Tag Archives: Help

Happy 5th Anniversary

Tracy Helps You is Celebrating 5 Years of Business

Happy Anniversary to us !!

Today, March 21, is our anniversary 🙂  It’s hard to believe that Tracy Helps You is celebrating 5 years of being in business! I still remember all the time I spent dreaming and researching that cold winter season. I talked to many friends for their thoughts about starting a business. There were as many ideas as there were people I talked to (no surprise there). I would bounce ideas off anyone who would listen. Finally, I had the general idea of what my business would be, I wanted to help people.

Then came even more challenging decisions to make … not the least of which was the name of my business. My cousin was helping me brainstorm, I had a long list of possible names that we narrowed down to three I really liked. Of course, we then discovered that the domain name was not available for any of those 🙁   It was like 11pm, both of us beyond tired, we were at our wit’s end … We were like “how many other ways could we phrase “Tracy helps you” ?? Then a lightbulb went on … that’s it – Tracy Helps You !! I loved the sound of it, the domain was available, it was available on all the social media platforms … It was meant to be – Tracy Helps You was born on that cold night back in 2013.

Then came weeks and months of learning how to run a business (I love that learning is an ongoing process) and all things entrepreneurial. So many decisions needed to be made … so many things to learn.

Over the past few years, I’ve added and eliminated some services that I’ve offered. Two years ago, I added Virtual Assistant services. This year, I am adding Health & Wellness Advocate services as another area that Tracy Helps You can be of service.

As many of you know, I started on my “getting healthy” journey about 2 years ago. It started out with a weight loss goal and has now expanded into a yearning to live a healthy lifestyle. I’ve lost a lot of weight (still a little more to go), I try to choose real / natural foods (whenever possible) without all the chemical & preservatives. I feel my health is more important than the convenience of pre-packaged foods. I use intermittent fasting to cleanse my body of some of the environmental toxins. I walk at least a mile every day to incorporate more activity in my day. I feel fantastic, better than I have is more than a decade. I want to “help” everyone to feel as good as I do!

As a Health & Wellness Advocate, I plan to help by coming alongside you and “help you” as an accountability partner and give encouragement. I can help you with meal planning. I can share ideas for ways to burn calories doing fun activities. Since I have experience with several well-known weight loss systems, I feel I can help guide you. I can also coach you in my nutritional system, Isagenix. It has programs geared to help with Weight Wellness, Healthy Aging and Athletic Performance.

So now, Tracy Helps You can help in three different areas:

  • as a Personal Assistant
  • as a Health & Wellness Advocate 
  • as a Virtual Assistant 😊

How can we “help” you ?? Give me a call 😊

Holiday Card

Holiday Cards & Your Hectic Holiday Schedule

Tomorrow, we flip over another page on the calendar … to the last month of 2016. December is a month full of fun, holiday celebrations, but regular life still goes on. All the normal day-to-day responsibilities don’t necessarily take a break during this “most wonderful time of the year”, which means your schedule is even busier than usual.

In today’s world, most of the mail we receive is computer generated – sometimes its addressed to us by name (computers are smart 🙂 ), but many times it is addressed to “Current Resident”. Companies spend a lot of $$ to send you these advertisements, but most people consider it “junk mail” and toss it.

Most everyone loves receiving Holiday cards. I’m talking about physical, snail-mail cards. It’s fun to check your mailbox each day, hoping to find something for you personally. I think of them as “fun” mail … something I want to open right away. I enjoy reading the Holiday Letter that many people include with their card. It’s a good way to catch up with the happenings in their family, especially for those who are not on Facebook 🙂  I also love getting packages in the mail, many of which are gifts I have ordered online … who doesn’t love seeing the UPS, FedEx, USPS or Amazon truck pull up in front of their house (please tell me you do too, that it’s not just me)?

All that to say, sending Holiday cards are is time honored tradition of the season, but also a time-consuming task to do in an already busy time of year. Tracy Helps You can take this task off your to-do list for you. Whether it’s your personal family cards, or cards sent out to your business clients and colleagues, we can take care of it for you – freeing up some time for you to handle all the other things on your to-do list.

This hectic season is the perfect time to delegate some tasks to your personal / virtual assistant. Time is a valuable commodity! Let Tracy Helps You save you some valuable  time 🙂 Call today!!

You've Got Mail ... Email

5 Tips for Managing Your Email Inbox

A year or so ago, I wrote a post about organizing and managing your piles of paperwork and junk mail. These days, I get more, actually much more email than snail mail. Email is a wonderful tool for business as well as for personal use. It is great to have (nearly) instant responses.

