How to Relax, Relate & Delegate in Your Business: Virtual Assistants

 

Productivity Series: Is It Time to Hire a Virtual Assistant?

 

Running a DIY small business is no small feat. It requires top knotch skills, a whole lotta passion, and drive.

OK, I think I have all of those. So why am I struggling to keep things together in my business?
There are many reasons why you may have issues within your business, but one of the most overlooked skills is being a good steward of your time. 

Time is a limited commodity.

You can make money in business, lose or spend it, and then make it back.

If you mismanage your time, it's gone forever.

Well, I'm working hard in my business everyday! I don't feel like I'm wasting time.

Let me ask you a few questions?

  • Do you constantly feel overwhelmed in your business?

  • Do you feel like you never have time to focus on growing your business because you're performing routine tasks that occupy a large chunk of your time?

  • Do you struggle with the tech-y side of running your business?

  • Do you lack skills when it comes to managing your books or conducting market research?

  • Do you fail to manage your books or conduct market research? (That one was just for laughs, but not really if it's true.)

OK, did you answer "yes" to any of those questions. 

If so, don't feel bad. It's not just you. I've run into many of those problems in my own business. According to Entrepreneur, 56% of small business owners feel that they do not have enough time to complete tasks within their business. Forty-three percent of small business owners felt like they wore too many hats in their business. 

So what can I do? I can't afford to hire help...
Maybe you can.

Help is on the horizon and they're called Virtual Assistants (VAs).

Virtual Assistants (VAs) are freelancers or independent contractors that assist businesses with performing administrative, tech, or creative tasks. Most VAs work remotely from home offices. Hiring a VA can add tremendous value to your business, especially if you're a DIY small business owner. Virtual assistants allow you to decrease your workload and increase your productivity.

| Benefits of Hiring a VA

  • They're budget-friendly.
  • They're independent contractors so you're not repsonsible for employee-related taxes and benefits such as insurance.
  • There's no overhead so you don't have to worry about providing office space or equipment.
  • They're industry specific so you can find a VA to suit an array tasks or just one thing
  • And of course the most obvious benefit, they free up time so you can focus on being most productive in your business, personal life, and etc.

Say what?! Is this true? I can afford to hire an assistant.

Yep! Tell everyone you heard it here. VAs allow you to work smarter, not harder. If you allow them to...

| Tasks to Delegate to a VA

  • Bookkeeping (I know no one wants someone in their books, but if you know your bookkeeping is shabby, hire a pro! Profit is one of the top reasons you turned your hobby into your day job.)
  • Data entry
  • Automating important repetitive tasks such as email, social media posts, etc.
  • Market Research
  • Creating invoices + posting payments
  • Managing projects you struggle at (ie., Dang it, now how do I get this file to save? Which format is it?)
  • Making calls + answering calls
  • Scheduling
  • Maintaining your blog or website
  • Proofreading or copywriting
  • Creating + managing affiliate programs
  • Building your online presence
  • Building traffic to your website
  • Transcribing your podcast or webinars
  • Design tasks

And the list goes on and on...

OK, well if it's that easy where do I find these VAs and how much do they charge?

VAs are all over the place.

After conducting a quick Google search several lists of Virtual Assistant companies popped up. I started my search with Upwork, which is formerly oDesk and eLance. This company has been in the Virtual Assistant business for awhile. They challenge their clients to "set it and forget it", by hiring a VA. They have a reputation for providing professional, quality VAs.

But don't just take my word for it. Conduct your own search and come back and let us know what you find in the comment section.

As far as the cost of a VA, VAs can be contracted hourly, salaried, or on a per project-fee basis. On the Upwork website, they list clerical VAs as inexpensive as $12/hr and Executive Assistants for as much as $50 or more an hour. So it depends on the task at hand and your budget. Also, when hiring a VA its good to keep in mind that cheap labor usually yields cheap results. And before you go off all willy-nilly and hire a VA there are a few other things you should consider.

3 Things to Consider Before Hiring a VA

What tasks will the VA complete? 
Have a clear idea of what tasks your new assistant will take over. You can try to analyze your daily tasks and come up with a list of areas on your own or you can implement a program like Evernote. This program tracks your day to day tasks to identify areas where you can be more productive and organized.

What info will your VA need to complete their tasks?
Be prepared by creating a training system for the particular tasks you need performed. You want to make sure the VA is completing the task correctly, but you don't have to make them do it exactly like you do it. It would be great to document this info as sort of a training manual so you will have it in case you have to hire another assistant. (Hopefully, the VAs gods send you the best the first time and you won't ever have to take that step right. Wink,wink!)

Ask yourself are you really ready to delegate and be the boss?
At this point in the process, if you haven't already gotten yourself mentally prepared to be the boss you need to. This will start with the hiring process. Be picky. Don't go cheap. Hire as if your business depended on it, because in actuality it does.


Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section. Thanks for reading!