When I started my VA business in 2006 Virtual Assistants hadn't really been heard of in the UK, let alone understood in terms of how they could benefit a business. 10 years on there's probably a VA in nearly every networking event you go to, but I'd still argue that most small business owners don't really understand how they can use one to help their business.
I think there are 2 main hurdles for most business owners to get over in their thinking about VAs:
1. lack of understanding about what a VA can do to help in the business
2. the cost of having a VA
We'll look at the cost issue next week, but to start with let's understand what sort of tasks a VA could help you with.
When I meet with prospective clients they nearly all ask what can I help them with? I can list 101 tasks that my team can carry out for them but 100 of them might be irrelevant to them and I may have missed the 3 things they really want to delegate.
Every business is individual and every business owner’s needs are individual, so it’s much better that I ask how can we help them? And these are the 3 questions I ask:
1. What tasks need doing for the business to grow / be successful / maintain standards but you hate doing (and so in reality probably aren't doing because you're busy procrastinating over them and consequently putting the business in jeopardy)?
2. What tasks need doing for the business to grow / be successful / maintain standards but you aren’t good at (you’ve probably learnt how to do them to a degree but in reality they aren’t being done as well as they could be and consequently are putting the business in jeopardy)?
3. What tasks need doing for the business to grow / be successful / maintain standards but they could be done by someone else to leave you, the business owner, free to do other tasks that you should be doing?
Your answers to these questions are a good place to start a conversation with a VA. VAs have lots of different skills and so it’s important to know what you want help with and you find the right VA to support you and your business, rather than find a VA and take the support they can offer.
If you want a kick-start on the ideas front download our list of 32 things you could outsource but don’t forget, these are just generic ideas, some of which will be relevant to you, some of which won’t and some of things you need support with won’t be included but that doesn’t mean to say no-one can help you with them, you just need to ask!