#75. | Cathy Baillargeon, Part 1 | Delegating as a skill, plus 2 other tips for small business owners
On this week's episode of Business Over Beer, we welcome Cathy Baillargeon, Founder and CEO of Virtual Cathy, a company providing remote administrative support for business owners and non-profits.
As a business management consultant, prior to becoming a business owner herself, Cathy saw first hand that business owners were struggling with how to effectively delegate administrative tasks, preventing their businesses from achieving their full potential. Also, when Cathy launched her business three years ago, she was able to navigate some of the start up headaches because she had the experience guiding other business through those challenges as a consultant.
Now, Virtual Cathy's Army of Virtual Assistants (VAs) are helping businesses in 27 states, with a wide variety of services including data entry, travel planning, email management, scheduling and social media management.
3 Tips for Small Business Owners:
1. Delegating is a skill set that must be developed by a small business owner.
For any small business owner, our business is our baby, and the thought of giving up control of any aspect of it can be hard. But the reality is, in order for a small business to grow, business owners must spend their time doing what they do best everyday. It's easy to get bogged down, especially with administrative tasks, that, while essential for the business, may not be essential for the business owner's time.
That is where delegating comes in, and it doesn't come naturally to some people. Think of delegating as a skill that you need to work on, like any other skill. Really think about what you spend your time doing versus what you WANT to spend your time doing. Then get out of your own way and start delegating.
2. Understand where the market is going, and how your business can fill the holes.
As a small business owner, just running the day to day can take take up most of your time. And when a massive disruption hits the market or your industry, you are left having to quickly react, and innovate, or pivot, or worse, close your doors.
Cathy saw the challenges business owners were having delegating administrative tasks. In addition, she also understood (even pre-Covid) the value of providing this service virtually. So when the pandemic hit, she was already poised for the virtual workplace and was perfectly positioned to help her clients as they were forced to make this shift as well.
Be disciplined enough to understand where the market is headed and position yourself for a shift, even before the shift is necessary. Do not get lost in the day to day of your business, because if a big shift comes, it may just be your business that gets lost.
3. Say it out loud.
We all have lots of ideas. For those of us with a natural entrepreneurial spirit, we believe our ideas can change the world, and that we can make money from them. A great first step to turn an idea into action is to say it out loud.
Cathy had been envisioning a Virtual Assistant business, but it was when she verbalized it to her networking group, that she sprung into action. Once she put it out there, it created a sense of obligation for herself to pursue it. Once you say it out loud, the initial feedback you receive, positive or negative, can help you determine if it's a viable idea and can change your mindset from "doing it someday" to "today".
The Guest's Craft Beer Offering:
Matchless Brewing - Tumwater, WA
Whhhip It, Vanilla Hazy IPA, 7.7% ABV
"Crack that Whhhip It! Give that can a sip. Step on a crack, break out your 4-pack.
When a problem comes along, you must Whhhip It! Before the beer sits out too long, you must Whhhip It!"