I’m writing to you from a borrowed Mac laptop. My trusty PC died a couple days ago at the end of my workday, without warning. My immediate reaction was, “Agh!! I run my entire business from this computer! What am I going to do?!?” My next thought was, “Oh yeah. I have a virtual business. I can access my documents and databases from anywhere. I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine and start my evening. I’ll work off a borrowed computer tomorrow and it will be business as usual.”
Think for a minute about what would happen if you had to be without your computer or physical work space without warning. Do you feel panic rising to the surface? Are you worried how you will be able to assist your clients? There are many free and easy programs that will help you do that.
Here’s a quick and easy checklist of the absolute basics you should have available to you virtually:
On the occasions our service issues cannot be resolved over the internet, it can feel like torture to wait for a live person on the other end of the phone. I’m sure we can agree that talking to a computer isn’t the most comforting way to have a phone conversation.
At Get Human you will find the phone numbers for over 500 common companies, and the quickest way to speak to a human without waiting for the endless menus of options.
Have the Get Human list handy the next time you need to dispute a cell phone bill or make a last minute flight change for you or a client. Your sanity is worth it!
One of the more popular requests VAs get from their clients is to help schedule appointments. This can be a tricky and time consuming project if you need to find a day and time that works with multiple people. Here’s a website that will make finding the perfect meeting time easier than ever: TimeBridge
TimeBridge is a web-based application that makes scheduling and leading meetings incredibly Timebridge also helps you follow up after your meeting. As the Timebridge Team says, “Think of us as your calendar-wrangling, agenda-making, note-taking, team-motivating, secret weapon in the battle against workplace inefficiency.”
You can choose from two account types: Free and Plus. The Plus account is far less expensive than you would think, and both accounts offer the option of using Timebrige’s conference call and webinar services.
HootSuite is designed to let multiple people share responsibilities for managing multiple Twitter accounts, as well as other social media accounts. Using HootSuite, you designate one person to be the administrator of the accounts, and that person can give other people the authority to edit and make changes to individual accounts. This is a great tool if you are a VA managing a client’s account, and/or if you or your clients have multiple social media accounts.