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Get It Done Guru

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About Get It Done Guru

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    Regular Member
  • Birthday December 7

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  • Location
    Glenn Dale, Maryland
  • Interests
    reading, learning, scrapbooking.. travel, photography, family.. you name it.. I love exploring NEW THINGS!

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  1. I've been working with a client and the capacity and volume is looking to increase tremendously. They now want me to assist them in creating a complete virtual office so that they can hire more VAs. Additionally they want me to write SOPs on how to do such. Now they're using a great application called iAreaNet which provides access to the company shared files, email, calendar, conferences, and more. I'm unsure as to where to begin in setting up a complete office for another VA to use, let alone coming up with SOPs. Where to begin? What to include? I believe the client will provide a basic model laptop to the VA (he wants to know what they;re working on). PLEASE HELP..
  2. I'm sorry for not providing details.. I thought my signature was automatic.. Randa S. Lee President & Get It Done Guru, Excellence Without Excuses E-mail: Get It Done Guru Website: www.excellencewithoutexcuses.com + Are the prospects you've met cold calls or warm leads? -- COLD CALLS.. + Are you marketing where your ideal client will see you? PERHAPS SOME ADD'L INSIGHT.. WHAT YOU MEAN? I MARKET TO LOCAL SMALL BIZ OWNERS, ON THE INTERNET, AND I HANG AROUND STORES LIKE OFFICE DEPOT, ETC.. + And, think of you when needing XYZ service? I DON'T KNOW.. THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT MS. MAPLEWOOD
  3. Hi Folks -- Guru here... So I've been in business for a year, and I know the stories of how long it takes to get a good client base and new income, etc. I'm just a little down because my projections for my 1Q are COMPLETELY off the mark. With all the specials I've run, holiday specials 2x month, I'm not generating NEW income. So I'm trying to revamp my collateral [biz cards/brochures/flyers/etc] My biggest issue, is that I've spent ALOT of my budget on trying to obtain clients, I've hosted networking events where ppl just ate my food and left. I've taken significant potentials out for coffee to discuss, and again, they've eaten at my expense and simply kept it moving. So perhaps its MY ability to "bring it home" or "close the deal". I don't know, I just see my business accounts dwindling, and I'm not making any deposits and this concerns me. I understand the first years of business I may have to dip into my own [personal] money. I feel like I did that by saving upwards of a few thousand as I was starting my business, and put it aside for business only purposes. Well, every expense can be justified [not necessarily written off] but again, funds are going down, and I'm still sitting with no clients for 2011 and its almost MAY! This doesn't move me any closer to being a Corporate DropOut if I'm unable to sustain consistency in clientele & income. Sigh.. perhaps I'm venting, but even so, I still welcome any feedback or two cents you may have to get outta a rut!
  4. Hi Judy.. I meant.. Sales and Marketing.. guess one can never be too clear.. oopsie! I agree, I will make a business pitch once all the cards are laid down [once I have secured the other contract, and the person I want to hire as my representative has been "officially" let go from their current contract. I guess I'm a bit excited to see the potential!
  5. Yes.. pure genius Tawnya!! So I want to hire the contractor I know will be laid off this week to represents me & my company in the same contract and fulfill the obligations of the contract. I'll be able to pay them out of the money from your contract. So I'll get to keep the contract and branch out while maintaining another job if necessary. If it doesn't work out that way and they wont sustain the contract unless I do the work, I would politely walk away (as I have a backup plan--the other secured job) but I want to keep the option open. If that happens, I'd need to employ serious marketing strategies to keep my name in their head so that they remember the quality of my work when you're not around. I want them to use my business in the future, but I don't want to have to compete, especially since I've held the contract before. Lastly, my dilemma now is knowing this contractor is going to be let go, and asking her to come work for me as a rep of my business, doing the same work, same rate of pay, etc. The only hang up is that I know she is looking for something permanent with benefits, and I'm only able to offer her this job, in addition to resume assistance, and career searches while she works this contract for me. Sounds like a big bite.. but it could be the beginning of wonderful working relationship with a client! I WANT IT ALL!
