Virtual Assistant Archives - Virtual Latinos

How A Virtual Assistant Can Help You Manage Your Ecommerce Store

Tips & How To's

4 Steps to Hiring a Virtual Assistant Can Help You Manage Your eCommerce Store

When you first started your ecommerce store, you were likely managing every aspect of the business, from fulfilling orders, responding to customer queries at all hours, scheduling and managing social media posts, and keeping track of stock. There are many things that make being a small business owner gratifying but being in charge of it all isn’t one of them.

Whether you operate a sole proprietorship or have 10 employees or more, a virtual personal assistant can help. VAs offer an extra set of “hands” without the extra legwork associated with having an employee.

How to Hire a VA for Your Business

No matter what your small business is or how busy you are, you need time to keep it moving forward and growing. If you are looking to hire some help, a VA could be a perfect and affordable solution. Here’s how you hire your own virtual assistant for your ecommerce store and earn back some of those precious hours in your day.

Step 1: Decide What You Want Your Virtual Personal Assistant To Do

First, make a list of what you want your virtual assistant to do. Will they take on general tasks such as order fulfillment, customer service, or social media management? Or do you require a virtual assistant for more specialized tasks such as marketing, video production, project management, or digital advertising? Specialized VAs require less training, but generalized VAs can help take on repetitive tasks and free up more time in your workday. To determine which type of VA is right for you, spend some time documenting all the tasks you want to outsource, and the types of outcomes that you want your VA to achieve (for example, if hiring a VA to increase sales, what sales targets do you want them to reach?)

Step 2: Create a Job Description

To hire a virtual assistant right for the job, you will need to create a job description based on the types of tasks you wish to delegate. A job description includes:

  • Information about your ecommerce store (i.e., your target customer, the industry you target, what you sell, etc).
  • Desired level of experience, education, and skills
  • An outline of duties and key responsibilities
  • Specialized apps, tools, or software that the VA will be required to use (i.e., CRM systems or proprietary applications, WordPress, etc).

Step 3: Hire Your Virtual Personal Assistant

Once you have a job description outlining roles, responsibilities, and key qualifications, it’s time to do the hiring! At Virtual Latinos, we have two main ways of connecting with the perfect assistant for your needs:

  • Go through our agency. Create an account, fill out a short questionnaire outlining your needs, and let our experienced team find you the perfect virtual assistant. We’ll review your requirements and find the right assistant for your needs. We take on the interview process and choose the top 2-3 candidates for the job, letting you have final approval. Once hired, you will manage your assistant, but we provide ongoing support.
  • Hire through our Virtual Latinos directory. Sign up for our directory and browse assistants through filters like experience, key credentials, and certifications. Get in touch with them via our simple email system, and interview them like you would any other employee. Once hired, you manage them as long as your Virtual Latinos membership is active.

Our assistants are located all over Latin America, from Argentina, Costa Rica, or Mexico.

Step 4: Manage Your Virtual Assistant

Once hired, your small business virtual assistant can help you maintain any aspect of your business that you require. To keep the relationship beneficial, we recommend managing your employee with:

  • Periodic performance reviews. Using the job description and outcomes you designed at the beginning of the process, determine if your virtual assistant is meeting the expectations you have.
  • Resist the urge to micromanage. Small business owners can fall into the habit of wanting to control everything but remember this is why you hired a virtual assistant! Relax and let your new small business virtual assistant take off some of the load.
  • Schedule regular check-ins. Use easy communication tools like Slack to check in with your virtual assistant and see how they’re doing and what they plan on tackling for the day.

Call Virtual Latinos to Learn More About How to Hire a VA

A virtual assistant can help you manage several different aspects of your ecommerce store. To learn more about our process and how our virtual assistant can help lighten your business load, contact us.

3 Tips For Productively Managing Your Remote Team!

Tips & How To's

Leverage These 3 Tips for Managing Your Remote Team

Remote work is more than just a fad. As the COVID pandemic continues to sweep the globe, many experts predict that remote and virtual work will only increase in popularity, even after workers are allowed to return to the office. Employers are increasingly discovering that remote teams are often more productive. However, effective management of these teams is essential. To make the most of your virtual assistant(s), we recommend applying the following tips to effectively manage your remote teams:

1. Schedule Regular Check-Ins

There are a few different ways to check in with your remote virtual assistant, even if they’re located in Peru. Several tools can help you communicate readily with your virtual assistant, such as Slack, email, and phone. However, face-to-face interactions can also be helpful. We like tools like Google Team Hangouts and Zoom. Virtual check-ins:

  • Lead to more effective troubleshooting. When you and a virtual assistant are tackling a business task, problem-solving is much more effective face to face compared to email.
  • Create better non-verbal understanding. While Slack can be an effective form of communication, it can also be impersonal. Video platforms like Zoom can help you connect better with your virtual assistant, even if they’re located in Honduras.

Regular communication over multiple channels is essential to make sure your team is meeting your expectations. Even the best virtual assistant will benefit from direction and dialogue. Making your expectations known and tracking progress is crucial to the success of your remote team.

2. Have Measurable Objectives and Outcomes

To help your team stay on track and manage your own expectations, work to create measurable outcomes and objectives for your virtual assistant. For example, if your virtual assistant primarily helps with marketing, identify time-phased targets that they should be meeting (for example, gaining X more social media followers). Set your dedicated virtual assistant up for success by clearly delineating the tasks they are responsible for, why they are important, and make sure they understand how you will measure success. Define the scope of each task, desired deliverables, and the timeline for completing each task. This will help you all keep on track, even if you are working hundreds of miles apart.

