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Posts tagged ‘versatelsolutions’

How Instagram Can Help Build Your Audience (Even If You’re a Service-Based Company)

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog (sorry about that!) I’ve been so focused on building the businesses of my clients, I’ve ignored my home, I’ll try to be better, I promise.

I’ve been on quite a journey these past few months. Some amazing things have been happening in Chez VersaTel Solutions, which I can’t wait to share with you (soon enough). Within this journey I’ve also become aware of things that I had taken advantage of and really didn’t realize until someone else mentioned it. What am I talking about, you ask? Instagram of course!

Originally, I joined Instagram because it was new and I could see the potential of the benefits of marketing through this new social media platform-I didn’t really know how just yet, but I liked it! Eventually, my pictures became less about the food I was eating and more about the meetings I was having. I’ve received more interest than I thought I would get just for snapping pictures at meetings and events I attend. It’s made potential clients turn into real clients, and garnered enough interest to make me busy enough to well, have to let my blog go (at least for a little while).

How can Instagram work for your business? In various ways. Take a picture before a meeting to show you are out and about; snap a shot of your work environment to give people an insider’s look; if you’re attending a networking event, take shot of the event and make sure to hashtag it. If I can make office management exciting, believe me, so can you.

If you sell products, this is a great forum in which to show off your wares. Take pictures of your products being created, of your products being delivered, or, if you deliver them yourself, take a picture of your happy clients. Ask your clients to hashtag your business, or if they can tag you if they post a picture of you or your products.  There are so many ways to take advantage of Instagram; its a matter of making use of it.

Here at VersaTel Solutions we want to help you get your business, your products and your services out there to people you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you; if you’re on Instagram, follow me: http://instagram.com/sevanastone

Or, if you’re on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/versatelsolutions

Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/Versa_Tel

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Spring Clean Your Business!

Ok, so it’s almost summer-we’re only a few days away! However, it’s never too late to spring clean, especially when it comes to your business. Regular evaluations will help you stay on point and focused on your ultimate goals. How do you spring clean a business?

 

Start wtih updating your website and social media by taking stock of what your online presence looks like. Is there something on your site that could be updated? Are there pictures you could remove because they’re too old, or has the vision of your business shifted since you created your site? Tighten things up, fix the details and update everything you see fit. Keep your website relevant to where your business is today.

 

When I worked in retail, once a year we would have a staff meeting to address issues we had allowed to stay stagnant as opposed to resolving them. The same should go for your staff. It’s important to remind them where they are headed and to reflect together on what the common goal is. Address issues on both ends-yours and theirs-to make sure everyone stays on the same page.

 

If the vision of your business hasn’t changed, or, you just haven’t had time to do anything about it, you may want to take the time now to touch base with your business plan. Revisit it and update it once a year to keep pace with the rest of your company. Go back to basics to keep you chugging along the track you want to stay on!

 

We all hate emails that just sit there don’t we? At some point we look at our inbox and think “How did I acquire 12,000 unopened emails?”  Pour a cup of coffee, push up your sleeves, and clear out your afternoon to organize and delete emails. If you just can’t afford to do that, consider hiring someone to do it for you (*hint, it’s one of the options we offer!) The minor cost to take care of this is worth its weight in gold.

 

Lastly, literally, clean your office! Clean off your desk, dust, and vacuum. It’s important to do this at least once a month, but hey, I get it, you’re busy! If you can do this at least once a quarter, you’re still in better shape than most people.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Get cleaning!

 

 

Feeling Out Of Joint? Try Deskercising!

So, I’ve talked about how working from home can be hazardous to your health on so many levels, but did you know that working from your desk, regardless of where that desk is located can also be detrimental to your health? We all know to look away from the monitor every 20 minutes to give our eyes a break, and to walk around every hour (if you can squeeze in a 30-1 hour long exercise routine of walking or regular exercise, the benefits are insurmountable).  But what do you do when your neck is stiff as a board, and your back hurts like you’ve been carrying bricks all day?

 

Workout your kinks with these deskercise routines to avoid pain in your back and neck!

 

-Raise your arms, and gently pull the elbow towards the opposite shoulder above the head. Count to 5 and repeat on the other side.

