By Thomas Smallwood, CEO of bizee.co
The majority of articles of this kind focus on what a Virtual Assistant (or Virtual PA) can do for you in terms of tasks, however I want to focus on the type of person that needs a VA.
So here are five reasons to hire a Virtual Assistant:
Is there something you are not doing, that you should be doing?
Running your own small business often translates into you being the CEO, the Marketing Director and managing your Customer Support. You need to know it all.
However, you still might not have the time or knowhow to manage your social media, boost your onsite SEO and a multitude of other things that bring your business to the attention of potential customers.
Hiring a dedicated Virtual Assistant can change all of this enabling you to concentrate on what you do best and outsourcing other crucial and often neglected areas of your business.
Do you struggle to give your clients attention and research new leads?
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush! There is often a danger of forgetting your clients in striving to get new ones. The truth is there needs to be a balance between keeping a good stream of new leads coming onboard and looking after to your existing (and paying) customers.
With a Virtual Assistant you can outsource key aspects in this balance.
In terms of customer relationship management they can provide email or phone support, surveys, personal messages (e.g. birthdays and holidays).
One of the most common tasks VAs do is researching new leads; building a database of contacts based on your criteria so you can concentrate on reaching out to them and cutting your marketing costs.
Do you spend too much time on admin and not enough on your business?
You are passionate about your small business but you cannot be expected to be passionate about Admin or the repetitive but important tasks that use up so much of your time.
Admin, in fact, is often cited as the biggest drag, holding back the entrepreneurial spirit and yet, no successful person will tell you that the administrative side of business is not important.
A Virtual Assistant can take a lot of the day-to-day admin off your hands freeing you up to live your entrepreneurial dream.
Can you afford to employ someone directly or do you only require someone on an ad hoc/part-time basis?
Employing someone directly can be tricky for many small businesses or self-employed people. Financially it is strain that may not be compatible with an early-stage venture.
Workflow is also not always consistent and the volume of work tends to vary, however when it is busy you cannot afford to let it slip.
Hiring a VA for a number of hours per month can give you the flexibility of using someone as and when you need them, without the commitment of another full-time employee.
Do you want more leisure time to balance work and your life?
How often do small business owner neglect themselves, their health and wellbeing? Too often is the answer.
In running your own show you inevitably get drawn into the job more and more and there can be very few times when you genuinely switch off. If you recognise yourself in this then it may be time to get a Virtual Assistant.
Making the most of your limited time, also means creating time to switch off, to be with family and friends and to ensure you maintain the energy and drive to succeed.
A VA can help maintain your high productivity looking after your business, whilst you look after yourself.