Repetitive, boring tasks are not helping your business grow, but you aren’t ready to commit to a full-time employee. Take this opportunity to hire the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA) and learn how to outsource tasks like a boss, significantly freeing time, enhancing productivity and saving costs for your company.
In order to outsource tasks effectively, every entrepreneur needs to master the skills of delegating. Whether you hire one or more VAs you will need to integrate them into your business to ensure that they become productive members, working efficiently with the rest of the team.
What do you delegate? – This important step will help you discover what tasks your VA will be handling. The idea is to record common daily tasks and to evaluate which are repetitive without actually adding value. Separate those that can only be performed by you from those that can be outsourced. Tasks that are easier to outsource include:
- Time management – meeting schedules, appointments, keeping a work diary etc.
- Administrative support – managing emails and calls, dealing with buyers and suppliers and general secretarial services.
- Finance Support – bookkeeping, invoicing, credit control, tax returns etc.
- Marketing support – market research, email marketing, content creation, website management and SEO, etc.
- Sales support – telemarketing, lead and proposal generation, lead qualification, sales pipeline management etc.
- Travel and event planning – organizing business trips, event planning, and research.
Make tasks, standards, and goals clear – In order to have a good working relationship with your VA, you must be clear with what the overall goal is, how much time is to be spent on each task and when it has to be completed. Lay out short term and long term goals and what processes you need followed. Share the guidelines and standards you expect and make sure to let them know of any of any changes to these.
Don’t look for someone that can do everything – If you look for a VA that can manage all the extra tasks required, you might have to invest far more time than necessary in managing them. The solution might be to look for different VAs, thus spreading out the tasks, and eventually, they can bring in other members to help as the business grows. That way you will have managed to delegate tasks at a more efficient level freeing more time for your business demands.
Clarify deadlines – Projects schedules need to be shared so that the VA can ensure to meet deadlines. This can be ensured with the use of project management and collaboration tools.
Avoid micro-managing by building on trust – Before deciding on a virtual assistant you will need to do some research in order to find someone with talent and that you can trust. Now you can concentrate on your side of the business and let your VA take over the agreed tasks, while you carry on with other important work.
Listen to ideas – Many successful entrepreneurs believe only in their own strengths and capabilities and are not always willing to listen to advice or ideas from others. Remember, that most virtual assistants are highly skilled and experienced. Their input can help increase productivity, so don’t hesitate to ask for feedback; you might be pleasantly surprised.
Ensure that advanced tasks are performed as expected – You will need to take some time to clarify some points and processes. This can be done by phone, Skype or a through an online video. You will need to express your expectations and provide some training if you do tasks differently or are using different software. By sharing the way you do things, the Virtual Assistant will be able to be more productive.
Don’t hold back on payday – By hiring a virtual assistant you will be saving anything between 40 and 50% of what a full-time employee would be costing you. In order to ensure that the person is concentrating on the task at hand and not worrying about paying their bills, make sure that you always pay on time.
Offer constructive feedback – Initially, regular constructive feedback is helpful in building a good working relationship between you and your virtual assistant. That allows them to better understand your needs and workflow and to adjust.
As the working relationship develops into a comfortable understanding of each other, constructive feedback is still needed, but not as often.
Outsourcing requires dedication and delegation skills. Your effective management will ensure that you not only have a great team surrounding you but that they all perform at optimal levels, with little management required by you.
Are you thinking about partnering with a VA? Contact Us and let’s talk about how a VA could take your business to another level.