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Virtual Assistants

Top 5 Sites Where You Can Learn How to Outsource Online in 2021

The world has changed and things run differently now since the pandemic broke out. People explore different ways to adapt and adjust to doing almost, if not everything at a distance. The academe, various businesses, and almost all industries are becoming innovative and are looking for alternative approaches to do whatever they need to do remotely.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or you have a small business, outsourcing is a great way to bounce back and embrace the new normal. There are different sites where you can learn how to outsource online. Be ready to face the coming year by going through your prospect VAs with the right outsourcing platforms.

In this article, we are going to share our top 5 sites when it comes to learning how to outsource online.

1. Outsource School

Outsource School is a platform that offers top training for outsourcing and scales your business to that of 8-digit entrepreneurs. This site is best whether you are a startup or a growing business, who is looking to hire virtual assistants. This can be for reasons like saving time and growing your business faster. 

Outsource School has several users at present, ranging from eCommerce companies, Amazon sellers, agencies, coaches, speakers, influencers, to software companies. The owners of this platform also had their fair share of experience on various platforms, but later on figured that they did not have the right systems to keep their operations running smoothly and efficiently. Because of this, they established Outsource School which is geared towards making hiring and managing virtual assistants easier and more systemized for all businesses. 

This platform is the best fit for those who do not have any experience in hiring a virtual assistant and are still searching it out and testing the waters. Outsource School is also the solution for those who are not new in the field of outsourcing but are having issues with their current platform or are currently struggling in handling their VAs. This platform has all the solutions for every situation a business considering or currently outsourcing might encounter.

2. Udemy

Udemy is also one of the platforms that we recommend for you to explore to learn more about outsourcing. It offers different courses for both students and professionals and currently has more than 35 million users and 57,000 instructors. What makes it even better is that its training is available in over 65 languages, so those who prefer to learn with their own language.

Discussion boards are also made available in Udemy so that you can interact and engage with your instructors. This is helpful especially if you need clarifications and have queries wanting to be answered by the lecturers. Specifically made for businesses, the platform offers Udemy for Businesses that are focused on topics such as office productivity, management, and outsourcing, among the many.

Udemy best fits entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking for platforms to help them learn about outsourcing, how it works, and how it is done. The platform has tailored its system to cater to the needs of those who want to know more about this field. However, it is crucial that you do your research prior to enrolling in a learning course for anybody to teach on this platform.

3. Skillshare

Skillshare is another platform designed to help students, professionals, and business owners alike in any field they want to expand their knowledge on. Like the previous sites, Skillshare offers high quality and well-structured processes that will make learning easier for you. You can learn about outsourcing easier with this platform because of its highly digestible content.

Topics are discussed in Skillshare through a pre-recorded video that usually ranges from 20 to 60 minutes. These videos are then divided into smaller time frames, often in a series of 2 to 5-minute videos. This is highly beneficial when compared to taking in a full 60-minute video because this way, the person learning the topic can be more focused and engaged throughout the entire learning process.

4. Coursera

Coursera believes that learning is the main source of human progress. This is what you should be looking for in a platform when looking for a site to learn about outsourcing. It currently partners with more than 200 universities and companies to offer different courses not only to individuals but to organizations as well. Coursera, of course, provides topics focused on outsourcing.

The site provides lessons about outsourcing and its importance especially in global supply chains. Coursera also gives insights and explains to its clients why outsourcing is a make-or-break deal maker in the global arena.

5. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a new initiative established by LinkedIn with Lynda as their partner platform. You can discover lessons and courses on the platform by placing your general skills and interests upon registering. After which, LinkedIn Learning will provide various suggestions of courses according to your skills and interests.

The platform also helps you transition from learning outsourcing to transitioning towards the integration of outsourcing. This is with the help of one of their features they call the learning paths. After knowing about outsourcing, LinkedIn Learning can suggest various structured learning experiences to shift into discovering prospect VAs which can move as far as learning how you can hire these prospects.

Conclusion

Learning how to outsource online is highly vital especially during this time. As an entrepreneur or an owner of a small and starting business who is only starting to explore outsourcing, it is important that you become aware of what it is as an entirety. Knowing what it is and being mindful of your options will help you succeed in this matter.

There are more resources available on the internet that can aid you in learning about outsourcing. The ones that we have provided above are only our top picks to help you get started. Once you get to learn more about it, we are sure that things will be a whole lot easier for you and will help you save a lot of time.

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Virtual Assistants

Top 10 Business Tools to Help Maximize Time Efficiency

Choosing the right tools for your business can be a lengthy affair; the process of searching alone can be an overwhelming experience. With more people working remotely than ever before, online management tools have become integral to the way we work. Finding the right tools to streamline your workload can transform the ways in which you do business.

The market is currently saturated with tools to help you communicate effectively with colleagues and complete tasks efficiently from afar. At Digital Trawler, we use a number of management tools to ensure that our time is being used effectively. Throughout my many years of experience managing remote teams, I have used a number of different online tools, both free and paid. Below is a list of the tools I have found most useful for communicating, encouraging productivity, and streamlining accounting processes in my business.

Communication

Effective communication is vital for small business owners. There are a number of online platforms that facilitate communication between colleagues as well as with clients. One of the things to be aware of when choosing a platform is what tone suits your business. Maintaining a professional tone when working remotely is key. It can be easy to slip into bad habits when you don’t have to visit an office every day.

1. Loom

Loom is a free tool that allows you to send quick videos when speaking in person is not possible. It is an efficient and expressive way to communicate with colleagues and customers. The benefit of Loom is that you don’t have to type lots of text, and you can use visual explanations of things that would otherwise be complicated. Loom is excellent for teams that have a number of members working remotely.

2. Calendly

Calendly is useful when trying to find a meeting time that suits everyone. It allows you to schedule meetings without emailing back and forth about dates and times. It is simple to use; you input the times you are free into the calendar, share the link with whoever you want to meet with, and they can choose a time that suits you both. This tool is free of charge and very useful for small business owners with busy schedules.

3. Soapbox

At Digital Trawler, we use Soapbox every week for our team meetings. I have found it very useful for sharing information with my team. Soapbox allows you to share agendas, take the minutes of meetings, and assign tasks easily. Sharing an agenda for your weekly team meeting through Soapbox encourages better communication between colleagues, and more efficient time management. Setting the agenda before the meeting and sharing it with your team will help you stay on schedule and allows team members to have questions prepared in advance. This is a paid tool but worth the investment.

