If you’re someone whose aim is to improve your outsourcing while considering cost-efficiency, hiring a well-trained virtual assistant could do the work effectively. In fact, finding low-cost, skilled virtual team members can save you up to 80% of labor expenditures!
Outsourcing any work provides an opportunity to expand when it would otherwise be impossible for startups and solopreneurs who cannot afford an in-house crew. On the other hand, it might also be an expensive error. If you don't know how to delegate a project successfully, you might definitely wind up with a mediocre final result.
Make sure that you delegate "tasks", not "projects"
A task and a project may sound alike but they differ in functionality. There are times when you should engage a virtual assistant and other times when you should seek the services of a consultant. Make sure that you understand the distinction. An effective outsourcing plan starts with you ensuring that the item being assigned is a task rather than a project.
A task is a well-defined action. For example, you could employ a virtual assistant with a pre-developed procedure to create content for blog entries or have them answer customer care inquiries. On the other hand, a project needs careful planning and execution. This could be things like designing a complete marketing plan, analyzing strategies, or implementing customer service guidelines.
For efficient outsourcing, it is recommended that you consider hiring a virtual assistant (or a team of VAs) if you only want to delegate tasks. Otherwise, a consultant is a perfect choice if it is a project.
Set a specific process that is easily understandable
Once you've determined that you have a task that you can readily outsource, it's time to design and perfect your own straightforward procedure!
For instance, if it is for social media marketing, you could consider researching the best time to publish on social media. What could be the optimal time for you to post that could generate an optimal interaction? If you have a preferred style for your content images, what should be your criteria in making or choosing the best image?
Remember to always ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the process.
Construct a training guide on the process
You should make a step-by-step training guide or documentation (if you prefer it on record, like me) that is understandable or easy to take for your virtual assistant. For training guides, make sure to include screenshots with labels illustrating what you are trying to say.
By making it more comprehensible, you could also save time as your virtual assistant could easily digest information from the guides.
Hire a qualified virtual assistant (or a team) to manage the process
After creating the perfect guide, it is now time to hire a virtual assistant that is within the price range that you could offer!
Since there are many types of virtual assistants (i.e., Social Media Manager, Admin Staff, Recruiter, Appointment Setter, SEO Specialist), you must consider the following:
Their professional qualifications (this includes educational background, work experiences, skills, training, work portfolio, etc.).
Their etiquette and personalities (this includes someone who has a "Yes" attitude, is punctual, confident, curious, etc.). Of course, these qualities depend on the job you are hiring for. For example, suppose you are looking for a Social Media Manager or SMM. In that case, they should be creative to generate ideas for their daily content or punctual enough to follow a strict schedule in posting content at a particular time and manner. This is critical since you aim to interact more with potential leads, and more potential leads mean more possible opportunities.
Their referrals (this includes recommendations of previous clients or employers).
Finding a competent employee is critical since it saves you a step in the training process and time. After all, suppose you are looking for an SMM; if someone already knows how to maintain social media accounts, while they will need to learn the specifics of your process, you could save time as they already grasp the fundamentals. Saving up your time in training is also essential to focus your time on the things that matter most!
To find competent VAs, you may either sift through freelancers directly on a freelancer marketplace or opt for a service like Super Virtuals where hundreds of pre-screened applicants are shortlisted and lined up for you
Whether you choose to use a freelancing platform or a staffing service, you must personally ensure that they are qualified to work on your tasks efficiently.
Don't be shy in giving feedback for the first few weeks
When you have a virtual assistant or a virtual team in place (in case you need more), it is not yet time to delegate completely. Instead, check back regularly in the first few weeks, especially in the first few days. It is vital that your instructions are clear and that the virtual assistant fully understands how to carry them out in accordance with your requirements.
Giving feedback is also good as it establishes good communication between you (the client/employer) and your virtual assistant/s (employee). Giving feedback is also a great thing because your virtual assistant could understand you, not just as someone who pays for their services but also as a 'person' in general. They could also fully adapt to your standards, mood, discipline, and how you think they should do certain things that match your preferences. Lastly, they could also learn a lot from you.
There will undoubtedly be some difficulties initially, but that's just fine and normal. What matters is that the long-term advantages will surely outweigh the upfront outlay. After some time, your virtual assistant should have a good understanding of how to manage the tasks, freeing you up to focus on other, more important things.
"Do what you do best, and outsource the rest!" - Peter Druker
When all are done, you will definitely have outsourced your tasks effectively. You may now devote more time to projects that significantly demand your involvement and clearly offer value to your company. Spend a few more hours deciding the next task you can outsource, and you'll soon be operating a very productive and efficient business before you know it.