Why You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant for Customer Support

Why You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant for Customer Support

If you were to revamp the customer support of your business, what kind of difference would that make? Over time, you could drastically improve your company’s reputation while growing your loyal customer base.

But the biggest question for plenty of business owners and managers is how to improve their customer support. When it comes to developing a customer service strategy or customer support game plan, that could involve hiring a customer service virtual assistant.

Yes, some virtual assistants provide good customer care to businesses similar to yours. This comes as a surprise to some companies that are prone to think of VAs only doing ‘generic’ administrative or office tasks.

True, these are valuable jobs to consider hiring a virtual assistant to help with, but there are plenty of other tasks to consider outsourcing too. Customer support is one of those tasks businesses tend to overlook when considering help from a virtual assistant.

Why should you consider hiring a virtual assistant to help with your customer support needs? Here are some reasons to consider.

Some Virtual Assistants Have a Passion and Gift for Customer Support

Virtual assistants gifted in and passionate about customer support can regularly look past its inherent challenges. They ultimately know their work is about offering satisfying solutions to you so your customers will be impressed. They find it fulfilling to bring powerful solutions to your customers. After all, helping customers is what it’s all about.

Some virtual assistants have a wealth of customer support experience they can draw from to help you to regularly ‘wow’ your customers. And their passion to consistently impress your customers will provide you with an expert right out of the gate.

You Can Hire a VA as Your Customer Support Strategy Develops

Your customer support strategy will constantly change to better serve those who need your product or services. But sometimes you may be unsure of where to start an effective strategy or how to bolster an already existing one.

That’s where hiring a virtual assistant can make a big difference. You get on-demand help so that your customers are thoroughly happy and keep coming back for your services or products. No more feeling paralyzed about your customer support or customer service plan. Your virtual assistant will be there to help you continually improve and adapt.

In the future, you may choose to bring on a virtual assistant as an ongoing part of your customer support strategy. You also may only need these services during a specific growth process. Either way, you’ll be ready to provide the kind of support your customers need and value.

A Customer Service Virtual Assistant Provides Versatility

Because virtual assistants are constantly immersed in the business world, the best virtual assistant will be able to provide a variety of customer support tasks.

That could involve responding to social media posts or online reviews. It also may include educating your customers about your products or services either online or over the phone. It could involve providing customer service when things don’t go as planned too.

And these days, more than ever, time is of the essence. With so many product and service options out there, a quick response can be the difference between gaining a new customer or losing one.

In her “Inc.” article entitled Virtual Assistants are the Best-Kept Secret of Modern Productivity, Diane Gottsman shares the following:

“It’s a 24/7 world, and in business, two of the most time-sensitive tasks are responding to customer communications and handling your social media presence. It’s critical to devote the resources necessary to stay on top of both.”

A Virtual Assistant Can Operate as Your Customer Support Manager

Maybe you have a larger business and on-staff customer service or support representatives. If so, what you may need most is someone to oversee your customer support team. In that case, a virtual customer support manager could make the most sense.

That way, you’ll have quick help to organize your team, ensuring everyone works towards their peak performance. This virtual manager or online business manager option is all the more necessary in these days of the pandemic.

Smart to Finish Can Improve Customer Support at Your Company

Would you like to learn more about how Smart to Finish can strengthen your customer service plan? If so, feel free to reach out to us for a free 30-minute consultation.

Whether you need a virtual assistant, a virtual team or online manager, our team can help your business reach its fullest potential.

The Pandemic of 2020: Need an Online Manager for Your Virtual Team?

As the pandemic rolls on, do you wonder if hiring an online manager could help your virtual team reach its fullest potential? If you’re like many companies taking their first shot at managing virtual teams, it hasn’t exactly been a transcendent experience.

You may feel like your grandma trying to use her smartphone for the first time. Or a child taking their first wobbly baby steps. If so, that’s to be expected. Many day-job workers are now working as a remote team for the first time.

The famous saying that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ holds a similar truth. Necessity is also the mother of the implementation of that invention. People tend to be uncomfortable with change because even good change can take an enormous amount of energy to implement—at least initially.

That’s where many workplaces have been with the idea of integrating remote teams for the past decade or so. We’ve seen a gradual increase in remote workers but not to the extent you’d think given how technology continues to rapidly improve.