4. G Suite

G Suite is a Google meeting and calendar integration service. It allows you to automatically add conferencing to your calls and share documents all in one place making collaboration simple. You have to pay for this service but it comes in handy if you need a custom email domain, unlimited cloud storage, or additional administrative and marketing tools. This platform won’t suit every business but it is worth it if you want a variety of cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration tools.

5. Slack

Slack is the ultimate tool for teams who are working remotely. It allows you to keep your employees up to date through instant messaging in a professional environment. It functions like a chatroom for your entire team. It allows you to connect in groups or one-on-one about tasks. It also allows you to create threads for specific topics which means that all of the important information on a topic can be found easily. Slack is a free tool and one that we use at Digital Trawler regularly.

Productivity

At Digital Trawler we optimise our time by investing in platforms that suit the tone, pace, and size of our business so that we can get back to catering to our client’s needs. You’ll be surprised how many of the menial tasks you carry out every day, especially when it comes to communication and finance, can be replaced by capable software, so that you no longer need to worry about them.

6. Automate.io

Automate.io connects your cloud applications with ease. It allows you to automate marketing, sales, and payments, as well as any other business processes you use. You can create one-to-one integrations as well as complex workflows without having to use code through a drag-and-drop interface. Automate.io is similar to Zapier but more cost-effective. A free version is available that is easy to use. There are preexisting templates available for marketing, sales, and business processes.

7. Mail Merge

Mail Merge is an invaluable resource that saves you time sending bulk emails. It is a free service that allows you to send customised emails using templates and contact data. This service is ideal for small business owners who reach out to their clients frequently. It incorporates data from Microsoft Word and Excel which enables you to create multiple documents at once like newsletters.

8. Hootsuite

The Hootsuite bulk uploader helps you to create posts for social media pages and groups. It even allows you to add images and videos to posts and customise link previews before scheduling. Investing a little extra money by purchasing bulk upload in Hootsuite will save you a lot of time on your social media management. The Bulk Composer is most useful to create posts for social media websites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Accounting

The primary benefit of using online accounting software is to keep track of invoices and receipts. By automating your accounting processes you can save time and have peace of mind that your finances are in order.

9. Receipt Bank

This platform helps you to manage your receipts, invoices, and other documents so that you can be sure that your financial records are accurate and secure. One of the most helpful elements of Receipt Bank is that it matches your receipts to your outgoings in your bank account. It works by scanning your email to see which receipts came in and matches them for you. This is a paid tool but can be very useful for business owners who struggle to keep on top of their books. You can also capture and upload your bills and receipts using the camera on your phone.

10. Quickbooks

Quickbooks is an accounting software that allows you to manage your income and expenses. It is cloud-hosted but can be used both online and offline. By helping you to keep track of your finances, your business can save time on administration while ensuring that all of your documents are accessible. The software facilities invoicing customers, paying bills, and preparing the information you may need for tax purposes. It is simple to sync your bank account and credit cards which enables easy expense tracking.

It is known for its user-friendly interface and reliable security which makes it an accessible choice. It allows you to automate your banking, as well as getting real-time financial information on your bank accounts. You can also integrate it with conventional banking platforms for automatic savings. Similar to Receipt Bank, this software will facilitate any difficulties small business owners have when completing their own finances. Although it is a paid software, it is worth the investment as it is simple to use, and integrates well with preexisting platforms.

One last tip I will give is that every tool is only as good as the information you provide it with. In other words, if you invest in a tool to help you create invoices but you neglect to keep your client list updated, you could run into some trouble. Make sure you understand what is needed to use the platform correctly before making changes to your existing processes.

And there we have it, that is the full list of tools that have helped me save time over the years. If you still don’t know where to start, prioritise the areas where you feel time is being lost the most, and see if those processes can be automated using one of the platforms above. Whether it is your weekly email to your subscribers or staying on top of your receipts, there is definitely an online tool that will fit your needs and save you time.

Choosing the right online tools for your business is a tricky but vital task for small business owners. By automating all of the processes that would otherwise eat away at your time you can get back to what is important; running your business. Tools like the ones above save several hours per week which can be channeled back into productive activities. Some platforms will have an immediate effect, others will be accumulative. No matter which platform you decide to go with, you will save time and money by investing in specialised online tools that suit the needs of your business.

About the Author

ronan walshRonan has been working in Digital Marketing, specifically SEO for close to 10 years and is a lecture in Web Design & Digital Marketing in Ireland.
 
Owner and founder of Digital Trawler, a SaaS Marketing Agency based in Ireland. Digital Trawler helps companies with their marketing strategy and messaging and have experts in SEO, paid adverts, social media and conversion rate optimisation.
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Virtual Assistants

Knowing When to Ask for Help as An Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are go-getters by nature. They won’t stop until they achieve what they want, and they’re willing to make risky moves in pursuit of their entrepreneurial goals. Sometimes, they even put themselves on the line in an attempt to make it big. But while passion and tenacity are admirable traits, entrepreneurs also have the tendency to become overly self-reliant, refusing to seek assistance from others when they’re in a sticky situation.

Being independent is one thing, but trying to take on everything yourself will only lead to stress and burnout. You may think that asking for help demonstrates weakness, but by trying to do everything and making every decision by yourself, you’re risking putting yourself in a vulnerable position, potentially costing you the business you’re working so hard to grow.

It’s important to keep in mind that asking for help shouldn’t be seen as a sign of weakness. While it’s understandable that you’d want to be viewed as stable, self-sustaining, and competent, asking for assistance when delegating tasks can help you grow your business a lot faster.

Why it’s important to ask for help

Creator of Emotional Mastery, Joan I. Rosenberg Ph.D. notes that humans are social beings, yet individualistic cultures make us believe that relying on others and asking for their help is a burden and makes you emotionally weak. But we all need to acknowledge that we need both independence and dependence, and not one or the other. In order for us to pursue our goals, it must also be balanced with our need to be with others.

Being capable is necessary to develop resilience and confidence, but we should also accept that it’s sometimes necessary to be dependent on others, especially during moments when we have to tackle downturns. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but when you lean on your friends and family during troubling times, not only will you become more centered and calmer, but you’ll also let other people really know you. Achieving things on your own is a feat in and of itself, sure, but you must also have to possess the courage to ask for help when needed so you can go after the dreams and goals you have set for yourself.

When to ask for help

4 Tips on How to Write a Kick Ass Job Post for a VABusiness owners need to learn how to take a pause from time to time. So remind yourself that you don’t always have to be a productivity machine. While you prefer to work every minute of every day to achieve your goals faster, it’s crucial to stop and take a breather and remember that what you’re doing most likely isn’t a matter of life and death and will still be waiting for you the next day.

