It’s inevitable. As a small business owner, you will wear many, many hats.
Customer Support Manager
Technical support staff.
But while this type of task juggling is to be expected, you have to be aware that not all of your hats are created equal. Marketing outweighs bookkeeping, for example, because without marketing, there will be no cash to manage. And Customer Support.. well without Customers, you have no business!
Not only that, but you have to consider how much time you’re spending in each area as well. If you spend all day tweaking the design on your website and put off sending an email to your list, what have you gained?
Sure, you might have a prettier website, but you lost an opportunity to drive traffic to your offer.
To effectively grow your business (and keep your sanity) it is important you learn how to work smarter and how to best use your time, by following these 2 very important tips.
Start by Prioritizing Your Daily Tasks
We all have different skills and sweet spots when it comes to the tasks we want and need to do. You might love customer support and hate bookkeeping, while someone else enjoys the numbers game and doesn’t like dealing with the help desk. But regardless of your personal preferences, one thing is certain: money-making tasks should be at the very top of your to-do list.
That might mean product creation, email marketing, client outreach, webinar development, or something entirely different. Identify those money-making tasks in your business and be sure to prioritize them every single day.
Know the Difference Between Important and Urgent
In his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey recommends prioritizing tasks based on a time-management grid. Every task is assigned to a quadrant of the grid, based on whether it is urgent, important, both, or neither.
Once you know where a task falls on the grid, you’ll immediately know what you should be working on. For example, marketing and planning are important but not urgent. A ringing phone is urgent, but not important. The sales page for your new program, which is launching tomorrow, is both urgent AND important.
So before you prioritize your daily to-do list, think about where each of your tasks falls in the quadrant, and schedule them accordingly.
Will you always be working on the best task for right now? Probably not. Nor will you always use your time as wisely as you could. But by making a conscious effort to organize and prioritize your days and delegate, you’ll find it’s a lot less stressful and overwhelming to manage your small business.
We also recommend delegating to a team that has a variety of support services, like Smart To Finish. We have helped our clients grow their businesses, for almost 2 decades now, just by delegating tasks such as customer care, email marketing management and much more!
Could a virtual team be a significant answer to your business growth in 2o22 and beyond? While there’s always a combination of reasons businesses grow, each company is only as good as the staff they have behind them.
Hiring a virtual team from a virtual assistant company can provide several unique benefits in the months and years ahead. The same also applies if you could use some help with managing virtual teams.
In his entrepreneur.com article entitled Why Entrepreneurs Struggle Delegating to Remote Teams, Jeff J. Hunter shares the following:
“Here’s the truth: You do too many things as business owners. You do it because it’s important. However, it’s not important that you do it all.”
Why exactly should you consider hiring a remote team in 2022 to help you reach your business growth goals? Here are some compelling reasons to consider.
A Quick Answer to Staffing Disruptions
Multiple complex issues are playing out in the job market at the moment, which is causing significant turnover in many industries. Add in continued COVID concerns, inflation, childcare issues and early retirements among many other variables and, well, you have a recipe for epic hiring complications.
Growing businesses don’t have the option to sit idly by and hope staffing goes back to how it was pre-pandemic. This is all the truer since there’s no indication these concerns are going to disappear anytime soon.
That’s where virtual assistant services like the option of hiring a virtual team can help you grow your business quickly. You may be starting out and need to quickly scale your company’s growth. You may also have an established business that needs a sizeable staffing boost to continue progressing. Either way, a virtual team can help you weather the uncertain times many companies are experiencing with the labor markets right now.
Easier to Integrate a Remote Team into Your Business Growth Strategy
Yes, remote work was forced into the limelight due to the pandemic. And in 2021, many businesses still saw remote work as more of a necessity due to COVID. But now, companies increasingly view the virtual work option as something independent of COVID.
They’re wondering if it makes sense to stay completely remote or are at least to embrace a hybrid set-up with some in-office and remote days. They’ve had the chance to evaluate the pros and cons of a growing demand for a virtual workplace.
