By Golda Smith
Outsource, outsource, we all hear we need to do it. We KNOW we need to do it. Sadly, many of us will never do it and even those who have done it, execute the task so poorly that you’ve told yourself “I won’t do THAT again.” That's the wrong attitude to have.
With a little planning, outsourcing will not only save you time and make you more money, but it will also allow you to spend more time with your family. Ask any woman why she started her home-based business and a few likely responses are:
- To spend more time with my family
- To have a more flexible schedule
- To be at home with my children
The truth is, these same women often feel guilty because they spend more time working on their business forsaking their children, or they’re with their children and not giving their business the attention it deserves – which means that flexible schedule they dreamed of, doesn’t really exist.
Outsourcing should be a part of your business plan from day one. However, before you even begin to look for help, you need to have clear expectations of what a virtual assistant will do for you. That’s where many entrepreneurs go wrong… unclear expectations.
Write this down!
Create Your Systems of Operations (SOP)
Every step for every task in your business should be systematized so that someone can follow your exact steps. It’s much easier than it sounds, and it’s totally doable, even if you think you’re the most disorganized person on the planet. You don’t need to spend any money or use any fancy tools. A simple pen and paper will do fine, and if you insist on getting really fancy, then Google has an entire suite of tools to assist you with this.
Let’s take email for example. Do you realize how much time is wasted once you open your email account? Whether you sell a product or service, you should have a standard response for dealing with clients that have made a purchase, have trouble with a purchase and for those who want to return an item. What’s the standard language, who get’s cc’d/bcc’d on the emails? If you don’t already have this, create it now. Then you’re going to place this SOP into your Google document with a clear label, perhaps “handling client emails”.
Next, you can create something similar for Facebook. For example, how do you respond to friend requests? Perhaps, you’ll have a standard welcome greeting that can be personalized with the first name of the person wanting to connect. Something as simple as sending a welcome message makes a big difference because so few people do it. Again, this is a simple SOP that you can create.
Do you do teleseminars? There are certain tasks that must be done, so why not write them down. For example, create the auto-responder message blast schedule. Make sure that everyone who registered for the call has the call in number and pin number. Are there any worksheets that need to go out? The social media blasts, email to your lists. All of these tasks can be written as a SOP.
This is just the beginning because you can create a SOP for just about any task. From responding to telephone inquiries to handing off your grocery shopping list! The point is to streamline your activities so that YOU can focus on those activities that bring in enough money to support the reasons YOU stated you wanted to start your home based business!
The payoff of doing this upfront is that when you hire your virtual assistant, it makes it so much easier for you to hand off the work and know there is some organization. Of course, if your virtual assistant is worth their weight in salt, they will help you plug up any holes that you may not have noticed.
So if you’ve been putting off getting the assistance you so desperately need, I hope this will serve as a guide to get you into motion and bigger profits!
Golda Smith is a single mom who is building her “Business from the Kitchen Table” and enjoys working with other moms to get them into the happy zone and living the lives they were meant to live! She has a FREE report entitled “5 Ways To Talk To People About Your Business Without Ever Picking Up The Phone”. Don’t listen to another dial tone, get this NOW!