Hiring a Good VA – Key Solution to Entrepreneurial Burnout and Stress

Hiring a Good VA – Key Solution to Entrepreneurial Burnout and Stress

Owning and running a business is stressful, whether its a small-scaled business like a coffee shop or a neighbourhood supermarket or scaled-up startups like Andela or Facebook.

One thing these owners and executives have in common is periodic burnouts, breakdowns and fatigue.

Running any business venture requires a high level of performance to keep-up with customers/clients demand, stay competitive in the space or industry, its no myth that the people behind these competitive brands pay a psychological price which is mostly stress-related.

Due to the overwhelming work schedule of more to be done, startups, small business owners and entrepreneurs are always at a high risk of burnout.

Being stressed out in your business can do more harm than you could ever imagine. That is why some small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs have resorted to hiring virtual assistants to relieve them of their workload.

Who is a Virtual Assistant?

“A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients outside of their client’s office” – Investopedia

Virtual assistants are usually remote workers who help you complete certain contract tasks. The good thing about hiring a virtual assistant is the fact that you can make them do almost any kind of administrative tasks that suit your business needs.

Why should you hire a good virtual assistant?

They work remotely – You do not need to worry about office spaces. Also, most times virtual assistants are paid based on the tasks that they do, which makes hiring a VA extremely cost-effective. If you needed to hire a full staff, you’ll need to keep them on a retainer salary which is financially unwise when your company does not have the resources to manage it.

Increased Productivity – Good virtual assistants are very dedicated to their task, hence, the increased productivity. They prioritize client satisfaction because they want to get a good recommendation to land future jobs. They are indeed a highly motivated set of people that entrepreneurs need in their businesses.

Improved quality of work – As mentioned above, virtual assistants are a highly motivated bunch who would go to lengths to deliver perfect work for their clients. Most virtual assistants are usually skilled in what they do.

At the end of the day, it would only make a lot of sense in hiring a low-cost virtual assistant to get the job done perfectly and on time than a full time employee that would require training and a retainer salary.

Improved private and business life – Having more time on your hands can indeed reduce stress and improve your private and business life. When you try to do all the tasks, both essential and non-essential tasks on your own, you tend to have less time on your hands. This could ruin your relationship with clients, friends, family, etc and could lead to anxiety problems.

No entrepreneur wants to have anxiety problems while running a business. Fortunately, all these can be avoided by hiring a good virtual assistant who would help you handle time-consuming tasks at an affordable rate.

Specific skills that suit your business objectives – There are some essential skills that may be lacking in your business that you may need to implement in a one-time project. A virtual assistant is always a perfect option in this situation.

For instance, if you needed to pay someone to execute a onetime business plan or analysis for you, an experienced virtual assistant would be a perfect fit for the job.

This is because, you could decide to make them do the job, pay them for that specific job and end the contract without any hassle. What is stopping you from hiring a virtual assistant?

Every business, whether big or small, requires the help of avirtual assistantlike Virtually Tope Inc. to relieve them of their workload and stress to be efficient and at the same time improve business quality and productivity.

Hire A Good Virtual Assistant Here

About Virtually Tope

Since 2015, Virtually Tope Inc. has been collaborating with business and company owners to solve problems, maximize growth and improve business performance.

The MISSION of Virtually Tope is to solve PROBLEMS for small businesses, solopreneurs, agencies and companies by helping them improve their performance and finding new and better ways of doing things.

We understand that running a business or company can be very daunting. So we leverage industry expertise & technical knowledge to clients to improve their business processes, execute strategies and organisational designs.

We help clients to solve specific problems by offering tailored-made and adaptive solutions.

We take the “burden off their shoulders” through support services served with Quality Service Delivery, Customer Satisfaction and giving you the Best Value for your money at all times.

Virtually Tope Inc. has been collaborating with clients from all over the world for years by making their lives and business workflows easier and better.

At Virtually Tope, you will enjoy Easy life, Easy business…

Improving your hiring process digitally

digital hiring recruitment virtually Tope Business solutions for small businesses

As the whole world looks forward to getting back to their “normal” lives, it appears the life we once knew is gradually changing into a totally different one. The pandemic is forcing everyone including small businesses to live a “new normal” life where transactions have to be contracted in a contact-less market.

Due to various policies by the Centres for Disease Control agencies around the world to reduce the impact of COVID, it’s imperative that businesses who want to continue to operate, come up with processes that can adapt to this new way of operating.

In our previous blog post, first in the series titled: How to improve your business processes post-COVID 19, we looked briefly at some business processes that will have to adapt to the new way of conducting business remotely and with as less physical contact as possible.

So let’s take a look at one of those processes to see how it can be improved on.

