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The concept of delegating tasks to an assistant, or even outsourcing them to another business, has been around forever. What’s changed in the Internet age is the availability of these time-saving tactics to small businesses and even solopreneurs with smaller budgets. Bloggers and small website publishers have more options than ever before to farm tasks out, and regain more control over their time, and their lives.
What is an hour of your time worth to you? Think about how else you might spend that hour if you don’t have to use it checking email or making phone calls. There’s potential to generate more revenue if you work on your business, not in it. Or it’s another hour you could spend with your kids, or catching up on reading. The point is, you get back much more than you spend.
Sure, some apps and software cost money, and no virtual assistant (VA) works for free. But it’s not strictly a matter of saving money. It’s about getting a return on your investment.
The key to saving both money and time with a VA is to prioritize. Identify your low-priority tasks, and make those the first things you hand off. Then identify those things that are important, but time-consuming, and ask whether they’re the best use of your time. Can your VA handle billing? Manage your social media accounts? Both important facets of your business, no doubt. But instead of billing your current clients, you can be building relationships with new ones. Instead of tweeting, you can be completing a client’s project.
Outsourcing can even extend outside your business and into your daily life. Services exist that will take care of your grocery shopping, write out thank-you cards (good for both business and personal relationships), and even return purchases for you. To maintain security and protect your privacy, many of those services perform background checks on their employees, so be sure to choose a reputable one.
Before you dismiss the idea of outsourcing, think about what you can gain from spending your time on more worthwhile—and profitable—pursuits. Then your biggest question will become what to do with your newfound freedom.
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OTR Links 07/23/2013 | doug --- off the record
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