The use of virtual assistants has received a lot of attention lately and for good reason. Business and productivity experts tell us, rightfully so, that we should focus on our strengths and on strategic issues that will make the biggest impact. For business owners, executives and other busy people this typically means that we should find someone else to do our administrative work. And now with the technology we already have, utilizing an assistant in a different location is just about as effective and efficient of having one in your office, often at a much lower cost.
As with anything that gets a lot of attention, there are myths about working with a virtual assistant (VA). Here are the top 4:
1. I will lose control
One of the keys to maximizing the impact of your VA is to have a process (designed by you, your VA or both of you) that documents the steps needed for your tasks. In addition to avoid recreating the wheel each time a task is done, a process ensures that things are done the way you want them. For example, my assistant, Jessica, has a document (which she has memorized at this point) which outlines the steps for ensuring that my calls and meetings are set up exactly how I want them.
2. I don’t have enough work for the VA
This myth delayed my hiring of my first full-time VA by about a year, which led to a huge opportunity cost. During that time, I had tried task-based VAs, but those never worked out for me as they were not as responsive as I needed and I got tired of working with different assistants. When I finally bit the bullet and hired my first full-time, dedicated VA, she did about 18 hours of work in the first week, 32 the following week and since then she has had enough work to keep her very busy.
3. I can’t train them
There is no question that training your VA, much like training a new employee, is important. But it can be a lot easier than you think. I am someone who loves having procedures in my business, but I hate creating them. So I have simply spent just a little time telling my assistant what I need and giving her guidelines such as meeting and travel preferences. She creates the processes and updates them as we go along.Also, when I give Jessica something new, I review her work-in-progress which takes a few minutes here and there but ensures that the end product is done how I want it.
4. I’m too busy to hire a VA now (or I’ll hire one next month)
If the irony of this myth is not obvious, consider this: you only truly move forward in your business when you tackle the important things. However, most of us spend just about all of our time on the urgent things which might give us the feeling of accomplishment, while never getting around to the important things. Yes, you will need the time to interview candidates (about 30 minutes) and to get them set up. But that small investment in time will have a huge ROI as your VA takes work off of your list, finally freeing you up to do those important things that will make you more successful.
Among the many piece of wisdom that Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach says is that to really grow your business you need to ask “who” and not “how” because you can’t have significant growth by doing it all yourself. Since a virtual costs a small fraction of what your time is worth, the question to ask yourself now is “how serious am I about growing my business?”
Work Better Now provides full-time, dedicated virtual assistants for $1,750 per month. Schedule a 15-minute consultation to find out what a Work Better Now virtual assistant can do for you.