34 Business Tasks You Should Stop Doing & Hire Virtual Staff For

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What’s the number one resource all entrepreneurs don’t have enough of?

Time.

Especially if you’ve built your business around providing a service for people. Because, once the 24 hours in a day run out, you have no choice but to start over again tomorrow.

If you’re not careful, you can think you’re building a business when you’re really just spending 24-hour increments maintaining a business.

Enough is enough. Make 2018 the year you trade your worst clients for some of the best companies in the world. Click here to learn how.

How to get more hours in the day

There’s only one solid way to find more hours in your day and that’s by hiring people to help you.

With that in mind, I’ve listed 34 tasks you can easily hire someone else to do for you; divided into categories.

I don’t necessarily recommend you hire someone to do all 34 tasks. Nor do I recommend you hire 34 people. But where possible and appropriate for your business, try taking a few of these tasks of your plate each month.

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Then be sure to use the extra time you’ve discovered to think strategically and really build your business.

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about hiring other people to grow your creative business, take a moment to check out these resources:

Answering the question “should I be outsourcing?”

How to use outsourcing to build a business:

How to get started hiring

Finding & Working with Clients

Finding and working with clients is the lifeblood of any service-oriented business. Most of the tasks listed below could be done by a general assistant (someone with a wide range of skills, but no specific specialty).

But honestly, you could even hire someone (higher-level than a general assistant) to be the “Account Representative” with your clients. If you’re the kind of person that loves the creative process, but just doesn’t enjoy working with clients, this is a great option for you.

Finding new clients

  • Search forums & social media for potential clients
  • Go through trade magazines or other business directories and listing potential clients
  • Send cold-call sales letters (written by you) to potential clients
  • Send follow-up emails to clients previously contacted

Managing current clients

  • Send invoices to clients
  • Follow up with clients on unpaid invoices
  • Read long client emails, pulling and organizing the to-do items
  • Collect down-payments from clients on project commencement & final payment on project completion
  • Prepare assets for client presentations (PowerPoint slides, on foam core, etc.)

Improving client satisfaction

  • Send follow-up emails weeks and/or months after a project is completed
  • Send post-project client surveys and organizing responses
  • Send new file formats to clients if needed (e.g.: “now, we need a .png of that”)

Marketing

In addition to the tasks listed above in “Finding new clients” (which I would also classify as marketing tasks) here are some easy tasks for a general marketing assistant.

Again, if you want to get really serious about it, you could hire a marketing specialist and have them craft entire marketing campaigns for you and your business. Otherwise, here are a few smaller tasks someone could take off your plate.

Portfolio Management

  • Add images of new projects to your online and/or print portfolio
  • Assist in writing descriptions and details of each project in your portfolio
  • Post new projects to Facebook, Twitter, Dribbble, Bechance, etc.
  • Post new projects to your company blog with descriptions

Advertising

  • Craft copy for printed mailers, cold-call phone scripts, or email prospecting
  • Search for local advertising opportunities and recommend the best opportunities

Administrative

If you stopped and took note of every single small administrative task you perform every day for your business, you’d be shocked at how many hours you’re spending every week.

As in any scenario, you could hire a highly skilled assistant for the tasks below or a general VA to help with a few of the tasks that seem to take the most time.

Email & voicemail management

  • Filter out spam or unwanted emails
  • Organize email according to category, urgency or however you’d like
  • Listen to voicemails from potential clients, filter through the ones with potential, respond to the ones you decline

File management

  • Organize incoming client assets for easy access
  • Organize final client deliverables for easy archiving and later access
  • Develop and use file-naming conventions for easy future look-up
  • Export client deliverables into needed file formats (pdf, .indd, .eps, .tiff, etc)

Project & Time Management

  • Remind you of project milestones and deadlines
  • Manage calendar appointments with current and upcoming clients
  • Update project-tracking software to accurately reflect the status of each project

Reports

  • Run weekly and/or monthly reports regarding key business goals (number of clients, total income, etc.)
  • Analyze reports and make recommendations based on trends
  • Organize reports for easy future access

Creative Work

As a creative professional, it’s hard to imagine outsourcing any part of your creative process to someone else. But think about some of the more administrative things you do as part of your creative process. A few examples include:

  • Secure licenses for fonts or other creative pieces
  • Upload unused design elements to marketplace sites for recurring future income
  • Research creative trends and share the most important and applicable pieces

What did I leave out?

What kinds of tasks do you hire other people to do (or which ones do you wish you could hire someone else to do for you so you can spend more time building your business? Share with me in the comments and let’s chat.

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, and the founder of this blog. You can contact him via twitter at @prestondlee.

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Comments

  1. Paula Spagnuolo says:

    Kuddos to you Preston for this post. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read similar articles where the advice was to basically just outsource everything. I suppose there may be some who want to run a design business and never do anything except outsource every single task but I have to believe most creatives ‘love’ what they do and aren’t interesting in simply being an outsource manager. The suggestions you’ve made are sensible and good advice for any freelancer who finds themselves bogged down in tasks that don’t put their skills, interests and tie to good use.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Preston,
    This is exactly what I was looking for. I’m in the beginning stages of my VA business. I just wanted to start off as a VA to help with tasks and your list works great. I know there is so much more to what a virtual assistant can do, the industry is starting to grow and there are so many VA’s with so many specialties. I have an administrative background with basic computer programs. Today’s VA’s are doing so much with marketing or websites it can be hard to get into that side of things. I believe that starting from the beginning and helping with the tasks will gain trust from your clients. Once you have this, you can go to the next level and help them grow their business if they have a task you have not done (ex: social media). If they know you are willing to learn they will help you as well.

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