Category Archives: Business Ops

How To Create Linked In “Company” Sites

Creating a company website for your business inside Linked In is another great way to detail the actual products and services your company offers without writing lengthy descriptions on your Profile Page.  I created my Linked In website and added several virtual administrative assistant services that Southeastern Admin can offer to businesses in Cumming, Alpharetta, Dawsonville and nationwide.  I hope that you will “follow” my company in Linked In.

Get started by using this link:   http://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/company-pages/get-started.html#

Thank you to Irene Doehring of Creative Graphic Design for sharing this tool, as well as other useful information.   I can’t tell you how great it is to have such a knowledgeable network of professionals on my side.

Lora Zibman |  www.Southeastern Admin.com   |   770-609-0904770-609-0904

Linked In Site

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The New Google Map Application Stinks – Here’s A Work Around

If you’re like me, you frequently use Google Maps to plan out trips with multiple stops.   The old Google Maps made it easy to change your routing and rearrange stops.  The new Google Maps is horrible for planning multiple stop trips.   I’ve never liked MapQuest as it is is excruciating slow, and rearranging stops takes forever.

If you liked Google Maps the way it was before, here is a work around to get back to what they are now calling Classic Maps.  If you look at the below screenshot, you will see a tiny question mark icon at the bottom right.  If you click on the icon, you can “return to Google Classic Maps”.   You will have to answer a survey of why you do not like the new version, but it is well worth answering, as maybe they will allow you to choose which version you’d prefer in the future without doing an internet search on another map application.

Hope this saves you some time and headache.

Lora Zibman |  www.Southeastern Admin.com   |   770-609-0904770-609-0904

google map

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REMINDER: Forsyth County and GA Secretary of State Filings

Hello everyone.   Just a reminder to save you from paying any late fees:time to file

The extended grace period to renew your Forsyth County Business License ends on March 31st.   Don’t forget to submit all three forms:   the Affidavit of Residency, Private Employer Exemption (if applicable), along with the Renewal Application.    The Affidavit and Employer Exemption forms must be notarized.    Please let me know if you need assistance from Southeastern Admin – we offer notary services.

Make sure that you also complete your Annual Registration with the GA Secretary of State before April 1st.

Lora Zibman |  www.Southeastern Admin.com   |   770-609-0904770-609-0904

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Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

I found this interesting white paper that discusses digital marketing from, of all companies, YP – rebranded Yellow Pages advertising:  YP_SmallBizFacts_WhitePaper.

Here’s an excerpt from the publication:

“…small business marketers know what works for them. 77% of business-to-consumer SMBs have acquired a customer through Facebook, compared to 60% from a company blog, according to HubSpot. Business-to-business SMB marketers found LinkedIn most effective, delivering new customers to  65% of respondents, followed by company blogs (60%), Facebook (43%), and Twitter (40%).   Frequency of blogging makes a difference—92% of respondents who blogged daily got new customers through their blogs.”

digital marketingDigital marketing has become the largest percentage of Southeastern Admin’s business.  We help our customers with email campaigns, blogging and social media posting.  When meeting with small business owners, I try to impress upon them the need to communicate with their customers.   There are so many FREE resources out there to stay in touch!  A few are:  MailChimp, Pinterest, Facebook, Google Plus, and local community sites.   Consistent communication is crucial and will produce ROI, but you must dedicate the time to make this happen.

For those that don’t have the time and/or don’t want to have to learn the new outlets, having a virtual assistant is a huge advantage.  We work 1:1 with business owners to determine what will work best for them and within their budget, and then we ensure that the message is getting out consistently.  Once a relationship has been established, most business owners find that we can assistant them with a multitude of other projects.    We place a high value on these relationships, and have built a network of trusted professionals in different service areas who may also be of assistance to our clients.

Lora Zibman |  www.Southeastern Admin.com   |   770-609-0904770-609-0904

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Timely Tips From Southeastern Admin

I hope you are ready to Get In Gear for the New Year!2014a

Many of us took the respite over the holidays to refocus on our business plan, strategies and tactics.  Now that you have your marching orders, so to speak, the list of items that you want to knock out can be daunting.

To get you started, here are some time organizing tips that might help:

1.  Make a list and prioritize.    Once you have your list of goals for the new year, break them down into small chunks so that you can realistically accomplish them, and mark milestones in your calendar.  Keep in mind that some things may never get done.    If some items are so low on your list, consider delegating or not doing them at all.

