Tag Archives: admin

26Jul/13

Are you Throwing Money Down the Drain?

Do you believe the mis-guided (in my humble opinion) notion that if you do everything yourself you get it cheaper?

Do you spend inordinate amounts of time doing things that you don’t want to do?

Why?

It’s either because a) you feel you can do it better than anyone else, b) you feel only you can do it, c) you believe that it will be quicker if you do it yourself or d) you believe it will be cheaper if you do it yourself.

Okay, well I can accept a and b because that has been my motivation for pretty much most of my life.  And to be fair, it’s hard to hand over admin and organisation to other people when you’ve been doing it since the womb and everyone else seems to miss those important little details.  I know, you often feel, why didn’t I just do it myself, it would have been quicker and I’d have got it done the way I wanted it done in the first place.

110% agree with you, but – and it’s a big but, you are not only selling yourself short, but you are selling a raft of potential helpers short too.

So what’s the answer.

Training my friend.

Training  your ‘staff’ to understand how important certain aspects of your system and organisation are and how they impact on your business. Training them not to do the job per se but training them in how they fit into your organisation, instilling them with the same kind of motivation and excitement for your business as you have.

No, they will never really ‘get it’ to the extent you do – else they would have set up the business you have – but bear in mind that they are in business themselves.  They have to go out and find clients to work with just the same as you, they can’t just rest on their laurels and hope that jobs just miraculously appear as if from nowhere.

But isn’t that just spending MORE time on doing stuff than you would normally by having to train people?  Well yes it is, but it is money well spent.  You have to see beyond the time you spend now in training and toward the time when the person you’ve engaged can do the job and it frees up your time.  You need to build this vision of your business being sustained by not just you but an ‘army’ of helpers who know what you want and need and are happy to provide it either long or short term.

Being a virtual assistant myself, I’m a great proponent of working virtually – I appreciate it’s not for everyone but it suits my lifestyle and to boot,  I don’t have to own a car or commute daily to earn my income.  It’s a win-win situation for me.  Whilst I am a gregarious person, my first offline jobs usually involved having my own office (as one does, being a PA because you’re dealing with confidential information), so I sort of got used to working alone or with just one boss.  It’s the way I like it and I just love the flexibility working at home affords me.

But you can find people who are happy to come in and work at your office premises say one day a week and then spend the rest of the time working remotely for you.  This works particularly well for small businesses such as plumbers or electricians or builders who have a raft of receipts and never find the time to do anything with them other than filing them in a shoe box, which they ceremoniously hand over to their account on an annual basis.  His heart must sink when he sees that each year, or they unceremoniously hand it over to their already stretched other half and hope that it gets done.

Imagine that plumber or builder using a remote worker who collected their receipts on a weekly basis and then entered them in to either an accounting software package or a simple Excel spreadsheet.  It would probably take an hour a week tops.  Would you be prepared to pay £6.25 for an hour of someone’s time – who, incidentally, does this for a living or two or three hours of yours or your significant other’s time who do it because it has to be done.

Is that really saving time and money?

How much can that builder earn in that hour?  You could argue, well they do that at night, so they can’t work then but they still have to do quotes and work out quantities to order materials etc.  Why more builders don’t employ a local VA to outsource their admin work to is beyond me.

It makes you think doesn’t it?

Are you throwing money down the drain?

Are you spending your very profitable time doing jobs you hate or could be done faster and ultimately better than you for less money?

Try looking for an administrative assistant and start using your money and your time more effectively.

26Jul/13

Who is Your Number One Enemy in Business?

Who is your number one enemy in business? I bet you’re going through a myriad of names now of competitors who’ve nabbed that deal before you got chance to get your tender in or people who’ve pipped you to the post for that long sought-after promotion.

And to be fair, it should read WHAT not who but then it wouldn’t have made for such an eye-catching headline now would it!

Just for a minute though, think about how many tasks you perform during a single day; a myriad of them before you even get to your office – and your head, if it’s anything like mine, is always full of a zillion and one things that need doing and you have ‘to do’ lists as long as your arm.

It gives you a headache just thinking about doesn’t it!

But let’s just concentrate on your business day, how many of these do you process in a day?

  • Emails – more than you can to mention!
  • Meetings – one or two a week, or more.
  • Follow-ups – most days.
  • Admin – when I have to!
  • Invoices – when they need paying!
  • Social media updates – don’t get me started, how many accounts do I have?
  • Phone calls – how do I turn this thing off?

Seriously though, do all of these things contribute to your business?  Well, of course, you say, else why would I be doing them?  Well that’s a great question to ask yourself.

Why are you doing them?

Are you good at them?

Do you enjoy doing them?

Or, are they necessary ‘evils’ that have to be processed?

