Ace Tidbits

Get Focused and Increase Your Productivity! Tune out your distractions and turn off notifications to get some work done. Have a great day.
"It's all about the quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and family and friends." -Philip Green
Work with a VA to create systems and streamline the reoccurring tasks in your office.
“Time, like a snowflake, disappears while we're trying to decide what to do with it." - St. Louis Bugle
Planning and creating action steps will help increase your productivity. Tune out distractions of all kinds and stay focused to complete your To Do list.
" You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it." - George Buxton
40% of employees work overtime or bring work home with them at least once a week.- Xylo Report, Shifts in Work and Home Life Boundaries
Put the power back into your presentations! Have your VA create your PowerPoint presentations.
“How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever." - David B. Norris
"Don't be a bottleneck. If a matter is not a decision for the President or you, delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas, add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it.” Donald Rumsfeld
Are you double booking or missing key appointments? A VA can help manage your calendar and schedule appointments for you.
To Do list in place for the day! Creating action steps and priorities to ensure timely delivery and efficiency for our client's projects!! Have a productive day.
"The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.” Anthea Turner
Want a stronger Social Media presence? Your VA can help create, schedule and manage your posts, tweets and social media accounts.
"Productivity is less about time management than it is about mind management.” David Kadavy
"The whole life of man is but a point in time; let us enjoy it." – Plutarch
“When asked what their number one concern was about their career in 2002, 32% of the respondents said Work/Life balance" -Office Team Specialized Administrative Staffing Survey, 2002
“Although your time and attention are finite, the demands on your time and attention are infinite.” Merlin Mann
Want to blog more often? Have your VA post and schedule your blog posts for you, allowing you more time to write and create.
"First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” Napoleon Hill
Spell check may not be enough, have a VA proof and edit your important document before you send it out.
Wish you had a form for that? Give the details to your VA to create a custom form for your business.
"Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” Napoleon Hill
Small business can look BIG when a VA manages VoiceMail, Email Inbox and Social Media. Have a bigger presence with VA support.
“Doing more things faster is no substitute for doing the right things.” Stephen R. Covey
“Companies need to shift their focus to grow engagement with their fan base, not just to collect more fans.” Mike Hotz
Stay in touch with your customers, have your VA create and send your newsletter for you on a regular basis.
A VA can help you to focus on the bigger picture.
Work with a VA to create systems and streamline the reoccurring tasks in your office.
“It’s better to think of social media tools as amplifying customer opinion rather than improving it.” Joshua Porter
Tune out and turn off to maintain your focus!!! Get those projects done with 100% of your attention.
Your Virtual Assistant can create business letters, spreadsheet, and presentations your clients will adore!
The Ace plate is full of wonderful diverse client projects for the week. Productive working on events, doc edits/proofing, social media mgmt, blog posts, writing, e-newsletters and more. What are you doing?
Thanks so much for visiting Ace Concierge. Please let us know how we can best assist you with your time management and productivity.
A Virtual Assistant is YOUR vested business partner.
“Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” -Matt Goulart
"It's not just about consuming content, but sharing it, passing it on, and adding to it." - @ariannahuff
"Twitter is not a technology. It's a conversation. And it's happening with or without you." - @charleneli
How many hours do you think you spend searching and reading sharable content? Outsourcing your content curation gives you more time to focus on relationship building.
“Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads than those that don’t.” -Hubspot
“Do what you do best and outsource the rest.” Robert G. Allen
"I’m convinced that virtual assistants are the future. Honestly, it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.” Michael Hyatt
“The first rule of management is delegation. "Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.” Anthea Turner
"In order to grow a successful business, it’s important to let go of some perfectionism and delegate certain tasks so you can focus on your strengths." Diana Adams
“You cannot grow your business all on your own so stop trying to. It’s time for you to trust others to help you. Without delegation your business will be limited by your own time and energy.” Matthew Swyers
"Most entrepreneurs have great talents but many times they think they can do it all. That can really stall the growth of the business. By outsourcing the day to day back-office tasks, the business owner has more time to focus on generating income." Laura Lee Sparks

