You are currently viewing Stress and Overwhelm Doesn’t Need to be an Occupational Hazard for Business Owners!

Stress and Overwhelm Doesn’t Need to be an Occupational Hazard for Business Owners!

The life of a business owner or leader is never straightforward.

There will be days when you are on top of everything, thinking, “I’ve got this, watch out Success, I’m on my way!”

But then…

Stress and Overwhelm

Without warning, it can seem like the whole world wants your attention… and wants it now!!

Suddenly, stress and overwhelm hits you from nowhere:

  • Clients have questions to answer, enquiries that need quoting and meetings to be arranged.
  • Colleagues need input on a project to meet an impending deadline.
  • Your accountant needs a financial report, while client invoices are overdue.
  • Decisions about strategic development need to be made.
  • Industry regulations have changed, and you urgently need to ensure you’re still compliant.

When business can be so unpredictable, how do you avoid the feelings of stress and overwhelm?

The obvious answer is to employ someone full-time, but that’s another expensive long-term cost to your bottom line. Particularly if finances are tight, or you simply don’t have the consistent volume of work to justify employing someone, 7 hours a day, 5 days a week.

All is not lost!

The good news is an experienced Virtual Executive Assistant can provide the flexible support you need; playing a significant role in helping you to avoid the feeling of stress and overwhelm, precisely at the moments you need to remain clear headed and focused. And here are several reasons why:

  1. They are likely to have had a career as an Executive Assistant at C-Suite or Senior Management level.
  2. As an Executive Assistant, it’s not just the typical admin tasks (e.g. email and diary management, arranging meetings, travel, and events etc.) that they would have dealt with. They will also be experienced at handling an ever-growing range of responsibilities to support and prepare their Executive for the day ahead.
  3. Executive Assistants are problem solvers who think on their feet and are not afraid to take the initiative.
  4. A Virtual Executive Assistant is a flexible addition to your team. They only work for you when you need them, matching the ebb and flow of your business.
  5. A Virtual Executive Assistant is hired by the hour, which means you are getting high-level executive support, at a fraction of the cost!

So, those are a few reasons why a Virtual Executive Assistant can help, but how can they help in a specific, practical way?

Here are 10 areas a Virtual Executive Assistant can support a business leader who runs the risk of becoming stressed and overwhelmed with too much to handle:

1. Time Management

Time is a business leader’s most valuable asset, and you want to use it productively, focusing on clients and the actions that will grow your business. But the routine admin and business tasks, that keep the business running smoothly behind the scenes, can be your biggest time stealer!

The key role of a Virtual Executive Assistant is not only to keep their client’s business running smoothly in the background, but to ensure their whole day runs smoothly and efficiently. From managing emails, keeping diaries up to date, arranging meetings, events and travel, their professional support allows you to focus on your important priorities and responsibilities.

2. Team Management

Business leaders are ultimately responsible for their employees in every way. This ranges from their terms of employment, health and safety, performance, training, and if, or when, any conflicts arise. A layer of management between them would help take away some of the load but if there isn’t, there are many things that you, as a business leader, are responsible for.

A Virtual Executive Assistant can handle much of the admin aspect of team management. For example, coordinating schedules and meetings, onboarding new employees, organising training, or creating training documents. Even being the point of contact for many employees to ensure that you are not constantly interrupted.

3. Financial Management

Finances and budgets, accounts and bookkeeping, are all vital areas to keep on top of, but are also very time-consuming. Business leaders need to be aware of the current financial situation of the business in order to make decisions that will strengthen the business, not ruin it.

While hiring a qualified accountant is essential for any business, a Virtual Executive Assistant can efficiently and cost-effectively handle much of the ‘lower level’ tasks. These can include, the expenses, bookkeeping, filing invoices and receipts, invoicing clients, and chasing clients for late payment (making a significant difference to cashflow 😊). They can support your accountant, providing the information they require.

4. Compliance

In industries where regulatory compliance is mandatory, keeping up to date with amendments and changes can be a challenge. Even if your industry is not regulated, there are still many legal requirements to cover. The responsibility for a company to meet all its legal and regulatory responsibilities lies with the business leader.

One of the tasks you can assign to your Virtual Executive Assistant is to keep informed about any regulatory or legal changes that affect your business. You can also ask them to track your current compliance, advise when any certification is due for renewal, prepare the renewal documentation, and maintain communication with the relevant regulatory organisations.