Suzanne Rohan Jones is a career counselor and associate instructor on the online psychology program at Maryville University. In her interview with Thrive Global on managing anxiety, she points out that you should master the concept of a work-life balance, and find out what activities cause negative stress and burnout. When you find that you’re starting to feel stressed and anxious, you should pause and identify what’s triggering it so you can take the necessary measures to avoid them.

Jones also notes that it’s important to set realistic expectations for the amount of time needed to successfully accomplish work activities when also juggling personal commitments. You may feel compelled to say yes to all familial commitments and new projects and requests from colleagues and clients so you can wow them, but wowing people is impossible if you don’t know how to say no.

How to get help

It’s important for entrepreneurs to realize that you can’t do it all. You’re only one person and there’s only so much time you and energy you can expend. Know your limits and learn how to say no to anything beyond your reach. You’ll be able to feel more in control and less anxious, and even have a better time making decisions when you know how to hit the pause button.

You can always start by delegating your tasks; ideally, to an assistant you can trust. If you can’t afford an actual assistant just yet, you always have the option to hire a virtual assistant who can tackle low priority tasks. As previously mentioned by Marcel Petitpas, having a virtual assistant on board is a great first step to scaling your business, especially when you’re just starting out and trying to scale your venture. When you’ve learned how to delegate, you’ll be able to focus on the most important parts of your business while also empowering the people you assign to take charge of projects you hand over to them.

This article was specially written for Outsource School by Rosie Jas

About the Author

Rosie Jas is interested in all things entrepreneurial. She enjoys learning about the ins and outs of starting businesses and why some startups fail. She loves to bake and tend to her indoor garden.

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Virtual Assistants

How To Effectively Hold Monthly Culture Meetings on Slack

During these times, everybody must be doing virtual meetings through online communication platforms. However, it is hard to communicate correctly and engage your audience because of the physical distance you have with your team.

At Outsource School, we have recently started to hold monthly culture and team meetings via Slack chat, and we’ve found some pain points and other challenges in conducting these meetings. Luckily, we found ways to address these issues, and we’re excited to share what we did. 

These monthly meetings are something new that Outsource School wanted to try out as we started hiring and scaling the team. After all, constant, engaging, and effective communication is essential to improve productivity.

We always had our weekly all-hands meeting, weekly team meetings, and quarterly 1 on 1s, but we hadn’t experimented with a meeting specifically about team and culture. With 3 of these in the books so far this year, we can honestly say that it’s been a massive improvement in building our remote culture.

This article will discuss points to remember when setting up a monthly culture and team meetings through Slack chat. Here’s what we’ve found to work so far:

Set the Right Precedent and Make it Mandatory

Give your team plenty of notice about the meeting and make sure that they’ve added it to their calendars, so they don’t forget. Letting them know about an upcoming meeting sets their minds and drives them to prepare for the activity. Set a specific date and time every month and do your best to stick by this schedule to develop a habit for everyone in the team.

Let them know that the meeting is going to be all about the team and culture. We are getting to know one another better, talking about the company’s vision and mission, and going over company values. 

Communicate to your team the agenda of your meeting. We found that being 100% transparent about the discussion prepared the team to contribute when it came time to run it. Through open communication, you’ll have a more productive and efficient meeting. Everyone comes equipped with possible questions, suggestions, and other items they’d want to discuss with the group.

Don’t stress yourself out with unnecessarily long, tiring, and time-consuming meetings. As the lead, it’s your task to make these group activities as fruitful as possible. Remember, this is a culture meeting, not your usual updates or performance reviews. It doesn’t have to be as formal and all about work.

Spend the First 20 Minutes on a Team Building Activity

With a 100% remote company, it can be harder to get to know your colleagues than if you were in an office with them every day. There is a negative impact on engagement and participation when colleagues don’t physically see each other during meetings – these team and culture meetings can help solve those issues.

In our most recent meeting, we all went around and shared where we were from and where we were currently living. As everyone shared, we Googled the locations on a map and shared the image to get a good sense of where we all were.

It was a fun exercise that brought us all together and taught us a bit more about each other’s upbringing and culture.

Ideally, it would be best if you did activities that would get everyone to talk about something emotional and personal, but not too intrusive. Another example of these activities would be asking them about their favorite movies/songs and asking them to share why.

Relationship-building is vital to a productive, collaborative, and high-performing team.

Spend the Next 10 Minutes on Any Team or Culture-Specific Updates

You don’t want these topics to rule the meeting and take too much of your time. Keep updates short, concise, and easily remembered. Through Slack, you can also easily prepare notes beforehand that you can easily copy and paste during your meeting. Doing so will help you maintain structure in your meetings, avoid going overtime, and ensuring that you don’t forget any important updates.

However, when you have any necessary updates, make sure to mention them, so the team is on the same page. These critical updates could include new hires, the main focus for the week, new internal processes, etc. As long as the update involves and affects almost everyone, make sure you communicate with your team.

Teams work better if they have the same idea and mindset in the activities that they do. Any miscommunicated updates well will most likely confuse and disrupt performance.  

Spend the Last 20-30 Minutes Going Through a Company Value

The part of the meetings where we discuss how a company value has had a very impactful effect on our team. At Outsource School, we have a culture guide that outlines our mission, vision, and values. We make sure that our culture guide is defined to have a clear direction where we want to go.

Each meeting, we pick one company value, and we discuss it as a team. We make sure that everyone has had the opportunity to share what it means to them. It is also essential to let the team mention how it impacts them in their personal and work life.

This part of the monthly meetings led to some fantastic conversations, showing that we all have a lot of the same values and beliefs in life. It also creates a bond between the team members knowing that they share the same points of view.

Bringing people together around their beliefs can create real bonds and make them work harder towards building the company.

Conclusion

Holding meetings through chat might be unconventional for some. The norm has always been to use video or voice calls during meetings. But as discussed, these meetings have been extraordinary for us so far, and we look forward to developing them even more. 

Outsource School hopes that you have learned something from our experiences and how we approach our monthly culture meetings.

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Virtual Assistants

Scaling with VAs – The Workflow Processes No One is Talking About

Scaling up your Amazon business is not always a walk in the park. It requires a lot of hard work, sometimes without much visible payoff. But when it comes to your inventory management, what if all it takes is syncing three essential things to ensure your scaling-up process is successful? Offloading and coordinating a few key tasks using reliable, well-trained virtual assistants can make things more manageable and efficient in turning your dreams of scaling into a reality. 

In this article, we’re going to share the importance of syncing your marketing, inventory, and cash flow teams to your inventory management and your business as a whole. We’re also going to talk about how Virtual Assistants (VAs) play a vital role in scaling your Amazon business.

