Many entrepreneurs and business owners are overwhelmed with their workload and can spend far too much time getting bogged down with admin, rather than focus on taking their business to the next level.
They are often still working when everyone else has finished for the day - checking and sending emails, returning calls etc. They sometimes spend more time on the ‘small stuff’ rather than the bigger strategies, but don’t feel they can justify employing a full-time member of staff to help – but they really need that extra pair of hands to tackle their to-do list!
This is where a Virtual Assistant can step in and transform how you work – but many business owners are unaware of what they can delegate and how much they can outsource to a VA. So why not start simple, build confidence and trust in the relationship and gradually work up to delegating more complex tasks over time? Here are some simple tasks you can pass to a Virtual Assistant as a starting point:-
Emails are probably one of the biggest time wasters for business owners - inboxes can often fill up faster than you can read them! In reality, there are many emails that come into our inboxes that aren’t vital to running a business – but they can certainly distract you from working hard on a particular task. Before you know it, you can lose focus on your previous task and find it hard to get back into the flow. Over the course of weeks and months, imagine how many hours you have lost by the interruption of non-essential emails.
A Virtual Assistant could handle most of your emails for you, dealing with or delegating some and passing back only the ones most important to running your business – no more non-essential or distracting emails!
Booking trips, accommodation, meetings etc – in fact, booking just about anything!
Planning a business trip can take up a lot of valuable time – looking for flights and accommodation that fit in with your budget and schedule and researching car hire/transfer options.
Arranging business meetings is also time-consuming – making sure all potential attendees are available, booking meeting rooms, providing attendees with relevant meeting documents, arranging catering etc.
A VA can do all this for you – they can provide a detailed itinerary for business trips and schedule meetings with multiple attendees as well as preparing and distributing all related documentation (agendas/meeting minutes etc).
Virtual Assistants often have previous experience with booking complex travel and meeting arrangements and are highly likely to know the best flight options/hotels/meeting venues etc. And if there is something they don’t know, they will do the research and find the solution!
Social Media Management
Nowadays many small businesses have a profile on multiple social media platforms – such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. But business owners who handle their own social media could easily get side-tracked and spend far too much time being unproductive on social sites. Either that or they have social media accounts that are less than perfect because they don’t have the time to maintain them or post as often as they should.
A Virtual Assistant can easily manage your business profiles on your behalf – handling the content, scheduling, moderating and replying to comments. Similarly, a VA can monitor and maintain your website – they don’t have to be an expert on web design or development to write relevant content for you.
If you clearly define what you are trying to achieve through your social media and website campaigns and set your goals and guidelines accordingly, a VA could achieve measurable results on your behalf, freeing up a considerable amount of your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Invoicing and expenses
It is a time-consuming task to send and track your business invoices or record and organise your expenses, but these are tasks that need doing on a regular basis. Handing these over to a Virtual Assistant would make life so much easier, especially with so much free software and apps available, allowing documents and images to be shared remotely with your VA so they can take over this arduous task on your behalf!
Research, research, research
Research can be a useful tool for just about anything in business – what is my competition doing, can I buy these supplies cheaper elsewhere, what’s the best accounting software for my business needs? If you’re doing research by yourself and are working on a project where you need to look at various topics and subtopics, imagine how fast you could do it if you already had most of the information at your fingertips courtesy of your VA? A VA can wade through all the information to find and summarize the most relevant to you and your business needs.
Outsourcing some or all these relatively simple tasks to a Virtual Assistant will allow you to invest your valuable time on the bigger tasks that make a genuine difference to you and your business. Even better, this can all be for less than the cost of a full-time employee - and their flexibility means that their hours can easily be adjusted for quieter or busier periods.
Once you have built up that trust and confidence in their abilities, you can then gradually increase the tasks that your VA takes on. You will find that there is virtually no limit to what they can do to help you and your business, and you will wonder how you ever managed without them!