Entrepreneurs and small business owners envision spending their time on money generating activities –cultivating new business and working with current clients to solve their business challenges. Often, however, they find themselves spending a disproportionate amount of their valuable time and energy on administrative tasks and other routine responsibilities, which leaves less time for increasing revenue and also cuts into well deserved opportunities for relaxing.
While entrepreneurs and small business owners may one day have a revenue stream and volume of business that justifies a larger support-staff, they are so inundated with administrative issues that they are not even able to grow their business to this point. Give yourself the gift of time! Hiring a part time Virtual Assistant (VA) is a cost effective solution.
When paperwork, logistical arrangements and an endless to-do list stymie the growth and progress of a small business, VAs provide a relatively low-cost and high efficiency support system.
The Benefit of Working Virtually
Whether your VA works around the corner from you or half-way around the world, you may never actually meet him or her face-to-face. While this can initially be daunting, it is not only viable in the 21st-Century business environment, but it also has its perks. Here’s why:
1. Through the use of a variety of web-based programs, your VA can perform many tasks as if they were sitting right outside your office. This isn’t limited to just calendar management and handling correspondence, it can include personal assistance (household management, for example) as well as higher level work like social media strategy and content creation.
2. By hiring a VA who works remotely, you are not responsible for overhead costs such as office expenses and technology, as well as employment taxes, social security benefits and other HR costs.
3. Your VA is there when you need her, but not there when you don’t. You don’t have to pay someone for hours you don’t need, nor do you have to deal with having someone around all the time. This can be particularly enticing for people who work from home.
4. Having someone in a different time zone can be beneficial. Think about how great to it would be to wake up to an organized inbox and an email giving an overview of your schedule and important To Do items for the day!
While the role of an assistant has matured significantly over the years, Virtual Assistants take the role to even higher level. Being a VA isn’t only about remotely being able to respond to voicemail and email and schedule appointments. Depending on their skill and experience, your VA can manage your PR and marketing campaigns, social media presence and more. They can also serve as a sounding board in brainstorming, or strategizing and implementing methods of growth and development. There is no end to the plethora of tasks a Virtual Assistant can handle, affording you the time and flexibility to shift your focus to where you want it to be.
Training your VA
While quality VA companies train their VAs in best practices, no one automatically thinks and organizes themselves just like you. This is why communication is key. VAs are highly-skilled in adapting their client’s workflow and systems. By providing your VA with feedback often and early, your VA is best able to adapt your needs and style. Before you know it, the amount of direction you need to provide will diminish. Additionally, depending on how many hours per week you have your VA work for you, weekly calls are essential for both you and your VA to stay current on outstanding items.
The End Result
Even at low-price points, the cost of a VA might seem burdensome to entrepreneurs and small business owners to whom every dollar counts, but ultimately a VA will help increase your revenue. For example, a consultant who charges $250 per hour loses a potential income of $1,000 because they spend four hours a week answering emails and scheduling appointments. By hiring a VA to perform these tasks at $30 per hour, the consultant will spend $120. With the newly-found free time, the consultant can perform 4 consultations. Hiring a VA has generated a net income of $880!
Once you have regained control of your time, the possibilities are endless. With your new-found freedom, you can further develop client relationships, expand your professional network, research and develop your growth strategy, and prioritize projects that are on the back burner. You can utilize more of your time to generate revenue or travel (for business or pleasure) with the knowledge that operations will function smoothly while you are gone. The simple knowledge that tasks are being accomplished by someone you trust can help jumpstart your energy and creativity in growing your business, leading you to achieve new levels of success.
Submission by Hilary