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Michele G

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About Michele G

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    Regular Member
  • Birthday March 10

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  • Location
    Boulder, CO

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  1. Hi, Lily, What insurance company do you use for your insurance? Thanks, Michele Guarino A Second Office LLC
  2. I haven't had any problems. I'm listed on their directory. I couldn't tell you how long it took, but I didn't have to send any follow up or reminders. I guess I was just lucky and submitted it at the right time.
  3. April, I always ask potential clients how they found out about my company. It is just a good habit to get into. I use Act Contact Database which has a field entitled "Referred By." I can run reports by this field, which gives me a good idea on where to focus my marketing efforts and also who I should be sending a thank you gift or card to. I find it a good practice to thank those people that are referring clients to me. If I had placed an ad with a local newspaper or magazine, I would add the newspaper's contact information as a Company Contact. I also add in the potential client's information as a new Contact. Act allows me to "link" the two together as a "relationship" in addition to using the "Referred By" field. I own a multi-VA business so I may get more inquiries than some. So, you may not need to be so elaborate as putting everything into Act. I have just signed up to Google Analytics, so I am not familiar with it right now.
  4. Michele G


    April, I found the NAVLA Group on LinkedIn and just sent a request to join. What kind of help do you need specifically? If you haven't decided on a blog yet, you might want to check out Ning.com in setting up a social network for NAVLA. It allows you to have your own members, post blogs, videos, customize your look, etc. I have a few clients that use it and they love it. You can have the Ning site be redirected to your own URL.
  5. Unless you know how to build your own website, I would not recommend trying it. I believe your website is VERY important and is the first impression that your potential clients will learn about you and your company. I have been told more than a dozen times by potential clients that they decided to hire me because of my website and that it looks very professional. They have also mentioned that they did not like "those template" websites that everyone puts together. It does not make you stand out from the rest. I paid approximately $1,000 to a professional web designer who I found locally to put together my image and website. It was definitely worth it and has paid for itself over and over. Yes, that is another item. The web designer that you find should also be able to create your own unique and special "image"; maybe even come up with your company logo if you do not currently have one. These should be translated into your business cards, letterhead, brochures, etc. I would also start looking for a VA on the Forum to help you out. Here is something that my web designer had me do before we actually sat down and talked about what I wanted in my website: Visit websites that you like and create a list of their URLs. Give this list to your web designer to view. Also, before committing to hiring the web designer, ask her for a list of URLs of those websites that she has created. This will let you see if her work is compatible to what you are looking for in your own website. I hope this has helped and answered some of your questions.
  6. Thanks, Candy. That was fun to put together and listen to.
  7. Hi, Sharon, Thanks for your response. Yes, if Andrea does not respond, I would be interested in learning about the system so that I can also offer this service to a few of my clients. Thanks, Michele Guarino
  8. Hi, Andrea, I'm glad I came across this thread. A client of mine called last week and he is trying to get his partner to dictate work. He asked me if I knew of a system besides tapes and digital recorders. I am very interested to know how the system would work wherein my clients call in and the file is sent to me to transcribe. If I had multiple clients, does each get a code to designate the transcription is for me? Please share more. Thanks,
  9. Congratulations! The attorneys that I work for use TimeSlips. They like the TSTimer function. They can have several timers open and switch between client timers. I wouldn't use QuickBooks because of the manual entries. TimeSlips does have a function where it will "synchronize" with QuickBooks. I've briefly looked into this feature and haven't tried it. It doesn't upload any detail into QuickBooks, just AR and AP totals. There is also a TimeSlips Remote function that I really like, too. This allows for several attorneys to be working on their own computer and logging their own time. Just before I am ready to send out invoices, they email me their Remote file, I then synchronize it with my Main TimeSlips database, and produce invoices.
  10. Dear Coral, I think it is always best to specialize in a few of the legal fields. For instance, I specialize in corporate (incorporations, minutes, etc.), real estate, and estate planning. I think there are too many legal fields out there to be involved in each one. It will also help you focus in your marketing to the lawyers who work in those fields, too. And as suggested before, do check into your state regulations. In Colorado, it is not heavily mandated, but I do put a clause in my agreements that I am not giving legal advice and that the client should contact a lawyer if he is seeking legal advice. I do know, however, in California that it is heavily regulated and a paralegal must maintain CLE (continuing education) credits each year (just like a lawyer). Good luck!
  11. Thanks for all of your responses. I, too, thought it was an odd request and appears everyone agrees. All I really care about is that the contractor gets the work done on time and correctly. The suggestion came from a business advisor/client of mine. Funny, because he has never seen my office.
  12. Hi, Karen, Unfortunately, I am not at the level on the forum where I am allowed to post web links, but being a paralegal, I have found sometimes typing in the name "partner agreement" into a Google search, I've come up with some helpful forms and actual agreements used by other companies. I may not use the entire form, but pick out paragraphs from each to create an agreement that I feel comfortable with; and, hopefully, your Partner Associate will, too. Thanks, Michele
  13. Hi, Everyone, Yes, I have a Company Handbook, a Virtual Assistant Procedure Manual, and a Project Manager Procedure Manual. I'm VERY much into procedures, manuals and systems; my background being in the legal field. I had these in place before bringing on multi-VAs and they have been helpful when the VA has a question. They simply go to the WebEx Office and can find what they need in the documents section. All of the VAs have access to this area of WebEx. I have also been compiling a To-Do Manual for those VAs who do not have a certain skill and would like to know how to create a merge letter, etc. It is still a work in progress. Thanks, Michele
  14. Holly, I have a multi-VA business and I find it much easier to pay my Associates hourly. The Associates submit detailed time sheets to me twice a month (either via MyHours or TimeSlips). I then use the Associates' detailed time sheet to bill my clients hourly. I have clients who have been with me for several years and I still cannot predict how much time they will use my company each month. Thanks, Michele
  15. Hi, Everyone, A business associate suggested that I visit the VA's home offices to make sure that they are "up to par," or if geography is an issue (the VA is in another state or country), to ask for photographs of the VA's office. He said you could also tell by the pictures how organized the VA is by the cleanliness of the office. I have not implemented this procedure. What are your thoughts? Michele
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