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Everything posted by victoria@claritytransactions.com

  1. Hi, I'm in Victoria and although I'm not working on my business full time at the moment I would love to meet other VA's in the area. I want to keep my networking skills fresh. I have two small children ( 3 and 1 years old) so evenings would work best for me. Hope to be able to meet you all. Victoria Santiago
  2. Hello, Everybody: Just a quick note to let everyone know I've finally made it to Victoria. The move was amazingly complex but miraculously everything went pretty much according to plan. There's still a few boxes left to unpack but for the most part we are settled in. I have a beautiful new office in the basement of our new townhouse that it is just perfect. The tricky thing will be to service my wonderful clients who are all on Eastern and Atlantic time zones while I am now on Pacific time zone. Since I haven't been able to find a suitable childcare situation yet (Geez! Daycares are SUPER expensive here in BC) I will need to work around my children's schedule (age 2 1/2 years old and 5 months) so here I am bright and early working at 5:00 AM. Thank you so much to all you wonderful Canadians for your warm welcome and also to the US VA's that also offered support. It is truly beautiful here and although it has been unseasonably cold it hasn't been unbearable. My son saw snow for the first time ever and just seeing the excitement on his face warmed me up. Looking forward to connecting with more Victorians that can give me tips on my new city. All the best, Victoria
  3. Thanks, Tawnya and everyone for your replies. I have decided to keep my business a US enterprise for the time being until we figure out what's happening with our immigration status in BC. My husband has a 2 year work permit which makes him a permanent resident for that length of time and makes his family (me and the kids) also permanent residents. However, I still don't know what that means as far as me being able to work in Canada. I have too much going on right now getting ready for the move to figure that out so it'll have to wait until I'm already settled in BC. But eventually we will probably need to consult a immigration lawyer as suggested. Last night we finally purchased our plane tickets and made the final arrangements with the movers. We are at T minus 24 days. Argghhh!!! I'm both exhilarated and overwhelmed beyond belief but also so happy to have a drop dead date for the move. Thanks again everyone and if you have any tips for how NOT to lose your mind during a cross continent move I'd love to hear them. Victoria
  4. Thank you so much, everyone!! I was so surprised and excited when I saw this announcement. Things are kind of nuts in my life at the moment. Planning for a cross country move, taking care of a mother with some health issues, looking after two children (2 1/2 year old boy and 3 1/2 month old little girl) and trying to keep my business running all while my husband is already living in Canada. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode. So getting this award was certainly a very needed boost to keep going. I'm learning a very important lesson at the moment. Let go of the idea that anything should be different than the way it is right now and you will be happy no matter what. I don't always feel that way but I'm working on it. Thanks again. I'm honored beyond words.
  5. Hi, All: Late last year my husband lost his job as a Structural Engineer and was unable to find work locally here in Florida. As most of you know the construction and housing trade is in the absolute dumps in most of the US so he was forced to try to find work overseas. A great job presented itself in Victoria, British Columbia and he started work in November. Having just had a baby (Emma now 3 months old) we decided that it was best for me and the kids (I also have a 2 year old) to follow once he found us a house over there. He just found a townhouse and the lease starts March 1st so now I'm scrambling trying to figure out how to move our entire lives to the opposite side of the continent and maintain my business at the same time. Here's my question: has anyone in this forum moved internationally and kept their business going? Most of my business is Project Management and I have amazing clients who know what's going on and are willing to work with me during the transition. I'm really lucky. I am, however, absolutely overwhelmed by the logistics of how to now make my business Canadian. Since my business is solely over the internet do I have to move the base of operations to Canada? Or can I just keep my PO Box here in Florida and continue as I have been? At least for the first year until I am totally settled in BC. Is that even legal? Since our businesses are virtual, I wonder... Please understand, I am not looking to skirt paying taxes. My intention is to continue to pay Uncle Sam rather than... um.. do Canadians have an equivalent dude? I would appreciate any advice this group may be able to offer. Thanks! Victoria Santiago
  6. Hi, I have a question for you... how hungry are you? It's been my experience that when I had plenty of money in the bank I dabbled with a lot of different possibilities but could never get myself going. When the money ran out I picked SOMETHING and went with it. When you are hungry you don't have a lot of time for indecision. Also, are you a perfectionist? Perfectionism is usually one of the largest roadblocks to getting started with any venture. You think: "Once I have my website exactly as I want it.. or once I get really good at this or the other skill etc then I'll really launch my venture". Unfortunately, because nothing is EVER perfect you remain in eternal hold. At some point you have to decide that even if things are not as perfect as you'd want them you are going to do this.. and do it! I hope this helps. Victoria
  7. So... I guess this is a tough one since no one else has responded. Sally, did you find out if Eudora has an online version? I may need to give Fusemail another go...
