“There’s just not enough time in the day” is a common phrase heard in many households, especially this past year. Thanks to stay-at-home orders, schools teaching virtually, and businesses relying on remote workers, only so many tasks can fit into each day. While the extra time with our families has been a (mostly) welcome side effect from the pandemic, juggling all the competing demands while keeping a business afloat in this crazy economic climate makes one long for a helping hand. This is where delegation becomes an essential need.
The extra help a virtual assistant (VA) offers allows you to free up your schedule for more personal time, or you may choose to concentrate on some aspect of your busy life that you’ve been neglecting. By delegating tasks that you may lack the time or desire to do yourself you are able to work more efficiently. Especially for the entrepreneur, delegating business tasks can be difficult, at least initially. However, once you build trust in your assistant the results can be life-changing. Figuring out which tasks are suitable for delegating is the first step to reclaiming your most valuable resource – time.
The range of tasks your VA can complete for you is extensive. Are you inundated with thousands of emails and not sure where to start? Your VA can help. Not exactly comfortable with this social media-filled world we live in? No problem, your VA is on top of it. Don’t have time to write those press releases or blog posts that you need up and visible to keep traction? That trusty VA of yours has it under control. Project and task management, email marketing, website management, CRM and database management, and so much more can be handed off to your virtual assistant with confidence.
Let’s discuss five important yet time-consuming tasks that small business owners frequently delegate to their VA at the start of their working relationship. They include: calendar and travel management, event coordination, standard operating procedure (SOP) development, customer service and client engagement, and lifestyle and concierge tasks.
Calendar and Travel Management. As a business grows the demands on the owner’s time from meetings, appointments, events and travel plans increase as well. Your VA can manage, organize and keep your calendar up-to-date as well as make all of your travel arrangements including flights, accommodations, and ground transportation. Importantly, your VA can make sure to send you notifications before an important meeting, check you in for your flight, or remind you when an important event is approaching.
Event Coordination. Hosting events may be an important part of building your business and gaining and/or retaining customers. However, planning and coordinating all the intricate details involved in holding an event can be overwhelming. From reserving a venue, to issuing invitations, to ordering food and drink, to choosing entertainment, to organizing prizes and giveaways, to developing PowerPoint presentations for speeches, and for everything in between, a VA can get it all done for you and make sure the event goes off without a hitch.
Standard Operating Procedure Development. Ever been hired into a position and found that the work processes changed every time a new manager took over? Or maybe payroll needed to be done, but the person who normally did it was on vacation. What do you do? This is where development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) is especially helpful. A VA can take care of your business’s SOP development and publication for the benefit of both employees and managers to reference whenever needed. These documents then serve to standardize work processes, making them more efficient, and enable new or temporary help to quickly learn new procedures in the event of absences due to illness, travel or leave.
Customer Service and Client Engagement. As simple and second-nature as this task may seem for most business owners the sheer number of messages, calls, and engagement opportunities that arise can be overwhelming. A VA can make certain that all customer inquiries and requests are being answered in a timely manner. While most of these needs can be taken care of without the owner’s involvement, those requests that exceed the VA’s scope of responsibilities can be efficiently referred to the owner for timely response.
Lifestyle and Concierge Tasks. Everyone needs work-life balance, and it’s fair to say that entrepreneurs’ and small business-owners’ time is heavily weighted on the side of work. A VA can make sure that time is blocked off on the schedule for exercise, date nights, rest and relaxation, and more. In addition, an assistant can take care of tasks such as making travel reservations, buying gifts, keeping track of important dates, making doctor appointments, helping with family logistics, and buying groceries for delivery, just to name a few. Those everyday responsibilities that sometimes get lost in the midst of keeping a business afloat your VA can take care of so your personal life is not neglected.
Take advantage of the new year to consider tasks to delegate as an efficient way of freeing up more time for the things you love. List all the activities you do on a daily basis then weigh out the pros and cons of keeping versus delegating each one. Still having trouble coming up with tasks you could delegate? Download our free delegation worksheet to start this brainstorming activity. If you’re ready to get help, employing a VA is a cost-effective and efficient way of meeting the need.