What better way to tackle productivity than with an expert on getting over overwhelm. Dr. Monique Y. Wells starts this series with when and how to outsource effectively using virtual assistants. If this has been something you’ve been considering for your business, be sure to use this guest post as a checklist for getting started. Thanks, Monique!
How many times have you thought that you would be able to make so much more progress in your business if you could only “get a little help” with tasks that you:
1) don’t like to do
2) don’t do well
3) don’t know how to do?
What if you could hand them over completely to someone who you could trust to manage them efficiently and effectively? Then you could shed a huge source of overwhelm at work, be more productive, and even find more time to spend with family and friends, right?
Well in case you haven’t heard, there is a huge army of professionals – Virtual Assistants (VAs) – whose entire reason for being is to help you get over your overwhelm, and it is awaiting your command!
Of course, finding the appropriate person or organization to hire to perform these tasks will take time. Once found, you’ll need to spend time monitoring your assistant’s work (think of this as delegating responsibility – don’t blindly abdicate it!). But when done correctly, outsourcing tasks and projects to a VA, or to a VA team, saves loads of time in the medium and long-term.
It is important to consider your budget when looking for a VA, and you should only spend what you can afford for one. For individual tasks and short-term projects, I have found that Fiverr.com (www.fiverr.com) can be an excellent source of inexpensive expertise. There, I found service providers to transcribe several mp3 audio files, do copy editing on a brief sales letter, design a logo, and edit two e-communications for a marketing campaign that I recently conducted. Overall, I was very pleased with the service that these individuals provided. I would not hesitate to refer them or to use them again.
For ongoing projects, you will want to set up a long-term relationship with a virtual assistant – preferably one who works with a team so that if one person is sick or goes on vacation, someone else can continue working on your project.
Things to consider in hiring any VA include:
- The level of expertise required.
- The level of English proficiency required for your work.
- Whether the person you hire is part of a VA team.
- The references that the potential VA can provide.
- How well the person interviews.
Once you have selected your VA, you should always begin your working relationship by assigning a small, simple job and monitoring it carefully. In this way, you will be able to build a positive relationship by providing feedback on the work completed, early and often, correcting problems as they arise, and providing praise throughout the project where justified. This will give you and your VA confidence that you work well together and that the future of your working relationship is bright. If, on the other hand, things do not go well on this first project, then little damage will result and you can decide quickly whether to discontinue working with this particular person.
Monique Y. Wells is the Paris Muse of Time Management™. Her mission is to help women solopreneurs and women who work from home “get over the overwhelm” that they experience during the workday so that they can improve productivity, regain a sense of control over the workday, and find more time to spend with family and friends outside of work. A 19-year resident of Paris, France, Monique owns two home businesses and has over ten years of experience in maximizing productivity within the constraints of the number of hours available for work each day. Find her at http://gettingoveroverwhelm.com.