As they say, business is mainly about productivity. That's why you've been doing your best to keep things running smoothly. And for quite some time, you have been successful in handling all sorts of tasks and responsibilities. As your company grows, however, so will the challenges that come with your daily endeavors. Eventually, you will need help just to keep up.
While it may seem that hiring a virtual personal assistant is the obvious course of action, reality often isn't as simple. Entrepreneurs, especially those who have been doing quite well right from the start, have this sense of pride and level of confidence that cloud their judgement - ultimately affecting their efficiency, and limiting their capacity to generate, create, and enhance.
If you're feeling off as of late, as if something isn't quite right despite you doing your best as always, maybe it's time to look into the signs that you need a bit of help. Go through this list and honestly answer whether virtual assistant services have finally become a necessity in your quest for entrepreneurial success.
SIGN #1: You're often behind deadlines.
When you were just starting, you managed to meet deadlines with ease. That's to be expected since you were only dealing with a few clients back then. As time passed, however, you managed to moderately expand your customer base. And likewise, your loyal clients grew in number. Now, what used to be almost effortless requires your utmost effort.
It started with missing a couple of deadlines each month, and eventually worsened into a failed race for timelessness that seems to repeat weekly. Well, why does it matter anyway? Aren't you merely losing a small amount of profit? It's much more than that. Missed deadlines mean you lose customers, and those customers may spread negative word of mouth.
Damage from such actions may lead to a dip in your income, which in turn could make it more difficult to meet payment deadlines and purchase quotas - ruining your relationship with vendors and suppliers. With the help of a virtual assistant, meeting deadlines should become a lot more manageable since you can easily delegate the more mundane jobs.
SIGN #2: You waste hours on the mundane.
Speaking of routine tasks, have you been going through them for hours on end? Although that may make you feel hard-working, it's more likely a hindrance to your business. Not everything requires your expertise, particularly chores like checking emails and organizing files. An online personal assistant is more than capable of handling such responsibilities.
Slightly more tedious endeavors, such as scheduling meetings and sorting out the details of your travel, don't have to take much of your time as well. Just imagine the possibilities that come with freeing up your schedule - those couple of hours you waste every morning could be spent on more worthwhile pursuits.
Don't wait too long before getting help, though. Some entrepreneurs fail to notice it until they have needlessly sacrificed several months' worth of productivity and exhausted most of their time and efforts on counter-productive activities. To make things worse, it's impossible for them to completely rid themselves of such jobs. After all, these are called "routine" for a reason.
SIGN #3: You take too long doing certain tasks.
There's only so much you can do while relying solely on yourself. And even if you do manage to successfully complete every task that comes your way, there's always the matter of efficiency - or whether you're able to get things done on time and without exerting too much effort. But how exactly can a personal assistant service help in this regard?
Say you're quite good at doing taxes, along with all the math involved. With how quickly you do that particular task, there is barely any loss and inefficiency. Unfortunately, while you're on top of all things number-related, you have this combined feeling of boredom and stress whenever you have to do research. And thus, you end up requiring lots of time processing any data you collect.
Also, with your disinterest in research, you might not be well-equipped enough to get the job done. By hiring a virtual assistant, one that's well-versed in various research techniques, you would no longer have to dread things like data mining, market research, and web analytics. And more importantly, you wouldn't have to worry about the output quality.
SIGN #4: You've missed a number of opportunities.
Spending excessive amounts of time and energy on specific tasks draws your attention away from more important undertakings - those that only you can fully accomplish, such as determining your business’ next direction. Innovation, for one, won't be possible since you don't have the time to notice the trends and gaps in your industry.
And even if you do manage to identify market opportunities, pursuing them without spending enough time on analysis could prove to be quite costly. Failing to consider the challenges that come with such attempts in growing a business or keeping it relevant have led many small- and medium-sized enterprises to their demise.
Finding new and better suppliers to work with as well as improving your relations with existing ones are other vital endeavors that require your close attention. These aren't merely about setting prices, meeting deadlines, and reaching quotas either, since there's always a human component that could be worked on for building better partnerships.
SIGN #5: You're failing at customer retention.
While the pursuit of customer retention has been made easier by technology, it still relies heavily on entrepreneurs successfully adding a human touch to their business. Factors like passion, creativity, and empathy, after all, prove that you are more than just a company that's trying to make a buck.
To appear "human" to your clientele, you have to get involved and make it clear that they're important to you - in other words, you need to go beyond their expectations. Aside from personalizing your responses, you have to drive engagement across multiple channels. Likewise, you must show that you're ready to help even after a purchase has been made.
