Season 3

Best of Trussville Award

Congratulations and hats off to Virtual Ingenuity, LLC for being the recipient of the 2022 Best of Trussville Award in the Business Management Consultant category.

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Congratulations to Virtual Ingenuity, LLC for being selected as a 2023 Best of Trussville Award Winner for two consecutive years and being inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.

See the full press release here!

Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner looking to avoid common mistakes that could hinder the growth and success of your business? Look no further! In this article, Virtual Ingenuity reveals some common business mistakes and tips on how to steer clear of them.

Inadequate Future Planning

Business owners should always plan for the future. This means having a five-year plan in place that outlines goals and strategies for meeting them. This ensures that your business is on track to reach its long-term objectives.

Not Prioritizing the Customer Experience

Failing to understand customer behavior is like being lost without a map. Imagine being a business owner navigating the ever-changing consumer experience but having no way to capture and analyze valuable data. Using a customer data platform (CDP) is the answer. This allows you to get insights into user preferences, track trends, and target your marketing to key audiences. So don’t stay at sea when it comes to understanding what makes your customers tick — use a CDP to help with your search for deeper insights.

Managing Finances Poorly

Managing your finances is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. Failing to do so can lead to cash flow issues, missed payments, late fees, and even bankruptcy. To avoid these, it’s important to create a budget, track expenses, use accounting software, and even get help from accounting professionals so that your finances are properly managed at all times.

Neglecting Marketing Efforts

Marketing is essential for any successful business as it increases brand awareness and attracts new customers. Neglecting your marketing efforts can lead to decreased sales and customer dissatisfaction from a lack of communication. Make sure you create a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes both online and offline methods.

Hiring Without Considering Long-Term Goals

When hiring employees, it’s important to consider your business’s long-term goals instead of just short-term needs. Filling positions quickly without considering if they will fit into your overall plans for growth will cost you more in the long run.

Not Learning the Ropes

While obtaining an advanced degree may seem like a surefire way to build management and problem-solving skills, this is not always the case. In this day and age, you have the ability to access resources that can sharpen your skills without having to attend higher education courses. Everything from our podcast to webinars, and virtual coaching is now available at our fingertips. By taking advantage of this wealth of knowledge, you can improve your leadership acumen.

Starting your own business isn’t easy but avoiding costly mistakes is essential for success. These best practices should put you at ease as you move forward with your business goals.


When it comes to strategic planning to boost productivity and business growth, Virtual Ingenuity, has you covered!

Call 205-549-0098.

No matter how much we may want to deny it, one thing is for certain: a recession is coming, and it will likely hit us hard. As a small business owner, you have much more to worry about than the average person. After all, you’ll need to protect both your personal life as well as business from the effects of the economy. How can you do so? Today, Virtual Ingenuity breaks down essential strategies to recession-proof your business today.

Effectively Manage Your Cash Flow

When a recession hits, keeping up with your cash flow can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you manage your cash flow more effectively during this time:

  • Review your expenses and cut back where you can
  • Make sure you are invoicing promptly and collecting payments as soon as possible
  • Consider offering discounts to customers who pay early
  • Stay on top of your accounts receivable and accounts payable
  • Keep a close eye on your inventory levels

Structuring Your Business

Business structure is an essential element to consider when safeguarding against a recession. You may need to reevaluate how your business is currently structured to ensure you’re set up for success. For example, switching to an LLC may be a better option if you’re operating as a sole proprietor, as you’ll benefit from more legal and tax protections. To form an LLC, you could work with a lawyer or use a formation service (which is significantly cheaper). States also have different regulations around LLC formation, but an online formation service that’s already familiar with the rules in your area can help you start your LLC in minutes. Once your business gets started, work with an organization like Virtual Ingenuity to help you maximize your efficiency.

