Do you run your own independent consulting or coaching business?
If so, regardless of the discipline, industry, personal or commercial niche you serve, you’ll probably know that sense of wearing far too many hats.
It’s an occupational hazard—one that can both distract you from growing your coaching or consulting enterprise as you would like, and lead you down that undesirable path to professional burnout.
So do you continue to “soldier” on alone or instead “shoulder” the legal and financial burden of hiring someone to help you with non-core aspects of your business, such as administration and marketing?
Either prospect can be daunting, right?
That’s probably why an increasing number of professional coaches and consultants are choosing the third alternative, to hire a virtual assistant who can work full-time for them on a remote basis from a low-cost country such as the Philippines.
Virtual Assistance: An Increasingly Popular Option for Consultants & Coaches
While awareness of virtual assistants is growing among owners of all types of small businesses worldwide, along with solo entrepreneurs, the coaching and consulting professions are currently generating some of the healthiest demand levels.
The reasons for this are not altogether clear, but it could well be driven by the fact that these professions require long hours devoted to client service, and that expansion depends on making more and more client-service hours available.
At the same time, a growing business generates increasing demand for those time-consuming, non-value-adding tasks that, nevertheless, must receive attention.
Such activities include managing schedules, keeping accounts, and staying on top of communication. Then there is the requirement, that can’t be ignored if business growth is a goal, to market and sell the services offered.
Of course, you will be aware of all of this if you practice in the coaching or consulting profession. However, you might not be so cognizant, at this point, of how big an advantage is to be gained by hiring a virtual assistant.
A VA can take on some or all of these distracting tasks, freeing you to onboard more clients and increase the number of billable hours you make available.
Virtual Assistant vs. On-Site Employee
Assuming that you recognise the need to get some professional help to run your counseling or consulting business, and that struggling along solo is not a realistic option, your first thought might be to hire somebody locally to help you.
However, before you get married to the idea—and to the legal and financial commitments that go along with it—why not consider engaging an offshore virtual assistant to support your business remotely instead?
Please note that this article does not intend to be an indifferent comparison of these two options, because, at Virtual Done Well, we happen to think that a virtual assistant is by far the best option for the solo consultant or coach.
That’s merely an opinion, granted, but the advantages of a VA, which we can confidently assert as factual, and not biased conjecture, are as follows:
- A virtual assistant typically comes with no obligation to contract for a specific length of time.
- The process for hiring a VA is far less onerous than recruiting a regular employee.
- A virtual assistant does not need to occupy office or desk space at your business premises.
- The only costs to incur are those of the VA’s monthly fee, and perhaps that of the time you spend training your new assistant.
- In many cases, the rate payable for a great VA based in a developing country is considerably lower than what you would need to pay a local employee.
- A virtual assistant does not require paid holidays or sick pay (although at VDW, we provide both benefits for our VA staff).
- You can choose between part-time and full-time help and even switch between them as required.
When Does Hiring a VA NOT Make Sense?
It would be wrong to neglect to mention that a virtual assistant cannot execute tasks requiring physical, face-to-face interaction with your clients or which need a physical presence for other reasons. In the case of such requisites, you might have little choice other than to employ someone locally.
However, such requirements are becoming less prolific in this day and age. In any case, as an independent coach or consultant, you’re unlikely to want anyone other than yourself to deal with these physical tasks.
And if you do need help with client-facing work, you’ll be at the stage where you need to onboard another coach or consultant, which precludes any discussion about the value of a virtual assistant.
How Can a Virtual Assistant Help Your Coaching or Consulting Business?
For your business to grow, you need to increase your availability for billable consulting or coaching work, and of course, fill those hours by doing more work for your existing clients and engaging with new ones.
The trouble is, all those other business activities always get in the way, don’t they? The bookkeeping, administration, social media activity, scheduling, digital marketing—all tasks that must be done, but take up time, add no revenue for your business, and stop you from focusing on your core activities.
If you have someone to take on those tasks, though, imagine how many hours of your time would be unlocked to concentrate on developing new leads, or working with your clients—and getting paid!
That’s what makes virtual assistants worth their weight in gold. Although they come in various guises these days, many virtual assistants still work as generalists, capable of stellar performance in business administration and executive support.
A general virtual assistant, or virtual personal assistant, will probably be right up your business alley. They provide precisely the type of help you need to release your valuable time by taking the most time-consuming, non-customer-facing tasks off your hands.
5 Tangible Benefits for Your Business
Rather than list all the tasks that a VA can do (other articles on our blog do that if you’d like to investigate further), let’s focus on the concrete benefits your small business can attain when hiring a high-quality virtual assistant from the Philippines.
We’ve already mentioned the additional time you will gain to do billable work and focus on lead capture and development, so here are five additional ways in which your business can improve when you have a VA to help you.
1. A More Attentive and Personalised Service for Clients
Assuming you don’t consume all your saved time on acquiring new leads, you’ll be able to give each of your clients a greater degree of personal attention, adding that Rolls Royce effect to your service offering.
Whether you are a consultant or a coach, your clients will notice the difference when you spare that little bit of extra time and attention to detail, and personal touches like a regular check-in with your clients can generate more repeat business for you.
Alternatively, if you hire the RIGHT virtual assistants (those with excellent interpersonal skills), you could involve them in your client service strategy.
