Most small business owners today know that they need administrative help but are not sure whether they should hire an employee or a Freelance Admin.
Welcome back to the GinAdmin blog. My name is Gina Koran, and I will be your hostess today as we talk about the differences between hiring an employee and working with a Freelance Admin.
So grab your favorite beverage and enjoy…
You know you need help for your small business, but…
Would it be faster to do it yourself versus having to train someone to do the tasks?
Where do you even start?
And really… do you even have ENOUGH work to keep someone busy?
Most small business owners eventually get to this point – they KNOW they need help, but is it really worth it?
And how do they know whether they should hire an employee or a Freelance Admin for their small business…or even if they need either?
Employee or Freelancer Admin?
One of the questions I get asked a lot is “What is the difference between hiring an employee and working with a Virtual Assistant?”
Check out these differences:
A Freelancer or Virtual Assistant already has their own equipment; you must provide equipment for an employee.
Freelance Admins have their own office space; you will need to provide the space and furniture for an employee.
Freelancers provide their own insurance and retirement; you (if you are going to provide them) will need to find and (at least partially) pay for these benefits for an employee.
You only pay a Freelance Admin for tasks completed or for the time they worked to complete your tasks; with an employee, you’re going to pay them for the fixed number of hours you hire them for.
Freelancers do not waste time as they have other clients that they are supporting; employees tend to take restroom breaks, lunch breaks, checking social media, texting…all on YOUR time.
Most Freelance Admins have specialized skills and will pay for enhancing those skills themselves; with an employee, you are going to pay for those additional trainings through either actually paying for courses and/or the time it takes the employee to go through that training.
Another benefit of having a Freelancer is that they can provide extra support during your busy times, as well as while others are out of the office, on vacation, etc.
So, now that you know the difference, let’s take a look at how a Freelance Admin can help you and your small business.
A Freelance Admin can work as many or as little hours as you need them to.
You can also “purchase” a block of a Freelancers time for the work you need done.
One key is that finding an admin that is already familiar with your industry means less training time.
Simply show them how YOU like things done, and voila…training done.
Where do small business owners find Freelance Admins?
Today, there are SO many sites you can go to to find your perfect match.
My friend and mentor, Tawnya Sutherland over at VA Networking has a truly kick-butt Job Board where you can post your opening(s).
Tawnya also recently started a board for her massive network of VAs to list their skills, allowing business owners to search for that perfect VA!
I encourage you to head to VA Networking and see if Tawnya’s network has your match!
What can small business owners delegate to a Freelancer?
When you consider whether or not you have enough to keep someone busy, I suggest a quick test.
Take a look at your day today.
How much time are you spending…
Answering emails that ask the same questions every day.
Keeping tabs on similar businesses to see how you stack up.
Researching your industry’s standards and what’s new.
Writing a blog post to keep your clients updated on what’s going on with your small business.
Figuring out what to post on Social Media…
Then creating the wording…
And finding the perfect image.
Track your time for ONE day. One day of admin tasks.
Then figure out how much money you lose every day by focusing on those admin tasks versus your true money-making tasks.
I have a small business owner that hired me, well for many things, but one was to schedule his business’ social media posts each week.
This task takes me approximately two hours every Friday – just to schedule the posts.
That doesn’t include the additional time each week that I spend looking at his competitor’s websites and social media,
Coming up with new ideas for him to get new customers,
And creating new, exciting, eye-catching and scroll-stopping images and posts.
The literal HOURS I’ve saved him every week have allowed him to focus on expanding his marketing.
As well as other money-making areas that require his attention.
It has also allowed him to take some much-needed down-time with his family.
All because he knows he can rely on me to take care of those tasks each week.
Still not sure which, if either, is the right path for your small business?
Maybe you do not actually need an assistant yet?
You may just need to adjust a few things you are already doing to make them more efficient.
Just doing this alone may assist in saving time.
I would love to help you make the decision…
The decision on whether you should hire an employee or a Freelance Admin.
Head over to my contact page and let’s see if a Freelance Admin is the right fit for you!
As always, thanks for taking time to read my coffee-induced words.
And as a personal P.S., I want to thank those of you who have reached out and kept in touch with me about the “Life Happens” events going on here.
I appreciate all of you more than you can possibly imagine!
Until next time, my friends, stay happy, healthy and safe!
If you are like me, you struggle to keep up with everything and always feel like you are running behind. I have found some super helpful time management tips for you, my fellow busy small business owners!
Welcome to, or back to the GinAdmin Blog. My name is Gina Koran and I will be your host today as I share with you some of my coffee-induced thoughts and ideas.
So grab your mug…this is a good one!
Managing your time
There are only so many hours in any given day.
You cannot store it.
You cannot borrow more for later.
And depending on where you are in your life cycle, you may have other responsibilities as well.
