Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

How to Make the Most of Your Virtual Assistant’s Time

When you hire a virtual assistant, you are hiring them as an independent contractor, but also you are hiring a secret weapon of effective business-building.

Independent contractors are individuals who work for you, but are not considered an employee. This means business owners do not have to deal with payroll, taxes, pensions or benefits such as medical insurance.  Another added benefit to hiring VAs is that they can be hired for short term project and typically work at an hourly rate. This is more cost effective than hiring a full time employee and outsourcing business tasks like payroll, blogging, graphic design and more and a bold and savvy more for many entrepreneurs.

A good virtual assistant can be a real life saver and they can prevent already-stretched thin business owner from getting overworked and burnt out.  However, many business owners aren’t making the most of their virtual assistant. Here are a few tips, ideas, and strategies to make sure you’re using your wonderful virtual assistants in the best manner possible.

Specialize: Some virtual assistants provide a wide variety of services while others specialize. In general, it’s often better to find assistants that specialize. This ensures that you’re getting help from someone who is an expert at a given set of tasks and has specialized knowledge. They’ll be more efficient at their specialty task which means they’ll be able to accomplish more.

Keep an Open Mind: You don’t have to have just one assistant. You can hire one assistant to manage your bookkeeping, one to manage client communications, one to manage social media and so on. Specialization means you’re getting the best for your money and it makes good business sense to hire assistants for all of your administrative tasks. However, if this sounds too cumbersome, don’t hesitate to ask your current VA if they are willing to learn new skills in order to do even more work for your company. Many virtual assistants will leap at the chance to make themselves more valuable to a client.

Beyond Basic Admin: You might be surprised just how sophisticated virtual assistants can be. You can hire an assistant to write code for your site. You can hire an assistant to do market research for you and you can hire one to find clients. Don’t limit your assistants to checking email and sending invoices. Find assistants to help you with all of your business function and process and many take regular training to be even better at their craft.

Keep the lines of Communication Open:  If you’re working with a number of virtual assistants, consider creating a central communication or project management system. This will help keep all files, milestones, and messages in one central location. It also makes it easy for your assistant to ask questions and for you to see the status of projects and tasks.

Virtual assistants are significant business assets. If you’ve never worked with an assistant before, consider hiring one to take some of the workload off of your shoulders. It frees you up to focus on the profit-generating tasks of your business. And if you’re presently working with an assistant, consider hiring them to manage one more task or seek to add another assistant to your team.

photo credit: Nick Kenrick.

Posted on April 18th, 2016 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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