The most frequently asked questions are listed below. If you have other questions that are not addressed here, please contact me for answer.
Won’t it cost me more to pay someone to help me than to do it myself?
Only if the help you hire costs more than your own hourly rate for the service you provide. Otherwise, while it does cost you to hire help, it frees you to do more client work, so you actually make more than you spend.
Won’t it be more hassle to have an employee?
You won’t be getting an average virtual assistant who works as an employee waiting for commands. With me, you are getting a self-managing support professional who can become a partner in your business. Once you help me understand your business and your needs, I can provide consulting, administrative, and other support services to meet your goals without you needing to direct each task. In addition, because you are purchasing support packages instead of hiring me, you get flexibility on the number of hours you purchase, no payroll to deal with, and no long-term commitments—just one month at a time. So much better than an employee any day!
My business is my baby! How do I know that you will take good care of it?
It is scary to accept help with something that means so much to you. I get that! I come with years of experience and documented skill sets to demonstrate my value. And while I am ready to take initiative to accomplish the goals you have set, I recognize that it is still your business. Any decisions or actions outside of the parameters you set for what you want me to do will always be run by you first. You will always be kept up-to-date on my progress and the allocation of the hours worked for you, so you will know exactly where things stand at all times.
How will we work together without being in the same place?
I will use the online systems you are already using or help you set up online systems that allow us to share documents, access shared tools, and share other data sources virtually. This not only facilitates our working together, but it also provides you with additional freedom to work wherever you want without being tied to paper files in one place. We will also schedule regular meetings by phone or Skype to discuss work that needs to be done, work in progress, and tasks that are completed so you always know where things stand.
What time zone are you in? What if I am in a different time zone?
I am in the Eastern Time Zone of the US, and I do participate in Daylight Savings Time where I live. However, since most work can be asynchronously, I am able to work effectively with clients in a wide range of time zones.
What software and equipment can I count on you to have?
I have and use the following software and equipment on a regular basis. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, so ask about other programs or applications of interest.
Equipment: PC laptops (Windows 7 and Windows 8.1), scanner, black & white and color laser printers, smartphone, high speed internet, free conference calling
Software: MS Office Suite (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Outlook, OneNote), Open Office suite, Adobe Reader
Online applications I work with regularly: WordPress (using a variety of themes), Skype, Acuity, MailChimp, Pixlr and Pixlr Express, Wylio, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Google calendar, Google docs, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Evernote, Canva, Quickbooks (and similar bookkeeping software)
Who owns the work you do for me?
All work is performed as work for hire, so you own all of the work output. This includes the copyright on web copy, social media content, and documents. It also includes any coding performed and ideas generated on your behalf.
How do I know that you will not share my ideas and work with other clients?
Everything I do for you is treated with strict confidentiality. I will not even identify you as my client without your permission.
How does billing work?
Your support package must be chosen and paid for by the beginning of the month in question. Any additional hours and out of pocket costs will be billed to you at the end of the month. All invoicing is handled online and can be paid for by credit card, PayPal, or check.
How are the hours calculated?
I use an online timer to keep track of the time I spend on work directly related to your business, including tasks I do for you and time spent in meetings with you or for you. For each block of time reported, I label it with the task(s) performed during that time so you can see a full report of what you are getting.
How will I know how many hours I have used in my package?
Depending on the online systems we set up, I will keep a counter updated daily in a location that is available to you. In addition, I will notify you when you reach a point where 90% of your support package hours have been consumed and again when the package is fully used.
What if I need more hours?
Additional hours can be purchased at the rate listed for the support package you purchased. You may authorize a maximum number of additional hours for me to use that month, so you are never surprised by the bill.
What if I have extra hours left over at the end of the month that I haven’t used?
Unused hours can be carried over into the next month in which you have purchased a support package.
Am I locked into a given support package forever?
No. You can select whichever support package feels most appropriate to you each month, and you may stop purchasing packages at any time.
How do you define a month?
A month is generally a calendar month for ease and simplicity, but you may choose an alternate month definition if you choose. For example, you may wish to start each support package on the 15th of one calendar month and have it run to the 14th of the following month.
How can I get started?
Contact me to set up an introductory conversation about the services you need, how I can best provide them, and which support package best meets your needs!