Hiring/Onboarding new employees

Even though this type of business process does not directly add value to the end consumer, recruiting good hands supports the smooth running of your business.

As a result of the pandemic, a lot of organisations had to cut down their staff strength and in some cases layoff many.

But as we begin to see measures to ease the lockdown, organisations are taking bold steps to re-open their doors to customers and in many sectors like the healthcare, food and IT industry, hiring seems to be ramping up faster than ever.

So what are the best practices for hiring post COVID and beyond?

Digital Recruitment

Digital recruitment virtually Tope Business process solutions during COVID

The process of digital recruitment can be defined as a way of leveraging technology to source, assess, attract, select and recruit candidates for open positions. It includes everything like career websites, leveraging job boards, recruiting through mobile, social hiring, and online assessments.

It is an upgrade to the traditional or conventional hiring process.

Digital Hiring is an efficient and cost-effective business solution

It is an efficient and cost-effective solution that saves a lot of time because allows recruiters to schedule and conduct video-based interview sessions online and eradicates all hassles of travelling distances within the recruitment process. Candidates and hiring managers can take/give interviews anywhere and at any time.

Not every business can embrace remote working such as those who are into the aviation and hospitality business but if you run a business that can afford to allow your employees work from home, then looking into ways of streamlining your entire onboarding process online will be a wise choice.

Since you might not have the luxury for face-to-face interactions as you used to, you might need to consider following the following steps to improve your hiring process:

  • Create a career website and make sure it’s mobile-friendly
  • Develop an efficient but simple on-boarding plan from source to selection.
  • Select the best communication platform that works for you and your team so you can stay connected since you can’t meet face – to – face.
  • Get rid of all bottlenecks that slows down your hiring process.
  • Go paperless, send all correspondence by email and adopt the use of digital signatures for approvals
  • Leverage job boards and social media sites like LinkedIn to improve the quality of hire and recruitment process. This also increase the size of talent pool you have access to.
  • Schedule phone screening and video interviews, and assessment to reduce cost.
  • Virtually onboard new hires and train them
  • Have a centralized cloud system where all your documents are safe and can be easily accessed by the hiring manager
  • Embrace digital recruiting tactics in the form of ATS and CRMs that streamlines your recruitment process remotely, if you can afford it
  • Prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved. Be empathetic!
How to Improve Your Business Processes post-Covid 19

How to Improve Your Business Processes post-Covid 19

The recent pandemic has brought up a lot of unprecedented challenges to businesses in that it has restricted them from carrying out their operations as they used to, forcing them to now conduct their affairs in a contact-less market.

As organisations make their way back to work following the easing of lockdown, companies should start looking at how to improve their business processes so that they can limit the impact of this new reality.

This article is the first in a series where we will be looking at various business processes and how they can be improved on so that organisations can stay afloat.

This blog is going to be useful to Entrepreneurs, Retailers, School Proprietors, Caterers, Fashion Designers, Company Owners, CEOs, Team Leaders, and anyone who really needs helpful tips on how to survive the pandemic with a business plan.

First, let’s take a closer look at what a business process is all about.

What is a Business Process?

A business process is a collection of linked and structured tasks or activities carried out by people or equipment which find their end in the delivery of a service or product to a client.

Examples of a Business Process

  1. Administration/HR – This type of business process does not add value to the end consumer but it supports the smooth functioning of the business. It involves processes like onboarding new employees, induction of new candidates and smooth exiting of older ones, dispute resolution and career growth, training and performance management.
  2. Finance – This process deals with the cash flow and authenticity of transactions in the organisation. It demonstrates things like when profits are reducing and losses are increasing, a collection of payments against sales, a number of credit days to be allocated for the customer, record of bank loans, settlements/reconciliation, expense approvals, salary disbursements and all forms of miscellaneous and recurring expenses.
  3. Operations – This involves an order-to-bill process. Everything that is required to accept an order, deliver a service and bill a customer.
  4. Procurement – This involves a procure-to-pay process such as the steps made to purchase parts and materials from vendor or suppliers, invoice reconciliation and accounts payable.
  5. Sales – This process includes the steps required to generate revenue by selling to customers including proposals, quotes, orders, delivery and billing. Without sales, an organization cannot survive.
  6. Marketing – Though sometimes confused to be the same as sales, this process differs in that it involves everything that has to do with how customers see your brand. It involves an idea-to-offering process which ranges from how you develop and launch new products to the market to how you advertise your brand.
  7. Customer service – Once the sales orders are generated it is essential that there is a team that will process the orders and provide feedback to the customers. Customer service also helps in managing the situation when customers require certain information about the product or service, need assistance with the technicalities of the product or have a complaint about the product.

To conclude, it is evident that this is not an exhaustive list. Depending on the size of your organization, it is possible that there are other business processes that are not mentioned here.