At the same time, it’s also crucial to avoid micromanaging. It’s not possible to manage every aspect of your remote team’s work, and less stress is likely one of the reasons you hired a dedicated virtual assistant in the first place! Don’t focus on things like hours worked or online time. Focusing on outcomes and deliverables can help you manage the success of your virtual assistant and identify new tasks as necessary.

Step 3: Assure The Right Fit

Not everyone can work remotely with success. As such, it is essential to ensure that you have the right person for the tasks you are looking to fulfill. The best virtual assistant:

  • Has the ability to prioritize
  • Can readily adapt to new tasks and environments
  • Is collaborative
  • Communicates well
  • Is independent and self-motivated
  • Has superb organization
  • Is reliable
  • Has a result-oriented mindset, and;
  • A strong work ethic.

To succeed in a virtual environment, it is also essential for a virtual assistant to be tech-savvy. Remote work technology is rapidly evolving, and your business may also rely on proprietary applications, customer relationship management software, and website software. It is essential to find a virtual assistant who, even if they don’t have relevant certifications, is open to learning about new ways of working. To discover these qualifications when hiring a virtual assistant, try holding interviews over multiple channels like email, Zoom, or Slack. Using a multitude of methods can help pinpoint a virtual assistant’s skills. Email, for example, can test their writing ability and responsiveness, while video chatting can determine a candidate’s level of non-verbal communication and cultural fit with your needs.

Find The Perfect Remote Worker With Virtual Latinos

Remote workers are productive and help you run your business more effectively. Whether you are looking for someone to take on general administrative tasks for a specialized assistant to help with marketing or sales or need help with payroll, we have an assistant who can help. Using our Virtual Latino directory, you can browse by certification, location, and more. Our virtual assistant agency can also help you find the perfect candidate for your needs. Our virtual assistants are located all over South and Central America, including countries like Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, and more. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us or read about our process.

Benefits Start-ups and Entrepreneurs Can Enjoy With a VA

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Why Hire a VA – Benefits for Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs

Budding small business owners have a lot on their plate and often manage every aspect of their business. If there is one area in which entrepreneurs and solopreneurs struggle, it is with the delegation of tasks and hiring of staff. With business constantly in flux, it can be difficult to know when to hire someone to take on a new role. When your business is still growing, scalability is essential, which is why more new small businesses are turning to virtual assistants.

What Is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant, or VA, is an external “hire” that can take on as few or as many business tasks as you require. Some hire VAs as independent contractors or freelancers, but business owners are increasingly turning to virtual assistant agencies for their hiring needs. With an agency, you pay a membership fee and have access to a database of fully vetted, experienced talent. If you don’t want to go through the hiring process yourself, an agency can help you find the perfect fit for your business.

As remote work increases in the United States and around the world, so does the popularity of virtual assistance. Entrepreneurs, in particular, can stand to save time and money with a virtual assistant. Find the help they need with a virtual assistance agency.

Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

A recent study found that, compared to hiring a full time employee with benefits, a virtual assistant can save entrepreneurs almost 80% on operating costs each year. The reasoning behind this is simple:

  • VAs are responsible for all their own operating costs, such as their workspace, equipment, and internet subscription.
  • VAs are scalable. You can hire them temporarily when you need their services or adjust hours per week based on demand.
  • Save money on training, recruitment, and retention. Hire a virtual assistant based on the skillset that you require. Also, hiring near-shore represents lower costs than hiring US-based VA’s

What Can a Virtual Assistant Do For Your Small Business?

A virtual assistant can help you tackle any business task, based on the skillset that you require. Some small business owners hire a dedicated virtual assistant to manage one aspect of their business, such as social media management or project management. Others hire VAs to take over repetitive or general business tasks such as stock tracking, order fulfillment, or customer service. Hiring a virtual assistant is not only scalable but means you are able to fulfill any task that you require. When you hire a virtual assistant through an agency, you have a hassle-free recruitment process, the agency helps you find and interview top applicants for you to decide which is the best fit for your business.

Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help You Free Up Time In Your Workday

An affordable virtual assistant can not only help save your business money, but it can also free up more hours in your workday, allowing you to focus on innovation. Use a virtual assistant:

  • To collect data. Your customer relationship management (CRM) software, social media channels, and email produces a lot of data that can lead to insight about your customers. Your VA can help identify trends through data collection that helps your business thrive.
  • To manage your inbox. Answering emails 24/7 can be exhausting, especially when your business is in its infancy. Put a VA to the task of answering email inquiries on your behalf, while sending high importance or sensitive inquiries for your personal review.
  • To manage your calendar. Networking is essential for any new business owner. A virtual assistant can help you identify and enroll in networking activities and manage your itinerary along the way, from airfare and hotel to recommended restaurants.
  • To take over your social media. A consistent social media presence is essential to your business success, and a virtual assistant can help craft posts and bulk schedule their publication. Be sure to find a virtual assistant with specific experience with social media, content creation, and other relevant skills.
  • Creating newsletters or other forms of content creation. A virtual personal assistant can help you craft content for your email subscribers or even send out handwritten holiday cards.

