When I first started up my business Spiral Orange, I initially thought that the upkeep of writing a blog and social media marketing was a waste of time. After a short time though I realised that as a Virtual Assistant it was imperative that I kept up-to-date with new technology if I wanted to succeed. Technology is always evolving and to stay ahead of the curve as a VA I need to keep up to date with the latest trends and software that could not only save my clients time but change how they run their businesses.
Over the years there have been a few apps and software advances that I have found to be game changers and these have usually been technological advances that save me time and allow me to be more efficient. With websites like Hootsuite that allows you to schedule social media posts, Asana that allows you to create project management systems that ensure that tasks are done to the deadline and you can communicate via this system too. There is also TRAVO which allows you to store booking information, travel preferences and LastPass that allows for sign in details to be shared between a VA and their clients without having to give away your sign in details.
Like many businesses, I am always looking for ways to shift away from paper and find a suitable electronic means. Many clients now store and share documents via the cloud, which is easier and less time consuming than emailing documents back and fore. This also means that I have more space as there are files and filing cabinets taking up valuable office space.
Good cloud-based services are Google Drive and DropBox. Both are easy to use and Google Drive even gives you access to Google Documents which allows you to create documents too. Dropbox has gone into document creation too, with DropBox – Paper. Therefore, you can create the documents and then file them in the same place.
No matter how efficient and careful you think you are, mistakes will happen, it is human error and will always happen at some point. However, technology can help us to avoid these mistakes, as with apps like Grammarly to check spelling and grammar and Google Maps to ensure we get our clients to that meeting or Google Translate to help translate basic emails and messages and currency converters to ensure we get money transfers correct. Therefore, with the internet and computers, we’ve more help than ever before.
Technology can help you become a more resourceful person. Be it apps, websites, cloud-based technology they all allow you to be better at communicating and ensuring that tasks are done to deadlines.
With project management systems like Asana or Trello, you can create tasks and communicate with clients via the website. You also have access to a calendar and can set deadlines and they will flag up as you get nearer to when that task needs to be done.
Project Management websites like these also stop our business emails getting clogged up and help us keep to timelines and allow for a good flow of communication.
Also, it is now possible to hold virtual meetings with GoToMeeting among others. You can set up meetings on a one to one basis or include a whole group of people who can interact and partake in meetings online.
In the world, we live in today computers and technology do at times go wrong and when you work for yourself this is a time where you need to become an I.T support expert. Over the years I have fixed many issues that previously when I worked for a corporate company I would have rung I.T Support. I have learnt a lot and by fixing issues yourself you don’t have to hang around and wait for others to assist you wasting time and money.
I can now sort out problems with software, printer errors and general computer problems and feel more confident using my computer too.
When you are self-employed it is amazing what you are capable of learning and therefore sort out yourself.
One Step Ahead
When it comes to technology you constantly need to be learning, as there is always something new coming onto the market. Clients will also want to work with a Virtual Assistant who is up to date with new apps and software, as this makes running their businesses easier.
This means as a VA you need to utilise your knowledge and keep up to date in this ever-changing world.
If you want to set up systems or work with a Virtual Assistant who can take the pressure off running your business, then please feel free to get in touch.