  6. Hi there, I'd like to ask your opinion in terms of networking and NOT burning bridges... Here we go.. 1) I'm currently working a client who requires me 40hrs per week.. I just got assigned project leader overseeing the contractors, but I still work this contract position as if they are one of my many clients. [i'm a 1099 etc] I also got word today that there isn't enough funds to keep all 4 contractors, and I'm in line to 'STAY' because of my great work. [yay] Additionally, "off-off-off the record" the current contracting company's Administrator told me that my business idea/goals [to work as a Virtual Asst] is something they'd be VERY interested in so that THEY could focus on Sales and Marketing, and this would be likely early next year. On the flip side, while underemployed [working this contract/client among others] I've continued sending out my resume to obtain a secure fixed income, and I interviewed for a TREMENDOUS opportunity yesterday/Monday. They said in the interview that they should decide by early next week, and no further interviews would be needed. So, TODAY the folks who said "no more interviews needed", want me to have an 1-on-1 with my potential boss to "discuss his expectations" and to give me a 'tour of the workspace & department'. Of course, this SOUNDS promising, it SOUNDS like they may be leaning towards offering me the job. And if so, I'd be required to start before Thanksgiving. Just so you know.. So my question-- If by chance I was offered a position with BENEFITS.. I'd JUMP so high.. you have no idea.. lol BUT I want to keep my current contracting company as a potential FUTURE network so they could use my services when the office administrator decides to be the Sales Director.. [small small company] Is there a way to "nicely leave" a contract, with a recommendaiton for my replacement -AND- come back around in Jan/Feb and inform the company I left of how my services could be of assistance to their company in terms of having the company as MY client.. and I'd do their books and administrative stuff virtually. MY BOTTOM LINE Ideally, I want to leave my 8 mo contract, take a new permanent FT gig, recommend my replacement for the current 8 mo contract and also be able to recommend my business as a future partner for the office administrator who secretly told me she'd wish she could solely focus on S&M.. Now.. YOUR THOUGHTS?? and if all of this is null and void, and nothing happens.. well at least I know how to approach the next opportunity. Thanks much for your input, I appreciate it! Sincerely, The Get It Done Guru Randa Lee
  7. FROM ONE NEWBIE TO ANOTHER.. why not have both businesses? I like Embrace Your Space, and immediately thought of interior design, organization, etc. I don't think of virtual assistance, sorry.. but that's not a horrible thing. If you want your cake and to eat it to.. so be it. AGAIN, I MAY KNOW NOTHING.. I was wrestling with my interests, and I've decided I'm going for broke, and doing both. I enjoy scrapbooking, and do it for hire as a side business to my VA business, and I'm a contractor for the Feds. In my mind, the only thing worse than failure is not trying. Success is when you accept the failure without regrets and look for the next opportunity. So do it now, do it later, make your business what YOU want it to be.. I certainly hired a VA to organize my home office! Now she's a great network for me. She separated her services into administrative, personal [which incl the home org project] same fees applied, really a VA means.. VIRTUALLY ANYTHING [legal, and ethical of course] so you can specialize in whatever you want.. thats the beauty...
  8. Thanks so much ladies. Linda --- I'm usually a paper and pen gal when it comes to our personal finances, but I know QuickBooks Pro will be an added benefit to begin using all around. I looked at Quicken, and there's just not enough for the business aspect, and I see myself eventually needing a few of its added bells/whistles, so why not bite the bullet and write it off next year! Deb -- I whole heartedly agree, I feel so foolish for 'Scrooging' myself and my taxes using Turbo Tax. Now I'm look for a preparer who has worked with at home entrepreneurs before. I need my ship tight because Uncle Sam has not been playing nice! So I'll definitely check the websites out, thanks again..HUGE HELP!