Keep Your Financial Records Organized

A key element of staying on top of finances during a recession will be to know all the small financial details of your business. From cash outflow to pending payments, there is a lot to organize! You can do this easily if your business and financial records are up-to-date, maintained, and easy to access. This can help you find documents for financing or assistance. Struggling to keep these records in one place? Online tools can help you manage and store all your important documents easily. You’ll be able to digitize paper records and keep everything in one file by adding pages to existing PDFs. You can also reorder, delete, and rotate pages in each document.

Find Ways to Cut Costs and Debt

According to the World Bank, interest rates will increase during and after the recession. The general costs for business operations are similarly going to go up. Thus, it’s in your best interest to find ways to cut costs and reduce debt as soon as possible. Here are some ways you can do so:

  • Review your expenses: Do you need that expensive office space? Could you downsize to a smaller space or work from home? Evaluate your current expenses to figure out where to cut costs.
  • Renegotiate your loans and leases: If your business struggles to make loan or lease payments, Equifax recommends talking to your lender about renegotiating the terms.
  • Refinance your loans: If you have good credit, you can refinance your loans at a lower interest rate, thus saving you money.
  • Sell off unneeded assets: If your business has assets that it no longer needs, such as equipment or vehicles, selling them can help reduce debt.
  • Get help from a professional: If your business struggles to manage its debt, consider working with an experienced debt management company.

The key to successfully navigating any period of financial difficulty is preparation. The more thoroughly you organize your business by digitizing your paper records and setting up your business structure correctly, the more quickly you will breeze through this recession to make it through to the other side.

Virtual Ingenuity focuses on helping local businesses improve their efficiency and marketing. Call 205-549-0098.
Let’s impact together!

Congratulations to Virtual Ingenuity, LLC for receiving the ByBlack Certification designation from the U.S. Black Chambers Inc.


Virtual Ingenuity, LLC is honored to have received the ByBlack Certification from the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. This designation grants companies that hold the ByBlack Certification access to participate in exclusive contracting and training opportunities funded by U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) corporate partners and sponsors. This initiative is the first of its kind focused solely on certification for Black-owned businesses.

By becoming ByBlack Certified, black-owned businesses can increase their opportunity pipelines; build relationships with procurement personnel at America’s leading corporations; and collectively team up on large contracting opportunities. As corporate America becomes more inclusive and further diversifies its supply chain, the ByBlack certification offers the opportunity for Black-owned businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Certified businesses are routinely sought after by USBC Corporate Partners who are looking to increase their spending with the Black business community through USBC’s internal, proprietary database. Once a business is granted the certification, they have access to numerous contacts with corporate representatives and supplier diversity professionals. is a platform where business owners can begin making strategic relationships, scheduling meetings to uncover procurement opportunities, and begin building a healthy pipeline of new businesses to set their organizations up for short and long-term profitability targets. USBC helps to facilitate these relationships by hosting several events focused on matchmaking and networking.

Learn more here

Congratulations and hats off to Virtual Ingenuity, LLC for being the recipient of the 2022 Best of Trussville Award in the Business Management Consultant category.

Virtual Ingenuity, LLC receives 2022 Best of Trussville Award

Trussville Award Program Honors the Achievement

TRUSSVILLE October 3, 2022 — Virtual Ingenuity, LLC has been selected for the 2022 Best of Trussville Award in the Business Management Consultant category by the Trussville Award Program.

Each year, the Trussville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Trussville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2022 Trussville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Trussville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Trussville Award Program

The Trussville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Trussville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Trussville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Trussville Award Program

Trussville Award Program

Did you know that a properly executed social media strategy can drive more traffic to your website and enhance lead generation? There is an overabundance of social media channels, from LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok, to name a few. With all of these options, it can be overwhelming to determine what platform to choose to build an online presence. Here are several factors to consider:

  • What are your social media strategy objectives?
  • Which channels is your target audience using?
  • Which channels is your competitor using?
  • What kind of content do you want to create?
  • Do you have the manpower to manage multiple channels?

