One of the things I get asked more frequently is what types of tasks should be handed over to a Virtual Assistant. It’s a great question, and it makes total sense that, when you’re used to running the entire ship, you’d be unsure of what tasks to delegate and what you really shouldn’t be trusting to a third party.
When the question comes up, I typically give some form of the advice below, so I thought it was time to share it with all of you. If you’re questioning whether it’s time to bring on an extra set of hands, this process will help you determine what the next best steps are.
TAKE AN INVENTORY OF YOUR DAYS
For the next three days to a week, keep a pad of paper by your side and write down every business related task you do (or an Evernote if that’s your jam). The number of days it takes to get a clear picture of your business ins and outs might vary, but you’ll need at least a few days of tracking to understand what your day-to-day really looks like, and how it changes throughout the week.
Doing this will help you get a better picture of what you do in a single day, and what tasks you do over the course of several days. Every time you log a new task, take note of approximately how long it takes you to complete, too. This will help you understand how much of your day is devoted to different types of tasks.
CATEGORIZE YOUR TASKS
Now, about those different types of tasks. In your business, for the sake of determining what might be outsourced, we’ll focus on two main task categories. The first is tasks that directly generate income and, depending upon the type of business, might only be completed by you. This typically includes things like client calls, prospecting, webinars, content creation, and in-person networking. The second category consists of tasks that, while important to your business, don’t generate income directly (these are typically tasks like checking email, spending time in Facebook groups, designing newsletters and social content, etc). They are indirect generators of income, and certainly contribute to bringing more business into your funnel, but they aren’t the pieces of the puzzle that bring home the bacon directly.
Mark up your day inventories by highlighting each category of task in a different color (say green for income-generating tasks and blue or pink for the other). Doing this will start to give you a visual of how much time per day is spent on each task. Bonus tip: don’t forget to add the things you know you should be doing (often these are marketing tasks such as being active on social media and writing blog posts, etc) but aren’t doing right now.
BRING ON SPECIALIZED SUPPORT
Once you have your tasks categorized, chances are you’re seeing bigger chunks of time dedicated to tasks that don’t directly generate income than you’d like. That’s when you can start to break down what exactly you want help with. After all, if you make $300/hr when you’re focusing on income-generating tasks, wouldn’t it make sense to bring on a team to help manage the indirect tasks for $30/hr? Every hour your VA team handles the indirect income tasks, you can spend focusing on income-generating tasks and watch your profit margins increase!
Keep in mind that each Virtual Assistant will have their own specialty and rate. Some do best with administrative tasks while others will thrive when focused on design, website management, etc. Finding a specialized VA team that can do your outsourceable tasks exceptionally well will make a huge difference in the space and freedom you feel in your business.
Have you been thinking about hiring a Virtual Assistant? What are some tasks you can identify that are not direct generators of income for your business?