Read time: 4 mins
How many times have you sat down for dinner and wondered “Has everyone arrived on site tonight?” or “Did we complete the inspection for [insert client’s name]”?
These questions, and so many more, used to haunt me when I was running my commercial cleaning company. I faced a lot of challenges as my cleaning company grew, and from what I am hearing in the industry today, many people are experiencing the same thing.
do you Feel like you're drowning?
In 2014, my cleaning company was growing very quickly and (what seemed like overnight) things started to get out of hand. I went from being the guy who was on top of everything — in charge of every cleaner, client account, and complaint — to the guy who was “too busy” to take calls and follow up. Sound familiar?
Then, one day a client called and cancelled their contract — I was shocked and embarrassed.
They had never complained in the past, so I thought the contract was going well.
After reviewing the account, it became quite clear: I had not inspected the site for over two months.
I assumed everything was okay because there hadn't been any complaints. In the past (when I had more time,) I didn’t make those assumptions or let things slide —and I didn’t lose contracts.
Delegation (your new favorite word)
Suddenly, I was forced to learn about the art of delegation.
To be honest, I was not comfortable or excited to take on this new challenge (which isn’t like me). My business partner, Matt, suggested that I get a virtual assistant (VA) to help me plan and organize my day. He said a VA could work between 2–8 hours a week and would really help take all the small things off my plate.
I told Matt two things: 1) I don’t know what a “virtual assistant” is, and 2) I need far more help than a few hours a week from someone.
But, trust is huge in our company, so (eventually) I trusted Matt and hired a VA from a company online (a quick Google search will give you many options.)
My VA helped me with all the little things (and there were a lot) that slowed me down during the day. For example, I was at a janitorial conference where I met someone from ProTeam and we wanted to set up a meeting.
I simply took a picture of his business card, sent it to my VA and asked her to find a time that worked for a 20 minute call. It took me only 20–30 seconds, while my VA spent 10–15 minutes balancing schedules for the call to take place.
How much time are you wasting on “busy work”?
Stop and think about all the little tasks that eat up time in your day. How often do you spend 5–15 minutes on a task that someone else could do for you?
Worse, how many times do you just ignore those tasks until something happens and forces you to react?
Now, you may already have an admin who takes care of these tasks, but are you using them effectively? It's tough to think about, but maybe you are not that great at delegation and could improve. Not convinced? Here is an article with a list of 25 things that a VA can help you with.
enjoy a new feeling...Relief.
The best part about working with a VA is that it has really opened up each day for me to focus on the things that I wanted to do and that I am good at : closing new contracts and keeping our clients happy.
My VA brought me back on track and there was a massive decrease in stress… I had finally won back my nights and weekends!
I'd love to hear what sorts of tasks you would delegate to a VA, and about any other challenges you're facing! Email me anytime at email@example.com
Mike Brown, Co-Founder & CEO of Swept
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