Knowing when to outsource

Knowing when to outsource

Crucially, knowing when to outsource any part of your work or life admin can be a linchpin moment that can, either, move you swiftly to the next step or make you sink.

I am often asked in interviews and in online forums: ‘when should I outsource and how will I know when I get there?’ The honest answer is: earlier than you feel ready!

In all honesty, if you are working regularly and you have family at home, as well as life admin, family, friends, birthdays, pets, laundry, a social life, sports, hobbies…. you get the picture (!), then life is full and, unless we outsource effectively, we will end up burnt out and overwhelmed. Neither of those two things are part of the Clear Desk mentality and are a huge reason why I started my business in the first place.

Rather than battle on, marching against the wind and having an uphill struggle every day, allow yourself the gift of time by outsourcing. This could be outsourcing at home or at work. At home, for example, I have a cleaner who comes twice a week and gives the house a good clean. Could I do this myself? Well, yes, I could, but I’d be doing it either at the crack of dawn, before my daughters get up, or in the evening, once they’re in bed, and I feel much more at peace if I spend some time with my husband in the evenings, and so we invest in the outsourcing. And it feels SO GOOD to come home to a sparkling house – oh, SO good! The money spent on this does not even compare to the feeling of joy, peace and calm that settles on me once the cleaners have been; it is worth its weight in gold. Did I think I’d ever grow up to be the sort of person who has cleaners? No. Not one bit. But I’m damn proud that I can support my cleaner’s business and, in turn, her family, by employing her. It’s a win all round!

In business, if you’re getting to the point where you’re spending more time working ON your business, rather than IN it, then it’s probably time to outsource some regular tasks. I know, it’s scary, and there’s a fear around making those first steps to let someone in. My advice is to take small steps and outsource any regular tasks that could be done by someone else; they’re, most likely, not the tasks that turn the needle on your business but, without them, you won’t keep moving forward. Start simple: social media scheduling is a great one. If you’re scared of losing your voice in your copywriting, then having someone to schedule your posts is a great weight off your mind. Think how you’d feel once you know that your posts are going out, just as you’ve created them, but you haven’t had to plug them into a scheduler, format them, add the relevant hashtags, check that they’re going out at the best time, etc, etc. How would you feel? You’d feel lighter. You’d feel chuffed to bits when you open your social media app and see your posts seamlessly being posted and proud that your marketing is being kept up to date.

If, however, you’re ready to make a bigger investment and seek more in-depth support, then a VA can also be the best person to do that. Often, professional VAs have a real rounded set of skills so, rather than searching for a Graphic Designer and then a Copyrighter, you can employ a VA, such as Clear Desk VA, who can do multiple tasks for you. We manage the back end of website content – everything from upgrading plugins on WordPress –  to managing your workflow and client portals in Dubsado. It’s the things that take the time that are stopping you from being creative in your business that are the best to outsource.

I know first hand what this is like because, at almost a year in my business, I now outsource myself. I have support, both at home and in my business, because I am only one person and I acknowledge that there are some skills that others have better than me! We are all aiming to achieve personal growth and happiness and, to achieve this, I think it’s imperative that we admit that we cannot – and should not – have to do everything ourselves. That acceptance alone is liberating.

If you are battling through the summer holidays juggling childcare and business, feeling like you’ve got to the point where you are ready to outsource from September then let’s chat.

We have availability and are here, arms outstretched, ready to support you to achieve a Clear Desk ~ Clear Mind by the end of your working week.

You can email: hello@cleardeskva.co.uk or click on our website to book a free, no obligation, discovery chat.

Natalia x

CDVA HQ

 

How A Virtual Assistant Can Help You To Grow Your Business

How A Virtual Assistant Can Help You To Grow Your Business

If you’re reading this, then the likelihood is that you should pat yourself on the back, as I imagine that your business has already reached fantastic heights…

However, if you’re reading this, I get the inkling that you might be reaching the point in your business where you’ve started to feel slightly overwhelmed at your seemingly never-ending task list? Perhaps you’re starting to get frustrated at the amount of time that some of your administrative tasks are taking? Maybe your business growth is stalling because you’ve been devoting less time to driving sales? If you’ve answered “Yes, that’s me!” to any of the above, then you are in the right place.

