Outsourcing should always be done with the idea that you will have more time in your life once you have “delegated” some of your work. That may be more leisure time, more time to work “on your business” or you may have an entirely different reason. It could be that you just hate doing a particular job.
The one thing that you don’t want to do again and again, is start from scratch training someone. So it’s really important to create procedures and systems right from the beginning that you can use again and again. Will this take some time? You bet! But you will thank me later.
There will surely come a time when your employee or VA will move on, and you will have to hire someone as a replacement. Even though the goal is to create these systems once and be done, in reality you will always have to update these procedures from time to time. But if you take the time now to do it right, you will never again have to start from the beginning. So let’s get to work.
Task Packages; what are they and why do I need them?
I came up with this name for the information packet that I would make for my VA every time I had a new job or a new task for her. I wanted a place for to keep everything that she would need for a particular task.
When you first look at this you will be tempted to say, “That looks a little bit like over-kill”. I can assure you that it isn’t.
I have found that things you and I take for granted, will not be things necessarily that your VA will know or have experience with. Even when I thought I had every little detail nailed down, my VA would be confused about a tiny step I had omitted.
What Should Be Included In My Training?
I asked myself, if I were going to learn to do something new, what would I need to learn and master the job quickly? The goal here is not only for this person to learn how to do the task, but to master it quickly and be an efficient worker.
Here is what I include:
- A list of everything in this “task packet”; all the individual instructions included
- An overview of the job I want done.
- Step by step instructions and a screen- cast video when needed.
- Any login information they will need
Let’s say I want my VA to post ads on Craig’s List for me every day. This particular ad would be a “We Buy Houses Ad”. Just as a note, an ad has to be deleted 48 hours before you can repost the ad on Craig’s List. For this example, you would need 3 Craig’s List accounts.
My task packet on “How to Post Craig’s List Ads” would include:
- A list of everything that is in the packet
- An overview of the job I want my VA to do
- A copy of the login information needed for the task
- The sample ad(s) with my clickable URL
- Instructions on how to duplicate the “clickable URL” just in case it were to be accidentally deleted
- A sample posting schedule
- A video showing the entire login and posting process step by step
It would also include the most important piece; detailed information about how to post a “We Buy Houses” ad, beginning with:
- Find the Craig’s List Site (your city)
- Login to Craig’s List
- Choose the category… etc. You get the idea. Step by step.
- A reminder to delete the oldest ad each day before posting a new ad
Why All the Details?
As I said before your VA or part-time person might not be familiar with the process of posting these types of ads. The same holds true for most other jobs you will outsource.
Create a step by step process that anyone can follow. You don’t want have to hire a “genius” when you outsource, and you don’t want them to spend a week trying to learn the job on their own from a remote location (while you are paying them for this learning). Make it easy for them by giving them all the tools they need to get up to speed quickly.
How to create simple training videos in 15 minutes or less for your VA
I use a free tool called “ScreenCast-O-Matic” to create training videos. It is drop dead simple to use. You can record videos up to 15 minutes in length and upload them to YouTube. You can include a link to the video in your packet. My VA has commented many times that she loves the videos.
I hope you are well on the way to hiring your first VA. If you haven’t done that yet, find something to outsource even if it is a one time job and just do it. Take the first step.
If you have any questions about this series send me an email and I will do my best to answer your question.
Get your life back; outsource some of your work!
If you missed any of the other parts of this series you can find the links below:
- Part 1: Creating an Outsourcing Master Plan for Your Business
- Part 2: How Do I Figure Out What to Outsource
- Part3: Where Do I Find An Affordable VA or Part-time Person For My Business?
- Part 4: How Do You Decide How Much To Pay A Virtual Assistant?
- Part 5: How to Hire the Perfect Virtual Assistant For Your Business
If you haven’t already subscribed, be sure to do that today so you don’t miss any of the business building tips I have coming your way. I want 2013 to be your best year ever! And if you enjoyed this article, please share it.