What to do if you can’t yet afford a Virtual Assistant

No one said running a business was easy, it’s hard work and takes time to get to a place where you’re in a position to start offloading tasks so you’re not working all hours and not doing the tasks that don’t bring in instant rewards. But, if you put the hard work in now, eventually you will be able to outsource the jobs you either can’t, won’t or shouldn’t be doing.

If you’re not yet earning enough in your business to work with a Virtual Assistant but know you need to free up some time so you can service more paying clients, here’s some things you can do today:

  • Calendly. This gem enables you to create one free link for people to book time with you so all you have to do is send them that link! No going back and forward with dates, times, etc. Take the hard work and stress out of diary management with the free option on Calendly. Then, when you’re ready to do more – like link it to your calendar, take payments, etc you can upgrade. Create your account here.
  • Schedule within Facebook. If you think of something to post on your FB business page but you’ve had this brilliant idea when your audience are sleeping, schedule it for another day or time. Don’t try and remember it, we only have so much capacity to remember stuff and you’re probably near full already.
  • Access your emails just twice a day – one of my clients started this way so he wasn’t constantly distracted by new emails. He now only checks them once a day and I check on his behalf throughout the day, highlighting or actioning anything urgent. So your clients and potential clients aren’t put off by not having an instant reply, consider putting a line in your email signature or auto-responder along the lines of: ‘In order to be productive on client tasks I check and reply to all emails twice a day, at 9am and 3pm. If your enquiry is urgent please call….’. As I said, this is what one of my clients did and it’s worked incredibly well.
  • Invest in a bookkeeping system. I know, you might not have much disposable income yet, but I think this should be your first investment and I recommend FreeAgent (this link gets you 10% off – I get nothing as I now get it free anyway). It saved me 4-6 hours a month because I no longer had to create invoices using Word, then convert them to a PDF. I no longer have to check my bank to see who’s paid, I don’t have to write individual emails when sending out the invoices, and I can see my profit and loss with just one click. It’s a game changer!
  • Hold ‘meetings’ via telephone or Zoom. If you’re traveling to places that’s lost time. Plus, seriously how much time during face to face meetings is an utter waste of time? If you really need to meet face to face, hold the meeting somewhere you can work before and afterwards so your time is not wasted, like a coffee shop. Also, if it’s an existing client, charge for mileage. People soon realise they can in fact have the ‘meeting’ by phone, Zoom or even email! Sign up for a free Zoom account here.
  • Stop with the Free 1 Hour Consultation. Whoa there, stop! You can give so much in an hour. Reduce it to 20 minutes. Leave them wanting more so they invest in you. If you need to get info from them in order to have a decent call ask them to complete a Google form in advance.

Then, when you’re ready to work with a VA here’s my free download on how, what and when to start working with a Virtual Assistant.

I wish you every success.

PS: One thing you can’t do if you can’t yet afford a Virtual Assistant is haggle or offer us ‘exposure’. We’re pretty good at exposing ourselves, but we’ll be here when you are ready.

Catherine Gladwyn

As a Virtual Assistant I am here to take care of the jobs that need doing, but you just don't have the time for. catherine@delegateva.co.uk

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