Sounds good? Read on!

3 Important Things to Sync

Whenever Amazon sellers talk about scaling up their business, it’s all about marketing. They always talk about the latest marketing tactics or the most “ninja” marketing strategies. See, there’s nothing wrong with being updated in the marketing scene, in fact, it’s vital, but the problem starts when marketing is the only thing that you focus on. Running an Amazon business means dealing with inventory. If all of the attention is on the marketing side, your company will have difficulty increasing its revenue and achieving growth. 

Amazon inventory management needs to be brought up within the conversation much more. Before you scale up your Amazon business as a whole, you need to scale up your inventory management systems. We’re not saying that you have to take your away focus from marketing completely. Of course now. However, you need to pay attention to other aspects of your business to improve your inventory management.

So, what are these three things that you need to focus on and sync?

They are inventory, marketing, and cash flow.

And how do these three areas work together?

  1. First, you should set up a marketing plan. The marketing team should lay out your sales seasonal velocity, Lightning Deals included dates and units projected to sell, and other marketing tactics you’ve planned. When the marketing plan is set and done, it’s time to forward it to the inventory team. 
  2. The inventory team’s main job is to find out whether the marketing plan is feasible or not. For example, you want to put a 20% discount on your products during Valentine’s Day. But the inventory team tells you that your stock levels will not allow for the sales campaign you have in mind. If you are too aggressive, you’ll stock out. The best thing to do here is for the inventory team to give the marketing team’s plan back for them to revise it based on what the inventory levels can afford. Eventually, the marketing and inventory team will agree on a particular strategy in line with your current inventory.
  3. Last but not least, cash flow. After all of the changes to the inventory and marketing teams’ plan, the next move is to send it to the accounting team. This is where all the money talk happens. Is there cash on hand? If money is available, is it enough to fund the plan? If not, what are the other options? What are the projected sales from this marketing campaign? Will the capital be tied up to negatively impact cash flow if this plan doesn’t succeed? How risky or certain is this plan? These are a few of the many questions that need to be tackled. Put simply, the accounting team’s primary role is to ensure that there’s enough cash to support everything profitably and to prevent the business from tying up capital in slow-moving products for an extended period of time.

This is the flow of syncing up your teams. As you can see, they all complement each other. If one team fails to communicate with the other, your business will run into problems. It’s essential to remember that no team is more important than the other. All must work together because each affects the others and all three fail or succeed together. 

Outsourcing Tasks to Virtual Assistants

Now that you know how to sync up your systems within your business, you just have to do one last thing: designating the tasks for your teams. This part is easy for a company with employees that are assigned to each defined role. But what happens if one of the teams lacks the expertise to do its job? What if you’re a solopreneur, and your to-do list is already filled with tasks that you can’t just keep up? What if your business needs additional hires to be more productive?

See, there can be many challenges in the execution, but one thing’s for sure, a virtual assistant will do wonders for your business if adequately trained and kept on task. 

Virtual Assistants (VAs) aren’t new to the freelance marketplace. More and more organizations are hiring VAs that become a vital part of their teams. It can prove to be quite productive and cost-effective.

To sync up your teams properly, here are the specific tasks that you can outsource to a VA for each category:

1. Inventory

For this role, you will need a supply chain manager who has excellent communication skills. This person is assigned to source and negotiate with sellers regarding their products. They need to know how to communicate effectively to get the most out of their orders.

You also need an inventory manager who has good time management, organizational skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. For starters, they need to ensure that orders are delivered on time and that you maintain proper, balanced stock levels, avoiding stock outs and over-ordering. 

It can get challenging to keep track of everything, but an organized VA will know how to sort things out correctly. If an issue comes up, a VA with problem-solving skills should have anticipated it and handled it the right way. 

Lastly, critical thinking skills are also vital so that your VA can establish new ways to manage your inventory efficiently. 

2. Marketing

When it comes to the marketing team, there can be many roles to fill in. Fortunately, there are also a lot of VAs who specialize in marketing. 

First, you need someone to handle your Amazon listings. Hire a VA who can write well to improve the content of your listings. Then, if you want to boost these listings, you can assign a VA to run FB ads for your business. Doing this provides more visibility and attracts more potential customers. 

How about keywords? You can assign a VA to take charge of your SEO efforts. If your marketing plan consists of Lightning Deals and special sales campaigns, a VA experienced in email marketing can handle this aspect of your marketing strategy. They will segment your leads efficiently and send well-constructed emails to further boost your sales conversions.

3. Cash Flow

As for cash flow, an accounting team composed of professionals who know how to deal with money and allocate it properly is required. As this can be a more technical role, you can choose to hire VAs with an accounting background that you can train, or to work with accounting freelance experts to assist you. What is important is that they know how to make the right decisions for your company’s profit, revenue, and growth. 

Finally, you can also choose to hire a Project Manager VA who will oversee and coordinate with all of these teams and projects, ensuring they are completed within the set deadline.

As the business owner, your primary responsibility is to set your teams’ direction and streamline their processes. From there, your VAs can execute their tasks and work together. The flow of your scaling processes can be streamlined if you have the right people on your teams working collectively and in a coordinated manner. 

Sync Up to Scale Up

If you want to truly scale up your Amazon business, it’s time to shift your focus on your inventory management. Syncing your inventory, marketing, and cash flow should be one of your priorities to take your Amazon inventory management a notch up.

However, there are a lot of factors as to why businesses fail to implement this syncing process. If the teams don’t cooperate, it can lead to negative outcomes. For example, suppose the marketing team acts alone and launches the marketing plan without consulting the inventory and accounting teams. This situation could eventually lead to stock outs and loss of profit. There are many other ways that things can go south for your business, but you can avoid them by ensuring your systems are working together and that you create new SOPs and workflows to solve any issues that may come up as you are grooving things in. 

Hiring VAs can help you to further leverage your syncing process. It’s no secret that VAs have been utilized in the freelance space for a while, and companies are taking advantage of this set-up. Hiring a VA is significantly cheaper than traditional hiring, which is a game-changer for small business owners.

As you assign tasks to your VAs, you’re allowing yourself to have more time to work on the aspects of your business that matter most. The outcome? You can scale up your Amazon inventory management and get to work on the areas of your business that need the most improvement. A win-win situation. 

To further boost your scaling process, consider adopting an Amazon inventory management software such as SoStocked to make your VAs work a lot more easy, efficient, and manageable and to reduce human error. 

Whether you do use a software or you stick to using spreadsheets, you should ensure that your inventory forecasting system includes adding extra units to cover your marketing plans. We’ve provided a downloadable Amazon inventory planner for your teams. It’s a great tool that can help your teams to better coordinate in achieving a smooth management flow.

