After working hard for several months to build your business, you have finally reached break even, where you start to get results for your efforts. But for some reason, you’re stagnant; you’re not making any more progress.
Managing your business on your own comes with a lot of headaches. You have so many tasks to do that 24 hours is just not enough. The thought of hiring a Virtual Assistant makes you think and feel like the world is out to zap out all the cash from your bank account.
Well, it won’t.
Most entrepreneurs miss the point when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant to work with them. This is because they hire to get more clients, and not to boost their productivity. On the contrary, an increase in your productivity means more clients. And more clients lead in more money. Why?
You’ll have more time to focus on what’s important!
So yes, hiring a virtual assistant does increase your productivity.
However, the question is, “how?” In this short guide, you’ll not only find out how your business works, you’ll also get to discover the exact kind of tasks you should delegate to your virtual assistant for maximum productivity.
But first, you need to…
Understand your business
Hiring a virtual assistant could help to double your profits but first you need to know the aspects of your business that can be delegated.
Your business is made up of two major functions; the core functions and the auxiliary functions. These functions are simply operations or tasks that keep your business going. In other words, your business can’t survive without these functions. However, they have their unique responsibilities.
Core functions that define your business
Well, as the name implies, these functions are critically important in your business. You can relate them to the engine of a car. Without it, nothing moves, nothing makes progress and money isn’t made.
Core functions are not functions that you should neglect. In fact, you’d be killing your business the moment you start to reduce your involvement in these functions. Unfortunately, this is the case with many entrepreneurs who work round the clock, thinking that they are being productive.
To help you out, let’s look at the following business model and find out the core functions that it has;
Eric is a 29 year old guy who is experienced in internet marketing and just started blogging in that niche. But he doesn’t just want to blog; he plans on branching into coaching newbie internet marketers as well. However, he realizes that in order for his coaching services and blog posts to go viral, he needs to stay abreast with developments in the internet marketing niche which is really wide. He has plans to become a renowned internet marketing coach and wants to be known as a thought leader in the industry.
With the business example above, let’s look at the core functions of Eric’s business.
1. Marketing: This core function mostly involves consumer engagement and relationship building. Eric needs readers of his blog posts and buyers of his guides. Only marketing can get those people.
2. Product/Service Creation: Products and services vary depending on what your business is all about. The main thing here is that you create your own products, services or both. You have to come up with the ideas for your products and services; as for Eric, his business is service based because he’ll be coaching new internet marketers, teaching them what he knows about the industry and how they can grow their businesses.
3. Product/Service Development: Except you entered into a ready-made market full of people hungry for your product, you need to constantly stay abreast with the needs of your prospective clients. The only way to do this is to monitor your market. When the needs of your target audience changes, this influences the market and determines your next product that comes out.
Eric needs to stay current with the wants and needs of the audience in the internet marketing niche. This would help him know exactly what his next blog post would be about and what the subject of his next premium training should be.
4. Client Follow-up: It’s one thing to get clients and another thing entirely to retain loyal clients. It’s very important for you to know what your clients have been up to and how you have contributed to their success.
For Eric, his clients are his students and he needs to know just how well they are applying his trainings. As a coach, he has e-books and membership privileges which he gives to his clients as extra aid. So, in order for his services to be effective, he needs regular feedback.
Auxiliary functions that drive your business
These are not functions which you should neglect. Why?
Auxiliary functions of a business are like the body of a car. Neglect them and your business will stay unattractive! – Click to tweet
Every core function has an auxiliary function attached to it. Let’s take a look at our core functions above and the auxiliary functions attached to them.
1. Auxiliary Functions of Marketing: Social media has made consumer engagement and relationship building a whole lot easier. However, a lot of time goes into it. Social media profile creation and management, responding to comments about your product on your Facebook wall, saying “thank you” to positive direct messages from customers on Twitter are just some of the many activities entrepreneurs occupy themselves with, in the name of engagement and relationship building.
For Eric’s business, being inactive on Social media is not an option. In fact, it could take his business to a screeching halt. Being active on social media isn’t just about sharing blog content. He also needs to respond to comments on his posts, make tweets and Facebook shares, read content from other blogs, respond to direct messages on Twitter, as well as becoming a thought leader in internet marketing forums.
