Have You Updated Your Online Profiles Lately?

My computer crashed two weeks ago. First time in 27 years of business I was unable to access any of my business or client files. Yep. I was very close to a breakdown – the Microsoft customer service could attest to my mental and emotional state. It wasn’t good.computercrash

Fortunately, beyond in the initial drama and trauma, I was able to call my local computer center and they assured me that they could pull the files from my old hard drive, no problem. Whew! And Amen!

The short version is that I bought a new computer and had my files transferred. Crisis avoided, somewhat. Then I began the long process of re-installing all of my programs, making backups, setting up regular online backups and moving quite a few programs to online access only.

So what does this have to do with online profiles? I started thinking as I was organizing my files and installing new programs how much things had changed in the last 4 years and all of the outdated information that remained on the old system. Lots. My business had shifted from one service business to another and my clientele had changed completely along with my prospect pool. It occurred to me that I had a lot of changes that weren’t reflected in my online profiles, my websites and my business marketing.

I hadn’t touched my online profiles but maybe once or twice since I first set them up. I had made minimal changes such as phone number or location but nothing specific to my business services let alone the new focus for each business. So I decided it was time for a change.

The first rewrite was my biography. I started 27 years ago with one business, I now have three. Nothing online reflects that, especially my Linked In profile. I offer a wider variety of services than I ever have in my life but you wouldn’t know that because none of my profiles promote that.

I sat down at my new computer and designed a Master Online Social Media spreadsheet. This spreadsheet has dates for my updated profiles and pages, blog topics and date posted, etc. I’m working on designing a Social Media Campaign for marketing each of my businesses as well but first I want to make sure my profiles display my mission and focus for each business so there’s no misunderstandings.

When was the last time you updated your online profiles? The new year is rapidly approaching. Now would be a good time to start making a list of accomplishments, awards, new affiliations, organizational memberships, new services, personal/business information changes, etc. Start your new year with fresh updated content and make sure you continue to update regularly as your business changes. It’s much easier to keep it updated than to have to rewrite everything after a few years. Trust me!

Why Hire A Virtual Assistant (VA)?

A Virtual Assistant (VA) can be an integral part of your overall business plan. VAs can do routine, mundane and one-time task so that you, the entrepreneur, can do what you do best, serve your clients.

VAs can act as your “customer service” department by being the point of contact for your clients. Your VA can schedule an appointment, email or call with appointment reminders, send your clients information for you, and simply follow up with them to see if they need anything or are their needs being met.

Some VAs have specialized skills such as graphic designer, website development, marketing skills, etc. Make sure when you interview your VA that check to see if she/he meets your basic business needs.

One other thing – communication style. Make sure your new VA is available when you and especially your clients need to contact them! A stable daily work schedule serves everyone the best. Be mindful of time zones, they can work for or against you!

26 Years and Counting

Twenty-six years in business. That doesn’t roll of the tongue so easily because I know what it takes to get to this milestone. Persistence, commitment, patience, stability and determination. This journey has been awesome!

Before I delve too deeply in boasting about my fabulous accomplishment, here’s the math:

I started my business as a homebased secretarial service on August 15, 1989. And yes, that was “before” there was the readily available internet that we have now. My first business name, and there have been several, was Word Per Minute Services, then Diversified Desktop Service, then Keyboarding Perfection and finally eOffice-Virtual Assistants. My first one-page website was on CompuServe (yes you read that right).

As a homebased secretarial service my clients would come directly to my house and drop/pickup their work. My oldest son made me a “drop box” for the front porch in high school wood shop. That saved me from answering the door at all hours for clients dropping off last minute work. It was great.

I can remember my husband’s words when I told him what my plans were “Okay, you can always get a ‘real’ job if this doesn’t work out right?” I remember that conversation so clearly. After a few years in business he changed his tune when I was able to walk into a computer store and buy the latest and greatest desktop system with cash.

As any entrepreneur I’ve had my ups and downs in business which mirror my personal life. It amazes me that your personal life can impact your business so much and vice versa. I’ve learned a lot about running a business, managing a team, creating products and services and just what it takes to have such long business life.

My overriding goal from day one was to provide top-notch professional business support services to my clients regardless of their field or industry. I have always claimed that “if my clients are successful, so am I.” I’ve enjoyed the day to day diversity of my work, no two days are ever the same but I think more importantly I’ve enjoy a great education which continues today. Every time a new application comes out or an upgraded software I have the opportunity to learn how to use not only in my business but how I can apply it to my clients business and help them become even more successful.

I love what I do. I always have. eOffice has never been a “job” for me it’s always been my passion to help other entrepreneurs and professionals succeed by sharing my skills and knowledge.

I don’t have the word “retirement” in my vocabulary at this time so I will continue to serve my clients as I always have, with persistence, commitment, patience, stability, determination and loyalty.