activeCollab Project Management:
Just grow with it!
VA Staffer has been growing at an exponential pace since we opened our services to the public in April of 2014. It started out with an idea – no, even better yet – a need. You see, I needed help in my life – I worked for the government as an IT Director and then transitioned into a fast-paced corporate position overseeing $1.5 to $3 Million in monthly projects. I never had time to do anything I wanted to do because I was working all day, literally. I needed help.
My first Virtual Assistant is now my partner. Rhodora now manages over 12 staff here at VA Staffer providing awesome long-term careers for our team in the Philippines. Like many of you I have a passion to create things. When I was a child it was electronics kits, and imaginary castles, and it evolved into an unquenchable thirst to create success. I’ve worked on so many projects, and so many ventures – but the reoccurring theme is apparent, I needed a way to keep things organized.
A 10 Year IT Project Manager, and founding partner at VA Staffer. Dedicated to empowering ideas, and creating opportunities for talented individuals around the world.
Enter Active Collab:
Using activeCollab has been essential to our business and it’s growth. We’re using it to empower our clients to create tasks to our team. Our business model is truly unique to any other business support or outsourcing online – we develop long term relationships with our clients by taking over time-consuming bottlenecks of their business and implementing automation to them run efficiently. On top of that we have myself and a Management Team who’s job is to understand each of our client’s businesses to really learn how we can help them grow.
Not long after our launch, we realized that we had something that was in serious demand and we needed a powerful web-based tool to delegating tasks to our team along with setting proper user permissions in a team collaboration environment. We built our team with specific skill-sets in mind that our clients really need for their businesses. I took off to the Philippines to interview candidates because I wanted to have real accountability and a real relationship with crew. The one thing I’ve learned in building this is that you can’t outsource relationships.
Increased ProductivityWith the ability to have a designated Team Manager to truly understand our client’s needs, they are able to pull in the Virtual Assistant that they need for the task. Example: We have a client who needs some documents formatted and branded for some Opt-In give-aways for her site. She also needs a new Opt-In and Landing page designed – well that’s two different skill sets between a web designer / coder and one of our VA’s good at branding documents with graphic design / layout. The team manager can assign our team members base don their ability – and with the newest version of activeCollab we can even assign multiple VA’s to the same task if it requires more than one skill set or ability. (See figure.)
Powerful Invoicing & Recurring Profiles
One of the most essential functions of any business activeCollab really takes care of us - that's invoicing. Not only does activeCollab help us manage our projects and workflow - but it can function as a one-stop shop for invoicing and time recording. We're able to do quotes, invoices, and have our clients pay right in the system removing the need to have multiple softwares that add weight and additional overhead costs. We have clients that pay for 40 and 80 hours on a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly basis - this allows us to automatically invoice on a payment structure agreed. It will even send them an invoice via email and send us a copy for our records - of course all of this stored on the server side for easy access. Kudos activeCollab.
We love the fact that not only can we make very customizable Invoices, but it also has a built in web-based Invoice Designer that can get your branding straight and your invoices right. Our clients really love the built in PayPal Express Gateway, and there's lots of additional functionality to make the invoice the right color and the right look. Customizable headers and footers really give a professional feel unmatched for a system built into the project management.
The Bottom Line
We are in the business of relationships and results - and so are our clients. Having an easy way for the team to communicate is vital to our existence. The partnerships we build with our clients are as important as the relationships we build with the developers of the tools we use. We're proud to be working with such an awesome team behind activeCollab and they've been super supportive of our business and very receptive of the features our clients want. We are able to offer a fantastic package that no other business support has out there - with built in Project Management, and Team Collaboration. Our clients always brag to their friends and colleagues about our team and we've grown to over 50 clients and 12 staff with ZERO advertising budget - 100% word of mouth. That's the way we'd like to keep it, we want to be our client's secret weapon - the Virtual Office Assistant.