We have become a generation who will not wait and are used to instantaneous results. A decade ago many of us avoided or rejected the concept of buying clothes online. Online retailers are now among the fasted growing eCommerce businesses of any industry. Outsourcing your life is what’s trending. Undoubtedly, many have similar reservations about booking help with ‘home duties’ or ‘personal tasks’ through a service, but one has to wonder – in this world of increasing automation and home connectivity – whether these concerns will one day be overcome in the same way they were for online retailing? After all, it is quickly becoming the new norm so why fight something that is designed to make your life easier and give you back the one thing that you lack? TIME.
As an entrepreneur myself, I wish in my early years, that such a service existed because I would have been able to wear fewer hats and work on my business, instead of in it.
5 things you and your team can delegate and outsource today.
1. Email and Calendar Monitoring – Your VPA (virtual personal assistant) can monitor your calendar and inbox and schedule all your meetings. Imagine never having to go back-and-forth trying to set up another appointment. Once a meeting is confirmed, it will sync directly to your mobile device. Better yet, imagine when they scan your calendar and point out conflicts before they arise.
2. Online research– Searching the web may seem like a simple and quick task. However, it can be a major time sink when your quick search turns into a multi-hour surfing session.
3. Travel – People don’t like to give up control of travel. But, how long do you waste looking at flights to get just the right one? You go back and forth waiting for the prices to drop, only to have them rise. Let your VPA book your travel and have them use a system such as TripIt or Trip Case to sync your itinerary directly to your mobile device and calendars. This way all reservations from car rentals to hotels to flights will all reside in one app.
4. Invoicing – Invoicing is an important task that many small businesses put off, yet it is crucial to operations. Let your VPA send, track, and receive your business invoices. This is particularly useful for small businesses or entrepreneurs. Let them manage your AR and call clients on your behalf as well, that way you don’t feel like you are hounding the clients. You can even ask them to track, manage and submit your expense reports. One less thing to worry about at tax time. ( Ummm which is now ).
5. Industry knowledge prep: With limited time in the day to keep up with industry news, some entrepreneurs and CEO’s have turned to their VPA to keep tabs on the most important happenings. Information is power and there’s nothing more powerful than having timely news and major developments conscience and delivered to your inbox.
In order to effectively use a virtual assistant to grow your business, you need to hire for the role, NOT the task. The evolution of Virtual Assistants has gone far further than most people ever thought possible. It’s more than just filtering email and managing your social media (although that’s possible too!). It’s about business growth. It’s about understanding that business owners shouldn’t be doing half the stuff that they are doing on a day to day basis. Sure, most of the tasks may only take only a few minutes, but when you add several dozens of them up, they consume hours better spent moving the needle forward.
Hire before you’re desperate and are missing deadlines and dropping too many balls. Hire before you compromise your good reputation.
Treat your Virtual Assistant role like it’s the most important role in your company – because it just might be. They can change your life, giving you back your days so you can work on the tasks that will take your business to the next level. Get prepared. Figure out your needs, take the role seriously, communicate, create in-depth training and hire like your company depends on it.