Updated: Sep 11, 2018
Small businesses worry about outsourcing because of the cost, but often find themselves hamstrung through the inability to free up time and move forward. When they do outsource it is usually for high value tasks, projects, or products that they cannot do in-house. These are mostly integral to their product or service and can calculate from the outset the real value to their business in terms of profit or overheads.
I am often asked by business owners and individuals exactly what it is a Virtual Assistant can do for them. They can struggle to identify this for themselves because they are so utterly invested in the business and have become used to absorbing tasks of every value into their remit as the person who cares the most, has the most to lose and, in their eyes, the only one who can do the job properly. Letting go is a big ask in some circumstances.
This difficulty is often tied into the idea that the stakes are not as high for anyone else, and as the business is their ‘baby’, the need to control and micro-manage is very consuming. If you add into the mix the difficulty in pinning down the value of tasks which they don’t conceive of as essential to their product or service, this can cause them to dismiss the potential value of being freed from them. Monetarily they are low in value but in the long term can become expensive in terms of the time they consume and the potential cost to a business should they be neglected or be attended to instead of higher values tasks. They represent the archetypal ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ scenario.
From little acorns, oak trees do indeed grow. I have worked in many different sectors, in organisations of varying sizes and one common denominator in all of those is a structure (whether hierarchical, or not) which requires delegation and ultimately, trust. Delegation and trust carry valuable development meaning to employees and boost their moral and self-belief. To be entrusted with responsibilities which take them beyond being a ‘task driven’ member of staff to being an embedded part of what is an organic organisation, is more valuable to employees than any frivolous benefit or treat.
Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant is a great way of laying the groundwork for your business expansion, giving you the confidence to create that organic environment in the future and let go of what is a very tiring ball and chain. Clients tell me that the freedom taking that step has given them, is followed up by a happy dance before they crack on with the stuff they really enjoy.