Tag Archives: delegation

It is hard to believe that December is here and we will be welcoming in the New Year very soon.  Many of you still have a list of things to do before changing the calendar to 2014 that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.

Here are 5 things to outsource for the end of the year push.

  1. Website Review.  Make sure all the information on your website is updated with new business testimonials and photos, so that the website is refreshed and ready for visitors in the new year.
  2. Email Organization.  Many of you should start the new year with an inbox that isn’t cluttered.  With proper guidance from you, have your virtual assistant purge both your active or reference-only emails and create folders to stay organized.
  3. Follow-Up Help. The end of the year is the perfect time for you to have your VA check on any open proposals, invoices and projects that you are working on, and make sure there is a plan in place for revisiting them after the holidays.
  4. Tax Preparation.  A VA with expertise in this area, can organize receipts, research end of the year charitable donations, or just look over business expenses.
  5. Marketing.  Make sure you have a plan in place for the new year.  Have your VA create an editorial calendar for blog posts, social media and print ads to help keep you organized and accountable.

 

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“I have a small budget – how can I decide what to have a VA do for me?” I hear that question all the time. My answer is “whatever will be the biggest bang for the buck”.

For some people it could be having the VA help with things that will bring revenue into the company.

That could include:

  • Helping with marketing.
  • Finalizing an informational product that you will sell.
  • Doing customer service tasks.
  • Adding items to an online shopping cart so customers can purchase more from you.

For others it’s freeing up time so THEY can make more money for the company.

Those tasks are usually admin related and include:

  • Research
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Bookkeeping
  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Formatting documents
  • Data entry

Whatever it is that you decide to delegate to a VA be sure and let us know if we can help you find the right VA that will give you the best bang for your buck.

 

We are on the cusp of the holiday season.  Orders may be coming in, schedules are filling up fast and your time is being pulled in many different directions.

A virtual assistant can be a huge asset to not only your sanity but more importantly, to your bottom line during this busy time of the year.  Give yourself a gift and get a virtual assistant to help you make it through the season.

Below are a 5 ways to utilize a virtual assistant during the holidays.

  1. Don’t forget that your customers appreciate hearing from you this time of the year.  Everyone is in the giving spirit, so have a virtual assistant prep holiday cards, or purchase a gift for those customers that have supported your vision and refer people to you anytime they can.
  2. This may be the time of year to capture the spirit of the holiday with a sale or promotion .  A virtual assistant can help with email marketing, a social media campaign or updating your website.
  3. Networking is another important opportunity to be a part of during the festive time of the year.  You may ask a virtual assistant to research all the upcoming events in your area so that you can decide the best ones to attend.
  4. Responding to or monitoring incoming emails is also a task you can delegate to a virtual assistant to help you stay on top of your inbox during the busy holiday months.
  5. Personal assistance is also an option if you are laser focused on your business.  Ordering presents online, taking care of your family holiday cards, scheduling grocery delivery, or even researching and booking holiday travel can be done by a virtual assistant.

Do you want to enjoy this time of the year?   A virtual assistant can take a big layer of stress off your holiday plate and handle a lot of the details that you never want to slip through the cracks.

I recently read an article published on Entrepreneur.com that was titled 10 Things to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant written in December 2012.

Below is the Entrepeneur.com List:

  1. Online Research
  2. Bookkeeping
  3. Database Entries
  4. Data Presentations
  5. Managing Emails
  6. Holiday Cards
  7. Travel Research
  8. Scheduling
  9. Chasing Business
  10. Industry Knowledge Research

While I completely agree with the premise of this article about how using a virtual assistant can shave hours from your work week,  I think there are a lot more than 10 tasks that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.  The outsourcing options are almost limitless.  A professional virtual assistant can perform general to advanced administrative tasks but there are many professional virtual assistants with expertise in a more specialized field.  The skill level of today’s virtual assistants is extremely impressive.

I am going to add to the list published on Entreprenuer.com  with 10 MORE options for outsourcing work to a virtual assistant.  And honestly, there are even more options than this, but these are the areas that many clients are seeking help with on a growing basis.

