How Referrals Can Work for YOUR Business!!

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In an effort to jump-start small businesses – and remind them of the power of a single referral – John Jantsch (author of Duct Tape Marketing) launched Make a Referral Week in March of 2009. The goal of the event was simple: To provide 1,000 referrals to 1,000 deserving small businesses across the country.

Referral based businesses can either take a passive role or an active role in generating referrals. Those that take a passive role, create satisfied customers and spend their marketing time and dollars trying to get their message in front of as many potential customers as possible, then they are relegated to waiting and hoping that the phone rings.

Those that take an active role, do things a little differently.

1. Give awesome service that creates ‘raving fans’ instead of just satisfied customers. The only reason people talk about a service or product is because it was extremely good or extremely bad – make yours exceptional.

2. Make sure you thank your customers and ask them to tell your friends about you. Think back to the last time you were personally thanked for your business. It doesn’t happen often, so when it does we remember it.

3. Let your customers know up front that you will be asking for referrals later on. Don’t hit them cold – let them know that you are a referral based business and give them the chance to think about whom they want to refer.

4. Making giving a few referrals a condition of doing business with you. If you really want a business that runs on referrals than make it a rule that for people to do business with you, they have to give you referrals.

5. Ask for a referral when people buy from you (or even when they don’t). During the sale customers’ emotions are running high and they are happiest to give them. When customers don’t buy they usually feel a little awkward, and may feel obliged to help you out in a situation like this because they have just said ‘no’ to making a purchase from you.

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YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK:  Consider your business approach to referrals and make the commitment to take an active strategy. And remember givers gain.

If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.

For your complimentary business coaching session visit www.bestchicagobusinesscoach.com. To register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, visit www.workingonthebusiness.com.  Let’s work together to help your business grow.

2016 Online Small Business Events

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Health Benefits Done Right: Health Insurance and the Role of Payroll
January 26, 2016
Finding the right health care for your small business doesn’t have to be hard or costly. This webinar contains the basics you’ll need to find the right plan for you and your employees, and how it relates to your payroll solution.

How to Grow Your Business Online
January 26, 2016
Google is now an important part of the marketing mix for many companies, capable of driving tremendous business. This session is designed to help you understand the factors Google uses to determine the rankings of sites in their organic results, and within their paid results (PPC).

What’s Ahead for Affiliate Marketing?
January 27, 2016
Learn about new products and services on the road map for this year and how you can benefit from them.

Social Media, Marketing, and Websites
January 27, 2016
Whether you have a website, a LinkedIn page, or use Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or Instagram, you are exposing your practice/business to a potential Breach. The avenues of electronic communications are growing and we must grow with it in order to maintain HIPAA compliance and keep the integrity and privacy of patients and their protected health information. In this lesson, policies and procedures will be discussed that will help to ensure a compliant understanding of the usage of social media, marketing efforts, and website development.

Credit Card Surcharging:  What are the stipulations for compliance?
January 27, 2016
The worst thing end-user organizations can do is to have an uninformed reaction to surcharging. It’s important to first look at the big picture as end-users should also educate suppliers about the economics of card acceptance, pointing out the savings possible and other benefits.

7 Powerful Excel Features Every Government User Needs to Know
January 27, 2016
Many government employees use Microsoft Excel® only occasionally for updating figures on a monthly report, creating a budget, or preparing mailing lists. Being comfortable using Excel is a great skill to have, but becoming a more knowledgeable user is even better.When you master some power-user tricks, you’ll be more productive and valuable at work.While it is important to play around with Excel and try different functions, having an expert walk you through the process is so much better.During this webcast, you’ll get a step-by-step demonstration of some key Excel features that can truly advance your skills and boost your productivity.

GrowthWheel Tool:  Engaging Customers in Conversation
January 28, 2016
How do you best engage customers/clients to retain and continue to serve them?  Explore activities to start conversations, how to think through what vehicles you’ll use, and key messages you want to convey.

How to Kill It In Social Media
January 28, 2016
You will learn to develop and execute a social media plan for your small business.  You will also learn how to drive traffic and extend brand awareness by leveraging social media.

Free Publicity – Get Buzz and Attention in the Media
January 28, 2016
Presenter Ramon Ray has been featured in the NY Times, Wall Street Journey, Inc Magazine and beyond. In this webinar, he’ll share his secret sauce for getting the media talking about YOU and your product or service.vBusinesses who get media attention build credibility and quickly extend their brand reach faster than simple word of mouth marketing or other marketing. Attendees will leave this insightful, energized and practical presentation with specific tools and best practices to get the attention of local and national media.

How to Build Your First Mobile App
January 28, 2016
Learn from experts about how to approach building a mobile application and explore various do-it-yourself or outsourcing options.

How to Use Offline and Online Networking to Grow your Business
February 2, 2016
Learn how to develop a networking strategy, where the best places to network are, how to perfect your introductions, and more!

Financials for Non-Financial Small Business Owners
February 9, 2016
Understanding your company’s financial statements is fundamental for business success, but often business owners find themselves baffled by income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow forecasts.

