Tag Archives: virtual admin

Southeastern Admin Receives Award from Change 4 Georgia

Thank you Change 4 Georgia for presenting Southeastern Admin with this award!   Change 4 Georgia is a great student-led organization that assists our troops and their families here in Georgia and overseas!    Read more about it at  http://change4georgia.org/.

Lora Zibman |  www.SoutheasternAdmin.com   |   770-609-0904770-609-0904

2014 C4G

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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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Southeastern Admin Helps Coordinate Better World Books’ NPLP Trip For 6th Year

Southeastern Admin is proud to have assisted Better World Books with their Non-Profit Literacy Partner (NPLP) international trip for the sixth consecutive year; 5 years as an employee, and now as a contractor.  If you haven’t heard of Better World Books (BWB) and you love to read, you need to check out their site.    They are an online bookseller that literally does a world of good.

They sell new and used books at very competitive prices.  They also do much more.  For each book sold on their site, they donate a book to literacy initiatives world wide, partnering with such respected organizations as Books For Africa, Room to Read and World Fund, just to name a few.

Each year, BWB organizes a trip for a group of its employees, selected by a lottery system, to actually go to a country that has benefited from BWB’s generosity.   The group of employees includes members from all departments, including the warehouse floor.  Some of the people who are selected have never even been on an airplane, so this is a pretty cool benefit for working at BWB.

Some of the countries visited in past have been:  Cambodia, Vietnam, Brazil, Chili, Uganda, Ghana and Liberia.   This year, they are going to Zambia!     While I was never lucky enough to be chosen in the lottery during my tenure with BWB, I am so excited for the travelers, and invite you to share their experiences by visiting their blog.

We were able to help the travelers coordinate everything they needed for their trip, from what to bring (and not to bring) to securing their visas, flights, hotels, transfer and excursions.

Bon voyage BWB travelers!

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

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Zambia Trip: Travels and First Impressions of Lusaka


The longest airplane trip in the world. Literally.We’ve mentioned that a group of Better World Books employees is out visiting Zambia where some of our nonprofit partners operate, supporting literacy and education in the region. The first impressions are in, so here’s the first official update on the trip.

From David Ebrite (National Account Executive based in the Atlanta, GA office):

Well, after months of anticipation and planning, we took off for Zambia on the Better World Books annual literacy trip. This is a wonderful chance to see the good that we and our partners are doing in the world.

Had a few snow flakes driving to the airport in Atlanta. Our colleagues coming from Indiana had more than that! We were told the flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg is the longest in the world – over 14 hours. A quick two hour flight then to Lusaka, Zambia and we are ready to begin!

Was dark when we arrived but roads seem fine and the city is bright. I am most excited to begin tomorrow and spend time with our literacy partners.

For all of you freezing at home, it’s a beautiful 75 degrees here….

From Franklin Mejia (based in the Mishawaka, Indiana location):

A trip, nearly 24 hours between flying and changing planes, has been very overwhelming to arrive in a country that has so much to offer and leave to imagination.

The very first impression got me thinking back when I was a child growing in Guatemala city. Lusaka is only 100 years old and rich in language, 72 languages/dialects, and offers so much to learn from.

It has been a long trip, but it is worthwhile to come and start the adventure in such a different–but at the same time similar–to my early memories of my home country Guatemala.

From Michael Schrader (Shipping Specialist based in the Mishawaka, Indiana location):

I have never flown on a commercial airline before so this is an all new experience for me. We first carpooled to Chicago together. The roads were decent until we went through the snow storm in Gary. All I could think about was what to expect in Johannesburg, South Africa. How is the environment there? How is the culture different from mine? I am excited to go but also nervous and soared of into the unknown.

We arrived at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Once I got my luggage turned in, I headed over to the TSA with the rest of the group. There was a slight wait and then we started boarding. I heard the engines start and the plane was moving towards the runway. I definitely felt an adrenaline rush. We rapidly increased speed, felt like a roller coaster taking off. I instantly felt the difference in pressure, felt light headed but just for a few seconds. We kept increasing till we reached altitude and we were above the clouds. The clouds astonished me, breathtaking. It looked like huge cotton balls and it was neat seeing it from above, looks way different from below.

My ears popped in and out throughout the ride. We landed in Atlanta around 4 o’clock. We then headed to our gate. With 45 minutes to an hour of wait time, I decided to look around the airport and call my family. Next to my gate, they had artifacts in cases. A stuffed wolf, hand carved statues, wall full of art, and much more. We then met up with the Atlanta group and boarded. This plane came with complimentary TV on the seats and I had access to movies, music, games, and a tracker for the plane so I can visually see where I am on map.

What also surprised me was the complimentary food/drinks. It is getting dark outside my window, all I can see is the moon, and the red and white lights flashing off the airplane. I believe this is the end of my blog, I’ll be in Africa in 11 hours and 22 minutes, and I can’t wait to arrive!

