How to Identify Your Needs and Goals and Find the Right Virtual Assistant
Most of my 30+ years in business have been spent working with business owners. I personally know thousands and interact with more than 100 each quarter. For those that don’t have an assistant, I typically hear things like “I know I need one, but I don’t know where to start”. In fact, I said the same thing before getting my first assistant about 10 years ago.
With my experience in mind, let me walk through an outline of how to identify your needs and goals and find the right virtual assistant.
But first, let’s recap why business owners need a virtual assistant.
Business is evolving just as quickly as the technology that surrounds us. It’s more important now than ever before to stay ahead of the curve, strategize, connect with employees and clients, and allow your business to grow. But that can be difficult when you’re working overtime and feel like you’re hardly keeping up with the bare minimum it takes for your business to survive. Successful people aren’t afraid to ask for help—and in business, hire help.
We wholeheartedly agree with Jack Daly when he says, “If you don’t have an assistant, you are one!”
If you’re doing the tasks of an assistant, such as scheduling meetings, checking and responding to the never-ending emails in your inbox, filing paperwork, or doing research, you’re essentially paying for an assistant with your time and your salary. Not to mention you’re robbing yourself of the time you could be spending on truly high-value activities that will unleash your business.
So, are you ready to make a change?
Where Should You Start?
If you’re considering hiring an assistant, your first step should be to make a list of what you need to do to grow your business.
Start by listing out things you need to spend time thinking about. Perhaps it’s how your products need to change, how to meet increasing customer expectations, or how your buyer behavior is changing and what you should do about it.
Continue your list with how you want to spend your time. Your list could include things like improving the employee experience, understanding customers and their needs, or maybe you simply need more personal time—isn’t that why you went into business in the first place?
Then, make a list of the projects that should come off your plate so you can focus on the things above. These are the items that you should outsource to a virtual assistant. Keep a list on your desk or on your phone and add to it every time you do something that someone else could be doing for you.
Insider tip: Be aggressive when creating this list. Your list may start short, but it’s likely you’ll begin to delegate more and more as you begin to feel comfortable with the idea.
Darrell Amy, Author of Revenue Growth Engine said, “Bringing in [our assistant] immediately expanded our capacity. It was like someone went through and decluttered my mind. That has led to a lot of the innovation and ideas that are going to allow our company to scale.”
Should You Hire Someone Virtual or In-Office?
Since the pandemic, most businesses are comfortable with remote employees. But if you’re still dealing with largely paper files, you may need to hire an in-office employee.
For most businesses, the benefits of a remote employee make the decision a no-brainer. With remote workers, the talent pool is much wider, there is more flexibility, increased productivity, and potential cost savings. And these days, more and more businesses are taking it a step further: they’re hiring overseas remote talent.
Bringing on workers from around the world with the skills, experience, work ethic, and enthusiasm you need is easier than ever with today’s access to the global talent market. Not to mention, opening up your search to overseas talent makes it easier to fill hard-to-fill roles, speeds up the hiring and onboarding process, circumvents regulatory hurdles, and reduces overhead costs.
Hiring Directly vs. Using a Firm
Many business owners suffer through long recruiting cycles and poor hires that negatively impact morale and productivity. Plus, hiring on your own can be costly!
Finding a firm that specializes in providing professional virtual assistant services can eliminate the leg work for you and allow you to experience the benefits of professional virtual assistant services. And, if you want access to the global talent marketplace—hiring the right firm can make it easy.
Lauren Kaplan is Founder and CEO of the HR firm Growth Ops Advisory. When working with her clients, she frequently recommends that they hire a virtual assistant. She said, “The transformation for those founders and executives is incredible because now they’re freed up to do the higher level work they should be doing. Not the admin work they drown in.”