If you’ve been following this blog for any period of time, you know that I constantly talk about the leverage created by employing virtual staff. In fact, there’s a team of people behind almost every successful person I’ve met in my many years doing business.
A great example would be James Schramko. If you listen to the Podcast that I did with him you’ll hear how he takes the concept of “leverage” to the next level (30-60 minutes of work per day for a multi-million dollar business). He’s currently got a team of almost 50 virtual assistants and they’re responsible for running his entire business.
I think we can all agree that in order to get to 50 assistants, you’ve got to build serious processes and systems into your business. That’s what today’s post is all about… how to use software to create a lot of get rid of a lot of the dirty work you’re used to doing.
Even if you don’t have the goals of ever employing 50 assistants, systems in your business will still help your life become more enjoyable. Getting more done in less time is always the goal, and the software currently exists that really help you streamline your business – no matter where you happen to be running it from!
Here are three ways you can use software to immediately improve the systems in your business and make your life a little easier in the process.
Need Documentation and Training for Tasks to Outsource
Potential Solution – Google Drawing Flowcharts
Flowcharts are a great way to onboard new virtual assistants and employees because they make it easy to visualize the order in which specific steps need to occur.
Google Drawing (free) is a simple program that allows you to create flowcharts and store them in your Google Drive account.
A good way to get started with flowcharts is to simply outline one recurring task that you need to outsource. It’s important that you document a “recurring” task. These are usually great candidates for outsourcing because you invest the time once, but get the payoff for months or years to come.
Think through the steps that need to done in order to complete the task at hand and document those steps one by one. It doesn’t need to be complex. At the end of this process, you’ll be able to hand off a flowchart in PDF format to your VA.
For more complex tasks please see my VA Training Trifecta that incorporates video.
Need a Better Understanding of What Your Team is Working On
Potential Solution – Hubstaff Time Tracking Software
As you begin to hire people for various tasks in your company, there will be a point where you may start to feel overwhelmed. Not knowing who is working on what tasks can be stressful for a virtual business owner.
Hubstaff, which is a time tracking software (similar to Odesk but as sold as a SAAS, so the costs are a lot lower) helps solve this. It’s a great solution for getting hard and fast data about who is doing what in your company.
It’s project-based so at the end of of the month you can use the time data to invoice your clients or pay your employees. It also takes screenshots so that you can login in real time and understand exactly what your people are working on without the need to rely on email. The benefits of integrating a time tracking app like this into your business are massive.
Large Projects Need to be Pushed to Completion
Potential Solution – Basecamp Project Management Software
Large projects are tough to drive to completion because there are so many moving parts. This is where Basecamp can be a big help.
One if the biggest issues with completing large projects is that communication constantly getting lost in emails. Basecamp fixes this by allowing you to upload files to projects and keeping track of all the correspondence related to the project.
Your team will get notifications via email as things change on the project. You can ask questions, follow up on certain aspects of the project and set milestones. The cool thing is that this communication is documented for everyone on your team to see. That’s huge because it lessens the need of your team to communicate across different timezones and potentially increase delays.
There are obviously way more tools and resources that you can utilize to manage and get the most out of your virtual team, however, these three are a great starting point!
Question: What tools, services and resources do YOU use when working with virtual staff? Comment below and lets share a few virtual management productivity hacks for each other.