Let’s dive deeper:

Determine your social media strategy objectives

It’s important to determine your social media strategy objectives. Once identified, you should align those objectives with well-established platforms that have a large following. It is a best practice to research the social media advertising platforms that suit your budget. You will want to choose the most effective platform that will raise awareness and extend your business services reach. If lead generation is most important, then LinkedIn might be a good fit since that platform is the renowned B2B champion in lead generation through group participation and advanced search filters. Facebook and Twitter can also be very effective.

Research your target audience

Research the specific channels that your target audience is using based on social media demographics. You may want to consider Sprout Social to help you to conduct an analysis of your current followers and to outline the key demographics of various social media platforms. The research will ensure that your chosen channels facilitate the most relevant approach of your target audience based on demographic data.

Research your competitor’s social media channels

Research the social media channels that your competitors use.  Know the type of content they post, what gets the most likes and shares, and the frequency to which they post. You may even want to “follow” them on social media. This will help you gain valuable insight that you can replicate for your social media strategy. Consider using a specific tool to analyze your competitor’s top-performing social content based on the most shares and engagement. Facebook and Twitter will enable you to track any mention of them across the internet. Here are several strategies that will help you to work smarter.

Know the type of content to suit your target audience

Know the kind of content that you want to create. Whether it’s company news, industry updates, or video content. B2B audiences tend to gravitate to LinkedIn or Twitter. This, of course, depends on the industry. Keep in mind that video content generally appeals to a younger audience. In which case, YouTube, with over 3 billion searches per month or even TikTok, would be ideal. If image-based content is preferred then you may want to consider Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook. Again, make sure that you use a platform that will appeal to your target audience. If you want to share editorial content, then consider Medium, 95% of its readers are college graduates, and a little over 40% earn six figures or more.  LinkedIn is a great industry trusted leader for editorial content and it can expose you to over 300 million users.

Determine if you have the manpower to manage multiple channels

If you decide that you want to use multiple social media channels, there are tools to help you maximize time and allow you to schedule multiple posts in advance across several social media accounts. ContentCal, Mailerlite, and Lightful are some that come to mind.  Do your research on the most popular, effective, and budget-friendly tools for you.

In the past few years, social media usage has increased across all generations. Stay up-to-date with the latest social media strategies for your business.


Let’s impact together!

The holidays are approaching and many of us struggle to take a break during this festive season. Delivering a smooth experience that meets a client’s expectations is essential for your business to grow. From my experience, this is my fail-safe system for defining the rules of engagement and taking a real break from business:

  • No client work
  • No work emails
  • No meetings
  • No checking the email app on my phone

When my holiday break begins, I turn off my computer, close my office door, and do not open it until the new year. That’s my yearly no cheating holiday break strategy! Here’s what you can do to set and manage client expectations for the holidays:

Plan your holiday

I set my non-negotiable time off, just as I schedule my client meetings and projects. Select the dates you want to be out of the office. Make it official and add them to your calendar. For me, seeing those dates help to solidify those plans.

Set clear client boundaries

Increasing trust is one of the best ways to manage expectations. Communicate clearly with your clients how your team works. Give them a heads up that you will be off on the specified days that you’ve chosen. Give them a call and reassure them that you will finish any open projects before your time off. Set mutually agreed-upon marketing goals and strategies that align with your client’s business and project goals. Be transparent about what you can and can’t accomplish. It’s okay to work longer hours to get everything wrapped up, just make sure that this process is communicated to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Let your clients know that you will limit the start of new projects before the holidays as it pertains to your client’s needs.

Follow-up with a reminder email of your planned time off. Be sure to include the following information:

  • Dates when your holiday break will begin and when they can expect to hear from you afterward.
  • Your process of how you will take care of them leading up to your break.
  • A request for all materials you need from them to complete the current project and deadlines for when you need them.
  • What will happen project-wise if they don’t provide you with the requested materials in time. For instance, you may have to push back the project submission date.
  • If you’re providing products that ship out, be sure to give yourself enough time to prep each shipment and factor in time in case of shipping delays.