Top 5 Ways SCORE Can Help You Launch & Grow Your Business
February 9, 2016
Find out what SCORE can do for you and your business!

Ask the CPA:  Tax Advice for Small Businesses
February 18, 2016
Join us for this timely SCORE LIVE Webinar when we’ll be answering your questions regarding tax preparations for small businesses!

Check back often for updated events!
And don’t forget to connect through LinkedInTwitter, and Google+.

ONGOING EVENTS or PAST WEBINARS

U.S Small Business Administration:  Click HERE for Webinars

IRS:  Click HERE for Webinars

American Management Association:  Click HERE for Webinars

RESOURCES for Small Business

SBA Loans and Grants:  Click HERE 

Women-Owned Business Grants:  Click HERE 

Federal Grants for Small Business:  Click HERE 

Legal Concerns for Small Business:  Click HERE 

Legal Assistance for Small Business:  Click HERE 

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Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

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10 Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant:

  • You save yourself money
  • You can use a VA part-time
  • You can use a VA on an as-needed basis
  • You make the schedule every week or month
  • You set the budget weekly or monthly
  • You delegate your business tasks to your VA
  • You can get more accomplished in a business day or week
  • You schedule certain detailed tasks for your VA
  • You improve your revenue for your business
  • You get to spend more time working on your business

 

Do you need a Virtual Assistant? 

Do you lack Time Management skills?

Do you want a larger ROI?

Don’t fall into the #1 reason people fail:  EXCUSES

  • Get around your excuses
  • We will find a way to help you out…today
  • No more excuses.
  • Get the help you need to build your business
  • Organize your business in 2015
  • Become more efficient and more productive
  • Work less and make more money

 

Some of my Clients:

  • Doctor
  • Lawyer
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Realtor / Agent
  • Motorcycle Shop Owner
  • Accountant
  • Home Party Consultant
  • Retail Shop Owner
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Home Remodeler
  • Publisher
  • Fundraiser
  • Sales Director
  • Sales Rep
  • Independent Contractor
  • Designer

 

Helping you Solve your Business Puzzle
What YOU want:

  • To decrease your work stress
  • To decrease your paperwork load
  • To get organized
  • To increase your revenue
  • To get new customers to know, like, and trust your business
  • To spend more time focusing on your business relationships
  • To save money
  • To save time
  • To work on a budget
  • To get help to accomplish your tasks

What I want:

  • To decrease your work stress
  • To decrease your paperwork load
  • To help keep you organized
  • To increase your revenue
  • To get new customers to know, like, and trust your business
  • To give you more time to focus on business relationships
  • To save you money
  • To save you time
  • To work with your budget
  • To help you accomplish your tasks
  • To deliver an EXPERIENCE to you
  • To listen to your needs and wants
  • To understand your business
  • To support your business

  

Interested in comparing costs of a VA verses an in-house employee?  Compare HERE

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Consider viewing my list of services, to see how I am be able to assist you with your business.

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Increase your website traffic!!!

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Are you a small business owner, and want to increase your website traffic?

What about trying to get your name out there?

Need to tell others about your blog or your social media pages?

…if so…then…

Be a part of the SMALL BUSINESS NEWS…and advertise on this blog!!!

Advertising rates are $50 per month, which covers the following:

1.  Two (bi-weekly) blog posts to promote your business
2.  Promotion of all your posts through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn)
3.  A link on the RESOURCES page
4.  Business featured on the side bar of this website

To learn more about advertising on SMALL BUSINESS NEWS, click HERE.

We would LOVE to have you be a part of SMALL BUSINESS NEWS!!!

Contact me for further details.

Elizabeth Debol
Virtual Assistant
elizabethdebol@live.com
www.BusinessVirtualServices.com

What is a Virtual Assistant?

What does a Virtual Assistant (VA) do?

  • They remotely connect to your office computer (if necessary) to complete your assignments.
  • They complete many tasks, such as your company newsletter to clients to staff.
  • They maintenance your website or blog via the web.
  • They type your letters and emails, design your brochures and flyer, etc.
  • They make follow-up phone calls, send follow-up emails, schedule appointments, etc.
  • They maintain your social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • They proofread important articles or manuscripts.
  • They create agendas and invitations for personal or business use.
  • They create Excel spreadsheets for database creation.
  • They complete all of these tasks (and more) using some type of technology, usually related to the Internet.

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Outsourcing to a VA

You can significantly grow your business by taking time away from the tedious tasks and now spend time personally assisting your clients or marketing yourself within the community.  Hiring a virtual assistant will give you that much needed time to grow your business, by allowing your virtual assistant to take over those tedious tasks you face on a daily basis. You do this by outsourcing work to a virtual assistant.

Generally, a virtual assistant specializes in a particular area.  These areas may include marketing, advertising, finance, accounting, secretarial, proofreading, translation services, research, creative writing, and any other tasks a business owner may need help with.

