Your virtual assistant is a partner, not an employee

Virtual Assistants

Photo from GeorgiaVirtualAssistants

Virtual Assistants Helping you get things done.

Virtual assistants provide professional, administrative or professional assistance to other entrepreneurs. Clearly, they can be some of the best business relationships you can possibly have. Businesses often underestimate the potential of the relationship.

Many entrepreneurs think of a virtual assistant as a secretary who they can unload projects onto that are too boring and unimportant to merit their own attention. You need to remember that a virtual assistant is an entrepreneur themselves, probably with similar skill sets and qualifications. You should treat them more like a business partner than an employee, because they may know just as much about running your business as you do.

If you are going to benefit from a virtual assistant, you are going to need to do a few things:

  • Develop a rapport and long-term relationship.
  • Be clear on the extent of their knowledge. They know a lot more than doing administrative work, so don’t assume they can’t help you with something.
  • Don’t treat them like an employee. They are either a professional you contract out to (like an accountant or lawyer) or you can pretend they are a partner. They may not be a partner in any legal sense (although you can offer them the opportunity if you really like their work) but you can have a better relationship by viewing them as such.

Beyond the traditional tasks people delegate to their VAs, consider using them for some of the following as well.

Graphical Presentation

A virtual assistant will be able to develop PowerPoint Presentations that will make your meetings go more smoothly. Keep in mind, they know how a business meeting should go and probably have more experience preparing clients for them than you do. Make sure you take advantage of their expertise.


Virtual assistants know how to look into target markets and find you relevant information. If you sell tools to help businesses with their projects, a virtual assistant will look into that market and tell you everything you need to put into your product to satisfy your clients. They will also tell you where to advertise to reach your target audience.

Your One-man Marketing Team

Your virtual assistant can do everything you need to market your product successfully. They can help you construct a marketing plan, submit ads and track your marketing campaign every step of the way. They will even find more efficient ways to monitor your customer feedback and make suggestions for improvement.

These are only a handful of ways that a virtual assistant can help you. When you hire a virtual assistant, make sure you get your money’s worth and treat them as the experts they really are.

Tuk Tuk – Indi’genius’ GPS Auto Fare Technology

Tuk Tuk Meter

GPS to the Rescue!

Here is good.. no make that great news for public transport commuters in India and a heaven sent boon for tourists in India. The actual source of this technology is far from heavenly though GPS is an eerily accurate technology which might be contested by conspiracy theory buffs as supernatural in origin. Jokes apart, MindHelix Technologies, a Kerala (India) based company formed last month by an engineer and two engineering students launched Tuk Tuk Meter. This claims to be India’s first GPS based multi-platform Auto fare calculator that runs through smart phones which can be started on getting into the auto-rickshaw and the meter in the phone will run alongside the meter in the rickshaw. It can also double-check the distance travelled as shown in the auto’s meter and the GPS distance calculated by the application, Thomas Antony, Chief Technology Officer of MeindHelix, said.

Continue reading

CES 2012 – let’s anticipate Open Source

I know, it is too early to be thinking of the CES 2012, especially when the CES 2011 has just recently come to an end and we still haven’t delved deep into the nitty-gritties of the event’s outcome. However, it does not stop us from thinking and talking about the expectations from the next CES event. There were so many innovative products and services that were discussed, introduced and anticipated in this year’s event, but there has never been the prominent presence of Open Source Software. This is exactly what the hope shall be for next year’s event – A prominent presence of Open Source Software at CES 2012.

Let us take a look at 5 anticipated Open Source projects to be spoken about in the coming up event.

1. Ubuntu to take centre stage

Though Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux distribution has made its presence felt during CES events, the coverage that it deserves has still not been given to it. There was just this one time when a series of ARM-powered laptops debuted by Chinese firm Nufront in one of the CES events. Ubuntu’s successful growth rate with its innovative feature-list and the fact that it is absolutely free makes it, and understandably so, a thing of the future and hence deserves a centre stage at a CES event. It is also essential that we see Ubuntu in 2 kinds at the event – One as a stand-alone operating system on laptops, notebooks and tablets and Two routinely as a dual-boot option.

Continue reading

Why LinkedIn Groups May Not Be Working for You

We’ve all heard stories about an Internet millionaire who used LinkedIn to expand their network. Then they actually try joining a variety of LinkedIn groups and fail to create a single connection. After a few weeks of frustration, they throw in the towel.

If this scenario describes you, then you are probably starting to doubt the effectiveness of LinkedIn. Instead, you need to come up with a different practice for finding the groups that are actually going to be worth the time you put into them.

There are a few variables you need to look at while you identify LinkedIn groups that will give you what you are looking for. Keep in mind, you can always leave a group and focus your energy elsewhere if it’s not giving you a return on your investment.

What is the group’s purpose?

