When people first learn about virtual assistants, this is one of the top questions that pop up. It’s a common question, and it’s an important one. I’d like to help you address it in a logical way so you can make an informed decision on your own. So, I’m going to offer you a short checklist of questions, below. Once you’ve answered them, it should give you a better idea of the right answer to this question for you.
I’ve lost count of the number of business friends I’ve chatted with about how wonderful my virtual team is. It’s a topic that frequently comes up, because I’m really proud of them. They do great work, and just as I said in our previous post, I’d genuinely be lost without them.
But these conversations usually come up over a cup of coffee and just a chat. And the response I most frequently get is something along the lines of, “I don’t know if I’m really ready for one.”
These are people who have generally been in business for a couple of years. Some of them are mum-preneurs. Some of them are sole operators, who are doing everything themselves. But in every case, they’re serious and busy business people who want to succeed.
Here are some thoughts I’ve shared with them, about situations that might be a trigger for you. If these things are happening, then it might be time to take a moment and at least have a think about whether or not a VA might be a practical solution for you.
So, how do you know if you need a virtual assistant? What are the signs and symptoms? Well, here’s a list of four questions you should ask yourself. Based on your answers to these questions, you should have a better idea of whether or not you might need a virtual assistant.
1. How many hours a week do you work?
This is a serious question that, when asked of entrepreneurs, usually receives an answer with a high score. That’s especially true if you’re a solo operator, and your delivering products or services to your clients while doing all of the back-office stuff. You’re doing the marketing, the accounts, and so on. How many hours a week do you really work?
I can tell you that when I started with Management Consulting, I was working at least 70-80 hours per week. Sometimes, I worked over 100 hours in a week. And it kind of became the norm, which is actually really sad. Excessively long hours cause your health and your relationships to suffer, and there’s nothing good about that.
So, as a general guideline, I’d say if you’re working regularly for 60 hours or more per week, it’s time to start thinking about a VA.
2. What are you spending your time on?
Are you spending those 60 hours per week on little, mundane, day-to-day things? Are they things that could easily be delegated to someone else? Are they tasks that take you away from the much more important elements of your business, such as sales, marketing and looking after your clients? Are you spending your time doing the filing, doing your social media, monitoring emails and diaries and all that sort of stuff?
Someone once said to me, “An overseas VA costs you maybe $5 an hour. How do you price your time?”
You’re a business owner, which means you’re an executive. So, let’s say your valuable time is priced at $100 an hour. Are you doing $5 an hour tasks at the moment? Because, if you are, you shouldn’t be. That’s totally impractical, and a waste of a valuable resource. If you find yourself wasting your valuable time on menial tasks, it’s time to stop and think about whether or not you should get the support of a virtual assistant. That’s because your time is much better used on the vital work of bringing in customers, delivering services and so on
3. What does your wish list look like?
Before I had support, I always had a wish list of things I wanted to do for my business. It always had things like, “I want to build a new website.” “I need to develop a new product.” “We need to start a new marketing campaign.” “We have to have a better CRM.” Back then, those were wish list items. And they were called wish list items because there was only ever any hope of wishing. That’s because none of those things were ever going to get done while I was already working 70-80 hours per week or more. They only became possible when I got my time under control. And that happened when I got help from a virtual assistant.
So, that’s another trigger question. Do you have a wish list of items which aren’t getting done? Is there no clear path to get there from where you are right now, because there’s simply not enough time to make it happen?
4. Do you need help managing you?
I once asked a new client the following question: “What kind of personality and character do you want in a virtual assistant? His answer was, “I want somebody like your virtual assistant.” I instantly knew exactly what he meant. I said to him, “You’re probably very disorganized, forget things, not good at prioritizing, and not good at managing your time. You want a personal assistant that’s going to manage you, don’t you?” His answer was, “Yes, that’s exactly what I need!”
If this is you, don’t be embarrassed. This is a common trait amongst some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. We are often the dreamers and executors, not necessarily the organizers and planners. But that simply means we need help to realize our dreams. I’m certainly no exception.
So, that’s a really valuable benefit to having a VA. If you get a really great one, you don’t have to remember stuff or worry about stuff, because they’ll do it for you. That’s their job, and they’ll remind you of things.
In conclusion, it’s probably true that having a virtual assistant isn’t for everybody. But, if you’re a serious business person who finds yourself working ridiculously long hours, swamped with menial tasks that are taking you away from more valuable work, and unable to accomplish your wish list items, it’s probably time to at least start thinking about getting some help.
The professional staff at Virtual Done Well, my virtual assistant business based in the Philippines, can absolutely answer your questions and help you figure out what kind of help would work best for you. Click here to contact them now!