Archive for October, 2009

Employee or Virtual Assistant?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Tallent Agency VA Services
Wondering whether you can afford one more employee? Why not consider a Virtual Assistant for those duties you need performed?

With the help from a writer I invited to share with my readers,

Let’s compare cost differences between the two…

Here you are the entrepreneur with a business that is nicely taking off with the grace of an eagle … Your dream is now a reality. Your agenda is now overflowing with meetings, you are working 50 hours PLUS per week, paperwork is piling up, and you’re about to lose your mind!

The amount of work you have at hand is not only keeping you up at night, but also prevent you from playing golf with the boys next weekend or getting your nails done with the girls. So congratulations, you have just posted your new “help wanted” ad for a full time administrative position.

So, what are your options? Well, you can hire full time help, outsource your work to a Virtual Assistant, or keep doing the administrative work yourself!

Making the decision to hire full/part time help is the traditional way, but does it mean that this is your best choice? Do you really know what you are paying for?

Based on surveys done by and America Online, the average base salary for an administrative assistant in the United States is $39,795.00 per year, or $19.13 calculated on an 8 hour per workday.

Again, from these surveys, workers admit to wasting an average of 1.15 hours per workday, which adds up to $5,720 per year, per worker in wasted salary dollars. You could have re-invested that money into your business!

In other words, if you hire an assistant at $39,795.00 per year, you can expect to loose $5,720 per year on wasted time!

Your second option is outsourcing your administrative work to a Virtual Assistant.
Now, what is a Virtual assistant, and how can she or he help you?

First and foremost, a virtual assistant is NOT an employee, but rather a self-employed professional that offers administrative support services from her or his own home office.

A virtual assistant is a full time partner that has a vested interest in the growth of your business and will work in collaboration with you towards the success of your company!

When you outsource to a virtual assistant you only pay for the work contracted out and not for idle time frittered away at your expense! How much will that cost you? Rates usually vary between $20.00 and $45.00 per hour, depending on the expertise required and the project at hand.

In addition, because you are outsourcing your work, you are saving on the following: payments made to Medicare, workers comp, administrative costs, recruitment, base salary, benefits, office space and furnishings, equipment, etc.

On the other hand, if you would still rather do the administrative work yourself, let us examine if your rate of return is really worth it.

You contract your services at a price of $150.00 per hour, and, in this past week, you have spent 5 hours of your precious time doing routine work at the office.
In other words, you just lost $750.00 doing the work by yourself.

Now, if you would outsource your work to a Virtual Assistant, let’s say at a medium price of $35.00 per hour, your cost would be $175.00 and you would realize a savings of $575.00.

All and all the decision seems simple to me. Which would you rather do? Hire full time help, and pay for wasted time and equipment? Keep on doing the work yourself and lose money and marketing time for your business, or maybe take the proven and affordable route of outsourcing your work and hiring a Virtual Assistant.

Remember a Virtual Assistant is a professional that will work with you… A Virtual Assistant is a collaborative partner, and his or her success is measured by your success!

thanks for letting me use this article, Alba Figueroa

So, what CAN a Virtual Assistant do for YOU? Your Virtual Assistant can do any number of office tasks which can be sent to her or him via emails, uploaded to a web host, downloaded from your site / blog / webinar or other means and do it all from her or his home office.

Some of the duties that I can perform for you are:

Proofreading your document, book, report, sales message, email communication, web site or blog or any other item that you need checked for grammar and spelling and word usage errors.

Editing those errors and changing the word or phrase or spelling, etc. as needed to make your written item as perfect as possible.

Transcription which is a typed up document of your webinar, interview or any other spoken / audio file.

( with MY transcription service, you get FREE proofreading and editing thrown in! )

Data Back-Up so that in case of computer info loss due to crash, virus or other catastrophe or because you just want to have all of your important data stored on cd’s, dvd’s and/or stored on another computer, your important and valuable downloads, reports, files, etc. will be safely stored elsewhere for you.

Customer Support which can be your own help desk type set up or customer service, run by a virtual staff.

Social Networking Help to help you manage your growing social networks with maintenance and updates plus doing searches with your criteria on who and what you want to be networking with and for.

Blogging Maintenance for updating, proofreading and editing and other tasks to do with your blog and then making sure it is seen and the updates are announced in various mediums.

And various assorted duties that can be worked out between us by my asking you to email me to Schedule a Project or let me know what you are looking for in a Virtual Assistant.

Why not check out my rates and feel free to read my testimonials from happy clients and I am sure we can work something out!

To your success!

Jan Tallent
Tallent Agency Virtual Assistance

The Proofreading & Editing Virtual Assistant

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Tallent Agency VA Services
I have spent the past week checking out some really great work from bloggers and webmasters. Sadly, amongst all of the really good and valuable information on the best of these sites, I have had to wade through countless typos, misspelled words, misused grammar and more that takes away from the professionalism and legitimate business feel of the sites.

Whether it seems fair or not, most well educated people will notice the “uhohs” and often leave that blog or site and look elsewhere for whatever brought them to this or that blog or web site to begin with.

I am one of those visitors. I love to read more than I love to breathe and hate to have to stop and reread and decipher or mentally fix a word or phrase or sentence to get onto the next morsel.

This is why I decided to focus my Virtual Assistance business on the thing most important to ME as a reader and web site or blog visitor, which is correct spelling, grammar and using the right instance of a word. For example, the biggest “uhohs” I find are:

it’s and its

their and there and they’re

your and you’re

aren’t and isn’t or are and is

then and than

being mixed up and used at the wrong time in the wrong way.

That is where I can come in to help you present the best of YOU and your writing ability so that you can concentrate on doing just that.

Out of curiosity, I have been checking out at least ten business sites and ten blogs per day. At least 7 of the 10 could use my Proofreading and Editing Services.

I have finally gotten up the nerve to write TO the blogger or webmaster and since there is always something good about the document I am reading or I would not continue reading after the first couple of “uhohs’, I offer a good comment or feedback on the quality or content of the writing and then mention that as a proofreader & editor I have some tips I can offer on how to fix a few typos, errors, etc. and invite her or him to get back to me and give my email address.

Needless to say, most do not reply. Strangely, or at least it seems so to me, of the ones who do get back to me, most have said something along the lines of “oh, it’s okay, my visitors do not mind or I do not care”! Okay, this is fine if they want to feel that way but seriously, most of your visitors who even notice, DO CARE! And, I, for one, want visitors that are able to read at a level that they would spot, at least, my most glaring errors and let me know about them so that I can fix them before more see them!

I have even seen this in professional forums and business groups I belong to – and, especially for those who ASK for feedback and constructive criticism, it amazes me that they do not really seem to care about the quality or their content past their ability to write something interesting or informative.

Please, just take the little bit of time it would take you to read over what you are posting for the internet world to see and if you cannot find any errors, why not ask 3 friends or net buddies to read it over for you and see if they might spot something you have missed, or, better yet, take advantage of the fact that I am right here, at my home office, waiting to help you with your document clean-up and want to assist you in putting your very best work to its very best showing!

I have had quite a few people tell me they would love to use a proofreader & editor but cannot AFFORD one. I understand the money crunch we are almost all feeling but seriously, can you afford NOT to make sure your work is seen at its best?

By using a Virtual Assistant to do your Proofreading and Editing you only have to pay as the service is used and this can be quite affordable, especially when compared to that sale or those sales that you are seriously losing out on with a sloppy or not-so-perfect document representing you and your business.

Check out my reasonable rates or get in touch with me to Schedule a Project or discuss the possibility of my working for you on a retainer. With this option, you can pay ahead and as you update your blog and/or your web site, you can send me the finished document(s) as you get it or them done and I can get it all cleaned up and polished and back to you in a very reasonable amount of time.