This is the first filter and probably the most important thing you take into consideration before joining a group on LinkedIn. There is no sense investing weeks in a group that isn’t relevant to your goals. Fortunately, the title and description can help you with this. Keep in mind, some groups titles are a little misleading about the niche they are trying to serve and sometimes the group takes on a new direction from what the creator originally intended. That is why you will have to be open to changing your mind later on.

Continue reading

India’s Model for Rapidly Developing Population Dense Emerging Markets

India has been on the cutting edge of technology and emerging trends since the 1990s and they have created a customizable system for other population dense countries looking to rapidly develop to bring the bulk of their population into the new technological revolution.

Since India’s rapid development started in the 1990s it has become the 11th largest economy in the world and has the 4th largest purchasing power parity. It also has approximately 1/6th of the worlds 6 billion+ people, 80% of who are barely accounted for statistically.

Continue reading

Laws bloggers should be aware of

The Internet is the fastest and simplest way to communicate to the rest of the world. As I’ve mentioned before, this is a double edged sword. The statements we make online can destroy our business image if we are reckless.

The consequences for not being careful online may be much more serious than we think. In the United States and many other countries, bloggers are now treated as journalists in some regards and can be sued or even prosecuted based on what they say. This article discusses some of the laws that bloggers need to be aware of.

Continue reading

Want people to follow you on Quora? Please do your homework


With the recent growth explosion of Quora, I’m pretty sure everyone is following and being followed by lots of other people. Lots of Quora users tweeted about ‘turning off email notifications’ for new followers as there were lots of ‘followings’ happening around.

This would apply to many similar services and so also for Quora. If you follow other people and eventually want people to follow you, please do some homework and complete some basic steps before firing up that ‘follow everyone I know’ button.

  • Complete your profile. Write a Description. (People need to remember who you are and why they should follow you.)
  • Upload your picture. An online avatar, be it your own photo or of your cat, is something that people recognize you by.
  • Answer at-least couple of questions. Or ask some which are relevant to you or your industry.

These are simple steps but it will help people remember who you’re and follow you back to help a meaningful conversation on Quora. It is not easy if you just follow me and I see nothing on your profile (no picture, no questions, no answers). I’m pretty sure other users have the same sentiment.


Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.

OpenLeaks, a more transparent alternative to WikiLeaks


After all the hoopla that WikiLeaks went through along with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, it was a wonderment as to what would happen to the online whistle-blowing fraternity. Well, there seems no respite yet for the fraternity cause former deputy to Assange, Daniel Domscheit-Berg along with a few more ex-WikiLeaks employees has launched OpenLeaks which promises to be more transparent, better and bigger than WikiLeaks.

The website will be functional from the summer of 2011, but the site right now is live only with the OpenLeaks logo and he phrase “Coming soon!”. Speaking about the non-proliferation of WikiLeaks and Cryptome on the internet Daniel Domscheit-Berg said “the fear of an immense lack of knowledge and the technical know-how to keep these organizations in operation has lead them to failure.” He also spoke in detail of his project while he was at the 27th Chaos Communication Congress, an annual political and technology conference in Berlin on December 30, to an audience of 300 activists and hackers.

Continue reading

Yahoo! opts for Downsizing again, to Revive Business

Let me first wish all readers and regular followers of Brajeshwar a very Happy New Year, 2011. 2010 could have been a bad year for many and here is hoping for a better start in 2011. A bad year it was for many at Yahoo! too.

Yes, Yahoo! has done it again. In less than 4 years the company has gone ahead and issued the pink slip to as many as 2,700 employees. History says that the Sunnyvale, California based company had sacked around 1,400 jobs in the year 2008 during the time of recession and then up to 700 job holders were shown the gate in the very next year 2009.

Following this is yet another lot of 600 people who now have to look for other job opportunities. The downsizing saga continued with Yahoo! chopping of 600 jobs during December mid-month of 2010, but the number supposedly higher than the real deal. There were speculations of at least a 20% layoff which in real-time has reduced to a 4% layoff.

Continue reading

2010– An Orwellian Year in Review

2010 might very well have been the year that we dipped further into an Orwellian nightmare as we lost all sense of privacy and dominion. This passing year we have experienced less privacy than ever before with changing Facebook privacy controls and the independence of the press has been obliterated after the persecution of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Consider the following main tenets of Orwell’s 1984 in juxtaposition with the major waves in 2010:

Big Brother — Privacy is dead, get over it

Orwell’s concept of Big Brother was an all-seeing eye that watched us constantly, eerily similar to that of Facebook in 2010. This past year Facebook has come under serious scrutiny for changing its privacy constraints, which permeate almost every aspect of our culture. One cannot help but make comparisons between the all-seeing eye of Big Brother and the all-seeing eye of Facebook, both of which dissolve our rights to privacy.

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was even quoted this year saying that “privacy is no longer a social norm,” and that privacy is dead, get used to it. These Big Brother-style comments come at a critical time for privacy issues, as more and more of our lives are brought online. With Facebook’s new searchable parameters, literally everything we do will be online– and at their mercy.

Continue reading