Family, housework, yardwork, kids’ activities…maybe you’re even still working a 9 to 5, so your time is spread thin.
The good news?
You can decide what you spend your time on.
Naturally, you want to spend your time on things that add value to your life.
But life is so busy today, how can you possibly have time for those things that matter the most to you?
Luckily, there are loads of time management techniques that are tailor-made for busy people, especially small business owners!
Ideas that will help simplify how you work, ensuring that you get tasks done more efficiently and giving you more time for whatever you choose.
Now, obviously not all of these will work for you. But I hope that at least one gives you time back in your busy schedule!
Organize your small business time around your energy levels.
Your productivity levels are directly related to your energy levels, so schedule your hardest tasks for when your energy levels are at their highest.
Any low-value tasks that require little energy, such as responding to emails, can be scheduled for the times when your energy levels are lower.
I know that my most productive time is first thing. Well, first thing AFTER my first cup of coffee.
So any hard task I may have for the day, I do that first (after the coffee).
Plus, when you start the day off by completing your most important tasks, you will give yourself a boost of momentum and a real sense of accomplishment.
Prioritize tasks by days or times.
When every task is a priority, nothing is.
Maybe start by trying to do one task per day.
As you get more consistent and start getting that one thing done faster, you can try adding another task each day.
You can also use a calendar app like Google Calendar to track your daily activities.
I’ve talked before about my calendar – it looks like a kindergartner took their crayons to it.
All I have to do is glance at my calendar, and I know what task is next!
Make a plan for the day.
Before you go to bed, write a to-do list for the next day.
I know I’ve talked about this before as well. Before I head to bed each night, I make a list of my top 3 or 5 tasks that MUST be done tomorrow.
When you plan ahead, you are mentally preparing yourself for any challenges you may face.
This will also help to limit procrastination at the start of the day and ensure that you work faster and more efficiently.
Don’t try to do too much at once.
If you try to do too much, you will end up doing nothing well.
Instead, try focusing on one thing at a time.
This will help you stay organized and avoid getting overwhelmed.
If you are like me, as a small business owner/entrepreneur, your daily routine is key to your productivity. Today, I am sharing 7 ways to help boost your productivity with daily routines.
Welcome back to GinAdmin. I’m your host, Gina Koran and as always, I’m pleased you chose to spend a few minutes of your busy day with me as I share my coffee-induced thoughts with you. So grab your cup…
Many of the things we do each day to reach our goals can be achieved by creating small routines or daily habits that you perform without even thinking about it each day.
By making your actions routine and, more importantly, a habit, you will find you get more done and not feel like you are always working.
Starting off the day hydrated will boost your energy and make it more likely that you get your tasks completed.
Even yours truly, a self-proclaimed coffee addict, I start my day with at least one glass of water. And while I might joke that I drink that glass of water to clean my palate before I start my coffee IV, it is truly to get myself hydrated after a full-night’s sleep.
I also will drink water with my lunch and my evening meal to keep myself hydrated, understanding that staying hydrated keeps me focused and more productive throughout the day.
The great thing about water is that you can spruce it up. Add a slice of lemon. Toss in some fresh mint. Maybe cucumber slices. So many possibilities!
Review Your Schedule
I’ve talked about this before, but each night before bed I write down the most important tasks I need to work on the next morning.
Then first thing (after my glass of water, of course) each morning before I start my day, I glance over my list to get an overview of what I need to do during the day.
Then, I can prioritize each item based on my very colorfully-coded calendar.
If you are looking for some inspiration on time blocking, check out Cindy Bidar’s latest podcast : “How to Use Time Blocking to Get Stuff Done”. Cindy is a master at this!
Create a Morning Routine
Set up a morning routine for your self-care. This is totally personalized to each person, based on your needs.
You can start with a shower, make your bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc.
You may also want to add meditation, do some yoga, or maybe even journaling into your morning routine.
Those are some of my own routine: drink my glass of water, do my morning stretches for my back, brush my teeth, shower and dress for the day, make the bed.
And finally make my first cup of magic bean water a.k.a. coffee. As my friends at Chicago French Press say: Coffee beans magically turn into a life-changing potion everyday!
Then I head into my office to start my day, starting with that task list!
Monitor Your Nutrition
Another way to become more productive is to eat properly. As I have said before, I am not a doctor. But I do understand the importance of proper nutrition.
I would love to eat like that 14-year-old girl with her sugar-based cereal again. That sugar high, though will lead to a sugar crash a couple hours later for me, the NOT-14-year-old-girl.
I also know that too much pasta and/or bread make me lethargic.
Talk about unproductive.
You know what foods work best for you – do that.
For me, fruits give me a natural boost. With summer coming (YAY), that will mean early Wednesday morning starts as I head out to the farmer’s market where I grab loads of fruits and veggies to give me that natural boost.
