There’s a big difference between multi tasking and stupidity when it comes to running your own business. We try to manage it all, especially in the beginning. But fun fact for you: trying to self manage a growing business will destroy you. How? Being Managing Director, Creative, marketing, sales, accounts, photography, web development, social media manager (need I go on)? Of your own company is just too much for one person. Basically, ain’t nobody got time for that! But what is a gal to do? The answer, of course, lies through internet and in the shape of Virtual Assistants.
Whoever said time was money was completely, well, on the money! So many business owners put off hiring their first employee as they are convinced they can’t afford it. But these people obviously haven’t heard of the ever growing world of virtual assistants. No, I’m not talking about some sort of robot or advanced Alexa, I’m talking a real live person, working for you remotely doing the things you need so you can focus on growing your business. This, ladies and gents is the future of business and they’re here to save your life.
So what is a virtual assistant exactly? A virtual assistant (or VA) are those extra pair of hands you have been dreaming of. They come in all shapes and sizes and most do it for a living full time, usually across many clients with some specialising in specific fields. After meeting a few business owners who swear by them, I thought I would give it a go but with my own twist. I love the whole concept of working remotely, and very aware that even my own best work is when I just get left to do it, but did I think a straight up VA would be the way to go for me? Well, not exactly.
I wanted someone digitally based, but also, I wanted someone who would potentially grow with the business. Someone a little closer to home. Someone I could meet up with every now and again for a tequila and a brainstorm. Someone interested in the industry and wanted to develop and to me. So, instead of looking into experienced virtual assistants to join team Forever Yours Betty, I did what any other digital business would do, advertised an open call on social media.
OK, OK, so VA’s around the world may gasp at the fact I technically hired a freelancer to do a job they have trained to do, but I really do see something in this whole “work when you want, when you feel most productive” mentality. The difference between a VA and a freelance is simple. VA’s as a whole are resourceful generalists (sometimes in areas like books, marketing communications or design) who perform tasks or routines rather than owning an entire function of your business. After many applications and four interviews later, I found my match in Bethany. An organised strategist with a great track record, glowing recommendations and the added bonus of being a freelance photographer / graphic designer. Not only could she help get shit done, but she can also add a new visual dimension to my business. Cool, huh?!
Myself and Bethany work off lists of tasks and we keep in touch via email, messenger and a good old fashion spreadsheets. Her tasks go from email outreach, writing and submitting articles, databasing to the most important of them all – generally organising my life (AKA my Google Drive).
If I’ve not sold you already, here’s 9 reasons why you should hire a virtual assistant
- Time – take time back to grow and develop the business (not to mention take a bath)
- Value – it’s more cost effective for your business to hire someone to send mass emails / organise your database than you pushing that potential client meeting until next week
- Budget – you can hire a VA on an arranged budget! You might start at 1 hour a month, or a week
- Expertise – Virtual Assistant can specialise in certain industry or skills – find the yin to your yang!
- Manage – A virtual assistant can manage your day to day, or in my case, organise my life
- Growth – some virtual assistants are more than just virtual assistants. For example, Bethany is also a photographer and a graphic designer so she adds more dimensions to the business
- Reporting – a virtual assistant can update and maintain daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly report for you
- Admin – Admin is important, don’t let it fall into wreck and ruin!
- Sanity – Yes, you really can have it all (sanity included)
So if you feel like you could benefit from hiring a VA, first off let me say congratulations! This means that your business is growing to the point where you can’t do it all on your own, so don’t try to. VA’s to the rescue, and I do promise, you will feel rescued. Do you think you are ready to take the plunge? Check out my interview with full time VA Leila Williams over on Fashion Fix Daily for some extra info on the kinds of things a virtual assistant can do.