Sage, also known as the Sage Group, is a resource planning accounting software company located in the United Kingdom that currently stands as the third largest company of resource planning software in the world and the largest for small businesses.

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Currently, Sage can rightfully claim as having over six million customers from around the world, and that number is only continuing to grow. Why? The answer is because Sage is one of the most complete, versatile, and helpful software’s for resource planning from anywhere in the globe, to the point that it is largely changing how people run their small businesses. Those six million customers are divided between the retail, construction, real estate, transportation, non-profit, manufacturing, and healthcare industries to name a few, further illustrating the diverse number of ways it can help you.

(note: not to be confused with Sage, which dominates the free online accounting software Australia market.)

But how specifically is Sage software helping these people in small businesses? Sage provides virtually everything that a small business owner would need, such as tools that can produce invoices, pay bills and bank deposits, handle vendors and product assemblies, manage important documents, and take care of payroll for employees and record all information for up to five hundred employees (such as commissions, overtime, and emergency contact information), to name a few things.

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As it stands, Sage simply offers the best and easiest to use resource planning accounting software on the market and sets the bar high for its competitors. Sage is changing the world because it effectively streamlines how a small business is run and thus enables a small business to grow on its own, regardless of the category of business you are in. Sage software is also incredibly safe because all of your information and business transactions are kept securely on your computer, and it offers you the choice for when you want to transfer any of your business transfers to the online cloud.

You’re looking for a virtual assistant, an independent contractor who provides administrative, technical, and personal assistance to clients virtually on an as needed basis? Many entrepreneurs and small business owners such as coaches, realtors, and healthcare practitioners look for assistants who are able to help them increase their productivity and avoid the whole variety of mistakes that can be made.

Some of them work on a retainer, the others only the hours you need, but it really depends on the type of work you need and the Virtual Assistant’s personal preference.

There are a couple of crucially important things that you need to do as an employer when looking for the assistant. First of all you need to make one good description of your daily and weekly activities. All the expectations should be set in advance, with a bit of your personality. One great tip is to put a specific request in the job description to enable you to screen out all those VA’s who are spamming the applications without reading them. For example: “please include the word Sunflower in your reply” – you then filter out all respondents who don’t include the word sunflower. This is a big help in ensuring all your candidates have read the job description and have an eye for detail.

When it comes to paying your employee, you should know that higher prices don’t necessarily mean higher quality, but also that the result of the cheapest options is often disappointing. So, getting something for few bucks is not a smart option. Virtual assistants should improve your productivity and therefore the income to your business, so he has to be well paid for the effort.

What about your expectations? You certainly shouldn’t ignore the time it takes to successfully onboard a new member to your team. Also note that the new assistant should be trained and well informed about the current project. The instant reply is not something you should expect all the time, especially if your assistant is a content writer or a designer. Just think about how often are you available for your assistant. The assistant is not always versatile, so he’s probably not able to write content and design your logo at the same time. In case you need multiple different tasks to be done, you should acquire more assistants, each specialized for one particular role.

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How do you manage your assistant? Assuming that you have already set the expectations in advance, it is also important to be very specific in explaining tasks. The result of good management will allow you to see the bigger picture quickly. It means that your assistant will eventually learn more about your work style and that you’ll be able to give him or her some more responsibility, encouraging that person to keep up the good work. By doing so, you’re also showing your assistant that good results can bring some bonuses and even some job position improvement.

Writing or using a web cam as the best tool for successful conversation? This can be a sensitive subject for employers, but it’s proved that the non-verbal conversation can often tell you much more about the employee than the verbal one. When using the web camera, you cannot actually document the agreement between you and your assistant which can be crucial in later stages of the project. In written language it’s always possible for both sides to get few steps back and take another look at the agreement and to change some details if needed. When using camera, even the misunderstanding between people from the same speaking area is possible. So, writing would be the best method for exchanging details of the job – ideally skype or slack. Written chat is almost always going to be a better option when your VA is based offshore in somewhere like the Philippines or India, where you have to not only factor in the language difference but also the time difference.

Those are my top tips on hiring a VA, Check out Chris Ducker’s top tips in the infographic below!

Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

Outsourcing

If you want to get your business name out there then it is vital that you give SEO a go.  SEO is the only method by which you can make your site noticeable to organic search, i.e. people who are searching for related keywords on search engines, rather than paid advertising routes.

SEO required you to structure your site in such a way to include all the elements that Google looks for  in a well-designed site (on-page optimization), as well as utilizing backlinks and social signals from other sites (off-page optimization).

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If you are interested, before anything else, you need to understand what SEO can do for your business, and what’s new in SEO in 2015.

  • The first and foremost advantage is you will get the targeted traffic by choosing appropriate keywords. Choosing keywords will give you the ability to increase the number of the right kind of visitors to your site. Transforming these visitors into actual sales is the art of CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization. In other words, when you have more traffic coming in, the more sales you should make.
  • SEO typically offers one of the best returns on investment for your marketing budget. Search engines are so ubiquitous in people’s daily lives that ensuring your site is visible in the search engines is one of the best ways to bring in new visitors when compared to traditional advertising like radio or magazines.
  • Despite the widespead use of search engines, studies have shown that over 70% of users who search in Google visit a result on the first page (top 10 results). This means you’re still invisible to the vast majority of potential customers if you’re SEO isn’t up to scratch.
  • It assists in enhancing exposure of a website to the internet search engines. When a website is correctly designed/developed with numerous SEO structures, it will climb the rankings and improve your brand recognition. Usually, searchers would click on what comes first in the searches.  Every business wanting to get more online presence wants to be at least in the top 10 results for their keywords to ensure that they’re not leaving money on the table.
  • The targeted traffic and presence in internet search engines will make your service or products recognizable by big time companies worldwide. For that reason, you have to be able to incorporate various SEO techniques and implement them as much as possible.
  • An effective SEO campaign should have the ability to bring a significant return on investment compared to other marketing strategies you are using. Other forms of advertising usually offer a very poor ROI in comparison.
  • Unlike Pay Per Click, a site will get the top rank on online search engines, if and when the SEO is effective, and it will stay there without any additional costs. It’s the very best marketing technique since SEO has no ongoing costs and offers a long term solution.