There is nothing more frustrating than knowing you have a problem to solve but not knowing the most efficient way to solve it. So you wind up going in circles just to make a straight line. Using Virtual Assistants can be like that, too. You hired a Virtual Assistant to help you be more efficient but you feel like you are spending more time trying to find ways to utilize your VA than you would if you had just done the job yourself. STOP right there. Let’s break down some fantastic ways to use Virtual Assistants:
- Assisting your Best Employees
- Repeating Tasks
- Admin Tasks
- Clean up & Organize
Assisting your Best Employees
Every business has them: the people who have been with you forever (or at least it feels like forever) in the best way possible. These are people you go to because you know they will get the work done. You measure all your new hires against them. Yet the new hires lately haven’t come close to measuring up to. How are you supposed to find more of these best people? They are invaluable.
Instead of beating your head against the wall trying to hire more of them, give them a virtual assistant. Let them offload the repetitive things they do to a VA. Free up their time to take on more from the top. Just like anyone using a VA for the first time, you will start to realize all the things a VA can do for you. Push that work down, and you then can push more to these best people. You’ve just leveraged your best people and can stop the frustration of trying to replicate them.
The best tasks to systemize are repeating tasks! If something is done again and again, it’s the easiest to systemize and hand off. What are you or your company doing daily, weekly, monthly? Look at your calendar and your reminders. Are any recurring? All of that can be done by a VA. How does that free you and your team up? What is your core business and best opportunities you can go pursue now that you aren’t bogged down with the stuff that has to get done but doesn’t necessarily make you money?
But Sarah, you say, even if it repeats, there are still so many one-off items. I can’t possibly systemize it enough.
Yes, systems still produce exceptions. But the more your VA is trained, the more capable the VA is of taking on these one-off exceptions. So train your VA. Have them email you the list of exceptions when they finish. If the exceptions are only 20% of the task, you have now delegated 80% of something you felt was solely your responsibility. Just because there might still be 10-20% you have to do, doesn’t mean the VA can’t do most of it!
The price point of a Peak Solutions VA is low. It’s way lower than hiring an entry level local employee with no experience. You can afford to have them spend time on research. Give them a topic, contact info, types of services you need, competitors – and let them loose. Tell them what you are trying to figure out and let them go. It might be the key to your next profitable idea. Let them take their time on this. Although time is money, the money spent on a VA is comparably lower so they have more time to commit to a research project. As you don’t have the time or the budget to pay your high-paid US staff to do it, it’s worth allowing a VA to spend that time.
Even though your VA is across the globe, did you know they can still mail invoices, billing statements, friendly promotional postcards, and more to your customers? There are so many services that you just have to queue up the content, and the item is mailed from the US. Your VA can execute the mailing of anything your customers or prospects need from you. None of that has to be done in the US or with paper and stamps! It can all be ordered and queued up online from across the world. Your VA can take care of it for you, even if they aren’t sitting next to you. What a critical function that can be surprisingly time consuming – look how easy it is to delegate!
Your VA can also answer phones and make outbound calls- again from across the world. Time zones are irrelevant and with some slight scripting and guidance, these calls can be offloaded to a VA.
VA’s are also great at prepping reports, auditing reports, and, in general, auditing data. These are all trainable tasks that, as experience is gained, the quality of the work delegated improves until it becomes a task perfectly suited for the VA.
Clean Up & Organize
Does your team just drop pdf’s into your company file storage and then you all hunt for it later? Using a keyword search only to find the file was named according to its date and not its type? Bring a VA in now to organize the files! They can get it cleaned up, organized, and maintain the filing system for you. They can even come up with the documentation for the filing system to cascade forward to the rest of the staff.
Are your receipts a mess? Expense reports? Do you have a stack of property tax bills and no one to go through everything? Get a good scanner and scan that stuff in. A VA can take a large messy pdf and organize it into separate pdf’s. Then they can take it a step further and input your receipts into excel for you. They are the Professional Closet Organizers for your Files!
Your VA is Here to Help
In the end, the VA’s job is to make your life easier. Knowing the ways to use virtual assistants will help you determine what hiring one can ultimately do for your business. It may seem overwhelming to prioritize your tasks in a way that allows for delegation. It may also seem nearly impossible to offload tasks if you tend to be the type who is used to doing it all yourself. There is something intimidating about simply letting go. You feel protective. But this is also liberating and once you start, you will find that you can trust someone else to do these General and Administrative tasks.