Virtual assistants can provide services such as executive assistance, marketing consulting and support, new business consulting and support, general assistance, website management, presentation services, records management, and direct sales services.

Outsourcing projects to a virtual assistant in any of these areas will help increase your business productivity and efficiency levels.

The use of a virtual assistant for modern day businesses is growing fast and becoming a normal way of doing business.  A virtual assistant is a way for businesses to get the most for their money, and it is a smart way of doing business.  By making yourself available for the important aspects in your business, you allow your business to grow and mature.

 

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How does a Virtual Assistant save you money?

With a Virtual Assistant, you will not have to worry about the following:

  • Office space, office equipment, printers, Internet connection.
  • Payroll taxes, health insurance, vacation, sick pay and holidays.
  • Wasted time spent on breaks, at water coolers, and making personal phone calls.
  • Time and resources to train staff.

 

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Hiring an in-house employee:

If a small business owner hires an in-house employee, they will have to worry about:

  • Payment of employer social security taxes.
  • Payment of Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
  • Payment of Federal and State Unemployment Taxes.
  • Compliance with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • Compliance with Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
  • Medical benefits, vacation/sick/holiday compensation, and a retirement plan.
  • Contracting a service to administer benefits.
  • Providing office space for the employee.
  • Providing equipment for the employee.
  • Managing the employee.

 

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Is a Virtual Assistant right for you and your company?

Have you ever blown a business opportunity or missed a deadline because of an unorganized business/schedule?  Would you like to get things looking pretty, working efficiently, and spend less time behind your desk?  Do you have the time you need to keep up with social media, do research for that great idea, or type that email/newsletter to your clients?  Are you on top of business development?  Are you lacking a client database and don’t know where to even begin?  Do you have exciting work projects you would like to take on, but always seem to be too tired at the end of the busy work day to even start them?  Do you find yourself working nights and weekends just to keep up with the administrative tasks that you don’t get to during the work day?

If you can answer YES to any of these (or even all of them), then a VA may be right for you and your company!  How do you find that right person to assist you?

 

Think of the word PACE.

P=Personality

You have to find that VA with the right personality for your line of work, and who will work best with YOUR personality as well.

A=Attitude

You need a VA with a positive, go-get-em attitude, so you know your work will be completed.

C=Creativity

You should find a VA with creativity in their bones, so you can just hand off your projects and know they will look great.

E=Efficiency
Your VA should be efficient, because why in the world would you hire one who isn’t?  After-all, this is all about saving time (and money), right?  So, remember, if you are super busy and cannot PACE yourself to get your administrative tasks completed, then consider hiring a VA to PACE for you!

 

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If you consider using a Virtual Assistant:

  • Define what tasks your virtual assistant can complete for you.
  • Determine what area most of these tasks fall into.
  • Find someone that specializes in that area.
  • Make sure they can complete other tasks for you as well.

Virtual assistants do charge a higher fee in most cases than having someone work for you in your office.  But as mentioned above they are absorbing the cost for all your savings. You are hiring a 100% professional, highly dedicated and very experienced assistant focusing on you and you alone.

They do not focus on anything or anyone else for the time they are set to work for you. Tasks get accomplished faster with accuracy and professionalism.

Why should you hire a VA?   Find out HERE

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5 Ways Your Small Business Can Beat the Summer Slump

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It’s the dog days of summer, and your small business might be starting to feel like a ghost town. Everybody seems to be working shorter days, or on vacation, or just not ready to shift gears from browsing to buying. You may be thinking of throwing in the towel, but your business doesn’t have to suffer from a summer slowdown.

While you can’t expect people to stop taking summer vacations, there are plenty of things you can do to give your small business a summer boost in unexpected ways. At the least, these tips will help you build a stronger foundation for when business shifts back to normal after the nice weather ends.

1.  Put a Shine on Your Social Media Accounts

2.  Get Creative with Your Campaigns

3.  Meet New People (And Learn Stuff, Too)

4.  Reconnect With Your Customers Through a New (Or Improved) Newsletter

5.  Head for the Hills (Or the Beach, or the Park)

Read full article HERE

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I loved this article, which is why I wanted to share it with you.  My business also hits a summer slump every year, and I do implement most of these 5 steps to boost my business for the fall, and they do work.  Here are a few things that might help!

For #1, consider using Canva to create some really great social media images/backgrounds.  I use it for just about everything!

For #2, using MailChimp will allow you to easily get some great campaigns out there, and you can even automate them for ease in the busy months.

For #3, consider visiting Meetup to find some local meetings that will benefit your business and keep you engaged.

For #4, this great article will give you 5 ways to improve your email newsletters.

For #5, this neat little website that will help you locate some beaches near you.

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Don’t be afraid to get creative, or to take some time to relax!  Pick up a new book and educate yourself in something new that could benefit your business! There are always opportunities to learn and to use it as an asset to your business!  Small business owners never quit working, but it doesn’t have to be hard work all the time!

Elizabeth 
Virtual Assistant
www.BusinessVirtualServices.com