For years now, the idea of having virtual teams has been an attractive consideration. More life flexibility/increased productivity for employees while cutting down on the overhead costs of housing physical employees has been regularly discussed.

So, what are some challenges businesses are facing when trying to oversee virtual teams during the coronavirus pandemic? Here are some biggies.

Experienced Virtual Managers Are in Short Supply

They’re scarcer than meat, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and computer devices used for remote work. We’ve delved into a world that seems more like something out of a sci-fi novel instead of real life. And we had little to no warning beforehand.

You may have been immediately forced to go online with your project management. It’s been a bit like learning to fly a plane once you’re already in the air. And that’s a lot of added stress on everyone involved.

On top of that, finding an experienced virtual manager to help you walk through the challenges of getting started hasn’t been an easy task. There are way more businesses still trying to figure everything out compared to those who are used to leading virtual teams.

Overseeing Employee Success Without Being Intrusive

Another major challenge is overseeing projects without being intrusive, obnoxious or downright creepy. At its worst, stories have emerged where supervisors want to see their now virtual employees on video all day. On the other side, the newly dubbed online business manager isn’t getting the results that are needed.

It’s been a painfully delicate balance, to say the least. Because when you compare an in-person work experience with a virtual one, you’re nowhere close to comparing apples with apples.

How do you oversee projects and achieve the needed productivity without becoming a micromanaging nightmare to your employees? The best answer is that delicate balance comes with a lot of learning, experience, and trial and error.

But the manager online who just days earlier was overseeing physical employees will naturally struggle with this balance. It’s not their fault. There just wasn’t the available time to acquire those skills before all of this happened.

Knowing How Much to Expect of Your Virtual Team

Those who expected to simply go remote and experience productivity similar to before the pandemic began have been sorely disappointed in nearly all cases. The trouble is, there are so many variables at play that it’s hard to know what to expect.

Demand too much and your employees will burn out and become resentful. Expect too little and your profit margins could jeopardize your bottom line or even the existence of your company.

Yes, there’s the major challenge of everyone learning to work remotely with kids, dogs, and a thousand other interruptions (not to mention sickness-related concerns). But on top of that, everyone’s feeling general stress simply because of the weightiness of the pandemic.

These have been uncertain and scary times for most and that’s made it all the harder to focus and accomplish the normal amount of work.

Could Your Business Benefit from Hiring an Experienced Online Manager?

In her “Forbes” article entitled The Sensitive Leader’s Guide to Managing a Remote Team During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Melody Wilding shares the following:

“Now more than ever, your team needs you to step up and provide much-needed structure, direction, and support. You can be the manager they need, all without sacrificing your well-being or stressing yourself out in the process.”

If you’re able to manage the stressors of leading a remote team during the coronavirus pandemic, good for you! However, if you increasingly find this task too overwhelming, Smart to Finish can assist you. Having a seasoned manager online (especially now) can make all the difference for your company.

At Smart to Finish, we can provide on-demand experts for your business when you need them most. Whether you have an immediate need for an online business manager, virtual assistant or virtual team, we’re here to make a positive difference.

Would you like to learn more about how Smart to Finish can propel your business forward during the coronavirus pandemic? If so, feel free to get in touch with us for a free 30-minute consultation.

Navigating the Pandemic: How a Virtual Team Can Help Your Business Now

Navigating the Pandemic: How a Virtual Team Can Help Your Business Now

Have you thought about how a virtual team could help your company navigate the pandemic? Maybe you got caught in the pandemic without the necessary systems and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place for your business. If so, this article wasn’t written to guilt you for that.

Really, who could’ve guessed all of this would happen. If someone had, they would’ve been ‘laughed off the stage’ a few months back. Well, no one’s laughing now.

Many businesses were unprepared for times like these. There were few warnings, the stock markets were good and everything was pretty much business as usual until it wasn’t. 

What can you do now? First, don’t beat yourself up about what you wish you’d done differently. That’ll just rob you of your peace and health in the present. It’ll also make it harder to come up with creative solutions. 

These events have been a learning experience for every single business. Here are some ways a virtual team or virtual assistant can help you get your business back on track starting today.

On-Demand, Expert Help

Emergencies are no time to train an employee for something that needed to be done yesterday. A good virtual team is already highly skilled and can help you now

They can help your company adjust to the many changes you’re experiencing. That could mean work-from-home strategies for your employees or filling in gaps where you’re lacking to make sure everything gets done.

