Friday, 5 December 2014

What to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant?

If you own a business, chances are that at some point, you are going to need an extra set of hands.  However, if you are not in need of an in-house assistant,  or you don't have a bricks and mortar establishment, then a Virtual Assistant (VA) may be a great option for you.

The question is, where to start?  Here are a few tips to help you narrow it down:

1.  Write a list of everything you do for your business.  This means everything from purchasing, ordering, paying bills, invoicing, designing and stamping, to labeling, blogging, marketing and social media.

2.  Take out everything that you personally love to do.  If you are an artist, you might love creating your piece, blogging about it and then finding avenues to market your piece.

3.  Take out any items that are income producing, i.e.  meeting with prospective clients/customers, designing and making the product, follow up calls, customer service calls, etc.

4.  You should be left with two categories:  The things that you don't like to do, and the things that are non-income producing but still need to be done.

5.  From this last list, take out anything that you are not able to relinquish control over.  For example, I have a client who's  email Inbox is her biggest "time-sucker".  It's overloaded, she has too many emails sitting in her Inbox, not enough folders, etc. However, she is  not willing to hand over her Inbox to anyone else.  As she says, it's organized chaos, but she knows exactly where everything is.

Complete Steps 1 through 5, and this is the perfect place to start.

Once you are satisfied with the list of jobs you would like to outsource, begin your search for a Virtual Assistant.  Keep in mind, all VA's will have specialties and have certain skill sets, so don't be afraid to "shop around", ask for references, ask to take a look at their work, and interview until you find one that suits your needs.  If that is too overwhelming or time consuming for you, there are many reputable agencies that can help you find the perfect VA.  It is important to note that there is a "settling in period" for both you and the VA, so give it time.

Do what you love, outsource the rest!

Michelle Callipari, Virtual Assistant
MSC Business Solutions

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