When people are considering outsourcing tasks to a Virtual Assistant, we often advise them to make a list of the jobs they do each day, week, month and so on.
By writing everything down and seeing all their tasks laid out, they can start to build up a good picture of where they are spending the most time, and which things make the most sense to hand over to a VA.
If you undertake this important exercise, you’ll find you come up with a long list of things that make you think: 'Yep, those can go to my VA!’
We want you to pause for a second to ask yourself this question: 'Is this task something that can be automated by simply implementing a clever tool or app?'
If the answer is yes, congratulations! You're going to save yourself the cost of a Virtual Assistant for a vast array of tasks that can be handled autonomously by an app! Very clever, right?
We don't blame you if you are you thinking to yourself ‘why are they telling me this? Isn’t sharing information like this going to make VA's redundant?’
Short answer: No!
For starters, if you are unsure of how to set up automation for a particular task, you can use your VA to get the initial set up sorted. Once that stage is complete, and you have freed up your time a bit more, you are suddenly in a great position to ask your Virtual Assistant to work on tasks that are much higher-value. Plus, there are still thousands of things no tool or app can do, so VAs will be around for a while yet!
If you’re new to automation and don’t even know where to start with working out what to streamline, feel free to say to your Virtual Assistant “Here is my list, can you please see if it's possible for any of these tasks to be automated".
We here at Strictly Savvy LOVE automation, so if you have your list of tasks ready, feel free to talk to us before you start delegating/outsourcing.
If you already have a service plan with a VA, but love the idea of putting some of your tasks on autopilot, that’s okay. Just keep the lines of communication open by saying you’d like to look into automation for as many tasks as possible, and give your VA reassurance that you still have plenty of other jobs that can't be automated to ensure they feel confident they aren't about to lose the hours you've promised.
Some examples of things that automation can be used for include:
- Meeting scheduling - There are a range of clever tools that can be used to ensure you don’t need to waste time sorting out the perfect time for a meeting with lots of back and forwards emails. The tools simply list all the available times that you’re available so people can choose when to meet with you – it makes scheduling a breeze!
- Streamlining your recruitment process where you have a link on your website to a form in Airtable that asks the candidate qualifying questions plus requests them to upload their CV and cover letter. All applications then come into the Airtable spreadsheet online and you can manage them from there moving them through the various stages and keeping track for you.
- When a payment fails in Stripe, use Zapier to send a Slack message to a specific Slack Channel, automatically or to set up a task in Teamwork for VA. Doing so means your VA doesn’t have to waste time checking Stripe every single day as they can follow up with the customer the moment a failed payment notification pops onto their screen!
- Using MailChimp to set up automated campaigns that send a series of emails to new customers to help with their training or helpful tips.
- Setting up an automation using Zapier that sends an email from your Office 365 or Gmail account to each person who is added to a particular list in your Mailchimp account.
- Create a pricing guide request form on your website that exchanges your pricing guide for their email address allowing you to follow them up as a new lead directly.
Remember, while a good VA will listen, follow orders and undertake the tasks you provide them, we believe exceptional VAs will say: 'Hey, I could automate these tasks and free up more of your time by working on something else instead’.
Using a Virtual Assistant to undertake straightforward but important tasks is one thing but automating everything you can and delegating high-value tasks is how you take your business up to a whole new level!
If you have questions about automation or like the idea of gaining back some extra time, but you’re not sure where to start, feel free to reach out. Our Savvy team of VAs can automate away your distractions and tedious tasks, getting you back to focusing on more enjoyable, profitable activities in no time!