1) How does it work?
Some projects are self-explanatory. Other projects may require more training. I have sat down with someone via phone and had them walk me through the first page or so of something, as soon as I have it figured out, we’re good to go. Sometimes people like to do this face to face, if I’m close enough to you, that can be arranged. I have some clients who will send in an email stating “I want the information in file A to be turned into a report like is in file B.” I make it happen. I even have one company I’ve been working with for many years that will just mail me a package of papers and tell me to call if there’s something in there I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do with it. (There’s generally at least a post-it note on this paper or that one with some instruction.)
2) What types of projects do you do?
Anything that someone who works in an office would do. I do payroll, newsletters, reports, invoicing, phone calls, data entry, PowerPoint presentations, employee handbooks, resumes, websites (build and update), e-mails, scanning documents and loading them to backup sites, turning forms into eForms, creating posters, and more! If you have a project that needs to be done, I will do it! End of year filing? Inventory data that needs to be updated? Invoices entered? I’m here to help!
3) What if it requires a special program or equipment?
I have a lot of programs and equipment and resources. If you need videos done of product for a website or just pictures, I’ve got equipment that will do it. I even have someone I can use if you need aerial drone work done. It never hurts to ask, I may already have it (or access to it). If it’s something I see the potential of using again, I’ll go ahead and buy it. I have your basic office programs (Word, Excel, Adobe, Photoshop, etc.). I have programs that will convert pdf files to files that can be modified, then turn them back into pdf files. I have scanners and printers (color and laser), I can bind a book, laminate (thick or thin), and more.
4) How do you access our programs?
Most companies have their data in the cloud or accessible via the web. You simply give me a username and password with access to the information I need. Sometimes companies purchase their usernames and they don’t want to buy another. They may give me a username and ask me to only use it during certain hours, for example after 5 pm or on Saturdays. I am willing to work with you on that. Most companies just set me up like any other employee, even giving me an e-mail address for their company that I monitor and use for their work assignments. Some companies even invite me to Christmas parties and give me bonuses.
5) Do you only do work for big companies?
No, I work for big, little, medium companies, individuals and groups. I type up family journals so that they can be read by anyone (I’ll even turn them into an eBook for you). I will proofread a budding author’s first work or create a resume so you can get your first job. I will fact check the handouts you have prepared for a major seminar. No matter who you are or what it is, I will do my best to help you out. (Note: I do reserve the right to refuse projects with no explanation as to why. I won’t help you with projects that are illegal or potentially harmful. I will also refuse a project if I cannot meet your deadline.)
6) Do you have a minimum (or maximum) job requirement?
Minimum charge is $10.00. If you are a regular client who requires me to check a separate e-mail on a daily (or Mon-Fri) basis, there is a $4.50 fee to check if there is no work, if there is work there to be handled, then that fee is waived. I do work for a lot of companies that are regulars. They just send in work to be done or have me check an e-mail address on a specified basis (every week, every work day, every day). These companies are invoiced on a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis (their choice) and the above charges most likely do not apply. I also offer a Preferred Customer Program with reduced rates.
7) What do you charge and what does it get me?
I provide my own computer equipment, software programs, pay all the employment taxes, insurance, phone bills, electricity, etc. You never get charged for a bathroom or lunch break and you don’t pay me to play on the web, text my BFFs or chat on the phone. I don’t charge overtime, holiday pay and I don’t get paid days off. Note: some states give you a tax break for hiring someone who works from home, reducing the pollution and traffic. Check and see what rules apply to where you are.
Rates vary depending on the work. Base rate is $18.00 an hour and the vast majority of work falls there. Specialized work like web design is higher.
Transcription is $1.50 per audio minute. (This includes a second person who goes over the final work.)
8) Do you offer discounts?
I do offer some discounts. Novelists get a discount (I love to support them in making their dreams come true). Regular clients receive discounts. For example, if your bill is regularly $1,000+ per month, and I work for you year round, you receive 10% off. Family history projects receive discount rates (yes, I’m a sucker).
9) Is there anyone there besides you?
Most of the work is currently done by me, Penny Swann, the owner. There are occasions when I have more work than I can handle myself, projects that require more than one person, or super-specialized projects (like the drone or creating a website from scratch using code). For these times, I do have a team of people who are available to work with me. I am hoping to increase the size of the business so that more people will need to be hired full time.