Ahhhhhh, your lovely little business baby; it’s all yours! You love to give your baby all your attention, keep it away from prying eyes…besides, no one understands your business baby like you do. No one can look after your business baby like you do. Better keep your business baby tucked safely in the corner and hover over it like a helicopter mum!
#BUSINESSFAIL! To quote Dirty Dancing “Nobody puts baby in the corner!”
If you keep your business baby in a dark corner, it will eventually start to wither 🙁 It might be time for you to consider outsourcing so your biz baby can flourish again 🙂
Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant frees up your time so you can work on other important tasks, which can in turn give your business a real boost. You can’t do it all by yourself. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses and outsource those frustrating or time consuming jobs. Don’t forget, an experienced VA could complete a task in less than half the time you take to do it yourself (and maybe produce better quality work to boot). The result = a job well done, a less stressed and more productive you – win win! I KNOW it’s difficult, especially when you’re a perfectionist. I was always of the opinion that by the time it took me to show someone else how I do things, I could have done it twice over myself BUT remember your VA may well know a better/faster/more effective way of doing things. Once they know your expectations (see outsourcing tips below) the tasks they are completing for you will be to the standard you expect, and may well even exceed them. Your time as a solopreneur is precious. Don’t waste it doing tasks you could be outsourcing. Free up your time to work on the nitty gritty biz stuff.
What Is A Virtual Assistant Anyhoos?
“A Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a Virtual Office Assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. … Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses…” definition courtesy of Wikipedia
So in other words, a VA can be an absolute Godsend to solopreneurs, providing general office support or help to complete specified tasks.
But I Can’t Afford It!
First off, how you do know you can’t afford it? VA’s rates can vary considerably. I’ve paid £10 an hour and I’ve paid £30 an hour. It really depends on the person you choose and the jobs that you want to outsource. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around £20 per hour. You can sometimes negotiate discounts for long term work contracts. If you start out at just an hour a week, you can gradually increase the amount of tasks you outsource. Once you can see the true value of outsourcing, you’ll wonder why it took you so long!
When To Outsource Work Tasks
- You’re struggling to keep up with your workload
- There are certain tasks which you dislike
- There are certain tasks you feel you suck at! (no shame in this, for me it’s accounting)
- You need to free up time to work on other projects
- You aren’t meeting your business goals because you’re too busy working on day-to-day admin related tasks
20 Top Tasks To Outsource (including some I’ve used)
- Social media posts
- Managing your social media account(s)
- Filling up your BufferApp queue with content [This is one I’ve outsourced before. I knew exactly what content I wanted shared, I just didn’t have the time to keep loading my Buffer queue so found a VA to do this for me]
- Writing blog posts and articles [I’ve hired a VA who specialised in copy to write articles for me at an agreed cost per article, rather than an hourly rate]
- Scheduling blog posts and articles [I’ve hired a VA to schedule a batch of 20 blog posts over 20 weeks, including adding a featured image and SEO tags]
- Creating memes to share on social media [I’ve had a VA manage my Instagram account and create images and memes for me using Canva]
- Managing your email inbox
- Taking your office calls
- Designing posts and flyers
- Email marketing and autoresonders [I use the services of a VA to send my monthly newsletter]
- Basic SEO work
- Event planning
- Diary/appointment management
- Personal errands such as researching and booking a holiday
- Accounting/bookkeeping [I use online software and have an accountant to complete my company tax return]
- Creating presentations
- Sales calls/lead follow up
- Proofreading eBooks, content etc.
- Creating reports from data such as sales, revenue and other data
- Audio and video editing
- Get recommendations – ask in business Facebook groups, amongst your peers or networking events
- Check skills – some VA’s may be experts in email management, others social media etc. It’s worth ensuring your VA has experience in the tasks you want to outsource.
- Search online – try sites such as People Per Hour (read reviews and feedback)
- Start small – you could trial a VA for just one hour a week initially
- Ask for examples – ask if you can see examples of companies or individuals the VA has worked with previously
- Be really clear – ensure your VA is clear about your expectations
- Get it in writing – your Virtual Assistant should provide a contract of work
- Communication – Virtual Assistant doesn’t mean virtual reality! Have a Skype conversation or phone call so you can get to know your VA
- Don’t stop at a VA – how about hiring a website designer, copywriter, SEO expert or even personal stuff including hiring a cleaner, gardener etc.
I’d love to hear from you if are a VA! What are the most common tasks you’re asked to do for your clients? Feel free to post your web link in the comments too.