As a professional Virtual Assistant service, we get a lot of enquiries from business owners who know that they need help, but aren’t sure of the kind of support they need. This is extremely normal! Running a business and keeping on top of all the tasks that go with it can feel overwhelming. It’s often tricky to prioritise some of these tasks over others (they’re all important!) or to determine what you can and can’t delegate to outsource professionals.
Here at The Edwards Company, we want to try to shed some light on the subject, so we’ve collated all our experience and knowledge into a handy little walkthrough of how to determine the help you need and how to get the very best out of your chosen VA service.
Step 1 – Identify Problem Areas
So you’ve already concluded that you could use some help with the running of your business. You’re keen to outsource, but how do you decide what to outsource?
Here at EdCo, we suggest sitting down and determining the top three tasks that give you the most grief, or those tasks that you keep running out of time for. Perhaps its chasing unpaid invoices. While you know the importance of keeping those aged debt levels as low as possible and understand the benefits of increased cash flow, you find the whole process of credit control awkward and uncomfortable. You may inadvertently sever customer relationships by not carrying it out properly, or you may avoid it altogether, leading to a multitude of issues that are easy to accumulate and incredibly difficult to get rid of. Or it may be that admin tasks are often left to the last minute, leading to rushed work and inaccuracy. Perhaps customer service is important to you, but you don’t have the time to onboard and train new customer service staff.
The point is, every business owner in the world will have business-related tasks that cause issues for them. The trick is being able to identify them to do something about it. So, identify your top three and then get researching for a Virtual Assistant service that can accommodate your needs.
Step 2 – Research
Finding the right Virtual Assistant company for you is perhaps the most critical step in getting the best out of your decision to outsource. Some Virtual Assistant services will provide you with anything and everything, while some may be more tailored to your specific needs.
Take a look back at those top three tasks you identified in Step 1 and pick out a few keywords – ‘credit control’ for example, type it into google and attach any other keywords that will help tailor your search. Try including things like ‘specialists’, ‘outsource’, ‘assistant’ – you could even add your industry or location if you wanted to. This will throw up anything relevant in your search and, the good news is, search engines start by listing services that are deemed to be the most credible, up-to-date and of the highest quality.
This is where the research part comes in – look carefully at perhaps the top three results shown to you by the search engine and investigate their websites. What services do they offer? Do they sound like a good fit for your business? Make notes for each, and then it’s time to make a decision.
Step 3 – More Research!
The best Virtual Assistant services will have the client (you) as their primary focus, and this will be evident on their website. Services offered will be clear, and each service will have attached to it a description that clearly explains what they can offer. Some even go as far as to detail the problems each service could solve for you. For example, The Edwards Company specialises in Credit Control, so we have an entire website page dedicated to this service that provides you with a clear understanding of the service itself, and of how the service would solve issues such as built-up aged debt.
It would help if you also tried to source Virtual Assistant services that are transparent about their prices, right from the get-go. The last thing you want when trusting a VA service with important tasks is a surprise bill at the end of the month!
Although these aren’t the only two things you should be looking at when choosing a VA service for you, they can be pretty big deal breakers! Assess your findings and make your choice.
Step 4 – Communicate
Once you’ve selected a Virtual Assistant service that you know is going to work for you, the final step in ensuring you get the best out of your decision is communication. VAs are usually already pretty good at this and will keep you updated every step of the way. But remember, you’re allowed to give your input too! If there’s something you like being done in a specific way or via a particular method, let your VA know! Virtual Assistants are incredibly flexible, and the best ones will be happy to discuss and develop ideas with you to make sure you’re maximising the benefits of outsourcing as much as possible.
Here at The Edwards Company, we pride ourselves on being the go-to Virtual Assistant service for loyal clients all over the UK. We’re highly professional, experienced, friendly, and have an entire team of experts and specialists on hand to ensure that your Virtual Assistant experience is the best it can be.
For help in any of the following areas
For a chat about your VA needs and how we may be able to help, please do not hesitate to get in touch.