What does that mean for businesses considering hiring a virtual team from a VA company in 2022? First, companies are becoming more open-minded about virtual work arrangements. Yes, the idea of remote work was, for a time, a necessary evil. But now, in many cases, it’s being looked at as more necessary than evil.
Also, far more businesses are set up to easily integrate an on-demand remote team into their business growth strategy. To do so no longer seems so “cutting edge.” Taking that step just feels more natural, normal and comfortable now.
An Option that Provides Plenty of Value
At first glance, hiring a remote team may seem like a significant investment in resources. However, when you consider the cost of potential employee turnover, rehiring and training that’s involved, an increasing number of businesses have discovered that outsourcing work to a virtual assistant team can be quite cost effective.
Sure, you don’t need to worry about providing additional office space at your company’s business location. But you also have a seasoned, on-demand remote team to meet you where your needs are today rather than three or six months from now. Not having enough support today could cost your company in lost revenue now and lead to stagnant growth down the road.
Plenty of small businesses can get by with the help of a virtual personal assistant at first. However, as your business grows, it can be beneficial to have an experienced team on your side.
With each virtual team member added, you gain a more vital ability to solve complex problems about your business and how it relates to an ever-changing world. It can be quite the advantage to know you have experience on your side right when you need it most. Complex problems begin to feel more manageable too.
The Perfect Opportunity to Let Go
One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is learning to let go. You know you can only do so much and that you’ll need a team behind you to accomplish your goals.
Hiring a virtual team offers the perfect opportunity for learning to let go, as scary as that can be. The great news is that once you leave the work in good hands, you discover freedom waiting on the other side.
You have the time to lead your business instead of feeling too overwhelmed with uncompleted tasks to take on that role. You also discover a much healthier work/life balance while enjoying the progress you see in your business.
Is Hiring a Virtual Team a Smart Move for Growth in Your Business?
It very well may be. It’s also possible you could use some support with leading remote teams. In that case, an online business manager can help with your virtual project management needs. The best virtual assistant companies will provide a variety of services, tailoring to what works best for your business.
If you’d like to learn more about how Smart to Finish can help you grow your business through virtual teams, please feel free to get in touch. You’re also welcome to schedule a free 30-minute consultation to see what specific strategy would work best for your business.
2021 was a year of growth for so many. If you were one of the business owners who made goals, crushed them, on repeat… Congrats! You are making moves and your efforts are paying off. It’s so rewarding to plant seeds and watch them grow.
But, you may have noticed some “growing pains” along the way. The relief you felt when you first hired your Virtual Assistant or team may have faded and overwhelm has begun to creep back in. You and your team are likely putting in more hours than anticipated, and it probably seems your to-do list is ALSO growing at an alarming rate.
Are you excited about your business expanding but nervous about how you’ll get it all done?
You aren’t alone. Many business owners feel this as they build and expand their dream business.
The solution is simple. Your business is growing, so should your team.
By this point you’ve learned that the more you invest in your business, the more it has a chance to flourish. Your current team is great. But they are giving their all. So, to invest more in your business, you need more people.
You don’t need a different team, you just to expand on what you already have. Your current team has a great knowledge of your operations and has gifts they bring to the table. But they simply can’t do it all.
That’s where we come in. Here are some benefits of keeping your current team and simply expanding with Smart to Finish.
Get the Most Value from Your Current Team
When you expand, this gives your current team a chance to explore what they are really good at, what they enjoy doing, and dive into those things more. On the flip side, this means they can delegate (to us) the stuff that bogs them down. When your team gets to do the things they really love (and delegate the stuff they don’t) it shows. It shows by their passion, their personal vested interested, and in their loyalty to and longevity with you.
Simply put, people do their best when they are doing what they love.
Gain Access to a Team of Experts
When you work with Smart to Finish, you get the whole team. This means you have access to people with a variety of talents. It’s hard to find a single person who can write copy, create the sales page, and design the graphics (with excellence). But when you have a team, each person brings their talents to the table.
