Why Hiring a ‘Nice’ Online Business Manager Will Get You Further

Why Hiring a ‘Nice’ Online Business Manager Will Get You Further

What are you looking for in your new online business manager? For starters, you probably want someone who both you and your employees will be happy to work with daily.

You realize it’s best not to have a virtual manager who’s a ‘slave driver’. But you also want to stay far away from one who’s a ‘pushover’. Speaking of being a pushover, do you figure that ‘nice’ and ‘pushover’ go together like toast and jam?

If so, you may want to rethink that assumption. Although no one wants a new business manager who’s both kind and ineffective, it’s entirely possible to find someone who’s both nice and gets the job done right.

Just why should you want to hire an online business manager (OBM) who’s nice? Here’s why.

Negativity and Harshness are Demotivating and Stressful

Two things you don’t want in your workplace are unhealthful stress and a lack of motivation. But that’s exactly what you’ll get if the business manager you hire pushes people to achieve without caring about them as people.

Your remote team will be far more energized if their actions aren’t constantly motivated by fear. Sure, some measure of fear and healthful stress levels can motivate us to achieve more than we initially thought possible.

But, remember that your employees aren’t pieces of machinery. They’re living, breathing people who do their best work when they’re treated best. That means showing them it’s possible to keep their best interests in mind while also keeping your company’s best interests in mind.

Yes, those two can and should happen at the same time—and if they’re not, something’s wrong.

A ‘Hard-Nosed’ Virtual Manager Isn’t What You Think

If you’re like most people, when you think of a hard-nosed manager online, you think of strength. Many of us are too prone to equate harshness or someone driven at all costs as possessing power.

But, most often, harshness is simply weakness disguised as strength. Or, as one well-known saying goes, “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”

Ironically, what may initially look like weakness turns out to be just the opposite. Authentic kindness in virtual leadership is far more powerful than harshness used as a means of ‘motivating’ employees.

As one ancient proverb puts it, “Soft speech can break bones.” Kindness combined with competence is a powerful force that harshness will never replicate.

Kind Online Business Managers Achieve More

In his LinkedIn article entitled Ten Reasons Nice Bosses Finish First, Dr. Travis Bradberry shares the following thoughts:

“Many bosses assume that a leader needs to be aloof and tough on employees in order to be effective. They fear that looking “soft” will erode their employee’s motivation and respect for them.”

But kind online business managers know better when it comes to leading virtual teams. When you find one, be sure to sign them up before someone else does. That consistent kindness unleashes a tidal wave of productivity and camaraderie.

A harsh ‘leadership style’ results in just the opposite. Not to mention, your valued staff will quickly head for the emergency exit!

Could Hiring an Online Business Manager Help Your Business?

If so, Smart to Finish can provide the best virtual manager for your business. We get a lot of questions about the process of hiring a virtual assistant, virtual team or virtual manager. Some of the common themes that come up include:

  • The benefits of virtual teams
  • Online business manager rates
  • Virtual team advantages and disadvantages
  • What virtual teams are being used for
  • What the biggest challenge to managing a virtual project team is

Regardless of your questions, we look forward to walking you through the process. That’s why we offer free 30-minute consultations for businesses. Feel free to get in touch. We want you to feel as comfortable and confident as possible when choosing your business growth strategy.

7 Essential Qualities of an Online Business Manager

7 Essential Qualities of an Online Business Manager

Trying to decide what you need most in an online business manager? That’s a crucial question to ask when you’re searching for a new business manager. Who you choose to oversee your on-staff or remote team will have a powerful influence either for good or bad.

That’s why it’s important to work towards a description of the type of virtual manager you’re looking for. While the top desired traits of a manager online may vary a bit depending on your company needs, there usually are some reoccurring themes.

In light of that, here are seven essential qualities to look for in a virtual business manager.

Positive Attitude

Hiring a virtual manager who has a positive attitude but an improper skill set could be disastrous. But hiring an online business manager with the proper skillset and a negative attitude could be even worse.

The daily pressures your employees face can feel heavy at times. Leading virtual teams and on-staff employees means being able to give them hope rather than diminishing their hope and motivation. Positivity goes a long way in doing that.

Skilled Delegator

For most, the art of proper delegation takes time to learn. And some never learn this indispensable skill.

No matter how talented and brilliant your online business manager is, that won’t matter much if they don’t know how to multiply their efforts.

