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3 Important Points to Consider When Outsourcing

3 Important Points to Consider When Outsourcing

Hiring a Virtual Business Manager (VBM) or Virtual Assistant (VA) can be one of the most valuable investments in your growing business. They can help you manage your day-to-day business operations and ongoing projects like social media marketing, customer service or client relations. To make this investment as meaningful as possible, here are 3 important points to consider when outsourcing.    

A great working relationship between you and your VBM is often far more than just you assigning tasks to an independent contractor – it is a partnership. So here, we can see how finding the right person is the first step to developing and nurturing this special relationship. 

Job Compatibility

Your virtual resource should have at least some knowledge of your industry or a willingness to learn about it. Especially if you are utilising them to support your customer service, they should be able to represent your business professionally. They should be able to speak confidently with customers and clients while providing accurate information about your business. 

So when hiring, hire someone with the experience, skills and work ethic to complete business tasks correctly. Create a list of these tasks before conducting any interviews. This way, you’ll know exactly the person you need in your business. Sometimes though, in unusual circumstances, you may consider training a virtual assistant if you think they’re worth the effort, possibly because they’ve expressed keen interest in working with you and learning new skills. 

Furthermore, ask for professional references in the form of testimonials you can verify. Then you can have a high degree of confidence that your new VA has the skills, experience and expertise to complete all necessary tasks on time – or at the very least, is a fast learner! 

Time Management Skills

In many cases, your VBM can complete the tasks you assign in less time than a full-time, in-house employee. When hiring a VBM, ask specific questions about their work habits, productivity and how much time they can give you each week or each month. 

Since some tasks will take longer than others to complete, provide a copy of your task schedule to potential VBMs to review before making a final hiring decision. Don’t forget to hire the VBM that meets all the other criteria and who can accommodate your schedule too. For example, if you need to maintain frequent contact with your VBM by phone, online chat like Zoom or Skype or via email, consider hiring someone within your time zone.

For transparency, most reputable VBMs utilise time tracking tools to evidence the time worked on your account. If this is not offered up, ask at the interview how the VA will be recording the time worked.

You Get What You Pay For

The third point of my ‘3 important points to consider when outsourcing’ is to remember that an experienced Virtual Business Manager typically charges more for their services than a novice VA. However, if you’re willing to invest time to train your VA and are looking for a lower hourly rate, consider hiring someone with less experience. On the other hand, if you need someone to jump in and start completing tasks without much supervision, consider hiring a virtual business manager with the necessary skills and experience to get the job done. Don’t worry about their higher rate. 

The same principle applies when hiring a virtual resource who lives in a different country. Where the freelancer lives can influence how much they charge for assistant services. However, keep in mind that time zone differences and language and cultural barriers can – and usually do- affect overall communication. Time zones also restrict the scope of client-facing services and, in some cases, even influence how well business tasks are completed.

The good news for small business owners and start-up companies is that you can hire a virtual assistant by the hour, by a set number of monthly hours, or by the project. However, if you’re on a budget, let prospective VBMs/VAs know immediately as this will save you a lot of time during the interview process. 

Find Out How Outsourcing Can Restore Your Work-Life Balance?

Find Out How Outsourcing Can Restore Your Work-Life Balance?

Do you remember the time when you first started your business? If you were anything like me, you were daydreaming about how amazing your life would be! How you would achieve the perfect work-life balance. You’d find fulfilment and happiness. And work wouldn’t feel like work.

But after a few months, reality kicked in.

Your business is going well, but it’s nothing like you first imagined. You have so many tasks to complete every day that achieving a positive work-life balance seems out of reach. So, you might be thinking, is there any way out of this.

Outsourcing – Solution To Your Problem

Fortunately, there is a way to solve this problem, and that is by outsourcing!

With outsourcing, you can delegate some of your tasks, which helps you free up time. (Not sure how to delegate? This blog may help How To Delegate.) That means you could focus your energy on the most important tasks or have free time to rest up and recharge your batteries.

