Can you overcome the fear of outsourcing?

Businesses realise that outsourcing is a key step in growth but business owners are hesitant to start the outsourcing process. Where to start? What to outsource? How to find the right people to work with? These are the initial thoughts when someone mentions outsourcing. But when you take the time to think about the process and then commence your outsourcing journey you will wonder why you didn’t start the process sooner.

Let’s look at some of the excuses that people find not to outsource.

As a business owner you start out wearing many different hats, trying to do everything yourself which ends up being one of the biggest headaches for you and your business. When I talk to people about why they hesitate to outsource to a virtual assistant, the common phrases I hear are -

“It’s easier to do it myself”

“I don’t have the time to teach a Virtual Assistant how to do it”

“It’s costing me money to outsource to a VA when I can do it myself”

“What needs to happen is all in my head and no one else knows what needs to be done”

Outsourcing to a legal virtual assistant will help your business grow

While these all seem reasonable, let’s have a closer look at what is holding you back from outsourcing to a virtual assistant.

It’s easier to do it myself

You may know how you want something done but is it the best way to do it? Bringing in someone who knows how to do that task (even if it isn’t exactly how you would do it) will free up your time so that you can do what you do best in your business. Your tasks will still be completed, possibly more efficiently, and you don’t have to focus on things that you are not a specialist in.

I don’t have the time to teach a Virtual Assistant how to do it!

If you are spending more time doing the administrative tasks in your business then you are taking time away from the core reason you started your business. Is that the best use of your time? Taking the time to show someone what needs to be done will save you time in the long run giving you time to go back to doing what you really enjoy doing and grow your business in the process.

It’s costing me money to outsource to a VA when I can do it myself

You could do it yourself and outsourcing will cost you money BUT if you stop to think about how much you are earning per hour and then you factor in what it would cost you per hour to outsource to a virtual assistant then you will realise that you are actually saving money. It might take you twice as long to complete a task that a virtual assistant can complete quickly and efficiently saving you both time and money.

What needs to happen is all in my head and no one else knows what needs to be done

If you have plans on growing your business then the first thing you need to do is get it out of your head and on to paper. It’s time for some procedures and systems. If it’s all in your head then it’s easy to forget something. This is how things slip through the cracks. It could take some time to put your processes and systems together but consider asking a virtual assistant to put these in place for you and they will probably give you suggestions on how things could be streamlined and what the most efficient system would be for your business. You’ll wonder how you managed to get things done before you had systems in place.

 Have a

All of these reasons seem perfectly reasonable until you stop and consider the consequences. They are all taking you time and energy that you don’t have to spare. If you are working 24 hours a day, thinking about all the things you need to get done then it’s time to get some help.

Having the support of a virtual team will give you the
opportunity to grow and flourish!

There are different types of virtual assistants that can help you gain back your valuable time so that you can focus on what you do best in your business. Why not consider a specialist virtual assistant for your social media, bookkeeping, diary management, transcription work, organising your next product launch or conference.

These are just examples of the types of things you can outsource but if you still aren’t sure what types of tasks you can outsource check out this free guide!

How valuable is your time?

As a business owner I consider my time valuable, as I’m sure you do. But it’s really upsetting to see different people think their time is more valuable than others. Why is that? I ask this question because recently I’ve heard a few stories about people missing meetings, not joining scheduled video calls or conference calls and I had an experience of my own which made me wonder what makes some people think their time is more important than others.

Let me share my experience with you.

Looking at time and checking watch.jpg

Recently, I scheduled a time to talk to a business owner to see how I could help them after they reached out to me. I tried to call at the agreed time to find that they were tied up with other work. No problem, I’m happy to reschedule so I set up another time later in the day that would suit them. I proceeded to reorganise my day and my other client work to fit in the second call. Again, I call at the agreed time, to find that there is no answer. I leave a voicemail message and follow up with an email to ensure that they know that I have made contact and I’m happy to reschedule. Later that day I received a message asking if we could reschedule for after hours as they were having a very busy day.

I’ve already rescheduled my day to fit in with this client but I agree to set up a time that is out of hours that cuts into my family time… after all I’m trying to work out how I can help them. When I call at the agreed time I find that there is no answer. I leave a voicemail message and follow up with an email suggesting that maybe the client should call me when it is more convenient. I’m not surprised to find that they don’t call me back.

So why was my time less valuable than theirs? I spent the better part of the day rescheduling my work to accommodate them but there didn’t seem to be any respect of my time.

Time is money for a virtual assistant

People seem to think that as a virtual assistant I’m “just an administrator” so my time isn’t important but as a business owner my time is as important as any other business owner. We all agree that time is money and that fact impacts every business. All business owners should be respected and their time equally respected.

It is fascinating to find that one person will think their time is more valuable than someone else’s time. Why is that the case?

Regardless of who you are or what position you hold, everyone’s time is important.

I know that we are all busy and some people are time poor but communication and a little respect goes a long way to ensuring good working relationships with others. It doesn’t take long to send a quick email or text message to acknowledge that you are late, maybe apologise for not being able to be there. Following up after you have missed a scheduled meeting or call just shows that you respect that person’s time.

Communication and respect are a must for any business, especially if you are in the service industry. As a remote worker in the virtual world, communication is one of the most important things in my business and respecting other business owners is a must.

How many times has someone missed a scheduled call or meeting with you? Did they follow up? Treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t miss a meeting and then ignore it because their time matters too!

Why working virtually is one of the keys to a successful business

Working from an office or working at your favourite cafe? Not really a hard choice... I'll take my view of the beach and fresh air over a corporate office any day. But this isn't the only reason that working virtually has become one of the most popular ways to work. Here are my top 3 reasons why working virtually is beneficial and a key to the success of your business. 

Virtual secretary working from cafe.jpg

The continuing advancement in technology and the opportunity of working from home has allowed entrepreneurs and business owners to think about starting their business virtually or employing people who can work virtually. Working from home, out of the local coffee shop or at the library is now a real possibility and becoming more and more common.

So why are people taking advantage of this growing trend? Why are more and more entrepreneurs and business owners working virtually and creating virtual teams?

Here are the top 3 reasons that working virtually is becoming more popular and can be a key to a successful business. 

1.   Let's Talk Money!

Virtual team.jpg

Running a small businesses can be very costly especially when you factor in rent for office space, office equipment and staff, all before you have even considered the cost of your product or service, insurance, registration and other business costs. Without the cost of office space you have instantly saved yourself rent money. The cost of permanent employees and the extra costs of superannuation, holiday leave, sick leave etc can be draining on your business. Having virtual workers means you are only paying for the job they are doing and you have none of the additional costs. Giving you more value for money and a cost saving to your business.

 

2.   Have Specialists In Your Team!

When you hire permanent staff you will often hire people who will do more than one role to try and cover different tasks without the added costs of extra employees. However, quite often they only specialise in one area and have more generalised skills. In having a virtual team you are able to have specialist in every area of your business. You can have an accounting specialist, social media expert, reception specialist, HR specialists, marketing expert and an administrative expert.

Virtual Assistant working from beach.jpg

3.    Flexibility

Being tied to a desk can be hard but working virtually means that you can take your office with you. There are days when you need to travel and this means no wasted time as you can take your office with you. Having a meeting at the local café can be a more relaxed environment creating a more productive meeting. Instead of having standard working hours, working remotely means you can work around your personal commitments, you can watch your child receive an award at school, make that doctor’s appointment and all the other things that come up. Work can be fitted in around these activities giving you the flexibility you need.

The virtual industry is a growing industry and you can find specialist in many areas. Virtual assistants often specialise in different areas such as social media, bookkeeping, copywriting or executive assistance so the talent in the virtual industry is amazing and well worth looking at for your business. 

So if you are looking for a positive change to your business, think outside the box and outside the office! Build your virtual team and keep them motivated with the opportunity of working from their chosen location while you reap the benefits of having the flexibility and cost savings to ensure the success of your business.

If you aren't sure how a virtual assistant could assist your business then download our free guide "40 Ways to Use A Virtual Assistant" and build that virtual team today!

Can Your Paper Chaos Be Solved By Technology?

Our relocation out of Sydney is complete. The office is all set up and it feels great. However, you always learn or are reminded of something when you move. One of the things that hit me hard was the need to declutter, clean out and set up to be the most efficient I could be. I thought I’d share some of my experience to help you think about how well set up your office may be and whether it’s time to clean out and start fresh by going paperless.

Overwhelmed with paperwork you need a Virtual Assistant

One of the first things I had to do before packing up the office was go through each file and each piece of paper and ask myself some questions.

-   Do I really need to keep that document? 
-   Can I scan it and keep it electronically instead of a hard copy? 
-   Why am I holding on to that file? 
-   I have an electronic copy of that document, why am I keeping
   the physical copy?

As I worked through the pile of papers I realised that I was hanging on to stuff that I don’t really need. Most things have been scanned, saved and kept electronically. It was time to clean out and create a better paperless system. I painstakingly worked through every paper, file and document to ensure that I had an electronic copy saved and then the shredder got a great workout with what was left.

So I ask this question of you - is it time to have a paperless office? The answer clearly is – YES!

Time to set up your electronic filing

There is no need to keep the physical copy of a receipt when you can keep an electronic copy. All of your business documents can be kept electronically and will be within easy reach and accessible from different devices. You can store your files in the cloud and access from your laptop, your phone or your iPad making it accessible and a more flexible option than a physical copy.

If you think… I’ll do it when I have to or when I move – DON’T! Waiting until you have to do it and you don’t really have time to sort through the papers is a mistake. Start now and sort through a small pile at a time, breaking it up into smaller portions makes the task a lot less overwhelming. Tackling the job in smaller blocks of time will give you a sense of accomplishment as you find more and more space. When you clear the paperwork off your desk you will find your mind feels free to be more productive and creative.

Clean office space

I’m happy to say that my files are stored safely and securely in an electronic format and it’s nice to have space on the desk again. It is easy to let this slip and hold on to the odd piece of paper until it starts to pile up again so be diligent and spend 15 - 20 minutes a week making sure that your documents are scanned and saved so that the paperwork doesn’t build up again. 

If you know someone that needs a reminder about why they should be decluttering and converting to a paperless office, feel free to share this article with them. It might just be what they need to get started.

If you need help setting up your new electronic filing, contact PA Excellence to find out how we can help. 

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