Hey there! Time for your outsourcing tip of the week. This is an easy one. Many people hesitate about hiring their first virtual assistant because they think, I don’t have the money for that, I don’t have the time to train this person. It’s actually valuable, though, to view that person as an investment rather than as an expense.
Today I’m here to chat with you about the number one person you need to scale your business. If you’re the solopreneur who’s still wearing 25 different hats and doing everything, hiring this person is an important step in growing your business.
I want to share with you why I chose a very particular process when outsourcing my latest round of adding team members to my digital team. I provide a lot of information and tips on outsourcing here on my blog and on my YouTube channel. I’ve hired most of my team members myself, and that’s been a strategy that I’ve refined over years. Some of the people that I’ve hired are excellent. They’re amazing; I love working with them.
Discovering that you cannot do #allthethings in your business is an important milestone. First of all, it’s okay to accept that you can’t do it all (sorry to tell you, but we’re all human!) If you don’t realize that you need to outsource, you’re headed straight for my least favorite roadtrip down Burnout Boulevard. You’ll start missing deadlines, feeling frazzled, and making mistakes. You might even find yourself working ten or more hours a day just to get everything done.
I do have some good news for you, though: life doesn’t have to be that way.
In December (2017), I hired a Virtual Assistant. My freelance business has grown to the point where I can’t manage it alone anymore – not and be effective. So after years of going it alone, I hired help again (I used to have a full-time Executive Assistant).
If there’s one thing I see come up over and over again when someone is hiring their first VA, it’s that they have in mind this perfect person, perhaps someone they already know. Or maybe you interviewed a couple of VAs and feel that there’s one standing head and shoulders above the crowd. Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to hire your virtual assistant and be done with it. That’s really true if you’ve already interviewed the person and they seem like a great fit.
However, there’s one final step you should never skip when outsourcing: a test job or trial period.
As a freelance writer, my business initially started off being able to provide virtual assistant services and freelance writing content to other people. However, as my business grew quickly over the course of the past five years, I realized that I simply could not do everything on my own anymore, thus my introduction to the world of hiring virtual assistants to help me.
Since that time, I’ve trained and assisted hundreds of wannabe virtual assistants in launching their own careers. I have even helped provide matchmaking services to busy entrepreneurs who need help outsourcing some tasks.
This post discusses why outsourcing to a virtual assistant, online business manager and/or project manager, can be a key enabler for growing your online business. In it, I talk about when each of these outsourcing options makes the most sense, and how each role offers specific benefits. I also focus on how the right project manager can make all the difference as they convert your ideas into meaningful action steps.
If you’ve reached that point in your business where you are missing deadlines, failing to dedicate your time to tasks that contribute to your bottomline or worse, feeling like you are your own bottleneck – it might be time to consider outsourcing certain tasks. And while this represents exciting times for your business, I fully understand the stress that goes along with the idea of having to pay someone to do tasks that you are more than capable of doing yourself. This week’s video goes into my top mindset and implementation tips for outsourcing on a budget.
Tracking a project may sound simple enough to do but add marketing your own business while delivering on client work or even managing multiple business streams supported by team members located across several time zones… and the old-fashioned to-do list will not cope.
With this in mind, I decided to put together a quick video that talks about two web-based project management tools that have gained popularity in recent years: Asana and Trello. I currently use both- Asana for client-related work, and Trello for my own business.
This week, I share the lessons that I’ve learned hiring and working with other freelance writers. As a writer and having worked as a project manager for several other teams over the last five years, I have gained a lot of experience in the area of outsourcing to other freelance writers. Now, while outsourcing comes with its benefits (e.g. an expansion in your skill set and your ability to make more money), there are key elements to your call for writers that you must get right.
When your business has grown to a point where you need to outsource certain tasks, it’s important to go into the VA hiring process understanding that the industry has really evolved. In addition to the traditional VA who focuses on offering general administrative support, we now have a wide range of VA specializations available to us. This includes social media, graphic design, tech and WordPress VAs. This week’s video goes into the reasons why hiring a graphic design VA made absolute sense for me in my business, and why you might consider one too.
In this week’s training video, I share my thoughts on the popular question ‘When should I hire my first virtual assistant?’ Rather than focus on a specific timeframe in an entrepreneur’s life however, I go into different situations that signal at the possibility that it is time. I also talk about the mindset necessary to embark on the hiring journey and the types of tasks that you might consider outsourcing.
Every so often, I’ll encounter a person who hasn’t yet had the opportunity to interact with a digital team member. They simply don’t realize all of the time that they could gain back or all of the benefits associated with hiring a virtual assistant or other members of their digital team. You may be wondering whether outsourcing is right for you or not. The truth is that any individual who has a limited amount of time (which is everyone, by the way) can benefit from having a virtual assistant.
Lots of people want to start a podcast but are worried about all the technical aspects of the work behind it. No doubt- it does take work to create and produce a podcast. If you’re smart, though, you can outsource a lot of and keep the costs minimal while still making the most of your time. In this post, I go behind the scenes to share with you exactly what I do personally, and what I am able to hand off.
In order to enable you to leverage your time and make more money, you will need to consider incorporating a virtual assistant into your business at some point in time. The range and levels of virtual assistance available to you is vast however, and it is important to the hiring process for you to understand your specific needs in relation to what’s out there.
Unfortunately, it goes without saying that there will be some point in time when you’ll need to let someone from your team go. Over the course of my outsourcing experience, I have interacted with plenty of people who, for better or worse, have gone on to other projects. In some instances, the contract concluded naturally or they were moving on to a different chapter in their life, offering services that I didn’t need or transitioning into being a full-time stay-at-home mom. In other cases, however, I was the one who was cutting the cord after a bad experience or deciding that I no longer needed the help. If this is a situation that you are in at the moment, this post is all about the common mistakes that need to be avoided.
Digital teams are often made up of people with varying backgrounds and skill sets, which in turn makes it difficult to keep everyone engaged, productive and guided toward your biz goals. This week’s video goes into the value of regularly checking in with your team as a means to this end.
This is one of the most common questions that I receive from people who understand that I help connect them to quality virtual assistants.
I have had the opportunity to refer out many excellent virtual assistants to other people and the truth is it really hinges on casting a wide net and then doing all of the work possible to determine whether or not the candidate is right for you. However, there are several tips that I can recommend when you are hiring your first virtual assistant or even expanding your team.
The process of hiring someone onto your digital team should be managed with the same care and due diligence that you would expect in a traditional hiring situation, and checking for references is just one in a series of steps that shouldn’t be missed.
Reference checks are a great way to get to know your candidates better. In this video, I talk about the importance of asking the right questions with exactly this in mind.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could get ahead of your to-do list, know exactly what’s on your (and your digital team’s) plate and even have the capacity to plan ahead a few months?
With this one planning tool – you can!
This video recording will introduce you to my Friday Review System. In it, I take you through how I plan task assignments and project deliveries in my own business, and keep myself and my team accountable.