Are you a one-man-business, solo entrepreneur or freelancer and you just realized that it is becoming too much for you to handle all by yourself? Or you are self-employed and always way to full with work?
Then you are ready for the next level of your business! It´s time to get yourself a reliable personal assistant, who is your little busy bee and helps you exactly where it’s needed. This kind of work collaboration is called outsourcing and it will make your life so much easier and your business even more successful. I already work with even more than just one virtual assistant together and it relieves me so much and makes me more relaxed, because I know there is somebody who supports me with in my daily business.
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a business practice in which you hire an individual for example a freelancer or virtual assistant to perform tasks, provide services or handle operations for you.
These tasks have been done so far by yourself or an employee, but it can also be done with the same quality from another person to save you time for other important parts of your business, that need your full focus.
Pros and cons of outsourcing
- You don’t have to hire more employees. You don’t have to hire a new employee for every task you want to hand over. Your virtual assistant will cover them all.
- You get a highly motivated co-worker. Most of the freelancers are full-time self-employed and this means, they will give their best to make you happy with their work to keep you as a client. Your tasks are their business, your business is their business. You get probably better quality than you would get from a permanent employee.
- You save precious time for important things like the core business, new business projects, quality time with family and friends, free time activities, me-time, etc.
- You save money, because you don’t have all the extra cost like you would have with an permanently employed employee, for example social costs, costs for an office, rewarding continued payment in a disease case and material costs for the new office space. And you don’t have to put money in job ads, because you’ll find your assistant online, for example in a expert facebook group for virtual assistants.
- Access to a larger talent pool. You have a gigantic selection of freelancers with different expert knowledges. Every freelancer is an expert in the service he or she provides.
So you can be sure to get good quality.
- Lack of control. Sure you’re telling your assistant what he or she exactly has to do and you ask for the approximate time the assistant probably will need for the task, but you’ll never have the complete control on how he or she is working.. It’s always possible that this task requires more time than expected or there are other problems, like technical issues and you have no possibility to intervene. One possibility is to ask your assistant to use a time tracking tool like toggl oder hubstaff to track the required time and send you an exact report.
- Problems with communication. A lot of freelancers and virtual assistants are digital nomads. That means they mostly don’t have a permanent residence and travel all the time. So it happens that your assistant is not in the same time zone like you and you can’t reach him when you’re working because he or she is sleeping. That can be a problem, but must not be one. Freelancers work mostly completely independent and they don’t ask you questions about the tasks a lot. If there is something important you can always write an email or reach them over other channels you prefered like the project management tool Slack for example and they will reply quickly.
- Problems with different expectations of quality. You will probably never find a virtual assistant or freelancer who has exactly the same view of quality like you. Sure you can let them do a a trial job before you hire them, but there are different tasks and there will be different qualities. You have to deal with it, but you can sure always tell your assistant to rework the task. And probably the most important thing in a collaboration with a virtual assistant or freelander is, to formulate the tasks as accurate as possible. Try to think about every question your assistant could ask you and try to answer it before. You save a lot of time, if you already fix all details before you hand over the task.
Which tasks are perfect for outsourcing?
Actually every task which can be done online, you can outsource. Of course, you need to have the right assistant with the matching expert knowledge.
Tasks to outsource can be for example: E-mail management, schedule management, investigation, translations, social media management, researching, translations, accounting, writing bills and bookkeeping, graphic design, web design, video cutting, editing photos, travel planning, copywriting, writing blog articles, customer canvassing, customer support and much more..
How does the cooperation with a virtual assistant look like?
First, you have to decide, which communication channels and project management tools you want to use for the collaboration. This can be for example via E-mail, Whats App, Slack, Skype, Messages, Phone, etc.
Then both parties need to agree on your availability and on which channels you are always available in case of an emergency. You have to talk about deadlines and how you exchange your files. Could be probably Dropbox or Google Drive. Then there are different tools to work on tasks together like Trello, Asana or Active Collab.
If you want to see exactly when your assistant worked on which task you can ask him or her to use a time tracker like Toggl, Hubstaff or Clockify and send you reports of the work. Otherwise you just have to trust..
And the probably most important thing in the end is the payment. Most freelancers and virtual assistants prefer to be paid by hour or with fix package prices. But if you know exactly how many hours you need your assistant per month you probably can talk about a monthly flatrate.
Which tools can you use for your collaboration?
Meanwhile there are a lot of different tools. You just have to decide which one meets your requirement best. For communication there is for example Slack or you just use Whats App or E-mails. As a project management tool you can use Trello, Asana or Active Collab. For social media management there is Hootsuite, Buffer, Stacker, Kuku or SocialPilot and for file exchange you can use Dropbox, Google Drive or Wetransfer. To see exactly what and when your assistant is working, you can ask to track the time and send reports with Toggl, Clockify or Hubstaff.
If you’re still thinking you don’t need an assistant and you can handle it all by yourself, i can promise you that this whole thing will totally overwhelm you, if you don’t get yourself some help from the outside. I can just highly recommend you to jump over to Nina’s website, shoot her an email and make a call with her. She’s one of my reliable personal assistants and definitely will tell you which part of your business you should better outsource to save you some spare time and make your business even more successful! Believe me, your business will suffer, if you don´t put away your ego and don´t get yourself some help. Burnt out managers will fail in the end because they don’t have enough energy anymore to keep a sustainable business running. Be clever and start outsourcing!
This gives you the push to the next level of your business!
Her website is www.ninafischer-va.de and on Facebook you can find her here: www.facebook.com/ninafischerva. She’s also traveling a lot and planning all my trips. So if you need some help for you next vacation or business trip, then she’s definitely the right person for support! On her instagram channel www.instagram.com/yourtravelva_nina you can see, where she has been already and get some inspiration for your next trip!
I hope you got an idea now, how outsourcing works and how it can help you for your own business success and your work-life-balance! If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask me or contact Nina.