If you ask any business owner for advice on starting up, they'll tell you to get help. Get help as soon as you can. Get help that allows you to stop wasting time on admin and lets you get on with the business of your business.
And yet lots of start-up business owners like you don't get help. Instead, you spend evenings and weekends organising invoices, updating social media, managing their books and sorting out their diaries. Why? Because it feels like an economy. It feels like not spending money. It feels like you should do it all yourself.
Taking that leap to bring in help doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds. We're not talking a full-time employee here; we're not even talking an employee. We're talking about a few hours a week on the tasks you either hate or don't have the skills to do properly. We're talking about people who know what they're doing, can pick tasks up and run with them, and who add value to your business.
We're talking about people who are organised. People with lots of experience. People who want to help you. Right now. So, where's the help?
It's all very well reading an article telling you to go out there and get help, but where do you start? One of the first places to start is with virtual administration services
. These are admin specialists who can help you with the everyday tasks that take up your time and cost you money. A virtual administrator, often also called a VA, can work the hours you need them to, handling the tasks you like the least, or that take up too much of your time. This might include:
- Diary management
- Travel bookings
- Social media management
- Phone answering
- Email management
- CRM management
The great thing about using this type of service is you can start small and build up - and all without having to go to the expense of recruiting and being responsible for an employee. Simply start with a few hours each month, and then build in additional support as your business grows.
How to find the help you need
Now that you know where to look, you need to know what you're looking for. You'll want to be able to evaluate the options available to you and decide what's going to work best for you. Remember that this service is virtual, so your support doesn't have to be based where you are - all your briefing and communications can easily be done by phone, email or Skype, allowing you to stay in control and choose the best team to work with.
Here are some handy tips on how to get started:
- Identify the tasks you want to outsource
- Decide whether these are ongoing tasks or a specific project
- Look at the skill set you might need your VA to have
- Ask trusted colleagues and friends for recommendations - maybe via LinkedIn or a networking group
- Get an idea of average hourly rates and set a budget
- Set up a call - you will be able to get a feel for efficiency, understanding, cost, approach and whether they are a good fit for your business
It's at the point of the call that you can ask questions about the way they work, whether they have the right standards of data protection and how they cover things like sickness or holiday. A good business admin support or online secretary
business will be able to give you all the information you need to be confident in the service they provide.
So now that you're equipped to look for the help you need in your business, commit to doing something about it today. Because the sooner you get that admin help, the sooner you can concentrate on making your business the success it deserves to be.