Saturday, February 28, 2009

Practicing What We Preach

As a Virtual Business Manager, my job is to assist business owners in growing their businesses by taking tasks off their plate that take time away from core activities of their business. Well recently I followed my own advice. I hired a virtual assistant to assist me with a small subset of my tasks related to my business, and I must say it is turning out to be one of the best decisions that I've made for my business. It has enabled me to concentrate on both marketing, networking (both social and otherwise) and servicing my existing clients. In a nutshell, I guess this is a testimonial that hiring and assistant is well worth the effort, even other virtual assistants do it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who’s Your Target?

As administrative partners, llc moves into another year of business, it is time to rethink some of the effectiveness of certain areas of business. The most glaring detail at this time would be profiling and duplicating our best client. Identifying what makes him so great. Is it his concise and clear communication? Or the fact that he truly uses us as partners day-to-day and not just a task here and there meaning he really "gets" the whole partnership part of our mission statement. Whatever the reason, we love him and want all of our clients to grow up to be just like him. The dilemma lies in the clients that we've taken on but are far from fitting that ideal profile. While I'm happy to say I really sincerely like all of our clients, I can't say that all of their work styles fit within the ideal client/Virtual Business Manager situation for administrative partners, llc. The question then becomes – are they trainable? Do we even want to train them? Of course in the economy no one wants to lose a paying customer, but is it worth the time and frustration that comes with working with someone outside of our target. What does a small business do?

We've decided to truly profile our clients going forward. We want to work with small business owners, who want to help themselves; one who understand that there is a need to delegate tasks that take time away from the core service of providing for their clients. They need to understand and appreciate that they can't do it by themselves; nor should they try. They will focus on what they are good at – running their business. They will not micromanage. They will trust our ability to succeed. They will be clear about expectations and provide constructive feedback where applicable.

I'm looking forward to signing on many more ideal clients this coming year. With the new range of services we are planning to offer this year, these clients should not be hard to find.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meet administrative partners, llc's Newest Client

Doris E. McMillon is the President and Chief Strategist Officer for McMillon Communications, Inc., a full-service communications and marketing firm specializing in strategic positioning, branding and effective communications. Ms. McMillon has co-anchored and reported in prime-time news hour slots including tenure at Metromedia/Fox New York flagship station, WNTW-TV, where she went undercover as a welfare recipient for the hard-hitting, Emmy Award winning series, The Welfare Rip-off. For more information, please visit her website at

administrative partners, llc will be assisting McMillon Communications prepare for a request for proposal as well as all administrative tasks that will assist Ms. McMillon in growing her business.

We are happy to welcome Ms. McMillon into the administrative partner’s family.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Business Proposals

What should go into a business proposal?

There are some things that tend to be similar across business proposals. These are tendencies and not rules. The only time there are rules is when the customer issues a Request for Proposals (RFP). An RFP, if it has sufficient detail, will tell you what should go into your proposal and how it should be presented. Sometimes, the nature of a product or service being offered or industry practices provide some guidelines for proposal composition and/or layout.

A typical business proposal might include:

* An Executive Summary introducing your company, what you will do or provide to the customer, and how the customer will benefit from what you propose.
* A statement of work or technical approach describing what you will do or provide to the customer. An implementation schedule and description of deliverables is usually included. If products are being proposed, then product descriptions are usually provided (the amount of detail depends on the customer’s requirements).
* A management plan describing how you will organize and supervise any work to be performed. A schedule of major milestones and allocation of resources may be provided.
* Corporate qualifications that describe your capability to do or provide what you are proposing. Relevant prior experience is usually highlighted.
* A Staffing Plan that describes how the project will be staffed is sometimes on large service contracts. If particular people are important to the approach, their resumes are usually provided.
* Contracts and Pricing. If the proposal is being used to close a business deal, then business and contractual terms are usually provided.

Some RFPs will set a page limit on the proposal. Some don’t. Some RFPs will tell you the format/layout to use, and some won’t. Some RFPs will tell you what evaluation criteria and process the customer will follow. And some won’t. The customer sets the standards and defines the rules.

If your proposal is going to be submitted to a Government agency, then the composition and layout of the proposal may have regulatory requirements to comply with. In the case of the Federal Government, these are usually based on the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

(Taken from