The definition of delegation is the assignment of authority to another person to carry out specific activities. It is the process of distributing and entrusting work to another person, and is one of the core concepts of management and leadership.
That being said, we’ve all heard the phrase “I’ll just do it myself because it’s so much faster”.
Eleanor Beaton, founder of SafiMedia, coach, podcast host and writer (and AMAZING client of ours!), recently stated that “… effective delegation takes serious work on YOUR part…”
What does this mean?
This, in fact, means that delegating saves time in the LONG TERM, not necessarily the SHORT TERM. To delegate effectively means YOU have to invest the time to:
- Think through exactly what you want.
- Figure out if there is a specific way in which you want it done.
- Communicate your plan clearly and specifically — for best results, in writing.
If you think only short term and you don’t see results as effectively (or as fast) as you’d like, you may say things like:
- I knew I was the only one who can do this
- Why can’t I clone myself
- I guess I suck at delegating
Instead, dig a little deeper.
Obviously you aren’t the only one who can get a job done. Did you relay clear expectations? Were you able to communicate what you wanted effectively? Did you essentially sabotage your team by not contributing enough of your time, thoughts and wants?
If you clearly outline your standards and how you want things done in the short term, tasks and projects will run so much smoother in the long term.
“Fear of being labelled “controlling” or “micromanaging” can really hold women entrepreneurs back from giving clear and specific direction,” said Beaton. “If you know exactly how you want something done, why pretend that you don’t?”
The next time you’re faced with a fear of delegation, think back to Eleanor Beaton, and this blog post, and drive forward.
“Your job as a leader is to create a clear container for work to happen. Your team’s job is to make the work inside that container as amazing as it can possibly be. The quality of the end RESULT is dependent on each of us doing our part well.”
You can read the entire article HERE.
Meet Tina Walker… the Web Manager and Senior Web Developer at Smart to Finish Office Solutions.
Tina is married to her high school sweetheart, and they have four kids, all boys. Though it’s hard to call them all kids: Zach is 24, Jake is 23, Nick is 18 and graduating high school in a few short weeks, and Ethan is 15.
Tina spends all her spare time with her family. Depending upon the season, you will spot on bleachers somewhere – football, basketball, baseball, or track. If they are not at a sporting event, then you’ll find them spending family time. Summers are spent playing cornhole, basketball, or just being together, BBQing and talking.
Tina really values and takes care of her people, whether it’s her family or clients. Tina has shown her commitment and dedication to Smart to Finish and our clients for almost 10 years.
Prior to Smart To Finish Tina worked at a family business in the construction industry. With 3 children at the time, she decided it would be better for them if she worked from home. She started doing a lot of freelance work with just local companies in her community. She happened to see a post that the Delegation Diva was hiring, and thought it sounded fun! Almost 10 years later, she’s a crucial part of the team.
Tina Puts the Smart in Smart to Finish
Tina’s special gift is her brain. There’s truly not a complex issue, whether it’s coding something code, or finding a bug that she can’t solve.
Stop Hesitating, and Start Delegating
Tina’s got a lot of advice for clients and technology. She says to ALWAYS have two forms of backups for your website, one at the server level, and the other using a backup plugin that can send the backup to Google Drive, or Dropbox. You should have a daily backup and at least a week of incremental backups. Also, you should update plugins, themes, and core files that need to be updated weekly, or bi-weekly. Updates are meant to fix known bugs and increase your overall security.
If you’d like to put Tina’s brain to work on your business, click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.
Has your company thought of hiring a virtual assistant for a while now? If so, you may wonder whether to add one full-time virtual assistant or a team of VAs. Especially if you’re dipping your toes into virtual assistant services for the first time, questions like these can seem complex. While every business has different needs, hiring a virtual team holds plenty of advantages over onboarding one virtual assistant.
In his entrpreneur.com article entitled Hiring Virtual Assistants is the ‘New Normal,’ Jeff J Hunter shares his post-pandemic discovery of how indispensable a virtual team can be:
“Last year, building a “virtual team” sounded cool, but today, it’s a necessity for businesses to survive the current economic conditions. Yes, a virtual team is the “new normal” of work. It is about time you hire one.”
Why should you consider hiring a virtual team instead of a single VA? What follows are some compelling reasons to give it serious thought!
A VA Team’s Diverse Skillset Gives You Better Results
A winning sports team needs a variety of strengths from teammates to win games consistently. Similarly, a multitude of unique strengths from three or more VAs leads to better overall results than a solo VA can provide.
