I see the same situation over and over, variations on the same theme across businesses and entrepreneurs alike. The pivotal moment when a small business owner or busy executive will need to consider finding help.
It can be a tug of war moment for someone who is passionate about what they do and is used to being in complete control!
They’ve worked long hours building up their business, spending considerable time carrying out all of the business related tasks on their own – now all of that hard work is paying off and the business is thriving.
Great, right? However, it is precisely at this point that some important and impactful decisions need to be made if that success is to be sustainable and long lived.
It is precisely at this moment that you will find yourself wearing far too many ‘hats’. Struggling to cope, deadlines being missed and even the most simple admin tasks becoming difficult to manage.
In short, you can quickly find yourself at breaking point – and the burden of essential business administration will only continue to increase in line with your success.
This is the moment to consider working with a Virtual Assistant to get your life and your business back on track.
Having seen this situation so many times, there are several signs to look out for that can indicate that you might be at the point where a Virtual Assistant would be invaluable in helping you scale up to the next stage of growth & prosperity.
After you do this, will you still be busy? Yes, but it’ll be the right kind of busy. It is important to be anticipatory and strategic in all areas of your business. This is what allows you to be busy based on opportunities, not based on the latest crisis you need to address.
It is then that the busy pace of life will feel worth it, and your personal and professional life will have the room to prosper.
Missing Business Opportunities
Now here’s the catch-22: The problem with identifying emerging opportunities is that we’re too busy to do so. We know we should be anticipating future opportunities as well as disruptions, but we don’t have time for it because of all that needs dealing with today.
This can happen for a number of reasons. Are you out at meetings and missing calls and messages? Or perhaps you are simply too busy to respond to messages in time and the work is going to your competitors? Whatever the reason, having a Virtual Assistant can help you manage your calls and emails in a timely fashion to stop any unnecessary leakage – first impressions count!
You Have To Turn Down Work
One of the reasons I love the research for blogging is that you often come across things that surprise you, and in a wee internet wander for this section I have discovered many articles about why everyone should consider the benefits of strategically turning down more work. I’m officially intrigued and am sure another blog will be forthcoming …
However for the purposes of this section I am talking about HAVING to turn down work because you simply can’t fit it in … despite wanting to have the income, develop a new client, gain the wider exposure/ increased word of mouth, have another testimonial for your website etc, etc,etc.
All because you’re struggling to keep on top of tasks that are unprofitable, when really you should be accepting the more profitable work that fits with your skills and passion. There simply are not enough hours in the day!
You’re Letting The Day To Day Stack Up
Maybe it’s all the admin – forms that need filling in, emails that need responding to, reports to be completed, invoices to be sent, invoices to be chased, customer feedback to review, months of receipts to be sorted – that keeps piling up on your to-do list as you slowly feel like you’re sinking under the weight of it all.
When we get behind with something, we can fall into the trap of spending too long thinking about it and feeling overwhelmed and despondent. It drains our energy and takes our focus away from where it should be – growing your business.
Let’s be honest – the work that ends up in a backlog is normally that which just doesn’t excite us. It’s not the reason we got into business but it needs doing all the same.
Then when they really need to take a break, you find yourself in the office on a Saturday morning, or at 2am! Perhaps your family are having a day out or sleeping … and you’re still working. When was your last full day off?
Your Email Is Getting Out Of Control
You may even have more than one email account and it’s becoming a struggle. As soon as you send out an email, another 8 come in and you start to get frustrated, as you can’t get to ‘inbox zero’.
Personally I think ‘Inbox Zero’ is one of those unattainable goals that just makes us feel bad, life just doesn’t work like that! But there is a way to use email that can help and enhance the organisation of your business life with the minimum of effort. If you don’t even have time to keep your inbox under control it is a very good indication that you could be missing opportunities for business and, more importantly, for long term growth.
You Want To Start New Projects But Don’t Have The Time
Does this sound familiar …
… You have an understanding that a business doesn’t remain prosperous for long in a vacuum
… You have lots of ideas for how you want to develop the business you are so passionate about.
… You’re just not sure if you will cope with additional commitments on top of your existing schedule which is already bursting at the seams.
New projects can become much more manageable with a Virtual Assistant on hand to take care of the general running of your business, as well as being able to help you with the project itself. You can ensure you have enough freed up time and additional support to plan any new projects as well as maintain ongoing concentration on your business.
Business Plan, What Business Plan?
You’re starting to lose sight of the direction your business was going in and your aims for the year. You’re so involved in admin, that you’ve lost sight of your original mission.
After all, you may wonder what’s the value of taking the time to strategically look at the future when everything is going to change anyway—when the world is filled with increasing uncertainties? On the surface, that seems like a valid point. But there’s actually more than enough you can be certain about that allows you to both innovate and move forward faster in a low-risk way.
Busy! Busy! Busy!
Too many people think busy is productive, busy means you are doing lots and busy means you are doing well.
Unfortunately, it is possible to busy yourself out of business, out of relationships, and even out of life. There are countless examples of companies whose people were extremely busy but didn’t survive.
Don’t just think busy, think SMART busy
Remember, you can only juggle so many things.
Chances are you do many things “blindly” because you’ve always done it that way. But even though it’s something you’ve always juggled, today you have new and more important things that need your attention.
Perhaps you can devote less time to certain things or completely remove them from your plate.
We’re all creatures of habit, and in today’s transformational times, it’s time you developed some new habits—some new and better ways of doing things that are more relevant for your current reality.