-Remaining seated, extend legs and reach towards those toes. Count to 20 and repeat 3 times.

 

-Hug your knee towards your chest.

 

 

Delegating Is The New Delegating: What You Should And Shouldn’t Be Doing For Your Business

As women, it’s easy to say, “Oh, I’ll just do it” or “I’ll take care of it” and frankly, there are quite a few men out there that do that too; “Oh, it will take too long to teach you all the nuances of the business, so I’ll just take care of it myself.” But often, these business owners watch their businesses crash and fall after two years because they burn out. Administrative duties for a business are much larger than the business itself, and taking advantage of the importance of office management will be the undoing (and is the undoing) of many a business.

Recognizing that your services can be put to better use is the first step to delegating. I often say if you take what you charge an hour, and figure how much it would cost you to focus on admin as opposed to clients-that’s how much money you’re losing. Now, take that hourly and imagine someone else doing it, and it just makes sense to hire someone else to take over your office duties.

It takes a strong business person to understand what they can do, what they can’t do, and what is not worth their time doing. Also, chances are, someone else more qualified in that field will do the job more efficiently. That means giving your copy of Quickbooks to a competent bookkeeper instead of doing it yourself; handing over your Facebook and Twitter to a more qualified market focused writer, and offering up your Outlook to an experienced office manager.

It doesn’t make you less of a successful business owner to hand over the reins of your business. You are the coach-not the whole team, and shouldn’t be expected to be. You started your company because of your love of that particular field. Leave the management in more capable hands. In the end, you’ll actually save and make money (do the math, it’s true!), create a solid, secure business, and enjoy owning your business for a very long time!

Workplace Rules For Fresh, New Graduates

There have been so many news reports, special editions, etc., on the high unemployment rate and how there just aren’t any jobs available. Being on this end of it (the employer side), I hear an entirely different story; how there are so many jobs available with no qualified workers to take them. So which is it? Are there really no jobs out there, or is there really a low rate of people willing to take them?

 

In an age where entitlement has become less a generational issue and more a cultural issue, it’s important to teach those  just coming out of college expecting a $100,000 base salary job right after graduation, what the workplace is really like. “Today’s workplace doesn’t tolerate slackers.” Says Gen Y career expert Dan Schawbel. In an unstable economy, young people either rise to the top or sink to the bottom. To ensure you stay at the top of your game, follow these simple guidelines:

 

  1. Getting Hired Doesn’t Insure Permanency:  Companies are constantly merging with others, and opportunities are continually presenting themselves. Don’t believe you have a secure job. Nothing about work is secure; do your best at your present job till the very last day, and always have a skill to fall back on.
  2. No Job is Too Big For You-You Are Not Too Big For Any Job: Mcdonald’s the best you can do after graduation? Take it. Any skills, any constant work is work! Yes, it’s frustrating when you don’t get the job you’ve spent 4 years in college for, but guess what? Most people don’t. Take what you can get, and start building your work foundation from there. You never know what skills you’ll end up with if you don’t try.
  3. If You’re Early, You’re on Time; If You’re On Time, You’re Late, and If You’re Late, Go Home: This was one of the first lessons I learned when I took on my first consistent job at the age of 11 (yes, you read that correctly-11).  I’ll never forget the blazing red haired manager at my uncle’s store who first said this to me, and laid the foundation on which I base all of my business on. If you want to keep your job, make a glowing impression, and keep all your bridges intact by just being a few minutes early to work every day.
  4. Work Well With Others: There are four distinct generations in the workforce. Each of these generations has a different view of the workplace, and communicates at a different level. If you learn how to build relationships with each generation, you will inevitably become more successful.
  5. Your Future Is In YOUR Hands: It’s up to you what your reality looks like; where you are on the career ladder, and whether you ever own your own company are become the head of the one you are employed at. No one else is responsible for you. Be accountable, take charge, and in turn, you will be a success!

 

 

As a small business, I feel it’s my duty to help others when they are interested in launching a business of their own. Frankly, I think a lot of our economic problems would be solved if we simply shopped exclusively with small businesses, but I understand that isn’t always realistic. A friend of mine recently decided to branch out on her own and start her own business, and I couldn’t be happier. I do believe she will be a huge success, and so can you ( you small business owners!), and here are my suggestions on building a strong foundation to build a successful business upon!

