Without a doubt, time is the most valuable commodity of any entrepreneur and how you decide to spend your time will often determine the success or failure of your business. If you’re a hard worker (which I’m sure you are) the problem isn’t getting things done, it’s knowing (and doing) the things that will most effectively contribute to the growth and success of your business. While this isn’t as challenging of a decision to make when you’re first starting out, as your business grows and you start to see success, it becomes increasingly more difficult. It doesn’t take long before your business has plateaued because, even though you’re “giving it all she’s got” [insert Star Trek Scotty voice here], there’s no more time left in a day to invest in growth after all your time has been spent keeping things afloat.
The great news is, it doesn’t have to stay that way! Small business owners and solo entrepreneurs all over the world have been utilizing the services of virtual assistants to free up their most valuable commodity, allowing them to increase efficiency, invest in their business and attain new levels of growth.
Before we jump into some of the ways a virtual assistant (VA) can make your business more efficient, it may be helpful to explain what a VA actually is. A virtual assistant is an independent contractor that provides any variety of administrative assistance remotely. They may be located in a different state or even country. For example, we currently have clients in several states as well as abroad. With that out of the way, here’s a few ways a virtual assistant can free up your time and contribute to increased efficiency in your business.
Taking On The Day to Day
This is an area where a virtual assistant shines. The thought of processes, procedures, checklists and to-dos may make you cringe, but to a virtual assistant, it’s music to the ears! These administrative gurus thrive under such conditions and they love the idea of taking the mundane and repetitive tasks off your plate. Imagine what other things you could accomplish if you had someone to format, post and promote your latest photo blog or compile and send out your weekly newsletter. Ask yourself, “what are the areas of my business that are repetitive and don’t require a high level of expertise to accomplish?” These are the ideal aspects of your business that a virtual assistant can take on for you. Handing off these types of tasks will make your business more efficient and free you up to focus on the more technical areas that only you can do.
Not everything you need done is the same from day to day. As a business owner, change is a guaranteed constant, especially if you’re wanting to see your business grow. You’re continually faced with new challenges, questions and opportunities. Since you’re often times finding yourself in new territory there’s a lot to learn… but not always enough time to learn it. That’s when having a virtual assistant can be a lifesaver. Let’s say you’ve been wanting to participate in or head up a styled shoot because you know it’s a great way to showcase your work and gain exposure for your business, but you’ve never been able to find the time to figure out what it will take. This is a perfect task for your virtual assistant. Let them do all the leg work and report back to you with their findings, so you can make an informed decision, all without having to pull away from your work to figure it out.
Now that you know what it’s going to take to have a successful styled shoot, you’re probably realizing how much time and effort will be needed to pull it off. That’s why project management is another ideal area where a virtual assistant can increase your business’s efficiency. Whether it’s a styled shoot, workshop or any other project, they can manage all aspects that can be accomplished remotely (which is 90% of the work), significantly reducing the time you’ll need to spend on the project.
Email Correspondence and Client Relations
Customers are the lifeblood of your business, without them all you have is a good idea, but that doesn’t mean you have to be at their beck and call. In fact if you are, you’re probably seriously limiting your business’s efficiency. A virtual assistant can act as an intermediary between you and your clients, potential clients, solicitors and anyone else wanting some of your time. Having a VA in your inbox can help you stay organized while also acting as a kind of filter, only allowing the most pertinent and relevant correspondence to find its way to you. At the end of the day, we all do our best and most efficient work when we’re doing what we love while operating within our strengths. A virtual assistant’s job is to free up your most valuable commodity, time, in order to allow you to do just that!
Andrew Cunliffe is half of the dynamic duo that is Second Fiddle; a virtual assistant company for creatives that was founded by him and his better half, Casey Cunliffe. Together these two complement each other’s strengths while covering the other’s weaknesses. It’s this unique combination that has allowed them and their team to succeed in offering stellar administrative services to creatives all around the globe! If you want to contact Andrew and Casey they’d be happy to hear from you!