Short of time and under constant pressure? You need a VA!

So now we’re pretty well half way through the year and I’m wondering how all the resolutions made at the beginning of the year are holding up (I won’t mention how many of mine have fallen by the wayside!): you know, the ones where you vowed to work smarter not longer; the ones where you made plans to devote time to keeping in contact with your clients; to concentrate on growing the business; to get on with all of those important things that tend to get pushed on to your ‘to do’ list. Is it working? Or are you all too quickly swamped by the nitty-gritty tasks associated with running your business?

I was recently asked what do I sell. Funnily enough, I’d actually never thought that I ‘sold’ anything, but when I thought about this a little more deeply I concluded that I do sell something – I sell time. Outsourcing all those horrid, time consuming, non-fee earning tasks – that I am more than happy to do – gives my clients valuable and much needed time. And I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t mind more of that!

So what sort of tasks can you outsource?

Try these for starters:

• Background research – from sourcing facts for blog articles to identifying the key decision makers in companies you want to do business with.

• Diary management/meeting arrangements – ensure you are organised at all times.

• Email inbox management – why get bogged down with a constant influx of emails, when someone else can sift through and identify those that require your attention.

• Buying office supplies or equipment – provide a budget and any specific criteria and receive a well-researched shortlist from which to choose.

• Keeping ahead of the competition and sourcing products/services to sell – competitor analysis to provide you with insight into how you can gain competitive advantage.

• Data entry – the slog of maintaining a database or setting up spreadsheets is easily dealt with.

• Article submission to trade journals – making the right contacts and ensuring publication deadlines are met to help position you as an expert in your field.

• Collecting contact information – all collated and ready to use.

• Posting classified ads – simply provide a template to work to and your ads will be posted on time.

• Maintaining your website – adding fresh content such as news articles and case studies to help your search engine rankings improve.

• Transcription – concise and accurate transcription of audio recordings.

• Preparing reports and proposals – professionally produced documents that will present your company in the right light.

• Creating newsletters/blogs – taking raw information and turning it into something altogether more compelling and impactful.

• Event management – from workshops to seminars and full-day conferences, every last detail will be taken care of.

• Travel – planning and arranging all aspects of your business trips, ensuring that everything is within budget.

It’s quite a list but, even so, these services feel rather like the tip of an iceberg – it’s really all down to identifying what tasks take up too much time (or maybe even bore you!), those jobs that you’d simply rather not have to do. With a VA on board, you’ll have the opportunity to do so much more with your business.

So if you have the slightest inkling of a task that would benefit from being given to an extra pair of hands, it may just be worth giving me a call!

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