Increasingly regularly on a Friday we feature great content from super cool people changing the world one step at a time. One such person is Chris Ducker, CEO of an outsourcing firm based in the Philipines and also writer at the Virtualbusinesslifestyle.com, where Chris documents his quest to be a full time virtual CEO by the end of the year. As well as on the blog, you can follow Chris’ journey on both Twitter and Facebook:
Chris is today’s Friday Follow #FF
Over to you Chris:
Right now everywhere you look on the internet it seems that everybody and their dog is trying to get involved with the outsourcing and virtual assistant industry. It looks like it’s the kind of subject that simply won’t go to sleep anytime soon and as entrepreneurs and busy business owners struggle more and more everyday to be able to get more done, get more time and fundamentally become more productive, it is becoming tougher and tougher to avoid the idea of outsourcing or hiring and working with a virtual assistant for much longer.
And as somebody who’s been involved in the outsourcing industry for almost 10 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes taking place in the way that people look at outsourcing and how they might start to consider utilizing it, in regards to their business operations and more importantly, their business growth.
WHAT DO I WRITE ABOUT, MATTHEW…?!
When Matthew originally asked me to guest post here on his blog, I wasn’t too sure what I was going to write about. Mainly due to the fact that a lot of his content is too damn good to try and beat anyway!
However, as I knuckled down to putting together this particular post for him, I realized that there was only really one subject that I wanted to discuss for his readers who are predominantly entrepreneurs. And that is the subject of working, utilizing and becoming more productive through a virtual assistant being involved in their business.
So here are my top five tips to working with a virtual assistant and being able to maximize having them on board as a reliable and useful member of your full-time staff:
- Tip #1: Save Money. Plain and simple.
When it comes to admin support, you’re gonna need somebody who can truly give you top quality support to be able to take your eyes off that side of the business and focus on the more important subject matters. So this first tip is in regards to working with a virtual assistant to help manage that side of your business.
To have a top-quality experienced personal assistant/operations assistant, you would have to spend several thousand dollars or, the equivalent thereof, in any country around the world.
As somebody employing a virtual staff member to handle this side of your business, you will not only save a lot of money, but you will pay no taxes, no vacation leave, no health and dental benefits or any other kind of life insurance or medical insurance and you won’t pay any sick leave either.
In fact, when it comes to saving money working with a virtual assistant, the list does literally go on and on, getting to the point of even including saving money on additional tech requirements, in terms of IT support and set-up, PCs, office space, desks, chairs, coffee mugs you name it….!
- Tip #2: Focuses on being able to increase business opportunities by working with a VA.
Once you have your virtual assistant up to speed on your administrative tasks, you can finally take your eyes off this side of the business and start spending more time focusing on those more important issues such as having lunch with your bigger clients on a regular basis, developing smaller clients into larger money-making machines for you, and so on. You might even be able to spend more time on the golf course, pitching or presenting your new services or products to people that you meet on the fairway!
The bottom line is, as a business owner yourself, you’re your best sales person. But you can’t sell if you’re stuck behind the desk.
- Tip #3: Working with a virtual assistant to handle your customer service.
I strongly believe that customer service is vastly decreasing in today’s society where everything seems to be online. Companies are now using social networking sites and online community groups to manage customer service requirements. Maybe it’s my old school attitude, but I believe this is wrong.
Your customers should be able to pick up the phone and talk with a representative of your company on any of their issues at any time during the day. Having a virtual assistant in place to be able to pick up the phone to your clients, prospective clients and other business associates is highly important to the onward growth and market capture of your company in general.
Not only that, but a quality, full-time virtual assistant handling your customer service side of things, will eventually get to know your clients well and vice versa. And they will not sound like your usual voice-recording prompt or answer service robot.
- Tip #4: Utilize a virtual assistant for your online promotion and marketing efforts.
Most virtual assistants nowadays are very, very tech savvy. Meaning they can handle simple things like updating your blog or business website content, managing your social networking account such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace or LinkedIn. And they understand the internet and a number of good quality and highly-usable web applications far better than majority of most business owners out there!
I am personally very active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but I very rarely sign in to these accounts myself as I have my personal assistant handle my profile, my updates, my messages – you name it. Try it out! I think you’ll find that you’ll not only enjoy having fun with it, but you’ll also become a lot more productive too.
- Tip #5: This final tip is probably the most important out of the whole lot, because it centers around getting more productivity into your workday.
The American Small Business Association believes that about 40-45% of every business owners’ working day is spent on mundane, boring, repetitive and just pain in the ass tasks. These are tasks that not only slow down the productivity and growth of your small business, but they are also tasks that any business owner should not be performing themselves.
Overall, having a virtual assistant in your corner, so to speak, will fundamentally be the difference between you and your company making it, or breaking it for years to come. It goes a much longer way than just being able to spend a little bit more time with clients.
Fundamentally speaking, if you are not already involved with hiring and working with a virtual assistant, you better get yourself into the groove and start thinking about it very quickly. Because if you don’t, you’re going to get left behind, as you can bet that majority of your competitors have already done so.
Chris C. Ducker is CEO of a 200+ employee Outsourcing company based in the Philippines and an entrepreneur at heart. He is also an advocate of the mobile entrepreneurial life that he calls the ‘Virtual Business Lifestyle’ and author of the FREE eBook “Saving the Day, the Virtual Way”, which is available for download at his blog VirtualBusinessLifestyle.com. Follow Chris on Twitter to stay up-to-date with his projects and activities.