Key #2: Delegate!
By Ruthie Palmatier
For many clients, getting started with a cloud-based virtual administrative assistant can be difficult. Many of my clients are solopreneurs and small business owners who are used to doing everything themselves. They tend to want to maintain doing things for typically one of two reasons: either they have fears that someone else isn’t capable of doing what they do as well as they can, or they fear that the time it would take to teach someone else how to do it would take more time then them doing it themselves. Let me ask you this. Now that you have a cloud-based virtual administrative assistant, doesn’t this defeat the purpose? How can anyone expect to grow a business if they hang on to those time draining administrative tasks?
Let’s address the first hurdle of delegation. Can someone else do what I do as well as I can do it? The answer is yes. And the reason I say yes is because what we are talking about is not contract negotiations or other business building activities, but rather administrative support. Hiring a cloud-based virtual administrative assistant is all about giving you more time so you can focus on your area(s) of expertise; building your business. A cloud-based virtual administrative assistant isn’t there to take over the operation of your company. She is there to offer you an extra set of eyes, ears and hands so that you can gain more valuable time for either business or family matters.
The first step in moving forward and getting started with delegating is to start making a list of everything you do in your business. Have a notebook or mini-recorder and take notes of everything you do for a full week.
At the end of the week separate the tasks into two categories;
#1 – those tasks that must absolutely be done by you and
#2 – those tasks that someone else can do for you.
This seems simple and it actually is. Once you have your list sorted, take a look at the list of tasks that someone else can do for you and prioritize that list either by your sense of urgency or that which will free up the most of your time quickly. What is it that is going to help you the most? What will give you the most immediate benefit? Once you determine your starting point, call your cloud-based virtual administrative assistant and get started. Talk to your cloud-based virtual administrative assistant about your list. Discuss the individual tasks and also the big picture of how you see things down the road. Give her something to work on first. Please be careful not to give her the entire list of tasks to do all at once, as that may totally overwhelm her. Start off slow by giving her one or two tasks to work on. Once she completes those tasks, add something else. Before you know it, you’ll wonder what you ever did without her!
So, what if you are struggling with the thought of training an assistant? While initially it can take a great more time to train someone else, think of the big picture. Yes, it most likely will take more time than doing it yourself. Spend the time up front and train your cloud-based virtual administrative assistant to do it just like you do, then let her do it next time by herself! Once you experience the freedom of having someone else doing that task, it will be much easier next time. You won’t need to worry about how much training time is necessary. You’ll have real confirmation that this is of great value to you.
Speaking of training, I can’t stress enough the importance of documentation. As you start to train with your assistant, make sure that she documents the step-by-step instructions for each and every procedure. Have her email you each set of instructions. This gives you the chance to check for accuracy, ensuring all of the steps are included and in the proper order. Have your assistant compile each procedure into a single document, using a table of contents or index, essentially building you a training manual. This is such a great tool, that I can’t emphasize enough the value you will get down the road. In the future when your cloud-based virtual administrative assistant needs to take time off or is ill, someone else can fill in for her and everything is that much easier for both of you.
If you have any further questions about how to delegate to your cloud-based virtual administrative assistant, please give me a call. I’m happy to go over the steps or discuss any other aspect of working with a cloud-based virtual administrative assistant with you.
To your success!
About the author:
Gayle Buske is the co-founder, president and CEO of Team Double-Click®. As the head of a virtual staffing agency, Ms. Buske is uniquely qualified to aid small business owners in their growth and development through virtual administrative assistant outsourcing. Clients across the country look to Ms. Buske and her organization to supply quality cloud-based virtual administrative assistants.
Team Double-Click®, the country’s foremost staffing agency for trained cloud-based virtual administrative assistants – Matching Top Virtual Workers with Top Companies! Visit www.teamdoubleclick.com or phone 888.827.9129 for a variety of full-service virtual staffing options.
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