2. Make an appointment with yourself.  Actually having the time marked in your calendar for tasks will help ensure that you get them done.   Create recurring time blocks if you need to complete a task every day, every week, etc.

3. Know thy self.  When scheduling time, make sure you block out the time of day when you are the most productive for the task at-hand.  Are you a morning person, or do you tend to have that creative energy flowing late at night?  If all you can manage at 8am is to be dressed, then use that time for low-brain function tasks, such as entering your contacts into your database, or writing thank you notes for referrals or client visits.

4.  Allocate more than enough time and commit full attention.   If, for example, you are scheduling time for social media posting and it takes you 30 minutes to an hour to complete a decent post, then schedule a full hour and add on additional time for proofing and the actual posting.  It’s one thing to put an action item in your calendar, but it’s quite another to get the work done.  Make sure that you do not feel rushed to complete your projects.  Rushing through tasks can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed, as well as cause you to make mistakes.  If you’ve over-scheduled time, then you’ll reap the benefits from any unused time to focus on other items, or pursue unexpected opportunities.

5.   Respect your time.  Emergencies and opportunities will surely overlap the time you have scheduled for yourself, but if you stick to your plan then you will be closer to accomplishing your goals.

6.  Know your limits, and keep the big picture in mind.  Just because you can do something, does not mean that you should.   Is your time best spent somewhere else?  Does it take you two to three times longer to do something than someone with more experience?    Is it a task that you just despise doing?  If so, then either don’t do it or delegate it out.

Remember to keep a positive outlook.  You’ve set these goals to better your business, and ultimately to be happier in life!

Lora Zibman   |   www.SoutheasternAdmin.com  |  770-609-0904

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4 Habits Of Punctual People

Those people who are always on time? How to they do it? If you are part of the 20% of Americans who are chronically late, get ready to change everything.

Plan any event and chances are one in five of the people you invite will be late.

Read Full Story

      



from Fast Company http://ift.tt/1kTQT0K
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Temporary / Contract Employment Trend Here To Stay?

Besides Logging, Temporary and Employment Services showed the most gain in new workers in 2013 according to office secretary 2the Wall Street Journal.   I believe that this trend will continue.    With increased regulation on employers and the high cost of benefits, it makes more fiscal sense to hire temporary or contract employees, especially for small business owners.

The difference between a temporary worker and a contract worker is vast though.  Temporary workers are usually procured through a service and are transient workers, requiring income while looking for a full-time position with benefits.   Contract workers usually own their own business, and provide ad hoc or specific assignment work for various employers.

Other benefits of hiring a contract worker over a temporary worker include:

  • Usually no middleman – since you are contracting directly with the employee, there are no service procurement costs, which equates to lower rates.
  • Reduced training time – because there is no turnover, you only need to train once and then can call on the contractor when needed.
  • Higher dedication to work product – work performed is a direct reflection on the contract worker and their business reputation.
  • Experience – Chances are higher that a contract employee will be more skilled in his/her field, than a temporary employee, since the contractor has built his/her business around their skill sets.
  • More references available – If the contractor is good, references and word-of-mouth referrals should abound.  If the contractor is bad, expect bad online reviews.

If you need administrative assistance, consider utilizing an independent contractor, such as Southeastern Admin.

Lora Zibman

Southeastern Admin, the small business administrative solution

www.SoutheasternAdmin.com  |  770-609-0904

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A Time For Thanks

2013 Thanksgiving Card

Have you taken the time to thank your customers this year?    Thanksgiving is by far the best time: it’s the start of the holiday season rush, everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, and it’s non-denominational.     If you did not take the time to thank your clients prior to Thanksgiving, there is still time to close out 2013 by showing your appreciation.    While holiday cards and gifts are a great way to connect directly with your customers, they can be out of reach for some budgets.

A great alternative is to send email-based communications and newsletters.  I have used Vertical Response, Constant Contact and iContact, and can tell you the best application by far is iContact.    Pricing for one of these subscriptions can vary significantly depending upon how many contacts you have in your database.    There is, however, a free alternative.   MailChimp is a great program that allows you to upload up to 2,000 contacts and send them unlimited emails.  Of course you don’t want to bombard your client-base; I would recommend sending monthly or bi-monthly communications.

Every business has a lot to communicate.    You need to make your clients aware of what is happening in your industry, what new services you are offering, what awards/recognitions your business has received, what’s happening in your community, why your services have value, and much more.

