Every small business is as unique as its owners, but there are common threads we all have to deal with. If those threads are tying you down, instead of pulling you up, it is the perfect time to consider outsourcing to a virtual assistant. Freeing yourself from your day-to-day tasks, will allow you to focus on growing the size and value of your company, all while knowing that the details are in the hands of a capable professional.
#1 - Outsource Repetitive Tasks
Even as a professional virtual assistant, the least rewarding part of my job is the repetitive tasks involved in running my own business. Invoicing and tracking expenses are at the top of my list for boring tasks, when I do them for myself. When someone is paying me to do their's however, I suddenly find them quite enjoyable!
As a business owner when you come upon a task that makes you sigh with boredom, jot down the process as you go. As you read it back, does it seem like something you could outsource? If so, do it!
Think of it as investing in your relationship with your business. When things get stale, spending a little to outsource the monotonous tasks to a capable, trustworthy virtual assistant, will help to rekindle the romance you felt with your business in the beginning. The saying, "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life," is very true, and if you can keep that love alive, you'll be able to enjoy your business. When you are excited and enthusiastic about your business, your customers will sense it and want to join you.
#2 - Hand Off Special Projects
I love making websites. I really do. I am a creative, logical person, so it is a natural fit for me. Creating my own website though? It was very hard for me to stay focused and driven, because it was just for myself. It took a lot of time, and that was time I had to spend away from paid work. Very frustrating.
When a special project arises, it takes us away from the meat and potatoes (or beans for the vegans) of our business. Depending on what it is, a special project can be time consuming, finicky and labor intensive, but is often born out of a great idea to boost business.
Outsourcing a special project makes a lot of sense. For a virtual assistant, this is a big part of why they started their business. They will be able to focus, stay motivated and be very invested in the quality of the outcome of your project. Not only because they are being paid to do it, but also because want to keep getting jobs from you. Not only do you save time, your project also gets the attention it deserves.
#3 - Give Yourself a Professional Edge
I don't know how many times I've been looking into a service and seen a bad website and bounced right out of there. I may have missed out on an amazing deal, or a high-quality professional, but if the brand doesn't appear reputable, I don't bring my business there. I know I'm not the only one.
So much of what makes a customer feel comfortable giving you their business, is confidence in your brand. Establishing a brand and a professional aesthetic can be very challenging for some people, no matter how brilliant they are in business.
Hiring a marketing company may be in your future, but if you're just starting out, leaning on a virtual assistant to establish consistency across your public interactions, can give your business a big boost. Simple things like using a couple fonts, working from the same colour palette, having a simple, concise look, and some consistency in the photos you choose, can take you from questionable to a sure thing.
#4 - Develop Efficient Systems
I don't know about you, but when I started my business, I was winging it. And what comes with winging it, are loose, shaky systems that only you can understand and manage.
An effective virtual assistant will be able to look at your current systems and help you develop something more usable, and more importantly, something you don't need to have the brilliant brain trapped in your head, to manage. It might not seem that important now, but you want to be able to share the work with others if your business grows to the level most people are hoping for.
A successful virtual assistant will have experience developing such systems, and be able to help you implement something more effective. Many administrative professionals could help with this as well, but what a VA brings uniquely to the table, is the experience of currently running their own business. Nothing will trump the skills you learn on the job when they really matter to you, and efficient systems matter to a virtual assistance business owner.
#5 - Peace of Mind
What's the difference between hiring a virtual assistant and hiring your mom? A lot. (Unless your mom is a virtual assistant).
Virtual assistants get into the field of business support for a reason. While admittedly, there is inconsistency in the level of quality you will find from VA to VA, all virtual assistants got into the business because they're good at, and enjoy, administrative tasks. When you find the perfect fit with a VA, you will know it right away.
It's also key to remember that a virtual assistant has at least, if not more incentive to impress you as a client, than they would if you were their boss. It is much harder to fire someone, than to just stop using a supplier. For this reason, and many more, it often makes more sense for a smaller business to hire a VA than an administrative staff member.
It's important to start small and develop trust. But once you do, you will have a new peace of mind that can only be understood by others who have successfully shared the weight of their business with someone else. With your day-to-day tasks and business interests in the hands of someone you can trust to do an amazing job every time, you will be able to relax and enjoy the exciting parts of growing and developing your business.