You run your own business + things are growing – hooray! Now it’s time to bring on someone to help you out. More than 75% of entrepreneurs hire a Virtual Assistant first.
Having a Virtual Assistant is becoming chic – Entrepreneur Magazine called VAs “a startup’s secret weapon.” (now I feel like James Bond)
But before you begin the hunt for your right-hand-woman or man, I want to save you time, money, + frustration by giving you the real scoop on the world of Virtual Assisting.
Anyone Can be a Virtual Assistant
There is no license or official training to go through to use the title “Virtual Assistant.”
There are many Virtual Assistants out there who are skilled, experienced, + bordering on ninja-awesome. On the other hand, there are people calling themselves a Virtual Assistant, but they don’t even know the difference between WordPress + Squarespace or Mailchimp + Aweber.
There’s a number of great boutique agencies that you can hire a VA through, cutting down on the time you spend looking for the right person. On the other hand, there are “agencies” that simply collect your information, hand it over to someone who doesn’t even speak your language, + expects you to “figure it out.”
You Get What You Pay For
Yes, you can hire a Virtual Assistant for only $5 or $10 an hour (if you’re not in the United States, we’re talking about less than the cost of lunch).
This is a case of just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
If you have a few tasks that you want to get off your to-do list that are so easy a puppy could do them, then hiring a low-cost overseas VA makes total sense. I’m glad people in countries with few opportunities are able to make a living wage for their families by doing virtual tasks.
No VA that charges $40-$80 an hour is going to be in business very long if they aren’t freakin’ fantastic. These are the Virtual Assistants that have spent years working with clients; regularly learn new software + skills on their own time; + can offer you fresh ideas + insights that you’d have to pay a coach $1000s to get.
Some Assembly Required
As much as I wish it were true, a Virtual Assistant is not a magician (that would be so cool though).
Anytime you bring someone into your business, you’ll need to show them the ropes: what programs you use, what processes you have developed, + how you like things to be completed. Establishing guidelines + solid communication up-front takes time + honest effort from you + your VA.
Are you a fan of HGTV? The Property Brothers?
You’re the new homeowner + your Virtual Assistant is Jonathan Scott (aren’t you lucky?!). You know what you want, your VA has the skills to make it happen, but you both have to communicate your needs + priorities clearly to get you the
home freedom-granting business you’re envisioning.
Hire What You Need Now, Not “Maybe Someday”
One more tip for you and it’s a doozy.
I’m pretty sure I’ll piss off some of my fellow Virtual Assistants by saying this.
Don’t hire me if you don’t need me.
Down the line, you may need a content manager, you may need a project manager … but do you need one now?
When you hire someone, anyone, you hire for what you need help with now – not 6 months or 6 years now.
It may seem obvious. It may mean that over half of the Virtual Assistants you find online aren’t “the one”, but save yourself the drama + hire for your needs (not your future wants).
Knowledge is Power
Hiring your first (or 15th) Virtual Assistant can be incredibly stressful, but only if you allow it to be.
Now you know that technically anyone can call themselves a Virtual Assistant, though you get what you pay for. There will be some initial training + set-up to get your new VA onboard, but make sure you hire someone with the skills you need now instead of “someday.”
Oh yes, there’s still more to learn + I’m just getting started. Stay tuned for more info-rich posts!
What Do You Think?
What’s ONE thing you learned about hiring a Virtual Assistant that surprised you?
COMMENT below + let me know what you think about the dirty, honest side of Virtual Assisting (+ share this post with your fellow entrepreneurs!)
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