 

First, you need to create a vision; not a business plan. I think business plans can get confusing and frustrating, and the idea some people have-that they can’t start a business without one-will stop most people from even trying. I say, build your plan as you build your business. You can’t know what’s going to happen in the next five years, so how will you project for your business? It is important though to have a clear vision of what you are, what you want to be, and how you think you can get there. If you don’t know how, don’t fret-that will come to you eventually.

Make a list, make a ‘vision’ board, use cut outs, magazine pages, whatever it takes to help you pull together a tangible goal for your business. After this, make a list of your ideal clients. Write down the characteristics of these people; while you’re at it, write down who you DON’T want too. This will help you clearly visualize and recognize what behavior or types of clients to avoid. Writing all of this down, making a board or list of what you want and don’t want will motivate you and bring you closer to materializing your business. It’s important to know what to identify in your ideal client, so when you meet them, the light bulb in your head goes off and that voice says, “Hey! You! You’re the one I want!”

 

After you’ve visualized and created what your business will look like, it’s time to hit the street! Well, not exactly; but you do want to make your presence known. I say this all the time at networking events, to clients, and to friends, you must hit all the marketing trifecta’s points in order to be successful. Point 1.)Network: You must network and become well known in your area. Everyone you meet at these events essentially become mini salespeople for you. If they like you, and get to know you well, they will refer you. Point 2.) Social Media: Don’t just hit all of them thinking one of them will work; instead, concentrate on those platforms that make the most sense to your business, and link up with those professionals you meet at those networking events! Point 3.) Touch Back: Send an email to all those you networked with to touch base and expand on who you are. This will help you stand out in their minds. Touch base with referrals also; and don’t forget to touch base with those you meet with. It’s best to keep in the front of people’s minds, instead of falling into the background.

 

If you start your business off with these in mind, you’ll be on the right track! Of course there’s the financial side of things, but that’s best left for a future blog. Tell me what you think are the best places to start when launching your business here! And, if you have a small business, and are at the point where you can’t run and maintain it at the same time, peruse the website and contact me if my companies administrative details will help you further your success!

 

Steps To Maintaining a Hassle Free Blog!

Summertime seems to throw me completely off kilter-kids are home, dogs are more excitable, and everyone wants to share that with me.  In saying that, I’ve been more negligent than I would like, and it’s about time I take this blog back with both, bare hands! Sorry folks, I didn’t mean to be gone that long, but I’m back! So let’s dive right in!

 

A lot of times, when I say ‘you should have a blog for your company’ I get a glazed over look, a complete eye roll, or a complete mental checkout. Blogs aren’t that difficult, when you consider the content is what you already know (yes, I know I stopped blogging for a minute there, but I’m back-let’s focus on that!). Don’t blog harder, blog smarter!

  1. SEO-SEO means Search Engine Optimization, which means when someone Google’s you, you want to be at the top of that search list. If you want to use your blog to boost search engine rankings, make sure it supports all of the features a search engine wants to see (explicit, unique title tags, and good meta description tags).
  2. Stats-Install Google Analytics, or, if you use WordPress, use their own stats tool to find out what’s working on your blog (and what’s not).
  3. Email Updates-Consistency is the secret to success; it’s also incredibly time consuming. Marketing your blog though can be very valuable. Use Feedburner or Feedblitz to market your blog, and automatically send an email each time someone posts to your blog.
  4. RSS Feed-You hear this all the time, but what is it?: It’s a feed that collects articles and content from different online magazines and websites like AOL, Yahoo, and Google. You see the most recent headlines without having to go to each individual site. Add this to your blog as another form of advertising your blog.
  5. Anti-Spaminize-I’ve mentioned a few different options this week on my Facebook page on how to keep spammers out. Here’s another: Captcha. You know that combination of letters and numbers you have to enter into a box? Use this plugin for your website and blog to keep real people in, and spammers out!

 

Now is a great time to start a blog if you haven’t started one already.  It’s a great time to get those creative juices flowing! So, what are you waiting for?

 

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