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What is a VA these days anyhow?

Posted by Red Butler Team on 05/ 23/ 17




So you're thinking of using a Virtual Assistant, but what exactly is a VA these days? With so many emerging technologies available in the marketplace, it can be difficult to navigate what type of support is ideal for you or your business. From bots to overseas freelancers, here's a breakdown of various services and how you can leverage them.



"Siri, order me a pizza." That's a very close reality. As a matter of fact, just last week Google announced Google Home's ordering capability. Of course, Amazon's Alexa can place orders and Microsoft's Cortana is just around the corner. With all of these various digital, human, virtual and text assistants emerging, we though it might be helpful to give you a breakdown of what VAs are in the marketplace these days.



A bot is a smart technology that typically reads your behavior, fetches information and occasionally performs a data driven task. Bots usually are embedded within existing applications, like Slack for instance. Bots are great for automatic and monotonous tasks, like pulling data from your Google Analytics account or letting you know how many messages you've sent in a month. Bots are great for recurring, data driven tasks and for organizing and triggering events or information. Bots are almost always free - just consider what data you're letting them have access to in exchange for that free price tag.


Digital Assistants:

Digital assistants, which like bots, pull from data and are typically embedded within existing technologies are usually text or voice activated. With a digital assistant, there is no human component. Instead, you can interact usually through text messaging and are able to impact third party software or even physical environments. For example, with a digital assistant you can add an item to your shopping cart, dim the lights in your living room or ask for a sushi recommendation nearby. Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Now have the promise for the most effortless experience and are best for home and personal "concierge" oriented use. Digital assistants are also free, but we expect certain features or capabilities to come at a premium in the near future.


Task Assistants:

Task assistants are great for short and personal needs. Many people utilize task based assistants to help out with small or simple to dos. Task assistants perform one off tasks that require little to no integration. There are both human powered and digital only task assistants. There's an app called Magic for example, where you can text a task and get something ordered for you, like food delivery. Task assistants are great for things like ordering food, finding a speciality item or quick research. There are US based task assistants and foreign ones that can range anywhere from $25 to $150 per month. If you make purchases with these task based assistants, they may also charge a small per transaction fee.



If you're looking for longer term support, but don't have strategic work, a freelancer may be your best option. Using sites like UpWork or Fiverr, you can search for individuals and hire them on contract. One challenge with Freelancers can be focus and translation, since they may live abroad and tend to manage a multitude of clients. Freelancers are great for projects, marketing, web design or specialty services like search engine optimization. You can hire freelancers hourly or by project at a rate of $5 to $200 per hour based upon their sepcialization.


Virtual Assistant:

A Virtual Assistant is ideal for a longer term, recurring and integrated relationship. While it's difficult to replace a full time team member in your office, a Virtual Assistant can be the very next best thing - at a fraction of the expense. Virtual Assistants range in experience, speciality, coverage and business model. One key challenge with a dedicated VA is the number of clients he or she may be assigned as well as employment retention. When hiring a VA, double check the company's vetting process. VAs range anywhere from $200 to $1,500 per month and are great at supportive work like research, marketing and scheduling.


Executive Virtual Assistant:

Whereas a Virtual Assistant tends to provide day to day support, an Execurtive Virtual Assistant takes on a proactive and core function within a business or process. EVAs are more like virtual employees that become a part of your business. In addition to providing traditional VA work, you can assign core duties to a Executive Virtual Assistant like answering calls or recurring functions like invoicing, data entry and more. Executive Virtual Assistants range anywhere from $400 to $2,000 per month and great for busy entrepreneurs, small companies and professionals. Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes Red Butler is an Executive Virtual Assistant. From calls to research, we offer both front and back office strategic support.


Browse through our different services, studies and learn how an Executive Virtual Assistant can help you save time and money.   


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Topics: Productivity Tips, Virtual Assistant, Email

Top 5 Habits for a Less Stressful Work Day

Posted by Red Butler Team on 02/ 27/ 17



The word “stress” has become synonymous with depression, heart disease, weight-gain, insomnia, memory impairment and much more in today’s hyper-focused world. There’s nowhere on Earth more stressful than the job some days, especially when you are in charge of making things run smoothly.



As virtual personal assistants, we work with over-stressed individuals every day. But we’ve also worked with plenty of clients who manage to keep it together, even in the face of major deadline crunches and other corporate worse nightmares. Ever wonder how they do it?


Habits Change the Game

The problem with trying to beat workplace stress is that most people think too small. They think about removing tasks from their schedule, ignoring the fact that by this time next month, it’ll just be filled up again. They consider taking a vacation, not considering that in four months, the soothing effects of a getaway will be long forgotten. These things are just temporary solutions to a long-term problem.

Instead, the best way to tackle workplace stress is to create a few daily habits that help you rise above. Here are five of the best daily habits we’ve come across for managing stress:


1. Show Up Early 

Spending even more time at your stressful job doesn’t sound all that great, but hear us out. The benefits of arriving even 20 minutes early to work are massive: you give yourself the chance to plan your day in peace before the bustle begins. You force yourself to wake up earlier, thus giving yourself more time to get fully “awake” before work begins. You begin to look like someone your boss can trust, helping you move up the ladder even faster.


2. Manage Your Time

It’s not enough to just keep track of all your appointments religiously. If you want to truly manage your time, you also need to create the habit of reviewing your time. Sit down once a month and look at what you did in the past four weeks. Did your activity line up with your personal goals, or the company’s needs? If not, it’s time to make a few changes to your day.


3. Make Re-charging a Regular Routine

An occasional vacation or girls’ night out are great, but those things won’t help you manage on-going stress in the long run. Instead, create a habit of regular re-charging by scheduling time for calming activities or time away. Say no to certain hobbies or extra jobs so that you can get in that weekly yoga class, or simplify your lunch so that you can utilize part of your break for a bit of meditation. The key is to stick with the habit of regular de-stressing.


4. Stop Reacting

One of the things that stresses most people out is the rush of adrenaline that comes on the heels of a major crisis. One hint that a project is about to tank, or an angry customer at the front desk, and it’s easy to instantly slip into the “save this at all costs” mode. But that is a reaction, and that can cause a ton of stress. Instead, practice giving yourself time to stop, assess, and then act on the situation, maintaining complete control.


5.Delegate the Little Things

Finally, delegating the little tasks can make a big difference in your overall day. Start off your day asking yourself what you will achieve, and don’t let small tasks that an assistant can do get in your way. At Red Butler, we can help support your individual and organizational goals by taking care of administrative and repeatable tasks that just slow you down.



Ready to give Red Butler a try, there are no contracts or hidden fees. Don't forget to use promo code GETRED to receive $100 off your first three months of any monthly plan!


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Topics: Productivity Tips, Virtual Assistant

What One Free Hour Per Month Can Really Do for You

Posted by Red Butler Team on 02/ 20/ 17



In many of our client case studies, you’ll see that employees at companies like Beats by Dre received an hour of Red Butler service as part of an orientation service. And while most employees would need more than one hour per month from their assistant to process emails, create content, manage receipts, and perform other repeatable tasks, we were curious: If you delegated only one hour of work to your virtual assistant each month, what could you actually do with that hour?



Turns out, you could do quite a lot! With one hour of time, freed from repetitive or administrative tasks, you could easily:

  • Write a simple business plan
  • Finally read that business book or take that webinar you’ve been putting off
  • Finalize the plans for a product or service
  • Meet with your employees or colleagues face-to-face
  • Plan your tasks for the rest of the month
  • Reach out to potential clients or new business partners
  • Update your portfolios
  • Learn a new skill or brainstorm a new idea
  • Catch up on the accounting books
  • Clean off your desk (a cluttered workspace is a known contributor to stress!)
  • Investigate a competitor or two
  • Invite a mentor or role model to lunch for a brain-picking session

Any of these tasks could easily be accomplished in one hour, and all of them have a direct impact on your business. Let go of a few tasks one time every month and choose something from this list, or your to-do list, to complete!


Protect Your Work-Life Balance in One Hour

One hour is also plenty of time to give your brain a much-needed break. Let us take care of cleaning up your inbox while you try one of these:

  • Give meditation a try
  • Plan a date for you and your significant other
  • Get in a workout to get some feel-good endorphins flowing
  • Brush up on a foreign language or other non-job-related skill
  • Text, email, or call a friend and don’t talk about work
  • Volunteer with a charity
  • Grab some coffee and people watch
  • Talk a walk, or enjoy your lunch outside
  • Get a massage
  • Catch up on your favorite sports team, or better yet, buy some tickets to the next game
  • Sign up for something brand new that you’ve been wanting to try
  • Read a book or a magazine that has nothing to do with work

Even if all you do is spend an hour clicking on funny cat videos on YouTube, it’s always a great thing to enjoy a little guilt-free time away from your work duties. Make this hour worthwhile, though, by using the time to improve some other area of your life. Focus on your health, your relationships, or your personal goals while Red Butler takes care of a few work tasks for you.


Imagine What You Could Do with More

These examples were all things that were easy to do in a single hour. Red Butler plans include much more than a single hour per month. Let’s say you chose the Red5 plan, which includes 5 hours of assistance every month. With one hour and 15 minutes every week, you could easily commit to that brand new yoga class you’ve been eyeing; make some serious improvements to your golf game with a regular practice hour at lunch; learn a brand new language or skill with regular weekly practice; and much more.

If you’re ready to find out what you could do with an hour or more every month of free time, contact us to learn how we can make your plate lighter.



Ready to give Red Butler a try, there are no contracts or hidden fees. Don't forget to use promo code GETRED to get $100 off your first three months on any plan.


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Topics: Productivity Tips, Virtual Assistant

How to Decide What to Delegate to Your Virtual Assistant

Posted by Red Butler Team on 02/ 13/ 17




Today’s worker is more overwhelmed than ever, with surveys over 90 different countries showing that two-thirds of employees are so overworked that they’ve mentally checked out of engaging with their work in a meaningful way. This is one of the reasons that Red Butler exists. Our team of virtual assistants helps you and your employees feel less overwhelmed, making it easier than ever for your team to reenergize and reengage.



Despite this alluring fact, you’ll probably notice from our client case studies that not all employees who are offered an hour of Red Butler assistance, take it. One of the reasons that we believe this happens may be because employees just don’t know what to delegate to us. After all, everything on your plate has been on the top of your to-do list forever, right?

Here are a few ways that you can use to decide what to delegate:


Technique #1: Re-Prioritize

When you have no idea where to begin delegating, you may need to start with a totally fresh list of priorities. To start, simply group your tasks into categories or areas of business, and decide which are things that no one but you could possibly do. Be honest – are you really the only one who can draft blog posts for your website, or can you pass along topics and keywords to a competent copy writer and review the material later? Just choose what you must do yourself, and place those items at the top of your list.

Next, take a look at the items that you don’t necessarily have to do yourself, and decide which things are the most important. Which items will move your business forward today, and which are simply things that help maintain flow and productivity? Move the most important tasks to your list. Finally, you are left with items that others can do, and that aren’t essential for your business right now. These are great items to pass along to a virtual assistant.


Technique #2: Evaluate Your Time

Another way to decide what to delegate is to evaluate what you’ve been spending your time on. Are there tasks that shouldn’t take you long, but you seem to be spending more than 10% of your day on? If you tend to get distracted when maintaining the company social media profile, or email and calendar management takes you forever due to constant phone calls and other interruptions, why not pass these tasks off to an assistant?


Technique #3: Get Rid of Anything Repeatable

All businesses have certain tasks that must be done again and again. Not only are these tasks usually related to administrative tasks, they eat into your time and your energy. These are perfect tasks to assign to a virtual assistant from Red Butler. You spend your time moving your business forward, and we’ll take care of those pesky little background tasks that pop up every month. Examples of repeatable tasks include filing receipts, organizing invoices, responding to emails or calls, managing regular calendar items, and generating spreadsheets.


Technique #4: A Little of Everything

The best solution for deciding what to delegate to your virtual assistant may be to use all of these techniques. Figure out your priorities so you know what you don’t want to delegate. Evaluate your time so you know how much a personal assistant can really save you in time. Get rid of those repeatable tasks so you can focus.


With all three of these techniques, you are likely to eliminate quite a few tasks off your to-do list, helping us help you. Don’t let yourself stay overwhelmed while we’re around to help.



Ready to give Red Butler a try, there are no contracts or hidden fees. Don't forget to use promo code GETRED to get $100 off your first three months on any Red15 Plan or higher.


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Topics: Productivity Tips, Virtual Assistant

How To Clean Up Your Inbox Once and for All

Posted by Red Butler Team on 02/ 06/ 17



How many times have you been to tempted to just "Select All" and send your Inbox contents straight to the trash?



There are times when even the most important emails feel like a waste of time. In fact, inbox management is one of our most requested services at Red Butler for that very reason. Cleaning up your inbox is definitely a chore, but if you need to do it right away before you start contemplating a hermit’s life on a lonely mountain top, here are a few good tips:


Mass Delete, but Do It Right

One of the easiest ways to take care of a busy inbox is, of course, to mass delete. But before you go deleting things willy nilly, it’s a good idea to perform two quick steps. First, search your inbox for anything from your current project, or containing keywords that you know you’ll need to save (such as “financial reports”).

Save any emails that you need to keep in a separate folder, or back them up to a service like Evernote. Next, perform a search for the phrase “before:YYYY/MM/DD”. Choose a previous year or month that is far enough back to ensure that you’ve already finished those projects or tasks. Delete everything that pops up and voila! You are well on your way to a cleaner inbox.


Make Labels Your Friend

If you use Gmail, or any other email service that allows you to label your incoming messages, then this feature should be your new best friend. You can create custom folders and stash away incoming messages so that your inbox remains blissfully empty. Don’t need to look at that project bid till your scheduled time later? Into the project folder it goes. If your email app allows you to filter messages by sender, you can easily set this task up to be automatic, so that certain messages go straight to the right folder, rather than to your inbox. 

Gmail is an excellent service for this fact alone. Users can create 5,000 different labels, and even make sub-labels inside of labels. Perfect for complex projects and large corporations.


Opt Out of Reply All Chains

Sadly, there’s no easy way to truly opt out, besides asking to be removed (and thus setting off another round of replies). Instead, simply mute the conversation. Gmail and most email apps have this feature. Look for it under the tab that says “More” in Gmail. While the replies will still get sent to your inbox, taking up some of your storage space, you won’t have to see them. 

Remember that if you’re ever trying to clear out your email for space, be sure to check for any muted conversations that you can delete.

Gmail also has a handy feature that allows you to see at a glance if an email was sent to just you, or to a group. Enable the “personal level indicator” in Settings, and you can easily skim for emails that require your personal attention. 


Don’t Use the Public Address 

If your business has an email address that is publically posted on your website or social media accounts, don’t use this account for most of your business emails. Instead, allow that address to catch inquiries, and move the conversation to your email address as needed.

This type of account can be easily managed by our team at Red Butler, in addition to your regular email address. Learn more about how we can help you keep your inbox tidy and organized by checking out our service menu or contacting us today.



Ready to give Red Butler a try, there are no contracts or hidden fees. Don't forget to use promo code GETRED to get $100 off any Red15 plan or higher for 3 months in a row.


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Topics: Productivity Tips, Virtual Assistant, Email

5 Quick Tips for Managing Your Calendar

Posted by Red Butler Team on 01/ 30/ 17



One of the most dreaded tasks in the office is managing the ever-present calendar. Your work calendar is full of meetings, reminders, tasks, errands, deadlines, contact information, and much more. All of this makes it an essential part of your day, but keeping it totally up to date with all the frequent schedule changes can make you feel like you’re glued to your device.

One of the things that we do at Red Butler is manage calendars for busy CEOs and leaders. Here are some quick tips for managing this chore that we’ve seen work time and time again:



1. Group Tasks into Blocks

Often we see calendars that are overflowing with small tasks, making our clients’ lives much harder. But the secret isn’t getting rid of some of these essential tasks – it’s learning to do them more efficiently. For example, do you make phone calls or answer emails multiple times every day? Block off a significant portion of time once per day to do all of your calls or emails. You’ll work faster, and have more focus during other parts of your day to do other tasks. This method works for every type of task you do. Group like with like and get it done all at once.


2. Remember to Schedule Time Off

There’s an old business saying that tells busy entrepreneurs, “If it’s not on your calendar, it won’t get done.” This applies to everything, not just your business tasks. If you want to take a longer lunch, get home earlier, or work out in the mornings, put it on your calendar and stick to it. It’s much easier to turn down a business meeting or a few extra hours on the clock when your calendar is giving you a convenient excuse to say no.


3. Condense Meetings

It’s become so ingrained in the corporate culture to hold hour-long meetings that you may not even realize you’re following that pattern out of habit rather than need. Unless you have a significant amount of discussion that needs to take place, most business meetings can be condensed. If you give your team a deadline of half an hour, they’ll cut the small talk and get right to the point. Just because your calendar automatically defaults to hour-long blocks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to take back those lost minutes. Even 15 minutes here or there can add up.


4. Perform a Regular Assessment

Periodically, it’s good to step back and assess your time, just as you would your company’s financial statements. Instead of reconciling with your bank account, reconcile your calendar with your goals and company mission statement. Are you spending your time on tasks that truly matter? If not, how could you change it? If your time is filled with meetings that could be condensed, calls that an assistant could be making for you, or repeatable tasks that could be put on autopilot, it may be time to make some changes.


5. Delegate Your Calendar to a Virtual Assistant

Finally, one of the best ways to truly manage your calendar and get out from under the ongoing chore is to delegate it to a virtual assistant. Calendar management is just one of the things we do here at Red Butler. Use Google, Outlook, or any shared calendar app, and we can access it, organize it, set up conference calls or meetings, contact your clients on your behalf, and much more.

We’ll make sure that everyone in your appointment book stays on task so that you can, too. We can also help you keep on track with your own goals, supporting you in your business and your personal life.


Ready to give Red Butler a try, there are no contracts or hidden fees. Don't forget to use promo code 2017 to get 50% off your first two months on any plan.


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Topics: Productivity Tips, Virtual Assistant

Why 2017 is Your Year!

Posted by Red Butler Team on 12/ 29/ 16




Let's face it, we're all asked to juggle more these days. Some people will carry the load and sacrifice quality, and you can make the decision to get the support you need and deserve.


After 10 years in business, Red Butler has crafted an all encompassing and feature packed virtual assistant solution. This is your time. Our year end sale will give you 50% off for 2 months with promo code "2017".



1) Recurring: Set it and forget it. Rely on Red Butler to take over tasks like data entry in Quickbooks, expenses, file organization, client check-ins and more.

2) Receptionist (BETA): Coming soon - Red Butler will soon not only make your calls, but answer your calls as well. Rely on our team to take your messages, handle your calendar and patch you in.

3) Calendar: Meet Taylor, your new calendaring receptionist. We'll check your calendar, organize all appointments, confirm attendees, set up conference calls and more. 

4) Travel: Our travel experts can research, organize and book you or your entire team's travel plans. With internet competitive fares and upgrades, Red Butler has you covered.

5) Research: From marketing research, to hiring, competitive analysis, digital strategy and more, let us get you the data to help make informed and immediate decisions. 

6) Perks: The Red Butler Perks Card activates upgrades and experiences around the globe. From room upgrades to a greeting from the chef, activate relationships a decade in the making 



Ready to give Red Butler a try, there are no contracts or hidden fees. Don't forget to use promo code GETRED to receive $100 off your first three months on any Red15 Plan or higher.


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Topics: Productivity Tips, Red Butler News, Virtual Assistant, Promo Code

Introducing Hourly Plans

Posted by Red Butler Team on 05/ 17/ 16




Red Butler is thrilled to introduce Project Hours. Now, you can purchase hours from Red Butler, without a monthly recurring subscription. Buy hours that last for 90 days - great for projects, deadlines and the general support you need to get more productive.



What you get :)

- Buy a group of hours in packs of 3, 5, 10 or 20 hours at a time. 