Do they really contribute to running your business?  Do they create income in and of themselves, or do they just suck time like vampires?  Agreed, some phone calls and meetings are absolutely necessary and will bring you income but is it necessary for you personally to make those initial calls to set up a longer call to talk things through?  Is it necessary for you to sort out times to meet and book that client into your diary?

Another great question to ask yourself is, what are you good at doing?

You must be good at being an entrepreneur else you wouldn’t have started your own business, so you must have drive and commitment and vision to see where you want to go.

Wouldn’t your time be better spent honing your vision and making sure you are on the right track, making the right connections with the right people at the right time?

If all of those administrative tasks could be given over to an assistant, virtual or otherwise, how much business time would it free up for you?  I’m guessing over 75%.  Yes, it costs money to hire staff but how much can you earn as opposed to how much you need to pay an assistant?

There is also the added benefit that working with a virtual assistant helps lower your costs, they are running their own businesses and take care of their own tax bills and have all the equipment ready in place.  They are used to doing these jobs and will have them processed twice as fast as you.  Your business will be more productive than ever.

So, given all of that, how many of these necessary ‘evils’ could be off-loaded onto someone else?

Think about it.

Time is your number one enemy.

It’s something you’ll NEVER get back so pay someone else a cheaper rate for their time, so you have more capacity to charge a higher rate to your clients for yours.

23Jul/13

Put your Feet up – Take the Rest of the Day off?

www.theultimatevirtualassistant.comWhat I hear you cry?  Do you even KNOW how much work I have to do?

Do you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day?

Feel like tearing your hair out when the family wants to get together and you know full well that you need to catch up with your social media, blog posts, invoicing, admin… and so the list goes on and on and on!!!

How often can you be heard murmuring the words under your breath – when will it ever end.

Do you go to bed exhausted only to wake up exhausted and still have to run your business and do the other myriad of things that are expected of you in the merry-go-round of life?

What if you could do all those things and more?

What if you could have the life you dreamed of when you made the huge decision to work for yourself and run your own business.

What if on a Friday night at 5pm, you could pack up for the weekend and have a much-needed break over the weekend – do what you want to do, chill out with family and friends, have some quality me-time or take a quick weekend break?

Sound like a pipedream?

Well it doesn’t have to.

What one thing could you do that would make your life easier all round?

Delegate!

Oh yeah, right – and who do I delegate to in this one-man band I call my business?  Who else can do all the things I need doing and do them right and on time and…

Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I’m sorry, but they are!

You are in overload and overwhelmed because you’ve allowed yourself to get that way.  And please don’t think for a minute that I haven’t been there, because I have – I too have been overwhelmed and exhausted and then I made a BIG decision.  I decided to delegate work that I could easily do but that took time and took me away from my business.  I decided to hire a virtual assistant.

I can hear the cries of protest already – I don’t earn enough to keep me going let alone staff.  I hear you but being time conscious also brings its own financial rewards.

Think about it.

How much can you earn at your business per hour? £15, £20, £40, £100?  Wouldn’t your time be better spent in working toward making each hour you work that productive?  Put another way, if you were given the choice of two pay packets each hour and one contained £40 for your business time and one contained £5 for your administrative time, which one would you choose?

I know which one I’d go for.

Well, yes, you say, I hear what you’re saying but even so, I don’t have the time to source a virtual assistant, where would I get one, what should I look for.  It’s easier to just keep doing it myself.

There are loads of resources on the internet and plenty of sites where you can source virtual staff from, it takes some time, agreed but at the end of the day, it is time well spent – a productive use of your time working toward freeing up a major portion of your day so that you could hand all that other stuff over to your administrative assistant.

What’s the alternative?

Being an overwhelmed entrepreneur who’s not focusing solely upon growing his business.  Someone who is constantly tired and harassed, not functioning at his or her optimum level, spending precious expensive time doing jobs that could easily be outsourced.

Or you could hire someone to take over all that pesky paperwork, get down to earning what you should be and living the life you want.

Seems a small price to pay in my book.

BIO

Yvonne Richards is a Virtual Assistant and entrepreneur running The Ultimate Virtual Assistant, training for overwhelmed entrepreneurs and under-utilised VA’s.

With 40+ years experience of being a PA, 5 years as an online virtual assistant and 15 years running her own businesses, Yvonne is well-placed on both sides of business to understand the needs of both entrepreneurs and virtual assistants.  She has a degree in Business Administration, is an excellent communicator and can often be found helping small businesses improve their admin functions.  Her feedback from clients speaks for itself.

“Yvonne is a talented PA, whose common sense approach has been a huge help to us. Her professional, straight-forward manner has made her a pleasure to deal with.” Sam Goodwin

“Yvonne has exceeded my expectations by thinking outside the box, working super-hard on my project, and coming up with all sorts of helpful suggestions and tools.” Britt Bolnick

http://www.YvonneJRichards.com

Linked In: uk.linkedin.com/in/yvonnejrichards/