A manager skilled in delegation understands how to provide any necessary guidance without micromanaging their employees. The result is a manager who mobilizes an army of workers instead of badly hampering their productivity.

Healthy Work/Life Balance

When you hire a business manager online, you need more than someone who’ll ‘bark orders’ to employees. You need virtual leadership.

Virtual team leadership requires modeling healthy behavior. An important part of this is having a healthy work/life balance. In today’s digital age, many feel the impossible pressure to ‘always be on’. For that reason, proper work/home boundaries are crucial.

This will protect your virtual manager from burnout and show their priorities are properly aligned. And a virtual manager who guards their own work/life balance will guard the same for their staff, protecting your entire team from burnout and incalculably costly turnover.

Although it may initially seem counter-intuitive, remember this: an online business manager who neglects their personal health for the sake of work is not an asset—they’re a liability. It’s an unsustainable way of conducting work long-term.

Stellar Communication Skills

There are many benefits to hiring a virtual manager rather than an on-site manager. But your OBM will only be as good as their communication skills.

In Minutehack.com’s article entitled Key Qualities of Top Business Managers, the following is shared about communication:

“It is important to be able to communicate well in both the way you speak verbally and in the way you write. Using body language effectively is an important part of being a good communicator, too, as is listening.”

If you thought stellar communication abilities were essential for an on-site manager, you’ll need to step it up even more to have an effective virtual manager. It takes a unique blend of communication skills to pull a virtual team together and bring out their best work.

Admits Mistakes

Like any employee, your virtual manager will make mistakes from time to time. And, when this happens, you’ll want someone who admits their shortcomings.

Not only will your team respect your online business manager more for doing so, but they’ll be far more willing to admit their own mistakes.

The ability of your team to admit shortcomings helps to build trust. It also paves the way to recognize failures so a better solution can be created. Without doing this, excellence can never be achieved.

Authentic and Kind

Successful virtual teams require an authentic and kind online business manager. Managing virtual teams, first of all, means showing you care about your staff.

If you hire a virtual manager who genuinely cares about your employees, you’ll have few problems with motivation, unity and productivity.

Proven Track Record

Finally, you’ll get the best results from an experienced online business manager. One who well understands the challenges of virtual teams and who can encourage virtual team communication.

Need a High-Quality Online Business Manager?

If you’re looking for a virtual assistant, virtual team or online business manager, Smart to Finish can provide the industry’s leading business builders.

Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to learn more. We offer 30-minute free consultations. We look forward to answering your questions. Whether you’ve been wondering, “What is a virtual team,” are interested in how to manage a virtual team, or are intrigued by the advantages of virtual teams, Smart to Finish is here to answer all your questions.

How to Delegate Work Even When You’re Scared

Hand drawing Delegate concept with marker on transparent wipe board isolated on white.

Learning how to delegate tasks as a manager, especially when you’re afraid it could backfire can be tough. One of the greatest challenges is knowing when to override your fears and delegate anyway and when to refrain.

In her secretlivesofleaders.com article entitled Why Am I So Afraid to Delegate, Kishshana Palmer shares the following reminder:

“Delegation is NOT for dummies. But you are a dummy if you don’t delegate.”

Managers commonly struggle with releasing responsibility to their employees at some point in their careers. And when this happens, all sorts of fears crop up keeping you from multiplying your best work through delegation.

Most businesses are equipped with capable enough staff. But you can’t bring their positive and creative energy to the forefront if you hold the reigns too tightly.

It could be you’re new to delegating, struggling to find the proper balance or you recently had a bad experience when you ‘passed the baton’. Regardless of the reason for your delegating fears, here are some ways to delegate even when you’re scared.

Remember the Results of Not Delegating Are Even Scarier

What’s the question that paralyzes most managers when struggling to delegate? “What could happen if I delegate work to an employee?” Managers get fixated on that question when they should be asking, “What could happen if I don’t.”

It’s human nature for your mind to jump to the worst-case scenario. But effective delegation skills require you to envision the productivity you’ll lose by not fully involving your most valuable resource (your employees).

Sure, mistakes can and will happen if you delegate. But the productivity of your company, the job satisfaction of your employees, your professional reputation and job security could be at stake if you don’t delegate.

If you stop and think about it, not delegating is far riskier. For that reason, learning how to delegate effectively can’t be overstated.

