?

Save yourself from the illusion of productivity through busy work by focusing on the core of your business, you and your services, and hire an extra set of hands, like ours at Always On Time, to handle the rest.

Why Multitasking Actually Damages Productivity

April 27th, 2011

It’s a common misconception that doing a little bit of everything makes you an efficient and productive worker. It’s had to deny that feeling especially when you managed to answer all of your emails, took X number of calls, and organized your to-do list for today. But did you actually make any headway with that project you were meant to hand in by the end of the day? Truth multitasking is a direct result of poor time management.

It’s fine to have at the most three on-going tasks to help guide one project. In fact, it’s encouraged to highlight the top three important items that need to be addressed for a project and to steadily work toward.

Multitasking grants you the illusion of being productive. Having to juggle multiple tasks, it’s unlikely that you’ll get to choose what needs your immediate attention, or even when your projects get back to you. Though it’s important to be versatile in business, there gets to be a point were all you’re doing is barely keeping up with the workload.

Multitasking ruins your focus. Every time that there’s an interruption, it breaks your flow of concentration forcing you to rebuild yourself to that zen state where time has no meaning.

Don’t let the pats on the back fool you into thinking that you did a great job. Perhaps you did given the circumstances, but sooner or later, they’ll figure out that the project you handed in was being held together with a series of patches.