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5 Steps for Choosing Your Small Business Idea

By Jennie Lyon / December 19, 2014

The decision to go into business for yourself is an exciting, liberating one that often sparks an endless stream of creative, imaginative business ideas. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, the brainstorming process is a fun and important step in making your dream of independent business ownership a reality. In the end, though, you’ll have to settle on one—at least to start with! Because entrepreneurs tend to be high-energy, inventive people, it can be a challenge to settle on one idea and to make sure the one you’ve chosen is the right one. By following these five steps, you’ll be well…

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Essential Elements of Small Business Content Marketing

By Jennie Lyon / December 10, 2014

In the past, the only businesses that were required to produce daily quality content were news, academic organizations, and entertainment companies. In today’s world of online branding and representation, all businesses are required to maintain professional, interesting content if they want to succeed and maintain contact with their market. Providing your audience and clients with relevant, regular content via social media platforms (including LinkedIn), blogs or professional articles, newsletters, and up-to-date websites strengthens your brand and builds your expert reputation. First thing’s first: your business must produce quality content. Grammatical errors, too casual of a tone, and content that is…

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Which is Right for Your Business: Consultant or Contractor?

By Jennie Lyon / November 28, 2014

There comes a time when every small business owner realizes that she needs expert input and if you’ve reached that point in your business you have probably asked yourself whether it is time to hire a consultant. The terms “consultant” and “contractor” are sometimes combined these days with so many entrepreneurs offering independent services to businesses. If you realize you need outside help but the sometimes vague distinction between contractors and consultants has you scratching your head, this brief overview of the differences can help. If you need specialized expertise for a temporary project hire a consultant. Click To Tweet…

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3 Ways for Busy Entrepreneurs to Build Relaxation into Their Work

By Jennie Lyon / November 20, 2014

Anyone who is dedicated to their job, especially an entrepreneur, tends to throw everything they’ve got into their work, sometimes logging 60+ hours per week and giving 110% of themselves. While this kind of dedication can result in a handsomely rewarding career, it can also throw off work/life balance and cause burnout. I know what you’re saying—“But, the work’s got to be done!”—and you’re right, it does. While this is true, we can accomplish a lot more when we’re rested, calm, and focused than we can when we are frazzled and constantly burning the candle at both ends. Fortunately, there…

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Why Your Business Needs an Ezine and What to Include in it

By Jennie Lyon / November 15, 2014

For those who are unfamiliar, ezines are electronic newsletters or magazines that you email periodically to customers or clients who have opted in (signed up for the e-zine). Ezines allow you to stay in contact with your customers/clients while building a relationship of trust and interest. At Jennie Lyon Virtual Assistant Services, newsletter services are one of my specialties. If you are a small business owner who is new to ezines, here are a few basic do’s and don’t’s: DO: Include blog posts, special offers, and coupons Offer the ezine weekly or monthly, making sure that your business can stay…

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9 Ways I Can Save you Time and Money this Week!

By Jennie Lyon / November 12, 2014

If you are like most small business owners, coaches, and entrepreneurs, you want to focus the majority of your time building your business. Yet, you may be finding that you are spending an exorbitant amount of time prioritizing emails, writing and scheduling blog posts, doing research, sending your ezine, managing your social media, updating your website and the list goes on and on. If you find that you are getting sucked into these tasks and they are taking away from you really building your business – it’s time to get a team in place. The first team member that I…

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Starting a Business? Partner with a Virtual Assistant and Strengthen your Foundation

By Jennie Lyon / August 8, 2014

Starting a business in any industry, time period, or global climate can be a serious roller coaster. So many changes will be made in policies, procedures, staffing needs, marketing, and so on that you are going to feel overwhelmed most of the time without someone there to help you out. It’s always great to feel confident and proud enough that you can start your business by yourself, but with all the stress and endless preparation that comes with it, why wouldn’t you want an anchor to keep you focused and organized? Hiring a virtual assistant from the get-go is the…

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5 Online Tools a Virtual Assistant Should Be Using to Manage Your Business

By Jennie Lyon / August 1, 2014

It’s fairly simple to start working with a virtual assistant. I start by having an in-depth consultation with my prospective clients to give me an idea of the areas they need assistance with. This initial consultation also gives me enough time to decide if I think working with the client would be a good fit for both parties. Once the contracts have been signed and we are ready to start working together, there are several systems that I use to keep my client and their projects organized. I’ve outlined some of these systems, all of which are essential for a job well done.…

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11 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Manage Your Website and Blog for You

By Jennie Lyon / July 25, 2014

As a busy small business owner or self-employed entrepreneur, managing your website and blog can seem like too much to deal with. You have all of these amazing ideas and the best of intentions for sharing them with your community, but doing so keeps falling to the bottom of your to-do list each week.  Between finding the time to write your blog post, post it with an amazing photo, and schedule your week’s social media, it can all seem overwhelming. On top of that, there’s putting your blog posts into an e-zine format to go out to your mailing list and many other daunting website tasks…

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Are There Parts of Your Business That Are Falling Through the Cracks?

By Jennie Lyon / July 14, 2014

As a busy business owner, you know deep down inside that you can’t do it all. If you don’t have a team in place to support you and your business, there are areas of your business that are falling through the cracks. Ask yourself: Are your emails and voice-mails being answered in a timely, professional manner? Are your blog posts and articles being submitted to the appropriate sites and social media platforms? Are you missing appointments, double booking yourself, or having a hard time with scheduling, period? Are updates being made to your website quickly, and are you staying connected with your online…

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