  8. Hi, All: I've searched the archives to see if anyone had recommendations but couldn't find anything. As a Project Manager, I handle email for several clients and THEIR clients so needless to say I've got a LOT of email accounts I need to keep track off. I started out using Outlook (even upgraded to Office 2007) but have found it to be extremely slow and clunky. I switched to Windows Live mail which is doing a decent enough job. Thing is, it resides in my hardrive so if (God forbid) my computer goes Kaput then so will my access to all these email accounts. Like a good girl I have Carbonite so everything is continuously backed up - that's not really the issue, although having my computer crash will put me out of commission until I can get everything restored from my backup into another computer. What I really want is an ONLINE service where I can map POP3 email accounts (I have over 30). I've tried a couple of services already like Fusemail and GMail but have not been happy. Fusemail seemed like a great system at first but after using it for a while I found it to be slow and quirky - not very user friendly at all. Gmail will only let you map 5 POP3 address so that one is out. Here are my specific requirements: Ability to map 30 plus POP3 accounts Ability to answer email from the identity of that email account. Ability to search for specific keywords Web access Not costing an arm and a leg Ability to leave messages in source server. I think that's it. Not much to ask for is it? Looking forward to hearing from you all. Thanks! Victoria
  9. Hi, Crystal: Ringcentral has a fax service that's $9.99 a month (or $7.99 per month if you pre pay for a full year). This plan gives you 300 pages a month. I love them as virtual pbx company and use their fax capabilities with that. Never had a problem. Check them out here: http://www.ringcentral.com/plansandpricing...centralfax.html . Hope that helps.
  10. Hi, Mary Jane: Welcome to the group from a neighbor. I am in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Good luck with your new venture. Be prepared for a great roller coaster ride.
  11. Thank you so much Cathy for sharing this resource. It couldn't have come at a better time since I am currently shopping around for web conferencing services and they all seem sooo expensive to me. I tried Yugma but found their interface cumbersome and if there's any fluctuation in your internet speed at all (mine goes up and down all the time - drives me crazy) the application drops and signing back on it's a pain. I signed up yesterday for a trial of Gatherplace and so far it's worked pretty well. I did a 1 hour screen sharing session using it today and although it did drop once me and my client were able to get back on very easily. The monthly charge for them is $29.99/month on a month to month plan which $20 less expensive a month than GoToMeeting. I'll definitely check these guys out and report back. I do a lot of one on one application training in my telecom consulting practice so I need something reliable that won't cost me an arm and a leg each month and eat into my profits. Thanks again!
  12. I'd like to second Kelly's suggestion of Ringcentral Fax. Not only can you receiving incoming but you can also send outgoing faxes. You can get a toll free number or a local number (where available) and you can block junk faxes so it doesn't use up your pages. Another great thing about it is that it installs a plug in on your printer app so you can fax from practically any software application. If you don't pay for the year, your monthly rate is $9.99 which is still pretty affordable.
  13. Hi, All: I wanted to make an update about Clientspot. They have now added the capability of restricting access of users to specific projects which is great. I love it now even more.
  14. Hi, Cynthia: Have your client try to export the file. Depending on what version of Outlook he is running the instructions may vary slightly but typically you do the following: 1. Go to File - Import/Export 2. Choose Export to a file 3. Choose Personal Folder File (.pst) 4. Choose the folder where he has all the e-mails 5. Save Exported File as (choose the desktop so it's easy to find) 6. Click Finish Then he can either e-mail you the exported file or send it through SendThisFile or another large file transfer service. Hope that helps.
