How Hiring a Virtual Assistant Makes YOU More Productive
If you’re reading this then I’m going to make a massive assumption that you run your own business, you’re doing everything yourself and reading this late at night. You’ve probably hit a point where you’re completely overwhelmed, juggling far too many balls and work is encroaching into your weekend.
Most business owners have many great talents, but we all have our limits; lack of time, skill-set, and frustration at the essential routine tasks that get in the way of your creativity, and your profitability. As your business grows, you get to a point when you need to ask yourself: could my time be better spent...
...because there is a big difference between being productive and being busy.
Define Your Tasks
Firstly, let’s think about the type of tasks you do. Broadly speaking tasks can be split into two categories; strategic, high-value tasks that only you can do and then the process/operational tasks, that could conceivably be done by someone else. Your process task list probably looks a bit like the list below:
Invoicing and accounts
Website updates and maintenance
Designing presentation decks
Creating internal processes
As your business gets busier, it's inevitable that the time you spend on the above tasks will undoubtedly increase. This means you become less productive, resulting in less of your precious time being dedicated to working on high-value tasks, and which ultimately is detrimental for business growth. And we must factor in those missed opportunities because you had your head buried in the accounts rather than business development, as well as the inefficiencies that start to creep in, as your once adequate systems and procedures start to creak under the strain.
Many people that I work with have got to the point where they cannot take on any more clients, or create more product, as they physically cannot work any more hours in the week. Many are also too busy and overwhelmed to take time off. This means you either accept that you stay as you are, or realise that it is time to think about outsourcing.
I’ve said it before - as business owners, we can do anything but not everything.
To be more productive in your business you need to outsource!
The common misconception is that outsourcing is reserved for large corporate organisations or governments. But the reality is that all businesses, of any size, can effectively outsource aspects of their business to freelancers with expertise, be they charities, local government, SME’s and sole traders. According to YouGov, 7 in 10 businesses have outsourced to third parties. (This is a great article, by the way, as it tells you what functions UK businesses outsource most).
But there’s also a number of other important reason why businesses outsource. You get access to a pool of talent that is more experienced at specific tasks than you. Outsourcing offers your fresh perspectives, you get access to new technology and ways of working that you hadn’t been aware of before and, of course, it’s more efficient – things get done faster!
Imagine, hypothetically, that you have hired someone to oversee your accounts, your social media has been outsourced and you have hired a VA to help with admin. Think about how much time in the week you would now have to focus on high-value tasks such as:
evaluating and measuring performance
developing process improvements
Setting and achieving objectives
Giving yourself permission to outsource means that you are giving yourself the time to think, plan, implement and evaluate the above high-value tasks, which in my experience is the key to you being more productive and growing your business.
Ultimately all businesses will have their own reasons for wanting to outsource, but the key to it working successfully is to be clear on what activities you wish to outsource and, of course, choosing the right person to work with.
Stop being busy and start being productive!
If you're interested in hiring a Virtual Assistant but not sure where to start, I have written a blog post - "How to Hire an Awesome Virtual Assistant" and if you prefer to actually talk to someone, I also offer a 30-minute discovery call, which you can book via Calendly.
If you're struggling to work out what to outsource, then why not download my "Identifying Tasks to Outsource" list. The list uses Chris Ducker's 3 Lists to Freedom, an exercise specifically created for this process.