Firstly, what is a VA?
A VA is Virtual Assistant. We work as independent contractors, providing professional administrative services to support businesses or individuals from a location other than your business.
So, how do you know if you need a VA?
- Your stress levels are rising, you feel like there is more work to do and less time to do it in.
- Your To-Do list is never-ending.
- You want some help but you can’t justify the expense of another full time staff member.
- You need a mini you – someone you can rely on at any given time.
- You are a start-up business, you work from a home office, or you run a small to medium business with limited office space.
- You manage a large business and your existing staff are stressed, getting sick or want to take leave…but the workload continues to increase.
- You agree that a VA may have more experience in a number of skills and they may complete tasks faster.
- You just need a little help, right now, or now and then.
- You realise that it is OK to ask for help, you are one person and despite your skills and tenacity, you can’t do it all.
- You would like more time to achieve your goals, more time to spend with family and more YOU time.
But what would I ask a VA to do?
The list is endless.
Anything that you don’t have time to do or you don’t want to do. Every task is important.
Soon you will establish what your VA can or can’t do. It is all about communication. You will also find that after establishing a good working relationship with your VA, your VA will probably do as much as they are able, to help you succeed in your business. What they cannot do, they will either learn on the go, seek expert advice, or suggest a reliable alternative to outsource that task to. VA’s are very good networkers and can soon find someone with the skills required.
- Using a little pocket notepad that you can take everywhere, make a list of all the tasks you do for your business on a daily basis. Write everything down on your notepad as you do it, so you won’t need to try to remember all at the same time.
- Now write down all of the things that you didn’t have a chance to complete. This might have been for various reasons, no time, no interest or you are not sure how.
- Then, tick the tasks that you would entrust to someone else.
These are the things a VA can do for you. Specific knowledge about your business will come in time, but Va’s can hit the ground running and there is no limit to the tasks you can assign. Some VA’s are specialists in particular areas such as Social Media, bookkeeping, CRM’s, and others are highly skilled in a wide variety of general administrative functions. You may even find that you need more than one VA.
A VA can offer you assistance – when you need it!
A VA doesn’t need to cost the earth. Many offer very reasonable rates. Perhaps you could work out what your budget could be for a VA to take on one or some of the tasks holding you back from making more sales. Consider trialling a VA for a single task, a week or a month to establish if it frees up your time to allow you to build up your business.
A word of caution though, it has been said that you get what you pay for. If you get yourself a dirt cheap VA, please don’t pin your hopes on high quality output.
I am also a firm advocate for supporting local business. There are many VA’s in your country that can support your business at a reasonable price. This also reduces communication barriers, time zone barriers, and you can discover talent in your own backyard.