Latest Ace Tweets

RT @RedboothHQ: Find out how Redbooth team chat is specifically designed to drive productivity. bit.ly/1QI27Qr

About an hour ago from ♥ Suzie ♥'s Twitter via Hootsuite

Testimonials

“I highly recommend Suzie Poirier, my go-to choice for virtual assistant services. Suzie is efficient, thorough and highly professional. She also stays current in the latest technology; every time I work with her, I pick up several new time-saving tips to benefit my business.” J.V. Miller Partner/Founder
“Susan has provided virtual assistance to my business for a number of years. Initially the work was ad-hoc, however I soon began to delegate more of the routine work and Susan became an integral part of running important functions in our business. Susan is hard-working, diligent and honest. Susan has done everything from researching trade-mark law, market research, document and presentation preparation to managing an overflowing in-box. I highly recommend Susan (Ace).” M. Field Pres/CEO
"Suzie is one of those rare gems that I honestly couldn't recommend highly enough. Not only does she possess fabulous strategic and social media skills but she's just a joy to work with. She's creative, unbelievably responsive, timely and proactive, and she's also really interested and invested in her clients' successes. Hands down rave reviews for Suzie and all of her talents!" Christine A. Founder/CEO
“I personally and highly recommend Susan Kummins-Poirier and her company Ace Concierge. As a result of her tireless and professional efforts, we have grown our Social Media coverage and our web presence dramatically. Suzie is very professional, attentive to detail, intelligent and resourceful. She took the time to study our company and our industry and in the process has become an indispensible part of our team. Through her efforts we have been asked to be part of a national TV show on wood fired cooking, we have given several interviews on wood fired cooking to internet radio stations, and her efforts have brought on several new dealers. On a personal side, Suzie, with her cheery disposition, is always a delight to talk with, but professionally and socially. She is very timely in her responses and in our opinion is a top ranked Virtual Assistant who would be a great addition to any company or team.” - Jeffrey H. Pres/CEO
“Hiring Suzie to take care of my admin tasks is one of the smartest business decisions I've ever made! She is very responsive to my needs, in a professional, confidential manner. She is always ready to help me with whatever needs doing, with a can-do attitude. She saves me thousands of dollars by doing the work I have no business doing. I recommend Suzie and her work without reservation! She is fun, intelligent, efficient and a joy to work with.” - Charrise M. CEO/Business Coach
“Susan's the best. I shy from absolutes, especially in recommendations. But in this case it is absolutely true that she's the best. She's attentive, detail-oriented, relentless until she delivers the best results for you, clear, always striving to find a better solution for you, well-connected as everyone seems to know her and she has a great sense of humor which is so valuable in these stressful times of constant change. Susan's the best.” - Zane S. CEO
“As a business owner, my time and energy are valuable. I could spend time sending out client contracts, confirming appointments, doing mailings, automating newsletters, sending invoices or doing marketing research. As a business coach, I encourage entrepreneurs and business owners to outsource as much as possible so they can do what they do best, serve their clients and close business. Outsourcing to Ace Concierge has allowed me to grow my business by 36% this past year and the trusting, dependable professional service is a small investment in comparison to the return. Thank you Susan for your continued professionalism.” - Debora M., President- Nashua NH