  1. Social Media Management
  2. Newsletter maintenance or management
  3. Website updates
  4. Blogging
  5. Event planning
  6. Graphic design
  7. Article distribution
  8. Customer Service
  9. SalesForce or E-commerce updates
  10. Personal Assistance

 

Keeping up with social media can get difficult, especially if you have a lot of accounts to deal with at the same time. Outsourcing your social media marketing can be the best way to keep your accounts active, engaging and relevant.

Here are 3 tasks a virtual assistant can help you with to maintain a strong social strategy:

  1. Pre-Writing and Scheduling Posts
    With the right direction and maybe a few examples, a professional virtual assistant can write posts or link to relevant articles that can be pre-scheduled using a social media management tool like Hootsuite,Tweet Deck, or Buffer.  This will ensure that your social reach stays active and your brand stays top of mind to your followers or fans.
  2. Researching Topics for Blogs
    Having someone research topics for your blogs posts can be the perfect task for a virtual assistant.  Most blogs posts can then be shared or linked through your social reach, which in turn can help drive traffic to your website.
  3. Monitoring Social Engagement, and Reputation Management
    If you are actively using social media or digital advertising to market yourself or your business, it is important to monitor your digital footprint.  A virtual assistant can take on that role, and respond to questions or comments, or let you know that a response is needed.   Having someone monitoring Yelp or other review websites can help you establish and protect your company’s reputation.

If you have reached the point where you no longer have the time to do it all and you are spending a lot of your business hours doing online marketing tasks then it’s time to work with a virtual assistant.

How would you like to reduce your daily workload and increase your annual business revenues?
I am sure the first question you are asking is , “how can I really work less and earn more”?

You need to do more productive work using less hours in your day and make more money with less effort. This can be accomplished when you…outsource…share your work load….delegate to a virtual assistant!

Here are 5 ways a VA can help reduce your daily workload which will allow YOU to do the work needed to increase your annual business revenues:

  1. Determine the core functions of your business and delegate those tasks that are less productive. Don’t get caught in the “busy-work” track.
  2.  Hire a virtual assistant to assist in tasks like organizing your travel plans or planning your events and presentations. This simplifies your efforts, giving you more time to concentrate on effective business tasks.
  3.  Instead of trying to handle the entire blogging process yourself, focus only on content creation, delegate the rest to a Virtual Assistant. Formatting, editing, tagging, SEO optimizing can all be done by a VA.
  4. By letting go of some tasks and handing them over to someone else, you’ll be doing your business a huge favor. Concentrate on the creative parts of your business. Find a VA with the right skills and attitude to get the job done.
  5. If you don’t know how to get started with marketing and promoting your business on Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on, get a VA who has prior experience with Social Media Marketing to help you out.

Can you think of more ways a virtual assistant could help you and your business?  I bet you can!

Is your life centered around family, work, and play (FWP), not necessarily in that order?

I am pretty sure the common denominator to ensuring a balanced life is TIME.  Spending quality time with your family, putting in enough hours at work, and having some downtime to enjoy the things in life that give you pleasure and lets you recharge your mental battery.

Many of us struggle with balancing what I will call the FWP cycle.  Work is required to earn enough money to take care of our families, and a discretionary fund is needed to pay for our “play” time, so most of us put more emphasis on the work part of our lives.   I have asked many business owners (both men and women) what an ideal day would look like to them and the universal answer seems to be having more TIME. As we get older, we realize how fast TIME goes by and there is no slowing it down.

So, how do you overcome that lack of TIME to balance FWP?  As a business owner, it is important to constantly be aware of your efforts.  Are you dedicating your time wisely or are you wasting valuable time doing things that may not be generating revenue, building business relationships, or are even within your area of expertise?  Think strategically when you are worried about managing your time.  Do not waste precious time doing the things that can be outsourced.  This quote by Jack Canfield is very relevant, “When you are able to maximize your potential by focusing on your core genius, you become more productive and effective”.

ACTION ITEM: Record every single task, project or activity you do for one week, noting which line items are income producers, core genius or something that was a time waster and should have been outsourced.
Share your list in our comments and let’s talk strategy and outcomes.

