A collaboration and community platform. Virtual workers need a virtual office — a place where they can meet online and hold conversations. It’s easy for virtual workers to become isolated, so a central hub to communicate with colleagues is a benefit. Skype, Slap, HipChat, and Pie are all popular choices. The best collaboration and community platforms connect employees, give them a place to chat and discuss projects, leave feedback and suggestions, and more.

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If you're an overworked entrepreneur wondering why your to-do list always seems unfinished, look into hiring a personal assistant. I once had a mentor tell me that a key to day-to-day success is to hire a PA to keep the trains running on time while you focus on big picture ideas. At first, I thought it was a waste of money, but now I completely understand where he's coming from.

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Establish an onboarding process. Be sure that every employee who collaborates virtually has the same onboarding experience. They should be given access to the same communication systems and handbooks that explain the company processes. Everyone should be given the same advice and tools for success as they’re brought on board. If possible, it can even be very valuable to have an initial onboarding done face-to-face in an office location.
Watson Assistant Pricing: IBM Watson Assistant’s Free plan allows 10,000 API calls per month, 5 chatbots, 100 intents and 25 entities. The Standard plan has unlimited API calls at a cost of $0.0025 per call. You can have up to 20 chatbots, 2,000 intents and 1,000 entities. IBM also offers a multiple higher-level plans, which you’ll need to contact IBM for a quote.

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At Innovative Professional Offices, we provide affordable services for clients looking to rent virtual office space in Mississauga and the GTA. We also offer our clients Web design, development, and hosting; a physical address; phone support; board and training rooms; and support from our friendly and experienced team of professionals. If you’re looking to rent virtual office space, look no further than Innovative Professional Offices!

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A virtual, or remote, personal assistant manages your life from afar. Like a really great fairy godmother that you never have to make a cup of tea for. Which has huge benefit if you’re a one-man or woman band, if you don’t have a physical office to put them in, or if you don’t want to be responsible for holiday, sickness and other HR headaches. Managing your PA virtually is about as simple as setting a task list and watching it get ticked off. Without you having to do a thing.

No matter how important a task may be, if you get a mental block, it will continue to sit on your to-do list gathering dust. The great thing about a personal assistant is that you can choose one who has the strengths you yourself lack. If you’re great with numbers but rubbish at writing presentations, a personal assistant can help translate the data into a powerpoint doc for you. If you don’t do spell-check, they’ll catch any grammatical errors.

With a virtual office, you never have to worry about scaling up or downsizing, nor do you have to go through the process of moving or relocating. Relocation can be a major impediment for businesses, taking a lot of time and creating huge costs, challenges, and complications. With a virtual office, there is no need to worry about relocation or other associated challenges.

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“Burnout” is a phrase that’s thrown around so often it’s lost some of its impact. Yet any entrepreneur or CEO who’s experienced burnout knows just how debilitating it can be. So how do you avoid it? Many will agree that the first step is delegation. Ensuring there are other hands to pick up tasks that you just don’t have enough hours to do. When you begin delegating to a virtual assistant it’s like paying money into a bank of time and energy. That you can easily reclaim, ensuring your account doesn’t run on empty.

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Agencies who specialize in private assistants have a unique insight into the private staffing market, they can help to advise you on matters such as salary benchmarking and what is the going rate for particular roles.  They will also know what skills candidates are likely to have, and where there may be skills shortages.  If there is a surplus of candidates with particular expertise then this would likely affect your chances of recruiting.
Finding the right talent to fill your personal assistant role(s) can be tough.  It can be a real pressure to find the “right” candidate and if you are not actively involved in recruiting it can be difficult to know exactly where to start – or indeed where to finish in finding the right professional.  You may have a list of requirements you expect from your personal assistant but in such a sensitive position it can be difficult to find a candidate you can trust.   For this reason, many people choose to outsource their personal assistant recruiting to an external agency.

Don’t completely neglect face-to-face meetings. If it’s possible, organize a face-to-face encounter for the first meeting. It’s possible to be successful without ever meeting in person, but there isn’t a replacement for face-to-face contact in person. Meeting physically allows people to share a deeper personal connection. Eye contact, proximity, voice, and body language allow people to connect more closely than they would if they met virtually. If meeting in person for the first time isn’t possible, consider holding an annual gathering or other event to keep employees in touch.

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ActiveChat Pricing: Free plan provides single bot with up to 500 monthly active users, but lacks many features. Starter plan is $19 a month and gives you one bot with up to 1,000 monthly active users. Architect plan is $49 a month where you get access to all features. And the Agency bot is $249/mo, which gets you ten bots for 50K monthly active users and access to all features.
If you're an overworked entrepreneur wondering why your to-do list always seems unfinished, look into hiring a personal assistant. I once had a mentor tell me that a key to day-to-day success is to hire a PA to keep the trains running on time while you focus on big picture ideas. At first, I thought it was a waste of money, but now I completely understand where he's coming from.

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Snatchbot Pricing: Snatchbot has a free and pro plan. The Free plan provides access to all the basic platform features, including live chat, broadcast, all messaging channels, and more. The Pro plan gives you access to all features, and is based on how many messages are sent/received. This is tiered, starting at $30/mo for 10K messages, and goes all the way up to $999/mo for 1Million messages.

AI chatbot is a software that can simulate a user conversation with a natural language through messaging applications. It increases user response rate by being available 24/7 on your website. AI Chatbot saves your time, money, and gives better customer satisfaction. Chatbots use machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to deliver near human like conversational experience.