5. Industry Trends and Competitors

Nothing stands still, so it’s important business leaders are aware of significant industry trends and how their competitors are responding. Or is the competition leading the way through innovation? This is another investment of time that if ignored, businesses can find they’re left behind.

A Virtual Executive Assistant will have the experience to monitor industry trends, competitor news and announcements, and carry out market research. They can create reports, analysis and highlight potential opportunities, leaving you to develop your business strategy from an informed perspective.

6. Technology

What was it we just said about nothing standing still? Of course, this applies equally to business processes, software, and all manner of advances in technology. Keeping up with this increasing rate of change, assessing the pros and cons and what is right for your business can add to the sense of overwhelm.

A Virtual Executive Assistant will be familiar with many office software packages. In addition, they can research and analyse other processes and systems, reporting on how they meet their client’s needs. They can also help with the implementation, integration, and documentation of new processes.

7. Development and Growth

A business leader always needs to have one eye on future business development and growth, which includes developing new products and services, accessing new markets, and gaining new customers. This means they are likely to be involved in product or service development, sales and marketing, business collaboration, and much more. Adding this into the daily activities is another block of work that can lead to overwhelm!

Carrying out market research, creating reports and sales presentations, handling the marketing, identifying potential joint venture partners or collaborators, and keeping everything organised by managing the CRM system; your Virtual Executive Assistant can be the person who pulls all aspects of your business growth strategy together.

8. Strategic Decision-Making

Strategic decision-making is an essential part of the role of a business leader. Interpreting market trends, having a deep understanding of current business strategies and being brave enough to make the decisions that determine the direction of the business can be a tough position to be in; one where stress and overwhelm can easily encroach!

While a Virtual Executive Assistant, would not be expected to make any final decisions, they can make a valuable contribution to the decision-making process. They can carry out the time-consuming industry research, collating facts and figures into comprehensive reports. Their experience enables them to have a valuable input into business plans, supporting their client in making informed business decisions.

9. Customer Satisfaction

Customers (or clients) do not want obstacles in their way to contact your company. If you, the business leader, are their point of contact, you may not be able to get back to them quickly if you’re in a meeting or engaged elsewhere. And while you want to be in direct contact with your customers as much as possible, if they have easy access to you, you could find yourself being interrupted many times during the day.

Your Virtual Executive Assistant can be the point of contact for your customers. They can handle emails, messages, and enquiries for you, while acknowledging to your customers that their question or enquiry is being dealt with. They can arrange meetings and be the link to developing a positive business relationship, leading to great customer satisfaction.

10. Work-Life Balance

Being a business leader is not easy. There are so many demands on your time, that it’s not surprising that work can slip into the evenings and weekends, or at least interfere with your family and social life in some way. And of course, a poor work-life balance doesn’t necessarily stop at stress and overwhelm. Burnout is an obvious outcome for many if the warning signs are ignored for too long.

Now we’re not saying that working evenings and weekends is a bad thing in itself. It may suit you perfectly well. However, a Virtual Executive Assistant can manage many of your personal tasks. For example, handling your insurance and utilities renewals, booking your car in for its service, booking restaurants for meals with friends, and organising family holidays. The point being that when you are at home, and you have finally switched your laptop off, your time is focused on family, friends, and leisure!

In Summary

It’s unlikely you will need your Virtual Executive Assistant to handle every task discussed here. But knowing what you need support with, enables you to choose the person with the skills, expertise and experience that will add significant value to your business.

Above all else, your Virtual Executive Assistant takes the routine work from your desk, when it lands, and deals with it from theirs; allowing you to maintain focus on the key actions that drive your business forward.

Does that sound like a flexible, cost-effective, and proactive way to ward off the dangers of stress and overwhelm to you?

If you have any questions about working with a Virtual Executive Assistant or would like to discuss your specific requirements and needs in more detail, get in touch and let’s have a chat.

Allen Wooding

Allen Wooding, co-founder of award winning Virtual Assistant company Core PA Services, helps business owners focus 100% on their key revenue generating activities, by handling the routine business tasks that often overwhelm small businesses. If you’re drowning in admin and have no idea how to get this routine work done, download our free guide, “𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗧𝗮𝘀𝗸𝘀 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗢𝘂𝘁𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁”. This includes our simple 5-step exercise to help you identify which tasks to outsource first.

Leave a Reply