Tired of Juggling Private Contractors? A Virtual Assistant Team Can Help

Tired of Juggling Private Contractors? A Virtual Assistant Team Can Help

If you’re like many businesses, not all the tasks you need completed are done in-house. This could be due to temporary staff shortages, the need for extra help during a product launch or the need for specialized skills.

Hiring freelancers is a great way to get help from on-demand experts but it can be challenging to manage private contractors once you have several working for you. That’s where a virtual assistant team can help.

“Having a VA team can be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business,” says Melissa Smith in her article for Medium entitled, 7 Tips to Build the Best Virtual Assistant Team.

Here are a few key ways a virtual assistant team can solve the multiple private contractor challenge.

Project Unity

Working with several contractors on projects that overlap can sometimes be like trying to make different jigsaw puzzles fit together in a coherent manner. Private contractors may not always agree with the same plan of action or meld well.

Working with a virtual assistant team can eliminate a lot of needless frustration. You’ll have a team of virtual assistants working together on different aspects of a project and communicating with each other along the way. You can also have your own online manager through the virtual assistant company to oversee your project.

They’ll connect the dots so you don’t have to. This also provides accountability and encouragement for each team member to give their best to the larger, overarching project.

More Convenient Payments

Paying your hourly employees tends to be more automatic than paying your contractors. With your hourly employees, there’s consistency. With your private contractors, things can be quite sporadic.

Making payments to contractors from different companies can be easy to overlook with all the other demands you face each day. Making a bunch of additional payments can also turn into a time drain.

Hiring a team of virtual assistants from the same company can streamline this process. Not only is it easier to make payments, but it’s also far easier to keep track of your spending, helping you to stay within your budget.

Could a Virtual Assistant Team Be the Answer to Your Outsourcing Needs?

At Smart to Finish, we’re committed to being the best virtual assistant team available. We can complete a surprising variety of tasks for you, freeing up your time and helping you build revenue. Our team can even be your online business manager.

If you’d like to learn how our virtual assistant services can help to build your business dreams, feel free to reach out to us. Whether you need an online manager for your hourly employees and contractors, marketing help, extra support for a product launch, or more, Smart to Finish is here for you. We’ll provide a free 30-miute consultation to discuss how we could best make a positive difference in your business.

What to Look for in a Virtual Assistant

What to Look for in a Virtual Assistant

You’re finally sold on the value of getting help for your business from a virtual assistant. While that may seem like the end of the discussion, it’s actually just the beginning. The
type of support you receive could make the difference between excellent results and a bunch of work you’ll have to fix later on.

How can you keep from getting burned? First, go with a reputable virtual assistant company. Secondly, give it a try in small doses to start to see if it’s a good fit. Beyond that, there are some characteristics to look for to help you decide if you’ve found a “winner.” Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider how to find a virtual assistant.

Honesty

When it comes to intellectual property, integrity is everything. You need a remote administrative assistant or virtual assistant you have complete confidence in. The alternative is far too risky. You need a good idea of when work will be delivered and what specifically will be delivered per your agreement. You also need to know your private information will be kept confidential and safe.

Versatility

These days, the sheer number of different tasks waiting to be completed at your business can be overwhelming. For instance, successful marketing strategies for businesses have grown more complex. You typically see the best results from a blend of different strategies.

The best virtual assistant will possess a variety of skills. Also, going back to the honesty trait, your virtual assistant should be transparent when they’re not skilled in a specific task you need accomplished.

This is why it’s great to work with a virtual assistant team where the company culture exhibits the traits you’re looking for. That way, you’ll be able to get help from different virtual assistants based on their skill sets. The end result will turn out much better.

Professional Rates

It won’t take you long in your virtual assistant search to find cheap rates. Why not shop for a drastic bargain? Because your results will almost certainly suffer if you do. Those low-ball virtual assistant companies have to make money somehow and that means cutting corners.

The best-case-scenario is you could end up with poor quality work. The worst? You might receive pirated “work” that places you in legal trouble, have sensitive information stolen from your company or a dishonest accounting of hours worked.

Do professional rates always mean you’ve found a great fit. No. But they’re usually a good indicator that your virtual assistant cares enough about great results to charge realistic rates.

Friendliness

It’s not just about completing your to-do list with your virtual assistant. That process should also be enjoyable and feel like a team effort. Human interactions affect us all either positively or negatively. For that reason, choose someone who’s friendly as your virtual assistant.

In her Entrepreneur article, Ten Qualities You Need to Keep Your Virtual Assistant Clients Happy, Shelby Larson shares the following advice to virtual assistants about friendliness:

“Having rapport with your clients will take you further than you could imagine.”