- Share your hours with team members you invite to your account.

- Time does not expire for 90 days from your purchase date.


What you don't get :(

- No technical integrations (Gmail, Outlook, Calendar, DropBox, etc). 

- No Dedicated Account Manager or access to dedicated travel teams.

- No email, scheduling, calendar, calls or recurring task support or services.



Project hours are a great way to meet deadlines, delegate research tasks and try out what it's like to work with our professional Virtual Administrative Assistants. Click on the link below to regsiter with Red Butler - no credit card required. Feel free to poke around and add your hours at anytime. You can also upgrade to a monthly plan at anytime.


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Topics: Productivity Tips, Red Butler News

Take the Stress out of Taxes!

Posted by Red Butler Team on 04/ 07/ 16




Are you feeling overwhelmed getting your expenses organized before April 18th? Red Butler understands just how stressful tax season is, especially when you have other work related tasks weighing you down. Red Butler can help alleviate some of that stress, so you can be fully prepared when completing your taxes. Here are a few financial tasks you can delegate to Red Butler:



  1.  Add key deadlines to your calendar- It is imperative to be on top of key deadlines so you are able to prioritize your time more efficiently. Let Red Butler Administrators schedule your meetings and organize your calendar to ensure all of your taxes and finance related tasks are completed on time.
  2.  Find the best CPA’s in your area- A great CPA is a good resource for a business not just at tax time, but all year long. Red Butler can help you find someone in your area to not only complete your taxes, but also be available to advise your business the rest of the year.  A CPA will be able to take a look at your balance sheet and help you make adjustments to line items in your budget, so you can reach your goals more quickly and effectively.
  3.  Expense tracking- Our executive virtual assistants will make sure you don’t miss a penny on your expense reports. Just send us your receipts and we will enter them in a spreadsheet, Quickbooks, or any other web-based software. Are you missing receipts? No problem- our executive office assistants can help you track them down and get a copy for your records. After your expense report is completed, our Red Butler Administrators can send your report or any other related information to your accountant to save you time.

Red Butler's executive virtual assistants are here to help you reach your goals. Reach out to us for more information on how we can help you and your whole team boost productivity all year long.



Red Butler knows just how important and time consuming financial tasks can be. Therefore, our team of Red Butler Administrators would be more than happy to assist you in efficiently completing your financial tasks. Delegate these financial tasks to Red Butler today and focus on what you do best. 


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Topics: Tasks to Delegate, 3 Things You Should Know

3 Things Red Butler is Good at for Startups

Posted by Red Butler Team on 03/ 23/ 16




Startups face many challenges as they grow, but Red Butler's team of executive virtual assistants are here to help you reach your goals.  Here are three things Red Butler is good at for startups: 



1.  Real time inbox and calendar monitoring- Delegate the management of your inbox and calendar to Red Butler and we will monitor both in real time.  Meet Taylor, our real time virtual assistant here: We know startups can be busy when building a successful company, Red Butler wants to help you focus on your business rather than focusing on your inbox. With the help of Taylor, you will have someone proactively monitoring an inbox to schedule meetings, update your calendar or to make a call.

2. Recurring task management- With Red Butler, you can set it and forget it.  Our executive virtual assistants will quickly take care of your recurring to-do list items.  Just delegate the tasks to us with all the details and we will take care of it as many times as you request, without you having to send us additional requests each time.  The most popular tasks people delegate to our executive office assistants are expense reports, social media posting, and spreadsheet updating with current industry information. 

3. Online Research- Part of every startup's growth plan is a lot of research.  Delegate your online research to Red Butler and our executive virtual assistants will provide you with accurate and extensive information from across the internet.   We can do competitor comparisons, market research, or provide backup information you need for a report. 

Let Red Butler help you grow and accomplish more.  Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your business boost productivity and reach its goals.



As a startup, Red Butler understands the time and hard work that goes into growing a company. Let Red Butler help you by delegating your most time consuming tasks to our team so you can focus on your growth and development as a business.  Request a personal consultation to see if Red Butler is a good fit for you!


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Topics: Startups, Tasks to Delegate, 3 Things You Should Know