You know WHAT to outsource but now for the HOW!

So you have used my “How to get more time back in your business and do more of the things you love” template to figure out your zone of genius and what tasks you need to keep and therefore which tasks to remove from your to-do list…

Yay!

Now what?

These may be some of the thoughts and feelings that arise when you begin considering expanding your business and outsourcing tasks.

I’m ready to outsource but what if I waste lots of time and money training up the wrong person?

I know what I want to delegate but I don’t know how to do this smoothly.

I have never managed a team before; this feels scary.

Don’t worry!

Outsourcing CAN go really smoothly and I will explain how so that you can get back to what lights you up and makes you the most money in your business.

Follow my tips and advice for what to put in place to ensure you and your chosen VA can get off to a winning start.

Are You Ready For a VA?

You have been working on your business for a little while, things are going well but time is getting tight. You want to grow but you can’t do any more by yourself.  You think you need some help but are you ready to let go of some aspects of your precious business?

There are lots of VA’s, OBM’s and SMM’s out there.

What kind of support do you need so that you have more time to grow and build your business?

I have put together a handy list of things to consider before hiring…

>> Know what you want

Be clear on what you want your VA to do for you.

As a VA I like to be able to offer some advice on the type of tasks clients might like to consider outsourcing but it is helpful if you have an idea of what you expect your VA to be doing.

Without clear expectations, you could end up wasting time and money.

>> Have your processes in order

Get your processes in order FIRST.

This will save you time when on-boarding or training and will set your VA up to succeed.

You don’t want to end up being the bottleneck in your business if your VA has to keep contacting you to find out how you want something done.

A good VA should be able to refine your processes as time goes on.

>> Expectations and Boundaries

Look at the tasks you have decided to delegate. Work out whether you want a VA to be available daily, weekly, monthly or on an adhoc basis. These expectations will help you hire the right person for you and your business.

Boundaries are super important. If you set these at the beginning, there will be no disappointments. Make sure you are clear when you are available for your VA and vice-versa. How do you want to communicate – email, phone, basecamp or similar.

>> Recommendations

Like with most things in life getting a recommendation is the best way to hire.

Ask your business buddies if they use a VA or know of any with a good reputation. Ask for recommendations within a Facebook group that you are a member of or any other platforms you prefer. It may take some time to find the right person for you but putting the effort in at the beginning will be well worth it.

Most VA’s will offer a free physical or virtual meeting to discuss requirements and talk about offer and suitability.

>> Try before you buy!

This may not always be possible but if you can get to know a VA a little you will quickly establish if you are on the same page and whether a working relationship will grow. A VA is likely one of the first people you allow into your business, your first team member! This is a big deal.

I took part in an online course and ended up working with the course creator and one of the other participants. This is great for both parties – they got to know me and how I work and I got to learn about their businesses and if we were a good fit for working together all before any money changed hands or contracts signed.

>> Start Small

Delegate one task at a time (and whole tasks are better than little bits). This way if you and your VA are not the best match you haven’t wasted lots of time training.

You can gradually build your VA’s task list.

>> Sign on the line

Contracts are there to protect both parties. Don’t put this off, they can always be amended or adapted as the business relationship develops.

Hiring a VA should feel like a huge weight has been lifted. You have someone on board who will love and care for your business, take on those tasks that stop you doing what you love (a better work-life balance or the opportunity to grow), they will become your business cheerleader and a source of support.

For more help deciding what to outsource download my handy PDF to help you get more time back in your business and do more of the things you love!

Happy Hiring!

Carly xx

Keeping the (business) spark alive!

Having your own business can be a little like a marriage.

It is important to keep things fresh and exciting.

I still love my business and the mother it allows me to be.

I still have a couple of clients I have had from the beginning, of course some new ones and things are ticking along very nicely.

I have to admit that every now and then I can become a little lazy at pushing forward.

Instead I get busy with family life and the day to day tasks that seem to take over.

Some wise words I was given when I first started my VA business were… you are your business’.  It is important to take care of yourself and in turn your business will thrive.

Three areas I have been working on:

>> Keep on top of your game, update your knowledge and understanding in your field of work. There are often lots of online webinars, podcasts and courses as well as groups on social media to share skills, tips and advice. I love sharing tips and every now and then finding a knowledge gem that allows me to better serve my clients.

>> Do what you love, this doesn’t have to be work related. All work and no play is not always fun so make sure you make time for yourself. Reading, exercising, socialising, Netflix, shopping! Whatever it is that makes all the hard work worth it. All of the above work for me!

