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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Grow your business by outsourcing

By Roger Pierce

Thinking they can do everything, entrepreneurs often bite off more than they can chew. Eventually, an entrepreneur admits they can't "do it all" themselves. That's when Marion Tripp comes to the rescue.
Marion Tripp's company, Virtual Option, offers administrative and sales support services for business owners who want help but don't want to hire an employee.

"Entrepreneurs should be out generating revenue instead of doing all the little day-to-day tasks," suggests Tripp. Her company, called Virtual Option ( offers administrative and sales support services for business owners who want help but don't want to hire an employee.

Tripp started Virtual Option in 2003 after her U.S.-based employer closed its Canadian operations. "I became an entrepreneur because I didn't want to let another group of people sitting in a boardroom to make decisions affecting my life!"

A growing industry serving the small business sector, virtual helpers can be hired for just a few hours a week to do time-consuming work, such as entering data, preparing routine correspondence and making cold-calls.

"The work is done from our location, so the client doesn't have to worry about adding workspace and equipment," Tripp explains.

Tripp says entrepreneur stress and burnout are fueling her business growth. "Entrepreneurs must handle all tasks such as sales and marketing, invoicing and accounting -- not to mention the actual process of delivering the end product or service," she says.

Virtual assistants provide relief to entrepreneurs by making sure nothing falls between the cracks.

Other client perks include image enhancement. "Businesses using virtual helpers appear more successful because they have their 'own' administrative support staff," Tripp explains.

She says the secret to small business success is to let go and delegate non-essential tasks. "Entrepreneurs should work on their business, not in it."

-- Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people on how to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

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