What other examples do you know? You can share them in the comments box below.

Watch out for subsequent blogs to learn more about how to improve each of these processes (one after the other) so your business can survive.

To be the first to know as soon as our bogs are published, please subscribe to our newsletter and we will be happy to notify you immediately.

Using Project Management Systems to Improve Workflow Efficiency

Using Project Management Systems to Improve Workflow Efficiency

virtually tope blog project management task workflow systems efficiency

Whether you are a small business owner who needs to look for alternative ways of working efficiently with members of your team despite the global pandemic or a CEO who needs to drive sales up by looking for better ways of operating in the face of Covid-19, having an efficient workflow system is a life-saver.

As nations, economies and businesses strive to look past the impact of Covid-19 and the global lockdown, business operations are having to evolve more into embracing contact-less transactions.

Business Operations are having to evolve more into embracing

the new CONTACT-LESS market

Virtually Tope Inc.

The reason why a lot of success is been recorded in this area, especially in the developed countries, is due to their use of technology which allows employees to work remotely.

Before now, most companies only allowed partial work-from-home days to their employees but they have since gone all the way due to lockdown caused by Coronavirus.

In another light, organisations are realizing that they can work more efficiently by capturing repetitive tasks and thus creating workflow processes that can bring about profitable results for their business despite the disruptions.

virtuallytope project management workflow systems

Sadly, this cannot be said about some countries who still find it hard to conduct their businesses virtually because of poor infrastructure and they are beginning to learn the hard way that technology is no longer a “nice to have” but a “must-have” during this global pandemic.

So the question remains, how can organisations continue to work in the new market with contact-less and physical distancing features?

Check out how to create a Business Continuity Plan here.

The answer is to use task management software that will help them manage their projects and teams. It’s important to find project management software that can help small businesses maximize output while keeping their team’s workload balanced. 

What to look out for in an efficient Project Management Software

There are lots of Project Management software out there but as a small business owner or entrepreneur, there’s need to look out for the ones that will make you and your organisation work more efficiently without necessary “breaking the bank” despite the impact of Covid-19.

Here are some features that are indispensible:

  1. A free version with reasonable limits: As a small business, you do not want to spend so much money from the onset and you would need a solution that allows you to test before committing to it. It should also be one that will allow to scale up as needed.
  2. Collaboration for team and clients: You would also need to look out for a software that will allow you and your team to collaborate easily. Communication effectively is key when you and your team/staff are working remotely.
  3. Task-flow management, responsibilities and dates: This is one very crucial feature you must look out for when choosing your project management software. You need to be able to manage tasks efficiently, follow up on projects, assign tasks to your direct reports and staff, and set due dates.
  4. Mobile responsiveness: Ensure that the solution you choose is also available on mobile
  5. Integration possibilities: The project management app of your choice should be to integrate all your other apps. There’s really no “one-size-fits-all” solution for project management software.
  6. Support system: Before you decide to go with any software at all, you need to make sure that there is an active development team behind the software keeping it up-to-date and bug-free.

Best Project Management Software for Small Teams on a tight budget

Here are our top project management picks based on features, pricing, customer support, and user experience.

We’ve tested each option out on your behalf (although we still recommend that you try it for yourself) and remember that there really is no one-size-fits-all solution.

We have also carefully selected these options because of their free features which are still quite remarkable for small teams who are on a tight budget to use.

1. Asana

Best project management software for supporting multiple project methodologies.

If your business falls under retail shops, website development, software development, marketing, office setup, etc This is the best project management software for you.

It is a profoundly effective tool that supports multiple project management styles and methodologies. Asana allows you to create task and project templates (which you can use for repetitive tasks), but its default setup is completely open-ended: The only required part of any task is a title. After that, you’re free to add a description, organizational tags, custom fields & task dependencies (available with paid plans), due dates, assignees, and more. 

Asana happens to be our favourite and this is why it is one of the services we offer. We can help you set up your organisation on Asana.

Get a free quote here

Asana Price: Free for up to 15 team members and basic features; from $9.99/user/month (billed annually) for the premium plan that includes additional features like advanced reporting, custom fields, and more.

2. Trello

Best project management software for simple projects.

Trello virtually tope project management system solutions

Trello is the master of Kanban simplicity and has gained a positive reputation for that reason. However, if you have complex tasks with multiple dependencies, for example, Trello’s features fall short. Despite this weakness, Trello is a simple, effective project management tool for an individual or small business.

Trello Price: Free for unlimited boards and up to 10MB attachments; from $12.50/user/month for Business Class that includes up to 250MB attachments, priority support, and additional features.

3. Airtable

Best project management software for spreadsheet & database lovers.

