So, you’ve hit a point in your business that you either can’t do it all or you don’t know how to do everything that you want to do, right?
This is an awesome place to be.
It is, really. I know your instinct may be feelings of overwhelm, or anxiety maybe; if you care about your business and are proud of it, then it’s perfectly normal to feel protective.
You can set yourself at ease by taking a few key steps to make sure you have a safe-guarded yourself from making a poor choice in delegation (like doing research, or say, reading awesome blog posts about mistakes you might wanna avoid).
In most online businesses, there’s a team of people supporting what you see on the outside of the business because, well, there’s just too much to do! Many people turn to outsourcing some of the tasks or hiring a team.
A virtual assistant is a great option to take some tasks off your to-do list.
I get it though: Hiring someone you don’t know to work in your business that you have built and put all your heart and soul into is scary. Terrifying even.
How do you know they are trustworthy? How do you know they are the right match?
I have been working and building remote teams for roughly 10 years. In that time, I’ve met some amazing people who you would be blessed to have on your team, and I’ve also seen some really shady stuff.
I used that experience to share this cheat sheet for you on the 5 Steps to Hire the Perfect Virtual Assistant. This will walk you through what you should do in order to find the right match for you (and recognize the ones to avoid).
But let’s also talk about what you should not do…
1. Don’t start a relationship without a clear understanding of what you are getting into or what you want.
There are different types of virtual assistants, agencies, and freelancers. What needs do you have? You have to know what are looking for and have the role defined to start searching. You know the saying about the square peg/round hole. Don’t make that mistake.
2. Don’t forget to do your research.
Does this person have good testimonials to share? Where did you find them? Do they have good referrals? How long do their customers work with them? Ask the questions that make you feel comfortable. You may have to talk to several virtual assistants before you find the right one. Make the phone calls, do the research, and make an informed choice.
3. Don’t leave any expectation unspoken.
Assumptions lead to misunderstandings, and misunderstandings lead to disappointment. Set the expectations you have as soon as you start to outsource. If you have a deadline or a preference, you need to make that clear. If you have concerns, you need to express them. And stay flexible – because some of those expectations might not be realistic, but talking about and setting expectations leaves room to clear up those misunderstandings before they happen.
4. Do not think that now that you have hired someone to help you that your part is done.
More often than not, the first month or two you will have even more work to do. No one, not even the perfect match, will instantly know your business. It takes a little time to get in to a good groove, for them to learn your style, and it won’t always be perfect. You need to still engage in the process. You need to put time in to training. This is your business, and no one will ever put in the attention that you will. If you want someone to “wow” you — teach them what that takes. You have to answer questions and return emails timely. Your part is not over. They need your input.
5. Do not devalue the work that you are outsourcing.
Much of what you can outsource are things that you can’t or don’t do, but those tasks still need to get done. They are important and the people who are there to support you are as well. Amazingly, the better virtual assistants tend to get devalued the fastest. You start to forget all the time it took you and how much they do that “just happens” in the background.
6. Do not think the relationship isn’t worth investing in.
This mistake can be costly, not only in your own frustration, but literally in your pocket book. Forgive me for another cliché saying, but “you get what you pay for”.
The cheapest option isn’t always your best option. Realize that someone must value themselves if they are willing to charge higher rates for their work. Don’t forget, you VA can decide not to work with you as well and you have to start the process over of training someone again.
Nothing can damage a relationship than always questioning their time or their pricing. Investing in the relationship is important. It doesn’t always have to be just about money. There are many ways to show you are invested and care. If you have someone helping you who is awesome, be an awesome client for them. Everyone wants to do better work for someone they enjoy working with.
7. Do not miscalculate the ROI.
Remember that many of the tasks that you have hired a virtual assistant for don’t always have a direct dollar amount tied to them. If you outsource your “time,” you should be getting time in return. Think about the admin tasks that need to get done and wouldn’t if you didn’t outsource.
How you use that time isn’t a direct reflection on the ROI of the virtual assistant. Did you use that time to turn around serve more clients or bill them for a dollar per hour amount? That is awesome, you made more money. Or perhaps did you use that time to get out of the office and be with your family?
That is something you often can’t put a price on. Maybe you did hire them for something that should be directly making money; that is great. Just make sure when you calculate the ROI on the relationship you are calculating it correctly.
A virtual assistant can be a blessing in your business. Having someone who supports you and helps keep you on track can be an invaluable role to many entrepreneurs.
There are many great virtual assistant’s out there, you just have to make sure you hire the right virtual assistant for you and your business can start to reap the benefits.
Codi Quick has a passion for small business owners and years of experiencing helping them manage and grow their businesses. She created the Quick Business Resolutions team and expansive service options to give a one-stop-shop resource to small businesses as they grow. QBR is there to help you at any level.