Can hiring an assistant really be worth it?
Are you constantly swamped with mundane, menial tasks that stop you focusing on the core aspects of your business?
Do you dread opening your emails each day because you haven’t been able to clear the previous day’s ones or those that came in last week?
Does the thought of creating a newsletter or posting on social media make you feel stressed?
If you have answered yes to any of the above, it may be that you need a virtual assistant or “VA”.
What if they…
- Can do the jobs you hate
- Do the jobs you aren’t skilled in
- Jobs you shouldn’t be doing as the boss
- Managed things enough you could have a day off the kids or hubby!
Hiring a VA can dramatically reduce the number of tedious jobs you have taken on board. You can simply hand them over to someone else that you may never even meet. These online angels can help you to focus on what truly matters in your business, by dealing with chores such as:
- social media posts
- replying to emails,
- answering phone calls,
- online customer support
- writing content
- placing ads
- data entry
- scheduling appointments
- arranging your travel
- setting reminders in your calendar
- creating templates
- writing newsletters
- replying to customer feedback
- booking restaurants and theatre tickets
You can hire a VA per hour or per project and there aren’t any costly overheads like buying them a desk or paying annual leave. Delegating many of the above tasks to a VA should actually increase revenue for you, as you can now focus on “boss” jobs.
What Makes a Good VA?
Excellent communication skills, prompt replies and the ability to follow orders to the letter. They should be able to work without asking for much help or feedback.
How Much Does a VA Cost?
That all depends on the tasks you need doing and their location.
VAs in India, the Philippines and Vietnam for example, will charge lower rates than VAs from the UK and Australia. Some rates start as low as $2.80 AUD per hour and can go up to $100 AUD for top-level VAs.
Where to Get a VA
Ask your friends for referrals, post on LinkedIn or advertise on your website if you have one. There are also several fantastic Facebook groups such as Virtual Assistant Savvies and Female Digital Nomads.
You could hire from a freelance marketplace – these companies take a cut of the hourly rate or project rate as they only hire qualified and verified freelancers. So essentially, they have already done the interviewing process for you. Examples are Upwork, PeoplePerHour and Guru.
If you need a VA to work during your work hours, don’t forget to mention that you are based in Australia. Likewise, if you want your VA to work while you sleep, be sure to add that.
How to Assign Tasks to a VA
- Give clear instructions
- Set definitive tasks
- Set maximum hours per task at the beginning to give a guideline of how long it usually takes you to do it.
- Provide set language and phrases that you require in an email – send as many examples and templates as possible to help them in the initial stages.
- Ask them to perform a trial set of tasks before letting them deal directly with clients.
Still not sure if you need one? It may be worthwhile assigning a few tasks to a VA just to see if there could be a long-term benefit. You could start off with a simple 10-hour a week assignment to find out how much they can get done and how much extra time that gives you.
You may find that it’s money well spent.