2. Auxiliary Functions of Product/Service Creation: Creating new products doesn’t involve only the ideas that come from your head. You still need to know if your market will want it. Research is very important and in this case, it is one of the auxiliary functions. Others may include product design (if it is programming based) or training (e-books).
Before Eric can coach any clients, he needs to be sure of the kinds of clients he wants. If he’s bringing any new coaching techniques to the table, he needs to be sure that it’s unique and not another over-used technique from other marketing coaches. He needs to know the favorite forums and social networks of his prospective clients. He needs to know what’s new and what works in the internet marketing world. He also needs to know who to recommend and who to partner with during his coaching sessions. In other words, he should know everything about internet marketing (well, almost). This is only achievable through research.
3. Auxiliary Functions of Product/Service Development: This is somewhat related to the core function above because it also involves some level of research. But it also differs because here, you also need customer feedback on your product. The only way to get this feedback is via emails, comments on your product fan page, calling people, forums and other networking groups. Feedback can go into hundreds and thousands in number, depending on your customer base and your reach.
Eric’s business doesn’t stop at just getting clients. He needs to ensure that his services are up to date. He needs to constantly introduce new guides for his clients that bring results. In order to know what his next blog post would be about or what his next premium training guide would contain, he needs to be current and know exactly what his clients want. If creating two webinars a month makes his clients happy, then so be it. If his clients always seem to take action after having a 1 hour chat with him, then he must always be available. This would involve taking appointments and scheduling live sessions.
4. Auxiliary Functions of Client Follow-up: This doesn’t just involve sending a client an email, asking to know how his business is doing and what he’s eating for lunch. It involves detailed interviews, case studies, a lot of one-on-one business assessment, and many others.
For Eric, having testimonials from his clients would make him more money. He’ll need to conduct detailed interviews, either via email or live chat, with his clients to know just how well his trainings are working. He’ll need to take note of those “Ghost clients” who use his trainings and then go underground. He’ll need to know what clients are saying about his services on social media. He needs to take care of his online reputation.
So, the key point here is not to face the core activities and ignore auxiliary functions.
What you need to do is…
Focus on the core functions of your business; delegate the rest to a Virtual Assistant
Delegate auxiliary functions of your business to a virtual assistant for maximum productivity! – Click to tweet
How do you do this? By simply delegating those tasks which prevent you from facing the core areas of your business. Here are four ways to delegate those recurring auxiliary tasks while you concentrate on your core activities, with no stress at all.
1. Write More Solution-Driven Blog Posts Using the Questions Assembled By Your Virtual Assistant from Social Media
What kind of content do you think will make a reader hire your services or purchase your products? Readers don’t just become loyal clients because they feel the content is interesting or that the blogger is funny. They give you their money because the content has answers to their pressing needs and they’re confident that you’ll have more to offer.
Matt is a freelance copywriter and a coach that delivers to his students the best copywriting skills. The crazy thing is that Matt only sleeps 6 hours a week because of the growing number of sales pages he needs to build every day. This gives him no time to attend to the many copywriting-related questions asked on his blog and guest posts prospects.
So he hired Tiffany, a Virtual Assistant with some knowledge of content creation, who would track his blog and guest posts and respond to comments. Tiffany assessed the comments and created a FAQ page on Matt’s blog, containing all possible questions asked and yet to be asked. She also sorted out questions that were related to Matt’s business and which he could answer in his blog posts.
Take Action: Give your Virtual Assistant complete access to your blog so she can respond to comments. Have her scout for popular blogs in your niche with question-oriented comments that you could use as subjects of future blog posts.
2. Start Working on Your Next Product/Service Using the Market Research Data Compiled By Your Virtual Assistant from Forums and Social Networks
Except your first product was a flagship product which brings in tons of cash, you’re going to have to continuously bring out new products. And as you probably already know, creating a new product that solves problems is not child’s play. A lot of research is needed even before you actually start creating the product. The intensity of your research largely determines just how deep your pockets become after launch.
Coupled with being a serial online entrepreneur for 11 years, Rob is also a blogger at SoftwareByRob.com- a tech blog with a community of over 10,000 web entrepreneurs. In his book, “A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup”, Rob reveals just how much went into creating products for his start-ups.
