If you’ve started to feel overwhelmed and are thinking of hiring a Virtual Assistant, the first thing to do is to determine which tasks are outsource-able.
There are dozens of tasks that are either repetitive, distracting, mundane or that can be better addressed by someone else thus getting it off your plate and freeing up your valuable time.
Back in the day, if you needed someone to handle customer service or admin, you had three sub-par options:
- Hire a full-time employee, even though you didn’t have 40 hours-per-week-worth of work;
- Divide the work among your existing employees (who were not necessarily experts at those tasks); or
- Post a part-time job or internship.
Today, outsourcing is now much more efficient and automated than ever before if you are clear and communicate your needs and are comfortable delegating. Virtual Assistants today are multi-talented rockstars.
The luxury of outsourcing noncore tasks does not only apply to CEO’s and senior upper management. Even entry level employees can be given the opportunity to delegate to virtual assistants tasks that are repetitive in order to free up their time to support the upper management more effectively. The challenge is that learning how to break the job it into delegatable, trainable tasks. Consistently delegating roles is the means by which small companies grow into large ones, and by which junior level employees evolve into seasoned executives.
This sounds great you might be thinking, but I have a digital virtual assistant in my pocket, why would I pay for this type of service? Let’s look at this for a minute as the rise of digital assistants is upon us.
Ten years ago, a mobile phone was a device that allowed you call or send a message to someone over a cellular wireless network. At best, a business PDA (personal digital assistant) let you run the internet and helped you manage your e-mail on the run. Today, Digital Assistants are available on most smartphones or free on Facebook or Google. They facilitate hands-free search and conversation that are great for finding the nearest gas station or checking the weather. But beyond that, they often fall short because they don’t have the ability to foster a relationship and get to know your needs and be proactive on your behalf. Ideally, as a result of good management, a virtual assistant will in time learn your work style and you will be able to give that person more responsibility and encourage more initiative taking.
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 tasks may only take only a few minutes, but when you add several dozen of them up, they consume hours better spent moving the needle forward.
If you are feeling:
- Your workload is too much
- You’re putting off essential administrative tasks such as billing and or not finding the time to reply to emails
- Are spending too much time on non-billable related things
- It is starting to affect your personal/family life due to high levels of stress
- You’re working more than you are off
- You don’t have the time to train people and you don’t want to hire full-time
- Your business is growing at a rate that you can’t keep up with
- You realize that others can do the tasks that you are doing yourself;
Then it might be time to consider hiring a Virtual Assistant. 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.
You’ll never want to look back after using one. #promise