#34 - Outsource Your Summer

This isn't the first time I have mentioned the importance of outsourcing and how hiring a virtual assistant can grow your business. Summer is the perfect time to take a closer look at the tasks you can outsource, and to help you with this I brought back my virtual assistant, Tracy Noble of Virtual Office Resources, to once again chat about how you can get started outsourcing for your business.

Why Outsource this Summer?

Outsource this summer

If you find yourself working late nights or on holidays instead of enjoying this beautiful weather or time with your family then it may be time to look into hiring a virtual assistant and outsourcing those tasks that are keeping you at your computer late into the night.

Summer is a short season; you should be outside enjoying it and not worrying about how you will get everything done.

What tasks can you outsource?

You can outsource just about anything in your business! Virtual assistants are no longer just administrative assistants! Many offer administrative services as well as social media marketing services, email marketing services, graphic design, technical assistance and so much more! 

The key is to make a list of the tasks you need done and then decide how much you can afford or want to spend on outsourcing those tasks. Qualified and experienced virtual assistants offer competitive rates. 

Start small when working with a virtual assistant! Summer is a perfect time to experiment with what tasks you are comfortable outsourcing. Some ideas are: your social media posting, email newsletter writing, editing or scheduling, sales page creations, webinar set up and maintenance - any tasks that will free up time to get you outside. 

How do you find a virtual assistant?

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner chances are there is someone in your network that is working with a great virtual assistant, so ask around in Facebook Groups, Mastermind Groups, and anywhere else you can think of. Chances are someone is working with a great virtual assistant and will happily recommend them.

Otherwise you can submit a RFP or search the membership databases on various virtual assistant associations such as the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA).

Do you have to hire a virtual assistant full time?

Absolutely not. While some virtual assistants only accept clients on a contractual basis, some are more than willing to complete a one-off project for you (such as writing content for your website) or if you only want to outsource one task, for example your weekly or monthly newsletter - you can do that too! When you are looking at working with a virtual assistant be clear on what it is you want to outsource and ask as many questions as it takes to be comfortable working with them.

What will you outsource this summer? Is it time to get started? Leave me a comment and let me know!

#26 Processes, Systems and Delegation with Amy Wright

Many people start a business to have a certain lifestyle and then find themselves busier and more stressed out than before. Processes, systems and delegation are ways to make sure you don't end up in that situation or, if you are already in that situation, are ways to get yourself out.

This week I spoke with Amy Wright, a business consultant who helps business owners improve their project and time management, teaches them how to hire and delegate effectively, and helps them develop customer service systems that work. In essence, she helps business owners get unstuck and get their acts together (but, Amy uses more colourful language than that). ;)



Outsourcing is hard, but so worthwhile. It's like the first time you have to take your kid to daycare, an analogy I know a lot of you are able to relate to. It's hard, there may be kicking, screaming and crying (from mom/dad or kid) but ultimately you know that it's in the best interest of everyone if daycare or school is in the picture.

It's the same thing with delegation. You need to let go of the reigns, even when it's hard, because ultimately it will help you be a better business person.

Have a plan for your day

Most entrepreneurs get caught up in a reactive state. They are replying to emails, trying to share on social media, responding to inquiries and suddenly it's the end of the day and they feel like they haven't really accomplished anything - because they haven't!

A plan can make all the difference but sometimes it's hard to stop and take time to make the plan because we're so busy IN our business. But a plan NEEDS to be a priority so that you don't get burned out and continuously feel frustrated. 


How do you figure out what needs to go in your plans? Spend time to assess where you're at and where you're going.

Spend time thinking about your goals. What do you want to be working on? How much do you want to be making?

Track your time - what you are spending time on? Are there any key areas that you really shouldn't be spending time on and that could be delegated?

How easy/hard is it to start delegating?

Some people fear that delegating is a huge time and financial commitment. Start with three hours a week. Even if you have more, start small and get comfortable and build trust with the person you're going to be working with.

Process versus System

A lot of people mix these words up. A process is the steps you take to get from point 'a' to point 'b'. Step-by-step: how you manage your customer service, communications, and how do you plan out your blog posts (topics, fonts, layout, promotion).

Systems are the tools you use to manage those processes, such as MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Quickbooks, and Boomerang.

Create an Operations Manual

An operations manual isn't a big stodgy document. It's a working document that tracks what you do and how. The best way to put one together is to screen capture the processes you have, step-by-step. Tools like Jing and Camtasia are great for this. Then when you are ready to delegate you don't need to spend huge amounts of time on training, instead you just give them access to the operations manual.

Challenge yourself to spend two hours a week to capture what you do and create your operations manual.

#7 Is it time for you to hire a virtual assistant?

I've been working with virtual assistants (VAs) for a couple of years in my business now and it is honestly one of the best ways that I spend my money.

If I didn't have the support of a VA you would see far more typos in what I put out, you would see far less content being consistently put out, and I would probably have a lot more grey hair. My virtual assistant, Tracy, takes a lot of the stress out of my business.

As business owners, we're really busy people and having someone who can take care of the tasks that aren't part of the core of our business is important. It's why I often tell my clients that they should work with me and own their social media strategy, but they don't need to be the one to implement it. They can get someone on their team, or a VA to do the regular posting and even the writing - so long as they've figured out what the core messaging and intentions are.

This week I interview my VA, Tracy and we talk about what a VA is, how you should go about hiring one, and what kinds of tasks you might want to give them.

What is a VA?

A virtual assistant (VA) is a professional who works remotely (often from their home office) offering administrative, social media, marketing, communications and other services that support businesses and entrepreneurs.

Where can you find a VA?

You can find them through professional associations, such as the Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants (CAVA), the Global Alliance of Virtual Assistants (GAVA), and the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) or online - simply Google 'Virtual Assistant'.

Links & Resources

Tracy's tips on finding the right VA

Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants

Global Alliance of Virtual Assistants

International Virtual Assistants Association

Social Media Simplified on iTunes