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About ShannonP

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  1. Not lazy, efficiently leveraging your time by not reentering data.
  2. I had never thought about it prior to this year. The only reason I thought of it this year was I was looking through Craigslist listings to see if there were any potential leads for my services and someone was asking for transcription providers to contact Him and offer a Black Friday deal on the work he needed done because he didn't like the prices he was finding for the work he needed done. It did get me kind of thinking about considering offering a Black Friday through Cyber Monday deal next year for clients to purchase prepaid hours in bulk at a discount, but I'm not sure if I will or not. I am actually leaning towards probably not, or maybe offering a bigger incentive bonus for referrals during the holidays instead of just offering a discount. For example, if someone refers a new client and the client signs up for a retainer for X amount of time, giving double the referral bonus or something. I really haven't given it much thought yet since I am not planning on doing it this year, and next year, my practice will likely look drastically different. Traci, have you ever done a Black Friday or other holiday season promotion?
  3. Thank you for this, Candy! I don't need this (yet), but I have a few business owner colleagues I am going to recommend it to, including all of the ones who have to file 1099's for me. :-) My husband has received his W2 for five or six years now as an efile and I really prefer it that way. I would love to receive my 1099's that way, too. I see you said you used two companies and I am curious to know which you preferred and why you went with two? The eFile logo looks really familiar and I am almost positive that that is the company that the Fortune 500 company my husband works for uses eFile to do all of their W2's.
  4. Thanks, all! I was more curious than anything else if this was kind of a one-of-a-kind situation or something common. I am by no means a business coach, but I am doing the best I can to steer my client in a profitable direction.
  5. Hi all! I have recently found myself acting as a business coach for one of my clients. Basically, even though they have owned their own businesses for many years, they don't really seem to know how to run a successful business. I have been offering suggestions and recommendations to them because their success is my success. I am just curious if others find themselves acting as a business coach for their VA clients? I'm not talking about training them how to use my skills more effectively to leverage their business, but more along the lines of the basics of how to run a successful business.
  6. Holy cow, I hadn't heard of namecheap.com yet. Thanks! I do use HostGator (the Baby plan) and I have been very happy with it. I found HostGator several years ago and only recently switched to a WordPress format. You can easily learn how to create a WordPress site using Traci Knoppe's Beginner to Blogger in 4 Weeks training course. I had used one of the site templates in HostGator, but I really wanted to move to a WordPress site and Traci's tutorial walked me right through setting everything up. At only $5.00, I think it is a total steal! It is an older course and talks about getting set up with GoDaddy and then HostGator. Based on Traci's recommendation above, I would say just mentally edit everywhere that says, "GoDaddy" to "Namecheap.com." You can find Beginner to Blogger in 4 Weeks here: http://beginningblogger.com/
  7. I agree with Lily above. Also, another angle you might not have thought of, people can get lazy when doing Google searches and with Google's feature that offers "completed" search entries for you, clients might end up going to the company with the shorter name just because Google autocompleted the search for them. This means any work you did to get clients to seek you out could end up giving the other company business.
  8. This might sound crazy, but I post on Craigslist in the bigger cities. I have transcription clients and VA clients as a result of posting on Craigslist.
  9. That is the exact same reason I use Google Calendar. I have a hard enough time keeping up with one calendar, remembering to update two would cause me to drop balls and that is not something I want to do. So, I stick with just the Google calendar and schedule appointments myself. I like that I have it as a widget on my phone so that I can just click straight to it to see what my schedule looks like at any given time, and when I am on the phone, I have my calendar right in my hand (just have to hit the Home Screen button) so that I can easily check for conflicts without having to get to a computer somewhere or find a pen.
  10. I must have been working on my post while you were finishing up this one. I just asked a similar question in this post.
  11. I just received notification that Tungle.me is going to be discontinuing their standalone service in December. I don't use it very often, but a colleague of mine does and I would like to offer her some suggestions for other options that work like Tungle.me where she can send folks a link to her calendar and allow them to schedule their own time slot. What are your favorite calendar/time scheduling apps? I generally use Google Calendar and schedule appointments myself rather than sending the link to others and having them pick their time, but as I get busier, I had been thinking about starting to use Tungle.me. Here is a link to the blog post about Tungle ending if you haven't read any info about it yet: http://www.tungle.me/Home/life-is-about-the-journey/
  12. I have been trying to come up with names for the virtual assistant side of my business for weeks, too. I have a name for the transcription side of my business, but I would like to brand the VA side with a different name. Best of luck on your hunt for the perfect name!
  13. Thank you for the comments and suggestions! I need to think about this some more and decide where I am going to go from here.
  14. Thanks, Ruth. I wasn't looking to raise his rate, necessarily, but the rate for all future clients. Great advice on things to think about. I haven't decided yet how I want to proceed with this and I haven't signed anything about it.
  15. I have been working with a new client for a few weeks. I think -- make that KNOW -- I am undercharging my services with me and I would like to raise my rates for all future clients. Here is the situation. I charge $30/hour for VA work. I am wanting to raise this to $45/hour. My client has lots of contacts and sees himself as a business broker of sorts where he is connecting clients with other businesses and making basically an affiliate commission off the top of what he tells his clients I charge. He wants to tell people I charge $50, have me work for $30, and credit the difference ($20) to his account for all hours worked with the idea that he would end up with enough credits that he would be getting my services for free or to have ME send HIM a check for the difference if I work more hours for the other clients than the credits he can use up. I'm not comfortable with that, especially since what I really want to do is raise my own rates. Frankly, if he thinks he can get clients to pay for my services at $50, I should be charging quite a bit more than I am now. Is he taking advantage of me, or does this seem reasonable? I work as a subcontractor doing transcription and that is about the rate I make, but I'm not doing any of the client hand-holding in that situation. Should I go ahead with it but tell him that the rate *I* am earning needs to be higher and he can add whatever percent on the top he thinks he can get? The services I have been performing for this client include content creation for his website, updating his LinkedIn and FB profiles, creating a packages document, creating branded PDFs (including doing all the necessary research and writing the PDFs) and so on.
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