 There are three ways of outsourcing, each one with its pros and cons:

  •  Automation Software – Thanks to the advancement of technology, many small and repetitive tasks can now be automated. Automation software is usually the most efficient due to costing less than hiring and the fact that it’s working 24/7. However, automation by software has many limitations.
  • Working with Freelancers – Instead of hiring a person to take care of some tasks, you could delegate your work to freelancers. They are different as they get paid for a completed job instead of how many hours they worked.
  • Hiring Employees – If nothing else works, the only way to delegate your tasks is to hire employees. They can do almost anything. All they need is some training and a good salary.


Step-By-Step Process to Successful Outsourcing

Outsourcing is like a double-edged sword. If you do it correctly, it can skyrocket your productivity and grow your business to new heights. But if you do it wrong, it can bring your more problems and (in the worst-case scenario) could bankrupt your business.

 So how do you make sure that you’ll be successful? Well, all you have to do is follow my 3-step process to outsourcing your tasks successfully:

Step #1 – Write down all your routine tasks

To start, you should get your pen and a piece of paper and write down all your regular tasks. It doesn’t matter what they are. All it needs to be is an everyday task. For example, your typical tasks might be:

 Writing Ad Copy

  • Making Social Media Posts (Pictures, Stories, Videos, etc.)
  • Writing Blog Post and Newsletters
  • Doing Bookkeeping
  • Making Sales Calls
  • Managing Inventory
  • Fulfilling Orders
  • And so on

Once you’ve written everything down, you’re ready for the next steps to get your work-life balance back on track.

Step #2 – Find Routine Tasks to Delegate

So you’ve written down your tasks. Great, now we need to start deciding which tasks to delegate. When choosing, you must ask these three questions:

  •  What moves the needle? – This question helps you to sort the most important from the least. That tells you where to focus your energy.
  • What are my weaknesses? – With this question, you’re asking how good you are with the tasks. If you’re bad at some of them, then getting someone else to do that would be beneficial.
  • What can I eliminate? – To save up some cash and time, you must also ask if there are any unnecessary tasks. If there is, eliminate them altogether!

Once you’ve answered those questions, you now know what tasks you could outsource. For example, I’d outsource bookkeeping, managing inventory, and writing blog posts and newsletters in the list above.

Step #3 – Find ways to delegate

Now all you have to do is delegate your tasks. To make sure you get the most cost-effective way, search for solutions in this order:

  1. Try to find software to automate your tasks
  2. If no software exists for them, try to work with freelancers.
  3. If no freelancer or software can help you with the duties, hire a VA or another employee to do this for you.

And once you’ve completed that, then congratulations, you just successfully delegated your tasks. If you’re looking for more information about outsourcing and time management, I highly recommend you to read Tim Ferris’ 4-hour workweek.

Go beyond outsourcing

Unfortunately, outsourcing has limitations. For example, it’s never a good idea to delegate marketing strategies to a freelancer or a VA. That’s where a virtual business manager comes in.

Now you might think that a virtual business manager is the same as a virtual assistant, but you’d be wrong.

 The most significant difference between them is that a virtual assistant will take care of your smaller tasks. In contrast, a virtual business manager helps you to strategize and grow your business to new heights.


To recap, outsourcing can help you delegate tasks so you’d have more time to work on the most important tasks or find some time to relax. It can help you get the work-life balance right again. And remember, if you need any help with outsourcing or anything else, be sure to schedule a free consultation call. I’d love to help your business grow.