>> Pursue personal development opportunities, this is slightly different to training and keeping updated on current affairs within your business. This is something to allow you to grow or change as a person and in turn should have a positive impact on your business. For my personal development I have been working on my mindset…it is often the case that we are our own worst enemies and self-doubt is what can stand in the way of our success. Adapting my mindset has been nothing but positive for me, my family and of course my business.

If you are feeling all fired (or sparked) up the rest should follow…You are your business.

Your Christmas VA!!

A VA for Christmas!

Don’t worry I haven’t gone mad; I know it’s only October!
BUT there are only 5 weeks until Christmas!

As much as I would love to sit and watch the Christmas 24/7 channel it would be much better to put my time to good use so…

This is a good time of year to explain that a Virtual Assistant, much like a personal assistant, can be available to assist with more than just business related tasks. 

In the lead up to Christmas it might not be work pressures that are stressing you out.

Instead you may be planning Christmas parties and need someone to coordinate. You may have a huge gift list you need to get through, reservations that need to be made and travel arrangements to organise. These can all be time consuming tasks whilst trying to run your business.  It is ok to hand these over and let your VA handle them on your behalf. You can then show up to Christmas relaxed, feeling accomplished and knowing everything is sorted.

If there is anything you would like to offload from your business or more lifestyle related tasks please get in touch and let me be your Christmas helper!

Virtual Assistant…How does that work?

I have been asked many times as a virtual assistant… ‘how does it work?’

The short answer is…easily!

Rightly or wrongly we are all virtual these days; emailing, texting, messaging and phoning. We often communicate in many different ways before actually meeting someone.

I have a couple of local clients which enables face to face opportunities to discuss work and attend offices if needed. For those that are truly virtual we have a number of different working strategies and platforms in place.

Each client works differently and as a business support service I pride myself on being adaptable to the preference of the client and to work in a way that best suits their needs.

Email is a regular and reliable way for VAs to communicate with clients, where work can be sent back and forth. Some clients like to provide me with an email account that I log in to. This allows me to email on the company’s behalf using an email address associated with that client or company.

However, it is much more fun to use task management software such as Asana and Trello to share work load!

One of my clients drops all her content into Trello, this is my favourite task management tool. A ‘card’ is created for each task which can include documents and images. A checklist can then be added so all team members can see task progress. As a VA I can login anytime to complete the cards assigned to me. In this client’s case I use the content to create and schedule social media posts, upload blogs to a website and schedule weekly email distributions using another scheduling tool: Convertkit.

Asana is very similar to Trello and both allow you to comment on tasks or cards in order to keep each other up to date.

Canva is a great application that I use for many clients to create social media posts. Clients can add a VA to their Canva account and share templates in order to keep on brand.

Other applications I use with clients are Mailchimp, 17 Hats, Planoly and Active Campaign to name a few. There are so many out there that offer to help businesses with task lists, managing workload and team platforms. These can be brilliant but I do advise clients to take a step back every now and then to check they are not wasting time duplicating or making more work for themselves by using them. There are often efficiencies to be found by focussing on completing the tasks rather than spending time organising them to look pretty.

Toggl is a great tool that I use to log my time spent on a particular task, project or client. Toggl allows me to provide the client with a report to accompany an invoice for my services. There are many applications out there that do a similar job and I have chosen this one as it best suits my current needs. The other great thing is that it’s totally FREE! Who doesn’t love free!

Are you ready to hire a VA?
I am looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

Carly Rose, VA

Spring Clean

Is it time to give your business a spring clean?

So the snow has melted away and the sun is shining here in Bournemouth and it is positively spring like – hooray!!  It has got me to thinking about spring cleaning but not my home, my fridge or even my wardrobe (which is in desperate need) but businesses. More specifically your businesses…

It is coming up to the financial year-end for many and this quite often results in pile of invoices and statements, receipts flying around, client files collecting dust in the corner, lists of meetings that need to be arranged and diarised for the year ahead and this is on top of all the usual day to day.

This is where I can come in, you would be surprised how much can be done virtually these days.

If you would prefer a more traditional PA that is by your side and available to provide your caffeine fix, then read no further! However, if you can manage the coffee machine on your own then let me help you get down to business and clear the clutter…

  • Email me that list of those meeting that need arranging
  • Allow me to go through your deleted items to clear what is no longer needed and go through all the sub files to remove any duplication
  • Let me scan in and catalogue all those client files collecting dust
  • Offload all those invoices to me to enter onto your accounting software
  • Meeting notes or audio files stacking up? Send them over, minute typing is one of my favourites

Although I do bang on about being virtual I do have local clients that I am happy to assist in the office should the need arise. For example, I am happy to attend and minute meetings and complete physical filing tasks if required.