Keep Things More Important Than Work in Mind

One of the saddest things about the failure to delegate is how it affects aspects of your life that are more important than your work.

These include your physical, mental and spiritual wellness. This also includes time with your family.

If you fail to delegate tasks, you’ll miss out on life itself. The decline of your health or family certainly isn’t worth holding too tightly to the helm.

You’ll work longer hours with higher stress levels if you don’t share your workload. The good news is you can better protect what’s most important to you in life through delegation.

Whenever you feel scared to delegate, remember it’s not worth the fear considering all you’ll miss out on if you don’t.

Planning Ahead Will Make You Less Fearful

I know what you’re saying. “If I just had more time, I’d plan ahead better for my projects.” Ironically, the main reason you don’t have time is that you’re not delegating enough.

Often, the reason you’re scared to hand off a project has nothing to do with the competence of your employees. Rather, your failure to adequately plan for the project’s success is what makes you most fearful.

Start delegating more regularly and you’ll have time to adequately plan for those projects. The result will be much greater peace of mind for you and your employees.

How to Delegate: Consider Going Outside of Your Company

Another reason for apprehension to share responsibility despite the benefits of delegation could be because of:

  • Overworked employees
  • Inadequate employee staffing
  • Inadequate managerial staffing
  • A lack of specific skills
  • Employees who are still in training
  • You have a lot of short-term work (like with a product launch)

All of these fears and more can be calmed through delegating tasks to a virtual assistant company. Whether you need a virtual assistant, virtual team or online business manager (virtual manager), you can find an on-demand expert when you need one.

Smart to Finish can assist you with a wide selection of tasks that may be too specialized for your employees. And the great news is you don’t have to wait weeks or months for an employee to be properly trained.

Would you like to see how we can help your business grow today? You can reach out to us for a free 30-minute consultation. We look forward to meeting you!

Delegating Tasks is Good—Doing it Badly Isn’t

Has delegating tasks in a way that actually works been a struggle lately? If so, you’re dealing with a pretty common problem.

In her businessnewsdaily.com article entitled 3 Elements of Delegation Every Manager Should Know, Marissa Sanfilippo shares the following reminder:

“As a leader, you can’t possibly do everything on your own. Instead, learn to lean on your team and trust them to get the job done. As a result, you’ll see that your company can accomplish a lot more without bogging you down.”

Sounds easy enough, right? It’s human nature for some to figure, “How hard can it be? I just assign tasks to my employees and then move on.”

This overly simplistic approach to delegating has been the bane of many a naïve manager though. Learning how to delegate isn’t nearly as easy as some make it out to be. Still, solid delegation skills are in reach for those who persevere.

Delegating mistakes can lead to even more work than before if you don’t learn to avoid them. They can also hurt your company’s reputation if you fail to deliver your best efforts.

What do you do if you’re struggling to implement effective delegation and it’s costing you big? Here are some examples of common delegating mistakes and how to steer clear of them.

Micromanaging

As a manager, it’s easy to micromanage your staff without realizing you’re doing it. And the problem is that pretty much no one enjoys being micromanaged. Worse yet, if you have competent staff, it slows down the project and keeps you from getting other pressing tasks done.

The feeling of empowerment is an important aspect of your employees doing their best work. For that reason, delegate the outcome rather than the process it takes to get there. If you have a competent and creative team, they’ll take care of the how. The main thing you need to communicate is what needs to get done.

Of course, this needs to be balanced out if some training is necessary. Just be sure to call it what it is–training, not delegated work.

Failing to Provide Any Direction During the Project

Now that we’ve discussed the dangers of micromanaging, we should also mention the hazards of laissez-faire leadership taken too far. Providing no insight into a project part way through could lead to a disappointing and inferior outcome.

If that happens, you’ll be all the more tempted to micromanage the project the next time around. Often, you can provide regular feedback without feeling too suffocating to your staff.

Are you starting to lean too much towards micromanaging the project? Keep lines of communication open with your employees and tell them your goal to provide just enough info to create success without hampering the project by hovering over it too much.

Once your staff realizes you’re in their corner, they’ll help you find that balance. Another positive side benefit is they’ll respect you a lot more for your transparency and approachability.

Not Allowing Room for Mistakes

A seasoned virtual manager or on-site manager knows you can’t prevent all mistakes from happening. And the most skilled managers know that to an extent it’s okay. Setbacks or failures are an important aspect of staff having the courage to learn new skills.

