Top tips: What to outsource to an assistant
There are few entrepreneurs I’ve met who actively enjoy making a list of To-Dos so long it feels impossible you’ll ever achieve just a fraction of your daily tasks.
We’re all overwhelmed with work yet, as business owners, we’re expected to be everywhere, all at once.
From a work level this could result in slipping customer service, no follow-up to sales calls, leads drying up because your time is pulled away from marketing or even operational issues.
From an emotional level, it’s even worse. You’ll feel stressed, angry, frustrated, disappointed as getting on top of your workload slips from your grasp.
Well, never fear.
There’s a saying I have (that I just made up) which goes: “Behind every great entrepreneur, there’s a great PA”. And I completely believe it.
Given the effort needed to grow a business, it makes sense for a business owner to hive off those tasks which need doing but don’t need doing by them.
Here are six tasks you need to get rid of right away:
- Repeatable and routine tasks
There are probably a handful of tasks in your business that you always have to do each day, week, month or quarter. Tasks like producing reports or filling out expenses or doing something which is a “must do” but which doesn’t a) move you closer to your business goals and b) isn’t a great use of your time.
It’s still an essential use of someone’s time, but not yours. These are the perfect tasks to outsource to an assistant. Because they’re repeatable and routine, you know what the right outcome looks like before you’ve even started. Identify these tasks and hand them off first. It will immediately make a difference to your day.
- Call answering
One of the quickest and easiest wins for a business is to outsource the handling of your calls. Although it can seem a big step handing over your potential customer’s first contact, a good call answering service will ensure every single one of your calls is answered on-time, every time in a consistent professional manner. This means you’ll never miss a potential sales and you or your team isn’t left dealing with nuisance sales calls. Answering the phone can prove a real distraction when trying to deliver a product or service to your customer even though your next customer could be on the other end of the phone. By outsourcing your calls, you rapidly make a return on your investment and free up your time to focus on other parts of your business.
- Content creation and production
Writing blogs, recording podcasts, penning emails and editing video. Content may be the basis for your marketing efforts and successfully puts your profile out there, but there is a cost – time and effort. Once embarked upon a marketing plan that requires regular content, it’s easy to spend hours and hours of every day staring at a screen or fiddling with technical details to keep to your schedule.
There is a better way. Although it may make you a little jittery to think someone else is writing on your behalf, there are creative ways you can use a PA to create content and distribute it without it taking as much time. Working smarter rather than harder is the name of the game here.
- Social media
The opportunities provided by social media are endless. Not only can you connect directly to your customers, influencers and the media, but social media offers you a free platform to a global audience. The downside, of course, is social media activity takes up growing proportion of your time (as well as being hugely distracting!).
The constant need to post social media updates to remain visible on readers’ feeds means this can be – and often is – a full-time job. But if you’re like most businesses where serving your customers is the priority, how can you do both without hiring a full-time social media pro?
Easy. A PA is well-placed to handle all your social media scheduling and – as above – they can also create new or curated content to feed the beast. Better still, have them monitor your social media channels for comments, replies and customer support questions, so you can focus on doing what you do best – growing your business.
If you’re anything like me, you probably enjoy burying yourself in a business book or two or scanning through business advice articles to soak up as much knowledge as you can. But sometimes there’s research that needs to be done, which isn’t quite a productive use of your time as it could be or isn’t nearly as enjoyable.
That’s where a PA comes to the rescue. A good assistant will undertake research and hand you the results so you can make an informed choice. Of course, good research always relies on a good brief and a clear idea of what you’re looking for from the findings. Whether it is compiling lists of ideal prospects, finding out how to do something related to tax or even calling round hotels to find the best price for a meeting room, a PA can hand you back a considerable amount of time.
- Customer support
Depending on what your business offers, you can use a PA to fulfil many customer support requests. If there are common problems and issues your customers continuously struggle with, using a PA to handle low-level matters – as a starting point – can free up your time immeasurably.
Alternatively, a PA can screen calls and log these to a support desk, or they can refer customers to other resources which may be more useful – such as help guides or walkthroughs.
- Sales and follow-up
Ok, I’m not suggesting you hand over your sales efforts to a PA. You or your sales team will always be the best at promoting your business to prospects. However, if you have marketing activity running or need sales support, you often need more hands on deck. And that’s where a PA can help.
For example, if you’re running a marketing campaign to a large number of prospects, a PA can follow-up with the recipients of a marketing email or sales letter to confirm receipt – a task which wouldn’t be the best use of time for your sales team.
Outside of a marketing campaign, you can use a PA to follow up immediately with any leads – through your website, for example – so there is that quick initial contact while the lead is still hot. A PA won’t necessarily replace any sales capability you have, but they can significantly enhance in the right places to shorten the sales cycle… and make you more money.
So where do I start?
Ah, this is the big question.
My advice is starting with those routine and repeatable tasks that take up more than 10 minutes of your time as this has the most significant impact on your day.
Of course, having helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners, we’re experts at helping you transition to using a PA to free up your time and help you grow your business.
If you want to know more about how we’ve helped businesses like yours in all of these areas, give me a call on 0161 820 6080 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or visit our services page to discover in more detail the diverse range of services we offer like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses right here