Delegate by Using the Power of a Virtual Assistant
By Laura Schappert, Sedona Virtual Assistant
“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate.”
When you’re good at what you do, people want much more from you. This can lead to a real sense of pressure and work overload as a small business owner, because you can’t do everything that everyone wants, and it can quite possibly leave you feeling stressed, unhappy and like you’re letting people down. No matter how hard or how long you work, there’s a limited amount you can accomplish. What’s more, you may be totally stalling your success if you expect to do everything yourself.
There’s no shame in asking for help, especially when you’re overwhelmed, overworked and time seems to do a disappearing act before your very eyes. One definition of “delegate” is to “entrust a task or responsibility to another person.” A good assistant helps you organize your processes, completes your administrative tasks faster than you can and keeps you accountable and on track thereby, creating a flow that allows you to achieve more and increase your value.
Here are some signs you’re overdue for an assistant as a small business owner:
- You feel like your efforts are getting you nowhere or are not creating income
- You’re constantly worried that things are falling through the cracks
- You don’t think anyone can help, and there’s no one who can do all the things you do
- You struggle to make time for the most profitable parts of your business and those that create the biggest opportunities (these are generally the things you love to do most!)
- Your business isn’t growing, and it hasn’t for six months or more
Small business owners don’t often consider delegation, because they think they can’t afford a virtual assistant. This is backward. Resources always follow vision, and until you get clear on what you need, the resources won’t show up. By learning how to delegate work and by doing it well, you can quickly build a strong and successful support system. Part of the delegation process involves knowing what you want to accomplish and determining a deadline to get it done. Having the goal of delegation creates freedom to plan for the future and find new ways to develop your business and time to invest in higher impact projects to achieve success.
To determine when delegation is most appropriate, ask yourself these key questions:
- Is this a task that’s taking me away from planning and strategizing my business?
- Are there tasks that are draining me and keeping me from doing my best work?
- Is this a task someone else can do, or is it critical that I do it myself?
- Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?
- Can someone else do this task better or more efficiently?
- Are there tasks I don’t enjoy or am not good at?
- Is this a task that I should delegate?
If you answer “yes” to at least some of these questions, then it is worth delegating.
By delegating work, especially recurring tasks, you’re making a positive choice by acknowledging your time is valuable and you’re worthy of having the freedom to focus on your specialty. Employ your virtual assistant as you would your business coach, hairstylist, barista, auto mechanic, massage therapist—anyone who specializes in providing a service you often use, appreciate and trust they know what they’re doing.
One last tip: The time to hire an assistant is slightly sooner than when you’re 100 percent ready and comfortable. By the time you’re totally ready—both mentally and financially—you’ll be too busy to properly delegate and train your assistant, if necessary.
Laura Schappert is owner of Sedona Virtual Assistant and Sedona Office Solutions, LLC in Sedona, Arizona. She is also president of the NAWBO-Sedona/Verde Valley chapter. This article was previously published on www.marycravets.com.