It is unfortunate but quite common that we, as business owners, often do not share the anxiety around the daily operations of our businesses. Similarly, we often won’t discuss our concerns around hiring staff, be they employed or freelancers – in an effort to alleviate that stress.
Whether the root cause is business culture or a leaning towards personal reserve, the result is that we commonly face these dilemmas, alone.
We completely understand.
Hopefully, this brief look at how to go about working with a Virtual Assistant – or any freelance professional, for that matter – will give you the confidence to outsource the tasks holding you back from increasing your turnover and freeing up more of your time.
It is a misconception that a Virtual Assistant that you are unlikely to meet in person will not understand your business needs, methods, and goals. Every VA you come across is also running their own business. While they may be at a different stage of business growth to you, they will be well-versed in the pressures you are facing and have made it their ambition – literally – to walk alongside people just like you, introducing processes, communication, and heaps of positivity, into the times you work together.
Firstly, take a pause
Find a period of time to list out every one of your daily tasks. We suggest that you then take this list and indicate alongside it, which you enjoy, which you don’t mind but which are time-consuming for you, and those which are the bane of your life.
Secondly, know your numbers
Here, we don’t necessarily mean that you work out a budget with which to outsource. Yes, it’s important that you know what you can afford to pay a support consultant. However, it is more important that you fully grasp just how much of your own time you are investing in the tasks you listed before. Clearly understand how this translates to your own hourly/daily/weekly earnings possibilities. Perhaps work out that time spent against your hourly rate. What would your business look like if you were free to invest that time elsewhere?
Third – Go a-hunting
Be bold enough to put the word out, amongst colleagues, that you are looking for a Virtual Assistant. In our opinion, being at a point where your business is ready to delegate is something to be proud of. We would suggest that you do not give an estimation of time required. Rather, give a brief overview of the tasks you listed that you do not want to continue to carry yourself. Keep in mind that a suitably experienced, skilled Virtual Assistant, will likely take far less time to complete these activities. Likewise, they will be able to give you a clear estimation of the time they think they will need and what their rate will be. This way, you can decide if your budget will work.
Know your values
The advantage of looking for referrals amongst colleagues, is that you will avoid having to meet hundreds of people from all over the world in a bid to find someone you would want to work with ongoing. Additionally, the colleagues likely to make the effort to refer are probably people you get on with! Meaning the probability of their the referrals being people you resonate with, is high!
Having your own values – both personal and professional – clear in your mind when you have your initial meetings with prospective VAs is very important. It brings home the differentiation between someone who will ‘get the job done’ and the type of person you know you will want to work with on a regular basis.
Take a deep breath and let it out slowly
Once you meet the person you think will suit your support needs, ask questions.
Ask what their process will be. The right VA will give you a clear overview of the steps THEY will take to begin making your work life and personal time that much better. The path they lay out before you will be one that should provoke a sense of relief.
Yes, there will be aspects you will be responsible for, especially during the initial handover period. It may take some time adjusting to working with someone who you have only ever encountered from the shoulders, up. Regardless, the right VA for you will inspire confidence from the moment you meet them.
Of course, there are many further variables to be considered – software preferences, security, qualifications, NDAs, etc. Feel free to read more of our suggestions in our other blogs.
For now, however, you may want to begin your search for your ideal Virtual Assistant by booking a 1-2-1 with Michelle today. No obligation… just a fresh insight into what your business could be like with a little more competent support. 30 minutes free with Michelle may give you the ideas/impetus you are looking for.
Other blogs to dive into: