Are you tired from trying to spin so many plates as you run your business?
As a business owner/entrepreneur you wear so many hats in addition to your core function to make your business a success. Any big organisation would have a team to do all these things, however, as a solopreneur it’s a team of one! The activities I’m thinking of are:
- Book keeping
- Credit control
- Business Planning
- Shipping and packaging
- On-boarding new clients
There are so many other roles depending on your actual business. You become so busy running your business that you are at risk of neglecting all the things that are important to you such as health, family, friends and any sense of work/life balance has gone out of the window.
You know you need help…
… but where on earth are you going to find 30 mins to think about how an assistant can help you, let alone training them?!
First, take a breath….. being overwhelmed by tasks and rushing from one emergency to the next is not good for your health, but consider what would you do if an actual emergency arose? I’m guessing you would stop and deal with the immediate priority…. and would your business cope with this interruption? Of course it would! If you are feeling overwhelmed with too many tasks, this messes with your own health and well-being, are you not a priority too? Or are you content to remain in this state of anxiety for ever? Consider yourself the emergency and devote 30 minutes to this task.
Document your business processes
In the next few paragraphs I talk through how you can take a few steps to seeing what you can outsource or streamline. I’m not going to lie, the best way is to document your business processes… look at the systems you use to run your business. Better to do this now rather than when you have reached a breakdown or some other extreme. This can be at a high level to start with but you will need the detail when it comes to handing over to an assistant.
- Document your business processes. I’ve designed a high level info-graphic to help you get started at the bottom of this list.
- Look at whether all the steps you do in your processes are essential or just nice to have. It is your business so you decide where you want effort. In just focusing on this, you might find some ways to improve processes to create efficiencies which gives you just the breathing space you need.
- Once you have your processes documented you can decide the things you like to do, the things only you can do and things you definitely don’t want to do. I like to colour code activities but it’s up to you to draw up the list of categories. I had one business owner who liked posting to social media and the interaction that followed gave her a buzz, but after posting blogs/graphics for so long she found she had run out of ideas. I was able to propose a social media package tailored for her which meant I just prepared new content which she approved on a monthly basis. This meant she kept the bits she liked and the tasks where she added value.
- Once you have the list of tasks you don’t want to do or ones that don’t provide best value of your time to your business, then search for someone to outsource this to. Virtual Assistants all come with unique skills depending on their backgrounds but I know I am happy to take on small tasks and build up tasks as the trust develops. There will be specialists in most areas you want to outsource and there will be generalists who can provide an extra pair of hands for admin tasks. You can mix and match your support as virtual assistants are paid by the project or by the hour.
- Interview your support just like you would any other assistant. A virtual assistant will be a key part of your business to work along side you so you have to be compatible. However, any VA has a vested interest in making your business work so that you can continue to use their skills so they will work hard for you and offer other ways to improve your systems.
Do it now…
By taking a bit of time to help yourself now, it will allow you to get some balance back into your life and remind yourself of why you set up your business in the first place. Please take a look at the list of my virtual assistant services to see if there is any tasks I would be able to help you with.
I also have a separate post which might help called But what would I use a virtual assistant for?
Below is an info-graphic I devised to help you start mapping your business processes…. you just need a pen and paper to start.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 1 hour consultation so I can work with you to achieve your goals.