If you're a sprouting entrepreneur, you could definitely say that starting a business (especially during its fresh years) could be pretty daunting. There's just too much work to do for a minimal time. From the operations to financing, and especially in administrative tasks, some could be easily overwhelmed by these challenges leading to a limit in your growth and eventually turning to entrepreneurial burnout.
With that being said, hiring a competent assistant comes to play. But with these challenging times, hiring a personal (and physical) assistant isn't just that easy. That's why many people or business people prefer hiring a virtual assistant to come to aid their business.
Hiring a virtual assistant provides all of the benefits of an in-person assistant with less to no drawbacks. Aside from outsourcing tasks that require much time to do (saving you more time on things that matter most), you could also save up to 80% of labor expenditures.
Choose The Tasks You Want To Outsource.
Before looking for a virtual assistant, make sure to create a detailed list of all the tasks (not projects) that you want your virtual assistant to take over. Doing so will save you from procrastination (if you're that kind of person) and determine the qualities, traits, and skills of a virtual assistant that you are looking for.
For instance, if you're looking for someone who could do some administrative tasks, you might want to consider someone who is very adept at organizing stuff (like meeting minutes, emails, and even excel), is highly detail-oriented, and is very adaptable to a fast-paced working environment.
You could outsource some of these tasks to your virtual assistant:
Creating and administering social media accounts
Subject matter research and/or content creation
Managing email and setting up autoresponders
Calling potential leads
There are a lot of tasks to choose from in outsourcing to your virtual assistants. Remember to differentiate tasks from projects. You could read more information here: How To Effectively Outsource To Your Virtual Assistant?
Find Someone Whose Weaknesses Are Your Strengths
A lot of behind-the-scenes challenges that come with owning a business, and you've managed to learn that you can't do a lot of them — either because you don't have the time or because you're not very good at them. We all have problems, and just because you can manage all areas of a business technically doesn't mean you should.
Simply put, focus on the 80/20 rule, as advised by Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week, and spend 80% of your time on the 20% of tasks that produce the best results.
This is why you should figure out what your limitations are before looking for a virtual assistant. You might even make the job description as detailed as possible and hire the strongest candidate for the task.
Simply make a list of specific tasks you want to be done, but also look for other areas of managing your business that you don't want so that you can hire someone who can offer solutions for them to help. You want someone who takes initiative and is interested in making your process as efficient as possible.
Do a variety of different assignments to evaluate their strong and weak points to begin. You might find that your VA is capable of doing more than you originally hired them for.
Remember that a virtual assistant should match your limitations and excel at tasks that you hate.
Set The Assignment In Advance
One of the pros of hiring a virtual assistant is that they can work from any location. It's possible you'll never meet them! While this vastly increases the hiring pool, it also brings with it some new challenges.
Some key areas to consider when setting the assignment:
A. Is There A Certain Time Within Which You Need Their assistance?
You may only require your virtual assistant for a few hours each day, and the rest of the time, they can set their own working hours. The type of tasks your virtual assistant does will set your needs, but it's important to keep time zones in mind when choosing someone from another country.
B. What Is Your Best Choice Of Contact?
You should know quickly if your virtual assistant should IM, email, or contact you, as well as what sorts of questions they should ask you or research for you. Such as, they should call if the project is critical, but they should email if the subject is broader yet requires your specific knowledge.
C. How Will They Update About Their work?
This could be a daily update, a weekly report, or a monthly detailed breakdown of their tasks.
D. What Are Their Main Tasks?
It’s important to set an outline of their tasks as early as possible.
Remember: creating a task early will help your business perform more efficiently and with minimal disruption.
Provide Specific Instructions
Don't assume they'll know what you're saying. Keep in mind that you've probably been doing this for years while your assistant is still learning the ropes. Describe the tasks they should take and what you expect to happen as a result. Remember, providing detailed instructions at the start will save time later.
Outsourcing tasks, by definition, will result in more mistakes than if you performed everything yourself. You must prepare for it and expect it; you must also understand that little mistakes are not life-threatening. Remember, if you make time for your virtual assistant to learn at the start, you'll be more able to create an efficient system eventually.
Make Time To Share With Your Thoughts About Their Work
Feedback time is a great opportunity to provide constructive information to assist your virtual assistant to succeed in the future. You will improve your virtual assistant's productivity by assessing their work since you will not be continuously following up to fix mistakes after it has been published or given to a customer. Remember this: spending time to evaluate their work at the start will ensure more precise work in the future.
"Behind every successful and happy business owner is am amazing virtual assistant" - Rosie Shuli
Your virtual assistant may quickly give benefits to your business by applying some of the recommendations we've provided. Partnering through an outsourcing support business will help you save time on training your new assistant, but then you'll still need to figure out which tasks you want to outsource and what skill set your ideal virtual assistant should have.