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Very often the number one reason for using an external agency is to save time.  The detailed process of finding a trustworthy personal assistant for your home or business takes a considerable amount of effort; there’s a lot to think about right down to double-checking references, DBS background checks, CV screening and more.  Marketing activities such as posting on job boards, LinkedIn, and specialist publications can also prove expensive; plus there is the risk of hiring the wrong candidate to have to start the whole process over again.
Employer branding is often an important component in hiring private staff.    In the competitive personal assistant market, there is also the common risk of counter-offers from competitors and similar employers. When you partner with a respected specialist agency they give candidates a real insight into your business helping to represent you as the employer of choice.
Watson Assistant Pricing: IBM Watson Assistant’s Free plan allows 10,000 API calls per month, 5 chatbots, 100 intents and 25 entities. The Standard plan has unlimited API calls at a cost of $0.0025 per call. You can have up to 20 chatbots, 2,000 intents and 1,000 entities. IBM also offers a multiple higher-level plans, which you’ll need to contact IBM for a quote.

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When you choose a personal assistant agency you simply need to tell them what kind of person you need and what for, then they will go off and do the heavy lifting for you; they can handle all of the vettings, interviewing, and hiring candidates for the job.  A specialist agency can keep their costs down through repeated advertising – passing these savings on to you, and when you hire a personal assistant agency their market knowledge should also help to reduce the chances of failed hiring.  In fact, many agencies also offer rebate periods and will re-advertise your vacancy if the candidate leaves the position within a specified period of time.

Watson Assistant Pricing: IBM Watson Assistant’s Free plan allows 10,000 API calls per month, 5 chatbots, 100 intents and 25 entities. The Standard plan has unlimited API calls at a cost of $0.0025 per call. You can have up to 20 chatbots, 2,000 intents and 1,000 entities. IBM also offers a multiple higher-level plans, which you’ll need to contact IBM for a quote.
Commuting to work each day can eat up a lot of your time. Getting ready for work (grooming, putting on professional attire, etc.) and commuting to your office (and then back home again later) typically take up hours of your day. By using a virtual office, you can instantly eliminate your daily commute, saving time that you can put towards more useful things.
ItsAlive Pricing: ItsAlive has 5 pricing tiers. The Free plan gives you 1 chatbot and up to 1,000 messages per month but doesn’t include any advanced features. The Solo plan is $19/mo and includes 5,000 messages and some advanced features. The Plus plan is $49/mo, you get 2 chatbots and up to 20,000 monthly messages, as well as a few additional advanced features. At $99/mo, the Pro plan gets you 5 bots and up to 100,000 messages per month. Finally, the Enterprise plan unlocks all features and unlimited bots and messages per month.
HubSpot has an easy and powerful chat builder software that allows you to automate and scale live chat conversations. Your customers will be able to get answers to frequently asked questions, book meetings, and navigate the site. At the same time, their answers are saved in your CRM, allowing you to qualify leads and trigger automation. Keep in mind that HubSpot's chat builder software doesn't quite fall under the category of "AI chatbot" because it uses a rule-based system. However, HubSpot does have code snippets, allowing you to leverage the powerful AI of third-party NLP-driven bots such as Dialogflow.
Agencies who specialize in private assistants have a unique insight into the private staffing market, they can help to advise you on matters such as salary benchmarking and what is the going rate for particular roles.  They will also know what skills candidates are likely to have, and where there may be skills shortages.  If there is a surplus of candidates with particular expertise then this would likely affect your chances of recruiting.

When you choose a personal assistant agency you simply need to tell them what kind of person you need and what for, then they will go off and do the heavy lifting for you; they can handle all of the vettings, interviewing, and hiring candidates for the job.  A specialist agency can keep their costs down through repeated advertising – passing these savings on to you, and when you hire a personal assistant agency their market knowledge should also help to reduce the chances of failed hiring.  In fact, many agencies also offer rebate periods and will re-advertise your vacancy if the candidate leaves the position within a specified period of time.

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With a virtual office, you never have to worry about scaling up or downsizing, nor do you have to go through the process of moving or relocating. Relocation can be a major impediment for businesses, taking a lot of time and creating huge costs, challenges, and complications. With a virtual office, there is no need to worry about relocation or other associated challenges.

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You might decide to hire a PA on your timezone, who can work (virtually) alongside you each day. But, thanks to modern technology, you could also hire a PA on a completely different timezone which means that while you sleep, work gets completed. This gives you the space to set tasks throughout the day as you think of them, then wake up to a completed to-do list. For entrepreneurs who aren’t able to forward-plan tasks, this gives you the time and space to allocate responsibilities and make the most of your virtual PA.
Personal Assistants are there to support the work of managers, company directors and who they are employed by to undertake a variety of tasks that the manager would normally partake in to help the business. A personal assistant is required to do any task that the managers requires, whether personal or professional. You will also find Personal Assistants often act as the manager’s first point of contact. Personal Assistants can be flexible to adapt to your style of work. It’s up to you to mold your PA into perfection. See below a Personal Assistants duties and attributes that will help your piece of mind, keeping your business successful.
“Burnout” is a phrase that’s thrown around so often it’s lost some of its impact. Yet any entrepreneur or CEO who’s experienced burnout knows just how debilitating it can be. So how do you avoid it? Many will agree that the first step is delegation. Ensuring there are other hands to pick up tasks that you just don’t have enough hours to do. When you begin delegating to a virtual assistant it’s like paying money into a bank of time and energy. That you can easily reclaim, ensuring your account doesn’t run on empty.

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