Once a month I've decided to talk about how I adapt various things to suit my business. When I first started out, I wasn't quite sure how to apply general principles or experience to my own situation. So this is where you can discover how I've modified things to suit me. You can do the same with your business, too! If you're not sure about something feel free to ask in the comments below. This month's topic is about hiring a Virtual Assistant and how I went about it.
Opting to Maintain Quality of Life
My business has grown fairly steadily since I decided to pivot and specialise in Digital Marketing and Business Support Services. It hasn’t been an overnight success. I’m happy to now be bringing in enough money to pay my bills and pursue a decent quality of life. Still, like any business, it's not perfect and the only constant is change. The problem has been the amount of time I'm spending working for my existing clients. I haven't had time to set up the infrastructure that will allow me to offer new services. If you’re pretty successful now, but you have so much more to offer, you'll know the feeling! This is where hiring a Virtual Assistant came in.
I sat down and had a good, hard think about things and it seemed I had two choices. The first was to keep going the way I was with no extra time to effect changes. I need quality downtime for my brain to refresh before the next day begins. Besides, who wants to live to work?
A Virtual Assistant - The Perfect Alternative
My other alternative was to employ someone to assist me. Traditionally when people have employed extra staff, it's been on a full time, part time or even temporary basis. The employee was based locally and the employer absorbed all of the costs of employing someone new. Times have changed drastically since those days, however, and this is where a Virtual Assistant comes into the picture.
How I Found K
I’m fortunate enough to have had longstanding experience with Upwork, the global online work platform. I’ve been an active freelancer there for years. I'm also a long standing member of their social media team. When my first client hired me, we needed someone for copy-writing on a new site and I came across K. K did a superb job of writing the copy for us and that was that. Up until the present time when I was looking for solutions to my own work overload problem. I did a quick search and discovered that K was still freelancing. It made my heart sing when I discovered that she was available for interview. We had a chat, agreed on rates and she’s now been with me for two weeks. Guess what role she's has? Yes! That of Virtual Assistant!
At this stage I can only afford to pay her for an hour or so a week. Even so, the difference she makes has been phenomenal. After trying to re-start blogging on my site a number of times, I can actually see myself in some kind of a routine – because K is taking care of half of the stuff I used to do. When I decide what time and where to schedule social media posts surrounding my blog posts, again I can hand this over to her and she takes care of it, as if by magic!
Don't Wait - Make it a Priority!
In hindsight I should have looked for someone else to give me a hand a long, long time ago. If I had, then my blog would be bigger, the other things I’m pursuing and creating would already have been under way and life would been SO much easier! I didn’t, and this is the whole point of my blog post. As soon as you can afford it, employ a Virtual Assistant to help you, even if it’s only for 1-2 hours per week. You’ll have to spend some dedicated time documenting processes and getting your colleague up to speed, but if you choose the right person, it will be a joy and you’ll be able to focus on so much more without fretting about the lack of 48 hours in a day.
A Couple of Tips
When I put my job posting up, I made it invite only and asked only a handful of very experienced people to apply. I could have hired someone far more cheaply, but I wanted people who pretty much knew what they were doing, or who were savvy enough to pick things up without a lot of hand holding.
K has not only picked things up, but has also highlighted areas where my processes could definitely be improved, or implemented small things that make the whole workflow process so much easier. I’m fortunate in that we’d worked together before and I knew how good she was before I hired her, but that’s where a trial comes in if you’re not sure. I no longer have to worry about formatting and optimising blog posts, or scheduling social media on the various platforms I have a presence on. K does all of that and I’m mighty thankful for her help. My hope is that as my business grows, so does the role that K plays and I can pass over more and more work to her as we work as a team to provide the very best service we can to clients.
Isn’t it about time you bit the bullet and looked at seeing how employing a Virtual Assistant can help move your business forward? Sign up to our mailing list to be one of the first to receive our handy VA Hiring Guide (to be released soon). It'll help you get the ball rolling, I promise! Imagine having even a little bit of extra time each week to accomplish the stuff you’re just dreaming about now!