Create a detailed plan for all projects

It’s time to put systems in place to ensure that everything runs smoothly while you’re away. Create a detailed plan of action with timelines for each project. Under-promise and over-deliver. Give your team some cushion for the unexpected, and then deliver ahead of time. When you give clients a better understanding of your promises as a business partner, it will help them manage their expectations and allow you to always meet them.

Your client should be clear about the status: the strategy, the plan, the goals, the accomplishments, and the next steps of the project at all times. Be upfront about what happens if plans change.

Set an email auto-responder

It’s important to set an “out of office” email auto-responder or website banner. In case you receive emails in your inbox while away, your well-crafted “out of office” message should include the following:

  • A genuine and friendly greeting for their inquiry
  • Dates of your absence
  • How often, if any, you’ll respond to emails during your break
  • Reassurance that their message is important and they will receive a response
  • BONUS: Call to action with links to your most popular blog posts or videos

Keep your word and enjoy our holiday

You’ve planned it out and scheduled your holiday break on the calendar, sent an email to give your clients a heads-up, and set clear boundaries, now it’s time to keep your word and reward yourself with being fully present during your planned holiday.

You can always get more clients but you can’t get more time, so have a fabulous holiday – you deserve it!


Let’s impact together!


Many business owners are unsure of what the term “fractional executive” means and the benefits of hiring one. A fractional executive is a business leader that has a part-time position and experience working in C-level roles and senior level management such as director, VP, CFOs, COOS – the list goes on. Businesses that don’t have the financial resources to hire a full-time in-house executive can work with an experienced professional without hiring them at a full-time salary with benefits. A fractional executive can be the perfect way to bridge the gap between a critical business need for support and its resource readiness.

To read more about how your business can benefit from a fractional executive, please read more here:

A huge shout out and congratulations to Claudine Land, founder of Virtual Ingenuity, LLC. She is our June winner of the Business Specific Grant in the category of Business Support Services.

Here is what Claudine shared with us:

“I am the founder of Virtual Ingenuity, LLC, a business support organization focused on helping businesses improve efficiency, effectiveness, and profits. There are many ways to change the world for the better. My talent and skill are working with organizations to improve their operations and marketing in order to reduce inequities in health-outcomes.

From my early beginnings in Jamaica to my transition to the Unites States, I’ve been told most of my life that I have the incredible ability to recognize and decipher the professional needs of people around me… My clients are very important to me. That’s the reason I move forward boldly, even audaciously. This work needs to get done. Healthcare patients cannot wait for efficiencies, they are already suffering. I take an intentional, even surgical approach to my clients by incorporate customized plans, workflow systems and innovative solutions for their success. My dedication rests solely in building genuine results-driven strategies and optimized strategic planning to boost productivity and growth. I strongly believe that making an impact – one business at a time – will make the world better. As a woman, minority lead business, the challenges are steep. The struggle to get noticed, taken seriously, and given an opportunity to make that impact is a very real up-hill battle.”

Congratulations to Claudine on her grant.


You’ve heard the term –work smarter, not harder. Yet many business owners struggle with being successful at it. How do you work smarter, instead of harder? Here are some useful tips that might help you out:

1. Develop great time management skills

Focus on your top priority task,  switch off the phone and close your office door to avoid distractions until that task is completed. If you have to respond to an urgent inquiry, opt to email instead while you accomplish that task.

2. Set doable deadlines and do everything in your power to meet them

Write down your deadline somewhere that you will see and remember them. Always allow yourself some wiggle room. For instance, if you tell yourself to finish something by Thursday that’s actually due on Friday, you’ll be ahead of the game and you’ll have an extra day to refine your work.

3. Learn how to use productivity tools well

With extensive research, you can find tools that will make your work life much easier and free up your time. To have a tool without the knowledge or expertise to use it is futile. It is important to know the type of tools that are needed for your specific purpose, whether it’s to prioritize tasks, communicate efficiently within teams, or monitor work activity to measure profitability.  The right tool can be a lifesaver.