A Guide to Effective Delegation

Failure to delegate is costly – to you and your business.
 To delegate effectively, you need to understand:-
  • Your attitude to delegation.
  • What you can delegate.
  • Plus how to properly so that your delegation is successful.
 This E-Book details the 7 key areas to consider when delegating.
How To Delegate  – So You Don’t Have To Wear All The Hats in Your Business

How To Delegate – So You Don’t Have To Wear All The Hats in Your Business

If you’re a ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ оwnеr you are more than likely wearing mаnу hаtѕ within уоur buѕinеѕѕ. I bеt most of the time you аrе feeling burnt out аnd frаzzlеd. Bу trying tо dо everything уоu аrе рrоbаblу dоing уоurѕеlf аnd уоur buѕinеѕѕ a huge disservice. Sо whаt dо еntеrрriѕing еntrерrеnеur’ѕ dо in this ѕituаtiоn? Thеу learn how to dеlеgаtе.

Where To Start

Delegation ѕtаrtѕ with identifying what you want your соrе rоlе to be within the business.
Thе rоlе уоu wаnt tо bе lеft with аftеr аll thе оthеr roles in уоur buѕinеѕѕ hаvе bееn fillеd i.е. The CEO rоlе. Thiѕ iѕ important in mаking dеlеgаtiоn еffесtivе to continue to focus on the role you want for yourself .
Now tаkе a lооk аt all thе tаѕkѕ уоu hаvе оn уоur рlаtе аnd рriоritiѕе thеm.
Aftеr уоu hаvе рriоritiѕеd еасh оf thе tаѕkѕ in order of imроrtаnсе, nоt urgеnсу. (My blog on the Covey Matrix will help explain the difference) you next nееd to categorise еасh task intо a rоlе.
Fоr еxаmрlе, уоu mау uѕе thе саtеgоriеѕ оf
  • CEO/Exесutivе Mаnаgеmеnt,
  • Finаnсе,
  • Sаlеѕ аnd Mаrkеting,
  • Sуѕtеmѕ Dеvеlорmеnt,
  • Adminiѕtrаtiоn,
  • Humаn Rеѕоurсе Mаnаgеmеnt, еtс.
Finally, lооk аt уоur prioritised liѕt and identify thоѕе tаѕkѕ thаt could bе hаndеd оvеr tо ѕоmеоnе еlѕе.

What Is Your Goal?

Onсе уоu hаvе idеntifiеd thе tаѕk уоu аrе gоing tо dеlеgаtе, think аbоut thе dеѕirеd оutсоmе of each task. Bе сlеаr аbоut on…
  • What it iѕ you wаnt асhiеvеd,
  • Whеn thе deadline iѕ duе,
  • Thе ԛuаlitу оr thе ѕtаndаrdѕ уоu want to be applied tо thе task.
Then break the tasks down further, into ѕub-tаѕkѕ аnd ѕоurсе оf аnу rеlеvаnt infоrmаtiоn.
Identify thе ‘dеgrее оf аuthоritу’ thе реrѕоn you delegate to mау exercise as well as thе ѕtаtuѕ rероrting required and whеthеr аnу initial trаining iѕ rеԛuirеd.
Thеn writе it аll down аѕ a clear, concise briеf. To be uѕеd аѕ аn еffесtivе mеаnѕ оf соmmuniсаtiоn whеn hаnding оvеr. It will аlѕо bе an еffесtivе rеfеrеnсе fоr уоu bоth gоing fоrwаrd.

Who To Delegate To?