For example, your VA could be the one to develop presentations, worksheets, and other coaching or consulting materials, and perhaps take care of sharing them with your clients, along with other elements of client communication and administration.
In the case of a coaching business for example, your VA might help with onboarding clients, orienting them with your service, keeping records of their progress, and issuing them with any materials or documentation required.
2. Your Online Presence Will Become More Impactful
You might choose to continue working on your social media and website development yourself or delegate those tasks to your VA instead. Either way, the very fact that you have the help will enable your social media presence to become more meaningful and the quality of your digital marketing to undergo a step change.
For example, do you currently find yourself taking a dutiful but robotic approach to social media and other content creation activities due to lack of time? If so, you’ll know what we are talking about here.
Once your website, blog, and social media pages get the attention of someone who is not exhaustedly juggling a surfeit of tasks, it will show in the quality of your content. You’ll be able to make it more engaging, immersive, and reflective of your personality—and that’s good news for your client acquisition drive.
3. The Quality of ALL Your Work Will Increase
It’s a rare business professional who loves every aspect of their day-to-day. Still, even if you do, much of the work becomes humdrum when you are continually snowed under, and just like your social media posts and web content, a lack of time typically makes for poor-quality results.
Some of the first tasks to delegate to your virtual assistant are those you don’t like or know you don’t do incredibly well.
Provided you have these tasks in mind when hiring and ensure that you recruit a VA who enjoys and is good at them, you will achieve better results in all your business activities. That’s because your VA will be doing the tasks you don’t like and are not good at, and you will have more time to focus on the quality of the work you retain for yourself.
4. You Could Consider Broadening Your Range of Services
When you have some professional help to drive your business through its day-to-day processes, you gain time to start thinking creatively again. One way to use that time might be to introduce new services or channels to increase revenue.
For example, if you currently coach or consult primarily in person, you may wish to consider adding an online service targeting clients further afield or even worldwide.
In the current environment, with COVID-19 continuing to make face-to-face business less desirable than it might in less troubled times, taking your business online can be a real game-changer.
If this is a course that appeals to you, then you might want to use the time freed by your VA to develop your new service offerings or even have her help you to them off the ground.
5. You Could Generate Leads on Autopilot
Well, perhaps not literally on autopilot, but again, the knack is to know what skills you require in a virtual assistant. For instance, if you’d prefer to use your time to work with existing clients, you can choose to delegate lead generation to your VA—assuming you hire one with the appropriate skill set or you are prepared to deliver the necessary training.
This particular approach is more appropriate for hiring a full-time virtual assistant than a part-timer because it’s more realistic for a full-time VA to divide time between business administration and lead generation activities.
Meanwhile, you’ll be able to spend more hours doing billable work for your existing clients and, without the need to worry about generating leads yourself, should have more time to develop and convert the leads referred by your VA.
You Choose How You Benefit
The five benefits mentioned above are by no means the only ways your business can gain from hiring an offshore virtual assistant. We’ve merely provided them as an appetiser, because once you start to think about it for yourself, the chances are you can come up with several more besides.
Give a Little to Gain a Lot
However you decide to take advantage of an economical, professional, reliable, and flexible second pair of hands to support your consulting or coaching business, there’s no time like the present to start your search for a VA perfectly matched to its needs.
Please be aware, though, that working with a virtual assistant is something of a two-way street, and while you can gain so much for your business, you need to give a little as well, in addition to the reasonable fees you will pay for virtual assistant services.
Primarily, that giving will be in the shape of preparation efforts for when your VA starts working with you, along with the commitment to communicate well and make the adjustments necessary for working with a remote team member in your business.
You can find lots of articles on the Virtual Done Well blog that share tips for getting the best from a virtual assistant, so to conclude this particular post, we’ll simply mention the highlights to give you some ideas.
Doing Your Bit: What Does it Mean?
Aside from paying your virtual assistant’s fees, you owe it to yourself and your business, to be prepared for the following:
- To be diligent in the search and selection process, and ensure that you hire a VA who is an excellent fit for your specific business needs.
- To put some effort into developing a thorough onboarding process before you think about hiring a virtual assistant. That way, when you find the VA who meets your needs, you can get her off to the best possible start and increase the chances of a mutually beneficial, harmonious, and long-term working relationship.
- To determine precisely what tasks you will delegate to your virtual assistant, at least for the first few months of the arrangement, and prepare a training package to help them understand your business and how you like things done.
Are you worried that you won’t have the time to prepare and plan in the ways we’ve outlined above?
It might help to know that at Virtual Done Well, we make it our responsibility to assist you with this necessary preparation, reducing the time and effort involved in finding a suitable VA and bringing him on board.
We also support you in developing a solid working relationship with your virtual assistant, who will work for you from our office in the Philippines.
Our business model and setup means you and your VA benefit from state-of-the-art business tools, a robust business infrastructure, and a local management team to provide guidance when needed.
We can help you get started right away, so you can regain control of your valuable time and boost your consulting or coaching business within weeks. All we need are a few initial details from you, and then we’ll contact you to get the process underway.
Sound good? Then you know what’s next. Our friendly team of virtual assistance managers is waiting to hear from you—and ready to help you boost your business, so why not contact us today?