- How Multitasking Impacts a Small Business
- How a Virtual Receptionist Helps
- The Impact of Multitasking Over Time
Q: How can small business owners stay focused and productive while handling all aspects of their business?
A: The best way to boost productivity is to reduce the amount of multitasking in your day. While some amount of multitasking may be inevitable, delegating your phones using a service like a virtual receptionist can help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Small business is booming.
With the pandemic resulting in huge rates of job loss and remote work, an unprecedented number of people have shifted to working for themselves. Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to do so.
As more people start their own small businesses, many are realizing the scope of such an undertaking.
Small business owners are responsible for logistics, sales, marketing, and customer interaction.
Better customer service is among the top concerns of the modern entrepreneur. With reviews weighing heavily on a remote business’s success, having a great customer experience is critical.
Unfortunately, many business owners find themselves constantly having to multitask to get everything done.
Not only does this increased stress, but it can seriously impact the customer experience.
How can remote small business owners reduce their multitasking and provide better customer service when there’s so much to do?
- Why Small Business Owners Multitask
- How Multitasking Impacts a Small Business
- How a Virtual Receptionist Helps
- The Impact Over Time
The Many Roles of a Small Business Owner
Small business owners typically start off with ideas for a product or service. They have a passion for something and want to make that passion their career.
However, when first starting out, they might not realize how many other tasks they’ll be responsible for.
Production is only a small part of getting a business up and running.
Larger businesses delegate many tasks among a large network of employees. Lean startups don’t have this luxury.
For this reason, small business owners typically wind up with extremely chaotic schedules that usually involve:
- Running their marketing
- Ensuring all legal registration is sound
- Creating their websites and online stores
- Producing the product itself
- Interacting with customers and leads
On top of all that, they have to stay flexible. While a small business owner can and should maintain a well-thought-out schedule, random emergencies and opportunities can pop up at any moment.
As a result, small business owners are forced to multitask. They simply have to split their focus between the many different to-dos if they are to accomplish everything on schedule.
How Multitasking Hurts You
Impressive as multitasking is, it comes with a few serious downsides.
Multitasking inherently breaks your concentration on any one task.
This keeps you from entering a flow state, the state where the effort required from the task at hand is perfectly suited to your abilities.
By keeping you from entering into a flow state, multitasking reduces your efficiency. It keeps you from being your most productive because you’re losing energy every time you start and stop a task.
Additionally, multitasking has been shown to increase stress. Not only is stress bad for your physical and mental wellbeing, but it also reduces your creativity and effectiveness when working.
Finally, multitasking keeps you stuck.
While bouncing around from task to task might allow you to get everything across the finish line, it leaves little room to actually improve anything.
Critical business traits like product innovation improved marketing strategy, and better customer service goes unattended.
Multitasking During Business Calls
Multitasking would probably be a part of any startup even in the calmest of cases.
Business is rarely calm though.
Part of running a business on your own involves answering your business phone directly. While this might seem like a good idea initially, it can seriously harm you in the long run.
Incoming phone calls force you into multitasking. If you’re in the middle of a project and the phone rings, you have to stop the project to give the caller your full attention.
When this happens, even the most well-planned schedule can result in missed deadlines and higher stress levels.
Alternatively, some small business owners will try to answer the phone while continuing to work on whatever they were doing.
This might seem like the perfect way to keep productivity high, but it isn’t. Your customer service will be worse, and you likely won’t be able to focus on what you were doing anyway.
It’s a lose-lose scenario.
Luckily, there is a solution for remote business owners. Better customer service and less multitasking are within reach.
What is a Virtual Receptionist?
A virtual receptionist is a receptionist that links to your business phone and answers your calls remotely.
Virtual receptionists allow remote small businesses to access all the services a traditional receptionist would offer without the cost of a full-time salary or the need to rent an office space.
While virtual receptionist services of the past were largely automated, the market has improved.
Small business owners can now gain access to a human receptionist from anywhere, providing a convenient solution for modern small business.
How Can A Virtual Receptionist Help Your Small Business?
Better Customer Service
One of the biggest benefits of a virtual receptionist is that they help you build a better customer experience.
When a customer calls with a question or complaint, they want to feel important. The best way to accomplish this is to give them your undivided attention.
When you are forced to multitask during business calls, the customer feels like you don’t care.
Virtual receptionists eliminate this problem. Their sole focus is on providing better customer service to your callers, ensuring each feels heard and cared for.
Reduces competing duties
It doesn’t stop at better customer service. Your workload also directly benefits from a virtual receptionist.
When a virtual receptionist takes your incoming calls, your schedule becomes calmer. You can effectively plan and execute your duties with more focus.
By reducing the amount of multitasking in your day, you can keep accomplishing more while simultaneously reducing your stress.
Whether you’re working on a new product or setting up a landing page, you’ll be able to bring your best to the task at hand.
Passes along messages so you can call back when calm and focused
Some business calls will still require your direct attention. You are the head of the company after all.
When these calls come in, your virtual receptionist will answer, take a message, and pass it along to you in a convenient and organized format. You won’t have to pause what you’re doing or try to multitask while handling important calls.
This allows you to give each call your full attention, resulting in better customer satisfaction and a greater sense of professionalism.
How does this help your business grow?
Frees you to focus on other important tasks
If you’re a very interactive business, you may be losing hours to incoming calls each day.
Hiring a virtual receptionist drastically reduces the time you spend on the phone. This frees you up to focus on the many other duties you have.
Even if your business doesn’t deal with massive numbers of incoming calls, small amounts of time can quickly add up. Imagine what an extra half an hour a day can produce over the course of a year.
Allows you to avoid brain fog and stress
As we’ve mentioned, multitasking has been shown to increase stress. Incoming calls are one of the biggest contributors to multitasking for small business owners.
It isn’t just you who suffers though. Your work and your callers do too.
When you’re stressed and distracted, it’s easy to be forgetful and inattentive.
When you bring on a virtual assistant, you’re not only gaining better customer service, but you’re also eliminating the brain fog that keeps you operating at a lower level.
Over time, this increase in focus can help you accomplish more and build your business faster.
Ensures you can give important connections your full attention
When a customer or potential networking connection calls your business phone, how you respond is everything.
Multitasking during these calls results in less engagement, making the caller less interested in your business.
A virtual receptionist provides better customer phone service to each incoming caller, building a strong first impression.
For calls from customers, this translates to better reviews and a higher rate of repeat purchases.
When the call is a potential networking connection, the virtual receptionist can pass the message along, allowing you to call back when you can dedicate your full attention to the conversation.
You’ll see more networking opportunities through to fruition, all while making your schedule easier to manage.
If you’re running a remote small business alone, multitasking is probably going to be a part of your life.
That said, multitasking isn’t the productivity solution you might expect. It can reduce your focus and make accomplishing your tasks far more difficult.
With incoming phone calls being one of the primary causes of multitasking, small business owners can benefit from bringing in a virtual receptionist. They handle your incoming calls so you can stay focused on the tasks that build your business.
Alliance offers virtual receptionists as part of our virtual office plan, allowing you to stay flexible with better customer service and fewer distractions.