Smart to Finish is a boutique of office solutions and services for online businesses ranging from handling customer service to CRM management and tool integrations. By partnering with us, you have access to support for several areas of your business.
Ways we Can Support You
Hire our team to fill the gaps to take your team and biz to the next level. A Smart to Finish Diva can support your team in a variety of areas such as running reports and analytics on a regular basis, draft social media content, doing an audit of your current website or funnel, give or branding a facelift, and much, MUCH more.
Explore expanding with Smart to Finish Office Solutions – schedule a free 30-minute free consultation.
Could virtual assistant services be the answer to your workload paralysis? You know, that feeling of having so much to do that you can’t get anything done. You perfectly understand what needs accomplished. You can visualize that ever-increasing to-do list. But it’s like you can’t take one step in the right direction.
Do you ever find yourself saying something like this?
“I can’t do anything.”
“Why can’t I do anything?”
“I can’t get myself to do anything.”
“I can’t get anything done.”
And the longer you let things go, the worse it gets. You increasingly get more stuck in the mud than the day before. This only adds to that sinking feeling of being unable to make the first move. You know things have to change and quickly but what can you do? If you can relate, here’s how a virtual team, virtual assistant or online business manager can help you get back on track when workload paralysis pays an unwelcomed visit.
Virtual Assistants Can Complete that First Task
Isn’t that the monkey you need off your back most anyway? That very first item that needs to be checked off your to-do list feels heavier than a Manhattan skyscraper. VA services can help you with that first essential task that’s been locking you up. And you know what? After that, the rest of those tasks won’t feel so weighty.
You Can Get Caught Up Quickly
If you’ve felt workload paralysis for a while now, you likely have what seems like a mountain of tasks you need to complete. The trouble is your responsibilities keep compiling. Because of that, it doesn’t just seem impossible to catch up—it actually is impossible.
That fact has nothing to do with your low motivation levels. Instead, it has everything to do with the fact you only have so much energy and hours in your day. But it’s way too easy to fall into a self-defeating cycle of telling yourself tomorrow will be different. That tomorrow will be the magical day when all tasks get done. That day you can leave work with your head held high because you finally conquered the impossible.
The truth is you can leave your business with confidence and peace, but not without added support. You don’t have to let that unhealthy cycle of hope and defeat continue. Especially if your tasks have stacked up for a long time now, a VA team can dig you out quickly. Otherwise, it will keep getting worse. A virtual team can get you up to date soon so you can get back to being awesome.
Someone to Walk Through the Tasks with You
Being an entrepreneur, business owner or manager can feel isolating. Few people, if any, understand the immense challenges you face. Sometimes it may feel like you have to pick up the world and carry it each day. That’s not a healthy way to go through a single day. But to do that over the long term can be crushing.
Just knowing you have extra people on your side in itself can help with workload paralysis. You don’t feel so much like everything depends on what you get done. Having a virtual team, virtual personal assistant or online business manager allows you mental relief and better results as the relentless pressure eases up.
The Chance to Take Better Care of Your Health
Often, workload paralysis is a symptom of other areas in your life not receiving adequate attention. That may include not getting enough sleep or exercise. A poor diet can also play a role, as can just being too busy.
In her lifehacker.com article entitled How to Overcome Workload Paralysis and Get Back into Action, Belle Beth Cooper shares the following:
“The easiest things for me to overlook when I’m overwhelmed with work are exercise time, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, those aren’t things I can easily give up if I want to keep functioning at my best. And when my workload is off the charts it’s even more important that I’m performing well.”
When your life is out of balance, mental and spiritual health can become a challenge. You can struggle socially as well when you’re too busy to meaningfully connect with friends and family. If you find yourself stuck and unable to do anything despite a packed schedule, it could be a great time to evaluate what matters most.
