Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Benefits of Outsourcing (even just a little bit)

It is January again, but this year is different. This year I am not spending hours entering receipts onto a spreadsheet. Yes, I have a few to insert, but not the seemingly hundreds of bits and pieces of paper I have had every January since I started freelancing in the mid-90’s. What’s different this year? The difference is Norma.

Norma Murray is a virtual assistant and owner of Able Assistants . I met Norma while attending a networking event, also virtual, called Wild Women Entrepreneurs. I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for the 3-day online networking event this past September. All I knew was that it was an opportunity to network with other women who are building up their businesses. Three days later and I had over 20 new business associates, one of which was the invaluable Norma.

Virtual assistants are part of a growing trend of services available by virtue of the internet. When I need to hire some help, I didn’t have to put an ad in the newspaper, interview a bunch of people and then commit to a set number of hours and tasks per week or month. All I did was discuss Norma’s services via e-mail a few times in order to get an idea of what she offered. Her price was right, and I figured I would have more time for actual work if I had her enter all of my receipts for the year. I sent my envelope full of receipts, insured and registered in case it went astray, and the next thing I knew, I had an expense report with only a few current items missing. The missing items had not existed when I sent my envelope off to Norma or you can bet they would have been in there!

My advice is to outsource some of the more Able Assistants saved me so much time that I would have otherwise spent NOT writing and DEFINITELY dragging myself to complete the task. Virtual assistants don't just enter data onto spreadsheets. They can answer your phones, type documents, even do your mailings. Do an online search to find yours.

Have you ever used a V.A.?

Tell us about your experience with this excellent new possibility for freelance workers and those who work from home. In the meantime, have a happy and prosperous 2008!


1 comment:

DocuMaker said...

New resource on the subject: Outsourcing Through Rentacoder explains the proper way to outsource online before making mistakes via trial and error.