I’m often asked for practical ways businesses can prepare for a Virtual Assistant. While I believe a VA is beneficial to nearly every business, I want to be up front with anyone who’s straddling the fence. There’s a time in business when you aren’t quite ready to hire an assistant. In the waiting period, there is work that can be done to allow a seamless transition when you are ready to make your first hire.
Practical Ways To Prepare Your Business For A Virtual Assistant
Standard Operating Procedures a.k.a. SOPs
SOPs are the best way to make delegation possible without a ton of 1:1 input from you. If you don’t have SOPs in place, you aren’t ready for an assistant. Videos are a great way to explain your processes as you’re doing them. I use the Chrome extension, Loom. It’s quick, easy, and I can record my screen as I walk through the steps of any process.
Money’s Too Tight
If you’re currently living hand to mouth and the money it will take to free up additional time is better spent on product development or marketing to get more revenue, do it. Do everything within your power to increase revenue that will allow you the financial freedom to invest in a Virtual Assistant. I didn’t say it wouldn’t be uncomfortable. It will be but you can do it!
Get Clear On What To Outsource
If you don’t have any earthly idea what you are good at or have time to do, get clear on this. I have 4 buckets that will help you determine what to outsource.
- Don’t know how to do
- Don’t want to do
- Don’t have time to do
- What only you can do
When I meet with an entrepreneur who wants to hire a VA but doesn’t know where to begin, I tell them to do this little exercise. Make a list of what you don’t know how to do, don’t want to do, don’t have time to do, and what only you can do. Spend a day tracking how you’re using your time and you’ll begin to recognize where you need support.
If you avoid this exercise, you’ll spend time outsourcing tasks instead of outcomes and find yourself constantly spinning wheels trying to “find things for them to do”.
I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. I had to create the SOPs, choose to make the investment, and determine where I should spend my time. Taking time to prepare your business for a virtual assistant will pay off in the long run.
Once you’ve taken time to document your daily activities and have begun to organize your business to take on another team member, determine the qualities you’re looking for.
What do I look for?
- Integrity – I have a 7 stage process to ensure I only work with good people. I don’t let just anyone in. I need to know they are who they say they are.
- Purpose- What gives your candidate a sense of purpose? If they find purpose in serving others, chances are, they’re a good fit!
- Passion- I don’t want someone on my team because they need a paycheck. Find out what your candidates are passionate about.
- Proficiency- Notice Proficiency is last. We can teach people skills. We can’t teach character.
Regardless of all the above, there will be a moment when you realize you can’t go further if you continue to go alone. Then, regardless of fear or finances, frustration will win and you hire out of desperation.
The problem then is that you take someone based on:
- Interest- You need them and they need a paycheck.
- Availability- “Can you start today? Hired!” That conversation rarely ends well.
- Affordability- Hiring someone because they affordable isn’t always the best move. Most times, you get what you pay for.
And that, my friend, is the recipe for a revolving door and not having the right fit.
I believe every entrepreneur can benefit from a virtual assistant. Perhaps you aren’t ready today, but when you take the practical steps to prepare your business, you’ll be ready sooner than you think. When you’re ready, let’s talk. Use this link to schedule a time to meet with my team and find out how a Virtual Assistant can support your business. The call doesn’t cost you anything and will help you determine the steps for your next hire.