Imagine a parent wanting their toddler to walk perfectly but never letting them stumble or fall along the way to their goal. Trying to prevent failure in that child would only lead to greater failure in the long run.

The same holds true in the workplace. A good in-person supervisor or manager online should keep their staff from making any glaring errors while realizing mistakes will happen.

Also, be sure to stay communicative with your staff so they feel safe about coming to you if something doesn’t go as planned.

Thinking Delegating Tasks Should Only Happen In-House

Another common delegating mistake is thinking the only way to get a task or project done is through your everyday hourly staff. Today, more than ever, that’s not always the best route to go.

Sometimes you need skills now that your staff doesn’t possess. It’s also possible your staff is too overloaded to have extra items added to their to-do list.

That’s where hiring a virtual assistant, virtual team or online business manager can give you the on-demand skills you need today. Smart to Finish can provide all of these needs for your business.

There’s no reason to fret over lost productivity. You can get in touch with us to find out the benefits of delegation. Feel free to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us and start realizing your full potential.

Think You Can’t Afford an Online Business Manager or VA? Maybe You Can

Hiring an online business manager (OBM) or virtual assistant is a big decision, but could you be overthinking the financial side of it? This is a question only you can ultimately answer. 

Having said that, if you keep getting stuck on the question of, “How much is a virtual assistant,” maybe you should look into the answer. You may have thought about hiring an online manager, virtual assistant or VA team for a while now. Even so, you’re having trouble taking the final step of following through. 

Perhaps you’re struggling with several hidden fears or doubts that could be holding you back from a positive decision. Here are a few thoughts if you’re experiencing some worries over the virtual assistant price tag.

It Could Be Time to Scale Your Company

If it’s time to grow, that old saying, “You have to spend money to make money” is applicable here. Having fears about overspending certainly is a healthy trait to have as a business leader or owner. At the same time, playing it too safe may hurt your profits down the road.

“Ask most entrepreneurs and they’ll say they waited too long to get help — and that while waiting too long might have saved money, it also slowed the growth of their companies,” says Craig Bloem in his Inc. article entitled 4 Things You Must Spend Money on as a New Business.

You need the resources to grow your business to the next level. And sometimes that means spending money on talent now so your results can improve later. If your intuition tells you it’s time to grow, now could be the right time to get the virtual support you need.

Your Discomfort Could Be a Clue

Weigh this one carefully. You generally don’t want to go against your ‘gut feeling’. Still, business growth is rarely comfortable. If you feel discomfort at the idea of hiring a VA or OBM, that could be because courage is needed at the moment. You have to make the right decision in your discomfort.

Much like a middle school boy who goes through a major growth spurt may need new shoes and clothes, you may need to make adjustments for business growth. Sure getting ‘clothes and shoes’ is costly, uncomfortable and inconvenient now. However, ‘staying in those old clothes’ will eventually be even more so.

Sometimes, it just comes down to which discomfort you’d rather have. The ever-increasing discomfort of staying where you’re at or the discomfort of accommodating growth.

Perhaps You Can’t Afford to Pass on a Virtual Support

Have you lost too much time mired in the details when you could’ve been at the helm of your business? Deep down, you know you need to be looking at the big picture and casting the vision for your company. 

Your reality may look much different though. You find your day taken up with managing people and projects. You also get bogged down with pushing papers, paying bills, social media and sending yet another email. And your greatest potential is taking a hit as a result.

You’re Thinking in the Framework of Your Current Finances

You may be looking at how much you have to work with monetarily and figure it’s a ‘no go’. Part of that could be because you’re thinking of your finances where they’re at now instead of imagining how they could improve with virtual support. That added productivity may easily pay for the virtual assistant help you decide on.

You Could Be Thinking Too All-Or-Nothing

In other words, a major barrier you may be facing is you think you have to ‘go all out’ or go home when it comes to virtual support. You have to either do the VA or online manager thing super big or not at all. We all can be prone to all-or-nothing thinking at times, but it’s not always helpful.

For instance, you can always start small with virtual help and build up more support over time. This is a great strategy to try initially in some situations. As your company continues to grow, you can add additional VA help as you need it.

How Can an Online Business Manager, VA or Virtual Team Help?

At Smart to Finish, that’s a question we love to answer. And since every company is a little different, so is the solution. The virtual assistant skills and services we offer are many as well.