As we all know, timing is everything, and being in front of your clients and prospects on a regular, monthly basis does pay off.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to learn new software, Southeastern Admin has the experience that can help you get your monthly campaign going by:

  • uploading your contacts
  • create appropriate lists for your market segments
  • create eye-catching email templates that match your business and branding
  • add in links back to your website and social media; and
  • create original content.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to thank you customers for their business!

Lora Zibman

Southeastern Admin, the small business administrative solution

www.SoutheasternAdmin.com  |  770-609-0904

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Your Online Presence

Getting Startedwww

Mike Remer with LocallyVisible shared some tips to quickly check your online presence and ratings.

If you’re just starting out and want to list your business, where to start?   Mike recommends starting with Google, Google PlusYahoo and Bing.  Other good directory sites are Yelp, Insider Pages, CitySearch, Kudzu, Manta, Mapquest, YellowPages, SuperPages, Foursquare and Angie’s List (you can create free business listing).

Make sure that you are listing your business information consistently and accurately.   For Google, listing is not instantaneous.   They will mail a postcard containing a PIN to the address you list as your business, which you will have to enter on the set up site to verify that you are the owner of the business.  This can take up to 5 business days.

Check Your Listing & Reviews

If you’ve been in business for a while and want to make sure that your business is listed correctly and check your online reputation, go to http://I-GM.com/reputationreport.   Just enter in your business phone number, and this site will quickly check your listing on major sites and provide a quick snapshot on how your company has been reviewed by your customers.

Reviews are very important.  How many people do you know who search for local services online exclusively?   If you have a choice between a provider with 5 stars and 30+ reviews, and one with 1-2 reviews with 3 stars, which would you choose?

Encourage your customers to review your business on sites you choose.  A follow up customer satisfaction survey might be a great way for you to understand how your business is perceived, collect quotes, and allow you the opportunity to ask your clients to review you online as well.   You can create a free survey using SurveyMonkey.  You can also create a free email / newsletter broadcast, asking your customers to review your business using MailChimp.  Or, you can use the services of a professional company like LocallyVisible, who can do it all for you, including assisting you with addressing any negative feedback you might encounter online.

If you’re a client of Southeastern Admin, you can review our services here.

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Free Can Be Dangerous

It’s been a while since my last post.   Thank you to my clients who are keeping me busy!    I wanted to remind everyone to make sure that when you are downloading “free” software, that you need to make sure to always choose the Custom or Advanced installation.    99% of the time, when you choose the Typical or Recommended installation, you will be loading all sorts of other programs and there’s a huge risk of downloading malware.

Here’s a real life example.  I needed a color identifying program so 9-30-2013 12-02-44 PMthat I could match the colors from one of my client’s website to her new newsletter which I am creating.   Someone told me about ColorCop.net.   I started to download their software.  I immediately chose the “Advanced” download, and see that the first thing they want to install on my is a Delta Toolbar.   WARNING WILL ROBINSON – do not install this onto your PC – ever.  I had to hire someone to clean up my PC after I made this mistake.   So, was I safe in proceeding after I unchecked the boxes?   No.  It then proceeded to tell me that it would install several other programs, including TopArcade.  I had to quickly cancel the installation, and do a check of all the programs that were installed on my PC today.  I had to uninstall each of them and ensure that they were completely gone.

I still needed the program, so I went to CNet.com.   I love this site,9-30-2013 12-45-00 PM as they have a lot of shareware choices.   I found another program, “JustColorPicker” that is similar to ColorCop; it offers RGB, HEX and HTML color code identification.    I proceeded with the download, and again made sure to choose Custom Set Up.   Again, the site was going to download a toolbar if I did not uncheck those options.   Once I hit “next step” there were other programs that it would have installed, had I not clicked “Decline”.    At least this download offered me the choice to Decline these options.

I am now using Just Color Picker, and the program is working to my liking.   The morale of the story is to BE CAREFUL.   If your PC security comes up with a warning window, do not ignore it!  Even if you really, really want the program/functionality, try to find an alternative program.  Chances are, there’s one out there.

I am the queen of cheap, but I have learned my lesson in willy-nilly downloading.   Stay alert and have a good antivirus program.

Best wishes,  Lora Zibman

Southeastern Admin  |  www.SoutheasternAdmin.com  |  770-609-0904

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