How Hiring a Virtual Assistant Can Bring You Out of Chaos

It’s often difficult to identify areas where there may be repetition or glaring gaps in how you go about operating your business every day. We are all good at some things, but trying to be good at everything often end up with us in chaos.

Depending on your individual areas of expertise, a virtual assistant can help smooth over inefficiencies and streamline your operations so that can help everything run smoother and increase productivity.

There are many ways to find a VA, such as Upwork and Fiverr are common . And can also try reaching out to your business network, associations, and industry groups to see what they do. But what you are likely to find is a mixed bag of good and bad stories. In fact, from my experience hiring a virtual assistant is often a 50/50 craps shoot at best. That is unless you go with a managed VA service.

Knowing what to pay is another big challenge. VAs either charge by the hour or a set figure that encompasses performing specific tasks. And the pricing is all over the place, but I can tell you one thing.. you generally get what you pay for. If you go too cheap, you are highly unlikely to be happy with the results. I’ve found that you should really approach hiring a VA like any other employee, complete with a detailed job description, interview, references and a trial period. If you don’t have time to do all that yourself, than a managed VA service is for you.

Not ready for a personal VA just yet? There are other ways to outsource admin needs. For example, get an 800 number so you don’t have to use your mobile number; it also makes your business look more professional. Additionally, you can set up your voice mail to transcribe messages, which then can be e-mailed or forwarded to your regular phone. This way you have a record of information that can be shared with others on your team. These are good short term workaround until you are at a point where you decide a VA is just what you need.

While you probably have the skills to do all or most of your administrative and specialized tasks, you should take an inventory of your day and decide what is the best use of your time. When we are stressed or not at optimum energy, our executive and critical thinking skills suffer. It is more important to work smarter and devote your workday to the areas of your business that require your full attention and energy.

Take for example posting on Facebook. It’s not hard. Anyone can do it. But should you be the one doing it? Do the math. What is your time worth? I bet whatever you come up with will be a lot more than the $5–$10 an hour that you could have VA doing the posting for you.

No matter what your business size, investing in a VA can be a small amount to pay in order to help maintain a stronger work-life balance that benefits both you, your company and those in your personal life.

That is where Sonic VA comes in. We can get you a VA, one that will consistently add value to your business for a reasonable price.

This is an example of what you will get. Here’s Vida, one of our veteran VAs, “Working from home is perfect for mothers like me. It gives me the opportunity to look after my little one and still earning an income. I’m so lucky I’ve found a company that provides us good compensation and benefits, very understanding with employees’ needs, and I have awesome colleagues to work with.”

Happy employees + more free time for you = big value add to your business

And that is how you get yourself our of the chaos you find yourself in when you try do everything in your business by yourself.

Daniel Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics firm with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and offers big data coaching and analytics training seminars on both sides of the Pacific. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings virtual staffing and big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in STEAM 2020 Conference.

DMAIPH Fuels New Businesses Ready For Launch (3 of 3)

The third type of company we can add value too is one ready to launch. You have a great idea, you have the funding, you have an awesome product or service, but you aren’t 100% sure if you have everything you need to get out there and make money. . We can offer our business intelligence package of demographic profiling, competitive landscaping, social media strategy and market assessment. We can also offer virtual staffing support to assist with marketing and operations. Our hybrid staffing solutions will give you access to a very talented work force that is flexible and affordable.

We have shown marked achievement in helping a couple of new businesses get out of the gate successfully.  One client we helped was a mobile app designer who had a great idea, enough capital tyo get started, but little idea on how to really understand the opportunity to make money. In addition, the client was hesitant to take on all the HR work in hiring a team when he had no idea how many people he would need in the short term. We helped them with both.

Using the same methodology, we used with the chiropractor, we conducted a business intelligence assessment to help figure out how to identify customers and where to find them. We also used our home based, hybrid staffing model to hire six people to help the client have get off the ground. Charged with editing pictures for the mobile app site based on set criteria, 24/7, with as close to real time response as possible, the team quickly became a key part of the business strategy.

Another new business we helped get off the ground was someone who wanted to open a call center business in Manila. She was well funded and motivated, but didn’t really know where to start. The client really needed help knowing how to settle on a location and to set up the business. She also need help designing her marketing and social media strategy. So that is where we started.

We developed a social media strategy for the business for both client marketing and employee recruitment. You would be surprised by the number of businesses who still have not figured out an online branding strategy to sell their business.

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In parallel with the social media, we also conducted a business intelligence assessment to help her pin down the location for her to set up the business. Worried about being in a place that was both convenient and not overly saturated by competitor, our data and analysis pointed her to the right place. She has been there for 4 years now, expanded her site twice to accommodate growth, and added several new customers all while having little challenge in recruitment.

