If you are a sole trader, freelancer, a small business or an entrepreneur, then the daily grind of completing the administration can seem like an additional chore.
You are obviously very good at what you do and want to focus on that. By freeing up your time and concentrating on the actual business rather than drowning in admin you can grow your business.
We are all familiar with the mountain of paperwork that results in running your business. How many times have you heard the phrase when are you going to stop working? Are your weekends filled with the stress of trying to complete everything you didn’t get done in the week? Missing out on what you enjoy?
Then it’s time to think again. For just a few hours per month you can start to shift your work life balance.
The advantages of hiring a Virtual Assistant include: -
However, you do need to consider what you want from your Virtual Assistant. Do you just want to hand over a pile of paperwork and let them get on with it? Is it important that they are local to you or are you happy communicating via email, Skype, instant messenger or telephone? This is dependent on the type of person you are, the type of work, and whether local geographical knowledge is important. Virtual Assistants are professional, flexible and will work with you to establish the best ways to work together. Some clients I speak to regularly, while others prefer to communicate by email.
Are they a general VA or do they work within specific sectors? Do they specialise in certain tasks or are they an all rounder?
Communication is the key to a successful relationship with your Virtual Assistant. The principle of the crystal ball doesn’t work, believe me I have been on the receiving end of that one! We all forget things sometimes, but you do need to communicate effectively like you would if they were sat in your office. No Virtual Assistant minds the occasional lapse, but repeated forgetfulness, missing catch up calls or choosing to exclude them from information may result in difficulty retaining or recruiting Virtual Assistants. So please be honest with yourself a Virtual Assistant is not for everyone.
Also check your chosen VA’s availability as well as agree timescales for delivery of your work. Many VA’s work with a number of clients. The joy of being a VA is working the hours you choose but there are horror stories of clients expecting VAs to be available 24 hours a day, regardless of time zone. I always say to my clients feel free to email me things over the weekend but I won’t see it until the Monday.
Remember, by investing time (sitting down and working out what you need from your Virtual Assistant and what both of your expectations are) at the outset, this can lead to a more successful business for you, freeing up your time long-term.
One of my clients who I started off working just 2 hours a day (and ended up working way beyond this), grew their business to such an extent that they realised that they needed someone in their office to provide full time support.
Like wearing in your favourite comfortable shoes hiring a VA and learning to work together takes time!