How to tell if you need a Virtual Assistant

How to tell if you need a Virtual Assistant

So do you really need a Virtual Assistant?

First – is it possible?

Is it really possible to find help for all those pesky administrative tasks out there – in the Cloud, in the vast network of the internet? Can you really hand off those time-consuming, energy draining tasks to someone you communicate with by email, text, Skype or phone?  Can you really have a great collaborative working relationship virtually?

The answer is, of course, YES!!

The world of administrative support has changed drastically since the internet has come into not only the business offices of the world but our homes and even our personal time.  The use of smartphones, tablets as well as laptops has really changed how we relate to others – and how we do business.

During my last few years in the Big Corporate world, I spent as much time working with my team members online as I did face to face.  I didn’t see some of my team for weeks at a time as they were travelling or working from home. Telecommuting options are available with many corporations.  Collaborating with team members in other locations is no longer considered ‘forward thinking’ – it is the norm.

As a small business owner/entrepreneur/solopreneur, you are able to have the same level of support that is available in the Big Corporate world.  And usually at a more cost effective rate than Corporate employers.

A Virtual Assistant is a business owner, an entrepreneur – just like you. She charges for her services based on the time and nature of the project.  She does the work, you pay her invoice.  You don’t have to worry about employee benefits, government deductions, the cost of providing office space and tools for her, and if she is taking 2-hour lunches and 30-minute coffee breaks.  According to the Conference Board of Canada’s Benefits Benchmarking 2015 report, it costs employers an average of $8,330 per employee, per year to provide employee benefits, including mandatory government employer contributions. And you don’t have to worry about it!

If you need a couple of hours per week or help with a one-off project, it makes no difference.  You pay for the task, and nothing more.  How’s that for a deal – just pay for what you get!

So, next – Do you need a Virtual Assistant?

There are many reasons for hiring a VA.  There are many things an experienced VA can do.  There are many ways she can take the load off your broad shoulders.

So consider the following:

☐   Your workload feels overwhelming at times.

You’re dealing with meetings, phone calls, emails, client demands, putting out fires, following up on referrals and proposals, finding new clients, networking and what have you.  Then there is the paperwork – banking, invoicing, emails, recording expenses, completing client reports, creating estimates, proposals, record-keeping, and who knows what.  Add to that you’re trying to manage your social media, posting on your blog, updating your website, promoting yourself and your company, and, and, and . . .

You feel like you’re juggling 16 multi-coloured balls at the same time – and you keep dropping them and you don’t know where they have rolled to!  You certainly don’t know when you will have the time to find them either.

And you wonder where’s the time for yourself, family and friends. Worst – you’re wondering why you are doing all this!

☐  You need help digging out from the administrative pile.

You know what’s on your plate, and the service platter next to it.  You’re not exactly sure what is there, but you do know that it needs to be done. You just don’t know how to get it all done, how to organize it, how to get it ‘manageable’.  There just so much to be done, and so little time (and energy) to do it. You feel exhausted just thinking about it.

You’re wishing you had a magic wand that you could wave and have it all done – but Harry Potter is not willing to lend you his.

☐  You know you could really “move the needle” if you could focus more on what you and only you can do.

You’re great at what you do, doing more of it would make you very happy (and bring in more money).  You don’t like ‘wasting’ your time with the necessary ‘drudge’ work. You’re spending more time on the administrative stuff than on what you really want to do – build your business, make money and enjoy your life.

☐  You want to be more productive and less stressed.

Don’t we all! Doing things we enjoy creates less stress and less stressful people are more productive. There is a great sense of achievement and pride when we do things we enjoy.  If you could only get someone to do those things that you don’t like doing.

☐ You know you need help but can’t afford someone full-time.

It’s a new world – you can get people to work with you for a couple of hours, a few days, or on one project or even one task!  The cost of paying someone to do what you don’t have the time, the expertise or the inclination to do is far more cost and time effective than trying to do it yourself. Would you rather spend 4 hours doing something you don’t like when you could hire someone who would enjoy it and will get it done in 2 hours?

You could spend that time doing what matters most to you – which, in turn, makes you more effective, and happy!

So – do you need a virtual assistant?  Can you see yourself collaborating with an experienced contractor who will clear the way for you to grow your business, to generate more income, and to spend more time living your life?

Start small – what do really need help with NOW? What is stopping you? What obstacles stand in your way?