If you are thinking of starting a new business, we can help. Let us show you how to use the data around you to make good strategic decisions.

Analytics Consulting – DMAIPH specializes in a variety of analytics consulting solutions designed to empower analysts, managers and leaders with the tools needed for more data-driven decision-making. We have helped dozens of companies get more analytics in their business. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can tailor an analytics solution made just for your unique requirements.

DMAIPH’s Typical Client Profile

I publish and share a lot of content about helping businesses get a better handle on their analytics in order to build a culture of data-driven decision-making. With so many businesses of various shapes and sizes looking to get more out of their data, I get asked a lot what kinds of businesses do we specialize in helping.

In general, I think we can help just about any business with its data analytics, with using data for business decision-making and in building an analytics centric culture.

That said, success often will hinge on a couple of factors.

  1. How is the data acquired and stored? The more structured the data management the easier.
  2. How serious is top level management about using data to make decisions?
  3. Is there a person or a team who really get the theory of how to optimize a business using data?

If all of those are true, it’s a green light for us no matter what the size or type of business.

If 1-2 are true, it is still possible, but we will have to make sure we keep expectation tied to reality.

If none of factors are in place, then I will probably decline the consulting gig. You can save people who don’t really want to save themselves.

Our business plan is to offer analytics solutions in the things we are best at, (1) talking about analytics, (2) consulting on using data in a business strategy and (3) providing data and/or analytics focused, hybrid staffing solutions.

The 3 kinds of businesses we specialize in helping by offering these solutions are

  1. Ready to expand – companies who are about to kick off a period of significant growth in their operations and need data analytics and/or more staff to be successful.
  2. Ready to revitalize – companies who have hit a rough patch and need to better understand where things went wrong and need a road map on how to get back on track.
  3. Ready to launch – start up companies who need to refine their initial business plan based on solid data analysis and/or need staffing solutions to get things rolling.

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So although I feel we can help just about any business when it comes to analytics, these are the 3 types of service we offer to our target market. I will detail more about how we go about helping businesses and tell you a story about a company we have helped in the next few blog posts.

Analytics Consulting – As a founding member of Gloabl Chamber Manila, DMAIPH specializes in a variety of analytics consulting solutions designed to empower analysts, managers and leaders with the tools needed for more data-driven decision-making. We have helped dozens of companies get more analytics in their business. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can tailor an analytics solution made just for your unique requirements.

Hybrid Staffing Solutions – It’s Not Just Outsourcing

One of the challenges of my business is that it is not simple to explain to someone.

We are not a straightforward outsourcing company.

I don’t work with clients who are just looking to save money by sending jobs overseas.

Instead I offer a hybrid staffing solution. And what is that exactly?

First off I specialize in basic analytics. The types of clients we take on have a need for someone to analyze something in order to answer questions and provide solutions. We don’t do traditional customer service, we are not tech support and we don’t take on many advanced analytics projects.

If someone comes to me asking about predictive analytics models, the blending of big data sources or data science, I am happy to consult with them long enough to find a good match with a company who deals in these things. But it’s not what we focus on.

We are good at things like analyzing social media content, public data mining, building and maintaining business dashboards, conducting demographic research and gather competitor data. We use Tableau and Excel. We help people who have systems in place, they just need assistance with maximizing their value. This is what I teach my team.

We are a niche business partnering with companies who have a specific need.

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Our clients are small to medium sized businesses in growth mode. I’ve worked with both small mom and pop businesses and big corporations. They both have limitations to our business model. Our clients all have an analytics centric culture, they just don’t have the resources to optimize and grow the business completely in house.

Another difference between what we do and what traditional outsourcing companies offer is that most of our team is home based. As a general rule, I don’t like the office based model when working with talent from the Philippines. Running an office team in the Philippines is very complicated due to the labor laws and competitive market. It’s us much easier to attract top talent at an affordable price by setting up virtual teams.

In the end, my success has primarily been because we find ways to merge the culture of the client with the team in the Philippines. We don’t look and feel like most outsourced teams, because we integrate the new team into the client’s culture.

So now you have a better idea of why I say it is somewhat of a challenge to explain our model. We offer hybrid staffing solutions… a Philippines based, virtual team set up to mirror the client culture who offer a variety of analytics and back office business services.

Maybe it is not as hard to explain after all.

nalytics Outsourcing – DMAIPH has successful set up Filipino analytics teams for over a dozen U.S. based businesses. Offering both virtual and office based teams that specialize in problem solving using data, new technology and analytics techniques is our strength. Finding and empowering analytics talent is increasingly challenging, but we have it down to a science. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn more about how to set up an analytics-centric team in the Philippines.