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Dawn Lawson
Virtual Assistant (Owner)
Romeoville, Illinois
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Gain Control Over Business By Outsourcing

Day-to-day operations of owning a business can cause overwhelming stress when productivity is high, especially in a struggling economy. Disorganization, stress and anxiety can result in decreasing revenue. Outsourcing administrative duties can be beneficial in a variety of ways.
Written Oct 23, 2008, read 1331 times since then.
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Many small business and website owners experience an array of emotions from the moment the idea of self employment is born. Initially there is fear, excitement and anticipation. Generally, a business and marketing plan are created and the steps are carried out. Overwhelming stress and anxiety may be experienced when productivity becomes high, especially during a threatened economy. There is a low cost solution to relieving some of the pressure.

In the beginning, the joy and excitement of starting a new business brings about much happiness and eagerness. Although in fear of what the future holds, one proceeds to pursue their dream. Determination sparks motivation, igniting energy to put plans into motion. Planning and marketing strategies require extensive time and research, but ambition tackles it all without hesitation. Months of hard work pass as business is anxiously awaited.

Sooner than later, after foolish mistakes and lessons learned, consumers become steady. As a result, marketing strategies diminish and focus becomes overridden by day-to-day operations.  As business continues to progress, prospective leads begin to get overlooked. Managing so many aspects of a company alone eventually becomes impossible. Clients sense the tension and anxiety. Customer service suffers. Business growth comes to a screeching halt.

There is a solution. Outsourcing administrative operations can be beneficial to small business owners in many aspects. Virtual Assistants (also known as VAs) are computer savvy professionals and generally small business owners themselves. They can empathize with many experiences of being a small business owner starting with the birth of the idea. Virtual Assistants are experienced at marketing and organization, and can put these business elements back into place. They are usually skilled in most general office services and can lighten up the load of day-to-day tasks.  Having an extra set of hands, eyes and ears, reduces stress for the small business owner, improving client relations. Consequently, business starts to grow and revenue begins to increase.

Virtual Assistance is not a cheap escape route, although it can still be a cost effective solution. During these hard economic times, a full or part-time employee may not be feasible.  VA’s are business owners themselves; therefore they pay for their own health benefits, office supplies, equipment, utilities and maintenance. There are no costs for sick or vacation time. Virtual Assistants are paid for physical working time only. There are no breaks to the vending machines, lunch room or potty. When productivity is down, no one is getting paid just to sit around. The choice of independently handling administrative tasks is the business owner's option. All in all, it takes money to make money.

Outsourcing administrative operations to a Virtual Assistant can benefit small business owners in many ways. Owning a business should produce positive feelings of happiness, fulfillment, and wealth, as oppose to fear, anxiety and overwhelming pressure. Some business owners may be experiencing forced cutbacks and uncertainty on how to accommodate the work load. Utilizing the available tools a virtual assistant can provide, will assist in building a prosperous business, turning a dream into a reality.

Learn more about the author, Dawn Lawson.

Comment on this article

  • CEO  
Fredericia Denmark 
Maria ODonovan
    Posted by Maria ODonovan, Fredericia Denmark | Oct 25, 2008

    Yes indeed Dawn. I agree that outsourcing reaps many benefits. I also have an outsourcing enterprise and know that I am able to give companies a service that is on time, way under the price of what they would pay for local staff, and most critically, very professionally carried out, with none of the downsides such as sickness as you mention..

    Also, I think that virtual working methods are the way of the future.

    Maria ;)

  • Accounting Consultant & Virtual CFO for Creative Service Firms 
Portland, Oregon 
Kelly Totten
    Posted by Kelly Totten, Portland, Oregon | Oct 25, 2008

    Dawn, both in my business and in consulting to clients, I think it's best to view this dilemma in terms of opportunity lost.

    In other words, if you paid someone to help with the admin, what would you do with your time? Would you earn more than you would pay? Generally, they do come out ahead by outsourcing.

    I think it's often hard for owners to see that they are spending time in the wrong areas of their business. It's easy to penny pinch today and refuse to spend money on services such as yours, but it can be detrimental to the business in the long term. If they don't have time to work on the big picture and high dollar value activities, they are perpetuating the cycle. It will take them longer to be successful.

  • Virtual Assistant (Owner) 
Romeoville, Illinois 
Dawn Lawson
    Posted by Dawn Lawson, Romeoville, Illinois | Oct 27, 2008

    Maria, Thank you for your comment. I agree that Virtual working methods are a way of the future. It's less of a hassle in the sense of office management and equipment maintenance. It reduces overhead and the need for HR. The resource options are also continuously expanding from Virtual Assistance and Marketing and Consulting, to Call Centers and Virtual Office Space. This cyberspace growth was one of the deciding factors of starting my business as a VA.

  • Virtual Assistant (Owner) 
Romeoville, Illinois 
Dawn Lawson
    Posted by Dawn Lawson, Romeoville, Illinois | Oct 27, 2008

    Kelly, Thank you also for your comment. Obviously the administrative work that could be outsourced would vary depending on the type of small business. But one thing that is universal is marketing. A lot of people are stuck in traditional marketing and spend a lot of money on e-mail campaigns, postcards, ads, and so forth. But network marketing has become such an advantage to business growth. Developing solid business relationships through forum participation, networking events and blogging builds credibility, trust, and increases referrals big time! These are generally free forms of marketing and something that really can't be done by an assistant since these methods revolve around who you are. So it makes sense to put a portion of the marketing funds towards contracting an assistant for maybe 5-10 hours a month to do invoicing, follow up phone calls, website updates or whatever time consuming activities there may be, and head out to a few networking events. Spend a few hours a week here on biznik or other networking website and meet people. It the long run, it will truly be beneficial! I know for myself, when I'm running a heavy work load, my forum participation suffers tremendously. Consequently, my website traffic goes done, I lose touch with referral resources and I'm not building new relationships with potential clients. And you're right, this results in the delay of my success!

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