  9. Hi Folks.. Newbie by Fire here again... Which method works for you and why? I worked with an accountant, prior to starting my business, but I had earned enough doing odd jobs that I had to report and pay taxes on my self employment. I did not like the way he handled it, lack of communication, perhaps he just wasn't knowledgable about self employment taxes. Then I tried Turbo Tax, and did something wrong and ended up owing Uncle Sam in the following year as it all caught up to me. Currently, I have items I'm looking to write off as deductions while filing this April, and I'd love YOUR FEEDBACK. I'm moving the family room office to a designated home office [thank u hubby!] with 4 walls, and its all for me! At this point, I need some small office equipment and computer software specifically a shredder, new desk, or add' storage solutions ie filing cabinet, Quicken Books]. Also needed are a 2nd [cell] phone line, web design, association memberships, etc, and my plan is to find what I can write off prior to purchase. Currently I have pending projects due for 2 clients, and a long term contract with a client who just asked me for an invoice. I just read that I could save all my parking receipts in order to write them off as a travel expense, so the more I read, the more I realize I DON'T KNOW. So I am a SELF EMPLOYED contractor who takes on short term projects to establish a stream of income. I need every write off possible, but yet I'm hesitant to trust a CPA to find some buried write offs, vs Turbo Tax asking me a bunch of questions. Your thoughts? Cmon chime in.. you know you want to! Thanks in advance! This aspect of the biz is terrifying to me because I don't want to mess with Uncle Sam's money, and I certainly don't want Uncle Sam messing with mine!
  10. Hello to All: Here’s a little about me: I am married mother of 2, tired of layoffs and downsizing. I have supported high level executives, managed offices, ran a tutor mentor program, for over 12 years now. Unfortunately, administration is normally the first on the budget chopping block. I’ve decided to only offer my services to small businesses and entrepreneurs who cannot afford staff. I'm still deciding on my business name, I'm between "excellence without excuses" and "savvy solutions".. Business wise: I have a few potential clients, folks who are waiting for me to get my business launched, which motivates me tremendously that they have so much faith in me. I’ve completed 2 small projects, and I’m working FT as a contractor while awaiting my next client opportunity. There is free money [grant] waiting for me as soon as I finish my business plan [i'm getting stuck on narrowing my target market, and laying out the start up costs] Lastly, I want to find every legal tax deduction possible as I establish my new office in my home and move forward with my new business! So I'm in research mode with a partially finished business plan, financial constraints due to the recession, and financial need which is why I must continue to take work as it comes. So, feel free to chime in. I'd love to hear everyone's MUST READ selections as I'm very into books. I'm currently reading the art of the start by robert kiyowaski.. Randa
  11. Has anyone found FREE market/industry related information pertaining to VAs? I'm having difficulty completing the economics part of my biz plan Questions such as: • What is the total size of your market? • Current demand in target market. • Trends in target market—growth trends, trends in consumer preferences, and trends in product development. Any thoughts?
  12. Hi there, I too am also stuck on my business plan. I understand the value of it, and I have attempted to begin using templates I've found, however some stuff you can't simply create from scratch. In order to obtain a particular sponsor's funding, I need to complete my biz plan, however I am unable [due to limited funds/unemployment] to pay for the VAC level of membership. After its done I'll have a hefty check in which I can spend to sign up for every membership and certification I want, but until then.. I'm unemployed and broke trying to write a business plan on my shear brain skills.. Is there any resource geared towards online consulting if not VA work that would help??? Any thoughts? I know this is an old post, but perhaps someone will chime in.. thanks! Randa Lee
  13. Thank so much ladies.. I didn't know WHAT to think on yesterday! I would like to offer him a package price plus travel costs. Since most of it is internet research, and meet and greet with potential temp homes, I don't think it'll be an exuberant cost. $50-75 depending on how much detail he'd like in my report. It is not finding a home like a Realtor would, I'd be researching houses for rent. I can't believe it, I'm excited, anxious, terrified all rolled into one! Who knew people would pay me to do research! Amazing. Especially after being let go from my FT, so now I have all the time I need to secure clientele! Thanks so much again, any input on creating contracts? I don't want to be overly formal, however something clarifies that I do x, and he/client will pay x. Do you offer refunds in your contracts? [sorry to be so naive] How do you secure payment, before or after delivery? Randa Lee
  14. I was speaking with a friend who is planning to relocate. After some back and forth over how the home options and other details he was exploring was overpriced, I mentioned that "for a fee I could help him find a temporary home and make the transition move". Then we discussed my services and the unlimited range of services that a VA can do and he was hooked. I haven't even finished my rates, and now I'm being asked to send him a contract for basically researching available homes, and going to see them, taking pix, etc. He wants a house for rent with an option to buy which is a harder search, but again, I'm what do you charge to do RESEARCH? Please help, I'm a bit lost on this one. My rates for shorter projects like travel arrangements are $50 per project as I'm small time and my niche is "unbeatable prices". So I'm thinking of just charging $50 plus travel costs. I'd also love input on contracts.. links welcome!
