virtual pa

Top 10 Must-Have Tools and Resources for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Tools and Resources for Startups

When you are ready to set up your business or startup, it can be a bit confusing to know which direction to take and what resources to invest in. This list below lets you know exactly where to start when looking for the best tools to run your business efficiently.

Outsource and Delegate to High Quality Virtual Support by PA&GO

Rather than constantly heading to sites like Upwork or Freelancer when you need small tasks or executive assistance, think about a flexible, local support team that can work for as little or as much as you need, without hassle.

Hire Great Talent with Workable

When you are ready to find permanent talent, use Workable to source, manage and track applicants in one space from over 14 different job boards.

Take Charge of Your Accounts with Xero or Quickbooks

Keep up to date with all your banking and credit card transactions while managing your cashflow.

Send Proposals and Pitch Your Work with Proposify or Qwilr

Create easy to read proposals and streamline the pitch, quote and approval process. Replace presentations with sleek, customisable and interactive interfaces.

Maintain Customer Relationships with Hubspot

Organise, grow and track your customers with Hubspot CRM software while you manage your sales pipeline keeps the process effortless.

Research Your Competitors with Moz

Learn about how your competitors are gaining their inbound traffic and target areas where you can drive customers to your business.

Stay on top of Your Website Data and Traffic with Google Analytics

Measure your website performance to see how your content and marketing efforts are working and where customers are engaging with your brand.

Manage your Social Media with Hootsuite

Save time by using managing several social media accounts on one dashboard. Monitor your brand and check what’s trending in your industry.

Communicate across Multiple Teams & Departments with Slack

Communicate and message your team, send real-time updates, save files and develop a collaborative workspace with Slack, whether you are down the hall or across the globe.

Manage your Projects with Asana, Basecamp or Skwish

Whether you are a freelancer, a solo entrepreneur, or start-up, or a small team, these tools are perfect to manage tasks, create timelines for projects and to maintain transparency with clients or customers.

Stay Connected with your Customers with Mailchimp

Build an effective email strategy with your customers and clients by staying in touch with them and sending targeted campaigns to maintain your relationship.

Keep Your Documents Organised and Collaborate with Dropbox

Securely share files across teams or with clients and simplify the way you create, share and collaborate across devices.

Receive Access to Media Pitches and Get Direct Responses with HARO

Send your stories, press releases and important company updates to HARO and provide journalists with everything they need to cover your news which amplifies your message.

Join a Coworking Space to Find Opportunities to Network

A coworking space is a fantastic tool to have to be able to network and creatively collaborate with other startups and small businesses. Alongside the routine networking events, the organic networking that naturally evolves is priceless and it doesn’t hurt that it creates a great space for productivity in your business. 

Remember, any of our virtual assistants can set up and help maintain these platforms, making your startup journey run a lot smoother. If you are ready to set up your business the right way, get in touch today.

Back to School for Your Business: Let Your Business Grow

back to school for your business

It's September and while the kids head back to school, we adults head back to a semblance of a normal routine. For many parents this new month sees the start of the school run and the nervous wait at the school gates to hear all about the new and exciting things their children have learned. 

In order for our kids to grow we entrust them, our most precious belonging, into the care of others. We know how important it is for them to receive the very best skills, knowledge and tools to help them become successful in later life. Yet why is it so hard for some entrepreneurs to not put this very practice into their new businesses

Understanding that growing your business requires delegation is key. Taking the leap and hiring virtual support is the first step. In the 15 years of experience I have, every entrepreneur I have worked with has expressed of the relief and renewed focus that comes with hiring that first assistant. A reliable and experienced VA will not only complete the never ending ‘to do’ list quicker, but will more than likely do it better as that is their main focus.

Just like those parents whose time is now freed up to move on with other important tasks and priorities in their life, you as the entrepreneur can now focus on working on your business, not in your business.

This September, give your business the attention and care that it needs by allowing it room to grow in the hands of some consultative support. Any administrative or project work that can elevate your business can be expertly handled by our virtual support team. Get in touch to see how we can help your business thrive.