Just the Right Amount of Help

Maybe with the mass layoffs, you still need to delegate certain tasks, but hiring full-time workers feels intimidating given the unstable economy.

In that case, a virtual team or virtual assistant can provide you with just the right amount of support. That way, you won’t have to worry about onboarding full-time employees (at least for the time being).

Hiring an Online Business Manager to Oversee Your Remote Team

Overseeing a remote team with no warning because of the pandemic has been uniquely challenging for thousands of businesses.

Companies have quickly realized that working together in real-time as opposed to virtually are two very different things. That’s where hiring an online manager can ease your stress levels and those of your employees.

Having an experienced manager online who knows how to bring out the best in your remote team is critical at the moment. In many ways, it can be the glue that holds your company together.

In her “Forbes” article entitled How to Keep Your Company Aligned During the COVID-19 Pandemic While Your Whole Team is Working Remotely, Alisa Cohn shares the following:

“Right now, it’s important for you as a leader to proactively keep everyone connected and on the same page and ensure that the business is moving forward as best it can in this new situation.”

For an increasing number of companies, hiring an on-demand OBM is making the process much easier.

Business Continuity Plan for Pandemic

How do you ensure your business runs as efficiently as possible even in the midst of a global disaster? 

While the answer to that question is complex for any business, for an increasing number of companies, hiring a virtual team, virtual assistant or virtual manager is an important part of that solution.

Relief of Stress and Fatigue Due to Global Challenges

Let’s face it, especially as a business owner or someone overseeing a company, you’re likely dealing with way more stress than normal lately. 

You may find yourself and your employees distracted and inundated by all the changes you’re experiencing. That’s a dangerous recipe for burnout if you’re not careful. 

A high-quality virtual assistant, virtual team or virtual manager can help you guard against such dangers.

Alleviating Illness-Related Worker Shortages

Some businesses have been hit particularly hard by worker shortages because of employee sickness. But that doesn’t stop the need for tasks to get completed. 

Those tasks you can outsource remotely to a VA or VA team can take a huge strain off of your company. 

Could a Virtual Team Help Your Business During the Pandemic?

Do you need some more solid SOPs in place for your company to better cope with the effects of the coronavirus? If so, Smart to Finish can assist you with these changes. We’re here for you during the good times as well as the more challenging ones.

We can help you prepare for any future needs you may anticipate. We’re also here for you when you’re scrambling because of unforeseen obstacles. If ‘pandemic planning for business’ is on your radar, we can help to ease those worries.

Whether you need an online business manager, a virtual assistant or a virtual team, we can provide that when it matters most for your company.

If you’d like to learn more about the services we offer, the best way is to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. We look forward to meeting you!

Why Hire a Virtual Assistant as a Creative? Here’s Why

business concept – businesswoman talking on the phone in office

Why hire a virtual assistant when art is your business? Mainly because you’ll protect against burnout while seriously increasing your productivity. Your VA can help you regardless of where you live and can relieve the expense of hiring a full-time employee too.

In her Inc.com article entitled Why Hiring a Virtual Assistant is the Best Move Entrepreneurs Can Make, Amy Vetter shares the following advice:

“When we are stressed or not at optimum energy, our executive and critical thinking skills suffer. It is more important to work smarter and devote your workday to the areas of your business that require your full attention and energy.”

Creating is your superpower but administrative tasks may be crowding out or even killing your passion, productivity and output. Maybe you’re a novelist, a videographer, musician or work in another creative medium.

Even though it’s hard to believe, your ‘kryptonite’ is someone else’s superpower. You don’t have to let those necessary but draining tasks steal your creative energy or silence the muse. The world is waiting for you to create after all.

Imagine if you could find someone who’s passionate about all those things you aren’t? How could that change your life, business, work-life balance and art?

Creatives Are Pulled Between Two Worlds

You feel the constant tug-of-war between administrative tasks and creating. It’s exhausting because you’re using two very different parts of your brain.

The creative side can feel like a lush forest with sunshine breaking through. The administrative side feels like an inhospitable alien landscape. It’s like you’re being constantly pulled between two worlds.

How do you create meaningful art with all the chaos and when things are so off-balanced? You may curse the fact that you despise taking care of the details. But what if all those frustrations are simply telling you something bigger about yourself and a satisfying solution?

