Archive for December 2010

Windows Users – Remember to Defragment your hard drive

December 16, 2010

Well, I have not been very diligent about this…

When you open Accessories – System Tools – Disk Defragmenter, you can click the Analyze button, to check whether your hard drive needs cleaning up. Hopefully, you get a picture with a lot of blue and white, some green and a minimal amount of red – or, you could get a picture like I did:
Obviously, my hard drive needed to be defragmented – with a vengeance!

Unfortunately, there is also a requirement to have 15% or more of the hard drive free in order for Disk Defragmenter to work correctly. So – as I had less than 15% free on both occasions that I have used this tool, I was not able to get the full benefit from the tool… But it DID improve the situation each time I ran this tool. Running it repeatedly moved files around, improving the situation, even if it is still not ideal.
While it might still look like some kind of Jackson Pollock or Pro Hart art work, if you look carefully, you will see that the first blue section has moved further to the left and there is less colour on the right hand side – all of which means that your files will load faster on your PC – which has to be good!

So – learn from my mistakes – don’t leave it 12 months between times that you run the Disk Defragmenter tool on your hard drive! Backup your files regularly and run the defragmenter about once a month – don’t let your picture get as colourful as this.

Networking – does it work?

December 1, 2010

One of the issues that Perfect Notes has with getting Virtual Assistant customers is trust – if a business hires a Virtual Assistant and the relationship works, the VA is going to learn a LOT about the business! So, necessarily, you have to be sure that you trust the person who is going to be doing your work. But… in this modern world, most people come to your website to work out whether they want to use your services. Which is totally reasonable – but how do you convince someone who is reading your website that you are trustworthy? I mean, I could write all sorts of words, but how do the people looking at the page know that we are not snake oil salesmen? I have not yet found a solution to this question, although this will be focused on more when the website is rewritten (hopefully by the New Year) – but part of the solution is to actually meet potential customers face to face, to build a relationship and let people get to know us – hence the fact that Perfect Notes often attends networking events.

Do they work? Well, I would have to say yes. 30% of Perfect Notes’ customers came from networking of one kind or another.

Are they hard work? Well – for me they are – for a lot of people they are just fun, because they are people who love chatting to other people, so it’s just an extension of that, talking about their business. But the more I do this, the better I am at talking to people about how we can help them and the more comfortable I am with the whole process – so it’s all good. And every time I speak to someone about the business problems we can help them to solve, that potential business relationship is happening and the possibility of building enough trust to allow access to business knowledge – which is the only way that potential customers can learn who we are and what we stand for.

So – if you see us out and about, come and say hi – if we can’t help you, maybe you can help us – not all business relationships are as customer and supplier – partnerships are possible too!

On the other hand – does your business need to establish a face-to-face relationship with your customers? If so, think about networking – it really can work for you, as well as for us. And if you want to know some of the details, talk to me – it can’t hurt to have more information, surely?