“Ace Concierge made the impossible possible. My boss requested that I arrange for a bottle of champagne to be delivered to one of the partners of the firm I work for in Washington, DC. It wouldn’t have been a difficult task except he wanted this done on a Saturday and this particular partner happens to live in New Hampshire, where it is prohibited to ship alcohol. Luckily, I found Sue. She picked up the bottle of champagne within an hour of my call and had it successfully delivered before I was even out of bed on Saturday morning! Thanks, Sue— you were a lifesaver.” - Amy C, Washington, D.C.
“We have been using Susan for the last few years as our primary virtual assistant. She has done an outstanding job for us. Quick to follow up and very thorough. We are quite pleased with her work. S. Buser, MD Founder/Pres.
“I hired Suzie as a virtual assistant but over the last few months helping with my social media presence and my blog, she's become a friend. She is extremely organized, very capable, creative and helpful. She brings great skill and a wonderful attitude to everything she does. She created some processes for the way things worked with guest bloggers that streamlined and simplified the way our multi-author blog operated. I highly recommend Suzie and Ace Concierge! You can trust her to do what she says on time, with quality, energy, and a passion for excellence!” M. Henry. Sr. Pres/CEO
"If you're a solo-preneur and think it's best to do everything yourself, think again. And talk to my VA @AceConcierge. She rocks my world!" ~C.M.
"Rarely have I met, much less hired, a more organized, efficient, and thoughtful professional than Susan. She goes the extra mile, exceeds expectations on every assignment, and demonstrates time and again that her ideas and creative strategies are inspired as much on her own time as on her client's time. I would strongy commend Susan's expertise and vibrant personality to any Senior Manager or Top Executive choking on family vs. work responsibilities." - Alan B., President/CEO - Durham NH
"An amazing human being, an incredible friend, and it all started when she became my VA. The business would not be as far along as it is without her!" Patti B - President/CEO
Suzie has done work for me and I've been very happy with her service, responsiveness and sense of humor. If you need help, don't miss the opportunity to work with Suzie. D.E.
Suzie's energizing, creative personality and razor-sharp, organizational focus drive ROI for your company. She proved to me that 2 heads and sets of hands are better than one in helping me create sustainable marketing, prospecting, sales and scheduling systems. As Steve Urquhart articulated well, her 'on-demand' offerings relieve the pressure of daily delegating. I know that if next week a new project or marketing need arises, I can reach out to Suzie, and she'll alleviate the work load as a true partner to business, while also offering unexpected value adds along the way. For service, quality and enthusiasm, call or write Suzie! JBP
I've been working with Suzie for almost 2 years now and I couldn't have built my brand without her! She's been there to help with everything from posting blog posts and Twitter feeds to getting my doctor's appointments arranged while I've been going through both cancer treatment and business start-up. She's awesome! LJL
I am pleased to be the first one to post a review for Suzie and Ace Concierge services (on Facebook) ... even if you don't think you need a virtual assistant or you aren't sure what you could delegate, you need to give Ace Concierge a look. You will be amazed by the level of service and quality of work! And with value pricing that lets you set up support services in blocks of hours, you will have the ability to delegate on demand and get outstanding work on time and above expectations. Be prepared to be thrilled! S.U.
"I highly recommend Suzie Poirier, my go-to choice for virtual assistant services. Suzie is efficient, thorough and highly professional. In the four-plus years we have worked together, Suzie has stayed current in the latest technology - no easy feat! Every time I work with her, I pick up several new time-saving tips to benefit my business." Jennifer M. Founder/CEO