  15. Hi, Michelle: I am a Project Manager for a Multi VA business and we've been using Clientspot for a couple of months. We love it. I've done a lot of research on different project management platforms and I've found this one to be the easiest and simplest to work with. Simple is definitely the way to go for us - especially if we want clients to use the system (some of which are not very technically inclined.) The only thing I've found that can be a bit tricky is permissions for subs or associates. If you add them under the main account they are able to see all of the projects. That may or may not work for some people. It's best to just add the associate to the specific client you want them to work with only. Aside from that, I think it works great and I would recommend it fully. Victoria Santiago
  16. Alright, Cynthia! Way to go, Girl! I'm a firm believer in momentum. Ride the wave! I understand your concern since you offer phone answering services but as long as you set the right expectations with your clients you should do just fine. It's going to be trial and error for some time. Remember that with the phone system you have, you always have an option to hire subcontractors and add them to your rollover list so if a call comes in and you are on the phone it rings one of your subs. It's tricky in terms of how to pay a sub for that kind of sporadic work (as was discussed in a previous thread) but it can be done. Best of luck to you and Rock On! Victoria Santiago Your Telecom Advisor Toll Free: 800-377-7454
  17. Hello! Did somebody call me? Sorry, Mary Beth. I was taking a break from my computer this weekend. There are two services you should probably check out. The first is Jet Numbers which provides local numbers from many countries worldwide. The second is Toll Free Forwarding which will assign you a toll free number which people from other countries can use to call you. Both allow you to pick which number to ring you at. Unfortunately neither will be free. Most free VOIP services like Skype have unreliable service from international locations. Sometimes you will get very good call quality sometimes not depending on many factors like your internet speed, how busy the carrier's network is etc. If you have any questions as you are comparing services feel free to contact me offlist at victoria@yourtelecomadvisor.com. Hope that helps. Victoria Santiago Your Telecom Advisor Website:www.yourtelecomadvisor.com Blog: www.homeofficetelephony.com 800-377-7454
  18. Thank you, Cynthia. Hi, Shelena. There are a few ways that you could get this accomplished for your prospect. My first question is, how much traffic (minutes) will your prospect expect to have? Depending on the answer to that you may consider the following alternatives: 1. Heavy usage - an additional VOIP line with your current VOIP carrier. There may be an equipment issue here however. If you only have an ATA, some have capacity for one line only. If it's a router you may be able to accomodate both. You would also need to check with your carrier about pricing. 2. Heavy or Light usage - a Skype account that you can monitor and answer for him. Voice quality is sometimes an issue, however. 3. Moderate to Light usage - A Virtual PBX number (such as Ringcentral). Prospect would have an account which you can monitor or he could have his number point to your voip line so you could answer his calls. With this option you pay per minute rather than a flat rate which is why I recommend it for lighter usage. It's hard to know what your best option is without knowing more details but I hope this little bit of information helps. Victoria Santiago Helping your home based business sound like a Fortune 500 company. victoria@phoneimagemakeover.com Website: www.YourTelecomAdvisor.com Blog: www.homeofficetelephony.com 1-800-377-7454
  19. Hi, All: Thanks so much for all your replies. Kelly, that's what I thought too. It should only take one or two days but my own bank told me it could take 3 to 5 business days. Angela, Darrell & Dy, I know. I realized after I sent the post that my math was all wrong. Math was never my strong suit. Maybe I'm being greedy but if I can get away with paying zero fees I rather have that. Hee, hee. I'm realizing that I might need to bite the bullet and use Paypal or another merchant account company if I want to see my money right away. We'll see what happens tomorrow. They are supposed to get me some sort of written confirmation or I will ask them to cancel the transfer and pay me via Paypal. They are a good company and I know they are not trying to stiff me since another VA has worked for them for quite a while never having trouble getting paid. It's just something we need to work out. Thank you so much for your suggestions! Victoria
  20. Hi, All: For those of you in the US who have clients in Canada, could you share with me how you work out payment arrangements? The client has attempted to pay me through wire transfer from their busines account in Canada into my business account in the US but even though the wire transfer was initiated on August 7th (6 business days ago) my bank still has not received the funds and they couldn't even trace the transfer because I would need to tell them the exact amount of the transfer and I wouldn't know. It would depend on the exchange rate on the particular day the funds are received in my account. I've looked into having them pay me through Paypal but the fee is too high since my sales volume is not high enough yet. They would charge me 3.9% + .30 cents for receiving the funds and an extra 2.5% for making the currency exchage. That means for every dollar they pay me I only receive .63 cents after you account for all the fees. Those fees seem awfully high to me. This is a good client and I see a lot of work coming from the in the future but I don't want to have to wait ages for payment - through no fault of the client's. Any suggestions from this incredibly knowledgable pool of VAs? Victoria
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