I love when we can hire virtual employees to improve productivity here at Coyle. They make life simpler, easier, cheaper and quicker for the whole firm. It makes a big difference.
Technology is making it simpler to “hire” these virtual employees. Today I want to talk about three different technology time savers that can help you do the same thing: Copytalk, 99designs and CreateSpace.
Copytalk. Copytalk has been around a long time. It’s a mobile dictation service. You can call from any phone anywhere. It makes a digital recording of whatever your message is and a live person will then transcribe that dictation and send it to you
It can be sent to you in e-mail form. It can go directly into your business contact relationship management system. It’s very versatile.
We use it in a variety of ways: for meeting notes, for personal idea generation and capture. You can use it to write books. In fact, I wrote my entire first book using Copytalk.
The point is you’re trying to capture something and you want to do it very quickly. You want to get that information to someone in a workable format; Copytalk will do it for you. I used it to capture what I said on the video version of this blog to speed up producing the text version.
The best thing about Copytalk is its very reasonable price $79.95 per month. We found that in our first year using Copytalk we saved $5,000 in direct costs.
It’s hard to say what the indirect cost savings for our business have been, but we know our folks were able to spend more time on higher value work and less time with normal transcribing, or worse, trying to interpret our handwritten notes. Needless to say, Copytalk is one of our business’s most valuable virtual employees.
99designs. We’ve used 99 Design multiple times. Think of it this way: It’s a virtual graphic designer, book designer, website designer. You can use 99designs for simple needs, like mailers or invitations – anything at all that requires some kind of design.
The concept is based on the fact that there are a lot of folks online throughout the world with different design ideas. You put out your idea, whatever that idea is, indicate a price that you are willing to pay and you’ll receive multiple design ideas, from which to pick.
You can put an offer out for $150, perhaps up to $750, but I’ve found that you can offer something like $250 and you are going to get 40 designs back within four days from all over the world. You might select, as we’ve done, and idea from a young man from the Philippines, or a talented young lady, from Mumbai, India. $200 to them is a great deal of money.
You can take care of a lot of these little things that would otherwise cost you a lot of money with a full-time graphic designer here in the United States. 99designs is a great service that you can use in many different ways. And another great virtual employee for your business.
The final technology piece is CreateSpace. CreateSpace is an Amazon company. It’s for self-publishing. Now before you say “what do I need self-publishing for?” understand that a lot more people are self-publishing their ideas. Thanks to technology, a lot of the barriers are coming down.
CreateSpace makes it truly easy for you. Everything you need to publish your book is done for you. You can even hire folks within their service to do book design, editing and even writing. All you have to be is the author, the one with the idea. You don’t have to be a writer.
And printing? You want to print one book? I believe it’s $2.15. Want to print thousands of books? It’s some multiple of that. Short runs or long runs, it doesn’t really matter. You can put a book out very quickly.
In fact, I know dozens of business owners who have put out a book in 90 days. Short books – 50 to 70 pages – in a very short period of time through using CreateSpace. Everything is taken care of – ISBN numbers, fonts and chapter setups. All those details you don’t have to think about. CreateSpace is another great resource.
The point here is there are all these powerful technologies and services available that can help make your life and your business simpler and easier. That’s what we strive for at Coyle Financial: To simplify the complex. For our business and our clients.
So if you want to make your life simple and clear, consider coming to one of our upcoming seminars on taking charge of your wealth. And, if you can’t come to the seminar and you’d like to talk to us directly, we’re always open for a complimentary consultation. Give us a call at 800-480-7913; we’d love to chat with you.
So until next time, enjoy.
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