Should you hire a Virtual Assistant now?

February 21, 2019

Hey!

Do you still remember when you started out with your own business? You wanted to do what you really love and probably having more freedom and time to work on your projects. You wanted to make a difference.

But then, it started to become messy and hectic and you realized that having your own business could mean even more work on your desk. It didn't bring you more time for family or free time. It took away from it. And with all the admin work, you barely find enough time to develop your products or services, find new clients and grow your business.

Well, you're not alone. It happens to everyone.

Is there a way out of it? Sure, it is! I'm here to help you!

You can hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) to take away some of your tasks and some of the pressure. A virtual assistant generally isn't a full-time employee, there's no payments for sick days, vacation or taxes. You get exactly what you're paying for and you can adjust to your workload.

But are you ready to hire a VA at the moment? Is it the right time for your business to bring in some assistance?

Here's some Pro's and Con's to help you decide.

You are ready to hire a VA now if

1. You're doing too much admin work and can't focus on making money

Most of your days you spent with answering calls and emails, creating invoices or writing proposals? There's so much work with creating powerpoint slides, planning your next travels or you're falling behind with paperwork? If you're doing more of these things that are more of an office manager's tasks, it might be time to get some help! Because none of these tasks help you grow your business, get more clients or improve your product or services.

That's the main reason why small business owners hire a virtual assistant. To take care of routine admin tasks that are necessary for running the business but take away a lot of precious time. To take care of your clients, answering emails and doing all that small things that need to be done. And you can go back to doing what no one except you can do: Coming up with ideas for your business and working on this new idea or project that you've always wanted to start but never had the time while putting out fires the whole day.

2. Your business is growing and you can't do everything alone

Your business is doing great! You're getting more clients, writing more invoices and suddenly you have to turn away people because you're fully booked and can't do it all alone anymore.

Or you want to grow your business even more but already don't have the time to get the word out there.

A virtual assistant can help you take care of everyday work so you have more time to actually work on growing your business and freeing up time so you can take on even more. And a virtual assistant can help you organize a database, start that facebook or email campaign, follow up with leads or create an onboarding experience that will impress your future clients.

3. Your personal life is down to zero

When it becomes impossible to keep up with everything in your business and you're constantly feeling behind and don't have time to spend with family and friends or you feel like you're coming near burn-out... did you know that lack of work-life-balance is the number one reason for burn-out?

Is checking your emails the last thing you before getting to sleep? Are you working late evenings while you wanted to be with your family instead? You lack motivation going out and do something fun and when you're doing it, you feel guilty for taking time off? Are you starting to resenting your work and everything feels overwhelming and you just want to give up?

That's not the point to give up on your dream, that's the point to get some help and start outsourcing. Even if it's just for an hour or two every week.

5. You're spending more time learning than doing

In this fast moving world of media and marketing it's not enough to having learned something once. You have to keep working on it and stay on top of things. You can't just post on instagram, you have to engage with your followers. You can't just send an email campaign, you have to know a thing or two about sales funnels and audience segmentation nowadays.

It's impossible to keep up with everything in your business, so why not ask for the help of an expert to set up the systems for you and regain some time and peace of mind. Rather than googling your life away you could spend that time on actually increasing your ROI for your virtual assistant support.

You are not ready to hire a VA now, if

You don't know what to delegate

You're so used to doing everything yourself, it can be hard to figure out what you can outsource to a VA, especially if you think that no one can do it as fast and as good as if you're doing it yourself.

Take a week and write down every task you're doing over the day. Everything. These 15min replying to emails during your lunch break or that quick phone call during your dinner date? Write it down. Start tracking everything you do and find the repetitive tasks that you can now outsource to a virtual assistant.

You don't have time to onboard your Virtual Assistant

Hiring a Virtual Assistant means you have to onboard this person. Explain all the processes and tools. Many people wait until they reach their breaking point before asking for help and then they are so busy fighting fires that they think they can't stop to onboard the VA. So, if they hire help, they just throw a long todo-list at the VA and what happens is that the entrepreneur will be unsatisfied by the work done and they're telling themselves "I knew nobody can do it better than I can, I should've done it myself in the first place". Of course, a VA can't jump in and do the work as good as you in a business they know nothing about.

So to make sure to make the most of your VA, let them know how you want things to be done. A VA might be routined in working with a certain tool, but they still don't know how YOU want them to work with it. Give some time to train them. Even if there seems to be no time to do so, take the time - it will come back multiplied later when you have time to breathe again and catch up with everything important as you VA takes away everything else. Go through the tasks you’ve identified as ready for outsourcing, and re-trace them step-by-step. Tell them how you want tasks to be handled (and why) and make sure you communicate that to your new VA early and often and clear.

You can't give up control

Entrepreneurs often see the companies as their babies. They find it hard to let go. They have an exact idea of how the result should look like or even the way how it should be accomplished. So it's hard to trusting someone else to run with it and make it work. And with a mindset like this, they probably won't succeed anyways because they just can't make it right it your eyes. But if you can't let go, you can't grow.

Many business owners share the trait of being perfectionists and this leads to the feeling of having to be in control of every little thing. But this creates a bottleneck and makes it impossible to work efficiently with others, not trusting them to be able to do their job professionally.

So, if you're having trouble letting go, start small. Give your VA a small task, where you feel ready to accept another outcome that what you might have expected, explain clearly what you want and how you want it done and then let go. But if you've spent the time to oboard your VA well they should be able to move into their new role without disrupting your business processes. And they might even improve them, if you're open to let them.

You think it will be a cheap fix

You know you need help but you don't want to spend money. So you're going for the cheapest VA possible and congratulate yourself on this idea. Think again. You get what you're paying for - that's how this world works and it's no different with virtual assistants. So make sure to pay for quality work, not that you end up losing money in the process.

How about this? Calculate your ROI of having a good VA. How much of your time will it save you. What do you pay yourself for an hour doing the simple things and not doing the CEO work?

Simple math: You're hiring a VA for 30€/Hour for 10 hours a week, making it 300€/week. In that free time, that you gain after onboarding your VA, you can take on another client who pays you 75€/Hour. See how this makes sense?

But if you paid for a cheap virtual assistant and end up micromanaging and not really getting more time out of this support, all the money is lost.

So, are you ready to hire a Virtual Assistant and get some help? If you think it's time, I'm looking forward to hear from you!

Have a great day!

Isabelle

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