Could Hiring a Virtual Assistant Benefit Your Business?

At Smart to Finish, we work tirelessly to be the best virtual assistant and virtual assistant team available. We can be your manager online, overseeing a variety of administrative tasks.

Could you use some help with your business? Whether you need an online business manager, a virtual marketing assistant or more, we have you covered. Our virtual assistant company can complete a variety of tasks to ensure your business continues to thrive.

Are you interested in what we can do for you? Feel free to get in touch to set up a 30-minute free consultation with us.

What is Laissez-Faire Leadership and Its Benefits?

What is Laissez-Faire Leadership and Its Benefits?

Laissez-faire leadership can be a scary venture for a business (especially initially). It can feel like you’re a passenger on the plane you own while somebody else flies the aircraft. Sure, you can get many other essential tasks done while someone else operates the controls, but what if the pilot goofs up? Those who conquer this fear of failure, can reap many benefits for their business along the way by taking this approach, however. Just what is the laissez-faire leadership style and why should you care? In honor of National Delegation Day (coming up on August 28th), let’s go a little more in-depth on the topic.

What is the Laissez-Faire Leadership Style?

Also known as the delegating leadership style or free-reign leadership, this model only gives guidance to staff that’s deemed the most necessary. The belief is employees will do their best work if they’re free to find their unique solutions to challenges and work demands. The laissez-faire leader can experience a number of positive results. What are some benefits of delegative leadership? Let’s take a look.

Makes Sense When Your Staff has the Skills Needed for Success

Back to that airplane analogy, you’ll feel far more comfortable handing the controls over to someone who knows what they’re doing. This can be a tough balance because there will always be more skills your staff could learn. There needs to be some established trust before the laissez-faire approach will work. This is a great leadership style to use when you hire known experts (or up-and-coming ones). The best approach is to allow them to solve problems you can’t. Sure, provide some accountability, but you don’t want to cramp their style either.

Creative Fields are a Great Place to Use Laissez Faire Leadership

Delegative leadership doesn’t work best in all scenarios. And there are certain settings where laissez-faire leaders will thrive better than in others. For example, creative fields such as ones that deal with design tend to operate better under a laissez-faire model. In her article for Very Well Mind entitled, “What is Laissez-Faire Leadership?,” Kendra Cherry shares the following: “Working in a creative field where people tend to be highly motivated, skilled, creative, and dedicated to their work can be conducive to obtaining good results with this style.”

Works Well When Your Projects Are at the Right Stage

Although laissez faire means “hands-off”, to say it should be completely that way in your business would be an exaggeration. A better description is that it’s generally meant to be hands-off. To be successful in your business, you may need to employ different leadership styles at different times. For instance, the start of a project may require more direction and oversight. However, once you get further into that same project, you may get more satisfying results by giving a lot more autonomy to your staff.

Could a Virtual Assistant or Virtual Assistant Team Help Your Business?

In conclusion, the laissez-faire leadership style works great when your business is dealing with proven experts. When used correctly in an appropriate setting, you can also drastically increase your company’s productivity and quality of services. At Smart to Finish, our team of virtual assistants can provide excellent results with minimal supervision, freeing you up to complete those essential tasks. We can also do the delegating for you if you’re short on time. If you’re curious about how we could help your business grow, feel free to reach out to us. We also offer free 30-minute consultations.
Delegating Tasks: 3 Signs Your Business Needs More of It

Delegating Tasks: 3 Signs Your Business Needs More of It

Is your company delegating tasks enough of the time? With National Delegation Day coming up on August 28th, now is a great time to re-evaluate how you’re doing. And there’s no better day than today if you want to learn how to delegate better.

In his business.com article entitled, “Delegate or Die—The Only Way to Grow Your Business,” Harrison Rogers shares the following:

“While it takes time and effort, delegating effectively will empower you to be more productive and grow your business. Your staff will gain new opportunities to develop their skills while contributing to the success of the company.”

Although over-delegation comes with its inherent risks, not delegating enough in your business will also result in some troubling symptoms. What are signs you need to delegate work more often? Here are some to consider.

Unusually High Stress Levels at Your Company

Stress is an unavoidable aspect of any business pursuit. Yet properly managed stress isn’t always bad. It can push those at your business to excel even further than they initially thought they could.

How do you gauge if your stress levels are too high? A valuable question to ask would be, “Is the amount of stress at my organization challenging my employees to do even better or is it breaking them down instead?”

