Commonly Asked Questions

Network_450x500We want to make sure that we answer all of your questions before we start our relationship. Many answers can be found on the website, in our policies and procedures manual (provided upon request) and in our contract (provided upon request). Some of the other answers that don’t fit well in those areas can be found here. If you’d like to post another question you can submit your request using the link below to our question form.

How long have you been a Virtual Assistant?  Our team started in 2009 providing Virtual Assistance.  Prior to being a virtual assistant our business was an active and busy company that specialized in print, promotional products and apparel.  I have been in the promotional products and apparel business since 1998 when we still looked up products on microfiche and sent art slicks or films to the vendors as artwork.

Who are your clients?  We only work with print and promotional product distributors and independent industry representatives.  This is the industry we know and love so why go anywhere else.

How does your team work with clients?  Each new client comes to us with different needs and desired outcomes.  Because we work virtually our tools are all cloud based (online only).  We use a few tools Google Apps, WorkEtc, Asana to communicate and share information with our clients.  Some services we offer can only be provided if your system is available through a website or VPN portal.  We communicate using the tools listed above and email, phone, and skype.

Our use of cloud solutions to collaborate saves time and money sharing details that can be viewed at anytime.  Virtual tools also mean that we are prepared for natural disasters, loss of internet, power, and computer issues.

When I hire Virtual Help Resources will I work with only one assistant? When you work with Virtual Help Resources you will have one main assistant but depending on your needs (Product Sourcing, Graphic Design, Order Tracking) certain tasks will be given to other team members who specialize in those areas.  Your assistant will coordinate and oversee those projects for you.  You can choose to directly communicate with other team members working on projects if you prefer.

What makes you different from the other Virtual Assistants and Virtual Business Managers?  Working with us means you are working with someone in the U.S. and Canada.  We speak and understand english as our primary language.  Virtual Help Resources works only with the print and promotional product industry. Product codes, industry numbers, decoration specs are common knowledge for us.  We have built relationships with many of the promotional product and print suppliers but we always have room for more.  Our team attends ASI shows, traveling shows, PPAF show and other exhibits to stay informed and build our vendor relationships.  We subscribe to Sage but also work within our clients’ ESP accounts.  We already have set procedures in place to manage orders, confirm orders and make sure they ship on time.  This knowledge takes years to acquire through training and experience.

Our success is based on your success so we care about your business and your customers.  Our goal is to help you grow your business and build new relationships knowing that we are taking care of the details.

We are a team so if someone is sick or on vacation your work does not stop.  Our systems help us collaborate or projects but they also help other team members fill in if needed.

What types of people are a good fit for virtual assistance? Our relationship is built on trust and communication.  We work best with clients who cut through the clutter and convey the details needed to get things done.  Clients must be willing to delegate tasks and provide a clear outcome expectation.  Having standards and set procedures in place is necessary for us to help you in a timely and cost saving manner.  Our successful clients make the most of their free time getting new business and delegate the deskwork to us with a clear expectation of the results.

What types of professionals are not a good fit for virtual assistance? Because we know that using a virtual assistant isn’t for everyone and we aim to provide superior service here are some types of people that are not a good fit for using our services.

  • Non-communicators- You may have ESP but we don’t.  We are always aware of our time and want to be as effective as possible.  Working through a series of emails to see what your customer needs wastes time, increases mistakes and the chance that we’ll miss a detail or part of the communication that wasn’t included.  We don’t know who your favorite supplier is for mugs so let us know if you have a favorite.  We don’t know if you told the vendor it was ok to waive a proof if you didn’t copy us on the email.
  • Mind Changers-  If you can’t make up your mind we don’t know what to do or if you want it done.
  • Procrastinators- We know that when you get busy and your clients get busy things can  might get put off till tomorrow.  Handling a constant number of rush projects or issues is unfair to our clients who turn in requests in a timely manner.  In our experience rush projects usually require more time, create more room for errors and overall result in a greater risk of unsatisfactory work.
  • Non-Responsive- While managing your orders we will have questions, these orders, projects and tasks are on hold until we get answers.  It also means that when we get answers it usually become a rush scenario.
  • Can’t let go- We understand that you’ve built your business and no one can do many things as well as you but delegating responsibility is a big part of growing your business.  The book “How to Delegate” by Robert Heller is a small 72 page easy read on delegating.
  • Clients who treat VA’s as temps or robots- We are contracted to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship that requires commitment and respect from both sides.

Do I need to purchase additional software or provide training? We possess the software and training to accomplish almost any project.  We cannot access software that is not cloud based or accessible from a web browser.  Our knowledge in many industry platforms carries over to proprietary software platforms so we would require little to no training to adapt to new order entry or other systems.  If you have a specific software or task in mind we can discuss it during the 30 minute call.

What are some of the advantages of hiring Virtual Help Resources? 

  • Knowledge- Have you ever trained someone new on what details are needed and what details need to be provided to the supplier and customer?  The best way or supplier to source a mousepad or travel bag from?  How to enter orders in your system?  Who to contact to make sure the order was received.  Knowledge is your best advantage as it saves you time and money.
  • No wasted hours- Are you employing someone who doesn’t have enough work to fill the hours they are scheduled?
  • We come prepared-  We come equipped with our own desk, chair, computer, internet, phone, printer, PMS swatch card, Thread color swatch cards, paper and ink.  Our awesome suppliers send us pens, calculators, usb drives and other cool stuff to keep us organized, productive and entertained.
  • No Hidden Costs- Hidden cost can add up.  Payroll service, taxes, unemployment, benefits, travel to trade shows, education, added accountant fees.

How soon will I recover the investment I put into hiring Virtual Help Resources? That depends on you.  Consider all of the tasks you spend time on that are not generating revenue.  If you applied that time to prospecting, networking and things that grow your business where would you be in three months, six months a year?  When you hire our team you are freeing up your time to focus on your goals and the steps required to achieve them.

How do I get started? Request our information packet and if you feel our service can help you grow you can schedule a 30 minute “Needs Analysis” session.  After that you will be sent forms and a contract to complete.  Payment is done online through our website based on the account type that best fits your needs.

What if I still have questions? Contact me using the link below to schedule a 30 Minute Needs Analysis Session. We will review your current business needs, find areas to increase time, brainstorm on turning your free time into new clients and business growth.

I’d like to ask a question.  Click here.

 

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On Youtube