If you — like many small business owners — wear the hats of everyone in your company from administrative assistant to CEO, your business might be running you instead of the reverse. This can feel especially true when essential, but time-consuming tasks pile up. You know the ones — those tasks that consume time and energy but distract you from high-dividend activities and strategic, big-picture planning.
To save yourself time and to alleviate stress, consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA). Investing in a VA can help scale your business while leveraging the ultimate time-management tool: efficient delegation.
It may sound like software, but a virtual assistant is just a person who works remotely to complete administrative tasks. A VA can respond to emails, create graphics, post to social media, enter data, schedule meetings, process payments, and more.
Just as WordPress.com streamlines website management so that you can focus on what matters to your business, a VA helps lessen your task load so that you can hone in on the skills and passions that drive you. You receive support from a VA without having to hire a full-time employee, incur overhead costs, or manage the schedule of someone on site. With a skilled VA working to meet your deadlines, your tasks will be completed in a timely, efficient manner.
The scope of every VA’s skills will vary. If it is time to hire a virtual assistant, ensure that you’re crystal-clear about what you need and expect.
To understand your needs, make a list of the tasks you want completed. Write down anything that you don’t excel at, don’t enjoy doing, or consider especially time-consuming. Then take a look at your list and identify a handful of needs based on what you wrote down.
Your needs will help determine the skill set of the VA that you hire. Do you want someone who can create graphics, social media posts, and newsletters? This is a very specific skill set, so you’ll want to screen for candidates accordingly.
Someone who assists with administrative items like data entry or payment processing will have an entirely different skill set that you’ll need to consider. Some virtual assistants excel at particular tasks over others, while some may be well-versed in a wider range of skills. For the best results, let your expectations be known.
You can find virtual assistants online by searching LinkedIn, scanning through referrals, or working with a company that outsources VAs and vets skill sets to match you with qualified candidates. Entrepreneur lists some creative ways to expand your VA search as well.
By adding less to your plate, you’ll be doing your business a service. High-ticket items that propel a business forward often get stuck on the back burner, as time-consuming essentials take priority. Hiring a VA not only frees up time, but allows you to take more impactful actions in support of your business. You can focus on priority items like financial forecasting, relationship building, creating deliverables, operations, marketing, and sales.
So, ask yourself: is it time to hire a virtual assistant to alleviate your workload? If the answer is yes, begin your search sooner rather than later!