With a VA team, you can hire individuals who are passionate about their specific work (and darn good at it). If you hire one virtual assistant, you’ll see results but not of the same magnitude you would with a virtual team. A team’s results are greater than the sum total of people involved. Those results multiply as each virtual team member plays off of the strengths of another.
The Team Leader Option
A solid VA team doesn’t randomly crank out a bunch of substandard work from an unorganized group. Instead, a virtual team has order with someone overseeing the work and ensuring that completed tasks are of high quality and turned in on time. Sometimes businesses opt to do this in-house, but that isn’t the only option you have.
The best virtual assistant companies provide the online manager option, also known as an online business manager. An OBM works hard to ensure all tasks accomplish your company’s big-picture goals. There’s just more unity and quality results with this approach. OBMs also are able to do much more than lead a virtual team.
Another significant advantage of hiring a remote team leader from a VA company is their experience in overseeing virtual teams from day one. After all, leading a VA team is quite different from doing so in a traditional face-to-face office setting. Because of this, hiring someone already skilled in this area is a valuable consideration.
Hiring a Virtual Team Means Fewer Delays
One significant advantage of hiring a VA team is that you have more availability from your VAs. Even the most dedicated solo virtual assistant gets sick (all the more evident after 2020) and needs time off for rest or personal reasons. If you hire just one VA to cover all your tasks, this could slow down your productivity.
However, a VA team allows you to fill in the gaps when a specific remote team member needs to step away for a little while. This also enables you to cover more tasks than you could reasonably expect one VA to complete.
It’s true that VA team members each have unique skill sets they excel at. Still, the best VA teams are cross-trained so they can cover work for another team member while they are away from their desk.
Delegation During Your Non-Work Hours
Because a VA team is made up of team members from different time zones, you can sometimes find help with pressing tasks before or after your typical business hours. That way, you can accomplish your goals more quickly when deadlines matter most.
Cost and Convenience Perks
Not having to free up physical office space for one full-time virtual assistant is a big plus. However, with a virtual team, this is all the truer. This is convenient, but also saves some businesses money since the overhead of physical offices can be quite high, especially in the largest cities.
You Can Customize Your Team Size as Needed
When you hire a virtual team, it needn’t have the permanency of hiring as a traditional full-time team does. You can add or subtract to your remote team without all the inherent inflexibilities regular employment brings.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant Team: Would You Like to Chat Sometime?
Are you interested in hiring a virtual assistant, or would you like to see how a VA team can help you grow? If so, our virtual assistant company can help make those dreams a reality.
At Smart to Finish, we can offer support whether you need a social media virtual assistant, a virtual personal assistant, online business manager or remote team.
If you’d like to learn more, please reach out to us for a free 30-minute consultation. We’ll discuss which delegation plan would work best for your business. We can also chat about ways to keep your remote team intact even during uncertain economic times.
If your small business falls on hard economic times, you may be faced with sudden and dramatic changes like making cuts to your workforce, considering new markets and business models, or even closing the doors. During disruption, it’s critical for businesses to be agile and adaptive. So instead of calling it quits, try one of these approaches to pivot your business and take advantage of different opportunities to keep your team intact.
Get a PPP Loan
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. If you have not received a PPP loan before, First Draw PPP loans may be available to you. These loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits, and may also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations. The SBA can forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.
The SBA offers free counseling and training events to help you with the Paycheck Protection Program. Learn more here.
*The PPP ends on May 31, 2021.
Temporarily Cut Back on Hours
Another way a small business can save money on business expenses during tough times is by reducing their teams hours. Rather than closing the doors on business or letting talent go, this option is better for small businesses because they can focus on just a few things that are necessary to keep their business going.
In terms of business, you have to also think long term. Once conditions do improve, you have not lost expertise and you will not incur costs to train a new team. We call that a win-win.
Focus on Income Generating Things
With COVID-19 forcing many businesses to modify operations or shut down altogether, leaders and teams have had to get creative with bringing in capital. Finding new and/or honing in on existing revenue streams can be a great way to keep your business afloat in difficult times such as these.
You must ask yourself: Why do you do what you do?
Look at what you do now—your main income producer. How can you do it better and faster and offer a unique solution to the problem presenting itself? Can you decrease price and increase quantity for a short period of time?
Perhaps you tweak the product, target a new audience, use a new marketing channel, develop key partnerships or improve your customer relationships with this main income generator.
