How to Know You’re Ready to Find and Hire a Virtual Assistant

by | Apr 30, 2024 | Outsourcing | 0 comments

When it comes to hiring a virtual assistant (VA), I have noticed that online business owners fall into two categories: they either A) are afraid to outsource or B) they want to outsource everything. Neither of these extremes will lead to sustainable business growth (and if that is what you’re looking for, let us know how we can help).

Katie, my business partner, and I have been in the industry for a decade now, and when it comes to growing your business, you’re going to need outside help. There are too many gurus out there making it seem like a badge of honor to run your business as a solopreneur. 

In reality, having a virtual assistant allows you to free up more time, increase your bottom line, and still have the freedom to live the life you want. In this blog, I will break down exactly how to know if you’re ready to hire a VA & what you need in place in order to do so.

What is a Virtual Assistant 

It may seem pretty damn obvious what a virtual assistant is. However, you’d be surprised what unrealistic expectations are put on VAs. I had an experience with a client where they demanded me to be at their beck & call even though we were in completely different countries. 

Before we get too deep into this blog, a virtual assistant is a contractor who can provide administrative and marketing support to the online business owner(s). What I want to make clear from that start is that a VA or any contractor is in a supportive role. Entrepreneurs cannot expect them to dedicate the same time, money, and effort as they do in their business.

The reason is the contractor doesn’t own the business like the business owner does. They should believe in your mission, vision, and values, but it is not their responsibility to ensure your business is successful. That is on you, the business owner. 

Signs You Need to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Now that we have defined what a virtual assistant is, let’s figure out if you need a VA or not. 

Below is a list of signs that it is time to outsource:

  • You’re overwhelmed with client work, that your business is falling behind.
  • It never feels like there are enough hours in the day.
  • You have a list of projects that you never have enough time to complete.
  • Your inbox is overflowing with emails that you never get back to.
  • You can’t seem to be consistent in your marketing.
  • You have to force yourself to get out of bed each morning.
  • You’re never able to turn it off. It’s like you’re on an endless hamster wheel.
  • You have no work-life balance whatsoever.
  • You can’t seem to break the next revenue ceiling in your business.
  • Your health is suffering from always being on the go.

I could keep going on and on about this, but you get the picture. Essentially, your business is suffering because you are unable to keep up with the demand or pick it up off the ground.

What is important to remember is that you’ll always have stress or overwhelm in your business. That is a part of being an entrepreneur & a human being. What I have seen is by outsourcing, you are able to regulate your stress levels better, knowing you have support behind you.

You might like this, too: 5 Productivity & Efficiency Tips For Small Business Owners

What a VA Can Take off Your Plate

There are so many things a VA can do for your business that go beyond administrative tasks. Here is a sample list of you can use a virtual assistant for:

  • Management of a customer relationship management (CRM) or project management tools
  • Handling of all scheduling of personal or business related events
  • Inbox management & customer service
  • Brainstorming, proofing, and scheduling of marketing campaigns
  • Management of launches so you can focus on selling
  • Website design & development
  • Creation go sales funnels for passive income opportunities

Pretty much a VA can do anything you want in your business. However, there is a difference between a general and specialized virtual assistant. A general VA can handle many tasks from admin to marketing. They often have knowledge of many different areas, but not an expert in any of them. A specialized VA will have a dedicated expertise while still being able to handle other miscellaneous work.

To find the best candidate for the job, ensure you write out all the things you want outsourced. This will allow you to find a reliable virtual assistant that can handle your task load.

Preparing Yourself to Hire a Virtual Assistant 

This is a step that I see so many business owners skip when it comes to hiring. If you’re not properly prepared to onboard, delegate, and manage a VA, do NOT hire one. This makes the process 10x harder for you and the VA you hired.

The lack of preparedness also contributes to why entrepreneurs either A) are afraid to outsource or B) want to delegate everything. 

The reason entrepreneurs are afraid to outsource is because of horror stories they have heard from others, being screwed over themselves, or this feeling of “no one can do it as good as them.”

The reason entrepreneurs want to outsource everything is because they’re so overwhelmed that they have unrealistic expectations that a VA will grow their business. Plus, it doesn’t help with business coaches saying you should hire everything out in order to work less to achieve more.

