How to Outsource Tasks to a VA: The Ultimate Guide
July 9, 2017
We creative entrepreneurs are busy people! We love what we do, but between running a business, keeping up with housework, social engagements, and most importantly, family, it can get hectic! Often, entrepreneurs spend all their time on things that are urgent, but lose track of the things that actually fuel their business's future success. OR, they attempt to do it all, and soon face burnout. After a while, it can feel like you're spinning your wheels on maintenance, but never actually moving forward.
In our quest to "do it all," it's okay to ask for help with things that you don't like doing, don't know how to do, or don't have time to do. Yes, it's an expense to outsource tasks, but how much is your own time worth? For example, would you want to spend hours and hours learning how to design and build your own website, spreading out over several weeks, fitting it in when you have time, while losing those hours that you could put towards income-producing activities? Or, would you rather outsource your website to a qualified expert, who can build it faster, deliver it sooner, and apply their years of experience, without a learning curve? Meanwhile, you're free to spend all those hours on something more productive for you.
Outsourcing isn't so much an expense, as it is an investment where the return you reap is time.
If you've decided it's time to hire someone for the tasks you don't like to do, or tasks where you lack expertise, getting a virtual assistant (or VA) is a great option. Then the next step is to decide which tasks to outsource, and often this is where business owners get stuck. When you've been DIYing everything for so long, you know how you like things done. Handing over the keys to parts of your business can seem daunting.
Think about your to-do list. What tasks are you dreading? What tasks are boring? What tasks are you not sure how to do? What tasks will take up time you don't have? What tasks just make you want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers up?
Once you decide what you want to outsource, seek out a VA with experience and confidence in those areas. It's perfectly acceptable to ask for references and work samples. You are hiring someone for a job, after all, and you want someone you can trust and continue working with for many years to come.
Then, once you've found "the one," communication is key. Let your
VA know your preferred method of communication, be that email, Skype, or something else. Most likely, you will need to send and receive files with your VA, so figure out with them the best method for that. WeTransfer.com is free for sending up to 2GB worth of files. Google Drive will give you 15GB of cloud storage for free. You and your VA can organize files and even collaborate via Google Docs.
Then of course, there's the question of payment. Some VAs charge by the hour, and some have differing rates based on task. Many VAs use PayPal for receiving payment, but check with them first. PayPal also makes it easier if your VA lives in another country.
VAs are many and varied. Pretty much any task you can think of, you can find someone who's an expert in that area. This isn't an exhaustive list, but here are ideas of tasks you can permanently delete from your to do list!