Hire a Virtual Assistant? 12 Signs Your Start-Up Needs Virtual Operational Support

hire a virtual assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant or a virtual support team can be a crucial resource for your business growth. Having an extra pair of hands and an extra set of eyes to not just accomplish administrative tasks, but to whom you can fully delegate client work or marketing efforts can be incredibly helpful.

However, many entrepreneurs will dispute their need for operational support, often times because they are unsure of all the options they have in developing a team, or because they think they can handle everything by themselves, despite their growth. If you are a start-up who wants to build a sustainable business, there's no question that you need to delegate and develop a flexible team around you. 

Here are some sure-fire signs that your small business or start-up needs a virtual assistant or a virtual operational support team.

Signs Your Start-Up Needs a Virtual Assistant

1.     You have trouble completing your most important tasks.

If you end up spending all of your time on things like diary and email management, you may be missing sight of the forest for all the trees. It’s time you get some help managing the smaller administrative tasks to continue creating on a larger scale for your business.

2.     You have trouble completing your small tasks and they pile up into bigger problems.

On the other hand, if you are spending all your time building the bigger picture, but you can’t answer emails, take calls, or go over your finances, it’s a sign you may need some help!

3.     You travel a lot and you need someone who likes working virtually.

When you are jet-setting from city to city, it’s great to have a team of support available to handle the fort at home. That being said, they may may be able to get their work done better and more efficiently in a flexible environment. 

4.     You spend more time organising than executing.

Your business success depends upon your direction and vision. But that’s only the first step. Make sure to take the time to DELEGATE and actually get work done. Quite often, you’ll realise that your vision requires more manpower than expected, and you can’t do everything by yourself, so having a dedicated team on standby is a great option.

5.     You don’t need or can’t afford a full time employee.

You may be ready to expand your team and outsource tasks, but you can’t afford a full-time employee. Rather than taking on that expense and risk, go for the flexible option and pay for only what you need and build up as your business grows. The you can stay with a support system that knows your company and grows with you. 

6.     You know what tasks need to be done but you don’t have the manpower.

When you have a desk-load of tasks and projects but you know you can’t do it yourself, it’s time to hire a virtual assistant. There are some things that an intern just can’t do and it’s great to have a specialist on-hand to help with design, social media, events, client work, etc. 

7.     You need work done that doesn’t require an office presence.

Entrepreneurs don’t have to invest in fancy offices and studios to get work done. Perhaps having an office like Facebook or google is the goal, but quite often start-ups begin in co-working spaces and home offices. When you have work that needs to be done, but not the office to do it in, a local virtual assistant can be the perfect solution.

8.     You haven’t seen your inbox with 'no new messages' in months.

Simple tasks like diary, phone and email management can be some time consuming and overwhelming to handle. Having a dedicated assistant to coordinate your day can reduce stress, help you focus, and give you time to THINK and EXECUTE.

9.     You spend more than 2 hours a day on social media with little to no ROI.

Social media is definitely an important aspect for most small business to build a consistent brand message and to speak to their customers, clients, partners and influencers directly. But the truth is that social media is about relationships. And building strong relationships takes time and effort, but it can’t be the entirety of your marketing strategy. Delegate your social media to an online marketing consultant who understands the digital space.

10.  That project you’ve been wanting to start is still on your desk staring back at you.

And you haven’t gotten it started because you were distracted by another task or project that still isn’t finished. When managing a virtual assistant, you can be assured that your projects will get done… or else why are you spending the money? Lock in your investment and now that your projects will be completed. 

11.  You would never let your clients see your internal filing system.

If there are some skeletons in your closet, or business files, have a virtual assistant come in to help clean it up. Organisation, consistency and communication are key to building a successful business.

12.  You keep forgetting important dates, deadlines and tasks.

It’s not that you’re forgetful, it’s that you’re overwhelmed. Each time you finish a task, two new projects prop up in its place.  Delegate the scheduling, research, booking travel, etc. and zone in on what your passion is. One day you may even be able to take a vacation. Maybe. 

Convinced? Become more efficient and productive, increase the quality of your work and recover some work-life balance. Contact Sian to learn more about our packages and how PA&GO can offer you and your business some much needed virtual operational business support.