Lucinda Cross: Virtual Assistant

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Black Star News Business Columnist, Phil Andrews interviews top Virtual Assistant, Lucinda Cross of LC Associates

Small business owners, organizations, and professionals are being swamped by their increasing workloads and looking for new methods to manage their daily lives and actively seeking out Virtual Assistants to bring order and efficiency back to their daily work schedule.


BSN: Lucinda, how did you determine that there was a need in the marketplace
for Virtual Assistants?


Lucinda: I found there was a need for VA’s by talking with business owners.  The business owners I talked to emphasized that their number one obstacle was building a team, management, organization, and day-to-day drudgework that was getting in the way of them focusing on their product or service.  I saw from this, the need to fill this gap for business owners and entrepreneurs without being in the office.


BSN: What is your background prior to creating a virtual assistant company, and has your prior background helped you in your current business endeavors?


Lucinda: I had a successful career as an executive assistant working for high-level executives in major corporations, but I did not really feel like I was making a difference. I decided to explore the business world by starting my first business, which consisted of business development, and writing.  With years of skill and experience in major corporations and being gifted in the art of problem solving, I decided to redirect my focus and create a service that concentrated on helping business owners to manage their companies in a way that will help them expand and grow and at the same time.


BSN: What are some of the main problems that small business owners
encounter that would lead to their using your services?
 
Lucinda: Phones going unanswered, no follow-up with valuable contacts, important tasks that is not being done, proposals that need to be written in order to generate more cash not being sent out, overload of paper and database neglecting, important parts of the business being neglected and great opportunities are falling through the cracks are just a few of the problems small business’s with immense potential are struggling with.


BSN:  Lucinda, in your bio you mention you have a background in organizational management and business.  Please explain what that means?


Lucinda: My background entails all aspects of business from management to business writing, event planning, marketing and general organization such as database creation, and customer satisfaction.


BSN: What is the most important lesson that you have learned in
your more than 7 years of operational, organizational and management experience?

Lucinda: I learned that the key to success in business is communication.  Communication is very important in building any business. A business is a relationship, a marriage a documented agreement between parties that express the intent of both parties but without the proper communication, the relationship will fail. I’ve also learned that while the average entrepreneur is brilliant in their own right, they need someone to compliment those skills and a system to keep everything on track.


BSN:  What services would you provide for a small business owner on a typical day?


Lucinda: I provide follow up calls, database creation and update, event planning and follow up, customer service calls, media outreach and some business writing.


BSN: What is the total range of services that you offer as a Virtual
Assistant?


Lucinda: Marketing Services, Business Writing, External Affairs, Special Events, Management and Drudgework.


BSN:  What type of companies typically  benefit from your services as a Virtual Assistant?


Lucinda: Small Businesses with no brick and mortar can benefit from having a VA at the drop of a click.  Small Businesses with less than 20 employees.  Authors, speakers and companies who provide a service.


BSN:  What is the most rewarding part of your day-to-day business
operations?


Lucinda: When a plan comes together, getting the job done and supplying my clients with excellent service.  I enjoy working for entrepreneurs and small business owners; curing their business pains and being part of the solution.


BSN: What does it take to be a top-notch Virtual Assistant?


Lucinda: Excellent communication and organizational skills, a good understanding of what each business needs in order to succeed, business savvy and the gift of being a problem solver and able to work independently.


BSN:  Lucinda, you recently completed your first book.  What is the title of
the book, and why did you decide to write a book?


Lucinda: The name of my book is “10 Reasons Why Every Small Business Owner Needs a Virtual Assistant.”  I decided to write this book to inform small business owners of a better system and the solutions that VA’s solve. Virtual Assistants are becoming more familiar within mainstream American businesses.  VA’s support their clients without having to ever step foot inside the client’s office.  I felt that business owners need to know that they can receive help without having to set up an office, listen to family problems, worry when their assistant is late or absent, or best of all supervise! That is a book worth buying and a service worth contracting. 
 
BSN: What are some examples of the problems that you typically help
your clients solve?


Lucinda: I help many of my clients with clear off their office with paper work and place it into a database. I help keep my clients in contact with their customers and find a systematical way for them to do business while supplying customer service.  I allow them to use their time more focusing on their product or service, while I handle their priorities.  Time management is one major problem I solve.  I allow my clients more time with their families and more vacations while increasing their bottom line by supplying them with a functional team member (VA).


One client had over three bags of client information and has not had contact with them in over 3years.  I created a database for her, followed up with the past clients through mail and email and created a Customer Appreciation Day event.  She benefited tremendously because now she has over 1000 clients who will continue to use her service based on organizing her past lead list.


BSN: Does your company have a web site and what is the URL?


Lucinda: www.lcassociates.homestead.com


BSN: Lucinda, how has your company added to your client's overall productivity?


Lucinda: I have helped over 10 small business owners within 6 months increase their bottom line and organize their company goals and allow them to live up to their mission and vision.


BSN: How many professionals, organizations, and small business owners
contact you regarding your services?


Lucinda: I would say 2-5 entrepreneurs a month.  The clients I have now have been referral based and word of mouth.  Not too many companies contact me because VA is not branded yet and the idea of having someone so convenient and professional I guess is unbelievable to many small businesses owners.   Since I only work with a handful of clients at a time for efficiency slots fill up quickly.


Phil Andrews is a Business Columnist for Black Star News and host of The Power Networking Series located at www.powernetworkingseries.com .  The Power Networking Series is a referral-based business network online and offline which offers membership and presents monthly Power Networking Series Business Card Exchanges in the NYC metropolitan area.


To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com
“Speaking Truth To Empower.”

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