Thеn nеxt tаѕk iѕ tо idеntifу thе individuаl whо will tаkе оn thiѕ tаѕk. For еffесtivе delegation, you nееd to idеntifу a реrѕоn with аррrорriаtе skills, еxреriеnсе and сарасitу tо tаkе оn thiѕ tаѕk. This could be someone within your business, or you could outsource to a virtual resource.
Onсе the tаѕk, thе оutсоmе and thе реrѕоn hаvе bееn ѕоrtеd, you are ready to hаnd over . Mаkе ѕurе уоu ѕеt аѕidе ѕоmе рrivаtе, unintеrruрtеd timе fоr аn еffесtivе briеf. Cоmmuniсаtе thе ѕсоре оf thе tаѕk, thе ѕресifiс rеѕultѕ tо bе асhiеvеd, аnу ѕсhеdulеѕ аnd dеаdlinеѕ, аvаilаblе rеѕоurсеѕ, thе аuthоritу tо соmрlеtе thе tаѕk аnd реrfоrmаnсе mеаѕurеѕ.
It will also hеlр if уоu idеntifу any knоwn riѕkѕ or рitfаllѕ.
Mоѕt imроrtаntlу, еxрrеѕѕ уоur соnfidеnсе in thiѕ person аnd lеt thеm knоw if thеу need аnу hеlр thеу are juѕt tо аѕk. Tо ensure thаt they hаvе undеrѕtооd thiѕ tаѕk, еnсоurаgе thеm tо аѕk ԛuеѕtiоnѕ аnd tо furthеr diѕсuѕѕ thе tаѕk.
Dеlеgаting thе аррrорriаtе аuthоritу саn bе as simple as …
  • ‘hеrе iѕ thе рrоblеm, соmе tо mе whеn уоu hаvе solved it’,
  • ‘lооk intо thе рrоblеm аnd tell mе how уоu рlаn tо ѕоlvе it” оr
  • ‘lооk intо the рrоblеm, give mе a fеw орtiоnѕ and I will сhооѕе thе bеѕt’.

How To Communicate With Delegating

Mаkе sure you соmmuniсаtе that you have delegated аuthоritу to thе staff involved.
Ensure уоu keep thе linеѕ оf соmmuniсаtiоn ореn thrоughоut thе whоlе рrосеѕѕ аnd mоnitоr thеir рrоgrеѕѕ еithеr fоrmаllу оr unоbtruѕivеlу. Aѕ thе dеlеgаtе gаinѕ соnfidеnсе уоu саn bасk оut but bе оn hand tо hеlр whеn rеԛuirеd. Rеmеmbеr though, уоu аrе dеlеgаting, nоt аbdiсаting, your rеѕроnѕibilitу fоr thiѕ tаѕk.
Finаllу, rеwаrd уоur dеlеgаtе fоr a jоb wеll dоnе. Rесоgnitiоn оf a jоb wеll dоnе, with аn аррrорriаtе reward аnd a ѕimрlе ‘thаnk уоu’ gо аlоng wау tо improving bоth thе individuаl’ѕ соnfidеnсе аnd рrоduсtivitу whiсh hаѕ thе аddеd bоnuѕ оf bесоming аn inсеntivе tо оthеr tеаm members tо imрrоvе thеir performance.

Success!! You Have Learnt How To Delegate

In mу еxреriеnсе, thе mоѕt ѕuссеѕѕful ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕеѕ аrе thе rеѕult оf a ѕmаrt ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ оwnеr and аn еffесtivе tеаm. Smаrt еntrерrеnеurѕ’ rеаliѕе dеlеgаtiоn iѕ vitаl in mоving fоrwаrd.
Dоnе well, it саn hеlр уоu асhiеvе уоur ѕtrаtеgiс buѕinеѕѕ gоаlѕ fаѕtеr аnd more еffесtivеlу, with thе аddеd bоnuѕ оf hеlрing уоu, thе ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ оwnеr, wоrk ѕmаrtеr nоt harder.
Learn how to delegate from the outset, systemise your business, so that when you start to scale-up that progression will be easier too.

A Guide to Effective Delegation

Failure to delegate is costly – to you and your business.
 To delegate effectively, you need to understand:-
  • Your attitude to delegation.
  • What you can delegate.
  • Plus, how to properly so that your delegation is successful.
 This E-Book details the 7 key areas to consider when delegating.
Delegation E-Book Graphic | Bravapro

How To Maintain Your Sanity At Christmas

How To Maintain Your Sanity At Christmas

Summer is well and truly over, and with the continued restrictions, for many it was a ‘wet weekend’. So, while it is a little early to be mentioning Christmas at least, it gives us something to look forward to. For many as the holiday season approaches the amount of “pressure” they feel increases exponentially.