It’s time to level-up your Amazon inventory management by efficiently syncing inventory, marketing, and cash flow. Only a fraction of sellers do it, but all of those that do have seen significant positive results in their business. The biggest question is: Will you choose to be one of them?

About the Author

Chelsea Cohen is an Amazon inventory management expert and the co-founder of SoStocked.com, an Amazon inventory management software. She’s also a 7-figure Amazon seller, speaker & consultant. Her regular clients include 7 & 8-figure sellers. She has been featured on AM/PM Podcast, Seller Stories with Jungle Scout & the Amazing Summit stage, among others.

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Virtual Assistants

30 Outsourcing Tips for More Effective Hiring and Managing Remotely

Outsourcing is one practice that is widely used by businesses of today. It is done by hiring someone outside of the company to provide services to complete specific tasks. Businesses outsource so a third-party can create goods and perform jobs previously done by an in-house employee.

Companies, businesses, and even startup entrepreneurs outsource their virtual assistants because of the enormous help they bring for them. Virtual assistants are those who can perform and offer services in a remote location. These people are not required to report to the office, and you can even hire virtual assistants from all over the world.

To effectively hire the right people and manage them remotely, we have prepared 30 outsourcing tips you must consider, from the interview process to managing your virtual assistants.

1. Determine the Tasks to Outsource

The first thing you should do when you have finally decided is to determine the tasks that you will outsource. This can be done by providing yourself with a list of tasks that are vital for your operations. You can then rank these and decide which ones are the most important and call for the need for outsourcing.

2. Know the Traits to Look For and to Avoid

When outsourcing people outside of your business, you must look at their traits. Have a list of those you would want your VA to have and those that are less appealing for you and the company. When you have these on hand, match them to that of the prospects you are interviewing to narrow down your options.

3. Consider Outsourcing from the Philippines

Outsourcing TipsIn our experience, outsourcing from the Philippines is a move that worked best for us. Aside from their work ethics, the price you need to pay for VA’s from this country is relatively lower than when you hire from the U.S. Some of our best VA’s came from this country, and we can say that they have delivered beyond our expectations.

4. Know the Applicant’s Experience

When interviewing a potential virtual assistant, you must learn about their experience. This can either be within the same job as a virtual assistant or other experiences that they had before in their previous workplace. This will provide you with a brief idea of who they are and what they are at work.

5. Look into the Red Flags

Most people who are looking to hire often shrug off the red flags during the initial stage. This is because these red flags are only minimal concerns that can be addressed along the way. However, we suggest that you take these seriously and take note of them as soon as you notice them. You will never realize how much magnitude it can bring only until it is too late for you to make damage control.

6. Learn About their Attitude

Another tip when interviewing prospective applicants is to look into their attitude. This speaks more of who they are both personally and in the workplace. You will learn more about them and whether they are fit for your business or not upon checking on their traits and character as an individual.

7. Check on their Cultural Fit

You must hire people that match the culture of your organization. Going into the interview process, you should check on their cultural fit to know if they are suited for the job and whether or not their beliefs and outlook are similar to your organization.

8. Set Up a Good Working Schedule

Set up a good working schedule that will work best for all of your virtual assistants and as well as your business. You must build a perfect and seamless working schedule considering all of your VA’s so they can deliver their tasks on time while looking into unforeseen circumstances that may cause a delay.

9. Establish Backup Plans for Internet and Power Issues

Especially in the Philippines, where the internet connection is not that good, and power issues are often encountered, having a backup plan is crucial. You may need to consider hiring VA’s from the urban areas where these concerns are less likely to happen so you can avoid such problems from happening often. Nonetheless, these are unavoidable matters, and finding a way around it is not impossible.

10. Hold VA’s to their Word

You must hold your VA’s to their word so you can use it in situations that call for it. Set up agreements between them and remind them about these a few times when they forget about it and do not act accordingly. This way, you hold them accountable for their actions and remind them that they are liable for everything they do.

11. Learn Situations Upfront

Your VA’s might be going through personal matters that can affect their performance. As their employer, you must learn these situations upfront so you can understand them better. Reprimanding them might not be the best way to address their inability to provide the tasks that they are assigned to accomplish.

12. Set Up Communication Tactics

Set up ways of communicating with your people. When you handle and manage them remotely, it is crucial that you speak with them openly and through accessible means. Establish communication tactics like email, chat, and emergency channels for situations that call for it to be used.

13. Be Open to Feedback

Sometimes, the brightest ideas will come from your VA’s. This may surprise you, but it will bring you concepts and points of view that you have explored less before. These reasons combined make it crucial for you to be open to any feedback from your VA’s, whether it be good or bad.

14. Work Hard, Play Hard

We found it useful to build a fun environment in the workplace for our virtual assistants. You can show your VA’s excitement so they can also see another side of you. However, also show them how hard you work and how passionate you are about what you are doing to grasp your dedication to achieving your goals. This can also inspire them and eventually make them try to emulate your attitude towards work.

15. Set High Expectations

The higher the expectations you set for your VA’s, the more challenges they will feel. This will increase their motivation and even enable you to gain more respect from them as time passes by. Additionally, also have high expectations for yourself, so they can see that you are not taking things easy and that you are hustling equally than they do.

16. Build a Culture Surrounded by Family

Build a culture surrounded by family, especially if you hire VA’s from the Philippines. Filipinos have high regard for their families and value them a lot, making this working environment best for them. Establish a culture where everyone has each other’s backs in every circumstance.

17. Make Good SOPs

Not using SOPs will eat up a lot of your time. Thus. it is crucial that you create SOP’s that are comprehensive enough for your VA’s. If you integrate this, they will do things quicker and will save you a lot of time.

Doing this is quicker than needing to train each one individually. Give the SOP, orient your VA’s about it, and see how everything will be a whole lot easier for you and them as well.

18. Track and Improve

Learning and development in your employees are a continuous process. No virtual assistant remains static with their performance, so you must track them individually. This should work both ways, allowing them to improve as they progress and facilitating them if they slack off.

19. Take Screenshots

If there are steps that require added clarification, taking a screenshot will be necessary. Sending screenshots to your VA’s is useful in training them, especially that they are in a remote location. This will provide a more precise explanation of the things that you are trying to say.

20. Create a Video

Explaining how a specific task is done can be challenging, especially if you are not talking face to face with your employee. With virtual assistants, the best way to discuss the process with them is by creating a video. This way, you can walk them through the process and understand how particular tasks are done.