How a virtual assistant can help you to grow your business

A virtual assistant can help you to grow your business with a multitude of tasks, but it’s when ‘tasks’ move into ‘support’ that the magic really occurs. Any old folk could do some data entry for you, or you could probably ask a well-meaning relative to proof-read your e-marketing, but would they be truly invested? Would they see beyond the words to the effect on your ideal customer? That’s where Clear Desk VA really comes into its own.
You see, it’s the feeling of peace of mind and trust in your virtual assistant that really builds your businesses growth.
Yes, if your invoices are sent out for you – it helps.
Yes, if your social scheduling is neat and tidy for the month – it helps.
But the *real* service a brilliant virtual assistant should provide to help you to grow your business is being that wingman that helps you to push sales, constantly improve, and tweak everything to help you to move forward.
An efficient and well organised virtual assistant will always be on hand to serve their clients needs, and to come up with the best ways to help you to grow your business. If you are an entrepreneur feeling overwhelmed by your task list, look no further and contact us today for a FREE, no obligation consultation call to see how we can help you to grow your business and to achieve a Clear Desk – Clear Mind.
No (wo)man is an island, after all.

If you’re interested in working with me to help you to grow your business, then I’d love to hear from you. For more information, contact me via my website here, or email me at hello@cleardeskva.co.uk.

Let me help you to achieve a Clear Desk – Clear Mind.

Six months of Clear Desk!

I can’t quite believe it, but my business is six months old today! I felt that this half birthday deserves a wee bit of reflection on where I’ve come from and how much I’ve achieved in this short space of time because, to be perfectly honest, I am pinching myself every day at the moment.

Six months ago my husband and I invested in two days a week of childcare for our youngest daughter, to allow me to attempt to start my VA business and gain clients. Well, six months on and I will be working four days a week from the middle of March and I have an advert out to recruit an Associate VA!

Growth has been swift, and amazing. With this, of course, comes a lot of learning and swift change along the way and I think – nay, I know – I have kept up with everything. I am SO so fortunate to work with clients who are on the same page as me. All women, so far, who are fitting a busy lifestyle around their passions and businesses, but who need some virtual administrative assistance to quell the dreaded overwhelm and ‘The Noise’, as I like to call it.

I have assisted with things from as diverse as: redrafting privacy policies, researching event locations, contacting prospective venues, filing and sending out invoices, blog creation, social media content creation, scheduling, logo design, redesigning web pages and more! I have one wonderful international client (hello, Canada!) and I have had face to face meetings, video meetings, Wattsapp chats and all types of communication that you can think of to help my clients feel that they have that someone there, when they need me.

Now, I have got to the point in my business when it’s time to outsource some work for myself and to begin growing my team. This is part of The Dream for me: to create a team of experts who can support business owners with everything that they need to help them to achieve a Clear Desk by the end of their working week. What clients need, understandably, differs from person to person and my aim, with Clear Desk, is to create a brand that encompasses everything from social media support to invoicing. I know that no man (or woman!) is an island and so I am advertising for an Associate to support me. I have been, honestly, blown away by the quality of applications and feel extremely humbled that there are other women out there who’d like to work with me.

See – I told you – I’m pinch-myself happy!

But, if there’s one thing that I have learned over the last six months that underpins everything else, it is that belief is what gets you places. I have a strong sense of purpose and self-belief, as well as belief in the value that I bring to my clients, that drives me. This isn’t ‘being big headed’ or that negative horribleness, it comes from a sense of determination. I’m often asked by other VAs how I have done it so quickly and the only answer that I have is: believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself and what you are offering, then others will, too.

I’d love to hear from you, if you’d like to work with me: cleardeskva@gmail.com

Come and achieve a Clear Desk, the view is lovely over here.

Natalia x

How could a VA help you?

How could a VA help you?