  15. http://www.insidecrm.com/features/client-from-hell-091707/ Top 10 Ways to Fire the Client From Hell How to tactfully rid your business of penny-pinching, unreliable and abusive clients. By Inside CRM Editors Clients are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, your venture simply doesn't exist. On the other hand, some clients are so bad that your business, not to mention your personal sanity, is better off without them. So what do you do when you have a client that pushes you to the brink? You fire them! Here's how to give 10 of the worst offenders the pink slip without burning bridges. 1. The bargain shopper: As a general rule, the client who pays the least will expect the most. The words "I need this done cheap" should strike fear in your heart, not because of profit margins, but because this client will nickel-and-dime you within an inch of your life for extra work, support and other nuisances that were not in the original scope. How to get out: This one's simple: Raise your rates, if only for this particular client. The bargain shopper will move on to the next firm that offers a better price, as he's concerned only with the bottom line, not the value of your work. 2. The client who can't make deadlines: This client wants you to set his project at top priority because he’s on a tight schedule and needs to get something produced right away. You agree, assuming that you’ll have all of the information you need to get it done quickly. Unfortunately, your client drops off the face of the earth, ignoring your requests for approvals and other correspondence until your previously agreed upon due date comes around. At this point, you’re both blaming each other as the reason that the project’s not done, and it’s not pretty. How to get out: Before this client makes you miss the deadlines of customers who can keep up with you, let him know that no, you can't deliver on your deadlines when he misses his. Push back his deadline and stick to it. Instead of setting a concrete date, make it contingent upon receipt of information, such as a certain number days from the signed approval date. Don't accept any future work from this client, as his habits are not likely to change. Instead, tell him that you're experiencing a high volume of work and offer to refer him to another firm. 3. The client with a not-so-small project: You get a call out of the blue from a new customer who wants you to complete a small, simple project. He thinks it should be easy and uncomplicated, so he's only willing to pay a small fee. You agree that this is fair, until you realize the client is going to make this small project a major pain with endless changes and additions that were not a part of the original budget. How to get out: If you agreed to do a certain amount work for a particular price, deliver it and do a good job. But if this client pushes boundaries, clearly inform them that extra work will cost extra money. If they refuse to respect your rules, invoice them for any unpaid work and stop the project in its tracks. Give them what you've produced up to the point when you severed ties, but only if they've paid for it. 4. The one who's never satisfied: Even if you come in under budget and overdeliver, this client just isn't happy with your work. He may have something in his mind that he just can't communicate to you, and when you don't deliver this idea that lives in his head, he's disappointed. How to get out: Ask the client to clearly describe or sketch out what he's looking for, or even send you an example. He may want a product that looks like his friend's, but he's afraid to say so. If you're already done with the project and you've done a great job, don't sweat it. Make it clear to the client, citing any agreements that you've made, that you conformed to the scope of the project and delivered exactly what he asked for. You don't want to have him bad-mouth you or stiff you on an invoice, so consider offering to do additional work on this project if he can be more clear with his desires. If he hires you for more projects after this one, you may want to tell him that your business has gone in a different direction. 