21. Find their Learning Style

How to OutsourceTo increase efficiency when training a newly hired VA, it will be best to learn what their learning style is. This can help you cut down to the chase and get straight to the point. As a result, you can save more time and make the training easier for both ends.

22. Make a Checklist

While videos and screenshots are useful in training your VA’s, it sometimes turns out not to be the most efficient way for them to get their tasks done. Making a checklist is the best way to go, so they can quickly go back and check on it whenever they search for a reference for the complete tasks expected from them.

23. Focus on Communication

No matter who your VA is and where they come from, focusing on communication is the most vital thing you must bear in mind. You must keep in touch with them during the entire duration of the training process. Doing so will enable you to quickly pinpoint problems, address their concerns, and give them feedback.

24. Lead by Example

The key to effectively manage your virtual assistants remotely is to lead by example. This is one of the best ways where one can be the most effective leader that they can be. You can do this by inspiring your VA’s in becoming the best version that they can be and push themselves to their fullest potentials.

25. Be Religious in Your Weekly Management

You must stay religious in managing the tasks of your organization weekly. Once you are organizing these and successfully delegate the tasks to your VA’s, you will be surprised by how easier things will be.

26. Make and Keep an Updated Job Description

Though organizations make a job description when looking for people to hire, they fail to update it as the qualifications for that particular job change. Keeping an updated job description for your VA’s is crucial as it provides both parties with a complete breakdown of the things that are expected for them to do.

27. Host Morning Meetings with your VA’s

Because you manage people from a remote location, you must ensure that they understand entirely what their tasks are for the day. This is why you should host daily meetings with them. Additionally, during this time, you can think of the tasks that you may delegate to them to free up your time to address other matters of the business.

28. Set Measurement Tools to Track Progress

It is challenging to keep track of your VA’s performance, especially that you cannot always check on them physically. Because of this, setting up measurement tools is vital to gauge their productivity. You will also be able to track those that are not entirely productive and those that spend the least amount of time so you can reorganize the tasks.

29. Integrate a Project Management System

Having a transparent project management system will keep the entire team on the same page despite the distance. Additionally, you can also check both their progress and that of the whole group without the hassle of continually sending an email to them to ask for updates.

30. Remain Emotionally Bonded

When we are working, we often forget that the people we interact with also have feelings and can also experience a full range of emotions. Especially for VA’s whom we do not get to work with physically, we expect to vent out our feelings towards them. Because they are not used to expressing their resentment, you will only be surprised when you wake up one day, and they are gone.

Remind yourself that these VA’s are only humans and that they also have their imperfections. Build a relationship with them so you can understand them better outside of who they are at work.

Conclusion

There are several factors you should consider when deciding to outsource tasks. These tips are a great way for you to get started and establish a remote working environment that will be best for your organization. If you want to learn more about effective hiring and remote management, Outsource School provides training to help you in the process.

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Virtual Assistants

How to Outsource: A Proven Method for Interviewing, Onboarding, Training, and Managing Remotely

Having a virtual assistant is something that many companies are starting to apply in their operations today. Business owners, startup entrepreneurs, and established companies have begun to hire their VAs to help them with day-to-day tasks.

Virtual assistants are those who can provide services to your business in a remote location. They do not need to go to your office and therefore won’t be consuming any resources in your office. VAs can either be living within your country or halfway across the globe. The number of choices you have when hiring VAs is endless and can, therefore, be the reason why you’ll either fail or succeed in employing one.

At Outsource School, we also have our own VAs and have found great success in hiring them. They have become partners in our organization and have given innumerable contributions to our growth.

We’ve established a method for hiring a VA, the IOTM method, which has been successful in our experience. We’ll share with you through our course how the IOTM (Interviewing, Onboarding, Training, and Managing) method and other outsourcing tips have helped us and how you can use it to your advantage.

Interviewing

CARE Method

Interviewing VAs is the first step you have to take to start outsourcing some of your tasks. There several ways you can effectively screen applicants to get the best out of the bunch, but what worked for us is the CARE method.

Before we had the CARE method, we also had our failures in hiring. We used to spend hours of our day trying to interview potential VAs and yet still fail to screen them properly.

Believe it or not, we had had times when we hired individuals who did not perform as written on their paper. We even had a situation where we hired two VAs who were supposed to be identical twins but turned out to be one person.

Whatever stage you are in your journey in hiring VAs, following the CARE method will surely help you.

Where To Hire VAs?

How to OutsourceAs mentioned, VAs can be from anywhere globally as long as they have the right skills to execute tasks that you will assign them. However, VAs from the Philippines stood out the most from our experience.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • High Value for Money
  • Reliable/Strong Work Ethic
  • Can Communicate English At A High Level
  • Tech and Media Savvy
  • Culture of Caring and Giving
  • Family-Oriented

All of these attributes of Filipino VAs have helped our company grow to what it is today.

Onboarding

The onboarding process is a very crucial step in hiring a virtual assistant. This process serves as a last line of defense for your business. You will have to dig deep during the onboarding process and ensure that you and your VA will have the same expectations from the other.

This step is also where most of the clients of Outsource School fall short. Some clients do not know how to deal with issues, especially when faced with red flags during the onboarding process.

SICC Method

To simplify things, we’ve developed the SICC method to make sure that the VA you want to hire can meet the expectations that go along with your offer. Our course will share some outsourcing tips for onboarding, which mainly focuses on four topics: schedule, internet, and issues that come with it, communication tactics, and culture.

At the last part of the onboarding process, we recommend that you give the VA a chance to back out from the offer. This step will ensure that both you and the VA agreed with the terms you set. You will save a lot of time and other resources if you do this last step.

Training

Now comes the fun part – training! After all the screening and vetting VA candidates and discussing in-depth the details of the position during onboarding, you will have to spend time to train them.

What worked best for our team before starting training is to create an SOP for VAs to follow. SOPs are a great way to make your team more efficient, effective, and generally more productive. When businesses fail to establish SOPs, sometimes it gets growing and scaling due to irregularities and miscommunication.

What Is An SOP?

A standard operating procedure, at its core, is a document, video, or a mix of both that shows a step-by-step process of how a VA should do the task assigned. Its purpose is to clear up any possible confusions that might arise when your VA is doing the job. SOPs should be easily understandable and self-explanatory.

In our course, we will have an in-depth discussion on how to create SOPs. Our years of experience have taught us how to systematically and effectively create SOPs. Here the top three items you need to remember when creating SOPs:

  • Detailed Overview of the Task
  • Step-by-step Process (Text, Screenshots, Videos)
  • Do Not Do List

These items are what keeps our SOPs well-structured and simple. 