Imagine the scene: you’re a business owner who works a lot. By ‘a lot’, I mean everyday. Now, this working everyday may look different from one business owner to the next but, the point is, you are often ‘on’. You are often ‘working’. Even if you are not sat at your desk / easel / car / in meetings / creating / selling, your brain is on and your brain is working most of the time. Does this sound familiar?

On top of this, you have the rest of your life to consider: your family; your home; your hobbies; your commitments; your fun stuff. The stuff that you do to keep you sane (apart from work!) but it needs to be done, even if it’s loading and unloading the washing machine three times a day, it needs to get done and the fact that it ‘needs to get done’ rings and dings around in your brain, adding to, what I like to call: The Noise.

The Noise drains us. It can be constant. Some of us are better than others at tuning in and out of The Noise but, let’s face it, in 2019 we have a lot of Noise: rolling news; social media; sick children; piling laundry; Watts App groups that feel we need to keep up with; diaries that can mount out of control; dentist appointments; sales meetings; assemblies we need to get to on time … you get the picture. Forget The Juggle – I’m saying that The Noise Is Real.

At least, it can be. It has been for my clients and now, hopefully, their Noise is quieter. Their Noise is quieter because they took the positive, progressive step to outsource some of their Noise to my Virtual Assistant business: Clear Desk VA. And that, in itself, can be a scary thing, particularly if YOU ARE your business. As a sole trader, outsourcing anything at all can be scary, but to hand over a regular portion of your business, and invest in it, takes guts. It is scary. But it pays off. In fact, it pays dividends. Here’s some of the things that you may start to feel if you start to outsource some of your administrative tasks to a VA:

  • The Noise may dim
  • you have peace of mind that things are getting ticked off your To Do list, without having to physically do them yourself
  • like you have more time to do the things that you love
  • supported: a VA can be a brilliant sounding board or professional ear for you to run ideas by
  • in control, rather than out of it
  • successful
  • profitable
  • flexible
  • content

My business is built around the foundation of helping other business owners to achieve a Clear Desk and a Clear Mind. I know that these things are achievable and that they have a drastic, positive impact on my clients’ lives.

Often, the type of enquiries that I get from prospective clients are almost a cry for help: business owners that are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of tasks that they need to complete and the switch on The Noise button is twisted right up to ‘high’. I find that they, almost, don’t know what they need help with first, because the feeling of being overwhelmed can be all-consuming. That’s why I thought I’d kick off my first blog post on my website with a list of things that a VA could help you with (this list is by no means exhaustive! VAs are magical creatures: we often have our own niche and I know a few of us who work for ourselves but recommend each other to prospective clients, if we feel the work is more suited to their particular niche, so always ask!) Services can include:

  • regular finance tasks: sending out invoices; chasing invoices; data entry; recording your business receipts, profits and losses
  • email organisation: ‘cleansing’ your Inbox; sorting out folders; creating automatic replies; determining which emails you need to focus on first and which can wait; helping you to establish healthy email habits; setting up signatures and account forwarding
  • web design: creating websites; designing pages; SEO
  • branding: design; marketing and theme
  • email marketing: creating, implementing, analysing and updating your email marketing campaigns
  • note-taking: minute-taking and typing
  • CRM: client management; updating; storing; organising; matching with your email system to streamline your business
  • creating marketing documents
  • social media content writing and scheduling
  • taking telephone calls and responding to voicemails, so that you only have to respond to the most essential communication
  • content creation, copy-editing and proof reading
  • researching information that’s helpful to grow your business
  • personal life admin: I’ve even sent Christmas cards for one client!

So, as we set sail on the ship that is 2019, rather than allow The Noise to grow to deafening levels, why not take a breather to look at your goals and aims for this year, then ask yourself ‘what could a VA do for me?’ I promise you, it will be one of the best investments that you make this year.

If you’re interested in working with me this year, then I’d love to hear from you. You can either contact me via my website here or email me at hello@cleardeskva.co.uk

Let me help you to achieve a Clear Desk – Clear Mind in 2019.