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Revolutionary Industry is Changing the Small Business World

Revolutionary Industry is Changing the Small Business WorldWe’ve all been there at some point, that pivotal point in our lives when we have to determine our next step. Whether it is in your career or your personal life, it’s a big decision. For me, Amanda Lawson, that decision came pretty easy! In 2009, I took my desire to keep challenging myself, combined with a desire to step outside the corporate world and turned it into an amazing opportunity. The opportunity to create a company where people that didn’t want to continue the “rat-race” of the traditional office world could gather and provide the professional services and expert experience to businesses throughout the U.S. and beyond.

California Virtual Assistants was born. We started out as a team of 2 independent contractors and quickly grew to 8 like-mined professionals. After just over a year in business, we began receiving requests from clients and interested Virtual Assistants from across the U.S. to join in on the exciting adventure of the Virtual Assistant world. In December of 2010, they became USA Virtual Assistants. The team of 8 quickly grew to 13 and continues to expand.

The team of professional Virtual Assistants works very closely together to provide a list of over 50 different services to clients across the U.S. We are able to provide all of the services that a traditional in-office assistant can do, from their own home-offices. We even go above and beyond what a traditional assistant can do, as they also offer Accounting, Website Design, Event Coordination, Social Media and so much more. The great thing is, we can do it in nearly half the time as a traditional assistant, which saves our client even more money! Just imagine, you pay one rate, and get the expertise of 13 professionals. The value for the clients is unbelievable!

To think, this all started with a couple hundred dollars and a website! Thankfully, I knew how to create websites, as I had created one for my employer years before. I had the experience to know how to effectively run an office, and had the “small business owner genes” in my family, and years of professional experience in multiple industries under my belt. I had previously taken business management courses, and economics in college, so I had all of the basics that I needed to get started. Most of all, I had the drive to make it happen.

Revolutionary Industry is Changing the Small Business WorldOur company began using mostly free online tools in order to help things run efficiently. We used Paypal to accept payments, Paymo to track our time and Zoho Business Suite to manage our CRM, Projects and Email. Since things have grown, we now use paid programs that allow us to more effectively manage our entire team much better. Everything from BasecampHQ for project management, Salesforce for CRM, Freshbooks for our time-tracking and invoicing, and the Google Business Solutions for our Email and communication.

We continue to use the random free email offers that we get from Vistaprint to get all of our marketing and print materials, which has worked out great! In addition, we regularly utilize social media outlets like Twitter, Linked-in and Facebook to continue to market our company, our services, and our individual team members. We use MagicJack for our additional phone lines and RingCentral for our 800#. All of these resources have allowed our company to function on a much larger scale.

One thing that I did just a few months back was take part in an amazing life-changing adventure called “EmpowerU – Leadership Awakening” (http://empoweruinternational.com/). The skills I learned from taking this 3 day intense class have provided me the additional skills needed to empower the members on our team to do even more with their abilities. To continue to strive to provide excellence to our clients, and even within our personal lives. In addition, working with other VA’s in this industry truly makes a difference. The Virtual Assistant Industry works very closely together to mentor each other and provide outstanding advice and coaching to help start-up companies, and experienced VA’s.

A couple more great tips that I have learned over the last few months, that have made an impact on the amount of business coming in:

  1. Constantly updating my Business Plan.
  2. Reviewing my Marketing Plan and talking to my team members about it. Sometimes they have other great ideas that I haven’t thought of yet. It also allows them to have some input on what is going on, and makes them feel like they play a larger role in the company.
  3. Added vinyl lettering to the back window of my truck. I used to have the simple car door magnets, this upgrade has made a big impact. I didn’t hear anything after using the magnets, but have received multiple calls already from the vinyl lettering.
  4. Joining local Chamber organizations is a great source for referrals and community events that have had a huge effect on my business.

Our team continues to be a huge success, and grows pretty often. Being that we are virtual, we have the ability to continue to add qualified VA’s to our team. That way, we can always make sure we have enough team members to take care of our growing client base. It is great to say that we have been growing and adding new clients to our roster on a monthly basis, and we aren’t stopping any time soon!

About: Amanda Lawson is a 29 year old solo-preneur who has worked in industries ranging from Automotive and Insurance to Real Estate and Escrow. We invite you to follow us on the various social media outlets and check out our website!

Revolutionary Industry is Changing the Small Business World

http://www.facebook.com/USAVirtualAssistants

 

Revolutionary Industry is Changing the Small Business World

http://www.linkedin.com/in/mrsamandalawson

 

Revolutionary Industry is Changing the Small Business World

https://twitter.com/#!/USA_VAs

 

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