Find a VA to Help Your Business

The point of a virtual assistant is to free up time in your workday. Hiring help virtually can be completely scalable and affordable – a must for budding businesses. If you are looking to expand your business but don’t want to commit to a full time hire, a virtual assistant can be the perfect solution. Find your perfect virtual assistant by skill set, certification, or any other qualifications you require. Going through an agency helps ensure that you have fully vetted, qualified talent whenever you need it. Our virtual assistants are fully trained, vetted, and ready to help from locations like Ecuador, Guatemala and the rest for Latin America. To learn more about how Virtual Latinos can help your business grow, contact us.

A Guide on How to Hire and Manage Virtual Assistants

Hiring

Looking to hire a Virtual Assistant?

Hiring virtual assistants and managing them can be really difficult to handle if you don’t establish clear guides and steps to follow for making the process run at its best.

Sure, they are cost-effective which is very convenient for your business, but, what is it that makes it tricky to handle?

Well, let’s see a few reasons:

a) You’re hiring people with different works habits
b) You’re hiring people you’ll have to manage from a distance
c) You’re hiring people you haven’t met face to face

See what I mean? But don’t worry, luckily for you, in this guide, we’ll be sharing with you 5 main practices to hire and manage your newly hired virtual assistant or virtual assistants team.

1) Do I need a virtual assistant?

In order for you to answer that question, we give some ideas on what key points to consider:

* Why do you need a virtual assistant?
You have specific tasks that you know someone could help you with, or, you have specific tasks that you know you shouldn’t be doing yourself so you can have more time to focus on your core business functions.

*Do I have the budget?
By analyzing your finances you’ll help yourself to have a clear scenario on how your costs and expenses are and see if you can incorporate hiring a virtual assistant on your annual budget. It’s better to do it that way in order for you to understand your business costs in general rather than just defining a budget every time you hire a virtual assistant.

*Where do I hire my virtual assistant from? Analyze the pros and cons to make the right decision

Here we provide just a few points to consider:

Pros – less expensive, flexible hours, you can hire them for a short amount of time if it’s just for a specific project.
Cons – different timezones, different cultural approaches, no quality of work.

After considering all of these points, you may be starting to realize why a Latino Virtual Assistant is the best option for you and what advantages a Latino Virtual Assistant has compared to other VAs from abroad.

2) What type of virtual assistant do I need?

This will be defined according to the type of tasks you want them to do. Here at Virtual Latinos, we can provide you with virtual assistants who perform many types of services.

* If you need help on tasks related to answering emails, booking trips or meetings, answering phone calls, inventories, placing orders, etc, then you’ll mostly need a General Virtual Assistant (Administrative/Executive Virtual Assistant, Customer Support virtual assistant).

* If you need help on tasks related to Digital Marketing, Video edition, Graphic Design, Sales, Real Estate, Property Management, etc, then you’ll need an Expert Virtual Assistant (Accountants/Bookkeepers, Community Managers, Digital Marketers, Content Creators (Bloggers, Copywriters), Traffickers,etc.)

3) Time to hire!

When you reach this point, this is the main question you have to ask to yourself now: Do I want to hire on my own and do all the work required to hire someone? or do I want someone else to do all the hiring process for me?

Well, that depends on many factors, but luckily for you, here at Virtual Latinos we got you covered and we offer you the two options to hire:

a) You do all the hiring process on your own by selecting and hiring the VAs from our Directory, or,
b) You can hire through our Virtual Latinos Agency and let us do all the process for you, helping you save a LOT of time with the guarantee of knowing you’ll get the best applicants for your business needs and goals.

4) Start working with your virtual assistant.

The following are the most important suggestions that we, as experts, consider are very important when starting to work with your new virtual assistant:

* Define tasks and provide training.
Now you have a new member of your team. You have to make sure they know why you hired them and what they need to do. For that, proper onboarding and training is the key. There you’ll fully explain your new VA about your project requirements, expectations, deadlines, tools you use daily for communication, time tracking, and task management among others.

* Organize / Document your Processes
In order to make things efficient, you must get used to the idea of creating documentation for your corresponding tasks’ procedures. This is done by creating SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). SOPs gather all the information about the steps on each operation on your company that your new virtual assistant can have as a reference and part of his/her training. SOPs will help you ensure that if you or anyone in your company isn’t able to work, the company can still run as instructions are already built there for people to take over and also avoid miscommunications and failure to comply with determined procedures.

* Set up daily check-ins and a constant schedule for meetings with your virtual assistant.
This is a great tip that will make you keep your VA really in constant communication with you and from there, build, and achieve confidence and a strong work environment.

If you let your new virtual assistants know, from the beginning, that they have to communicate, then you’ll have a huge percentage of achieving a successful work routine. Our suggestion for daily communication is using an Instant Messaging tool such as Telegram or Whatsapp. In that way, you can establish that your VA checks with you when they start and when they finish their working hours and also give a brief summary of their daily progress.

Now, regarding the scheduling of meetings, we highly suggest to do them every two weeks, where you can catch up, talk about goals, strategies and also provide feedback for both of you on how you can improve. By doing this periodically, you’ll get to know your virtual assistant a lot better, both of you will get more comfortable working with each other and understanding the way you work better.

5) Make them feel valued and supported.

Besides letting your new virtual assistant know about your business, it’s time to also build trust, camaraderie, try to include them in your company’s culture just like your regular employees.

Show them that you care about their professional growth too by giving them quality projects, providing all the resources for them to perform at their best. Make payments on time. Be a trustworthy leader. Do constant follow-ups on their work so that they feel you care about how they’re doing and if you are being communicative and clear enough with what you want them to do.
Once you have done all of this, be sure that your virtual assistant will be working happy and will be willing to keep working with you and create a longterm lasting work relationship that will definitely benefit you both.

