[This is a guest post by a talented writer named Casandra Campbell. Casandra is a community and content geek at teamspir.it where she blogs about productivity, motivation, and startup growth. Connect with Casandra on Google+.]
Work is piling up and your to-do list keeps getting longer. No matter how many hours you work, it feels like you can never get ahead. It’s like you’re trapped in a hamster wheel.
Running a business is overwhelming, especially during the first few years. It can feel like it’s impossible to get ahead, scale-up, and start earning more. This is especially true when you’re really good at what you do because you take on too much alone.
You don’t have to do it alone. Even if you’re just starting your business and you can’t afford to hire employees. Actually, it’s never too early to get help and you don’t have to break the bank doing it.
Hiring full-time employees is expensive and risky. Before you get to that stage, and even when you do, there is alternative: you can outsource some of your work to contractors or a virtual assistant.
Contractors and virtual assistants are an excellent way to get some temporary or casual, part-time help for a very affordable price.
While some tasks may require training and onboarding (logbooks make this easier), many tasks can be delegated right away!
Check it out:
Research is one of the first things you can outsource. Your assistant doesn’t need to know or understand your company to do a great job. All they need to understand is what information you’re looking for. Most virtual assistants are great at research because they spend all their time on the web anyway. It’s easy to hire someone for a one-time project or ongoing research.
2. Editing or Proofreading
Content creation is generally very important. You may not feel comfortable outsourcing it just yet. (It can also be quite expensive to outsource). However, everyone can benefit from having an editor around – even if you’re already a great writer.
Hiring a professional to look over your work is an excellent way to get help. They’ll make sure your copy is effective and your message is getting through. Not only can you hire someone to look over your writing, but you can also have someone check over your code, design layout – they can even help you compile information.
3. General Tasks
In any business there are a lot of day-to-day tasks that can be outsourced. Be honest with yourself: if something doesn’t require your smart and talented brain, pass it off to someone else.
Sending emails, setting up accounts, whatever it is, don’t waste your time on tasks of lower importance. You can be making magic happen elsewhere in your business.
Piecework like this is very easy to outsource one at a time. You may even decide to hire a VA longer term, and delegate general tasks to them regularly. Once you get going, you’ll realize that even bigger, more important tasks can often be broken down into smaller chunks which can be outsourced.
Unless you’re an accountant, you should never do your own accounting. Go with a professional: an expert and that will save you money in the long run. Accounting the one thing many of us hate the most, and as a result, we put it off the longest. Just make the decision today that someone else will look after your accounting for you.
5. Contact Information
At some point you’re probably going to need contact information. Whether it’s getting leads, building a media list, or anything else, you don’t need to do it. It’s not an efficient use of your time or brain power. Just set the parameters of the information you need, and have someone else do it for you.
Tips for Hiring an Awesome Virtual Assistant
1. Read Reviews
Learn from other people’s mistakes. There’s no reason to hire a bad VA. Read their reviews or testimonials to make sure they’re the right fit.
2. Be Specific
It doesn’t matter how smart your VA is – they’re not a mind reader. Be ridiculously specific with your requests. It will make their job easier, and you’ll get better results.
3. Work Together
Make sure you and your VA are keeping each other in the loop. Communication is very important – especially with remote teams.
Logbooks are a great way to do this. Even though the teamspir.it team is spread out around the world, recording progress in our team logbook keeps us working together and moving forward.