Technology has advanced very quickly in the last couple of decades. We now live in a 24/7 world, where practically everything is available at a moment’s notice. Gone are the days of typing a letter, mailing it, and then waiting a week or more for a response. Nowadays, people get impatient if they don’t get an instant response to an email they sent.

As a result, nearly everyone has at least one, if not more, email addresses. I have both personal and business email addresses … all told, I have 6 email addresses. Do you have more than one?
Email inboxes fill up fast. Some people get hundreds every day. It can become overwhelming very quickly.

Here are some tips I try to follow monthly:
• Create sub folders to file emails you will need to refer back to at a future date.
• After reading an email, delete it or file it away in the appropriate folder
• Try to respond right away … saving it for later keeps the inbox cluttered.
• If you get too many emails sales ads from stores, you can request to receive fewer by changing your preferences or unsubscribing completely.
• You can delete multiple emails at one time by using the search bar to find all the emails from a specific sender, then click on check all, then click delete all.

Once you get your inbox emptied out, try to stay on top of it by setting aside some time every month to keep it manageable. It will take less and less time each month.

I hope these tips prove “helpful” for you 🙂

Need A Ride ?

Need A Ride ???

Are you traveling for the holidays? Do you need a ride to or from the airport? Maybe you need a ride to and from a doctor’s appointment or hospital for an out-patient procedure. Many people choose to take care of medical appointments at the end of the year to take advantage of flex spending account balances and paid deductibles. Continue reading

Pet Sitting / House Sitting Tips

Holiday Pet Care & House Sitting

It’s mid November, and the holidays will be here before we know it. To me, the holidays are all about spending time with family and friends ~ near and far. When you travel to see your loved ones, don”t forget about your pet care for your fur babies … they are family too! Who will take care of them?

Personally, I think in home pet care is the best option. This way, your pet stays in their familiar surroundings, even though you aren”t home with them. Another benefit of in home pet care is home security. Your home won”t appear vacant while you are away.

Pet care & house sitting is one of the many services that Tracy Helps You offers. I can come a couple times per day to feed and let them out to do their business ~ or ~ I can stay at your house. This has the added benefit of bringing in the mail, watering the plants, online casino etc. A home that has someone coming and going throughout the day is less of a target for burglars. Plus, your fur baby will have company in the evenings … we may go for a walk, play fetch, or have a good belly rub while watching TV 🙂 Dogs especially are such social animals, I believe they feel lonely and really miss their owners when they go out of town.

You can also board your pet at a kennel while you are gone. Your pet will have their basic needs met, but will otherwise be spending most of their time alone. Most kennels don”t have the staff to offer more than food & shelter. I highly doubt there would be many good belly rubs 🙁
If you have plans to travel, please call me sooner rather than later. The holidays will be here before we know it. It will be a wonderful gift for your fur babies to have someone who will love and play with them, as well as, take care of their basic needs. 

Happy Holidays … Call me 🙂

Help With Your Clerical / Administrative Work

Help With Your Clerical Work

In the past, I’ve blogged about various ways to get your household paperwork organized. I’ve suggested ways to get a better handle on managing those piles of paper clutter that seem to accumulate so easily. I’ve even shared the filing system that I personally use. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction helping people get their personal household offices more organized.

Since joining the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce, I’ve started helping other small business owners with some of their clerical / administrative and general office type tasks in their businesses.

Here are some of the ways I have been able to “help” them:

For one client, I am helping him to digitalize his filing system. He has supplied me with a scanner and laptop so I can work from my home office. He gives me batches of loose papers and files for me to scan & save into the appropriate computer files on the laptop. It’s an ongoing, long-term project.

For another client, I stuff information packets (catalogs, order forms, hostess incentives, etc.) she passes out to guests who attend her home party direct marketing business. Again, I work in my home and we meet as needed to exchange finished packets for more supplies.

Another client is a financial advisor who has me send out hand written thank you cards to all the leads he has met at meetings each week. He emails me their names / contact info and I get the cards into the mail for him. This is a portable type of task, so I can do the work anywhere (while waiting for my oil change or at the doctor’s office, etc.) … or at home in my own office 🙂

These are ongoing projects, but I also do one time types of tasks. I’ve had several different clients that have hired me to send out their annual Holiday cards to their customers. I have also filled in as an office assistant/receptionist to cover for vacations and/or sick days.

There are many different ways Tracy Helps You can “help” you with your clerical type tasks! As always, just ask … we are always happy to customize our services to meet your needs.