Conclusion

I know what you might be thinking right now, it might seem like a challenge to hire a virtual assistant in the beginning, right? especially if you haven’t done it before, but don’t worry, by achieving all of what we have suggested here, be sure you are all set and ready to feel confident in doing a good job on hiring and managing a virtual assistant. Just remember, everything starts with you:

  • Asking yourself, why do you need a virtual assistant? What are the key points to consider before hiring one?
  • After defining your budget for affording a virtual assistant, now you must know what type of virtual assistant you need. Remember to consider the tasks you want them to do for you.
  • Ok, you know what type of virtual assistant you’ll need, it’s time to hire!
  • You have hired your new VA, good! Now, it’s time to start working with them. Which first steps will help you start in a successful way?
  • Finally, now it’s time to know the person behind the desk, understand their needs, make them part of your company’s culture, make them feel included.

I, as the Customer / VA Success Manager here at Virtual Latinos, really see closely how everything that we’ve shared here has actually built successful work bonds while working virtually. Part of my job is to make sure you and your new VA work on this, together, make this a really growing and satisfying experience for you both. So, find out why choosing us is the best decision you can make for hiring a virtual assistant today!

Attorneys: Are You Outsourcing These 10 Tasks?

Tips & How To's

Something you may not learn in law school is that attorneys face a great deal of tedious clerical work in their day-to-day office duties. Many young lawyers who are just getting started are shocked and a bit overwhelmed with the administrative duties that take up the precious time they need to meet with clients, complete their legal research, and provide quality service to those who are counting on them. If this sounds like you, let us tell you how to hire a virtual assistant.

Lawyers Face Many Time-Consuming Tasks

Attorneys do much more than meet with clients, interpret laws and regulations, and appear in the courtroom. Most people don’t consider the day-to-day tasks that come with running a reputable law practice, many of which are important but don’t necessarily need to be completed by an attorney. A respectable legal practice should manage social media, tend to customer service needs, and handle the clerical work of the office. If you have your own practice, you may not be able to afford an in-house receptionist or an assistant, especially when you’re first starting out.

Virtual Assistants Can Help Attorneys

Top virtual assistant services, such as Virtual Latinos, can connect you with an assistant who can perform the administrative office support you need online. You can customize the tasks your assistant completes based on your needs, even if those needs change week to week. Your virtual assistant can help your law office run more efficiently and save you the cost of paying salary to an in-house receptionist or aide.

Outsourcing these time-consuming tasks to a virtual assistant allows you the time to focus on the truly important element of your practice: your clients.

What Duties Can Virtual Assistants Perform for Attorneys?

If the idea of hiring a virtual assistant sounds appealing to you, consider these 10 various responsibilities they can complete for you:

  1. Conduct Legal Research. Not all legal research requires the expertise of a seasoned attorney. There are many instances where a virtual assistant can easily find the facts you need, so you can focus on something that requires your expertise.
  2. Answer Phones. The last thing an attorney needs distracting them from client work is answering office phones and prioritizing messages. A virtual assistant that resides in your same time zone can handle this task with the utmost professionalism and care.
  3. Book Appointments. Scheduling and confirming appointments is essential to keeping your practice busy and successful. A virtual assistant can take this responsibility off your hands, helping you keep your schedule full while avoiding double booking.
  4. Send Emails. Your firm probably needs to send reminders and other communications via email to many people involved in any case. A personal assistant can do this for you and free up valuable time in your day.
  5. Provide Transcription. Transcription services are one of the most tedious tasks attorneys must do. Find a virtual assistant with experience in transcription, and you can get back to focusing on your clients.
  6. Manage Your Schedule. Appointments with clients, witnesses, law enforcement, experts, judges, and various others fill the days of most attorneys. No one wants to miss a meeting and appear unprofessional. A virtual assistant can organize your calendar and help you manage your time efficiently.
  7. Manage Emails. In addition to sending important emails, you need help responding to a multitude of incoming communications. A responsible and capable virtual assistant will provide the assistance you need with email management, so no email goes unnoticed or lacks an appropriate response.
  8. Provide Bookkeeping. Accounting services are essential to any successful business, and a law firm is no different. Virtual assistants can provide an array of bookkeeping services that take the unnecessary weight off your shoulders.
  9. Complete Website Maintenance. Trust plays an important role in any relationship between an attorney and their client. Oftentimes, a law firm’s website is the first opportunity to make a positive impression. Blog posting and general website maintenance helps to build trust with clients. A virtual assistant with English writing expertise, top-notch grammar, and tech skills will keep your website looking fresh and updated.
  10. Manage Social Media. No successful business today will reach their full potential without the wonder of social media. Reaching the greatest audience in any target demographic is a goal that marketing virtual assistants can easily help you to attain.

Hire an Assistant from Virtual Latinos

Virtual Latinos provides virtual assistant services to suit the many varied needs of any law office. Whether you have a small office of your own or work for a large firm, taking the menial administrative tasks out of your daily schedule will allow you more time to focus on your clients and win your cases.

Reach out to us today to find out how to hire a virtual assistant for a law firm.

How Real Estate Investors use Virtual Assistants to Find, Contact, and Book Appointments

Hiring

Real estate investors have difficult but rewarding jobs. It’s not uncommon for real estate investors to face day-to-day challenges that can lead to missed opportunities for investments, botched renovations on real estate slated for resale, and countless problems. Fortunately, many of these issues are preventable.