– See more at: http://blog.betterworldbooks.com/2014/01/23/zambia-trip-travels-and-first-impressions-of-lusaka/#sthash.tQ9BxoV3.dpuf

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Linking Facebook Business Posts To Twitter

FB TweetHi there.  I love to share when I find useful information.   If you’re tired of posting to both your Facebook and your Twitter accounts separately, link the two applications so all FB posts go automatically to Twitter.   Takes seconds, and here’s how:

  1. Open your browser, and then open 3 tabs.
  2. In the first tab, log into your Facebook account
  3. In the second tab, log into your Twitter account
  4. In the third tab, go to “www.facebook.com/twitter”
  5. Choose the business page you would like to link, and authorize it.   You can also link your personal page to your Twitter account.

How easy was that?!

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

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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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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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What Qualities Make An Administrative Assistant Stand Out From The Crowd?

Does it all

Think anyone can handle the job of an administrative assistant?   Think again.   With the state of economy, assistants are being asked to handle increased workloads and wear many more hats than they have in the past.    For larger companies, they consistently perform 2-3 different job functions, and the longer they have been in their position, the more responsibility they carry.   Administrative assistants for smaller companies have always had this burden, but usually at a reduced pace.

Whether you are looking to hire a full-time, part-time or virtual assistant, here some qualities that you must actively look for during the hiring process:

Reliability:

Because of the amount of responsibility placed on most administrative assistants, it’s important that they are both reliable and dependable.   You need to know that your assistant will first, be there when you need them, and that they can be counted upon when an urgent situation arises (a weekly occurrence in most office for which I’ve worked).    You also need to know that their work will be reliable when it comes to day-to-day work; you need to be able to trust that things are getting done correctly without having to micromanage.

Communication and Customer Service Skills

Communication, interpersonal relationship and listening skills are one of the top desired qualities in an administrative assistant. Your assistant will likely be the first point of contact for clients/customers and workers.   A great administrative assistant knows that she is in the customer service business, and reacts to external customers the same way he/she does to internal co-workers.  In order to reduce unnecessary pressure and interruptions, a great assistant should be able to manage your time by handling questions or concerns so you can run your business with minimal disruption.  By the same token, your assistant should be able to recognize when issues arise that do require your immediate attention.   Again, this sounds easy, but can be challenging when confronted with clients or workers who are upset, confused or unhappy.  Your assistant should be able to listen, interpret and react appropriately.  In addition, your assistant should be able to accurately relay information.  Internal and external experiences with your administrative assistant are a reflection on you.

Organizational and Time Management Skills:

Stating the obvious here… If you are looking to hire an assistant, it’s likely because you have too much to do on your own and are very busy.  You are looking for someone to help alleviate some of the stress that comes with day-to-day operations and handle a multitude of responsibilities.  Prioritization and organization go hand in hand.   If your assistant cannot prioritize, chances are that they are not the best at organizing either.  You need to look for someone that can keep track of multiple projects and reprioritize as necessary – whether it’s booking meetings, filing, or starting to plan for an important event 6 months down the road, they need to have a handle on their assigned tasks.

You also need to be assured that your assistant can find information quickly.   It’s wise to ask a potential assistant how they set up their computer filing system.  If they don’t have a system, then that’s a pretty good indicator that they will have challenges finding important files or data when needed.  Your assistant should not only keep their time and work organized, but should be assisting you in the same way.

Being consistently late to meetings or phone calls is also a red flag.  Not only is it a show of disrespect for others’ time, but it’s a reflection on their time management, dependability as well as customer service skill sets.

Confidentiality:

Administrative assistants are present during important discussions, client deals, as well as development plans for your business.  Being privy to this abundance of information comes with great responsibility.   A great assistant knows not to disclose information regarding client or business matters, as well as not to weigh in office griping or gossip.   It can be lonely not being a part of the top team in terms of operational direction, as well as not really being one of the “workers”.   A great assistant understands this balance act and comports his/herself appropriately.

 

Lora Zibman

http://www.SoutheasternAdmin.com

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What The Heck Is A Pivot Table And What Can It Do For Me?

Being organized means having the ability to find your information quickly, and to be able to analyze it in meaningful ways to your business in real time.

Having never taken a “course” in Excel, I still think of myself as a superuser.  My tutelage has been through necessity as an admin and business analyst, and I have used the program for over 15 years.

You can use Excel to do just about everything; from organizing your contacts, forecasting and graphing sales, to having all of your photographs listed and linked in a single location!   Excel is also useful for uploading information into other programs (Vertical Response, Constant Contact, SalesForce, Outlook, QuickBooks, etc.) so it is wise to keep all of your data in a single source.

A Pivot Table is a fabulous Excel filtering tool which allows you to slice up data in your spreadsheet in a dynamic format.   Say you just want to see the listing of clients who’s contracts expire in March, 2013, or you want to find out how many sales of photo albums you made in 2010 to Realtors located in Alpharetta; you can filter through your data in seconds rather than sorting the entire listing.  You can also have multiple tables to view information as you need it and then graph that data with a couple of clicks.   Any updates you make to the data in your spreadsheet are also automatically updated to your graphs and tables.

Since it’s not very practical to explain how to create a Pivot table in text format, click on the picture below to go to YouTube to see the video covering the basics of Pivot Tables.

2-5-2013 5-41-40 PM

Happy Filtering!

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