Managing

The last step in our IOTM method is managing. Excellent management of virtual assistants will help you keep them stay with you for the long haul. One of the issues that hinder a business from growing is high turnover rates.

You don’t want to have the time and resources you invested in your employees go to waste; that’s why we’ve developed a method that will help you manage your VAs. Part of the outsourcing tips that we’ll provide you are implementing the BARF method in managing VAs.

BARF Method

BARF method stands for buying in, appreciating, relationship, and family. These are the steps that helped us keep our VAs happy and engaged with Outsource School. A more detailed discussion of how you can apply the BARF method to your company is available in our course.

Conclusion

The methods discussed in this article result from years of experience working with our VAs. We share what worked best with our team and are optimistic that they could work for your business too!

Outsourcing VAs is not an easy task, but it can certainly be lighter and more approachable if you follow the methods tackled in our course. If you want to know more, check out Cracking the VA Code – our training that gives an in-depth discussion about the IOTM method.

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Virtual Assistants

Reputation Management: What it is and Why it’s Important

No matter how big a business is in the industry where you belong, not seeing negative feedback from the public is almost impossible. Nonetheless, getting negative comments is okay because you will still be getting loads of positive feedback for sure. The question is this, how will you know the public’s insights towards your business if you do not have any form of social media reputation management?

We cannot emphasize just quite enough how critical reviews are when running a business. This is the primary reason why you will need reputation management. Having such will provide you access to a medium that can improve your name or standing in the market and further strengthen your brand.

If executed accordingly, reputation management will further re-establish the credibility of your brand to your customers. To help you know more about reputation management, we have broken down what it is and why it is essential, alongside some SOP’s you should remember.

What It Is

Reputation management generally pertains to influencing or controlling in one way or another, the organization’s reputation. Alongside the growth of social media and the Internet, search results play an integral role in an organization’s reputation. Online reputation management focuses on the management of products and services within the digital space.

On the other hand, offline reputation management focuses on the public’s perception outside the digital space. Today, we see how crucial reputation management is for all businesses across all industries. Taking reputation management seriously is a must if you wish for your organization to prosper.

Why It Is Important

We can go on and talk about several reasons why reputation management is essential. It has loads of value, but the most valuable one is that it provided you the opportunity to counter negative feedback from the public. Eliminating these negative comments will give you a successful corporate image, which will, in return, attract more customers.

Warming the hearts of your clients will make them remember you without even trying too much. Potential customers will also see this, which convinces them to use your products and services. With good reputation management, you can have a full digital image and a customer base that will continue supporting your business.

4 SOPs in Reputation Management

1. Produce Happy and Satisfied Customers

Above all of the procedures you should do to manage your business’s reputation is making sure that your customers are happy and satisfied with your product. Making sure that these two are met will enable you to have an excellent first impression of them. As a result of an excellent first impression, they will naturally come back to you, leave good feedback, share the product or service to other people they know, and even recommend for them to try it for themselves.

2. Uphold Quality Response Time

Aside from making sure that your customers are satisfied and happy, you must also ensure that your business upholds a high standard of response time to all customer inquiries. This means that you address their concerns and queries in the fastest possible time that you can. We like to aim for a high standard response time within a couple of hours, if not faster, and one business day at the absolute latest.

When your customers give you questions and complaints about your product or service, it will be best to respond to them quickly and fairly. We do not want them to feel neglected, as this can probably be the root cause of more problems. Some of these include them venting out their fury and negative sentiments on different social media platforms or review sites, which will be seen by the greater public.

3. Be Understanding and Empathetic

No matter how hard it may be, for some instances, be understanding and empathetic with your customer service. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” There will be times where your patience will get tested, but always try your best to handle angry customers with your heart and not your head, and remember that yelling at a customer is not an option. Empathy is the best way to show your customers that you understand where they are coming from and that you care.

Additionally, being angry when they also are just is not going to achieve anything for you or them. While it is not always possible that your employee assigned to answer their queries can solve all of their problems, showing empathy and understanding will make them feel that their concerns matter and are validated. Holding an onboarding meeting can also be valuable to train your employees in addressing these concerns, so they know how to approach each customer type.

4. Closely Manage Review Sites

Lastly, learn to closely manage your review sites and ask your biggest supporters to leave five-star reviews for you as it makes sense. Over time, you should have a library of hundreds of positive reviews online, further strengthening your company brand and trustworthiness.

These reviews will help you establish your image, especially to prospective clients. To put it simpler, when someone hears about a new product, service, or app from another person, their first move is to check it on Google. If you immediately see hundreds of five-star reviews, it should incline you to feel more confident in the suggestion. Whereas if you Google and see almost zero reviews or very mixed reviews online, you may think twice and look for other alternatives.

Why Reputation Management is a Must

Invest your money, time, and effort in establishing the reputation of your brand online. This may sound tedious and complicated, but the long-term results and benefits will surely be worth it as your business goes through its daily undertakings. In our digital age, you need to take your brand reputation online seriously, and these four things that we have broken down for you can help.

Establish a good reputation online, and it will bring you hundreds and eventually thousands of new customers even with you noticing it. Though some businesses often neglect this and do not consider reputation management something valuable, they will soon realize it when they compare themselves to those who take this matter seriously.

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Virtual Assistants

4 Interview Questions You Should Always Ask Job Candidates

One of the most crucial steps in the hiring process is the interview stage. This stage is where you get the chance to determine if the virtual assistant you are interviewing would be a good fit for the role you need to fill and in your company’s culture. This is the reason why you must conduct a thorough analysis on the applicants that you engage with. 

Preliminary interviews are highly crucial especially when hiring a VA. The process will not only show you the capacities of the applicants but it will also verify whether they are truly the ones fit for the position or not. Choosing the wrong virtual assistant will not only be a source of headache, but will also produce a colossal waste of time. 

You might wonder what the super essential questions are that you must not forget to ask when conducting interviews. We got you covered because we have been interviewing and hiring for the past ten years. So we thought of sharing with you today the four questions we always ask in every interview.

1. What do you value more…money or growth?

We have found and realized that hiring people who care more about growth and learning over money always work out better. They tend to be more ambitious and they tend to want to learn more about the business. You will also realize that these applicants are those prospective VAs who will not disappear, and tend to want to stay with the company for longer if they are treated well and given growth opportunities.

Asking this question will help you see two kinds of prospective employees. You will eventually realize upon hearing their answers for this question the clear distinction among the applicants. There will be people who will only want money from you and those who will pour their dedication and heart into your business. 

However, it is also important to take note that there can be a tendency where applicants will try to please you. They will try by saying the things that you have been wanting to hear and become dishonest and untruthful with their words. While gauging their passion for the job, also scrutinize whether they truly mean what they say or not.

