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How To Be More Strategic In Your Business With The Help Of A Virtual Assistant


Barnaby Lashbrooke

Founder and CEO of Time etc, author of The Hard Work Myth

7 minute read

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Do you feel like you don't have enough time to get everything done in your business? Do you have a never-ending list of tasks that you simply don't have the bandwidth to tackle?

You know that to become successful, you need to be more strategic in the way you manage your business. You need to be able to focus on the key tasks that will drive results. But with all the other things you need to do, it's not always possible.

To better understand the relationship between work management habits and productivity, we surveyed 251 entrepreneurs to gain some real-world insights.

81% of entrepreneurs who identified as ‘bad delegators’ admitted they are more ‘hands-on’ than strategic in their business.

Meanwhile, 77% of entrepreneurs who identified as ‘good delegators’ saw their profit margins grow over the past 12 months.

This indicates that delegating tasks effectively can make a big difference when it comes to running a successful business. It's a crucial first step that unlocks your strategic capabilities and, in turn, increased profits and business growth.

Working in your business vs. working on your business

For many of us, working in the business can offer a welcome reprieve. You don’t necessarily have to think, you just have to do. Days spent going through the motions and putting out fires keep us from more difficult tasks or complex problems, but it still feels like we’ve 'done' a lot.

Building a successful business is about more than just your day-to-day operations and short-term goals. It's about having a big-picture view and a solid plan to make that vision a reality. When you focus on the long term, it helps you make smarter decisions and gives your business the stability it needs to keep growing.

So if you're just going through the motions in the pursuit of 'getting things done', or working ridiculously long hours in the hope it will pay off down the line, the fact is, you won’t get as far as you’d hope with all the effort and energy you’re investing.

If you want to achieve something worthwhile, you must focus on actions that will lead you directly toward your goals. And the only way that’s possible is by offloading the repetitive, energy-zapping tasks from your plate, forever.

And that's where virtual assistants (VAs) come in.


What is a virtual assistant?

A virtual assistant (VA) is an independent contractor who provides professional administrative, executive, or personal support to business clients remotely, usually from their home office.

They can help with a wide range of administrative tasks that keep your business running smoothly in the background, such as data entry, scheduling appointments, customer service and support, email management, research, transcription, website maintenance, social media management, and more.

Here's how you can harness the full potential of a virtual assistant to be more strategic in your business.

Offload non-strategic tasks

As a business owner, you may be used to wearing many different hats and taking on a variety of roles to get the job done. However, not all tasks are created equal when it comes to business growth.

For example, keeping on top of the emails in your inbox helps you stay organized and communicate effectively, but let's be honest, it's unlikely to directly lead to more customers and sales.

If your workload is constantly crammed with repetitive admin, you leave little time for important things like planning, developing new strategies, and making key decisions. Simply working through your to-do list and 'getting things done' isn’t enough to propel you towards success. That’s only possible if the right things are getting done.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, these are some ideal tasks you should consider handing over to a virtual assistant:

To find out just how many of your general administrative tasks can be handled by virtual assistants, enter them into our free to-do list optimizer tool.

Bonus tip: Gather valuable data and insights

Market research, competitor analysis, and customer insights are all essential for making informed business decisions. But while these tasks need to be done, they don't need to be done by you. The good news is that this is another area where virtual assistants can come in extremely handy.

A virtual assistant can help you gather data, research industry trends, and provide you with valuable insights to shape your strategies.


Bridge the skills gap

It's important to bear in mind that we each have areas where we excel more than others, so take a moment to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses.

For example, you may be a fantastic content writer, a pro at customer service, or a strategic genius, but chances are you won't be all three at once.

Instead of spreading yourself too thin and trying to be a Jack of all trades, you'll get much better results if you focus your energy where it'll have the biggest impact. And when it comes to the areas where you’re not so strong, handing these tasks over to someone with more expertise and specialized skills is likely to result in higher quality than if you’d done them yourself.

It's a smart move that can lead to better outcomes all around.

Block out time

With the constant demands of meetings, emails, phone calls, and repetitive tasks, it can be tough to find the time for strategic thinking unless you intentionally plan for it.

So to make sure that you never miss out on this all-important activity, it is essential to schedule it in your calendar. Treat it as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself, just like any other important meeting. By proactively blocking off this time, you create a protected space for focused thinking and decision-making.

And to help you save even more time, why not ask your trusty virtual assistant to do this for you? They can help you stay on track and make sure that your strategic activities are always given the focus and attention they deserve.

Invest in strategic initiatives

It's not just valuable time you save with virtual assistants, but money, too.

Because they are not full-time employees, hiring virtual assistants is usually a much more cost-effective solution for small business owners.

For starters, virtual assistants are paid an hourly rate for their productive time spent working on tasks for you—right down to the minute.

And the savings usually don't just end there. Unlike an in-house, full-time employee, you don’t have to worry about any costs associated with recruitment, health insurance, vacation days, office space and equipment, or any other employee benefits.


The money you save can then be invested into other areas of your business, such as technology and equipment, training and resources, marketing, product development, and so on. Just think of what could be possible with the help of that extra budget...

Foster creativity and innovation

In the constant hustle and bustle of daily operations, it can often be tough to find the right headspace for creativity and innovation. This is where a virtual assistant can truly make a difference. By taking care of routine tasks, they create the breathing room needed for you to tap into your creative side.

With a virtual assistant handling your administrative duties, you can dedicate quality time to brainstorming new ideas, exploring uncharted territories, and spearheading innovation within your business. You'd be surprised at the creative breakthroughs that can happen when you create the right conditions for your mind to wander and explore.

What's the bottom line?

As an ambitious entrepreneur, your time is a limited resource that you must use wisely to maximize your productivity and drive your business forward. One effective way to tackle this challenge is by leveraging the support of a virtual assistant. These highly skilled professionals can be your secret weapon to help you streamline operations, make smarter choices, and take your business to new heights.

With their help, you can focus on what truly matters and achieve your goals more efficiently.

So why not give it a shot and see the impact a virtual assistant can have on your business?

Speak to our team to get started, and we'll set you up with a dedicated virtual assistant to help you achieve more, do more, and earn more in your business.

Or try us out for free today!

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About the author

Barnaby Lashbrooke is the founder and CEO of Virtual Assistant service Time etc as well as the author of The Hard Work Myth, recently recommended by Sir Richard Branson. Barnaby is a Forbes Columnist on productivity and is also an accomplished entrepreneur, selling more than $35 million worth of services.

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