Thinking of outsourcing some of your to-do list or projects to a VA (Virtual Assistant)? When you outsource it’s important to understand the best projects to delegate as – remember – the main goal is to free up more of your time.
You want to be able to focus on tasks that bring in more results and that only you can do.
Learn To Delegate
Many small business owners struggle to find the time to get on with their tick list. Interestingly neglecting your business is one of the top reasons a small business fails. Running a business is hard work and you have to wear many hats – HR, marketing, sales, finance and admin. We all need a helping hand sometimes to keep on top of everything.
Do you find that you do everything in your business? Are you the business?! The bottom line is that to grow our business you need to delegate. Otherwise you’ll fall foul to over-committing and under delivering. There are many areas where you might think, as the business owner, you are the only one that can do the necessary work. However this superhero syndrome will hold your business back.
A growing business juggling multiple projects simply may not have the bandwidth to focus on another project. Outsourcing can allow you, and your team, to focus on their core business and marketing tasks.
“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate” (Richard Branson)
Here Are The Best Tasks To Outsource
Many small business owners procrastinate about outsourcing. As a result they fail to pull the trigger because they really don’t have a clue what tasks they could outsource in the first place. Here is a list of tasks that you can outsource to a VA.
Almost any type of research can be handed over to a VA. You can also outsource tasks that are not necessarily related to your business. You might need a speech written for an event, property research or research into buying a new car.
- Fact checking – a VA can double-check facts, generate reports and statistics and validate data to ensure that you are always on the front foot.
- Market analysis and data comparisons
- Sales Leads – a VA can find and research potential business leads.
- Products to buy – A VA can sift through options available on the market and double check against reviews and recommendations to create a short-list of contenders.
Data entry is thankfully one of the most time consuming tasks that can be easily outsourced.
- Compiling weekly reports on sales, deliverables, hours and tasks.
- Create forms or surveys for customer feedback.
- Database building, entry and updates (sales, contacts, CRM, etc.)
- Proofreading documents and other office materials.
- Data management
- Customised data and list creation for email segmentation.
- Sales lead research and collation of information
- Copy writing
- Creating client briefs
- Email marketing campaigns
- Analysis of social media analytics
- Manage campaign response
- Production of marketing material for social media or press
- Creation of graphics for use in presentations or social media.payment
- Analysis of market data
Creating slideshows and graphics can easily be outsourced. Presentations can be time consuming if you do not know what you are doing. An experienced VA can create these easily allowing you to focus on more important tasks.
A VA can manage much of your to-do list and will be experienced at noticing things that you might miss.
- Meeting arranging – both internal and with clients
- Travel research and schedules
- Event planning
- Calendar management
- Inbox management
Social Media Management
Keeping your social media updated and generating a strong presence is immensely time consuming. Outsourcing to a VA can help in many areas, reducing your to-do list and freeing up more of your time. They can also carry out tasks faster and more efficiently than you.
- Blog writing, copywriting and post research. An experienced copywriter can often mimic blogs to ‘sound’ like you. If you are not so keen on that idea a VA can draft the content, carry out the necessary topic research, collate relevant news and links for the blog and source relevant images. You can then shape them into your desired style.
- Commenting and liking – a VA can respond to comments left on your blog and also comment on posts on blogs and social media profiles that you follow. This is a great way to make new connections and generate backlinks to your own sites and blogs. A VA can create a list of the sites that you follow and can send you links to articles that they think are relevant to your business.
- Generating networks and social connections. Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook, amongst others, are a great way to network and create. This is another time consuming task and therefore a VA can keep up with network requests, respond to messages and keep you updated on account activity.
- Manage a social media shop. Many businesses are developing shopping opportunities directly through their social media accounts. A VA can manage and update your Facebook Business Suite, or similar platforms such a ShopWired or Shopify. Additionally they can collate weekly reports on sales and stock etc.
- Email response and management. Many business owners fall into the trap of constantly checking their emails and this is hugely time consuming. The chances are that the majority of emails received are routine and therefore a VA can respond to these or set up email auto or template responses.
