These days, closing a deal or launching a product or service can come from the swipe of a finger. In a quick-moving and adaptable start-up world, it’s essential that all members of your team – including your virtual assistants, project managers, marketers, and IT help – are all flexible and open to communication.
Using virtual assistants for different aspects of your operational support can create a lean and structured system that allows you as the business owner to think, plan and grow your business, rather than get stuck in the execution. When it comes to the practical aspects of collaborating with a virtual support team, there are several tools, apps and programmes that allow for effective communication and project management.
There are countless new tools that are developed everyday, but we’ve found that these are our top picks for creating seamless efficiency and productivity for the modern entrepreneurial team.
Apps and Programmes for Your Start-Up Team
Easily manage projects and workflows within your team. Track projects, set responsibilities, and turn conversations into collaborations with Asana's sleek interface. It integrates with several other tools and it’s simply a great project management tool, whether your team is virtual or not.
Communicate within your team across channels and private messages. Fully synced with all of your devices, it also integrates with Google Drive, Asana, Dropbox and more.
If your virtual support provider is doing more project or client-based work, we love Basecamp for its checklist system and its ease in going back and forth between parties to share files and progress reports. It also has a built in calendar system that allows for a centralised schedule that you can add to your favourite calendar.
We still find Skype to be one of the most streamlined tools to use for communicating with your team if you want to use face-to-face calls, but it's also still an inexpensive and effective tool when your virtual assistants need to make conference calls or overseas calls without fuss.
The entire Zoho suite is a pretty integrated and comprehensive operating system for business. Though it’s not the most user-friendly, it has exceptional functionality, so pick and choose your most needed features for what works best for your business. That being said, we absolutely love Zoho Vault. As a virtual assistant, it’s imperative to keep your team’s passwords and personal information secure and this tool is perfect for keeping credit card information, passwords and more safe.
The are many tools for social media management, and we like Hootsuite as it is inexpensive and easy to use for social media scheduling and analytics. The ease of use can work from freelancers to major corporations, and Hootsuite simplifies the social media marketing game for virtual support.
Are you or your team taking a lot of trips? TripIt streamlines the travel planning process with instant itineraries, team calendars, and safe storage of travel documents.
Time Doctor is a remote time tracking application built specifically to track remote employees’ productivity. Unlike other apps that just have screenshots, Time Doctor tracks your actual productivity so you can improve how productive you are at particular tasks. With integrations with over 27 different software applications, including Basecamp, Trello, Asana, and Slack, you can manage both your time and your team's productivity wherever they are based and for whatever project they are doing.
If you are an entrepreneur or start-up, you may find yourself without a large finance or accounting team. In that case, Xero is a fantastic cloud-based accountancy software that gives you a real-time view of your cashflow. With Xero, your virtual assistant can now easily manage invoicing, PO creating, payroll, and deal with expenses without problems.
Following on from Xero software, Liveplan is the perfect tool for the entrepreneur or small business as it takes all the guess work out of pitching, planning and tracking the financial and operational progress of your business. And it doesn’t stop with creating the business plan and forecasts. Liveplan is a living document that integrates seamlessly with Xero and allows you to stay on budget, make sure you hit targets, track sales and expenses, and overall keep a steady look of your companies' profit and loss – and adjust your business plan accordingly.
What tools do you use to manage collaboration with your virtual assistants?
Hiring a virtual assistant isn't simply about answering telephones without contact with the business owner and start-up team. PA&GO is redefining what virtual operational support looks like - in all areas of your business - and it involves real communication and collaboration with a personal touch. Get in touch to see how PA&GO can help grow your business today.