Are you thinking about outsourcing some tasks to ease up some of your workload? GREAT! It will be the best business decision you make! Plus it will allow you to use that time to do more important things – like having more time with your dog or focusing on more vital work tasks.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) can literally lift the weight off your shoulders. But…BEFORE you go and hire a VA, please consider the following!
EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT SURE if you should hire a VA, consider the following because you definitely should. Just be prepared!
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Before You Outsource
I need you to get out a pen and paper, because right now is going to be the time to brain dump.
Yes, brain dump!
I need you to set a timer for 60 seconds and write down as many tasks as you can that you have to do during the day, week, month or year. These tasks should include not only work tasks, but your personal at-home tasks as well.
So you ready?
Your 60 seconds starts… NOW!
Having all these tasks can be exhausting! Yes I know, I know. Many of them probably take two seconds and are probably super easy to get done. I get it, truly, I do.
BUT THAT MINDSET HAS TO CHANGE!
No more “it only takes a second”. Because the issue is that you probably have a handful of things that take a second. On a more realistic note… they don’t take a second. That ‘one-second’ task probably takes 5-10 minutes. These are the tasks you should be outsourcing!
BUT WAIT A MINUTE! Before you outsource and after brain-dumping your tasks, I still need you to do one more thing before hiring a virtual assistant.
Make a List
Well more like 3 lists. I need you to make a list to divide up the tasks that you have written down during your 60-second brain dump. The three separate lists will include…
- Tasks you hate doing and that bring upon boredom & frustration (even the ones that take ‘two seconds’)
- Tasks that you don’t know how or can’t do yourself
- Tasks you shouldn’t be doing
Now let’s break these lists down so you know which tasks can/should go under each one.
Tasks You Hate
Take those frustrating tasks that you dread doing and put them in this list. By outsourcing tasks you hate will lead you to save time, because most likely you are probably procrastinating on getting these tasks done. Therefore, wasting time and dilly-dallying around instead of getting work done.
Personally for me, it’s sorting my email. I hate filtering it from the spam emails, to clientele updates, requests, etc.. So I have my VA do it for me, which saves me a ton of time. Yes it’s an easy task, but in reality it does not take the two-seconds we desire it to. NOTE: I have her include important emails, which I have SPECIFIED which ones were considered important, so there is no confusion, in an End of Day report.
All-in-all, stop wasting time and just outsource these dreadful tasks so you can get on to more important things.
PRO TIP: Ask your VA to send an End of Day Report / Email
For accountability and for my sake of knowing what things are getting completed, I have my VA send an End of Day report. The EOD email/report includes the tasks that were completed and any important emails, messages and/or updates that I need to handle.
Tasks You Can’t Do Yourself
Yes it’s great to macgyver things and figure things out for yourself, but not with your business! Please for the sake of cake, do not do this – just hire someone to do it for you. By outsourcing tasks that you don’t know how to do or can’t do yourself will save you time, money, and the consequences of making a mistake.
For example: your website, creating promoting material, bookkeeping, taxes, etc., if you do not know how to do these, it’s okay! These things take a long time to learn – hours and hours of YouTube and time on the phone with customer service.
Just leave it to the professionals and they can get it done for you within a reasonable time frame, for a reasonable cost, and with far fewer mistakes than if you were to do it.
Tasks You Shouldn’t Be Doing
You are the owner of a company! Go grow your company and increase sales!
If you don’t have a plan already it’s time to create one. A plan that will be YOU running the company instead of IT running you.
Ask yourself: “What shouldn’t I be doing?”
By that I mean, should the owner of the company really be wasting time doing data entry or creating newsletters for your business? NO! Outsource those tasks. Even if you have experience with data entry or writing newsletters does not mean you have to be the one doing it for your business. Save time and focus on bigger issues instead of small tiny tasks that a service professional or virtual assistant can easily do.
Before you hire a virtual assistant…
- You must be prepared.
- You must be specific on what you need the VA to do. You can’t just tell him/her/them to call a bunch of people to get leads.
- You must be specific on who they should call, what exactly they should be asking for, what goal they should have in mind, how you expect them to report back to you, what information is considered vital and need to be documented, etc.!
- You must set a deadline. Yes you may want to be the coolest person they’ve ever worked for. But…Don’t. Don’t do or want to act like this. Things need to get done. Either if it is house tasks or professional tasks.
- You must set a deadline, because there needs to be boundaries and you will have more effective and efficient results when deadlines are set.
To Sum This Up…
You need to outsource!
Before you outsource and hire a virtual assistant, the three things you need to do are…
- Brain-dump your tasks
- Divide your tasks into three lists
- Get specific on what, why and how the virtual assistant should do things, and set a deadline for the tasks
Hiring a virtual assistant will save you time, energy, money, mistakes, and will lower your procrastination from tasks that need to be completed. Make sure to look at your list of tasks and consider which ones that a service professional or virtual assistant easily can take off your plate. This will only help your business grow so you can truly focus on the bigger picture of the growth of your business.
Featured Image by Retha Ferguson
Petal Blog Graphic by Karolina Grabowska
Gal Writing Image by Vlada Karpovich