One of the main challenges facing most real estate investors is simply a lack of time to handle everyday responsibilities. The average real estate investor must spend each day contacting realtors to close real estate purchases, sort through contracts, arrange inspections, manage a calendar, and handle various other personal administrative tasks. One of the best solutions for tackling all these responsibilities is to hire virtual assistants.

How a Latino Virtual Assistant Can Help a Real Estate Investor

Many successful real estate investors handle all types of responsibilities completely on their own during the early days of their careers, but few would want to return to those days. The most successful real estate investors will accredit part of their success to others, typically the assistants and other employees who help them close deals, fix up investment properties, and market their real estate effectively. Top virtual assistant services can be tremendous assets to any real estate investor of any experience level.

A virtual assistant service can help a new real estate investor save time and money when starting an investment business by handling administrative tasks. This may sound like it comes at additional cost, and it certainly does require an investment to secure the best virtual assistant services, but the payoff is well worth the expense. Most new real estate investors simply fail to realize how much time and money they spend handling administrative and marketing tasks alone.

The additional cost of hiring a dedicated virtual assistant will pay for itself in several ways, each helping real estate investors grow their business, find and flip properties faster, and forge better relationships with business partners and customers.

Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Any real estate investor knows that this type of work requires constant attention. Some beginner real estate investors focus on one property at a time; they purchase a property at a good price, renovate the property to boost its value, and then sell it for a tidy profit. This may sound like an easy way to make money, but the whole process is very complicated; it requires consistent effort, networking with various professionals for every sale, finding the right construction crews to upgrade each property, and finally marketing an investment property and closing a sale.

A Latino virtual assistant can assist with all these moving parts, streamline the real estate investment process at every stage, and ultimately help them grow a more profitable business. The investment of hiring a virtual assistant is negligible considering the level of value they can provide. A few of the tasks a virtual assistant can perform for a real estate investor include:

Data mining and research.

Finding the right properties and making connections is a major part of growing a real estate investment business. A virtual assistant can help a real estate investor with the research end of the business, locating potential investment properties and collecting contact information from their sellers.

Communications

Real estate investment requires a great deal of phone calls, emails, and other forms of contacting business partners and other real estate professionals. A virtual assistant can ensure no conversations are lost in the shuffle.

Calendar management

Real estate investors need to regularly meet with real estate agents to tour properties for sale, arrange inspections, and meet with construction crews to oversee renovations and upgrades to investment properties. A virtual assistant can help a real estate investor keep their calendar organized.

Handle personal administrative tasks.

A virtual assistant helps ensure a real estate investor meets their personal and professional obligations on time and in full compliance with applicable laws.

There are countless benefits that come with hiring a virtual assistant. If you are a real estate agent wondering how to hire a virtual assistant for your business, look no further than Virtual Latinos.

Why Virtual Latinos?

The Virtual Latinos team understands how important it is for many real estate investors throughout the United States to break into the Latin American market across various industries. If you’re looking to expand into Mexico, El Salvador, or Costa Rica, it helps to have a virtual assistant with extensive experience working in those markets and who can communicate seamlessly with customers and partners in those areas.

Think about how a Latino virtual assistant can help you grow your real estate investment business, and contact Virtual Latinos today for more information about our affordable virtual assistant services.

Virtual Work: 8 Tips for working remotely

Tips & How To's

Workers from across the globe are moving towards working from home as an attempt to stop Coronavirus from spreading.

As a Digital Worker at Virtual Latinos, make sure you are equipped with all the tools required to work remotely successfully.

Check below our shared tips and suggestions to make your home office work a successful experience.

Woman working remotely from her home

1. Set up a workspace

If you don’t have a dedicated home office, try to find an area of your home you can dedicate as a focused work area. If you are using tools like Zoom or Teams You can always use the background blur feature to keep teammates focused on you.

2. Communicate and communicate more

When working at home, possibly while balancing childcare, your core hours may change. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with your supervisor, team and clients when you are available. Use message features on your preferred communication tool to let people know your current working hours and availability.

3. Be seen and be heard

It’s important to use the optimal audio and video tools calls and conferences. Turn on your camera and use an external speaker when possible.

To create the best audio experience: ​

  • If you are in a quiet private space, use an external speaker like a USB speakerphone.
  • If you don’t have an external speaker, or you are in a loud or public place, use a headset.
  • If you use the speaker on your laptop, ensure that you are directly in front of and close to the laptop as the speaker may not be bi-directional and people will have a hard time hearing you if you are off to the side.​
  • When you are attending a meeting, remember to mute yourself when you aren’t speaking.​

To create the best video experience: ​

  • Turn on your video camera! ​
  • If you are in public setting or don’t want your background to be visible, you can always use background blur feature. Check your lighting; if you are sitting in front of a window you will be in a shadow. ​
  • For the optimal audio and visual experience, ensure that the internet connection is reliable. If possible, connect via an Ethernet cable for the strongest, most reliable signal. Most of the communication tools will alert you if you have a weak connection and offer suggestions to improve quality, stay alert.
  • Don’t have an external monitor at home? Split your screen!​

4. Connect with colleagues via Zoom, Skype, Hangout, Teams or other.

Use chats, threaded conversations and calls to stay close with your colleagues. Name, pin or hide your chats to stay organized and be sure to adjust your notifications settings to your own preferences.

