In the second month of the new year many small business owners are spinning more plates than ever and, this year, worrying about the potential risks of that looming ‘B’ that must not be named, while darting from task to task to keep everything afloat.
Pressure is inevitable when you’re the person in charge and you’re trying to manage everything alone. As always, resilience is key in keeping your business buoyant during uncertain times.
The idea of hiring a virtual PA (VA) to ease the load and reduce the pressure – and even catch the occasional falling plate, might make you – and your bank balance – nervous. But those who have taken the (relatively easy) plunge will vouch for the benefits for both you and your business.
Resilience is about choosing to see things differently and turning pressures into opportunities. When you’re on top of your game, every challenge is a cause for celebration and growth rather than fear and anxiety. Yes, a VA will cost some of your cashflow at the beginning, but the nature of the arrangement between VA and you, the owner of the business, is that your bespoke needs are addressed deftly, efficiently and exactly as you wish. This leaves you free to see the bigger picture and pay more attention to the most precious of your spinning plates – such as developing ideas, focusing on customers and growing income.
In order to get the best results and build a long term mutual support system with your VA, it’s important to set aside time for an initial candid discussion about where you are now, where you’d like to be and which jobs or processes are currently being neglected.
Consider which aspects of your business you’d like to hand over to a personal assistant who can support you and keep your business running smoothly. Sometimes businesses want to out-source tasks like book-keeping or diary management; others prefer support with social media updates, PR and copy writing. Whatever you need, can be done. The secret is good communication with your VA so that your goals and business ethos is shared right from the start.
Once you’ve outlined what you’d like to achieve, it’s a good idea to ensure your VA knows how you’d like your business to appear to your customers and the outside world and the way you want your VA to support you in these goals.
Once the business relationship begins, most VA’s benefit from regular feedback to ensure everything’s still on track, plates are spinning with little effort and everyone’s happy. It’s worth having regular feedback sessions with your VA so you can mutually share and benefit from business progress and pick up on new requirements quickly.
If the VA’s remit is to add daily social media ‘stories’ or keep the weekly accounts up to date for you, she will need access to relevant photos, news or, for example, a spreadsheet showing sales and receipts or the work cannot be done effectively.
Your business is your creation and it’s often hard to let go of tasks you’ve always done. But “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. So now’s the time to hire the right VA, invest a little ‘training’ time, and you’ll find those jobs you’ve delegated will be invisibly and seamlessly completed. Giving you time and energy to concentrate on bigger things.
Forget about training your dragon – it’s much simpler and more profitable to train your VA.
At Advance VA we listen to our clients’ needs and act as an invisible support to their businesses. We advise clients to include a regular feedback session (sometimes a short telephone call or email will suffice) to keep communication clear and the work partnership strong.
Contact us today to set up an initial ‘training’ session to help your business blossom this Spring.