This is the second post in a series. The series will explore some of the common hesitations when it comes to outsourcing and delegating work to a virtual assistant. Our hope is to shed some light on working with a virtual assistant and clear away some of the doubts so that more people can benefit from having support for their business.
Major Outsourcing Pain Point – I’m Not Clear in My Business, Lack Direction and Wouldn’t Know Where to Start
For many entrepreneurs, the big roadblock for them between working solo and having a team to support their business is in the direction and vision area of their business. More importantly, it lies in the lack of direction and vision. A lot of people tell me that they would totally love support in their business if they knew what to delegate, what to keep and what to just stop doing altogether.
Through these conversations, it becomes apparent to me that so many business owners are struggling with the big picture for their business and most entrepreneurs tend to be reactive rather than pro-active. When you are a reactive business owner, you tend to simply do whatever you need to do, in the moment you need to do it. Often, you are reacting to triggers that force you to take action — you may need a quick revenue burst for your business or you might be down to the last minute on an important deadline. These triggers cause you to stay stuck in overwhelm instead of acting pro-actively and being prepared.
Get Clear Before You Outsource
Hiring a team before you gain this sense of clarity is going to cost you a lot of time and money. If you hire someone but have no direction, no vision and just throw “in the moment stuff” at your team member(s), you aren’t going to see results. Instead, you’ll have a lot of fragmented pieces of your business being played with but nothing substantial moving and catapulting the business forward.
The beauty of having support is to have a dedicated team of people to help you achieve what you need to achieve and do it more quickly than you could do it on your own. Hiring a team or a virtual assistant is not solely about passing off tasks and stroking the ego with regards to having people “under you” but it is instead about being smart and allocating resources in the right areas.
Before you hire a team, spend some time looking at your business processes. Cut out the items that you really don’t need to be doing in your business at all and then, when you have the list of what remains, divvy it up between tasks that you can’t let go of regardless and tasks that you can definitely let go of.
More importantly than this list however is coming up with the vision and the goals for your business in both the long term and the short term. If you don’t know where the business is headed, you can’t make appropriate business decisions and you can’t allocate resources to the most important areas of your business. If you don’t have a map, you most certainly can’t find your way to your destination unless you’ve been there before and have a great memory and sense of direction.
Making the Choice
Once you figure out your long and short term goals, you should see a clear picture of the projects that need to happen in order to move your business toward these goals. Once you see the projects, you’ll want to then spend some time breaking them down into tasks. If you aren’t sure about the tasks and the processes that need to happen in order to finish the projects on your list, hire a coach or a strategist to help you figure out what those steps look like.
After you’ve broken down the projects into steps (as detailed as you can based on your experience and expertise), it is now time to take a look at the tasks and figure out what you need to do and what your virtual assistant can do instead. Now, when you approach your team or your virtual assistant and are ready to delegate work, you will have a crystal clear idea of what they need to do. On top of this crystal clear list, you’ll also have the ability to request a clear proposal or quote from your team so that your budget stays in check.
Lack Time to Get Clear
If you lack the time to get clear, come up with the projects and break them down into steps, it is probably time for you to hire an online business manager. Someone who can work through these processes for you and someone that you can simply turn to and say, “Here are the goals for the business for the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months, what do we need to do to make this happen?” An online business manager acts like a project manager or a business partner and can help steer the business in the right direction.
At the end of the day though, this is your business and you need to be at the helm of it and steer it in the right direction. Without you leading your team, at least to some degree, you will waste time and energy and your team will also lose that spark they had when they first started working with you as your business will operate in sheer chaos. Operating in chaos is not good for you or for maintaining the structure required to support a team effectively.
Stay tuned for the next blog post in the series!
Also – if you are interested in exploring what it looks like to have a team of people behind you, schedule a free consult with us today so we can learn more about your business and your projects!