Should I? Or shouldn’t I?
We all have things in our business that we don’t like doing. Me? I hate filing bits of paper. To me, it’s the ironing of the office world. And I hate ironing. My mother used to say that I would rather buy a new shirt than iron one. And she was absolutely correct! I’m as paperless as I can be, and I’m a wiz at electronic filing (I actually have a folder called Filing Cabinet 😉). But filing cabinets. No. Hate ‘em.
But there are some things that you and I – as business owners – have to do. Whether we just hate doing them, or they take us out of our comfort zone, they still have to get done.
Some things take me way out of my comfort zone – and I’ve been living outside of it since I took redundancy in 2018 rather than work for someone I didn't like or trust.
I've been living outside of my comfort zone since I decided to stop looking for another job and concentrate on starting my own business. I've been living outside of my comfort zone having to put myself out there to network - on and offline - to get clients and grow my business. Those things we don’t like doing, or don’t want to do? Outsource them. Fantastic idea – give me a call and see what I can help you with. But there are some things that you really shouldn’t outsource to a VA because they form an intrinsic part of what makes you and your business.
Networking is one of them – and I absolutely wish I could have someone else do this and get the leads and the new clients and meet and mingle with strangers. But I can’t.
Why not? Because no-one knows me, my business and what I can do, better than me. The same holds true for you. I am passionate about what I do. And I hope that comes across. As the saying goes, people do business with people they know, like and trust. No-one else can do that for me. Or for you. Don’t take on a VA and get her to sell your business, your services, You. Only you can do that.
Take on a VA to free up more time for you to go do it. Go be passionate about what you do, about what you offer. And know that your VA is beavering away taking all the stuff you don’t like to do, don’t want to do, or can’t do. Go do your thing and let your VA do hers.
I hate making decisions about money, too. There’s just never enough of it! But I make myself record every penny and pound spent on my business, and every penny or pound that comes into my business. One day, I may earn enough to employ a bookkeeper, but I expect that’s a long way off. Until then, it’s just me. Use your VA to record expenses, to create invoices. But do remember that anything more than that, and she’ll need to be compliant with Anti-Money Laundering regulations, and registered with HMRC. If you don’t and she isn’t, you could both end up in a World of Hurt, courtesy of HMG.
Bounce ideas off your VA, about how and where you want your business to go. Use her as a sounding board. She may well have a different perspective on things – in fact, she’s bound to – and so can put a different spin on things, perhaps highlight things you hadn’t given any consideration to. But you're the one who should be making the decisions. You're the one who knows where you want your business to go. Your VA is there to help you, not make those decisions for you.
Outsourcing tasks will free up both time and energy. But don’t lose sight of Know, Like and Trust. Don’t put an extra person between you and your clients. They chose you. You need to maintain contact; they need the personal touch from you.
All that being said, there’s still stuff I can do for you. So give me a call. See what I can do for you – help you focus on what you do best, and leave the rest to me.
Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke / Pixabay