The best way to find out the specifics is to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us. We can accommodate most budgets and work hard to be the best virtual assistant company money can buy. We look forward to meeting you and sharing about the benefits of a virtual assistant, VA team or manager online!

Looking for the Cheapest and Best Virtual Assistant? Why It’ll Cost You More

Many businesses search high and low for the best virtual assistant at basement rates. You know, the genie-in-the-bottle type who’ll offer ‘dollar menu’ prices while magically transforming your fledgling or thriving business into an empire. Although that sounds like a match made in heaven, you’ll pay more in the long run.

Think this is just a gimmick to get you to pay more for virtual assistant services? With all the ads out there for nearly ‘free’ virtual assistants, it’s not surprising if you’re tempted to believe that. The myth is that ‘you get what you pay for’ applies to other areas of life. The virtual assistant industry, however, is somehow magically exempt.

Just Google ‘cheap virtual assistant’ and see what turns up. And while the shoestring budget route may seem alluring, you’d better have some migraine medicine handy (and deep pockets readily available). Here’s why you’ll pay more for cheap VA services.

Mass Job Platforms Make Client/Virtual Assistant Communication Clunky

Communication is key when it comes to getting the most out of your virtual assistant experience. The most qualified virtual assistant or virtual team in the world will disappoint if the tasks needed aren’t properly understood and carried out. 

Many businesses rush to mass job platforms notorious for offering VA help at cheap rates. But because mass job platforms often thrive on keeping your VA’s identity a secret, inferior communication can result. Also, the interfaces can be poorly suited for optimal mutual understanding. The process can also feel less personal. In the end, the quality of your work can suffer.

Finding a ‘Deal’ Takes A lot of Time

The reality is there are a few good VAs out there at cheap prices. The problem is, you may have to work with a dozen (or more) VAs before you find one who can deliver what you desire.

You’ll also lose a lot of time you could’ve spent with your family, keeping healthy or pursuing your greater life purpose. And time will always be more valuable than money.

While it’s easy to think going cheap is a good idea, it really isn’t. Think about all of those hours you’ll spend looking for a ‘cheap’ virtual assistant. Then, think of all the money you’ll likely spend on VAs who don’t work out. And once you finally find the ‘perfect’ virtual assistant, they could be gone. Here’s why.

The Good VAs Don’t Charge Pennies for Long

Why might your ‘perfect’ and ‘cheap’ virtual assistant be gone once you’ve finally hit ‘pay dirt’? Because quality VAs don’t get into the profession to pay half of their bills while helping businesses pay all of theirs. 

Sure, a talented VA may take a few low-paying gigs at first to sharpen their skills. But they’ll quickly move on to greener pastures as soon as the right opportunity comes along. Good VAs know the value they provide and look for clients who recognize what they have to offer.

If Your VA Isn’t Paid Fairly, Their Work Will Suffer

Sometimes businesses forget something. Virtual assistants, like everyone else, need stability to function well. They do their best work when they’re treated fairly. Paying a virtual assistant way below fair pay will mean they’ll be more focused on their finances (or lack thereof) than your business needs.

It also means they won’t be able to spend as much time on your project. At the lowest rates, cutting corners or even pirating work to turn some semblance of a profit is a concern too. Virtual assistant scams abound at the lowest paying levels.

The Best Virtual Assistant Company Has High-Quality Standards

In summary, cheap virtual support coupled with high-quality virtual assistance skills is largely a farce. You almost certainly won’t get the best work your company needs and deserves if you look for ‘bargains’.

In his “Entrepreneur” article entitled Don’t Be the Cheapest, Be the Best, Mike Templeman shares that, “People are willing to pay for quality.” 

At Smart to Finish, we agree with Templeman. Our goal is to be the best at what we do. We aren’t competing with our competitors on price (someone will always be cheaper). 

Instead, our virtual support team strives for excellence and to be the best VA service money can buy. We possess strong communication skills and are experts at a wide variety of tasks to ensure your business achieves its fullest potential.

Whether you need a single virtual assistant, a virtual team or an online business manager, we can deliver the best for you. If you’d like to learn more, you can reach out to us for a free 30-minute consultation

The benefits of a virtual assistant are many. Whether you’ve been asking yourself, “How much is a virtual assistant,” or, “What is a virtual assistant and what do they do,” we can provide solid answers. 

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.