Hiring a virtual assistant, remote team or online business manager can give you the chance to take back your personal wellness. That way, you have the energy to focus on what’s most important at your business and away from it.
Want to Learn More About How Virtual Assistant Services Can Help?
At Smart to Finish, we understand you have a big job to do and that you’re only one person. We’re passionate about improving the lives of our clients and helping them realize a lot more is possible than they thought. You don’t have to do all of that alone. We’re here for you.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can assist your company, please get in touch with us. You’re also welcome to schedule a free 30-minute free consultation.
While the rest of the world seems to have crashed our “work from home” party this past year, we’ve been helping clients THRIVE in online business for 16 years!!
Want to know how we got started?
Listen is as our head Delegation Diva, Amber Miller shares the story of how Smart to Finish began on her interview with AZTV. And learn what we do to maximize our client’s success.
Smart to Finish supports clients from ALL over the world. If you’re curious if the Delegation Diva’s can help your business reach its full potential, reach out for a free discovery call.
What if you were to hire a virtual assistant for your upcoming program or product launch? Many business managers and owners wouldn’t think twice about adding a VA for other tasks. Still, they sometimes forget to consider the benefits of bringing in some reinforcements for such a vital and monumental step in their company.
Perhaps the overwhelming planning stage and seemingly endless to-do lists lead to tunnel vision. Or you figure that only you or your current staff can do the product or program launch. But could it be that you’re gripping the steering wheel too tightly and there’s a better way?
Seeking out virtual assistant services for your launch isn’t for everyone. Still, here are some signs that bringing on a VA could be the right move for your program or product launch plan.
You and Your Staff Feel Overwhelmed by Your Launch
Let’s face it. A program or new product launch inevitably causes some form of stress for business owners, managers and staff alike. That’s pretty much a given. But there’s a difference between healthy stress that propels your team forward and excessive stress that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and de-energized.
Are you up to the task of pulling this thing off or do you have way too much to accomplish? If you feel like you’re drowning in responsibilities due to your launch, a virtual personal assistant or virtual team can help. This support could include anything from helping with a specific aspect of your launch to overseeing the entire thing so you don’t have to worry about it.
You’re Falling Behind on Your Other Everyday Tasks
All those daily responsibilities you had to complete before your product or program launch still need to get done. So, maybe it isn’t the launch that has you feeling way in over your head.
Instead, it’s the simple fact that you only have so much time in your day. Trying to do everything you were before plus your launch is just spreading you too thin.
In that case, a virtual assistant can help with those tasks you typically did before the launch happened. That way, you’ll be free to spend ample time and focus on bringing about the next steps for your business.
The following was shared in a Forbes.com article written by several panelists on the topic of delegating during workplace overwhelm:
“If you can take all the small tasks off your plate and delegate them to other people, then you can focus on what is important.”
A remote assistant can help to keep those peripheral tasks in check. In a roundabout way, your online personal assistant will support your launch. You’ll just be able to delegate your everyday tasks so you can launch a product or program with far fewer interruptions.
You Want a Great Launch Instead of Just a Good One
Make no mistake about it, a VA can help if you get into a launch and realize you need way more support than initially suspected. That frequently happens, even to the best planners.
At the same time, a virtual assistant or remote team can assist companies who believe they have adequate tools and staffing for a good product launch. It could be that these businesses want to go above and beyond to ensure their launch is excellent instead of just good enough.
Some of those launch needs could include pre-launch planning, developing your opt-in pages, connecting your sales funnels and overseeing the testing phase to make sure everything is working as it should. Of course, there is much more besides that a good VA company can offer your launch.
Is It Time to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Launch?
If so, Smart to Finish is here for you. Your launch is an exciting growth step for your business and we’re honored to be a part of that. Whether you need a virtual assistant, remote team or online business manager, we can assist you.
Could you identify with some of the launch challenges we shared? If so, feel free to schedule a 30-minute free consultation with us. We can discuss an individualized plan to make sure your launch is a success.
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.