Your business is growing and your client list has doubled - you’re at the point where you can no longer do it all yourself, and it’s time to start outsourcing.
This is a terrifying, but incredibly exciting part of a biz owner’s life and it can feel pretty overwhelming to know where to start.
Who can you hire?
What jobs can be outsourced?
Basically, who do you need on your team?!
Whilst most people will default to hiring a general VA, there are lots of other roles you might want to consider too.
A virtual assistant is likely to be your first hire, simply because they will be able to take a whole load of work off your plate and allow you the time and space to step back and work out what is next for your business. A good virtual assistant should be able to step in and use your SOPs to complete various tasks to the same level of detail, and quality, that you would perform yourself.
The job description of a VA is usually pretty vague because it’s so broad, and so it’s important to consider what types of things you will want them to do. Think of the tasks that you don’t like doing, that take up a lot of your time, or that you simply think someone else can do a better job at. This could be anything from the upkeep of your website or creating social media graphics, to contact clients and chasing invoices.
Once you know roughly the types of things you will be asking a VA to do, this will help you to find the right virtual assistant for you. Although VAs are often Jack of all trades, they will likely have specialisms and areas in which they can really help you thrive, so by considering what sorts of things you’re going to be asking of them, you’ll be able to find the VA that’s right for you.
Perhaps you have a basic level of graphic design ability but you want to really level up your work to look even more professional. Or perhaps you just want someone to create a load of Canva templates for you to utilise on your social media posts. Design jobs that might take you a while, will take a professional graphic designer a fraction of the time, and they tend to look at things in a completely different way.
You can hire a designer to create all of your digital assets, such as workbooks, freebies etc, or in a more project-based way where you ask them to rebrand your current business and create brand guidelines and templates that you can then use yourself when creating things going forward.
A copywriter’s job is to take your words and make them sing. It can be really difficult to write about our own projects, and to celebrate ourselves through words and so hiring a copywriter is a great way to get over this. Utilise their skills to turn your sales pages into something incredible, or make your newsletters newsworthy, or perhaps just hire them to write SEO-rich blog content for your website to help you get to the top of the search results.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Actually doing your job and then finding time to create and post witty, informative and engaging content on various social media networks about the aforementioned work is pretty difficult and time consuming. You need to be posting consistently, engine with other peoples’ content and working with the algorithm to find any level of success on social media and yet that is where a lot of your potential clients will come from. You really cannot underestimate the importance of a good social media strategy and by hiring a social media manager to oversee this, you’ll be saving yourself a whole lot of stress.
Different SMMs will work in different ways so it’s important to get clarity on whether they will create the content or just queue it up; whether they will use any paid advertising or all organic and what metrics you will use to define the success.
How much time do you spend on boring admin tasks such as sending and chasing invoices? What about booking in meetings and sending out emails?
By hiring someone to cover all admin/finance tasks, you will be able to find more time to provide your services for your clients, or grow your business (or, just imagine, have some time off!) knowing that all the background stuff is being taken care of.
Having someone in charge of your scheduling and liaising with potential clients to book in discovery calls can take a huge weight of your shoulders, and if that same person can then chase payment, book train tickets for events and make projections for the future - even better!
This role is a little more specialised than general finance and will often involve someone with accounting or bookkeeping qualifications. This is the person who will keep track of sales and receipts, expenses and purchases and get your books ready for tax. If you’re not very number-minded and find doing your taxes causes you a lot of stress, then hiring a bookkeeper and/or an accountant can make things a lot easier.
If your business is soaring and a VA (or even a few!) just isn’t cutting it, you can hire an OBM to manage all aspects of your business - this includes the logistics, daily operations, projects and people involved in your services. An OBM will work with you to create specialised strategies and then implement and manage these. They are more of a project manager, ensuring that your business is meeting your KPIs, overseeing business operations, liaising with clients and managing people, perhaps including the rest of your freelance team.
Your OBM will become your right hand partner and will know your business as well as you do. They will need to have incredibly effective communication skills, excellent technical abilities and be super self-motivated. An OBM certainly isn’t cheap to hire but they are more than worth it for what they can bring to the table.