If you’re unsure of the answer, it wouldn’t hurt to do an anonymous survey to get everyone’s perspective. It could tell you whether the “engine” of your company is running properly or if it’s overheating.

More sick days than normal, poor morale and a general lack of contentment are some signs to watch out for. Also, gauge how overwhelmed your employees generally feel. If you’re in the danger zone stress-wise, it could be an indicator that you’re not delegating enough or properly.

Although it can seem costly to delegate since mistakes could initially be made, it’ll likely cost you far more in the long run if you don’t. Employee turnover and customer dissatisfaction can burden even the best businesses in these situations. Speaking of costly mistakes, they tend to happen more frequently when there isn’t enough delegating taking place.

Costly Mistakes are Happening too Frequently

Mistakes happen at any business. However, if it seems like you’ve had more than your fair share of costly blunders lately, this could be another sign you need to delegate responsibility more often.

Customers or clients receiving work they’re unhappy with, missed deadlines or skewed numbers are a few common signs of employees that are maxed out. Many of these shortcomings may have little to do with the competence of your staff. Instead, they could have more to do with everyone being stretched too thin.

You Don’t Trust Your Employees

“No one can do that task as good as me,” you say. That may be true, but are the bigger tasks you need done getting neglected because the many smaller ones? If so, it may be a great time to practice effective delegation.

A few hours of training now could save you hundreds of hours in the future (not to mention, a lot of money). Plus, you may be pleasantly surprised by what happens when you give trust to your employees more. They’ll likely feel empowered and return the trust as evidenced by increased productivity.

Could Your Business Use Some Help with Delegating Tasks?

If so, you don’t have to let the negative results of past delegation shortfalls erode the effectiveness of your company’s future any longer. What is delegation when it comes to a remote assistant? Our team of virtual assistants at Smart to Finish can help you reach your business goals in a variety of ways.

Not only can you delegate tasks to us. We can also help you with the delegation process. Sometimes, all you need is someone outside of your business to give you a fresh perspective about what’s going on. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, feel free to get in touch. We also offer a free 30-minute consultations.

Your Hire Strategy: 3 Steps to Hire the Best Employees

Your Hire Strategy: 3 Steps to Hire the Best Employees

You’ve probably heard it all by now when it comes to developing a hire strategy. Some things you’ve tried have panned out great. Others? Well, quite the opposite. Every single business out there goes through similar challenges.

For obvious reasons, it’s wise to continually hone your hiring solutions. Few aspects of your business can increase revenue and deliver outstanding results as building the right staff can. The negative flip side of that is equally true.

Knowing how to hire will also have a huge impact on whether your staff are happy at your organization. If they feel valued by the team you build, they’ll stick around. If not, they’ll walk. In light of that, here are some things to look for when hiring.

Make Sure Your New Hire Will Be Compatible

Your prospective employee may be an uncontested all-star when it comes to their job performance and abilities. That doesn’t make them an automatic shoo-in for the position, however. You’ll also need to judge their compatibility with your existing employees. 

Think about how much it cost to develop the staff you already have. Now imagine if this newcomer frustrated your valued workers so much that they stopped giving their best, or showing up or to the point they called it quits. This is all the more crucial for supervisory positions. As the saying goes, “People don’t quit bad jobs. They quit bad bosses.”

If you hire the right person, you’ll add another reason for your employees to show up for work every day. If not, you’ll have created a dark cloud when it comes to morale. It’s best to work together as a team to decide if compatibility exists in a job candidate to get a balanced perspective when hiring.

Check Their Social Footprint

Digging into someone’s online social activity when hiring isn’t considered “creepy” like it once was. Heck, people even check someone’s social footprint before going on a date. And these days, who can blame them?

Take a close look at your potential employee’s social activity. It’s entirely possible that a minute’s glance will tell you to move on to the next candidate. However, it’s equally possible you won’t want to move on to the next candidate after doing some searches.

Asking personal questions won’t get you anywhere, and could be awkward and uncomfortable for both parties. Rather, you or your human resources team should be analyzing the candidates’ presence on social media,” says Steve Olenski in his Forbes article entitled, “6 Tips for Hiring the Right Employee.”

Assess Their Ability to Persevere

Sure, you need someone with the right skills who’s a fast learner but you need more than that. You’re looking for a candidate who can handle setbacks and adversity. Because sometimes one’s workload can knock the wind out of them on the bad days. 

You need a staff member who’ll keep going when things get tough. Challenges are inevitable but can be overcome by a worker with persistence. What are you specifically looking for? More than anything after you have the correct skillset, you’re searching for a positive attitude.

