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When it’s difficult to delegate

delegate work to a virtual assistant

Congratulations! You’ve reached that point in your business growth where you can no longer handle every single task thrown your way. Gone are the days where you can schedule social media, keep track of your projects in an Excel spreadsheet, and manage the hundreds of emails in your inbox. It’s time to delegate those tasks to someone else.

Growth is great, but now you need an extra hand and set of eyes. The thought of hiring help can be overwhelming, so let’s walk through the possible barriers to hiring someone new.

With the amount of extra work you’re trying to tackle, you may be thinking you don’t have time to delegate. Won’t it take extra work to train someone else to do all the things? The short answer is yes. However, in the long run, you’re going to save yourself time by outsourcing things you can no longer do well (or simply don’t want to do anymore).

The fact of the matter is that if you stretch yourself too thin, the quality of your work will suffer. Studies have shown that multi-tasking isn’t the best strategy. There’s more chance you’ll make a mistake and won’t have the time to develop an idea the way you really want to.

If you want to continue growing your business while keeping the quality level high, you’re going to have delegate. It might be time to let go of the more repetitive tasks that are distracting you from the bigger picture.

Ok, so you’ve decided that hiring someone might be worth the time investment. Now what? How you do you begin deciding what tasks to delegate? You can approach this in a few different ways:

  1. Begin tracking your time when you complete your daily and weekly tasks; decide what items are eating up most of your time. Are these things that you’d be willing to hand off to someone else?
  2. What tasks do you loathe? Maybe you can’t stand the thought of going through your email, or you hate wasting time scheduling all those social media posts. Whatever it is, you can offload it to someone willing and eager to do the job for you.
  3. Think about those little tasks that may be easy, but take away time best spent on something else. Things like scheduling appointments on your calendar, downloading files, and booking hotel rooms.

At this point you might be thinking that hiring an assistant doesn’t sound half bad, but who do you hire?

If you haven’t yet heard the term “virtual assistant” allow me to introduce you! A virtual assistant is a remote assistant who provides support services for businesses. VAs are independent contractors who tend to specialize in a specific area. For example, that email inbox you hate to comb through. There are a plethora of VA’s who are ready and willing to bring organization to your inbox. You can also find social media managers, project managers, and SEO managers. Nearly any task can be delegated to a virtual assistant.

The best part is that virtual assistants work via contract, which means no health benefit or vacation time payout for you. Virtual assistants also tend to work on a monthly or by-project basis, so there’s a great chance you’ll be able to find someone who fits your specific needs.

Now that you’ve decided it’s time to hire an assistant, where do you go to find them? You can find a virtual assistant in a variety of places. You can check freelance sites like HelloSavvy, virtual assistance agencies (I personally love Rock Solid Virtual Assistance), or find an assistant on social media or through a Google search. I’d recommend going through a reputable agency or doing a search for “virtual assistant” on LinkedIn or social media.

Keep in mind that certain sites, like Upwork, tend to be a race to the lowest pay rate. Sure, you may be able to hire someone for $10 an hour, but keep in mind that you often get what you pay for. Assistants with multiple years of experience, or a specific area of specialty, are going to charge more but also offer you the best quality of work.

Now that you have your assistant, let’s talk about how to delegate those tasks. The truth is delegation is going to require some risk. You’re used to doing everything on your own and having complete control over the process. Delegation means trusting another individual with the things that make your business tick.

The easiest way is to begin by handing off the task that feels lowest risk. Let’s take email as an example. This requires handing over your email and password information while still being aware of changes made in your account. Let your assistant know what types of emails are important to you, and what can be trashed. Try this for a week and see if you’re able to do it without micro-managing the person you’ve hired. If the first trial is a success, move on to something a bit more complicated. You’ll be building trust in the process.

Touch base with your new hire on a daily and weekly basis. These don’t have to be long, drawn-out interactions. They simply create an awareness of the work being done, and the time that is being taken to do various tasks. The daily sessions can be a simple text or email where your assistant lets you know what she’ll be working on for the day. If something more urgent comes up, you have an easy form of communication in place. The weekly check-ins cover three main areas: what was completed in the past week, what tasks are currently being worked on, and tasks that will be coming up. This will keep everyone in the loop and comfortable with the process.

I know delegating out your tasks can be stressful, and even scary depending on the confidentiality of your information. But can I let you in on a little secret? The virtual assistants are nervous too! Starting a new professional relationship can be daunting, but if you start small and learn to build trust, you’ll begin to wonder how you ever tried to do everything yourself!