How to Effectively Utilize a Virtual Assistant

By Cynthia Marsh-Croll

In the past we have been taught to work on our weaknesses. Psychological research has discovered that this formula will give you marginal success at best. Operating to your strengths and doing what you do best is how to be successful. But that is only part of the mix. The important piece is to delegate your weaknesses. In fact, when you delegate to someone who does something better, faster and more efficient than you, it becomes a strength.

As business owners, we need to focus our time on revenue-producing activities. In other words, those tasks and projects that will help us turn our time and efforts into dollars. However someone has to get the general administrative and bookkeeping done. And when you are a small business, it is the person who also has to network, do sales calls, provide the product/service and then be customer service. These are a lot of hats to wear. To help with this dilemma, your business can take the official leap to the next level and hire a virtual assistant (VA).

Here are some things to consider when outsourcing your office functions:

  • Figure out what you do best and consider delegating the rest.
  • Are there structures and procedures in place to make it work?
  • Will outsourcing affect customer perception of your business?
  • Get feedback about customer perceptions and reactions.
  • Don’t assume that decreasing labor costs will always provide big savings!
  • Weigh efficiency against effectiveness. Seeking greater efficiency is a bad idea if it reduces your ability to meet customer and quality standards.

Visit these websites for information on securing a VA: Alliance for Virtual Businesses, The International Association of Administrative Professionals, Global Association of Virtual Assistants (GAVA) and International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA)

For a business to grow and prosper, effective delegation is key. Without it, you will not grow. Furthermore, without the right team, you cannot succeed to your full potential. Determine what your core competencies are, develop policies and procedures and then examine where you can shift time and energy to focus on growing the business. Do you what you do best and delegate the rest!

Cynthia Marsh-Croll is the Owner of Croll Productive Synergy. For more articles from Cynthia Marsh-Croll visit