During this time, also turn to your team and get their input. They are a great source of knowledge on the day-to-day and behind the scenes, and will more than likely be able to provide you with ideas. Consider turning this into a workplace challenge!
Crisis is the time for businesses to shine. When things are going well in a booming economy, “everyone” seems to be doing well. During an economic downturn is when real leaders stand out.
Have you recently considered hiring a business virtual assistant because you’re “fed up” with falling behind on tasks each day? Although feeling fed up is one of the worst feelings ever, it’s also a meaningful way we grow as people and in our businesses. How so?
There’s a saying that goes something like this:
“We don’t change until the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain of changing.”
Considering and implementing significant changes in your business can be incredibly exhausting and even painful. So much so that it’s easy to stay locked into the normal day-to-day operations without following through on decisions that could improve your company’s long-term performance. But staying where you are in your business can become even more painful.
One day, you just become too tired of being too tired. You reach the end of your rope and can’t take it anymore. You pick up the phone or write an email. You need help with delegating ASAP and so you go for it.
What are some common indicators that you’re on the verge of being fed up and that it could be time to reach out to a virtual assistant agency? Here are some good indicators.
A Lack of Passion for Your Business
You’ve gotten to the point where you consistently feel unhappy when engaged at your company. At times, your lack of excitement nags at you. This business is your dream come to fruition. Your passion and vision propelled you to the place you are now. Without that energy, nothing would’ve ever happened.
But now, you find yourself feeling drained of that vital energy and passion. You wonder how to get back to the time you felt more fully alive as an entrepreneur instead of the opposite. If this is how you’ve felt lately, this is one of the many potential indicators that it could be time to hire a virtual office assistant, virtual team or online business manager.
You Feel Burned Out
Burnout as an entrepreneur can be devastating but doesn’t have to stay that way. You can improve or prevent burnout by making strategic decisions today. Some of the most critical choices involve delegating so you can heal.
Virtual assistant services are a great way to gain quick relief from perpetually feeling stressed out and being unable to meet your daily business needs.
You Can’t Find the “Off Switch”
You became an entrepreneur to own a business and make a difference in the world. But somewhere along the way, that business started owning you, and it became increasingly difficult to notice the positive difference you set out to make.
If you were honest, you feel negatively controlled by your entrepreneurial pursuits, and you resent it. Even when you aren’t “at work,” you find it challenging to unwind with your family and friends. Your hobbies and extracurricular activities have gone down the drain too.
During the rare moments you get away, you think about everything you need to get done. Even your sleep is regularly disrupted. Too often, you lie awake fretting about your business instead of feeling energized by it. It’s like you can no longer find the “off switch,” and you don’t know what to do to make things better. If that’s how you’ve felt lately, a remote office assistant can help you to begin feeling more like yourself again.
You Have More Money than Time
A good indicator that you’re fed up enough to need an online virtual assistant is you have money but struggle to find time for the aspects of life that matter most. You increasingly realize without more time, your life slips by without the kind of positive impact you wanted.
Financial success at the expense of adequate time is definitely a good indicator that it’s time to put aside feeling fed up and hire a VA. But there are also times when hiring a virtual assistant makes sense, even if it hasn’t exactly been a bumper year.
People Are Starting to Notice
In his Inc.com article entitled What Nobody Tells You About Being an Entrepreneur, Lolly Daskal shares the following:
“In the popular imagination, entrepreneurship is just about having an idea. But successful businesses–even those with just a single employee–have great leadership. And the best leaders know, above all, how to manage themselves.”
A critical aspect of learning to manage yourself better as an entrepreneur involves delegating. When you feel overloaded in your tasks for too long, it puts a lot of strain on other people too. Your staff, clients and customers pick up on that stress after a while. And, yes, that can eventually affect your bottom line. But more importantly, it likely goes against your values. Ultimately, if your business doesn’t positively impact people, what’s the point?
Hiring a virtual business assistant means less pressure on everyone you interact with. That way, you build more than a company. You grow a legacy of treating others how you would want to be treated while also accomplishing some big-time goals.
Is It Time to Hire a Business Virtual Assistant?
At Smart to Finish, we can create an individualized plan that provides the best virtual assistant services for your company. We help with a wide variety of virtual assistant tasks, whether you need a virtual marketing assistant, product launch support or much more.
Maybe you set some business goals for 2021, but now you’re lagging behind. There’s still plenty of time left to improve your results. If you’d like to learn more about how to find a VA for your business, please get in touch with us. You can schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us at your convenience.