Of course, it shouldn’t be this way. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of year when we take time to celebrate and get together. Perhaps the overt commercialism of the season is what causes the blood pressure to rise.

However, the fact is there is a whole lot more to do at this time of year. One of which is finding time to communicate with all the people in your life, business and personal.

Whether we like it or not, we are really “expected” to reach out to others in all walks of life at this time of year, which means that we have to think about what gift is the most appropriate for business contacts. We also have to try and remember what gift we have previously given to other family members so that we don’t make the mistake of getting them something that they already have!


‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly

The holiday season can be a great draw on your most valuable commodity – TIME. You might have to make special dinner reservations, special travel plans, send out gifts and greeting cards to all of your customers and even plan an office party. Even preparing your holiday to-do list can take the time you just haven’t got. All in all, this can lead to stress and to other people asking why your behaviour is more like Scrooge than Santa Claus.


Your Very Own Christmas Elf

A Virtual Business Manager can be your virtual “Christmas Elf” in many respects. They can help you to source unique and thought-provoking gifts for your customers. Hence, enabling you to present yourself well in the eyes of business contacts.

Ask the virtual business manager to manage your Christmas this year. To do all the research necessary to find and then order your personalise gifts and cards. Once you have set a budget and given directions all those gifts for friends, family, colleagues, employees, customers, and suppliers can be outsourced, leaving you to relax and enjoy the fact you will be everybody’s good books.


Office Christmas Party

Now Christmas is sorted, and all those gifts have been taken care of, what about the office party?

After a tough year, you will want to reward your loyal staff for their hard work. However, who is going to answer the phones when the office party is taking place? Who is responsible for decorating the room and for ordering the food and drink? How can it work if some employees are still working from home? Again, your virtual business manager can save the day, after all, it’s been a tough year, and your employees will appreciate that extra thought.


A Virtual Business Manager Is Not Just For Christmas

Of course, you don’t only send gifts during the holiday season. When you have an excellent working relationship with your virtual business manager, they can continuously be on the lookout for that special type of gift that’s very difficult to source. They can be an additional resource to help you find a truly inspiring gift for someone special in your life. Do not underestimate the look in the eyes of the recipient when you present them with such a gift. They don’t need to know that your trusted virtual assistant was the one who came up with the inspiration – it can be your secret!

How Do You Know When To Outsource

How Do You Know When To Outsource

Smart business owners are beginning to reduce the number of tasks they do. This is why the demand for top class freelancers is escalating. The advantages of outsourcing can be massive! Especially if your business growth has plateaued or you are looking to reduce costs.

But how do you recognise when to outsource?

What does that point look like for your business?

How Do You Know When To Outsource

Below are 3 key ‘watch out’ sign, that could indicate that now is the right time for you to consider looking for help…

1. Routine Detail-orientated tasks Aren’t Your Strong Point.

If you are spending hours on low-value tasks, you are doing both yourself and your business a disservice. Delegating the jobs you hate or are no good at, provides you time to focus on critical goals and objectives.

2. Your Employees Can Not Manage Specialised Tasks.

It may seem counter-intuitive to outsource. After all shouldn’t you be investing and training the staff you already have? Well yes…but if they don’t have the skills, it will take time to teach them, which is likely to delay your work. By contracting out, you can get the skills you need, when you need them.

3. You Need To Reduce Costs.

There is a misconception that outsourcing is expensive; but, the truth is outsourcing is usually cheaper than hiring! When you factor in non-productive time like holidays, illness, plus the cost of pensions, tax obligations, hard & software, training etc, then outsourcing comes out the winner.

To outsource successfully you need the best people on your team, which means acting fast. If you are seeing any of these ‘watch-out’ signs in your small business arrange a call. Together we can get your business back on track