Another trick I found is prepping food in advance to make it easy to stick to whatever plan you come up with.
It also makes for a less stressful meal-planning time each day if you have a super busy day and find yourself short on meal-prep time!
Develop a Positive Mindset
Find ways to look at the positive aspects of your life. When you have a positive mindset or outlook, it tends to strengthen your motivation.
And I get that with everything going on in the world and around you today, that it is sometimes easier said than done to keep a positive mindset.
One of the biggest ways I have found to stay positive is to distance myself from the news.
I have greatly reduced my time on social media. We don’t even watch the evening news, something both my husband and I grew up with with our parents. If you are reading this and you know my Dad, mum’s the word! (Wink)
Now that is not to say that we do not know what is going on in the world. We simply reduce our exposure to it all.
I have to admit, since we stopped watching and reading and listening to the news as much, both our mindsets have become much more positive!
Celebrate Your Victories
When you are successful and accomplish something, find a way to celebrate, no matter how small the victory.
One of my rewards for completing a task is (no surprise) …a fresh cup of coffee. When I am working from my colorful calendar and its time blocks, once I complete a task, I’ll refresh my cup.
This also gives me a chance to get up and stretch my back after sitting through that task so that it doesn’t put a damper on my positive energy.
Find something that motivates you. Something that will give you that motivation to complete a task. Then celebrate your win!
Segment Your Workday
Don’t work all the time. This is especially important if you work for yourself. The work never seems to end.
Set specific hours for your workday. Stick to these hours at least 80 percent of the time.
Keep in mind that being flexible is important. Sometimes working hard is going to be required, but it’s not required every single day.
I am getting better at this. And while I might have a client text me in the evening, if it’s not an emergency, it goes on my task list for the next morning (see how I tied that in from earlier?).
Well, there you have it, Gina’s coffee-induced thoughts on boosting your productivity through daily routines!
If you have some other ideas on boosting productivity or daily routines, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear yours!
For my fellow small business owners, if you are interested in ways that working with a Freelance Administrator can help put more time in your day and boost your productivity, drop me a message over at www.GinAdmin.com/#contact.
Until next time my friends, stay safe, positive and productive!
Do you wish you could streamline your schedule and increase your efficiency when working from home? Do you frequently feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do?
Welcome back to GinAdmin where today, me and my sidekicks (my pupper and my always-on-hand cup of coffee) are going to share some ideas that work for me in streamlining my day to work more efficiently.
So, grab your favorite beverage and have a quick read.
As hard as it is, we must do things when we need to.
Otherwise, they don’t get done at all. Or we find ourselves having to do them when we truly don’t have the time TO do them.
Then it seems something else has to be put off.
If you’re like me, when a project has a deadline, it is important to devote all of my undivided attention to it, or it won’t get completed. Time management is a critical aspect of every job – from planning to executing.
I have found that my schedule needs to be structured to support efficiency and productivity to reach my goals.
So, if you’ve ever felt like you need to streamline your daily schedule to work more efficiently, here are some tips are for you:
Check your existing workflows and processes.
Ask yourself these questions:
Are my workflows or processes efficient?
Do certain things take too much time or space to complete?
Are there things you can do to either eliminate steps or streamline your workflow?
Assessing current workflows is essential in improving productivity.
For example, do you need to complete specific tasks in a particular order or time? If so, then building your schedule with the tasks in the order you need to complete them will help you work more efficiently.
If you don’t need to do certain activities in the order you listed them, simply reorder them to streamline your work.
I do this with each task. At the end of every day, I review my current projects and list the priorities for the next day to keep me on track and complete those projects on time.
Rank your processes.
Once you know your current workflows, you can rank them in terms of both the amount of time they take to complete and the extent to which they streamline your typical workflow.
I recommend using a scale of 1 to 5, depending on how time-consuming a process is and how much it changes your routine.
If it takes less than five minutes, you can probably combine it with another task in your workflow.
Turn off your notifications.
Notifications in apps can be great when you want to receive a notice for something important, but when you’re working tasks, they are simply distractions.
Turn off your notifications and focus only on the task at hand so that you don’t end up losing focus.
The truth is, most notifications can wait.
I put news alerts and messages on hold until later and read them as a reward for finishing my tasks. Then I can sit back with my favorite mug and read them without feeling guilty for taking time away from my important tasks.
Tackle the hard stuff first.
If you are trying to jam in as many tasks as you can, chances are you’re not getting much, if anything done.
Or, you might even be the opposite; you’re spending more of your limited time on busywork that you don’t need to do. To help become more productive, I find that it helps to focus on one task at a time and work on that task until I complete it.
If I find myself multitasking, I try focusing instead for a single 30-minute period, taking a quick break (probably grab another cup of coffee) and get back at it. I talked about multitasking before – you can read that here: How to be more productive this week.