Did you know that hiring a virtual assistant can help with entrepreneur burnout? Company problem-solving can often feel nearly impossible to turn off. Even when you aren’t ‘on the clock,’ you often find yourself troubleshooting and brainstorming. The potential for mental exhaustion is real, but that’s only part of the equation.
On top of the ongoing mental toil of owning a business, you face the logistics side. That to-do list can seem a mile long, which can lead to persistent feelings of inadequacy. If the stress of too many tasks weighs heavily on you for long, that can lead to business owner burnout and overwhelm.
In her “Entrepreneur” article entitled Understanding Entrepreneurial Burnout (And How to Deal with It), Genny Ghanimeh shares the following:
“It is worth pointing out that burnout doesn’t only occur when things aren’t going well. Many entrepreneurs running very successful businesses can be, and are, just as susceptible to burnout.”
Burnout also consists of more than simply being busy. At its core, entrepreneur burnout becomes far more insidious than merely feeling like you have too much to get done. After all, when you believe in what you’re doing and why, that can help you skate through many exhausting days without serious concern.
But with business burnout, it becomes challenging to hobble or even crawl through your day due to unresolved stress or anxiety. Some have said that the root of burnout is resentment. That resentment can lead to a debilitating lack of energy, purpose and vision for your business. You find yourself loathing even the tasks you once loved.
That’s a scary place to be. How do you move your business forward feeling that way? The answer is you can’t…Not without help anyway. But the good news is that hiring a virtual assistant can better allow you to overcome your burnout. Here are some specific ways that can happen.
Self-Defeating Burnout Patterns Get Broken with a Virtual Assistant
What’s the greatest temptation as a business owner when your productivity drastically declines due to burnout? The first thing often is that you stack all the tasks you think you should’ve completed today onto your to-do list for tomorrow.
That added pressure only makes each new day feel all the more impossible. You become paralyzed. You place so much pressure on yourself to get ‘everything’ done that you get little to nothing accomplished the next day…and the next. The defeat you experience gradually worsens as your high expectations are followed by what you perceive as an epic failure.
Business owners can rarely break out of this cycle alone. Although various strategies can help you escape this self-defeating cycle, one of the best is hiring a virtual assistant, virtual team or online business manager to assist with your tasks.
Once some of those responsibilities are accomplished, you won’t have to place so much pressure on yourself. As a result, your productivity will drastically increase due to consistently lower stress levels.
Delegating to a VA Can Help You Get Additional Rest During Burnout
When you face entrepreneur burnout, the thing you most need is what you feel you can least afford—rest. Because you operate in a constant productivity deficit, you feel guilty about taking a break. You hope that if you keep trying harder, things will eventually be different. The sad news is that, without adequate rest, life won’t get better—It’ll just keep getting worse.
You need more sleep. More family time. More exercise. You need to push the business concerns aside for a while to answer your deeper life concerns. The ones you were in touch with better before your business began consuming you so entirely that you now struggle to know who you are, why you do what you do or what you should do next.
Stepping back is the only way to heal, as scary as that may initially seem. It may feel like taking your hands off the steering wheel during rush hour traffic. Still, it’s critical.
Virtual assistant services can help you accomplish tasks that keep you from the rest you so desperately need. That way, you can step away for a while and become the best version of yourself.
A Virtual Assistant Can Guard Against Future Business Burnout
The best burnout care is preventative. You get to the root problems before they become destructive to your personal wellness, business and family. If you’re recovering from burnout or don’t currently consider yourself burned out, now is a great time to consider how remote assistants can help with tasks.
Instead of looking at burnout as something we have or don’t, it’s best to view it as a spectrum we all fall somewhere on. That fact is all the clearer given the additional pandemic stress nearly all business owners faced during the past year. Each day, we make choices that take us closer to burnout’s ‘danger zone’ or further away from it.
As you work at preventing burnout, stay aware of its signs. Also, be especially careful if you’ve experienced significant burnout in the past, so you don’t develop a chronic and long-lasting form of burnout.
Want to Learn More About How a VA Can Help Your Business?
Have you struggled with business owner overwhelm or burnout lately? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. Smart to Finish exists to help you with complex problems like these. We well understand that business overwhelm can happen at any stage, from startup burnout to feeling burnt out even after your business is established and thriving.
Whether you’re looking for the best virtual assistant for your business, remote managing or a virtual assistant team, we’re here for you.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can significantly ease your stress through delegating to a virtual assistant, feel free to reach out. You can schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us to determine the next best steps!