Are you heading into the new year, feeling unprepared, and don’t know how you are going to do it all in your business? This post will give you ideas about virtual business services available that can help, keep you out of the deep end of overwhelm and go on to prosper. You may already know what’s available to you, but haven’t pieced together what you need or you may be green as the grass and have no idea where to start. Let’s begin.
Established coaching businesses need to grow, evolve, and adapt to changing environments. Agility is the key element in a successful business. Stuck, stagnant companies eventually lose customer interest, which ramps up entrepreneur’s fears, efforts. Be proactive, not reactive to your business and customer needs (your mental health will also thank you).
Where Does Your Time Go?
Maintaining day to day management tasks takes your time away from building revenue in your business. This is where business support services come in because you do not have to do it all on your own.
Marketing takes timeas it requires, consistenct, adaptive and fresh content focussed on your audience’s needs at that point in time. Customer service, bookkeeping, financial planning, and strategic evaluation, although not cash flow in and of themselves are necessary tasks to manage and nourish cash flow.
Your time working with clients, and closing sales is where the cash flow comes from (also the highest value in your use of work time). Day to day business tasks, long term marketing and building services and programs for the future of your coaching practice can’t stop even if you are busy. Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly tasks are the backbone of customer service, profits and business longevity. Who are the best people to do those tasks?
Why Hiring Help Leads to Business Success
One person cannot know everything and be skilled at all tasks to run a business well. Startups can make do on shoestring budgets where the entrepreneur wears all or most of the hats. Established businesses cannot thrive through one person’s efforts alone, however as there is simply too much work to do.
We all have our gifts and challenges in life and taking on more than you can handle is not going to help you or your business thrive.
If you calculate what your time is worth in dollars (eg. $500 per hour consulting and advising clients) versus how much you could pay a talented and efficient virtual assistant (eg. $30+ per hour), it isclear how fiscally responsible it is to get help with your business.
Data entry, responding to social media comments, creating templates, bookkeeping, file organization, lead tracking, correspondence, website maintenance, and content writing take time and skill to perform. These are just a few of the services you could be using your $500 an hour time to plug away at or you could hire out efficient specialists at a fraction of the cost. It is operational effectiveness at its prime.
Identify the Right Services For You
Hiring help needs to be a part of strategic and financial decision-making. Once you have made a decision it is time to hire a professional business service provider to take some of the load off your shoulders, here are a few of the virtual services available.
Yes, this is for coaches too as hiring a coaching colleague to help you scale over your hurdles is invaluable. As you know, not all coaches are alike. That is why I suggest a business growth coach who is experienced and knowledgeable in virtual business services and your profession. Look at the weakest link in your business and this will lead you to find a coach with the particular skills you need. Your needs will change over time and the same coach may not always be the right fit for your business.
The online business world has advanced greatly over the past 20 years and having service providers who understand the technology, online business-building strategies, marketing, and operations is critical. Many business growth coaches have run their own companies or come from corporate backgrounds in the past. They transition into coaching to share their knowledge and experience, and help clients scale over hurdles with less stress and strain than the coach did in the past.
VAs are online assistants. They do not require you to supply office space, benefits, or vacation days. They work on a freelance contract on a short-term or long-term basis. In addition, they can work in many different time zones, are trained in technology, and communicating through various social platforms, calendaring, and project management tasks. You can hire one for a few hours a week to full-time, based on your needs.
Often VAs serve multiple roles for a small business such as customer service, social media management, calendar scheduling, data entry, and website updates. Each VA has a unique set of skills and specialties so be sure to know what it is you are looking for when researching options and making inquiries. In online business, it really helps to have a VA who is tech-savvy.
Content writers, like myself, prepare written material for your business. Hiring one who uses SEO keywords and phrases, has a marketing focus, and can navigate the basics of analytics will save you time. You can get your website content updated, blogs written, social media posts prepared, and emails, newsletters, case studies and workbooks designed.
Social Media Manager
Preparing consistent posts on social media platforms is time-consuming as it involves written content, graphics, a marketing plan, and a consistent posting schedule for it to be effective. Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook are examples of social media platforms. Some social media specialists will also provide services in community management, so you don’t have to be spending time checking your accounts, and replying to comments.
Event Planner for Product Launches
Planning to launch a new course, service, or product to your audience and don’t know where to start? Hire an event planner to coordinate tasks and service providers to make sure everything flows smoothly and on schedule prior to and during your launch.
Course Creator and Designer
Have you written a book? Conducted in-person workshops? Now you want to take it online and create video-based courses for marketing and passive income purposes.
Either due to your time constraints or a lack of knowledge in technology and course creation platforms, hiring a course creator who knows the technology is a must. They can design a course based on your content, to engage the audience, meet learning goals, and make it easy to clients to navigate the learning platform. Having a tech-strong course creator is like having a magical wand next to your laptop.
Website Development & Maintenance
Some people love to tinker with technology, build websites, and prepare written content and graphic design. Website building is their passion. For the majority of business and health coaches out there though, it is not in their skillset or interest. Hiring an expert will save you immense amounts of time. It helps you rise above the competition and be seen with a well-functioning, brand-compliant site that showcases your work and services.
There are 5 key reasons (of many) why it is important to get expert website help.
- Tech glitches are fixed regularly (especially important for e-commerce sites)
- Choosing the right platform for your website
- Have it finished in a much shorter time span than “I will get around to that”
- Potential clients can see examples of your work, your personal style, knowledge, and skill
- Extra invaluable tips about how readers will interpret the information on the site, how to layout content in a template, choose color schemes, images, and templates that work
Numbers and accounting often are not a coaching business owner’s dream task. A bookkeeper can take care of the details for you on an ongoing basis, such as invoicing, bill payments, expense tracking, and financial reports. They can also provide a short-term service to get you set up and trained on a bookkeeping software system, and help with year-end or any issues during your fiscal year that may crop up.
It is especially cost-effective to have a bookkeeper if your style happens to be dropping off a grocery bag full of coffee-stained invoices, overdue bills, and missing receipts to an accountant’s office once a year, or piling your receipts for a year, filing your tax returns late. Rush jobs and sorting through a mess of papers by the accountant’s office, late payment fees to vendors and the government will more than pay for having a part-time bookkeeper during the year.
Hiring a bookkeeper and having reputable accounting software such as Quickbooks, takes little time on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to update entries, and invoices, pay bills, and prepare reports for your accountant. Accountants’ hourly rates cost a minimum of 4 times more than an experienced bookkeeper. The bonus? There won’t be costly errors in your reports and filing your corporate tax return will be a breeze.
Bonus Tip: Where to Post RFPs and Job Postings
In the freelance and online business communities here are two organizations I am a member of and have gained great insight, support, and training for my online business. Freelance University has a job board and the Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants posts external RFPs for its members. Both organizations have excellent customer service and work hard to support their members in accessing vetted contract opportunities. There are many online platforms to post opportunities for online business service providers, these 2 organizations are the ones I know well and can recommend.
What can help your coaching business grow and thrive? Know your business needs, what you spend too much time doing that you don’t enjoy and you would happily delegate to someone who has a passion for it. There is a wonderful world out there with high-quality, experienced, and service-oriented small business owners ready to help guide your business to success.
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