What are the best things to outsource to a virtual assistant?
I get asked this question so many times, that I wanted to take a few minutes to answer it as simply as possible for you. So, I’m going to give you three categories of things that you should be outsourcing to a virtual assistant.
To start with, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that everybody’s business is very different. So, you’re going to have a lot of different tasks. That’s why it’s not easy to come up with a long list of generic items. Instead, I’m going to offer a few pointers to steer you in the right direction.
With that in mind, let’s jump into our list!
1. Time Consuming Tasks
This is probably the easiest category for you to identify, because it’s stuff that you’re probably sick of doing. Think, for a moment, about some of the things you do every day, or every week, that are really time consuming. Is it responding to emails? Is it managing your diaries? Is it responding to questions on your blog? Is it updating your website? These are the kinds of things that can take up many, many hours of a small business owner’s time. And they’re the sorts of things can easily be done by a virtual assistant. Here’s a link to a form you can use to help you identify those tasks for your business.
2. Tasks That Are Easy to Delegate
Have a look at all the things you do every day of the week, that you could easily delegate. Someone once asked said to me:
“What should you be outsourcing? Anything that’s going to happen more than two or three times.”
I find that one of the best ways to delegate such tasks is to first record how you do it. What are the steps? How do you do it? And then you give those step-by-step instructions to your VA. Then you assign them to handle it next time it comes up. Sure, it’s a bit inconvenient the first time, because you have to show them how to do it. But that’s the kind of time-consuming task that’s worth the time. That’s because, once you’ve accomplished it, you won’t have to do it ever again. And that’s going to save you a lot of time in the long run. You probably have heaps of work that could easily be delegated. It might include jobs like formatting documents, website stuff or managing your email responder. All sorts of stuff like that are very easy to delegate.
3. Stuff You Don’t Know How to Do
This is an obvious one. How many small business owners waste hours and hours, working out how to set up their website, how to set up their social media, how to set up CRM systems and autoresponders? It’s usually centered around technology or design. But, in trying to do it all yourself, you’re kind of reinventing the wheel. That’s because somebody else already knows how to do it, quickly and efficiently.
Tasks like these can include learning how to edit videos, for example. All of that stuff, which you are not really very good at, or you don’t know how to do, are perfect for giving to a virtual assistant.
On that regard, let me tell you some of the stuff that my virtual assistants do, that I’m really hopeless at. Video editing is first on my list. We produce about six or eight videos every week. I might be alright in front of the camera, but I’m useless at editing. It would take me hours! So, I have two full-time video editors to help me do that. What about websites? I’m not sure how many websites we’ve got, but I think it’s about 20. I have a guy who maintains them, updates them and checks all the security on them. We have around 14 social media accounts, and I’ve got someone looking after that. I have a marketing communications lady who is brilliant, who just integrates everything using a product called Zapier. I wouldn’t know the first thing about using that software. But she integrates our email systems into our websites, and onto our registration forms for webinars. She does amazing stuff.
So, that’s the third category of stuff you should be delegating – stuff that you don’t know how to do, especially where the learning curve is going to cost you more hours than its worth. You can get a virtual assistant to do that.
So, there you go. These are not necessarily specific tasks for you. But, if you’re wondering what you should be getting a virtual assistant to do, it’s very simple. Stuff that is very time consuming for you to do, comes first. That’s because you’ve got to free up your time to work on the business, not in it. You should be looking at sales and service delivery to your clients. Next is stuff that’s really easy to delegate. And number three is the stuff that you don’t even know how to do. So, it’s very easy, when it comes down to picking things to delegate to a virtual assistant.
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