5. Collaborate with clients and vendors

Chats, calls and meetings will keep you connected with external contacts. Always be sure you apply the right permissions to files you are sharing. Download Telegram Mobile app if you don’t have it already, as it’s an easy way to multitask, letting you chat on one device while searching/working on files on the other.

6. Explore virtual meeting options

If you can’t bring groups of people together physically, explore and learn about available options for virtual meetings, including Teams meetings, Live Events and Broadcasts. It’s important to be able to help your clients and vendors know how to join meetings you have scheduled.

7. Work via your mobile device

Make sure you have all the handy tools and apps on your mobile device to stay connected while on the go. Every day we find ourselves on the go and need to connect, collaborate and create with our mobile devices. Working virtually can often increase this need. So, if you aren’t already using your mobile device for work, now is the time to get started!

Freelance virtual assistant working from home

8. Stay Truly Human

Explore tips on establishing a structure to your day, ensuring you are striking a balance between work and personal time, all at home.

  • Key to staying focused when you are creating and working remotely is establishing a structure and proactively balancing your screen time, finding the right place to work and connecting with people
  • Set a routine to start your day and mentally get into work mode – get your coffee, read your emails + messages, etc., and do what you typically do during a workday.
  • Think about your “virtual dress code” as you will be connecting with people via video.
  • Ensure you have a dedicated place to work that is quiet, has enough space for you to work, and allows you to focus. Ergonomics is important so think about your desk height and your chair.

Avoid working in bed. If you start working in bed you’ll likely get sleepy or have a hard time feeling truly awake. Instead, get up and make your bed first thing in the morning, just like any other day. Avoid the urge to work in your bedroom at all, unless that’s the only space where you have privacy.

If you do have to work in bed, creating a sense of “going to work” will help you. That means changing out of your Pijamas, washing your face, getting coffee, whatever makes you feel awake, do that first. Once you start working, sit up and avoid working in your bed if you’re exhausted.

It’s a good idea to treat your bedroom as a sacred space where you only go to sleep or relax. Once it becomes your office, you’ll find it hard to avoid thinking about work 24/7.

Using mobile devices to work remotely

  • Working from home, or remotely, often leads to increased screen time and less time away from your desk. Take breaks, go for a walk, and get up from your desk regularly. Avoid working where you’ll be tempted or distracted. One of the keys to successfully working from home is to pretend you’re at an office so don’t work somewhere that will tempt or distract you, that means don’t work with a TV on, and if laundry or dishes are calling your name, avoid them! Get your chores done before you begin work and save time for binging Netflix once you’re done for the day.
  • Set boundaries with other people at home.

Working from home with roommates, friends or family present can be challenging. Sometimes if someone comes over and sees you on the computer, they may not register that you’re working. This is true especially if that person has never worked from home before, they may assume you can do whatever you want.

It’s important to set boundaries with people around you in work from home settings. Tell everyone who’s home with you that you’ll be working as a virtual assistant during certain hours and to not disturb you unless it’s an emergency. Put a sign on your door if you must. Doing what you can to avoid interruptions is key to staying as productive as possible.

Take breaks every 75 to 90 minutes, for about 15 minutes per break. Ideally, your break should involve no screens at all and let you get some fresh air. Take a walk outside, play with a pet or talk to a friend. You’ll find that you’re much more productive if you walk away from your desk and computer throughout the day.

  • Connect with colleagues, team members and others. Virtual “water cooler” chats are a great break. Avoid total social isolation.

And when you’re ready to sign off for the day, truly unplug and try to resist the urge to check your messages frequently. Enjoy your free time!

Become an online virtual assistant today.

California AB5 Law 2020 Labor Alternatives: Hire a Virtual Assistant From Latin America

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What Is the New 2020 California AB5 Law?

In September of 2019, California legislators passed Assembly Bill 5, effectively making it difficult for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors when it went into effect at midnight on December 31st. Lorena Gonzalez, the assemblywoman who authored the bill, says that it “seeks to eliminate exploitative permalance positions, not legitimate freelance opportunities.” She is referring to open-ended contract positions without benefits.

The bill requires employers to use an “ABC test” to determine whether workers are employees. This test classifies workers as employees if:

  1. They perform their work duties under a company’s control
  2. The work they do is integral to the company’s business
  3. The workers do not have independent enterprises in their trade

Another way to look at the ABC test is in terms of how a business can demonstrate that a worker is not an employee. If a worker is not under the control of the hiring entity, performs work that is outside the typical course of the company’s business, or is generally engaged in an independently established trade related to the work they perform for the business, they may be considered to not be an employee.

By labeling workers as employees, they become entitled to certain benefits like workers’ compensation, expense reimbursement, paid sick and family leave, minimum wage, and unemployment insurance.

Employers are also required to pay half of their employees’ Social Security Tax. Employers and freelancers alike are up-in-arms about the new legislation, as they question how this affects their work and their bottom line.

How AB5 Affects Freelancers, Contractors, and Businesses in California

If you are a Californian who makes your living through independent contract work, you likely face many questions about how the law affects you. The way in which this new law affects different types of freelancers is varied.

Freelance writers and photographers submitting more than 35 articles or photos per year to any outlet would need to be hired as employees. The fear is that many outlets will stop using freelancers to avoid non-compliance with AB5. Some companies, such as Vox Media have already dropped hundreds of freelancers. Others have already decreased the workload they give to freelance employees, so that they remain in compliance with the new bill.