This skill isn’t taught in any school yet is, nonetheless, essential. Perseverance only comes about through disappointment and setbacks. Failures are inevitable for everyone. The choice to continue the trudge to success despite failure is what separates the truly successful from the rest of the pack. 

Find someone who’s determined and who won’t give up while maintaining their optimism and you’ll have a winner. Hire them quickly before someone else does!

Could You Use Some Extra Help with Your Hire Strategy?

A good hire doesn’t just happen. Recruitment and the hiring process are a painstaking process well worth the effort. Knowing how to hire is only half the battle, however.

Sometimes your current staffing demands make it hard to devote the time needed to add to your team. If this struggle sounds all too familiar, Smart to Finish can help you with this process. Our team has experience making sure your next hire is the smart hire.

We know firsthand that the right staff makes all the difference in a successful business. That’s why we’ve learned how to recruit and pass that good hire on to you. After all, when you’re successful, so are we.

Do you have additional questions about how we could help to make your hiring a big win? We’d love to interact more with you through a free consultation.

What is a Virtual Assistant and do I Need a VA Team?

What is a Virtual Assistant and do I Need a VA Team?

“What is a virtual assistant?” is a common question for businesses that feel maxed out or are starting to fall behind. Maybe you could benefit from help with marketing, a product launch, inbox management or hiring among a host of other tasks.

One of the key aspects that sets a virtual assistant apart from an hourly employee is their skill level. When you hire a virtual assistant, you’re choosing an on-demand expert who has experience and skillsets in the areas you need now.

Your company hiring process can be time-consuming and unpredictable. You also have to train your new hire which can be quite expensive (in time and money). Companies lose thousands to millions of dollars each year due to being understaffed or by not having the skills they need when they need them. That’s where a virtual administrative assistant can save you both time and money.

Having said that, your company’s needs may have outgrown the demand for just one personal assistant. You may benefit best from a virtual assistant team. Here are some tell-tale signs that your business needs help from more than one expert.

The Volume of Needs Are More Than One Person Can Handle

Simply put, the needs of your business have grown. Whereas one virtual assistant or remote executive assistant was enough to help in the past, that isn’t the case anymore.

Is the sheer volume of additional remote administrative tasks you need done too weighty for one person? It could be time to hire a virtual assistant team.

Your Business Needs Are Diverse

Not everyone can be an expert at everything. There are only so many hours in the day to learn new skills. Besides that, we all have things we’re naturally good at (and things we aren’t).

When your business needs become varied in the types of expertise you need, this signals it could be time to consider a virtual assistant team. A good virtual assistance company employs a variety of VAs who specialize in different tasks from writing to web design to product launches.

Hiring a VA team means you’ll be able to multiply your effectiveness. Each VA, working as a group, will play to their strengths instead of against them. They’ll all be working together to ensure your end results are excellent.

You Don’t Have the Regular Staff You Need Yet

It could be that you need to fill multiple positions at your company. However, the last thing you can afford is for your business to come to a screeching halt because of a worker shortfall in the meantime. You need informed and skilled solutions today.

Sure, you could panic because all your “ducks” aren’t in a row as you’d hoped. But that won’t get you the results you want and need. Plus, all that stress is bad for you and your employees’ morale and health. It’ll also negatively impact your bottom line.

In light of an employee shortage, you can still have the best workers helping you until things change. In these situations, a VA team can be a lifeline.

You Have an Influx of Work that Won’t Always Be There

Another reason to consider hiring a virtual assistant team is you need a high volume of skill-specific work for a short time but then it will end. You don’t want to sustain the costs of hiring and training only to lay off your employees once the flurry of work dies down. This could be due to a major marketing push, preparation for launching a new product or the need to mass hire.

In all of these situations and more, it makes sense to hire a VA team. In a variety of ways, such a decision will save you time and money. As a little side perk, you’ll probably sleep a lot better at night knowing things are getting done too!

What is a Virtual Assistant Able to Help With?

What does a virtual assistant do? The virtual assistant job description is pretty pliable in most cases. A quality virtual assistance company will employ multiple VAs to help with a variety of tasks regardless of your location. That way, you’ll get exactly what you need for your business at just the right time.

In her article for Medium entitled, “7 Tips to Build the Best Virtual Assistance Team,” Melissa Smith shares the following insight: “The beauty of hiring a VA is there is one available for just about anything you can think of. This means you can hire multiple VAs to do everything that is taking away from you expanding and building your business.”

At Smart to Finish, we’re here for you whether you need a single virtual assistant or virtual assistant team. Would you like to learn more about how we can help you? Feel free to reach out to us. We offer free consultations.