When it comes to growing a business, business owners need all hands on deck to make sure that everything is running smoothly. At times, entrepreneurs take on multiple responsibilities just to ensure that nothing important is neglected, especially on the administrative and logistical side of the business.
However, there are some tasks that business owners particularly struggle with. Not because these jobs are too specialized but simply because they are extremely time-consuming. Day-to-day responsibilities such as replying to emails, scheduling appointments, entering data, and answering phone calls can take up so much time.
Unfortunately, the lost time spent doing these mundane yet necessary tasks could have been used for other responsibilities such as business planning, meeting with clients, and creating a marketing strategy.
To help deal with this, business owners need an extra pair of hands that can handle these mundane tasks for them. This is where hiring virtual assistants (VA) or online executive assistants comes to play.
Delegating tasks to your trusted VA can save you a ton of time and allow you to focus on matters that will help grow your business. However, task delegation is not as simple as you might think. With that, here’s a helpful guide on how to practice delegating tasks to your virtual assistants.
Common Tasks Assigned to Virtual Assistants
When you’re just a startup business, it is easy to handle every task on your own. You don’t have much data to input, not a lot of meetings to schedule, and not a lot of customer inquiries to answer. However, as you scale your business, these seemingly simple and mundane tasks start to become demanding and time-consuming. Luckily, you can hire a virtual assistant to help you with these responsibilities. To give you a better idea, here are some of the most common tasks delegated to VAs:
Data entry is arguably one of the most time-consuming tasks in any industry. It is a significantly simple yet equally important task that takes a lot of time from doing far more productive activities. Data entry can range from logging in medical records, customer details, sales information, etc. Instead of spending hours typing on your computer, a virtual assistant working from home can do this for you.
Customer support is an important aspect of a quality customer experience. However, business owners often don’t have the time to reply to every single inquiry or answer phone calls from customers all day. Virtual assistants can handle voice or non-voice support to assist clients and customers with generic queries.
Keeping your schedule tight and neat is essential for you to meet your deadlines and responsibilities accordingly. However, when meetings keep getting canceled and appointments keep getting rescheduled, keeping track of your calendar may not be as easy as it seems. A dedicated virtual assistant can deal with this and ensure that nothing is forgotten and no responsibility overlaps with another.
Tips in Delegating Tasks to a Virtual Assistant
While the prospect of having more time is exciting, some entrepreneurs still struggle with the thought of delegating tasks to other people. To make your experience working with a virtual assistant run smooth, here are some basic delegating practices:
Know what tasks you want to delegate
Even before hiring a virtual assistant, it’s important that you have an idea of what responsibilities are you willing to let go and give to them. Knowing exactly what tasks need to be handed over allows you to hire someone that has the right skills and years of experience.
But how do you figure out which ones should you delegate? One way to do this is to identify which tasks take the most of your time. This can be as simple as calendar management or something more complex like research.
Another way to identify which tasks should you delegate is by knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Let’s say you struggle with hiring and onboarding team members. You can delegate this to a VA that has a background in human resources and they can handle this for you with ease.
Onboard and train your virtual assistant
To make sure that the transition between you and your virtual assistant is smooth, it is crucial that you onboard and train them properly. Virtual assistants often handle a bunch of responsibilities. So to make things easier, it would help to keep them up to date with everything that is going on in your business at the moment.
Training is another essential part of hiring a virtual assistant. When you do this, it is important to be as clear and concise as possible. Provide them with detailed instructions or a guidebook that they can turn to whenever they have questions.
Doing this will not only help them but will also give you peace of mind knowing that you were able to provide them with all information, skill, and background to do a job that is up to your standards. However, it is also important to give them some time to adjust to their workload and responsibilities before completely letting them handle everything on their own.
New business owners often struggle with the thought of delegating tasks since it comes with the feeling that they are not being responsible or hands-on with their business. It’s like having a baby and letting someone change their diapers for them. Taking this into consideration, some entrepreneurs still find themselves worrying about the tasks they have delegated and tend to micromanage their virtual assistants instead.
While it can be assuring to know everything that your VA is doing, micromanaging actually negatively impacts one’s productivity. Aside from that, it defeats the purpose of delegating tasks as you continue to hover and fail to focus on your responsibilities.
To help with this, it’s important to embrace the concept of task delegation and completely free your mind from that specific task. The advantage is when you learn how to delegate tasks, you get to have more time and control over other aspects of your business.
Want to know more about virtual assistants? Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up for our newsletter. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation if you prefer something more personal.