You’ve taken the decision to outsource some of your work in order to retain your sanity and grow your business. But exactly WHAT work should you outsource to a virtual assistant and HOW do you decide?
If you like to write things down, download my free worksheet to help you run through each step.
Start by making a list of everything you do within your business. You might put everything together on one list or you might like to break them down. Splitting tasks into categories such as ‘day-to-day’ and ‘project’ can help when you come to allocate.
The ‘Only You’ Jobs
Now look at your list and pick out the jobs that only you can do. You can move those onto a new list.
Many entrepreneurs and business owners initially think that there are a lot of jobs that only they can do. Chances are that the list you made in the last step is full of work that can, with the right training and experience, be passed onto someone else. So go back and look over the list again and analyse each task closely.
Take a good, hard look at each item and ask yourself if you, specifically, really have to do it. If you’re struggling to be objective, brainstorm with a trusted friend or family member who can help you identify where and how tasks could maybe be handed over.
What do you enjoy?
Once you’ve made a list of the things that you have to do, make a list of those remaining tasks that you enjoy doing and that you really want to do. You don’t want to suck all the fun out of your work, so make sure you are doing plenty that you love!
Manage your time
Now you have a list of what you love to do and what you have to do. Go over it again and make sure that you have plenty of time to fit everything in whilst still maintaining some semblance of a personal life.
If you’re still drowning after this exercise, you need to go back and be more firm with yourself.
What you should now be left with is those tasks that can be outsourced. Well done! You can now begin looking for an appropriate person or company to outsource them to. This is where a virtual assistant can come in.
Find the right person
If you find that your outsourceables are straightforward admin tasks – email management, diary management, data entry, etc. – then any virtual assistant should be able to handle them. If you have more specific tasks such as marketing, social media, or bookkeeping, you want to look for someone who has those specific skills.
Different virtual assistants have different skill sets, so you first want to look for a few who have the skills you need. Then it comes down to compatibility, ability, understanding and availability. You want someone who you can work well with, who you can trust, and who has the available time to complete your work to the right standard.
Take it slow
I get it – outsourcing for the first time – especially to someone who’s not in the same workplace as you – can be nerve-wracking. But it’s a growing industry and you will find many, many business owners who have done this in the past and for whom it has worked exceptionally well.
You don’t have to outsource all your work at once, either. Start with the smaller tasks: do you want someone who can just clear out the spam from your inbox, or do you have a one-off data entry task that you could outsource to a virtual assistant?
As you become more confident in your new partnership with your VA, you can increase what you outsource to them and, most importantly, relax with the knowledge that this part of your business is in good hands!
If you haven’t already, download my free worksheet. Print it off and read through this blog again, then fill out the worksheet to give yourself some actionable tasks to outsource.
Let me know if you have any questions and I’d love to hear how you get on.
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