Another issue with the bill is that even if companies hire former freelance workers full time, many will not be able to take the jobs. Some have physical disabilities which prevent them from taking full time work, while those who could work full time would face losing social security and other government disability benefits. Many freelance workers are well beyond the typical retirement age. Companies hiring full-time employees are not likely to select these candidates for the positions they need to fill.

Companies like Uber and Lyft provide jobs on demand without needing to offer the benefits that most part-time and full-time companies offer. These businesses have built massive networks of independent contractors who do their driving, shopping, and deliveries. Uber feels that their drivers are correctly classified as independent contractors but has also tasked company volunteers with developing new app features specific to California. These new features would allow drivers certain new abilities, like being able to see estimated trip fares and rejecting trips with no penalty.

Reaction From California Businesses

Businesses are upset about the new bill because the benefits they now must offer to former contract workers can add 30% to their labor costs. It also limits the flexibility they once enjoyed by hiring freelancers to perform many necessary tasks. Some companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are saying that their workers still qualify as independent contractors under the ABC test. They are planning to argue their case in court, stating that they will not reclassify their workers unless a judge compels them to do so.

Most businesses fear that they will see an increase in independent contractors bringing wage and hour law claims and class action suits. These claims could include meal and rest break claims, overtime, and wage statement claims, among others.

Reaction From Freelancers and Contractors

Many contract workers are suing the state of California to protect their livelihoods. Organizations that represent freelance journalists and photographers argue that AB5 limits free speech under the U.S. Constitution. The bill affects workers in industries from technology and trucking to entertainment and music. Over 5,000 interpreters and translators signed an open letter to California lawmakers, asking to remain classified as independent contractors but were denied.

The California Trucking Association sued the State of California in an attempt to prevent the application of the ABC test in the truck driving industry and challenge the AB5 law. They have been granted a temporary restraining order on the enforcement of AB5 against motor carriers until the court resolves the motion they have, along with two owner-operator co-plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction.

Virtual Assistants Are a Great Hiring Alternative

If your California business is struggling to adjust to the new changes associated with AB5, you may want to consider the option to hire virtual assistants outside of California. This alternative allows your business to work with freelancers and save money on your bottom line. You can also avoid the added costs and complications of adding staff to your payroll as part-time or full-time employees.

Remote team members save companies thousands of dollars a year on overhead expenses. General Virtual assistants take phone calls, make outgoing calls, handle scheduling duties, and perform a variety of bookkeeping tasks, which can save your company’s actual employees valuable hours that they can spend on more productive work. Virtual assistants work remotely, and oftentimes outsourcing work to one makes you their client, which saves you the trouble of payroll taxes, benefits, and fees.

The Reason Why Virtual Assistants Can Avoid Compliance With AB5

When we take a look at the way in which a company can show that a worker is “not” an employee, we find that hiring a personal virtual assistant from Latin America becomes a viable choice in filling company needs, without having to classify a worker as an employee under the new law. Since virtual assistants are not under the direct control of your company, they are essentially performing their duties under the control of a third party entity, such as Virtual Latinos. This rules out the first condition of the ABC test.

Virtual assistants also perform duties for various other companies, which is not at all related to the work they would be doing for your company. This satisfies the second marker that we can use to determine that your assistant is not an employee of your company. Last, virtual personal assistants, such as those available to your company through Virtual Latinos, are engaged in an independently established trade. The duties they perform for your company are the same ones that they perform for various other companies around the country, which classifies them as independent contractors, acting as assistants to multiple businesses besides your own. This satisfies the last part of the ABC test.

Save Your Business Money by Hiring a Virtual Assistant From Latin America

Quality personal assistants from Latin America offer a variety of services that benefit your company in a multitude of ways. Virtual Latinos virtual assistants are experienced college graduates, who are fully bilingual and prepared to meet your clerical needs. This allows your employees to accomplish important tasks, devote time to satisfying clients, and meet company goals on or ahead of schedule.

Virtual Assistants cover time-consuming tasks for your company, such as digital marketing, social media, and email blasts. They also complete online research, marketing automation, CRM management, and a host of bookkeeping tasks that can eliminate multiple full-time employees—or replace contractors who live in California.

The ways in which virtual assistants can save your company money are numerous. As they are not legally required to be labeled as employees of your company, you as a business owner are not required to invest crucial company funds in paid employee benefits. The social security tax, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, expense reimbursement, paid sick leave, and myriad other perks that come out of company revenues for actual employees do not have to be paid to virtual personal assistants. So, as you can see, the money your company will save over the course of a year leads to a direct increase in your business profits. Virtual Latinos can cover the tedious duties your company needs to accomplish every day, without costing you the expense of employee benefits you would need to pay in-house employees.

Let Virtual Latinos Do Your Recruiting for You

Virtual Latinos can connect you with passionate virtual assistants, allowing your company to focus on running the business efficiently. With Virtual Latinos, you will find talented and motivated workers who have completed a demanding, high-quality training program.

As a top virtual assistant hiring service, we hand pick the best applicants available after sifting through all the applications we receive. Our top applicants have the opportunity to join our US-based digital marketing and certifications programs. We offer the flexibility of hiring assistants directly with no middleman, or through our assisted hiring services. We work in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile, which are in or close to your time zone. This eliminates confusion over deadlines and schedules.

Most importantly, we are one of the most affordable options you will find. Our virtual assistants are 40%-75% less expensive than US-based assistants, and our marketers are 30%-50% less expensive than freelance and in-house marketers in the US.