After all, everyone has bills to pay and every employer understands that. You need to look for answers that find the perfect balance between the two options. Exceptional responses will be those that are said with all honesty and those that portray high dedication for the job you are offering to them. 

2. Do you consider yourself to be entrepreneurial? Why or why not?

Aside from letting them choose between money and growth in terms of the option that they value more, it will also be useful if you discover whether they consider themselves entrepreneurial or not. We all value people who are entrepreneurial even if they never took the jump to be an entrepreneur themselves. Entrepreneurial people can bring an immense amount of value to your business. 

The courage and the right thinking of an applicant considering himself or herself as an entrepreneur is a good sign. Simply give them the ability to be an entrepreneur within your company and you will be amazed by the potential that they have. Surely, these virtual assistants will show you what they can create from that point moving forward.

3. What is your biggest motivator in life? Why do you wake up and work hard every day?

Though this may sound as a cliché question to ask, this is highly crucial to know. This will tell us the applicants’ “Why”. The “Why” signifies their reason for being and their purpose in life. This will also show us their major driving forces and will allow us to get to know them at a deeper level. 

Do they do it for their family? Do they do it for a dream of the future that they have within them? Do they do it for their own self-gratification? Based on their answers, we can get a good sense if our values and motivations align.

4. Why are you interested in this role?

While it may seem like a simple question, asking them the reasons behind their interest in the role at hand can tell you a lot of things. Aside from knowing both their soft and hard skills, the ones that show passion and those that prove that they have done their research about the company tend to be the better hires. If you get someone who knows nothing about you or your company, chances are they are not that excited about it.

It is also important to hear answers that do not only show their interest but also their optimism about getting hired. Applicants that tell you about their future plans in their stay on your company signify that they are highly interested and dedicated about getting hired and eventually staying for them to grow with you. 

There are other questions you want to be asking about like their experience and skills. However, questions that let you know about their interest in the said role will make us get to the heart of the candidate. Doing so will make us avoid creating the mistake of hiring the wrong character.

Choosing the wrong VA will give you more problems than you think and will require you to go back to square one. Therefore, it only makes perfect sense that you ask the right interview questions. This will help you identify the person that can fulfill your specific needs and job requirements while making sure that they match the ideals and principles of your organization. 

Interviews are a vital aspect of the entire hiring process, whether it be for VAs or for other job positions. This stage lets you know what an applicant is like, what values they hold, what motivates them to perform, and what makes them tick. Do not go straight into the process of hiring your VAs without asking them these crucial questions. Place these on your list so the virtual assistant of your choice will fit the job like a glove. 

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Virtual Assistants

A Proven System to Get Your Time Back Consistently

Do you ever find yourself with too many tasks on your plate?

Or maybe you have reached the point where your daily tasks are stopping you from doing things you want to do. This situation tends to happen more often to entrepreneurs than they realize. That’s why making it a habit to consistently take tasks off your plate by delegating them to your team is very important.

It can be tough to let go at the beginning, but if you want to grow and scale, you have to learn to trust your team.

In this article, we talk about an effective process you can follow so you can start getting things done:

Step 1: List down everything on your plate every month

It is important to have an overview of how the next 30 days would look like. This step will only take around one hour of your time per month, but you’ll thank yourself later for creating this list. Doing this task will not only make sure you don’t miss out on anything important but will also help you gauge which tasks take the most time off your plate, which ones are more important, and which tasks to delegate.

If you’re old school, sit down with a notebook and pen and bullet point out every single thing on your plate. You can also use the Notes app on your phone or computer or any one of those To-Do List apps available.

If you want to take it a step further, there are several project management software that can help you plot tasks and milestones you need to accomplish for a given period of time. In Outsource School, we use Trello. Topics for our blog content, for example, are listed beforehand and assigned a certain publish schedule. This way, we can see which posts need to be written within the next month so we can release them on time. We do the same for SEO tasks, newsletters, graphic design, and more.

Step 2: Go through your list and write out how you can delegate or hire

Go through your list from top to bottom and think: “Who could I pass this off to someone that’s already on the team?” Often, you don’t have to look far. There are time-consuming tasks on your plate you can pass on to someone in your team. You might have to do a little training here and there. But once they get the hang of it, you won’t have to worry about this task anymore. If you have part time virtual assistants, one option is to increase the hours they work with you by making them handle some of these tasks. This way, you don’t have to go through the process of posting a job ad and screening to look for someone who can fit well in your team. You also already know how this person works and training them for a new task would be easier given that they already have an idea of how things work in your business.

But if there isn’t anyone on the team yet who could take it, think: “Who do I need to hire that would be able to take this off my plate?” Hiring is a skill every entrepreneur must learn at some point. No matter how bad you want to take control of everything, you just can’t. Knowing how to hire the right people will propel your business forward and not bound your life into work alone.

By the end of this step, you would already have a good game plan on how to get certain tasks off your plate.

Step 3: Delegate and/or hire to get it off your plate

This is probably the most important step.

All the listing down and planning would mean nothing if you don’t delegate or hire. If you allow them to remain as lists and plans, these tasks won’t ever go away. You wake up the next day to the same mountain of tasks that overwhelm you and use up your time.

Unfortunately, it’s common to see a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners fall apart in this step and stop.

Here, you need to set up meetings with people in your team who will be taking some things off your plate. Discuss with them why you think they will do well in this area, talk about pay and work hour adjustments if needed, and start their training. You may need to constantly check on their work at the beginning. But once you see that they’re handling things well, let go and do checkups less frequently.

If you need to hire new people, start creating job posts for roles you don’t have yet on the team. Write a good job description so you don’t intimidate potential good candidates. Some job ads use a lot of jargon and require knowledge on a lot of different tools. Note that some of those skills can be taught and there’s no person who would be 100% fit for what you’re looking for. It’s okay to compromise on some aspects. What’s important is you hire people who can get things done and are willing to learn.

This step in total may take two to four weeks depending on the work that needs to be delegated, the interview/hiring process, and the training process.

But once you’re done, you’ve successfully removed tasks off your plate.

Step 4: Go back to the drawing board

And you’re done with steps one through three, go back to the drawing board. Take inventory of what you have on your plate so you can repeat the process.

It really never stops! But having that attitude allows you to focus on getting things off your plate rather than adding them.

As a business owner, tasks and projects will always come onto your plate no matter how hard you think about it.

The hard part is making sure that you’re balancing how much is going off your plate as well so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stuck in your situation.

How about you, how do you make sure that you’re consistently delegating work?