4. Use your phone wisely

Instead of writing an email, sometimes it’s just better to pick up the phone and call to discuss an important or urgent dialogue. You can actually run your business from your phone. Smartphones have become increasingly popular in business and a more adept enterprise tool. When utilized correctly, mobile phones can help professionals knock out work, especially smaller tasks, which could potentially boost productivity.

5. Be concise

If you want to sell a product that your company has featured, practice and sharpen your “elevator speech” to 30 seconds or less. You need to be persuasive, so make sure that you know your audience and speak directly to them. Don’t forget to ask for the sale and make sure that you have your business card handy.

6. Ask the right questions at the right time

This is a great way to get feedback and to gather the information that you need to help in decision-making for your business and team. How do you know when is the right time? Be a good listener. This is key to knowing the right time to ask a question. Be sure to follow up with follow-up questions.

7. Learn as much as you can

Look at your skills and determine where you need to fill in the gap and talk to important connections in your niche. Customer engagement can make or break a deal so speak directly to businesses that are in a well-defined niche in which you are comfortable.

8. Keep up to date on trends and development.

There are several ways to do so such as an industry magazine, trade papers, or blogs. You can also sign up for emails, take advantage of training opportunities, and speak to customers. Find a way to keep tabs on your competitors.

It’s important not to lose sleep. Hire a company to do the work for you. Virtual Ingenuity, LLC can do the research for you and help you put individualized processes and effective tools in place for increased productivity and business success.


Let’s impact together!


Featured on the International Virtual Assistant Association’s (IVAA) blog page

Many of us struggle with the increasing cost and day-to-day operations of running a business. So, how do you save both money and time for your business? By outsourcing tasks. There are ways to do this effectively.

Define your goals

Before you bring another company on board, map out your long-term and financial goals in order to make the best outsourcing plan. Doing so will help you choose the most beneficial outsourcing partners to fill your company’s needs.

Involve your management team and board of directors in the decision-making process

Getting them involved will help to create a healthy relationship with your partners and ensure proper documentation to increase accountability and responsibility.

Factor in the costs involved in outsourcing

A key advantage of outsourcing is to save money and reduce costs. Regardless of what you outsource, you are likely to save money compared to having that department in your own business. Remember that you won’t have to pay full-time salaries, benefits, or invest in expensive software and equipment. When you outsource, you only pay for what you need.

Never skimp on quality

Do your research before choosing a service provider to ensure that they have the experience in the tasks that you are looking to outsource. For example, evaluate their experience, qualifications, reputation, track record, and performance.

Look out for red flags

Make sure that the company you choose is able to share work references. Be aware if the company wants a large percentage of payment upfront.

With the right outsourcing partner, you can be assured that your business processes will be handled effectively. Feeling overwhelmed? Our team would love to help you with a customized strategy that works for your business.


Let’s impact together!


When you hire a consultant, you are looking for someone to support you, keep an eye on your business processes, and offer recommendations for increased productivity.

How do you know who to hire for the role? Here are some key things to consider. Make sure that the consultant is


It is important to find a consultant who will help you find additional ways to get the job done efficiently and who is consistent at it. Find a consultant who will think ahead of what needs to be done and do it without being asked. Have a warm-up period to allow yourself time to find this out.

Your Superhero

A consultant should be your superhero. Your consultant should find out what your weaknesses are and be aware of what you are struggling to accomplish and is not afraid to suggest ways in which to help get things off your “to do” or procrastination list without judgment or shame.

Aware of your long-term goals

Are there podcasts or partnerships that you’d love to have or would you like to be featured on certain publications? It is the consultant’s role to find out what your long-term goals are and help you meet them.

Virtual Ingenuity, LLC knows that growth starts with partnerships. Supporting our clients’ visions certainly sets us apart from the competition.


Let’s impact together!


Virtual Ingenuity and Catherine Napoli discuss creating your ideal customer avatar to attract more qualified leads.

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