As a virtual career girl who is also a business owner, I wear many hats and handle many different roles, while working remotely.
Some days, I am a graphic designer designing Instagram Feeds or designing a branding board for a client, some days I am an SEO expert looking through the back-end of websites or optimizing someone’s Youtube Channel, or better yet, being a social media manager writing content and designing posts for several different clients.
Sounds like I’ve got a lot on my plate, right? I absolutely do! That’s why I’ve made the decision to hire my own virtual assistant to delegate tasks to and handle virtual assistant work, so I can move the needle forward in building my virtual business plan.
If you think you might be ready to hire your own assistant to receive some additional help, here are some things to figure out first:
Why should you hire someone?
How do you know it’s the right time to hire someone?
What tasks should you delegate?
What should you do before hiring a virtual assistant?
Where do you find a virtual assistant?
Why Should You Hire A Virtual Assistant?
This seems like a very simple question to answer right? You need HELP! You don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything you need to do for your business, let alone your clients. I feel you! I have found myself working 12-16 hour days and turning around and doing it all over again. Talk about burning the midnight oil, right!? If you hire a virtual assistant, you can get more done and take some of those tasks off your plate.
As a virtual assistant myself, it is so hard for me to delegate. I know I am capable of handling all of these tasks, after all, I’ve done them for years. But, the problem with hoarding your task load, you’re limiting yourself and the ability to scale your business. If you get help for your business, you can get more clients and focus on the more important tasks that require the bossbabe’s attention. Is there something you should be doing to grow your business, but instead you’re eyeballs deep in your task load? Think about it.
You can’t do It all and grow your virtual business to where you want it to be. Nor should you! Take it from me, it’s okay to ask for help or hire help. Understand your limits and know when you should hire an assistant. Enjoy time at home with your family or spending time doing things you enjoy, don’t limit your time. Grow your team!
How Do You Know It’s The Right Time?
Honestly, this is a personal preference. I have the luxury of working from home, so I am able to pick up my computer and work from wherever, whenever. Like I said before, I was burning the candle at both ends trying to make my clients happy and grow my virtual business at the same time. I will tell you, don’t wait until you’re drowning in your to-do list, to ask for help. If you’re making enough money in your business, where you can hire experienced help 5-10 hours per week, do it. I don’t think you’ll ever feel completely ready to hire help, but you will be so thankful that you did. Before I hired my first virtual assistant, I was literally working 7 days a week working off of 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Sounds insane, right?
If you’re thinking that you’re at the point where you can hire help, remember that you have to train them! If you think you don’t have the time to even handle your tasks, how are you going to make the time to train them? You have to learn how to make time to set up your assistant for success. You have to invest in their training, you have to learn how to prioritize their task load, and you have to be able to teach them how to be accountable for their time.
Ask yourself this question: Can you take on more clients if you add some additional help with those administrative tasks? If you’re able to take on additional clients, that would be able to pay for the additional help, right? If you’re spending more time on tasks that don’t necessarily require your attention than using your talents appropriately, you’re missing out. I could be doing things that require my creative touch like building client brands and building websites, instead, I’m uploading blog posts, scheduling out my social media tasks, sending client emails, etc.
What Should You Do Before Hiring A Virtual Assistant?
First things first, you need to set some goals. What is something you want to work toward that an assistant can help you with? Do you want to make a goal to bring on 3 new clients in the next 90 days? Maybe you want to make an additional 5k in revenue. Your goals can be revenue-based, time-based, or customer based. Figure out your goals so you can start working towards them.
Do you need to make a certain amount of money before you can afford to take on some help? Crunch the numbers and figure it out. I do all of my accounting myself, but If you’re not comfortable with that, you may need to set up a meeting with an accountant or maybe you have a friend who is a finance wiz, whatever the case may be, the most important thing is to figure it out.
Start tracking your time. How many hours does it take you per task in your day to day? Keep track of that, so you have an idea of what to expect when your VA turns in their invoice. Keep in mind, you’ve been handling these tasks for a long time and there may be a learning curve, so you might see some extra time on their task load because of this. That is okay! Just make sure to account for that when you’re setting up the expectations for your assistant.
How to streamline the onboarding process for your virtual assistant?
Onboarding a new employee might seem a little overwhelming, but I promise it doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you figure out what you need help with, you can figure out the rest of it.
Things you need to figure out before onboarding your virtual assistant:
- Task load – What tasks can your assistant handle? How many hours a week can you afford to have an assistant?
- Budget – What can you afford?
- Training – Do you have processes in place that explain how you do things? This is so important so you’re not wasting your time or their time. You really need to focus on getting your workflows in place. You can also record yourself doing your tasks using an app like Zoom or QuickTime so they have that as a backup anytime they need a refresher.
- Project Management Software – What will you use? How will you keep track of your VA’s task load? At Virtual Career Girl, we use ClickUp. It’s super easy to use and is a lifesaver! Once you have all of your tasks and project set up, you literally just add a new employee and assign them to the different tasks you want.
- Time Tracking – How will you keep track of their time? I personally like to hire my assistants through the Upwork platform because I’m able to track their time in the platform as well as handle their invoicing through their system. It just makes everything super simple.
- Communication – Will you be communicating strictly through email or your project management software? I recommend using something like Slack so you can keep all of the communication streamlined, in channels, and you can access it right from your phone, or your internet browser, whichever you prefer.
Where Do You Find A Virtual Assistant?
There are so many places that have job boards with listings for virtual assistant jobs. You can find them on Indeed, Upwork, LinkedIn, Remote.co, Facebook groups, or better yet, you can actually find referrals! Who wouldn’t want to find someone who has had a positive experience working for someone you already know?
When looking to hire a virtual assistant, be prepared. Get your interview questions ready, set up a way to interview them, like on Zoom or Skype, and take your time! Don’t just hire the first application you receive, make sure you hire an assistant that is going to flow with you and your business and is going to be there to help you. The worst thing you can do is hire someone that you don’t work well with. They’re there to help make your job easier!
At the end of the day, you’ve got to do what’s right for you. If you’re not at the point where you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant, that is okay! You don’t have to rush. Figure out your goals and get your stuff in place, so when you’re able to afford the help you need, the processes are already there and completely streamlined.
I hope you’ve found this helpful and are on your way to getting the virtual help you need for your thriving business! Let me know if there’s anything you’d add to the list!