Virtual Assistants Offer an Alternative to CA Freelancers

Contact Virtual Latinos now to find out how we can meet your company’s needs and give your employees extra time to focus on your clients and help your business to grow. Best of all, our virtual assistants afford your company the opportunity to contract these duties out, with no consequence to the AB5 Law. Virtual Latinos are one of the best-kept secrets in the business world, but we would love to share our experience and quality work with you and your company.

10 Ways a Latin American Virtual Marketer Can Grow Your Marketing Agency

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Marketing agencies are some of the busiest businesses in the world. Modern marketing is an incredibly fast-paced field. Many agencies struggle to balance their day-to-day responsibilities. The average marketing agency will handle all types of promotional services for its clients, including marketing campaign planning and management, branding, visual design, social media marketing, and much more. Not only do marketing agencies need to handle all these tasks quickly and efficiently on a consistent basis, but they must also connect with new clients and provide excellent results to current ones.

Top virtual assistant companies can be tremendous assets to modern marketing agencies for several reasons. It can be incredibly stressful for even experienced marketing professionals to keep track of their day-to-day obligations while delivering stellar results to their clients and finding new ones. If your agency has struggled to meet a demanding client’s expectations due to overwhelming administrative tasks and countless obligations on strict timetables, hiring a virtual assistant can make a significant positive difference in your business outcomes.

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Top 30 Tasks to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant in 2020

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Business owners in every industry face countless concerns every day. Handling customer relationships, building a strong internal team, cultivating solid business connections, marketing, payroll, and so many other things require time, attention, and resources. For example, the average small business owner will take on many tasks to get a new business up and running. This can be exhausting for any business owner. One of the best ways to overcome this stress is to find a virtual assistant.

Virtual Assistants Can Lighten the Load for a Business Owner

If you have struggled to handle the myriad concerns that come with building a business, virtual assistant companies like Virtual Latinos can be fantastic assets that lighten your burden and allow you more flexibility to build your company with top virtual assistant services. If you’re overworked, you may be costing your company money in lost productivity.

Virtual Assistants Can Assist With Business Communication Tasks 

When small business owners hire virtual assistants, they can start delegating these tasks to ensure timely completion and the consistent attention they require. Some of the business communication tasks most commonly outsourced to virtual assistant services include:

  1. Scheduling meetings and appointments
  2. Prioritizing your emails, responding to emails, setting up email filtering, and weeding out spam email or other unimportant emails
  3. Posting job ads, fielding job applicants, recruiting other team members, and preparing training manuals for new staff members.
  4. Attending webinars and reporting back to you
  5. Creating, launching, and maintaining email marketing campaigns
  6. Sending thank you cards and invitations
  7. Liaising between you and other team members
  8. Participating in online discussion board conversations, acting as your brand expert, and establishing professional connections.

These are just a few of the possible ways your virtual personal assistant can help with your daily business-critical tasks.

Allow Your Virtual Assistant to Help With Content Management

A marketing virtual assistant can be a tremendous asset to any business owner struggling with content development. Many business owners have found greater success with their content marketing strategies by investing in virtual assistants and delegating content-related tasks to them, such as:

9. Handling social media updates and responses.
10. Creating and maintaining a content calendar to schedule and post content.
11. Writing and editing blog posts, press releases, and other published content.
12. Conducting online research, analyzing consumer and customer trends,
and increasing SEO impact with keyword research.
13. Bringing more people to the business website by implementing sound SEO strategies.
14. Examining competitors and developing content that capitalizes on market trends.
15. Creating graphs from spreadsheets and presentations for team members and clients.

Virtual assistants can assist with content management in countless ways, but their capabilities do not end there. The best virtual assistant services can also handle various personal and administrative tasks for business owners.

Delegate Administrative and Personal Tasks to Your Virtual Assistant

Many business owners focus so much on the nuts and bolts of running their companies that their personal obligations may fall to the backburner. A virtual personal assistant or virtual admin assistant can assist with these tasks and offer relief in some surprising ways, including:

16. Organizing your calendar and creating and maintaining your everyday to-do list.
17. Purchasing items for personal or business use.
18. Conducting basic data entry.
19. Helping with sales tasks
20. Helping with financial management, paying bills, setting up automatic payments, and managing bookkeeping.
21. Organizing files, building databases, and creating basic reports.
22. Analyzing performance statistics and results.
23. Prepping for meetings and recording meeting minutes.
24. Transcribing messages or other deliverables.
25. Conducting travel research and booking travel arrangements.

Business owners won’t need to worry about neglecting their personal obligations or handling too many administrative tasks at once when they invest in top virtual assistant services.

Virtual Assistants Can Assist With Customer-Facing Tasks 

Of course, one of the best benefits of hiring a virtual assistant is ensuring better customer experiences. Virtual assistants can help accomplish this in many ways, such as:

26. Creating, sending, and tracking invoices.
27. Representing your brand.
28. Gathering customer feedback.
29. Answering phones.
30. Engaging with potential and current clients on social media.

If you’re a business owner feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of daily tasks you must complete to keep your business running, stop trying to handle everything yourself and delegate some of these tasks to a dedicated virtual assistant.

Take Advantage of Virtual Assistant Services to Grow Your Business

Stop losing productivity due to spreading yourself too thin and hire a virtual assistant from Virtual Latinos for a cost-effective and reliable addition to your team. Our virtual assistants are bilingual and very familiar with working in the US as well as Latin American markets like Costa Rica, Mexico, and El Salvador. Contact Virtual Latinos today to learn more about our online virtual assistant services for business owners today.

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