- Voicemail Management – do you spend a lot of time in meetings and dread having to check your messages? A VA can check your voicemail on a schedule set by you. They can prioritise your messages, and also email summaries to you when you’re not in a position to receive calls. A VA can also return routine and emergency calls when immediate action is required.
- Gifts and Cards – whether they’re friends or clients, all of us want to remember important people at special times. A VA can track down and ship the perfect gifts, send online cards, or mail pre-signed greeting cards to everyone on your contact list.
- Sales follow up – many businesses send emails or make calls to recent clients. It’s a great way to say “thank you”, to answer any questions and proactively resolve potential problems increasing the chance of a repeat purchase. A VA can follow up with new and existing clients to encourage repeat business and build long-term business relationships.
Many business owners shy away from outsourcing their bookkeeping. However time spent coding projects is time that could be spent bringing in new business and developing sales. By outsourcing it to a VA, it will free up your time to develop sales leads and grow your business.
- Company invoicing
- Sending out quotes
- Chasing payments
- Setting up online accounting software, such as Xero and QuickBooks
- Generate profitability reports
- Clear and accurate project costs
- Sales teams reports
- Keeping track of everything makes submitting your tax return a lot easier at the end of the tax year. You can be sure that everything will be in order
- As your business grows, you can scale up your bookkeeping or cut back if you required
- Bank and credit reconciliations
- Purchase order management
- Expense claims
Systems And Processes To Improve Productivity
Businesses need to get the appropriate operational structure in position to maximise productivity and ensure business growth. A VA can organise the following:
- An organised and centralised filing system with clear document management for easy access. This helps save time when staff leave, are off work sick or a new person joins.
- Identify and implement solutions that collaborate well together and provide efficient operational and sales support i.e. HubSpot or Asana
- Document processes for repetitive and repeatable tasks. These can be recorded, videoed or listed on a project management system. This will avoid inefficiencies through duplication of work, reduction in quality, manual processes taking longer than they should or poor employee productivity.
- Ensure a file back up system is in place.
A Virtual Assistant Can Save You Money
- A VA is hired on a needs and budget basis only. They can scale up and down to support your business demands.
- Hiring an employee involves much paperwork and extra costs before they even have the chance to sit down at their desk. A VA is responsible for their personal expenses and therefore you can skip the additional administration and charges like benefits or taxes.
- There is no need to purchase supplies. A VA is responsible for their own supplies, making sure that they have all the necessary equipment on hand and are always up to date with the latest software. This lets you save on an array of things, from rent and furniture, to post-it notes and expired anti-virus programmes.
- The chance to reinvest your time in parts of the business that generate an income. You might try to respond personally to every single email you receive and to file every document correctly but eventually you’ll struggle to make your next deadline or miss a critical deadline. A VA can absorb all the time-consuming and repetitive tasks which underpin the success of every growing business.
Spend Your Time Wisely
They say time is money and any entrepreneur will know the truth in this all too well. Outsourcing routine day-to-day tasks will get them done more quickly. This, in turn, will free up essential time for you to focus on growing your business.
Spend your time wisely, wasting as little as possible. Don’t tie up your precious hours in unnecessary or inefficient tasks. Instead invest your time in the most valuable and necessary tasks that will gain you the most rewards.
A Buy Time Virtual Assistant
A dedicated Buy Time VA can work wherever and whenever they are needed. They operate as an integral part of your team to support your business or household. They are able to flex with your requirements, providing more or less hours as necessary and therefore reducing the financial strain whilst supporting your business grow. Buy Time are also able to provide holiday cover etc. so your business is never without support.
Our focus is our client. We therefore offer a flexible and transparent pricing structure. With no contract, subscription charges or minimum usage requirement, there are no real overheads to consider. Simply ‘buy time’ as it’s needed. We support businesses and individuals starting out on their journey as well as more established organisations. Many clients have been with us for years: our long-term relationships have benefited from this approach for well over a decade.
If you would like to have an informal chat about how a dedicated VA can help you and your business, please do get in touch at email@example.com or 0203 292 0566.