It’s a common fact of life that you can’t always do what you want when you want to because you are too busy doing other more important things, especially true in business if you work on your own. You put off doing many jobs, even something basic like book-keeping or more critical like marketing because your main focus is delivering products or services to your customers. But even then if you have too many customers, which is a good thing, not every customer can get your full undivided attention and unfortunately, often customers could end up feeling a little (for want of a better word) neglected because you simply don’t have enough time in your work schedule to get through every action for every client quickly enough.
In business, we always hear about setting targets. Setting them is one thing, making them SMART is another thing but even then events transpire to throw things off kilter and you start to fall behind. You know the job has to be done, it’s festering at the back of your mind but it’s the issue of TIME again, there’s just not enough time to do everything.
So, how can you get all the jobs done on your To-Do lists?
- Get something to remind you. Sign up to an automated reminder service or set an alarm on your mobile phone, computer calendar etc. However all this does is throw at us a pop-up which, and we all do it, easily dismiss and get on with the job we were doing before being rudely interrupted by the pinging
- Get someone to remind you. Your other half would do the job nicely unless of course they ‘forget’ to remind themselves to remind you. But will they have any incentive to do so?
- Pay someone to nag you (sorry I meant ‘remind’) until you complete the job and produce the results. By this I mean a ‘human’ person who persistently and perhaps ‘annoyingly’ calls, texts, emails you until you to complete your tasks and deliver the results … and you’ll probably just want to do that to get rid of that little ‘irritation’ off your back. Alas, I just happen to be one of these but my clients are too polite to call me any names although I’m sure deep down they’re thinking it.. but then that’s what they hired me to in the first place !
- Delegate the tasks you don’t have to (or want to) do, to your flexible friend. By this I mean a Virtual Assistant (not everyone can afford a regular PA in the office these days) who is willing and able, available when you need her, never complaining, focused on task, committed to meeting YOUR objectives and keeping you and your business on track
In the words of a fellow twitterer, Virtual Assistants are a ‘godsend’ whether you are a business owner, a professional in whatever area you specialise in i.e. solicitor, lawyer, doctor, lecturer or just a busy person at home who needs an extra pair of helping hands from time to time to help organise stuff.
Does this sound like you perhaps? ‘it’s important but I don’t have time to do it now so I’ll leave it until later. Oh gosh it’s already 4pm, I’ve still not had time to do that, I’ll try and get it done this evening. I’m really tired now, no time. dinner to cook and/or kids to play with, put to bed, must give mum a call etc etc, I’ll do it at the weekend….ummh, the sun is shining, kids want to go out, hubby or her indoors is complaining I’m always working. No problem I’ll leave it for Monday, first thing, (you promise yourself). Oh gosh, it’s Monday morning, I almost forgot, hey no time to do it now, leave it till later’ …. and so it goes on. Tomorrow never comes. We’ve all been there.
A good VA can really be a ‘Life Saver’ and you’ll never have to face this scenario again. Instead focus on the things that are important, which is looking after your customers, finding new ones and making loads of money, while your VA silently and efficiently beavers away in the background helping you to look after your business interests.
Who can a VA help?
Almost anyone can benefit from having one.
As an example, having already worked with several Business Coaches, these make for ideal candidates. They have many clients who rely on their coaches to keep them on track so the coach has to be on the ball too
- Keep clear records of discussions
- Track progress and nudge outstanding actions
- Make sure invoices are issued and paid on time
The coaches act as the accountability partners – if the client doesn’t complete the actions they’ve been tasked to do by their coach, if the coach doesn’t follow up and make sure the tasks are being done then the client won’t get the results they expect from the coaching…and then the coaching stops, coach loses the client, client is back at square one again.
How can a VA help the Coach and their clients?
- Manage client files making sure they’re up-to-date and available for meetings
- Transcribe or copy type handwritten notes
- Diarise and Track progress of actions
- Nudge the client to complete tasks on behalf of the coach
- Set appointments, manage paperwork for the coach
- Manage invoicing
- Support marketing activities
Essentially these actions are all transferable no matter what business you are in.