Do you do everything yourself when it comes to running your business? Or are you like me and find it difficult to delegate to others, at least sometimes? Do you think you don’t have the money to hire help? Well, I’m going to show you how hiring help can help increase your bottom line dramatically.
Not delegating is one of the major hurdles my private clients seem to struggle with. They are doing everything themselves and are so busy with the little administrative things that they have little time to devote to their "genius" work – developing products and services for their niche and working directly with their clients. Once they’ve hired help, either a virtual assistant or an in-office assistant, and move through the growing pains of delegating and trusting that the work will get done (and might even get done faster and better than they could do it themselves), I can always sense a feeling of freedom and excitement as the space opens up for them to work on the things that are really creative and inspiring to them, instead of dealing with invoices or fixing a glitch with their web page. And very soon after, their business really starts to move forward because they have the time and focus to dedicate to increasing their product and services line, which, of course, translates into more profits.
There are many ways that you can work with an assistant. You can hire someone on an hourly basis, or hire someone on a monthly retainer, which is often less expensive. You can hire someone for a single project only or you could hire someone fulltime to work in your office with you. Think about which of these scenarios might work best for you.
A tip: If you hire someone as an employee, remember to check with your accountant about filing the appropriate paperwork. The beauty of working with a freelancer, independent contractor or virtual assistant is that they cover their own overhead, including any insurance needs.
Here are 10 ways you can use an assistant:
1. submitting your articles to hundreds of submission sites
2. handling registrations for your teleclasses/workshops
3. proofing and formatting your written material
4. creating graphics for your products
5. maintaining your website
6. inputting any necessary updates to your products/services
7. as a sounding board for new ideas
8. responding to your customer/client inquiries
10. packaging and shipping your products
If you can’t quite see how an assistant could help you deal with all the time-suckers in your business, keep a log of your business activities for a week, including how long each task takes you to complete. Then at the end of the week, review it and circle all the tasks that an assistant can help you with (there should be quite a few!). Consider the number of hours those things have taken you to accomplish, and decide if the $30-$50 an hour for an assistant would be worth the investment. Statistics tell us that your bottom line could increase as much as 40% once you hire help – now that’s a pretty good return on investment, isn’t it?
And if you still think you can’t afford to hire someone, then start asking around in your network for someone who would be interested in an exchange of services, or for an intern or apprentice.
If you’re ready to start the process of hiring a VA in particular, I recommend these services:
www.MultipleStreamsTeam.com – VAs particularly well-versed in helping entrepreneurs who use a multiple streams approach
www.AssistU.com – VA training program
www.IVAA.org – the International Virtual Assistants Association
Or ask your colleagues who are happy with their own VAs to see if any of their assistants are looking for additional clients.
So before you burn out and lose the passion for owning your own business that you started off with, hire someone to help you. You’ll reach more people with your message and make more money at the same time. Start small and add hours as you feel comfortable and for what you find necessary. You’ll never regret it and you’ll never go back to being a lone ranger!
© 2006, 2007 Alicia M Forest and ClientAbundance.com
Alicia M Forest, MBA, Multiple Streams Queen & Coach and creator of "21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System," teaches coaches, consultants, and other solo professionals and online entrepreneurs how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create abundance in your business, visit http://www.clientabundance.com