The Virtual Assistant is very much a 21st Century business tool

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!

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Process has revolutionised the world!

One of the things that comes up time and again when I’m speaking to people about how they can get more time back is the ability to get other people to help with some of the work.

Small businesses usually fall into one of two camps:

     1.        the owner is very precious about the work and doesn’t think anyone else can do it as well as them

     2.       they have got other people working with them but it happened organically and generally they have some really good people working for them but everyone does their own little job and no-one else really knows much about other people’s work. 

The problem with the first situation is that the business is very reliant on the business owner and a) is unlikely to survive if something stops the business owner working for a few weeks/months or b) the business will never be able to grow past the size where the business owner can handle everything.

The problem with the second situation is that the business is very reliant on a small number of individuals and a) if any one of them is unable to work for a few weeks the others probably wouldn’t know what to do to cover them and b) there probably isn’t consistency in how things are done as each person has developed their own little ways of working.

The answer to all of these issues is PROCESS.

Rather than me explaining all the reasons why having a process manual will help your business, pop over to my website where I have a selection of videos which will explain things much more eloquently than I can.

Click here to see the videos.

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