“So, why do entrepreneurs struggle delegating to virtual teams? Most are so busy “inside” the business, that they don’t have time to work “on” the business.”
Jeff J Hunter, Founder of VA Staffer
I know from my own experience of starting businesses, it’s not always easy, from an emotional point of view, to trust someone else with parts of your business. But, as we’ve said many times before, if you’re going to grow from simply owning your job to building a significant business, you can’t do it all yourself.
What is typical for many small business owners is that they get caught up with the low value tasks and the high value tasks get pushed back. This can be for a few reasons:
- Many low value tasks are necessary to keep the business running smoothly, e.g. invoicing clients, replying to emails, meetings to arrange
- They’re easy to do and get ticked off the to-do list
- The higher value tasks are more difficult, either in complexity or the business owner doesn’t have sufficient skill or knowledge to complete the task quickly or to a good standard
So how do you get out of this self-defeating cycle, in a way that enables you to trust the support you bring in while remaining in complete control of the high value tasks?
Jeff Hunter has devised what he calls his Freedom Plan, which starts by breaking a business’s tasks into four steps.
Step 1: Identify the recurring and low value tasks
These can be a whole range of admin tasks, which as well as the ones mentioned above can also include diary management, invoicing clients (and nudging late payments), onboarding new clients etc.
These are tasks that, while important to the smooth running of the business, are low value and can all be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant.
Step 2: Identify your challenges
Tasks that are considered challenges are those that are not your areas of expertise, i.e. you don’t know how to do them very well! I would also add tasks like bookkeeping, accounts and IT support to this list.
While you can learn how to do these tasks, is this going to drive your business forward if you continue to do them yourself? Outsourcing these to the experts makes a lot more sense because they will be able to implement the actions immediately and complete them far quicker.
Step 3: Identify the tasks that get neglected
These are the tasks that are repeatedly carried over to tomorrow’s to-do list because the tasks in steps 1 and 2 get in the way, even though they are often higher value tasks.
Depending on what these tasks are, some of them you will be able to delegate or outsource and some you will want to do yourself. The difference now is the recurring and challenging tasks are now being dealt with by someone else, creating the time for you to pick and choose the ones you delegate and the ones you do yourself.
Step 4: Identify the high value tasks
These are the actions that will drive your business forward and where you really want to focus your energy without distraction.
Of course you’re not going to be able to implement this all at once. However, by identifying your tasks for each step, you now have a structure to work with.
In order to get comfortable handing control of your business to someone else, start small. Pick one or two recurring tasks and hire a Virtual Assistant for just 2 or 3 hours a week. This way you can build up trust slowly without a huge risk to your business, while freeing up a little time for the higher value work.
As you feel more comfortable, your Virtual Assistant can pick up more tasks, freeing up more of your time. Then you can take the next step and look for an expert for one of the more challenging tasks.
Think of this as a process with the ultimate aim of you being able to focus 100% on the high value tasks.
And if you are looking to hire a Virtual Assistant to handle some of the tasks in step 1, please get in touch and let’s arrange a call. Ask us as many questions as you want and take your time to get to know us, to see if we are the right fit for you.
To view the full article by Jeff Hunter, please click here.