Voice Tech as a Virtual Assistant for Small Business Owners

Yardity is an online retailer providing outdoor living, eating, and entertaining products. They specialize in pizza ovens, fireplaces, greenhouses, and much more for your home and outdoor living space. Besides holding local community events and visiting tradeshows to promote their products, the co-founder and owner of Yardity, Tim Palmer, knows first-hand how important it is that people find their way to the Yardity website.

In order to drive organic traffic, they decided to focus on developing website content that will draw in customers to share their passions about food, cooking and community. They found that one of the best ways to share and engage in their stories and experiences is to start writing a blog. Through the blog, they will also be able to use the stories for their newsletters, social media content, as well as improving organic search results. From that moment on it was also clear that they will need a structured process from collecting ideas to writing the stories. As every small business owner knows, new marketing ideas require a lot of effort to be put in place and hiring new employees is often not an option to get started.

Use the tools you have

Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, and we rely on them for so much more than just making phone calls, so why not start there! Luckily, Tim has always been very fond of working with voice recordings, because – as he admitted in our interview – it takes too long to type out ideas and he usually doesn’t have pen and paper ready when ideas strike.

He started using voice recording functions on his smartphone and finally decided to work with the Philips Voice Recorder App. The app not only supports professional recording features as you would find on stand-alone voice recorders, but also connects to the Philips SpeechLive cloud which made a big difference in working on the blog project.

Create your own workflow

Most of the time, blog ideas, brainstorming, and documenting take place in Tim’s car, where thoughts gather, and he speaks out loud what he would like to share with his website visitors and customers. Ideas are still fresh in his mind and simply recording them ensures that no important details are missed. The creative process can result in capturing simple topic lists for future blog posts all the way to actually creating a full blog post.

Recordings are sent with a simple tap from the smartphone to the Philips SpeechLive cloud, which has grown into a library of recordings and documents for him; some just ideas, others ready blog posts that just need to be turned into text. The app also allows for easy file renaming and prioritizing which further helps the overall organization of voice files once uploaded to the cloud.

From Philips SpeechLive, Tim has many options to create his very own workflow. If he dictated a full blog post that is ready to type, for example, he would simply send the voice file through speech recognition which leaves him with a ready text to copy into the website blog.

Never miss out on great opportunities

One of the blog posts on Yardity’s website is an impromptu Q&A session with a chef and friend about finding the right pizza oven. Luckily with the smartphone at hand, he was prepared to record the full interview in all details and nuances. There was no way he would have been able to keep up and capture the conversation with just a pen and paper. After recording the interview, Tim quickly sent it to his repository in SpeechLive and enjoyed the rest of the conversation. When back home, he listened to the recording and was able to transform it into the perfect Q&A session for his blog.

Get the message right

Another blog creation experience that Tim shared with us was a catering blog post. The post discusses catering to a large group of people using pizza ovens. While recording, he would talk about his experiences and create a detailed outline of the process, and then go back and further discuss each point in detail. Dictating his ideas and experiences made it easier to put all the information into a helpful blog where readers can follow steps on how to cater to large groups.

During this process, he was able to repeat concepts several times to make sure they were being conveyed in the correct way. One of his favorite things about voice recording that has also helped sharpen ideas and fine-tune messages, is the ability to listen to recordings over and over again as well as capture ideas in different phrasing to really get to the essence of what you want to say. “To hear yourself talk will help you slow your thoughts down, find out what sounds right and focus on the important parts of the messages you’d like to get across,” Tim points out.

Outsource when you want to

Within Philips SpeechLive you can also easily connect users and allow access to recordings to get help with typing and creating blog posts. Tim has even worked with a virtual assistant to type up his thoughts. This, in return, frees up his schedule and allows him to focus on selling more and growing the business.


With voice recording, the Philips Voice Recorder App, and SpeechLive, Tim has found a workflow that is efficient and effective. Using his voice, he is able to save time, increase productivity, and ensure that he is capturing the right ideas and insights that he would like to share with his customer base. For small business owners who have a lot on their plate and not a lot of help, voice tech can be a game changer.


Want to know more about how using your voice can increase productivity in your small business? Let us know in the comments!

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