Before launching Micropreneur Academy- a private community of startup founders, Rob needed to connect and build relationships with tech bloggers in the startup space. Although he already had a list of bloggers who would be instrumental to a successful launch, he knew in the back of his mind that he needed more contacts. But finding those contacts was not on his task list because he had several other launch related tasks which were more important.
That’s when he got a Virtual Assistant to handle the research. His VA was responsible with finding tech blogs in the startup niche with reputable ranking on Technorati. His VA then compiled the final list of 28 blogs, each having the blog URL, blogger’s name and blogger’s email. All Rob had to do after this was become familiar with the content and the bloggers behind each blog. His problem of intense research was solved.
Take action: Share a Real time Spreadsheet like Google Drive with your VA and have her update it with a list of bloggers in your industry. She should include all important information about these bloggers so that connecting with them becomes easy for you once your product/service is available.
3. Create a much better Product/Service and WOW Your Clients by using their Feedback compiled by Your Virtual Assistant from Your Email Inbox
If you don’t implement new ways to improve your services and/or quality of your products eventually you’ll also run out of clients because your competition is always looking to win them over from you. If you don’t acknowledge the feedback given by clients regarding what you have to offer, you’re going to have a backlog of debts to pay, after they all request for their money back (after all, you have a money-back guarantee, don’t you?)
Sharon is a personal fitness coach and a stay at home mom, with three kids to take care of. Every morning, she was always discouraged by the overwhelming number of emails containing feedback from her clients. She just didn’t have the time to check through and answer all of the questions from prospective clients. She needed serious help; the kind of help that Lucy, her wailing 8 month old baby couldn’t provide.
Sharon decided to hand over her feedback management to Margaret, her Virtual assistant. From the feedback and questions in emails, Margaret compiled a list of recommendations made by clients and prospects about Sharon’s business. Sharon could then use this list and questions to make improvements on her services.
Take action: Give your Virtual Assistant full access to your email account and share a Google Drive spreadsheet with her. Let her group the feedback and recommendations from your clients in a creative way that hastens you to think of improvements.
4. Stay in Contact with Your Loyal Clients by using an E-mail Autoresponder that is managed by your Virtual Assistant
If your efforts aren’t producing any results, then you might want to “revise” your methods. Client follow-up is simply a feedback mechanism that helps you know whether your products/services are actually serving your clients. The only way to know this is to continuously keep track of your clients and be on top of their minds. One way to do this is by regularly sending them emails with useful content.
By combining her knowledge of kitchen decoration and writing skill, Jane became an information marketer- writing e-books and organising seminars on kitchen decoration. Due to the fact that she knows her stuff, she never lacks attendees for her workshops or buyers of her materials. In order to stay connected with her new clients, Jane collects their email addresses and contact info, whenever a workshop is held. Being that there was high demand for her knowledge, all she could focus on was organising the next workshop and not compiling clients’ contact information.
With over 1000 email addresses stored on her computer, Jane promptly hired a Virtual Assistant, Kim, to help her gather all the contact information in one easily accessible place online. Kim also created a template which Jane could use for her future workshops. This template contained the clients’ name, email address, mobile number and other important details (including subscription type to her membership program). She made it extremely easy for Jane to stay connected with her clients on an ongoing basis, while developing the content for the next workshop.
Take action: Have your VA make use of Aweber; an email autoresponder tool that will enable you to stay in touch with your clients. Your Virtual Assistant can work with you to create the email messages and then configure Aweber to automatically send these emails at regular intervals to your clients.
Now is the time for you to make a decision!
You get nothing more than 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and you have two options. You can either keep yourself busy working in your business, trying to do everything and earning 100% of the little profit you make. Or, you could work on your business, automate it, delegate auxiliary tasks to a virtual assistant and double your profits month after month.
Your life would be less stressful if you could just get a virtual assistant to help you out. You may think that hiring one would drain your pockets dry. Well, here’s a guarantee- your productivity would definitely increase when you delegate the right tasks to your Virtual Assistant. With more time to focus on the core functions of your business, getting more results becomes easy. All you have to do is take action.
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