So handover all these tasks to free yourself up to grow your business or to get out in this sunshine.

Sound good? Give me a call and let’s have a chat about how I can help you with that.

Carly Rose Virtual PA Services
Let me help you with that!

 

New Year Goals: No big knickers!!

What are your New Year Resolutions? Do you believe in them? I am not sure if I do really. I think we set ourselves up to fail by listing all these things we want to achieve without really thinking about them realistically. When asked about mine, I would always list off the same old things…lose weight, eat healthily, go to the gym, save money. Well by week two I was feeling guilty because I had made the gym once, eaten my body weight in carbs and spent all my money in the sales! These days I write myself goals instead, usually 90 days at a time. This makes it easier to plan out my year personally and professionally.

Furthermore, my method means you are reviewing the goals throughout the year and resetting for the next 90 days, hopefully keeping you focussed on what you want to achieve.  I have them written out on a white board so I can see them every day whether they are business related or personal. A personal goal may be to get back to your pre-baby weight so stick a picture of yourself looking great on the fridge so every time you go to open it you remember your goal! My dad used to have a great magnet on our fridge – Fridge pickers wear bigger knickers!! I’ll always remember this and smile. A business goal might be to have a sign written vehicle, so get a mock up image and put it up in your office so you can visualise yourself driving around in it.

My 2017 was a busy one! A new baby, a school starter, starting up my own business, further home improvements, a family wedding abroad and these are just the big events. Life has a habit of taking over and we get swept up in the day to day, so taking a step back to reflect on all you have achieved is important. I sat down and looked over my 2017 goals. I achieved many of them but not all so I have added those that are still relevant to those that are now important to me for the next 90 days and beyond. 2018 looks exciting!

I am getting in touch with all my clients to discuss their goals for 2018 and review how my services can assist them in achieving them.

Lots of people will be considering work life balance and perhaps thinking ‘I must spend more time at home this year’ or ‘I need to take more time for myself.’ If this is the case for you I would love to have a chat to discover what I can do to allow you to achieve your goals this coming year.

My First Vlog!

This was due to go out last week but as is often the case life got in the way! It was a crazy week with lots of illness at home and a bedroom re-shuffle resulting in a new office for me! You’ll now find me in the en-suite!

My First Vlog!

As you can see it doesn’t take me long to get to work these days – this allows me more time to work on the tasks you would like to out-source! I have my own desk, laptop, phone and printer – I don’t need you to provide me with these items before I can get your work completed. As you have already seen I also provide my own coffee. All I do need from you is the admin tasks you’d like to be rid of! Look forward to hearing from you wherever you are!

Thanks for watching
Carly Rose

5 Things to Outsource to a VA

5 Things to Outsource to a VA

 What can you cross off your to do list and handover to your very own dedicated Virtual PA? These are just a few examples:

  1. Social Media Management – this can be a time consuming task or one that some people are uncomfortable handling.
  2. Email and Diary Management – let a VA deal with all the spam, respond to and deal with enquiries or prioritise what needs dealing with on your behalf
  3. Data Entry – this can be a boring, time-consuming task that is easily outsourced.
  4. Website Updates – keeping websites up to date can be completed from anywhere and therefore doesn’t have to be done by you. Cross it off your To-Do list!
  5. Meeting and Travel Arrangements – let a VA arrange all of your travel and accommodation needs, thus saving you time to actually work on your meeting content.

If you would like to offload any of the tasks above to free up time to do what you do best in your business, get in touch – it would be my pleasure to take these on for you.

Carly Rose Virtual PA Services

Who can use a VA?

The short answer is anyone.

Anyone looking to reclaim valuable time can use a VA. Why not outsource those annoying admin tasks to free yourself up for more important or fun things?

Business owners that are not yet in a position to employ full time staff will benefit from a VA – you can simply pay as you go!

Hiring a VA can be a very attractive option and here are just a few reasons why:

–          There are no expensive job adverts to post or lengthy interview processes to complete

–          I don’t require holiday pay or sick pay

–          You don’t have to contribute to my pension

–          I don’t require office space or equipment

–          You don’t need to supply me with tea or coffee (I will fund my own caffeine habit!)

On a serious note, small business owners and entrepreneurs benefit most from VAs. This is because typically they are unlikely to want to hire full time staff, or their businesses may be rapidly expanding, meaning deadlines or time restraints become unmanageable. Business owners may also require support in areas they are less comfortable dealing with such as social media management or website updates.

If you are looking for some support running your business, check out my website for services offered. I would love to join your team.