If you are like most small business owners, you think you can do everything yourself. At first this might work for you but eventually, you will burn out, and your business will suffer. If you find yourself working long hours, feeling depleted and no longer enthusiastic about your business, it may be time to start thinking about hiring a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant, also known as a “VA,” is an individual you can hire to assist you in the virtual world. Whether that is administrative, technical, or creative services, you need there is a virtual assistant with the skills you need.
Keep in mind that every virtual assistant is different and will have a unique skill set to offer; it is a good idea to get a clear picture of what you need assistance with and interview several candidates.
Here are some things you can hire a virtual assistant to do
- Schedule appointments for you
- Answer emails
- Handle your social media. Posting and engaging with your followers
- Schedule blog posts, and outsource the writing if needed
- Organize your files
- Reach out to contractors and suppliers for quotes or follow-ups
- Customer service
- Project management
- Handle marketing
Some of these are specialized skills, and you will need to shop around to find a virtual assistant who can offer all the services you require.
Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant
Outsourcing to a virtual assistant will help you see growth in your business faster and more efficiently than if you were to do everything yourself.
Let’s look at some benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.
- Low overhead cost
Hiring a virtual assistant will save you from having to pay for office space, equipment and supplies. You may need to purchase some software programs, but there is a good chance your virtual assistant already has all the tools they need to get the job done.
You won’t need to rent office space for your virtual assistant to use, and being an independent contractor means they have their own benefits, insurance and pay their own taxes.
- You can hire the best virtual assistant for your needs.
You can hire somewhere from anywhere in the world. That opens up many possibilities and makes it easier to find someone with the skills specific to your business, even if they live halfway around the world from you.
- You don’t have to spend money on training.
Hiring a new employee can be costly with all the training you need to provide. Hiring a virtual assistant will allow for you to skip over that step and start putting their skills to work for you.
- You avoid burnout
Being able to delegate tasks to your virtual assistant will free up your time to focus on new ways to expand your business, whether that’s through creating strategies or focusing on marketing more or even taking a break and enjoying your life.
- More flexibility with work schedule
Generally, a virtual assistant is able to work when you need them to. Having more flexibility with their schedules is a huge advantage for you. Making them available when you need them even if it is outside of conventional working hours.
How to hire a virtual assistant
Now that you understand what a virtual assistant can do for you, and how much smoother they can help your business run.
How do you hire a virtual assistant?
First, write out a list of what tasks you will need a virtual assistant to perform. These tasks aren’t written in stone, and they will change as time goes on, but it’s a good idea to have an outline of what you need help with to start with.
The next step is to create a job description. You need to be clear about what you are looking for and what you expect from a virtual assistant, so you know if someone will work out for you, and so the virtual assistant will understand what is expected of them.
Including the following information in your job description would be helpful.
- Information about your business. What you do, what services or products you provide and maybe even a little about your customers.
- Level of experience, education and skills you require.
- Responsibilities of the job and what duties you need to be performed.
- Software, apps, and tools the virtual assistant will be using and what level of knowledge they need to use them.
- How many hours a week you will need them to work.
Next, you need to post your job description online. There is no shortage of websites you can use to post your job listing. A few are:
- Virtual staff finder
- VA networking
It won’t be long until the applications from virtual assistants will start rolling in. Be sure to pick a few candidates to interview, and also, to take into account personality and if you will get along.
Before you know it, you will have hired your first virtual assistant.