Trying to work on more than one task at a time can cause procrastination, which is a whole new level of anxiety. I will take the time to organize my tasks in order of priority so that the most important projects have the first slot in my schedule.
For instance, I tend to procrastinate on tasks that involve creative work, such as writing, brainstorming, and generating ideas. I find that setting aside 15 minutes a day to write helps me make more progress on that task.
Another trick I use is that I do the things I like to do the least first. Otherwise, I’m just dreading that task while I’m doing other things.
Do your work near an excellent natural source of light.
A good source of light not only helps you see better, but it also helps you work better. This tip is handy if you work from home.
Those of us who work from home can become dependent on artificial light, leading to eye strain and fatigue. Working in a well-lit area and taking regular breaks away from your desk helps with this.
Watch your natural lighting, though. I have windows behind and next to me. When I’m going to be on a video call, I have to close the blinds and the curtains on those windows, otherwise the lighting is terrible!
And while some days my cup and I aren’t looking our best, the person on the other end of the video wants to see you as you’re talking to them!
Streamlining your schedule and increasing your efficiency will help you focus on what is important throughout the day. Try to limit the number of distractions you have around you.
Now, remember that you might not need to make a complete overhaul of your schedule. Many times, you can make small changes to greatly improve your overall productivity.
One of the best ways to improve your efficiency…you guessed it! Work with a Freelance Admin. We can help you assess and restructure your processes where needed, structure your schedule, and overall make your life easier!
If you try any of these tips, leave me a comment below and let me know how that works out for you. Or if you have other ideas, feel free to share!
And, of course, if you would like to learn more about how a Freelance Admin can help, contact me ~ we can chat over a cup of…yep, coffee, or whatever you beverage of choice is!
Changing your mindset can help you grow both personally and professionally in achieving your goals.
But do you know what is the number one factor that determines whether or not someone succeeds at achieving a goal?
Is it genetics? Luck? What about skills or natural talent? Hard work has to be in there somewhere, right?
All of these factors are important, some more so than others, but none hold the number one spot.
So, what is number one?
If you guessed mindset, you are right. Mindset is a better predictor of future success than every other factor you can consider, including working hard and natural talent.
Welcome back to GinAdmin. My name is Gina Koran and I, along with my trusty sidekicks (a.k.a. my cup of joe and my pup) will be your host into this journey of changing your mindset to help you grow both personally and professionally, and achieving your goals.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is where you believe in change and improvement.
You believe that your skills and talents can be improved through hard work, practice, and dedication.
You embrace challenges.
People with a growth mindset set challenges as learning and growth opportunities rather than obstacles standing in their way.
They don’t get easily frustrated by failures and roadblocks; they believe these things are to be expected and are a sign that they need to adjust and try again.
I never see failure as failure, but only as a learning experience.
The success of other people is inspiring to people with a growth mindset. They try to figure out how the other person succeeded and how to imitate them. This increases their own odds of success
You’ve heard the old adage “A leopard cannot change its spots”. Well, yes. But you are not a leopard, you are a human being. And we, as humans CAN change our spots!
Mindset is Changeable
Don’t buy into the myth that mindset is static. Not only CAN it change, but it DOES change throughout your life, whether or not you purposely try to change it.
So if your mindset is changing anyway, why not guide these changes and help them along so that you can grow into the best possible version of yourself?
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “HOW can I make these changes?”.
Well guess what…I have some tips. These tips are actually some habits you can create to help you change your mindset into one of growth!
Changing your mindset takes time and work. There’s no magic that will let you do it overnight.
And, of course, you don’t want to do ALL of these!
Pick the ones you think you can do easily and start there. You can always come back later and start on a new one!
So here we go…
Create a morning ritual to get your day off to a good start.
What makes you feel best in the mornings?
What can you do to set yourself up for success every day?
Maybe it is journaling over a cup of coffee or going for a morning run.
Maybe it is taking a few minutes to meditate or stretch before you get in the shower.
It might even be something as simple as making your bed before you leave for work.
Figure out a ritual that works for you and prioritize doing it every day.
If you have been with me for a while, you know that running…yeah, probably not going to happen.
But as the weather gets warmer, I will start going walkabout with the pupper. (AND my cup of coffee!). This gets my blood flowing and sets me up for a good day of good old-fashioned work!
Reflect on your day.
Every night before you go to bed, take a moment to reflect on your day.
What went right?
What didn’t and how can you make it go right tomorrow?
Did you get done what you wanted to do? Why or why not?
What can you do to make sure tomorrow goes well?
I mentioned in a previous article that my best tool is my very colorful calendar.
Every morning before I start my day, I look over my calendar and have a snapshot of what I need to accomplish.
This also helps clear my brain most nights so that I can rest knowing that tomorrow is already laid out for me.