It’s a new rise-and-shine, and you’re ready to tackle the day’s work.
Today’s the day you're going to make real progress in growing your business.
After all, you’ve had growth strategies in your head for months, and now’s finally the time to implement.
Until… you realize you’re behind on logging your payments, you need to book your flight for that meeting, you still have to return all those support emails, your email sequence isn’t written yet, and there are outstanding issues with your ad campaign.
And that’s just what popped into your head in the early AM. There’s so much more on your mundane to-do list.
When will you ever get past this daily minutiae so you can focus on being more productive and grow your business?
Well, we’ve got good news -- bringing on a virtual assistant (VA) into your business could save you from all the headache of daily task managing and free up your time so you can focus on growth.
Which is why we’ve put together these tips on everything you need to know to find, hire, train, manage, and delegate repetitive, time-intensive tasks to a VA.
Caveat: If you’re a perfectionist who finds it difficult to let go of performing flawlessly, delegating tasks to a VA may prove to be a tough move for you. But it’s well worth it.
So if you’re looking for relief, read on.
What is a virtual assistant and what are the benefits of having one?
A virtual assistant is someone who provides support services to your business from a remote location.
VAs are typically hired on a contract, part-time, or project basis and handle specific support tasks. They often help small-to-medium sized businesses and overtasked entrepreneurs with their day-to-day operations.
These days, the area of expertise for VAs runs the gamut. Although “assistant” is in the term, it’s an outdated concept that VAs only support businesses with admin tasks.
Sure, they cover duties like scheduling and email management, travel booking, expensing, and invoicing. But that’s not all they do.
VAs also specialize in tasks like competitive research, copywriting, social media management, project management, process creation, and customer relationship management.
And it's a specialization that’s getting its fair share of growth. In fact, the global virtual assistant market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.60% through 2021.
Surprised by that growth rate? Don’t be. The growth rate makes total sense when you know the benefits of having a VA on your team -- which is what we’ll cover next.
#1. Virtual assistants support your business in nearly unlimited ways
Nowadays, except for in-person tasks like serving you coffee, VAs can fulfill any support role to help with your business needs.
After all, if you conduct your business remotely, there’s no reason that your assistance can’t be remote, as well.
So if the local talent isn’t up to your standards, or you’d just prefer to keep your coffee breaks virtual, a remote team is a great -- and tried-and-true -- option to grow and support your business.
Plus, it’s a great way to increase your productivity.
#2. Virtual assistants supercharge your productivity
You know that entrepreneurial saying, “work on your business, not in your business”?
VAs help you accomplish just that.
By bringing on a VA, you can delegate your low-growth tasks and work on more profit-generating projects. Offload your menial tasks to alleviate some of your responsibilities and increase the productivity of your business.
Not only will your list of duties be offloaded to your VA, giving you the much-needed space and time to focus on pertinent growth projects, but hiring a remote team member in and of itself has been shown to increase productivity.
Research indicates that remote team members are more productive, and can even complete 13.5% more work than their in-office counterparts.
As a remote worker myself, I find it much more productive to work from my home office where I can control my level of interruptions and “in the zone” times.
Another study also found that in-office employees spend only 40% of their workweek performing their primary job duties, with big chunks of time spent on miscellaneous things like email, admin tasks, meetings, and interruptions.
So, when you hire a remote VA, you’re essentially hiring a super efficient person to take over your support tasks as well as giving yourself more time to be productive overall.
And on the topic of efficiency, our next benefit demonstrates how VAs can also increase your revenue.
#3. Virtual assistants uplift your profits
Whether through selling online courses or ramping up your digital downloads, if you’re at a point in your business where you’re ready for more growth, hiring a VA to take over your support tasks can save you both time and money.
How? By handing off your low-growth tasks, you can focus on high-growth tasks that bring in more revenue.
As a frame of reference, here’s a hypothetical math breakdown:
Let’s say you spend 50% of your days working on repetitive tasks that you could outsource to a VA.
You could pay a part-time VA $15 an hour, or $300 a week, to manage those tasks, while you free up 20 hours of your time to focus on profit-generating activities that could bring in well over $300 each week.
As long as your additional revenue outweighs the cost of hiring your VA, you’re golden.
As you can see, with increased profitability, productivity, and support for nearly any business task, hiring your first VA comes with its benefits.
Now let’s dig into the steps of how to do it.
How do you hire a virtual assistant?
To hire your first VA, follow these six simple steps.
#1. Know when it’s time to hire
First, you’ve got to be ready. You know you’re ready to hire a VA when you have:
- Your hourly values figured out - Break your time and tasks into values per hour to see if it’s time for the investment (i.e., when you find yourself spending substantial time on $10-per-hour instead of $100-per-hour tasks, it’s time to consider hiring out).
- Clearly defined tasks that need to be done regularly - Do you have repetitive tasks that you can train someone to take over?
- A clear understanding of what you’ll focus on with the additional time - Your newfound focus should go to strategic priorities that drive up more revenue for your business than what you lose in expenditures for your VA.
- Time to train your VA - You need to be organized enough to dedicate some time to training your new VA.
Why that last? Because training and support are pretty important.
Only 48% of working Americans say they are motivated to do their best work and 39% are satisfied with their job if they lack training and development from their supervisors.
Comparatively, 88% of employees with training are motivated to do their best work, and 86% are satisfied with their job.
OK, after you’re clear on whether or not it’s time for that big moment of expanding your team-of-one, you’re ready for your next step.
#2. Decide on the position details
Write out the position expectations by specifying what duties your VA will take on and include a timeframe for each task.
Here’s an example of a list of VA duties and responsibilities, which lists out tasks ranging from answering phone calls to prepping presentation materials. Some prominent tasks include:
- Scheduling meetings - Your VA can manage your business calendar, coordinating with your various colleagues and contacts and scheduling appointments and meetings.
- Arranging payments - Your VA can take over your accounts payable duties and make sure all your bills and expenses are paid on time.
- Managing customer service - Serving as your frontline point of contact, your VA can manage all customer service inquiries and requests.
Notice most of these are repetitive tasks that can be systematized and swiftly handed over to your VA.