That it could be time to find someone who excels at handling the details that distract and bug you so much. We’re all different and have unique gifts to offer to others.

You’re most at home when you’re creating. Why not have someone help you with the details so you can create even more? That’s where a VA or remote administrative assistant can transform your business.

What Tasks Can a Virtual Assistant Help Creatives With?

Why hire a virtual assistant as a creative? Because the types of available virtual administrative services are diverse.

There are many tasks a virtual assistant for creatives can assist you with, freeing up the time you need. Nearly all tasks that ‘drain your batteries’ can be delegated. Here are some possibilities:

  • Email management
  • Social media management
  • Website maintenance and design
  • Content creation
  • Product launches
  • Scheduling
  • Invoicing
  • Marketing
  • Much more

Why Hire a Virtual Assistant?

The most effective way to find out is to get in touch with us so we can give you all the details and answer any questions you may have. We can provide you with a free 30-minute consultation.

What you may need most is a remote office assistant. It’s also possible you need a virtual team or online business manager (virtual manager). Either way, Smart to Finish can help as your creative purpose grows.

10 Ways Creatives Can Grow their Business Through a Virtual Team

Did you know that hiring a virtual team could transform your creative business? You’re brilliant at something whether that’s photography, the culinary arts, putting words on a page or producing music that makes people come alive.

But, more than ever, you’re feeling stretched thin. Sometimes the stress of all your urgent tasks that don’t involve creating can weigh you down.

Maybe you’ve finally realized on a deeper level that you can’t do it all. And so, the next logical step is to hire a virtual assistant to help you get some of those many nagging tasks done.

You increasingly realize that outsourcing some of those tasks isn’t a luxury but a vital need. The next question to ask yourself is whether one person is enough for what you plan to accomplish.

In her medium.com article entitled 7 Tips to Build the Best Virtual Assistant Team, Melissa Smith shared the following about the value of hiring a remote team for your business:

“Having a VA team can be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business. While you continue to grow, your crew is there waiting for you to come in for a pit stop. They’ll get you all fixed up and back on the track again without you ever having to leave the driver’s seat.”

It may be that you need a VA team to reach your greatest potential. That way, you can draw from the multiplied expertise of a group rather than just one person. How can a virtual team help to grow your business? Here are ten key ways.

LinkedIn Marketing: These days, LinkedIn is a big deal for creatives looking to get discovered or to find work. You need to build up your contacts, keep in touch with connections, create a convincing profile, and share regular engaging content—all things a VA team can assist you with.

Web Design: Although web design involves plenty of creativity, it may not be your strength. Having someone on your team who’s strong in that area will help you to wow potential clients in a hurry.

Email Marketing: No, despite what some say, email marketing isn’t dead. Done right, it’s still effective at reaching your potential clients. Your VA can get in touch with your dream contacts while you continue to build your creative potential.

Facebook Marketing: Maybe you want to set up a Facebook group to do video chats, share content or place ads to reach your audience. If you don’t have the time, your virtual team will be there for you.

Project Oversight: Need to make sure all the pieces of your projects are fitting together? If so, an online business manager could be your solution. A virtual manager can make sure projects and tasks are working together efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner.

Product Launch: If there ever was something you can’t do all by yourself, a product launch would be high on the list. A remote team can give you the firepower when you most need it to ensure success.

Scheduling: Most creatives are more event than time oriented. Setting up appointments and keeping track of deadlines can be a challenge for many creatives. For that reason, scheduling is a valuable task to delegate to a team.

Email Management: Aside from email marketing, you may be struggling to keep up with the daily demands of responding to potential leads. Falling behind can add a lot of unnecessary stress. Your VA team can help you come up with templates to streamline and speed up your response time.

Content Creation: Even if you’re a writer, that doesn’t mean web writing comes naturally to you. Or, it could be that you’re just too busy. Whether you need writing for your web pages, blog posts or thought pieces to post on social media, your VA team can make it happen.

Graphic Design: Do you need a logo, social media graphics or other digital creation that has you stumped? If so, there’s no need to worry. A remote team can assist with graphic design as well.

Want to Find Out How a Virtual Team Can Help Your Creative Business?

If so, feel free to get in touch with us for a free consultation. Smart to Finish can set up a winning remote team so you can focus more on creating without all the competing noise. We look forward to meeting you!

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!