The Explosion of Tools for the Freelance Economy

Freelance Economy Business tools

If you want to talk about an explosion of proportions not seen since the industrial revolution, simply take a peek at the freelance economy.

Expansion of the freelance economy is growing at exponential rates evidenced by 53 million freelancers representing more than 33% of America’s labor force today. By the year 2020, this number is expected to grow by 50%. That is a significant amount of the workforce in a work-for-hire demographic poised to change business as we know it.  While not all freelancers will be full-time independent contractors, they will be part of the  fast gig group providing on-demand services from remote offices. These remote warriors may be found behind a desk, at a coffee shop, in a tree top or at the beach because the location simply doesn’t matter. The lifestyle does. Where else can you choose to wear pajamas, sweat pants or a power suit?

The draw here is that freelancers have the opportunity to maintain independence, generate income and enjoy a better work-life balance – all from the comfort of their own “office”. I’ve been in the business since 2002 and have never looked back.

Who Benefits from the Freelance Economy?

The rise of a freelance nation provides a multitude of lifestyle benefits, but it isn’t just advantageous for the worker. The employer and other business owners who “hire” the qualified contractors REDUCE overhead and expenses by NOT paying for benefits, office space, supplies, health/workers insurance, paid vacation/sick time, or training. It is an excellent opportunity to source high level expertise, leverage costs, and hire for work on a project basis. Since most freelancers work on an hourly or fixed rate billing system, employers eliminate the need to carry full time employees through non-project time slots.

The real-time freelance statistics speak for themselves – a way of life has emerged that is changing the landscape of how business gets done.

Hiring independent professionals, virtual assistants included of course, offers employers a workforce with an increased knowledge base, deep experience and refined skill-sets. Much like a veritable shopping cart full of tools, the mobile assets available and varied technological advances have set the stage for enhanced productivity without the confines of an office. Anyone has the ability to provide needed services without being hindered by geographical boundaries or of a lack of equipment. It’s pretty incredible to think about how far we’ve advanced over the last few decades, no longer being tethered to an office and a time clock.

The Freelance Economy: Business Tools for Success

Being fortunate to work remotely does require you to learn or become familiar with a variety of tools, platforms and apps in order to maintain your autonomy and earn a living. It may seem like a challenge at first, but without them, business as usual can be incredibly difficult. I for one, am not ready to trade in my mobility for a desk because the lifestyle win over-rides the investment in personal development.

Let’s jump into some of the key tools that have contributed to my success, connected me with remote organizations and given me the freedom I crave.

Project Management (PM): Operating a business takes dedication and organization. As a freelancer, you are building your personal business and the tools are the face of your brand.

Redbooth is my go to program for PM. It streamlines all communications, tasks, projects, accountability, files and timelines. Here’s the overview of their features. It is very user friendly and simple to set up. Give it a try.   I was NOT partial to Basecamp or Trello.

Communications: In my experience, I find it best to have some fall backs to bring to the table, but more importantly, what technology is your client most comfortable using? Additional features of some of the tools below include secure SSL encryption, file transfers, group and private chats, easy screen sharing, and sync’d mobile capabilities.

I don’t have a preferred platform but I use HipChat, Slack, SKYPE and of course good old fashioned text, email and phone. If you’re needing a conference bridge check out UberConference or FreeConferenceCalling both for ease of use, recording options, and clarity.

Organization: Get your ducks in a row or you will be shaking those tail feathers pretty quickly. Showing the client how organized you are will build confidence and trust.

In addition to using Redbooth, I also like to employ the good graces of Google Drive and Dropbox for cloud storage and sharing documents with clients.  Another extremely helpful tip (which came from a client) is to create Chrome user profiles with individual tabs and bookmarks.  I cannot say enough about this Chrome feature. The seperate profiles enable me to have each clients’ social accounts, Chrome extensions, industry specific bookmarks and profiles in their own browser space.  This is one of my all time organizational favorites.

This last tool, If This Than That, is a free service of 347 channels with “recipes” to help optimize your business, your life and your content. You create triggers “if this” happens “than that”, the action, pushes the data to your desired channel. For example you can create a recipes to:

  • Push RSS feeds to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Buffer
  • Receive a text message, email or phone call when a particular hashtag is posted
  • Have Facebook or Instagram images sent to Dropbox
  • Receive a text message if there is a forecast for rain
  • Star a Gmail and have it delivered to Evernote

Being organized is a key tune up for your productivity. If you are willy nilly about filing, social media strategy, scheduling or daily business operations,  you waste valuable time and energy and you risk appearing unprofessional. Make it a habit to not only create your systems and processes, but to use them consistently.

Every digital hero drives their business with a variety of tested tools to help ensure their entrepreneurial success and support of your business. I reached out to some well-respected pros in my network to help give you a broader scope of what they use, how and why.