Airtable virtually tope project management system solutions

Airtable is a versatile spreadsheet-style database app that can help you manage any project. Think of it as a clean, ordered appearance of a spreadsheet but with a little more power such as the ability to toggle between the spreadsheet and other formats like a Kanban board or calendar view.

Airtable Price: Free for unlimited users and up to 1,200 records per base; from $12/user/month for the Plus plan with up to 5,000 records per base and 5GB attachments.

4. Basecamp

Best for small businesses looking for an easy to use, low-cost task manager.

Basecamp for project management solutions virtually tope

If your preference is ease of use, then Basecamp is the software for you. It is fairly simple and is more of a task manager than a full project management app. Their post-it notes style organization makes it easy to create project “cards” and add tasks and details on the virtual “backs” of these cards.

Basecamp is a great solution for businesses of 10-50 employees that need a way to plan and track projects and tasks. It has two pricing options: the free plan (which allows you to create and manage three projects, add 20 users, utilize 1 GB of storage, and contact basic customer support) and the paid plan (which goes for $99/month for Basecamp Unlimited, access to unlimited projects and unlimited users, 500 of GB storage, team collaboration tools, advanced features, and VIP support).

5. Wrike

Best project management software for maintaining a balanced team workload.

Wrike project management app

At first glance, the layout of Wrike projects is similar to Asana (with the exception of relying on a folder/project/task hierarchy instead of the project/section/task hierarchy in Asana). But where Asana’s flexibility comes from an open-ended structure, Wrike offers a more structured flexibility, enabling you to customize (and standardize) what information is a required part of each task.

Wrike Price: Free for up to five users and limited features; from $9.80/user/month (billed annually) for the professional plan that includes subtasks, Gantt chart views, and advanced integrations.

To conclude

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. This is just to help you get started. Now that you have some idea on the type of project management software to look for, make a FREE CONSULTATION to let us know how we can further help you set up the one of your choice.

Do you already use a Project Management Software? Tell us what you like about it and if you are looking for some additional features, we would sure like to point you in the right direction.

About Virtually Tope

Since 2015, Virtually Tope Inc. has been collaborating with business and company owners to solve problems, maximize growth and improve business performance.

The MISSION of Virtually Tope is to solve PROBLEMS for small businesses, solopreneurs, agencies and companies by helping them improve their performance and finding new and better ways of doing things.

We understand that running a business or company can be very daunting. So we leverage industry expertise & technical knowledge to clients to improve their business processes, execute strategies and organisational designs.

We help clients to solve specific problems by offering tailored-made and adaptive solutions.

We take the “burden off their shoulders” through support services served with Quality Service Delivery, Customer Satisfaction and giving you the Best Value for your money at all times.

Virtually Tope Inc. has been collaborating with clients from all over the world for years by making their lives and business workflows easier and better.

What is a Business Continuity Plan? Why does it matter?

What is a Business Continuity Plan? Why does it matter?

Since global lockdown, companies all around the world have been trying to figure out how they can cut their losses and keep their businesses afloat. Hence the term, “Business Continuity”.

Business continuity (BC) refers to maintaining business operations or quickly resuming them in the event of a major disruption, such as a malicious attack by cybercriminals or a global pandemic like we are experiencing now.

A business continuity plan outlines procedures and instructions an organization can follow in the face of such disruptions; it covers business processes, assets, human resources, business partners, suppliers and more.

Why it matters

As a business owner, there are a lot of questions arising that you would need to consider. Such as:

  • if you have a way to get your team up and running so that the company can continue to make money despite a lockdown or fire disaster?
  • Will they work from home temporarily or would you have to do some re-structuring like having only your essential staff working on the premises while the non-essentials work remotely?
  • how to remain competitive, retain & increase customer confidence?

Having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) will help you answer these questions and many more and ultimately help you keep a positive reputation as a business that can survive though times.

What’s the next step?

The next step would be to consider getting a BCP for your organisation. Start by using our free template as a guide to developing yours in a matter of minutes!

The template is very easy to use in setting up your BCP and your organisation will be happier for it.

About Virtually Tope

Since 2015, Virtually Tope Inc. has been collaborating with business and company owners to solve problems, maximize growth and improve business performance.

The MISSION of Virtually Tope is to solve PROBLEMS for small businesses, solopreneurs, agencies and companies by helping them improve their performance and finding new and better ways of doing things.

We understand that running a business or company can be very daunting. So we leverage industry expertise & technical knowledge to clients to improve their business processes, execute strategies and organisational designs.

We help clients to solve specific problems by offering tailored-made and adaptive solutions.

We take the “burden off their shoulders” through support services served with Quality Service Delivery, Customer Satisfaction and giving you the Best Value for your money at all times.

Virtually Tope Inc. has been collaborating with clients from all over the world for years by making their lives and business workflows easier and better.