Replace Yourself: How to Hire Your First Virtual Assistant

Does this sound like you? Your alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m., and you head to the computer to check the 52 emails that came in last night as you snored and dreamed of taking your company public. Within minutes, your phone starts buzzing with texts or calls from employees, customers, and vendors. Before you know it, it is 8:30 a.m. and you feel like you’re under water.

You’re not alone. Many solopreneurs and even big time CEOs feel inundated with “to do” lists, deadlines, and milestones.

That’s one reason virtual assistants are on the rise. A good VA, as they are called, can let you do the one thing many business owners are sometimes afraid to do: replace yourself. Yet outsourcing or even delegating some of your most tedious tasks could actually move you closer to profitability–or functional sanity at minimum.

Don’t think you need a personal assistant? Answer these four questions:

  1. Do you often feel that you need more “day” at the end of your workday?
  2. Do you avoid certain tasks or make excuses for why they remain on your to do list?
  3. Do you hate doing certain tasks in your business? (admit it, you do)
  4. Are there parts of your business that you need to spend more time on, but you can’t or don’t because you’re caught up in other parts the business?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re a strong candidate for a virtual assistant or outsourcing.

So, now that we got that settled, how do you find one?

In order to find the right fit for you, do your research. There are many online companies that can match you with an assistant specific to your needs. That’s why it’s essential that you take a second to write down all the tasks currently performed in your company. In other words, what are the exact steps that must be taken for your company’s operations?

Next, decide if those tasks can be done virtually, meaning outside of your actual physical location. And finally, figure out how much you can afford to pay monthly (or whatever the timeframe) to have those tasks performed. The fees for virtual assistants can range from $5 an hour to $50 an hour or more, depending on the task.

Remember, VAs exist to make your life easier, not more complicated. You may have to spend some time training your assistant to do things the way you like them done, but the training of a potentially great outsourced worker will show up, not only on your bottom line, but also in your ability to have a more balanced work life and profitable company.

From a financial standpoint, you can potentially save money on taxes, 401 K, continuing education, and benefits, as most virtual assistants work as independent contractors. More importantly, outsourcing parts of your business allows you to get back hours in your day, because you’re no longer working on tasks or projects that you can affordably outsource to a virtual contractor.

Virtual Assistant Resources

These companies provide access to freelance workers and independent contractors on a myriad of tasks: