Is Your Work-Life Balanced?

Do you feel like there is an imbalance in your personal and professional life? Are you not able to find time for yourself, let alone find time for your family and friends? It is easy to let our lives become overwhelmed by work and once that happens, it almost seems impossible to find the right balance and you’ll find that your productivity levels would have dropped considerably at work. Here’s how you can recognize if there’s an imbalance in your work-life and what you can do to bring yourself back in the game.

Symptoms To Look Out For

The first step is to take a look at the symptoms of an “imbalance” in work-life and then tally your own symptoms/experiences with this check-list. Here you go-

  • You find that you work longer hours than most of your colleagues. You spend more time in the office than you do at home and you always come back stressed, tired and anxious. To top it all, you have to commute in traffic!
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    9 Steps Guide For Creating Effective Landing Pages

    You create landing pages either for products that are tangible such as electronic items, tyres or cars OR a service, that is intangible in nature such as home maintenance, a teaching course OR a combination of both products and services. But few things remain the same when it comes to creating an excellent and effective landing page.

    We, at GetFriday, have years of experience in creating landing pages through personal experimentation, creativity and, data-based analysis. We have put together important pointers for you to work with and follow whenever you are creating a landing page. Given below is the step-by-step guide to create an effective landing page.

    Step 1: Optimize Your Landing Page For The Keywords

    There are 3 main ways through which a company can try to reach out to their target audience -

  • Search Ads (on Google or any other search media)
  • Display Ads (on Google, social media sites or print media), and
  • Mailers (direct mails to list of prospect clients)
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    5 Steps To Effective Lead Generation For Business Development

    At GetFriday, one in five inquiries is about lead generation. Entrepreneurs and business owners are always seeking ways to generate leads. It could be perplexing to go through this phase of marketing operations. Though this sounds like the simplest of things in a business, this could in fact, be tricky to handle. A constant doubt lingers about the success of efforts and money being spent on lead generation activities.

    Click on the image below to see this blog in SlideShare presentation format.

    GetFriday has been assisting businesses for over 10 years now and we have seen our fair share of lead generation tasks that we have done for our clients – mostly small business owners. From our experiences with lead generation, here we list a few facts –

    Define Your Target Customers
    To begin with, you may ask is this not common sense? How is it even possible to generate a list without defining your target customers? Well yes, it is true most business owners define their target customers at the outset, but there are some who don’t. For instance, the common mistakes that could take place are – you may have asked for business development manager but instead, received an application from a marketing manager. The list may not distinguish the difference. Or instead of listing all dental surgeons in your area, you may have listed all the general surgeons in your area.

    Defining the target customer while generating leads must include a clear point-wise description of leads required and a list of points that state “don’ts”. A list with email address generic to firms eg: will not serve any purpose for you. Ensure you give clear instructions to search for alternate contact points. A good and clear definition of leads would look something like this -

    1. Law firms within radius of 100 km of Greenville
    2. Law firms must have employee strength of 10 – 15 people.
    3. 1st preferred contact point is senior attorney.
    4. 2nd preferred contact is junior attorney.
    5. 3rd preferred contact is procurement officer.

    It Is A Hard-Work To Collect These Lists – Gather The Right Tools
    GetFriday has been in this business for 10 years now. And we can vouch that lead generation is hard work. But there are smart ways to handle this. There are ways through which, one can verify email addresses collected and tools that can help verify zip code authenticity. Databases could also be carefully mined for lists and tools like MS Excel can be employed to predict and source the most probable email ids.

    In case you delve into this without experience, you will surely learn it over time. But the cost of expensive time spent on this activity will not be worthwhile for your business. Instead, you would be doing a better job designing the marketing campaign details and fixing the operations for new customers that could be acquired through these lists.

    Is It Possible To Buy Your Way Through?
    Yes, you could buy your way through. If your business is a B2B, then you are lucky. The list may after all work. But if your list is B2C then you could end up annoying a lot of unknown people. All it does is exasperate people for having received one more mail from you, trying to sell something.

    If you are a business owner, you might relate to the analogy we have used here. How do you feel when you receive another mail about “best SEO service” or to source your products from some rural province in China? You would probably hire a virtual assistant right away to delete those e-mails even before you see them. Some GetFriday clients actually hire us for this! To delete those annoying, spam mails.

    So, why would the recipients of your mailing list feel any different? It fits Albert Einstein’s definition for insanity “doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result”.

    Generate A Long List
    It is mandatory that you generate a long list. The longer the prospect client’s list, the better the chances of success. Let us explain.

    Email campaigns and social media campaigns are about reaching your target audience at the right moment with the right offer. You can get your product offering right, but cannot predict the right moment. For example how do you predict the need for “buying shoes” or “buying handbags”? It is true there are seasonal increases in the sales of products. An example would be table ware sales before thanksgiving as people prepare to entertain family and friends. But the right moment cannot be predicted for most products and services.

    A larger leads/email list could increase chances of success by increasing the probability of reaching the right people at the right moment.

    Hire Virtual Assistants To Do The Work
    If you are a business owner or entrepreneur attempting to research and generate leads, the cost of lost time will be much higher for you. It is better to hire professionals to do this work. In case you still feel you must do it yourself, spend at least 10 minutes listening to this podcast “9 habits to stop now”, by Tim Ferris - .

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    Industry News: Emerging Education Trends in Australia

    The education industry is seen by governments around the globe as an increasing contributor to a country’s national wealth and economic development. This blog details the most significant emerging trends in the education landscape in Australia and how it is becoming the most preferred choice for international students at the Bachelor’s Pass level, Master’s Coursework and Master’s Research level.

    Statistics published by the Australian Government Department of Education and Learning show that the highest number of students arriving in Australia for higher education come from South-East and Central Asia; particularly, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and India.

    The reports show that there has been a major leap in the influx of Indian students coming into the country for higher education, with a staggering 47.6% increase from the year 2013. This makes India one of the largest exporters of international students, following China and followed by Malaysia.

    Though Iraq, Egypt and Nepal don’t fall under the top 5 countries that have outbound mobile students to Australia; all three countries have shown a relatively significant increase in the number of students between the years 2013 at 2014, with figures at 51.8%, 40% and 33.8%, respectively.
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    ‘Kaizen’ – How It Is Helping Us… And You!

    In the 10 successful years of virtual assistance operations, Get Friday’s client base has been growing at an exponential rate and benchmarks itself on efficiency. With 14 dedicated virtual assistant teams handling clients from across 60+ countries, Get Friday’s VA’s are working round the clock to make sure that all tasks outsourced by clients are executed with unfailing precision and deadlines are strictly adhered to.

    Being the longest running VA company in the world, comes with its share of perils. Operational effectiveness is paramount to maintain the satisfaction levels of clients. And with competition looming, it has become even more important to become effective operationally and turn it into a competitive advantage, which cannot not be replicated easily.

    With this in mind, the term “continuous improvement” started to resonate within teams at GetFriday. This is the story of two such teams, GMT (UK) virtual assistance team and FE (Australia) small business team. Both these teams managed to bring and implement a globally recognized quality tool at GetFriday.

    What Is Kaizen?
    For the benefit of those of you who are unaware about Kaizen, here is a brief explanation of the philosophy -

    It is a Japanese philosophy that aims at ‘eliminating waste’ in the organization, without large capital investments. The word literally translates to ‘change’ (kai) ‘good’ (zen).” Any activity that does not add value to customer is a waste and needs to be eliminated. The overall objective being continuous small improvements.

    Identification of Non Value Added Activities:

    Every Wednesday, the teams meet to identify the Non-value added activities that stops them from delivering quality results on time to clients.

    Some example of Non value added activities identified and eliminated are listed below. This added to small continuous improvements within the teams and results began to show.

    1. The pending emails were identified as waiting inventory. It was decided to generate a daily report on the number of emails to be responded to. These emails usually are customer interactions. Elimination of this waste had immediate positive effect on the satisfaction level and responsiveness within the team.
    Continue reading

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    Save 60 Minutes A Day With GetFriday

    As the saying goes, even a second is precious for a busy person and saving a whole 60 minutes is equivalent to striking a pot of gold. To have 60 whole minutes of your life back, could mean spending more time with your family, catching that movie you wanted to watch at the theater, jogging with your pet, Bruno at the beach, relaxing at the spa or just unwinding on the couch. To assist you all your business, personal and administrative requirements, GetFriday’s Virtual Assistants can help offload your work while you catch that much needed break for yourself.

    Save 60 Minutes A Day

    GetFriday has now come up with a series of ‘Save 60 Minutes A Day’ videos for you, capturing the very essence of how our virtual assistance services could help a client offload tasks and make a difference in his/her life in the process. The first of these videos, titled ‘Meet Jane’, is about a working mother of two, who is also an entrepreneur of a successful e-commerce store. Not being able to strike a balance in her work and personal life, Jane gets really flustered, but manages to change her life for the better by hiring a GetFriday Virtual Assistant! Her virtual assistant helps her by saving 60 minutes of her day everyday, by handling all her e-commerce back-end work for her, while she finally gets to spend some quality time with her kids!

    Save 60 Minutes A Day With GetFriday

    We are going to have a lot more videos in the ‘Save 60 Minutes A Day Series’, so, stay tuned for more updates!

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    E-Commerce Store – Holiday Season Check List For Increasing Sales

    Holiday season is near and this is the time online stores see a surge in sales. But like all things in life you need to be prepared. GetFriday has been around for 10 years now and we have come to understand and learn from our ecommerce clients, the essentials that are required to increase sales during the holiday season.

    Click on the picture below to see this blog in a slideshare format.

    Here is a checklist for your quick consumption:

    1. This is the best time to launch new products

    This is the time of the year GetFriday associates get busy with remodeling e-commerce stores, resizing and editing the product images, proof reading the content, uploading products on amazon and rearranging the website display.

    Most e-commerce firms would consider this as the best time to launch a new product. The chances of succeeding now are far higher than any time later. The known factor about customers is that they are willing to spend more during this season. US retail sales for December 2014 was $442.9 billion – this was an increase of 3.2% over December 2013.

    2. Start early with promotions and campaigns

    A recent study conducted by Oracle Marketing Cloud and Edison Research shows that consumers are doing their holiday shopping early, spending as much as $900 more in the month of October than in December. Start early with planning holiday promotions and campaigns.

    Our data shows that e-commerce stores start preparing for the holiday season as early as September – October and are ready to launch their campaigns. This give enough time for e-commerce stores to conduct experimental marketing and figure out ways to succeed with customers. With consumers, too willing to take advantage of early shopping discounts and promotions, the timing of promotions and campaigns has gained relevance in recent times. Remember you are competing for the customer wallet.

    If you are not ready for launching promotions for all your visitors in October, it is advisable to start campaigns with your existing database of clients. Give them the opportunity to take advantage of promotions before your new visitors. It is a known fact that cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than retaining an existing customer.

    3. Increase your advertisement budget

    Let us simplify advertising for you – As you reach more customers with relevant offers, chances of sales increases proportionally. Holiday season is the best time to increase your spending on marketing, as you know for sure customers are looking for your products. If not yours they will land on a competitor’s website.

    Research shows that social media has a major impact on purchasing choices made by holiday shoppers. “More than half of users (52 percent) say they learned about a product they later purchased because of Twitter, and it’s so convenient to find gift ideas on Twitter that 39 percent say Twitter serves as their new holiday shopping list,” a 2014 Twitter study found.

    4. Is your operations ready for holiday season?

    Make sure operational capabilities are ready for the holiday season. This is the time new customers would be experiencing your product and service, and chances of making them your loyal customer rests with the experience they will gain.

    It is a common practice with large retailers to hire employees during holiday season to manage customer operations. Learning from this industry practice, you could hire virtual assistants to help manage operations during the holiday season.

    5. Is your website spreading the joy – with analytics?

    Your website needs to reflect the holiday season spirit and create the festive effect. Happy customers tend to buy more. You probably already know that the website is your store front.

    Look at data generated from your campaigns to optimize your pages. Let the best sellers be visible to your customers.

    6. Be ready for customers purchasing from their phones

    UPS compass in its recent article How America will shop in 2015 quoted IBM data to reveal that mobiles accounted for 45 percent of all 2014 online holiday traffic and for 22.6 percent of online sales, a 27.2 percent gain over the 2013 total More than 50 percent of online shopping traffic came from mobiles during the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.

    These numbers drive home the point of need to be prepared with providing customers options of shopping through their mobiles and making their experiences pleasant and user-friendly.

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    5 Reasons WHY CRM Investments Fail In E-Commerce Industry

    In 10 years of GetFriday’s existence, we have handled a lot of CRMs! Our insights for this blog are derived from this experience.
    Our clients have been at times, early adopters of these tools. We also happen to have a huge client base of entrepreneurs and small businesses. This has enabled us to have a 360 degree view of CRM usage or its lack of usage.

    Without doubt CRMS are useful tools for e-commerce

    It is true that CRM software can help e-commerce businesses provide excellent customer support by managing and storing all data related to customers and transactions. Though all this can be achieved through other online tools, the beauty of buying CRM software is to be able to utilize it in such a manner that it can take care of your business needs automatically while allowing you to focus on improving your sales conversion rates considerably.

    Nevertheless, majority of companies fail to benefit from CRMs and end up losing huge amounts of money. We have identified 5 reasons for the failure of CRMs in the e-commerce industry through our longstanding experience of serving e-commerce clients.

    This blog is also summarized in the form of Slideshare presentation. Please click on the below image for the presentation.

    CRM Investments Failure

    5 Reasons for CRM Investments Failure

    1. Not utilizing full capacity of CRMs

    Imagine you hired an employee for your small e-commerce business, and are unable to use 40 % of this person’s skill. A smart business owner should ideally be worried. But somehow, business professionals do not worry about the unused capacities of assets. Our internal data shows many entrepreneurs do not utilize as much as 40 % of CRMs capability.

    This is not because there is a problem with the CRM software, but because e-commerce businesses often miss out on critically analyzing the requirements of the CRM within the business at the outset. These CRMs generally have limited or no use in the business and are dead resources. This renders the CRM a misfit within the e-commerce business if not employed correctly.

    2. Buying a CRM too early

    Define the CRM requirements first before jumping into which CRM to buy. If you are just starting out as an e-commerce company, your focus ideally be targeted towards expanding your client base, attracting as many customers as possible and achieving breakeven sales with your products online. Managing customer relations and records in an organized database is also, extremely important. But Google drives and other free tools do an equally good job.

    Therefore, if you are starting out, it would be wise to analyze if using a CRM at this stage can prove to be fruitful. We suggest you to start lean.

    3. Not setting objectives, goals and targets for CRM

    One way to derive maximum from your CRM is to set a clear objective, goal and target. Treat your CRM as an asset that needs to justify its costs.
    With CRMs being implemented in businesses across industries in today’s world, SMEs and upcoming e-commerce companies may find it necessary to implement CRMs in their own businesses, without understanding how the features can be fully utilized to boost business efficiency.

    The requirement for a CRM is the result of much deliberation over difficult business truths such as dwindling sales, strained customer relations, service woes or escalating marketing issues. The mistake takes place with the first step when businesses implement CRMs without understanding its features, the metrics it has to offer and how in turn a CRM can help your e-commerce business grow.

    4. Owning a CRM only as a social norm

    Over these years, we have seen entrepreneurs rushing to buy a CRM as a part of their initial start up infrastructure. They utilize it to supplement their daily meetings with prospects and networks and end up buying CRMs only because others in the industry have implemented them and because they assume it is necessary.

    Though the assumption may not be entirely wrong, we strongly suggest you ask yourself these 4 simple questions before you buy a CRM –

  • Can it solve the problems in my business?
  • Does it suit by budget?
  • Can it integrate seamlessly with my existing software and systems?
  • Is it necessary at this point of my company’s operations?
  • CRMs should not be implemented just for the heck of it and just because every other company in the block is using a Salesforce or a Zoho. It should only be employed if an e-commerce business has the resources for it, has the ability to answer these questions and be able to present solutions for it.

    5. Inefficiency in uploading the data in CRM

    The data you capture from your customers need to be updated in a timely manner into your CRMs. This requires your time and devotion. Typically our study shows, that the lack of time to enter data into CRMs remains the single most problem for entrepreneurs and e-commerce store owners alike. We suggest you hire a virtual assistant to handle this work seamlessly.

    If you want to avoid the possibility of failures, your first step should be to take care of these 5 reasons. Since investing in a CRM is a big deal, make sure you have your goals defined and its needs/requirements for the business sorted before you take the plunge. After all, CRMs are assets and like any other asset, need to be justified for its costs and employed properly for maximum benefits.

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    GetFriday Newsletter – E-Commerce Insights

    Industry News: E-Commerce Insights

    GetFriday has begun its monthly endeavors of providing you with information that could be of use to you. We aim to impart important insights to our clients to help them promote and help e-commerce stores grow. At GetFriday, we have had diverse experiences with our clients, most of them largely E-Commerce clients.

    The year 2015 is packed with a number of changes and prevalent trends in the E-commerce industry. Industry players need to now understand and adopt these changes in order to be able procure revenue and attract traffic. Some of the top trends for the E-Commerce industry for this year are highlighted below and are as follows:-

  • Sales are now being effectively carried out over mobile phones. A recent survey shows that mobile now “account for 50.3% of all E-Commerce Traffic”. Also, the new Google algorithm change that requires websites to be mobile-friendly should be well in place for E-commerce websites by now in order for a better ranking on search engine sites in order to attract traffic.

  • Social media sites are now turning into lucrative platforms for driving sales to e-commerce websites. A lot of consumers are now turning to Pinterest, Polyvore, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to ‘discover’ new, prevalent e-commerce products and to Twitter for specialty/niche industries. Setting up Facebook stores are also becoming a popular trend, helping E-commerce websites directly on the platform through a trusted and secure payment gateway.

  • Social commerce has been viewed as one of the most important e-commerce trends for the year and funnels a large part of website viewership and traffic. But if generating traffic was not enough, Facebook tops the list as the social media site that brings in the highest conversion rate for e-commerce traffic at 1.85%.

  • People shop whenever it is convenient for them during the day or night and don’t necessarily use the desktop or the laptop to surf e-commerce websites. People shop or go through e-commerce websites on the move, during the day, before they go to bed at night and even between the periods 12-2PM at the work place and on Sunday Evenings. This is a proven statistic. E-commerce websites should take a note of this and if you are PPC advertiser, this could work as a model for you to be able to place your ad campaigns effectively.
  • These have been some of the top trends for 2015. There will be more updates and more newsletters on what’s fresh and what’s doing the rounds in the e-commerce industry.

    Stay tuned for the latest postings, tips, offerings and blogs specific to the e-commerce industry in the next issue and follows us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn as well.

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    GetFriday Newsletter – Get Friday and Social Media

    With GetFriday stepping into its 10th year of operations, we would like to take the opportunity to firstly, offer our sincerest thanks and gratitude to every client who has supported us in our endeavors along the way. Without your conviction and belief, it would have been impossible for GetFriday to achieve the kind of success it has.

    We have spread our wings through social media marketing and have built our presence on a number of popular social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. Through this, we aim to help clients discover our latest postings whilst also providing exciting opportunities to avail the best of GetFriday’s virtual assistance services. A series of social media campaigns will be launched on a monthly basis for this special year and clients, both old and new, will be chosen as the recipients of tremendous benefits.

    A recent ‘Friendship Day’ campaign was launched on the official GetFriday social media pages on July 27th, 2015. The campaign was primarily targeted at clients who had availed GetFriday’s services and to help clients’ friends avail the same, by gifting them GetFriday hours, along with submitting a special tweet, a shout-out or a personalized message for Friendship Day. The result of the campaign was nothing short of a grand success, with the existing clients also receiving exciting, referral benefits.

    Similarly, GetFriday ran an exciting “World Entrepreneurs Day” campaign from the 17th-21st August. The prime motive behind launching such an exclusive campaign was to celebrate entrepreneurs and their contributions around the world. As many of our clients are businesspersons themselves, we offered them $25 as cash prizes and also a complementary offer wherein the clients referrals earned 25% off on the first month’s bill if they signed up during the offer period. The campaign proved to be fruitful and gave the golden opportunity to clients to earn exciting prizes and benefits and also gave GetFriday a chance to welcome new clients into the GetFriday family.

    More such campaigns will be launched across GetFriday’s official pages. Stay tuned and follow us on our social media sites for latest offerings, blogs and news. Not only will you be able to view the latest internal news, but you will also be able to benefit from the fresh, quality content posted for professionals and entrepreneurs across various domains and industries on a weekly basis.

    We love to hear from you and we bet you would love to hear from us too! Let’s stay connected.

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