Does this scenario sound familiar? You dream about working for yourself or running your own business, of having the freedom to do what you love and make a success of it. Then you take the plunge and find that doing the thing that you love is only the tip of the iceberg? Your time disappears in a pile of admin tasks, customer emails, bookkeeping, and the hundreds of other tasks that are vital in keeping a business running.
A great way for self-employed people to free up their valuable time is to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA).
What is a VA?
VA’s specialize in helping entrepreneurs and SME’s in handling a number of tasks. As the name suggests, they work remotely, and complete tasks as and when you need them to. This can be anything from providing a call answering service, to running your diary to social media.
Many VAs are self-employed, while others work for specialist agencies.
A VA will save you money
You might assume that using a VA is just an additional cost that you don’t need. However, you need to weigh the cost of your time. Spending time on admin will prevent you from focusing on your core business, which is what makes you money.
The flexibility of a VA means that you can use their time however you see fit. You can put them on a retainer, where you pay for a certain amount of hours each month and use them as and when. Alternatively, you can hire them on a project basis, where they have specific regular tasks such as running your social media or updating your bookkeeping software.
Deciding on what you want to delegate
There are two ways to go when deciding which tasks you want to outsource. You can choose to outsource those things that you don’t have time for or things that you aren’t very good at (or both).
For example, your VA could handle your call answering, inbox, and data entry because it’s time-consuming. Or they can look after your social media because you aren’t very good at it yourself.
Consider a specialist VA
While many VAs cover a range of general admin tasks, there are others that specialize in particular skills or sectors. For example, if you are a freelance attorney, there are VAs with specific legal secretarial experience. Or perhaps your marketing is a priority. There are VAs with experience solely in this area and can make a great contribution to your business when you are starting out or scaling.
Of course, one of the biggest savings you make is by not having to employ a full-time member of staff. Not only will you be saving on salary, but recruitment costs and legally required benefits too.
You can use your VA flexibly, increasing hours during busy periods, and reducing them during the quiet ones.
Where to find a VA
There are many ways to find a good VA. You can ask for recommendations from your network, or look at the VA directories. There are also many VAs on sites such as Fiverr and People Per Hour.