Corina RamosCori Ramos, of Not Now Mom’s Busy, a multi-niche blog for women who wants to make money from home, blog like a boss and achieve work-life balance, uses three main tools on a daily basis: Hootsuite, Microsoft Outlook and Dropbox.

I’ve been using Hootsuite Pro for about three years now and I love it. I can access all my social media pages and I get suggested content to share with followers. Not only that but we can schedule posts in advance. This comes in handy when you want to promote your business or product. Sometimes I get caught up in other daily tasks that I forget to promote my blog and product. Now I take time one day (usually on Sunday) out of the week to schedule the days/times I want to promote my blog or eBook.

What can I say about Microsoft Outlook. I’ve had a love affair with it since 2000. Besides accessing my email, I use the calendar religiously to keep up with appointments and deadlines. And I can access other email accounts like Gmail on there as well.

I love the easy access I get with Dropbox. Since I’m on a laptop, desktop and mobile, Dropbox allows me to access files, docs and images from all three places.

And what’s even better is I can access these tools on my mobile phone. So even when I’m out and about, I can still receive emails, check my social media pages and access any document I need.

Jacqui Barrett Poindexter 2015-for mediaJacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Chief Career Writer, Master Resume Writer & Storyteller of CareerTrend.net shares her 3 most favorite tools/program.

 1. Desktop Task Timer: A free download that I use on my MacBook that I use daily to track ‘everything I do!

It’s simple, really. A tiny little tool in the corner of my screen where I track client projects, administrative, operational – including sales conversations – and other initiatives every single day, down to the minute.

This gives me a sense of how much of my energy is going to which ‘tasks.’ It also helps me to focus in. For example, if I am writing, and I want to ensure at least XX amount of hours on a certain project for the day – or for the week – I refer to this tool. I can also download results into Excel to calculate time spent over a period of months/year or more and use this for future planning.

2. Droid Turbo with Google/Gmail Interface. It allows me to keep in touch on-the-go without having my MacBook open or even with me (for shorter trips). I can email, review Word documents (where most of my projects are housed), check in on social media and so forth.

3. Evernote. I track blog post and other content development ideas here, as well as a plethora of other random ideas and insights and links, organizing them by topic.

Michael TrowMichael Trow, President of Alderbest Solutions shares his insight, stating:

Although I run a business offering services related to technology, I’m not biased when I say that I don’t know how people can run businesses without embracing the powerful, and affordable, technology at our disposal today. What’s even more important is that technology is becoming interoperable, meaning that one tool is likely to be able to integrate with another providing many benefits to you, and the people associated to your business.

We wouldn’t be able to run on a daily basis without:

  • A true Customer Relationship Management solution (Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Microsoft Dynamics etc.)
  • A Landing Page Solution (Optimize Press, Lead Pages etc)
  • An Email Marketing Service (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Zoho Campaigns)
  • An Invoice/Accounting Solution (Zoho Books, QuickBooks, FreshBooks etc.)
  • An Online Meeting Tool (Join.me, UberConference etc.)

We use Landing Pages to promote our content pieces, push the data of the people that ‘download’ to our Email Marketing Service which sends a series of automated emails and the email solution simultaneously pushes the data through to our CRM solution so that the prospect and opportunity can be managed from a sales perspective. For all sales we use the Account Solution to manage the Invoice and Payments.

The two biggest benefits of an ecosystem like this are that 1) we have visibility of all customer interactions and actions in one place (the CRM) 2) most actions are automated saving time and meaning we can manually interact with more people on daily basis.

John LusherJohn Lusher, President of John Lusher Consulting and is Team Member and Partner in The Social Buzz Lab says:

One of the main reasons I made the decision to go into business for myself was the freedom and flexibility to work how I wanted, and at the location that worked for me and my lifestyle. Working in marketing consulting and social media management has expanded the ability to accomplish this in my home office, while on the road or even in the middle of the ocean during a vacation cruise.

Some of my favorite tools include tools that help me to manage my schedule, team workflow and managing content distribution and tracking for my own social platforms as well as those for my clients.

Buffer  provides a platform to curate and schedule content for multiple social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram. Buffer also provides the ability to bulk schedule posts as well as provides analytics on the performance of the posts on your social platforms.

Sprout Social offers the ability to schedule content as well as a streamlined method to replying to Tweets and Facebook comments or messages. For my use, Sprout Social is one of the best tools that provides valuable insights on the performance of my content and various social networks.

Google Drive is key for working with multiple team members, especially if those colleagues are working in various geographic locations. With Google Drive we can share photos, files and work on documents together while reviewing with a client or during a planning call.

Dropbox For my business, I use Dropbox to store, share and transfer large files such as videos or photos, but it can also be used to share documents or other types of content. The ease of sharing a single file, folder or my entire Dropbox Drive with someone makes it a key asset in working remotely.

Flipboard is a news gathering content app that provides the ability to follow content from multiple users and content publishers such as magazines or new sites while also providing an avenue to publish client’s content. 

Each of these tools provide free versions and paid versions, based on the number of social networks, users or features that you require. While these tools are instrumental to my business, I encourage you to try a variety of tools to see which ones work best for you or your clients.

Ted Rubin, Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO of Brand Innovator, Return On Relationships (#RonR) sums it up quite succinctly because it isn’t simply the what you use to perform your job. It’s the person, the impassioned entrepreneur, behind the tools that brings your business to life.

 

My Most Important Social Media Tools…

1 – My personality

2 – My passion

and…

3 – My obsessiveness with being connected

Each of these fellow colleagues and members of the freelance economy exploit the accessibility of the latest mobile tools and technological advances to effectively operate their business and deliver their expertise to your door.

Where else can you find like-minded driven professionals to support your dream while at the same time, reducing your overall costs?

If you’re still yearning for more freelance tips and tools, check out the list below. You’re sure to find some valuable resources to help support your business, gain some new knowledge and better assist your clients. Self-education keeps you ahead of the curve.

Over to you: What tools or services help make you successful and support your business operations?  Please post in the comment section below.

 

10 Things You Must Do If You Want to Blog Like a Boss

Ace Concierge Guest Post Blog Like a Boss

Before I get into the things you should be doing if you want to blog like a boss, I want to take a moment to thank Suzie for inviting me to be a guest author on her blog. Since this is my first time here, I’d like to take a moment to tell you

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Business Growth Starts with Effective Delegation

Ace Concierge Effective Delegation

There will come a time in your business when you feel overwhelmed with the day to day operations. There is simply too much for one person to achieve while remaining efficient and effective.

As an entrepreneur, the CEO of your company, you have a limited number of hours to work both IN and ON

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Letting Go to Grow

Letting Go to Grow

Stop Controlling and Allow Your Business to Grow How to master the art of letting go

Many entrepreneurs face an ongoing internal battle when it comes to letting go and delegating certain tasks and projects to others. If you find yourself keeping a five finger death grip on every decision and project, you’re probably

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The Secret Sauce to Grow Your Business

Effective Delegation Ace Concierge

Entrepreneurs are accustomed to doing it all from changing printer ink, uploading tweets, proofing blog posts and ordering supplies to curating content, creating images, travel planning, retweeting and sharing content and testing the latest social media apps. Owning and operating a scalable business takes a team to fortify the back end, the daily routines,

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20 KISS Productivity Tips for the Small Biz Owner

Ace Concierge Productivity KISS Tips

Productivity isn’t rocket science by any means but it does require a little bit of discipline and commitment. If you run your day by the seat of your pants, without any planning or strategy, then your end results may suffer. In keeping with the KISS principle, this brief post (very brief) will hopefully ignite

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