5. The client who wants you to be something you're not: Some clients have a clear idea in their heads of what they’d like to see from your work. Often, this is good news, but if their specifics don’t line up with the way you like to operate, you may end up butting heads. How to get out: To reason with this client, you can explain why you prefer to do things the way you do. After all, you're the expert. If he simply doesn't understand or refuses to accept your methods, it's time to cut ties. Explain to him the problems that his requests create for you and let him down easy. If you can, refer him to a colleague or competitor that you know can deliver what he wants. A referral is key, because you don't want him to be unsatisfied and claim that you can't do your job. 6. The one who expects you to deliver more for the same price: This client just doesn't understand the concept of an estimate. You've laid out what is to be done and agreed to a fair price, but at every step of the way, this client has "just one more little thing" to add that may seem like nothing to him but in reality takes a lot more time and effort than you originally agreed to. How to get out: When faced with a client who nickel-and-dimes you with extra work, there's only one way to fight back: Nickel-and-dime him with invoices. Of course, let him know it's coming before you do it. Tell him that your two-hour support call today was free, but any ongoing extraneous work will be billed at your standard hourly rate. If he tries to send work to you in the future, tell him you're too busy and refer him to a competitor that you feel like torturing. 7. The know-it-all: The know-it-all thinks he understands how to do your job because last weekend, his cousin showed him the basics of the computer program you use. Of course, he doesn't realize that he needs your expert skills to use this tool to do the things he really wants to do. He'll tell you exactly what to do and how to do it, turning you into a production house instead of letting you do what you do best. How to get out: First of all, do your best to remove any references to your name or company on work you've done for this client. Why? Because he'll probably try to tinker around on his own and completely mess up your work in the process. Then, stop the project, get caught up on invoices and give him whatever you've done so far. He'll probably hand it off to his cousin to see if he can finish it. 8. The next-100-days client: This client doesn't pay until he's good and ready, or worse yet, until he's been paid by his client. For anyone running a business, this is just not acceptable. You have bills to pay, too! How to get out: If it's worth your trouble, send this client to collections for any unpaid debts. That should send a pretty strong message. In any event, refuse to take on more projects until you're caught up. Either set up a strict payment schedule in the future or inform this client that you've moved in a different direction. 9. The one who wants your home phone number: If your client calls you after hours or on weekends to relay ideas or just check in with you, you have a problem on your hands. This client does not respect boundaries and is likely to expect round-the-clock service, no matter how frivolous the request. How to get out: Unless it's a true emergency, don't field calls from this client when you're not available. If for some reason you end up in a conversation with him outside of your normal working hours, stop him firmly but politely before he can even start. Offer to pick up the call again on the next business day, then do it. This client really just wants to know that you're there for him, so be there, but do it on your terms. If he continues to push his way into your personal time, let him know that you're raising your rates, astronomically of course, to make up for the high cost of maintaining your relationship. The cost to continue working with you will prove to be too high, and he'll bother someone else. Or, you'll make loads of money. 10. The one with 100 lawyers: This client is always threatening to sue you for some reason or another. That time you made a typo, even though it was directly copied from the material he gave you? He's going to sue you for that. You were two days late on your deadline because he dragged his feet getting you what you needed? He wants you to discount your invoice by 50 percent, or he'll get a lawyer involved. How to get out: This abusive client is bad news and a major pain. You don't want to actually go to court with him, because even if you win, it looks bad to other clients who may find out, and he'll definitely bad-mouth you to everyone he knows, win or lose. He's almost certainly all talk, but it's irresponsible to test him to find out if he can back it up. As much as it may drive you crazy to give in to his threats, do what he wants, within good reason of course, then slowly back away. Given that he's argumentative, it's probably not a good idea to let him know exactly why you're breaking it off, so just tell him that you're moving your operations to Yemen.
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