Virtual Assistants - Outsourcing your to-do list
In the words of Sir Elton John: "There's more to do than can ever be done".
Ever feel like that?
Is your to-do list never-ending?
Do you hope and pray for a page full of green ticks?
Are you a pro at procrastination?
If you answered 'YES' to any of the above, then this week's episode of our weekly podcast (Business Growth Central) is for you.
Join Nigel and his special guest as they explore how you can get more done, how you can turn that long list into a thing of the past and ensure you're working on the right things that will have the biggest impact on your business...
Nigel - Hi, welcome to "Business Growth Central" where this week we're talking about stuff. Big stuff, little stuff, getting stuff done. And as we all know, anyone running a business, there's always more to do than can ever be done. â™ª More to do than can ever be done â™ª If you're running a business, and you haven't got an assistant, then you are one. Say that again, "You haven't got an assistant, you are one." Now, I'm fortunate to have an assistant, his name's Steve. Now, Steve, of course, is a proper PA, and I know that not every business is of a size and a scale that people feel they can afford a proper PA, in order to help them get stuff done. But you don't have to have a proper PA. You can have a virtual PA, and the two great things about virtual PAs is number one, any business can afford one. And number two, they help you get loads of stuff done. "Oh hello, you're back again?"
Emma - Hi Nige.
Nigel - Hi Emma, so Emma Mills is with us on "Business Growth Central." And as many of you will know Emma runs a fabulous business called
Emma - MiPA.
Nigel - Ooh, so you provide virtual PA services?
Emma - Exactly.
Nigel - What a fabulous coincidence. 'Cause this episode is about like the power of the virtual PA, Emma. So what sort of stuff does a good VA do, Emma?
Emma - So, a good VA will do the things that you as the business owner are spending your time doing. And that's a key thing in the beginning to understand where you're spending your time, and it's not in the best use. And a really good virtual PA will unpack that with you to understand, well, you're spending all your time in your inbox all day, you're spending all your time doing the follow-up, but doing it badly, and not doing it when you should and consistently. I always advise, and the breadth of how a virtual PA can help can vary from your day-to-day in your inbox, to help with marketing and implementing it and ringing up your customers. To social media, to just operational support or what I would call the family PA. Like you talk about getting stuff done, just, you know getting my car MOT'ed, renewing things. Making sure life happens and that life admin, you know, works well. But I think it's really important in the beginning always just to have a little maybe awareness of where you're spending your time 'cause that's a really good place for any VA to help you with, to go, "I'm gonna help you with that."
Nigel - Okay, 'cause the thing in business, as we've said before, is there's more to do than can ever be done? â™ª More to do than can ever be done â™ª And as a consequence, so many business owners don't ever implement and execute the things that would really propel the business forward. And sometimes the VA can help with those things that would move the business forward. Like you say, with follow-up to customers or talking to customers, that sort of thing, part of the marketing.
Emma - Yeah.
Nigel - Or they can take all the other stuff and liberate the business owner to do the things that'll move the business forward.
Emma - 100% and it always gets called like the lower value stuff but you and I have had this chat before but even though it's called lower value, it's the cogs that need to keep turning, they need to happen, somebody needs to get them done. But you, as the business owner, it's not the best place for you to be.
Nigel - So, if you've got ambitions to grow your business, to move it somewhere different to where it is today. You're gonna have to do stuff. It's all about implementation and getting the stuff done. And if you're carrying all that on your shoulders that is a big old burden. And the truth of it is, we both know this is true, is some of the stuff will fall by the wayside. And what I know after over 11 years now right, in Entrepreneur Circle is so many business owners. It's the big stuff that falls by the wayside because they've got stuck in the weeds, stuck in the day-to-day doing the stuff that's important. But as Emma said, it's seen as it's actually the low-value stuff in terms of moving your business and your life to where you want it to be. And that's why a virtual PA can be so liberating 'cause there really are very affordable. I'm glad you're here, 'cause one of the things that stops people even exploring having a VA is they assume it will be really expensive. What's a good VA cost Emma?
Emma - So I'm a good VA and that's a really good word to use 'cause there's like any service, there's lots of different solutions and options and like, but with a VA service.
Nigel - And some aren't very good.
Emma - But with a VA service that can keep you running seven days a week, you don't have to retrain, you get a dedicated PA, you get back up support. A really good VA starts from about 180 pounds a month. It is completely dependent on what you ask us to do, the volume of the number of tasks that need to come through but it starts from around 180 pounds a month.
Nigel - Okay and presumably the more you do for people the more it will cost them.
Emma - Ultimately it will. And for us, what we at the very beginning it's really important to know what your intention is. What you want to get rid of and what that means. Does it mean more time to spend an evening with your family? Does it mean more time to work on customers? And that helps you really do the maths around what it really costs and what it really means to you?
Nigel - Yeah, now the reason I got Emma here today for this episode of "Business Growth Central" is because one of the little themes that I've had over the last few weeks in my Mastermind groups, in my Inner Circle groups with other members that I've spoken to, it's just how many of them are actually using the virtual PAs to liberate themselves, to get more stuff done. And the purpose, what they're putting their VA to use for does vary hugely. I know you've got members of the Entrepreneur Circle who are using their virtual PA primarily to look after the personal stuff. They're shopping for pieces of furniture or finding flats, or they're looking after golf clubs or whatever it might happen. Most of your clients though are using the virtual PA in the business.
- [Emma] Yeah.
Nigel - Yeah, a lot of it follow-up telephone, marketing, social media, all the stuff that takes the time. But if someone else is doing that you can be liberated to get stuff done. And as we all know in business, there's more to do. â™ª Than can ever be done â™ª
Emma - And another thing Nigel, that I think is just really important, it'll probably put a lot of business owners minds at rest. I know one of the hardest things, when you either work with a member of staff or a new person is, how're you going to train them? How are they gonna get things done? How are they going to just like get going easily? And when you work with a good VA agency they start to direct you and drive you and they tell you best practices, how to do things. So it's not all on you to go... 'Cause I know that's the biggest barrier to procrastination to go, "It's gonna feel really painful to hand this off." But when the VA agency makes it really easy to go, "Don't worry about it, so just tell me what you need doing, it doesn't matter if you've got processes or not. Give me the bare bones of that and we'll start to work with you on this is what good looks like." So having a good PA agency will make that whole process a lot easier.
Nigel - And of course, no sickness to worry about, no holidays to worry about, lots of reasons. And it's affordable 'cause you can come in at a price point that works for your business where it is now. Liberate you for those few hours a week that when you channel that time and that effort into the things that'll move the business forward, generates the cash, so then it can be liberated a few more hours a week and you can really start to build. And so many of the most successful members of Entrepreneur Circle have done just that. Thank you ever so much for coming down.
Emma - Thanks for having me Nige.
Nigel - And filming this episode. And we'll put the contact details of MiPA on the screen, there they are right now, anyone wants to talk to Emma. 'Cause you've got a big team now.
Emma - Big team, yeah there's 20 of us.
Nigel - Based in.
Emma - Manchester, all based in the office in Manchester. Yeah, and three of them support Leeds, so they're a great bunch of people. So you can give them a call if you want to get more stuff done.
Matt the Butler - So, today's takeaway in the immortal words of Sir Elton John. â™ª There's more to do than can ever be done â™ª So get yourself a VA.