Give us a call today 🙂

Advertising on Vehicle

Tracy Helps You Uses Many Forms of Advertising

Advertising is really important in business. I can’t really think of any business that wouldn’t benefit from some advertising. There are many types of advertising … word of mouth, social media, print, and radio/TV, to name a few.
So far, word of mouth and posters (print) have been the most successful advertising for Tracy Helps You. Social media has also played a big role in helping to get our name “out there”. Thanks for referring us to your friends and thanks for all the facebook shares and retweets. Please follow us if you don’t already 🙂 We really appreciate that you take the time to help us become better known in the local community. Continue reading

Customer Service Business Wisdom

Great Customer Service is #1 at Tracy Helps You

Customer Service skills have been a part of me for as long as I can remember.

I remember my very first after school job ~ at a dry cleaner ~ my manager, Elsa, told me to always be polite and treat each & every customer with kindness, patience and respect.

I’ve had numerous jobs working with the public since that first part-time job as a 15 year old. I worked in retail back in the day when “the customer is always right” motto was the rule, not the exception. I mean the days when the cashier actually punched the price in the register and counted out your change. I’m talking about the old days when a store clerk actually knew something about the department they worked in. The days when the employee would actually help you find the item you’re looking for, instead of just saying, “if you don’t see it, we must be out of it”. Please don’t get me wrong, I know there are some excellent retail employees that go the extra mile to give great customer service, but it saddens me that they seem to be so far & few between. When I find such an employee, I always make sure to thank them for their great customer service 🙂

I have also worked in several different venues of the travel industry. I’ve worked security at O’Hare airport (before 9/11, thank goodness) … I’ve worked the ticket counter, the gate, the ramp/bag room, and operations for United Express (a regional airline) at O’Hare. I’ve worked in the reservations department of Apple Vacations. I’ve been a online casino travel agent in several different agencies over the span of my travel career.

I also volunteer a lot. I’ve always been the person in the meeting that is first to raise her hand to help. Many times that urge to help has placed me in positions of leadership … like being the chairperson on the committee or being the Cub Scout leader when no one else wanted to take on the commitment.  

I’ve always worked with the public … all these positions require great customer service skills to be successful. All of this experience working over the years has honed my people skills, which of course, means that I have many, many (many – a lady never divulges such things) years of customer service experience.

As the owner of Tracy Helps You, I can assure you, my customer, that I (and/or my associates) will always do our very best to “help you” with kindness, patience and respect … a lesson I learned at my very first job, way “back in the day”.

How may we “help you” ??

Back to School Time

Back to School Time = Have an Organized Plan Time

Tis the season … Back to School season, that is 🙂

Yes, friends, it’s that time of the year again … and with it brings a myriad of feelings from anticipation/dread to stress/relief … and anywhere in between.

While my kids are no longer attending school, I remember that it can be a stressful and expensive time of year. I, personally, always felt better when I had a good plan. As a homeschooling family living on a single income:

  • I tried to set aside some money each payday during the summer for school supplies and textbooks/curriculum.
  • I attended conferences to get new & fresh ideas from other parents.
  • I tried to have my school year ‘planned out’ by mid summer, so I could be on the lookout for great prices on the curriculum I planned to use for the upcoming school year.
  • I tried to find used textbooks at Homeschool Used Curriculum Sales. Many times, I could buy used books from other homeschool families in my coop.
  • I also searched online for used books.

Some of my favorite websites were eBay.com and Half.com. I’ve found some good deals on some Facebook Groups pages and on Craigslist. I also like vegsource.com and homeschoolclassifieds.com. I have purchased, as well as, sold on both of these linked websites … it isn’t very hard 🙂 These two sites also have a convenient ‘want to buy’ tab. If you are in the market for any high school level curriculum (yes, I’m still emptying my last homeschool bookshelf), I am currently selling some Rosetta Stone and AO LifePacs foreign language and ABeka language arts items … check them out at the links above 🙂

Could you use some help with planning your Back to School schedule ~ lesson plans ~ school supply shopping ~ online research ?

Contact Tracy Helps You ~ I’ll come alongside you to help get it all figured out … then you can breathe a sigh of relief & focus on enjoying the last, long dog days of summer with your family 🙂

How to Organize & Repurpose a Closet into a Pantry

How To Organize & Repurpose A Closet Into A Useful Pantry

You know I love to organize ~ I thought having an early 60’s, vintage kitchen would be so quaint. When we bought our house a few years ago, I had no idea how hard it would be transitioning from large, sunny kitchen into a small one. We had only 4 small upper cabinets, 1 under the sink, and 1 under the cook-top. There was hardly any counter space especially when I set up the dish drainer because, of course, there was no dishwasher. We eventually got a stand-alone style dishwasher. We had to move the refrigerator across the room since the dishwasher needed to be next to the sink. We used a freestanding island positioned up against the wall (next to the frig) as additional counter space. Continue reading