Have you ever heard the quote, “you can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk”, by Louise Smith? Those words resonate with me because I have witnessed many business owner’s frustration when they feel like their business is moving in slow motion or even worse, that it is in gear but not moving forward.

Being involved in all aspects of your business can definitely be important to you, but trying to do everything does not always allow productivity to happen on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. I usually ask the frustrated business owners that I meet to tell me how much time they spend on business development opportunities. The overwhelming response is very little, because they are too busy, marketing the business, doing the daily administrative tasks, handling the accounting and responding to customers. With only 24 hours in a day and hopefully 6-8 hours of sleep and a few hours of personal or family commitments there isn’t usually much time left over for developing the business which is critical to success.

So, how do you get out of the time-crunch of “having your hands full”?

Ask yourself these questions:
1. How many hours are you spending on activities that are not generating revenue?

2. What is your time worth?

Once you have answered those 2 questions it may be easy to justify hiring a virtual assistant to help you with some of the tasks that are swallowing up the hours in your day.

Do – Delegate – Delete

Anyone who has taken part in one of my workshops knows I talk about the 3 Ds. A productive person employs them consistently, and the 3 Ds allow them to effectively move toward their goals each day.

The powerful Ds are: Do, Delegate & Delete

When a new opportunity or request arises for you, see which of the 3 Ds make most sense.

Continue reading

The options seem endless when thinking about what you can delegate to a virtual assistant. But what are the items that will help you reach your business goals the fastest?

Identify where you spend your time.

Often we are so busy being busy that we don’t really know where our days go. For a week, document where you spend your time.

Example: 1 hour returning emails about general FAQs on your product/service, 5 hours networking, 2 hours sending follow up emails and phone calls up from networking, 45 minutes entering new contacts
into database, 4 hours doing research projects, 2.5 hours writing articles, 30 minutes uploading new blog posts to wordpress, etc.

Add to the list things you’d like to accomplish.

These are items that are always on your To Do list or are looming projects that don’t get done. Maybe you don’t have time, interest, or ability to complete them. Add them to the list.

Example: start or update your blog, social media updates, reach out personally to each of your clients, create a new product to sell, upgrade your website, enter info from all the business cards you have been collecting into a database, etc.

Congratulations! You have identified the important items that must get done in your business. The next step is to determine what specifically makes most sense for you to delegate.

Prioritize what to delegate first… What do you HATE to do?

Identify the things you really dislike doing. Delegating these items will ensure they will be complete in a timely manner, you won’t feel guilty about putting them off, and you won’t feel frustrated when you have to do them.

Example: These items are different for everyone. Common tasks we have heard are bookkeeping, writing, research, event coordination, database management, following up on late invoices

What is possible for someone else do?

Mark the items that YOU do not need to do. Usually 80% of your list falls into this category. You are not committing to delegating these items, but you are identifying things that could be given to someone else. Remember, just because you are used to doing something yourself does not mean you are the only person who can do it.

Example: scheduling your appointments, research projects, placing phone calls on your behalf, sending follow up emails, project management, client communication, bookkeeping

Find recurring items that are time sucks

What responsibilities that take up a lot of your time? These are essential details but they keep you from spending time on the most important parts of your business. They are things that must be done daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Example: posting blog articles, sending emails, research projects, scheduling appointments, formatting documents, data entry, replying to email inquiries, updating spreadsheets

Identify things that will let you generate income the fastest.

What needs to be done in order to increase income the fastest and most consistently for you? Identify these areas and focus on them! You can either have a virtual assistant take on the responsibilities or you can delegate the timesucking duties you have been doing that have kept you from the income producing activities.

Example: product development, customer service, follow up on leads, sending invoices, set up online store, marketing help

Start small but strategically.

By this point you have identified many items that can be delegated to someone. Prioritize this list and come up with the few duties that you will ask a virtual assistant to do first. Start with just a few items so you can provide feedback and be sure things are going smoothly. Select the responsibilities that will make the biggest impact for you – the ones that will help you increase income, give you the most time back in your day, or help you regain balance and sanity.

Happy Delegating!