Our last post discussed social isolation and on ways to reduce it within your life as an entrepreneur. One option I did not mention as it not only could be a solution for your social isolation but may also lead to growth within your business is hiring a virtual assistant (VA).
Let’s breakdown what a virtual assistant (VA) is. According to The Balance, “A …. [VA] is [defined as] a person who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location”. When I hear that definition, several questions pop into my mind including:
- Can I afford to hire someone else when I can barely pay myself?
- How can I delegate tasks when it’s only always just been me?
- What tasks can they handle?
- How much time will I have to spend finding this person?
- How many negative experiences/dollars spent do I need to go through to find this person?
Unfortunately, there is no 1 answer to any of these questions as each VA and entrepreneur are different and have different needs/qualifications. VA rates can range drastically from $10.00 – $150.00/hr. It not only depends on experience but on their location, skills, services offered, etc. In my opinion, there are (at least) a few questions one should ask themselves prior to taking the leap to hire an assistant:
- Why do you want to hire an assistant?
- Our why’s are so important, not only do we stick to them during our tough times as an entrepreneur but also during our tough times journeying to find the right assistant. Are you overwhelmed, overworked and stressed out consistently? How is your sleep schedule? Have you taken at least 1 vacation in the last year?
- Am I mentally ready to hire someone else?
- Can I begin to delegate tasks and let go of some of my day to day activities? Can I wrap my head around sharing some of the responsibilities I have for my business with someone else?
- Can I bear disappointment if at first I don’t find my ideal VA? If at first you don’t succeed are you willing to try again without allowing experience to cloud your future interactions?
- Am I financially prepared to hire someone else and if not how can I get there?
- The financial reality most of the times is that it can be difficult to find the money to really be able to hire an additional contractor however what would it be like if you had a few extra hours everyday (once you’ve delegated really minor items such as calendar management, flight booking or email management) to find more leads, convert those leads, and add more customers to your roster? What if you had more time to do the things you enjoyed such as presenting at conferences where you can get more exposure, establish new networks and engage new clientele?
- It’s key to not just think in the short term but to think in the long term how this can affect your financial future.
My suggestion to entrepreneurs who are are overwhelmed or who have pondered the idea of hiring a VA is:
- Ask yourself the above questions
- Write down/look at what your schedule is like and how you want your schedule to actually look like
- Crunch some numbers
- If you’ve realized that yes it is time to hire someone then start planning your search & your onboarding process! Happy Hiring!
Sonia Narvaez, is the founder of Socially Passionate Consulting, a solopreneur focused on supporting passionate entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed so that they can find peace of mind and abundance in their business. She obtained a Masters in Public Health at the University of Illinois and uses her public health background to help diminish the stress, overwhelm and social isolation that entrepreneurs may feel.