As entrepreneurs, we are all about getting things done.
We are all about producing faster results and generating more revenue all without burning out.
But the problem is we end up working long hours regularly. Tasks don’t get completed. Customer complaints or reviews go on the rise. And we spend too much time on lower-value tasks.
We end up in a terrible place where we trade time-for-money.
This is not a place where 10x growth can happen.
This is not a place where you can wake up wealthier than when you went to bed.
If you find yourself in this position… STOP and let me show you how to fix it.
What’s the solution… Hire a virtual assistant.
What is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant is a part-time or full-time worker who performs all tasks assigned remotely. These assistants can be located anywhere in the world.
How much will a virtual assistant cost? The cost of a virtual assistant ranges from $2 to $10 per hour, with the more professional averaging around $8 per hour.
According to OnlineJobs.ph, the average virtual assistant will cost $510 per month.
Bonus: These assistants are overseas sub-contractors. So, you do not 1099 them and you do not report their wages.
There is no unemployment insurance.
You do not do withholding.
You do not have to deal with taxes (please consult an accountant!)
Let’s keep going and uncover the 9 things to consider before hiring a virtual assistant.
#1 Review Your Daily Schedule
You need to look for tasks that you should not be doing, tasks you don’t want to do, or heck, even tasks you can’t do.
Look for tasks that are redundant. Tasks that can be offloaded.
Maybe tasks that you procrastinate with. I know for me personally I do not enjoy doing social media.
It is a necessity of owning an online business, or really any business these days.
It’s not something I enjoy, and truth be told, I’m not very good at it.
There are others who are so much better at it. My son, Josh, is very good at it.
He posts regularly, knows how to respond engagingly, and knows what to say to pull people in and get them to follow his accounts.
So, look for tasks that someone could do for you and may even be more efficient with.
#2 Change Your Mindset
It’s hard to hand over business tasks to someone else.
As entrepreneurs, we are controlling by nature. And letting someone else be responsible for an important part of our business can be scary.
But we need to change that mindset and be willing to hand off tasks to someone else.
It’s your business, it’s your baby, but you’ll never grow if you do not let others be involved.
#3 Create a Job Description
Once you have your list of tasks to delegate, create a job description for the virtual assistant.
You will need this as part of the interviewing process.
Be sure to include:
- Information about your business.
- Level of education, experience, and/or skills required.
- List of duties and responsibilities.
- List of any apps, tools, or software they will use.
Bonus: Add an ‘Easter Egg’ to the job posting. A line at the bottom of your description asking the applicants to “Include their favorite movie quote”.
This will weed out any assistants who have not read your job posting or are not detail oriented.
#4 Review Applications & Schedule Interviews
Once you get your job description complete and you are ready to post it, head on over to OnlineJobs.ph.
OnlineJobs.ph is the website we use to find virtual assistants.
They are trustworthy and go out of their way to make sure the assistants listed on the site are legitimate and can perform the duties listed.
After you post your job on OnlineJobs.ph you will get several responses.
You could get up to 30-40 responses. It can be overwhelming.
Look through the responses (paying attention for those who responded to the Easter Egg), use your best judgement, and schedule an interview with your top 5-10 candidates.
This can be a video interview (i.e. Google Meets or Zoom) or you can exchange a few emails to kick things off. You can tell a lot about someone from how they respond in an email.
Once you’ve conducted your 5-interviews, narrow your choices down to your top 3-candidates.
Give these top 3-candidates a test. Something that will be a part of their regular duties.
#5 Virtual Assistants Are Just Like Employees
They need training. You can’t just hire a virtual assistant and expect them to jump right in and take on the task assigned.
They are just like anyone else. They need to understand your business and they need training in the tasks assigned.
I don’t know why some business owners think they can hire a virtual assistant and that person can just take over the task right away without training.
They may need time to adjust to the position. Be patient.
Use technology to communicate with your new team.
Set up a Slack channel for sharing ideas and quick support issues.
Set up Google Drive for sharing documents.
Set up Zoom for meetings.
Get a SimplySOP account from Outsource School and establish Standard Operating Procedures.
#6 Onboarding is Key
If you approach the hiring of your new virtual assistant as though they are an employee and set them up for success, you are more likely to create a long-term relationship.
Take your time and spend some time with your new assistant.
Have an orientation meeting where you give them a few “test” tasks to perform for a few days.
Perhaps you could have them respond to support emails. Have them forward their responses to you and not the customer.
That way you can review the emails prior to being sent to the customer.
This will give you a chance to tweak their responses and ensure they are going out the way you want.
This will increase your satisfaction and the virtual assistant’s happiness with the position.
A happy virtual assistant always performs better.
#7 Do Not Fear “Creating a System”
Think about how you do what you do.
Document how you do the thing you want to outsource and train your assistant on the task.
This is where standard operating procedures (SOPs) come into play.
Create a checklist or video that shows the assistant how to perform the task.
Leave no room for interpretation. If you do not create a system and communicate you are almost guaranteeing mistakes will happen.
Implement the Red Light–Green Light method.
Red light means the assistant is reaching their point of max capacity and feels as though they are taking on more than they can handle. If the assistant feels overworked, either your system is not streamlined or they may need help.
Yellow light means the assistant is approaching their max capacity. Here you should review their workload to see what could be directed elsewhere.
Green light means the assistant is handling all tasks assigned and does not feel overworked.
#8 Be Available When Needed
Just because you now have an assistant does not mean you can check out.
It does not mean you can now take that much needed month-long vacation.
It does not work like that. Until they have been with you for some time, you will need to be available.
I had one lady who worked for me for over 10 years that allowed me to take extended vacations.
I had complete trust in her abilities and knew she would handle any situation as I would.
I also knew she would reach out for help if she had a situation she felt uncomfortable handling.
Until you have built a level of trust with your virtual assistant, you need to be available for support.
Having a VA does not mean you can “let go of the steering wheel”.
That time will come. Be patient.
#9 Have Regular Check-Ins.
This is an absolute must!
Once your virtual assistant is up-and-running you must have daily check-ins.
I have seen it happen, and I have done it myself. When an assistant is performing as expected it is so easy to let them do their thing and go for days without touching base.
Do not do this! If you go over 1-week without checking in with your virtual assistant, you risk them getting complacent, getting off task and losing focus.
I suggest having your virtual assistant send you a report at the end of every day detailing what they accomplished.
Then once a week hold a 15-minute video call where you can celebrate the wins and cover any shortcomings that need to be addressed.
During the meeting:
- Check on their red-light green-light status.
- Celebrate the wins, no matter how small. If they responded to more emails than normal… that’s a win!
- Cover any areas of shortcomings to ensure they do not become a habit.
Hiring a virtual assistant will be the best thing you ever did for your business.
It will allow you the opportunity to run your business like a business and focus on high income revenue generating tasks. So you can 10x your company!
Look for your new virtual assistant at OnlineJobs.ph.
Check out Outsource Schools Cracking the VA Code for training on how to run your team.
Are you thinking of hiring a virtual assistant? Comment below.