Virtual assistants have evolved–they are now so much more than remote PAs who field your calls and emails and tidy up your schedule. Nowadays, virtual assistants are experts, they have skills and talent you should be harnessing for your startup.
Virtual assistance and outsourcing websites compose one of the biggest trendsetters and contributors in what’s called the sharing economy or ‘collaborative consumption:’ “An economic model based on sharing, swapping, trading, or renting products and services, enabling access over ownership.”
Access over ownership. For instance, look at Etsy and eBay. Neither of these two owns a single warehouse or store. AirBnB and Uber don’t own a single house or vehicle, and yet thousands upon thousands buy from Etsy and eBay, and rent houses and cars from those four companies.
Virtual assistance and outsourcing websites have no offices–but they’re centres of administrative specialists, writers, designers and more. They enable you to have an office without the overhead as well. You get experts without having to attract those experts with a nicely-stocked cafeteria.
A distributed team, a hybrid team composed of on-site, remote and freelance workforce, is the new normal.
How do you get involved in the sharing economy and hire your ‘distributed team’:
Upwork: Hire Freelancers and Get Freelance Jobs Online
USource.me: We Make You Superhuman
Zirtual: US-Based Virtual Assistants For Busy People
Fancy Hands: Assistants for Everyone
Task Bullet: Virtual Assistant Services
Fiverr: The Marketplace for Creative and Professional Services
99Designs: Logo Design, Web Design and More
DesignCrowd: World’s #1 Custom Design Marketplace
Outsource your weaknesses. Outsource the quotidian tasks. Focus on your core service. Focus on what you’re good at.
Let’s explore those four points:
Outsource your weaknesses – Sure, you can learn them and do them. But learning won’t make you an expert. Not only would your amateur attempts cost your reputation, but learning and making do wastes time and resources.
You end up spending all day on them because you go slowly and carefully to make sure you don’t make mistakes. You dread the scheduled day and hours you dedicate for this task. You’d much rather do something else.
Well, what’s stopping you? Outsource it! It’s not an ‘expansion’, not a ‘luxury’. Many starting, small business entrepreneurs are held back by this mindset, that they don’t deserve to outsource ‘yet’.On the contrary, there’s no timeline about it. You should outsource from the beginning. It frees up your time and attention. Everything you’re not sure about, learn enough to know you’re getting what you need, and outsource.
Outsource the quotidian tasks – If you didn’t have to force yourself to do your books and payroll, write your blog, stay on top of your correspondence and mailing list, update your inventory and keep up with your social media, what would you already have done instead? Are you wasting time trying to learn the .php stuff? Are you stuck trying to master SEO practices? Maybe you’re even playing around with Canva and Photoshop, making images to post, and you’ve now memorised a lot of HTML codes. You feel good.
But you haven’t earned any money.
Think of that. All the paperwork, all the coding, all the emails, updates, uploads–they don’t earn you money. Your time is better used for making money, but the other tasks need to be addressed, not neglected, so outsource them! it won’t just free you up either, but your existing employees as well. Focus is improved.
Focus on your core service – A bed and breakfast needs social media marketing, content and promotions visibility. It also needs a balanced financial ledger, an inventory of the kitchen and hospitality supplies. But all these essentials are in the background. You, the seniorpreneur, should be concentrating on your business’s core service.
It won’t do to be spread so thin with those background tasks that you neglect your guests and their needs.
Focus on what you’re good at – If you’re a writer, go all out. If you’re a marketer, you’ll be the captain of your ship on that particular course. Bob Stovall of Gain-Stovall Inc, Public Relations, gives the most succinct quip about it: “Do your best, hire the rest.”
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