The way to properly prepare yourself & your business is by doing the following:

  • Ensure you’re clear on your value proposition, target audience, and core messaging:
    • This is so important in ensuring you find the right VA for your business and providing proper direction to them. If you don’t have clarity on this aspect of your business, do not hire a VA. Figure this stuff out first so your VA can help you reach your goals faster.
  • Write out what you love/are good at doing vs what you hate/suck at doing:
    • This makes it easier to outsource specific tasks in your business. Nothing is worse than hiring someone & not being able to provide them with work. Plus, it allows you to clearly see what virtual assistant services are the most for your business. This can be scary as you are letting go of control; however, by taking this leap, you can amplify your business growth.
  • Do some personality tests to see who you’d be compatible with:
    • This allows you to have a clear understanding of that type of person you’d work well with. Some that we recommend are Four Tendencies or Enneagram. We also like utilizing our human design charts as well. I would also include the results in your job description to better call in the VA you’d want to work with.

By moving through each step, make it clear on the support you need & the confidence to find your dream VA.

The Process of Finding and Hiring Your Assistant

This is where things can be tricky as everyone and their mother seems to be a VA now. Katie and I have worked as freelancers, at an agency, and now as a business that provides VA services.

From a client perspective, they all have their pros & cons.

Freelancer: This type of VA can be found on Fiverr, Upwork, or FB Groups. This was how I got started in the industry. I was a freelancer for multiple clients that I found through UpWork and FB groups. The thing to keep in mind, especially with Fiverr & UpWork, is the VAs being anywhere in the world. This makes them more affordable. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean good work in return. Plus, a lot of freelancers go into this line of work for extra income, which means they may not be in it for the long haul. 

Agencies: The benefit of an agency is that they often take care of the matchmaking between you and the VA. That is what Katie and I experienced at the agency we worked at. The thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to pay more, and there are a lot more people to deal with beyond the VA. I have found those who are part of an agency are more reliable, as they want a career in this industry.

Katie and I aren’t an agency; our business is about providing overwhelmed business owners with a signature system that turns their daily chaos into streamlined operations, enabling them to enjoy both their business success and their personal lives without compromise.

We want to turn your business into a well-oiled machine that is magnetic to lead and revenue so you can spend more time doing what you love most. This is what separates us from freelancers or agencies, as we want to collaborate with you in creating the business of dreams.

We aren’t here just to minimize your to-do list but to streamline the BTS of your business so you can make a bigger impact in your industry. If this peaks you’re interested, book a free consultation to learn more about how we can support you & your business goals. 

Understanding the ROI When Outsourcing

Katie recently had a consultation with a potential client who was very concerned about the return on investment of a VA. To me, this is understandable, as you want your business investments to bring you a return.

However, remember that a contractor is not responsible for your business’s success. It is on you to ensure you’re reaching your bottom lines. 

The way we measure ROI is by the time we are able to give a client back. For example, if they want us to work 20 hours a month, that automatically gives them 20 hours back. Plus, once we are able to audit the business operations and implement systems of operations, that gives even more time back to them.

Just imagine having more time to:

  • Be consistent in your marketing on social media.
  • Have more time to get on free consultations or review applications.
  • Focus on your zone of genius (which makes you magnetic automatically).
  • Regulate your nervous system knowing your business is supporting you & not the other way around.
  • Be able to step away from your business to allow opportunities to come in

This is the ROI you can experience by investing in your business. When it comes to budgeting for a contractor, what you can expect to see is hourly rates, monthly packages, or one-off projects.

Those with more experience will do hourly or one-off projects. For more seasoned virtual or executive assistants it is typically a package that includes x number of hours per month.

Final Thoughts

By following these steps, you can feel empowered to hire out the tasks that are sucking the life out of you. The thing to remember is when looking for a VA you want a collaborative partner. That type of working relationship makes growing your business 10x easier because you’re no longer alone. It’s time to free up your time by seeking your dream VA (& that might just happen to be us).

P.S. If this blog was too long to read, here is the gist:

  • Understand that a VA is here to support your business and not to run it for you.
  • Prepare yourself & your business for support by understanding what you love/hate doing.
  • Take some personality tests or brainstorm who your perfect person would be.
  • Research if a freelancer, agency, or VA service-based business is best for you.
  • The best ROI you can receive is the amount of time you get back in your day.

Don’t forget to book a free consultation if you’re curious to see if we’d be your dream support system.

 

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Heey, it's Katie & Sara!

We are the founders of Indigo Elephant Co, where we specialize in helping overwhelmed business owners move from chaos to clarity with our proven systems and dedicated support.

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