Surely, you can imagine how difficult that would be to do when you have limited time on your hands. With help from a personal assistant service, however, you can free up your schedule and allocate more hours to bolstering customer retention. Carrying out strategies and coming up with new ones can also be made easier with the help of a virtual assistant.
SIGN #6: You're having a hard time getting new clients.
No matter how well you do at retaining customers, there will still be a need to continuously attract new ones if you wish to grow your enterprise. Fortunately, these two things overlap, especially with how you need to drive engagement in all sorts of ways. Positive word of mouth, from those clients whose loyalty you've gained, will prove valuable as well.
Despite the chance to save time, however, there will still be tasks unique to client acquisition. Developing incentives or discounts specifically for new customers, for example, might seem simple but could take a lot of time. You will require an idea that's fresh and intriguing without sacrificing too much profit.
You might also find it necessary to do research using marketing tools (e.g. customer profiling) for the chance to discover untapped clientele. Thus, once again, the dilemma lies in having way too much to do if you wish to stay on top of things - highlighting the value of having your own virtual personal assistant to lessen the burden.
SIGN #7: You can't afford to have time for yourself.
Completing tasks left and right as well as aiming for milestones nonstop might seem ideal. But if you allow yourself to go down that road, you will ultimately end up mentally exhausted - affecting both your conscious and subconscious. Although that may seem like a minor and fairly common setback, it will severely affect your capacity to solve problems.
With how often creative problem solving is necessary for overcoming challenges in business, you're essentially limiting your chances of achieving success by not having enough "me" time. Besides, many of those activities that you poured all your hours into might not have the biggest impact in the grand scheme of things.
Ensure that you have enough time for yourself. You could take up a new hobby or two to better refresh your mind and recharge your creative juices. After all, you finally know of a way to make things easier - or better yet, to keep things running while you're briefly away from your work area. That's right, virtual assistant services make "me" time a possibility.
SIGN #8: Your family barely sees you anymore.
While having time for yourself is important to stay mentally sharp, spending time with your family gives you inner strength and inspiration. It gives meaning to your hard work. It's far too often, however, that budding entrepreneurs excessively focus on their business, spending countless hours sitting at their desk given the sheer amount of tasks they need to get done.
Indeed, there's no harm in staying productive. But if you're starting to alienate your family in the process, it might be necessary to reconsider your priorities before it's too late. Missing dance recitals, football practice, and even anniversaries won't do you any favors. No matter how much you justify it, you know that you're severely hurting your relationships at home.
What's worse is if you don't have to go out to do business. If you're a stay-at-home entrepreneur yet you barely spend time with your family due to how busy you are, you have to hire a virtual personal assistant. That way, you won't need to sacrifice your family life in your quest to secure market relevance and competitiveness.
SIGN #9: You find yourself frequently getting sick.
If you're consistently stressed out from the amount of work you have to do, it's virtually guaranteed that you will fall ill. No matter how motivated you may be, there is only so much stress your body can handle. Whenever you're stressed, a hormone called corticosteroid gets released and prevents your immune system from producing enough white blood cells.
These white blood cells are the ones that patrol your entire body, fighting off any invader (e.g. bacteria, viruses) they may come across. Now, if there isn't enough of them, these invaders will gain the upper hand and begin to wreak havoc. Note that microbe-induced illnesses vary in their severity, with some being potentially life-threatening.
Other conditions that may stem from chronic stress include heart disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and ulcers. Depression, a far too common yet serious problem these days, can also develop from stressful events. With all these in mind, it just isn't worth it to stay overworked all the time - especially since help is always within reach.
SIGN #10: You're starting to succumb to burnout.
Consider everything that has been discussed so far. It's not hard to imagine how difficult life could be to anyone who fails to recognize the need to avail of a personal assistant service on time. By choosing to push through, trying each day to conquer the mountain of tasks at hand, burnout will certainly follow.
Burnout is essentially the point where all sense of motivation is extinguished, and this typically occurs when the pursuit being focused on has failed to yield the desired outcome. What follows could be a feeling of hatred towards the entire endeavor (e.g. blaming it for all the lost time, etc.) as well as a yearning to finally leave it all behind.
Of course, someone suffering from burnout wouldn't be able to perform at all. To make things worse, negativity and cynicism will begin to spread, too, affecting both professional and personal life. If you're noticing anything similar concerning your mood and outlook, you should definitely take action before it's too late.
Reliable, Dedicated Help Made Accessible to All
Having gone through the list, can you say which signs apply to your situation? Even if it's just one or two, don't think twice about getting help from an assistant. Besides, given how easy it has become to find quality virtual assistant services such as those from OkayRelax, you don't have to wait long to experience amazing changes in your business - and in your life.