To date, I have ebooks, print books, sales pages, reports, web pages, blogs, articles, a screen play and more in my portfolio with savvy and smart clients who know how important this service was to them and can be to you, too!

Jan Tallent
Tallent Agency Virtual Assistance


Calling all writers, bloggers, webmasters, etc: if you know people who need transcriptions, proofing or editing PLEASE pass my name to them.

It is a really nice and thoughtful way to let them know how much you appreciate their work and want them to show it to its best abilities.

Organize Your Business – The Key to Increased Productivity

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Tallent Agency VA Services
Working from home has many advantages and also a sort of familiarity
that can become a downright pitfall in some instances. It is easy
and sometimes quickly discovered that away from an office your
productivity is not as high as you thought it would be. Working from
a home office can easily become a productivity killer when a business
owner doesn’t stay on top of things. However, don’t fret!

This can be changed with a few simple steps to get your business
organized, making productivity easier.

First of all, realize what you do is run a business.

Your business needs a permanent place to live.

It could be your dining room, a corner of your den or the entire den.
Some people set up shop in their garage or kitchen. Wherever you decide that your home office will reside, recognize that it is your work space and nothing else can share that spot.

Yes, that includes the laundry you forgot to fold last night, too.

Moving on, now that you have an office space, set some guidelines
for how you will run your business. These guidelines don’t run to
the particulars of your chosen industry but more to organization
for better operation of the enterprise. In plain terms, if everything
is in its place, you won’t waste time looking for it.

A filing system will be your best friend.

This includes a filing cabinet for important papers.
Every correspondence doesn’t have to exist in paper form.
Contractual agreements with clients and copies of past invoices
can be filed, but emails don’t need to be. Save yourself some time,
money and fresh air by not printing every client email that comes
to your inbox.

An electronic filing system keeps emails, project specs and proposals
organized by client without adding to the paperwork you already have
to handle. Electronic files are easy to organize and can be zipped
to clients in an instant if need be.

You won’t even have to use snail mail.

Also, keep an in and out box on your desk (we almost forgot about the desk).

Incoming mail is organized as soon as it hits the desk.
Junk mail is shredded, orders are filed in a box to be
filled and other mail is sorted according to purpose.

Dealing with mail first thing prevents anything from getting overlooked.

Along the same lines, create a priority box.

This is the box that will be checked first thing in the morning
and last thing before you leave your home office. In the morning,
the box contains all of the items that need attention that day.
In the evening, organize the contents to be ready for the next morning.

This makes it much easier to have your daily work tasks set
when you get to the “office” each morning. No more wasted time
planning your day while an hour or two of it is vanishing.

Low productivity in a home office arises mainly from disorganization.
We often aren’t sure what we want to work on or what is most important, so it takes a little while to get that together. If you are organized from the beginning and keep your priorities current, you won’t spend your time deciding what to do next – you’ll already know.

Good bye time wasters, hello productivity!

Jan Tallent
Tallent Agency Virtual Assistance

Jan Tallent is the owner of Tallent Agency Virtual Assistance for 11 years, a marketing and small business online newsletter for going on 10 years, an internet marketer for my own digital products PLUS tangible products and an avid social networker . I also have an eBay store so stay pretty busy 10 to 12 hours per day, mostly on my computer and the net. :-)

I am concentrating my VA biz on proofreading , editing and transcriptions as these are my favorite assignments to take on and where my strengths lie. If you are in need of these or any of my other Virtual Assistance services, send me a message and we can Talk about and schedule your project or projects .

Follow Jan Tallent

Over the past 17+ years, Jan Tallent has spent countless hours providing writers and webmasters with free friendly tips on how to correct spelling and grammar errors in their written material.

From the feedback received she decided that since proofreading and editing help was so desperately needed, she should build a business around something she enjoys doing, while at the same time providing a valuable service to business owners and writers.

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Contact Information

Jan Tallent
Tallent Agency
Phone: (636)-259-6920
Twitter: @jantallent
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