You’re consuming more than 50% of your time in the business instead of on it.
We all know the speech. “You should be spending the majority of your time on your business instead of in it! Finding clients, marketing, strategic planning, client services, and super-high-value work is where your time is best spent! Get out of the daily grind!”
While that’s great in idea, let’s be honest … it’s sometimes not realistic, especially for small business owners. We all need to dive into the weeds sometimes to solve problems or kill fires. Sometimes, we want to get our hands dirty and work in the trenches of our business; for some of us, it’s being able to rehearse our craft or learn something new, and it reminds us why we went into business in the first place!
But, track your time for a few weeks and, if you find you’re always consuming more than 50% of your time in the weeds, then it’s time to find someone to entrust something – anything – to. It’s time to hire a virtual assistant.
You’re bumping your head against the top of capacity.
This is especially true for billable-hour business models. There are so many hours in a day, which means you can only work with so many clients. It doesn’t matter if you max out at 10 clients or 100 … there’s still a maximum you can work with.
So, it’s time to figure out what you can unload to support staff so you can expand capacity. Client onboarding steps? Regular reporting? Calendar support? Operational processes? Marketing lifecycle tasks? Hiring a virtual assistant can help you manage these support tasks.
You have (or know you need!) processes, procedures, and checklists for routine operations.
Everyone knows the backbone of any business includes repeatable processes, standard procedures, and operational checklists. But, creating them may not be your strength. Or, if you have them, you find you’re running all these processes and checklists yourself … and you don’t have to.
The point of processes, procedures and checklists is to make life more efficient. But, they’re also designed to be repeatable and – listen carefully – delegatable.
You need a specific skill set to “upgrade” your services.
In the beginning, most of us did all the things ourselves – from providing services to updating our Websites to bookkeeping to creating our marketing materials. It’s bootstrapping at its best and is practically the right track for most small business owners.
But, you’ll get to a point where you need to “upgrade” things to continue growing and grinding your brand, your operations, and your services. While the work you did at the beginning was good, it’s time to bring in an expert. If you hire a virtual assistant, they typically carry a wide skillset to the table — from expert graphics to financial reporting to copyediting to project management to business process development.
You want to make more money or, worse, you’re losing money.
This is a conclusion of all the previous signs. At some point, you’re going to start losing money by not delegating or doing it all yourself. The math doesn’t lie; you get to a point where you can’t afford not to grow your team. If your time is worth $100/hour, it doesn’t make sense to spend too much time on $50/hour work; in general, that $50/work is stuff that needs to get done but is also stuff you’ll never get paid for.