You probably never imagined you’d ever hire an assistant right? Well with the growing popularity of virtual assistants, more and more people are learning about them and fitting them into their everyday working lives.
Freelancing is on the rise and freelancers get busy, contrary to popular belief. One way to maintain the freelance lifestyle and get help without the hassle of forming a company with employees is to hire a virtual assistant.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is someone you can hire virtually to take care of business tasks that you don’t have the time or the will to do. It’s a flexible method of hiring help without needing to provide office space or work benefits that you would have to give an employee.
They often work on a freelance basis from home so are a good choice for fellow freelancers who know the score already.
What can a virtual assistant do for your business?
Whether you want something as basic as getting someone to answer the phone or for them to do something like social media management or bookkeeping, a virtual assistant can take care of a number of things.
- Social media
- Blog writing
- Call answering/email management
- Calendar management
- Customer support
There isn’t really an end to the things a virtual assistant can do. They tend to specialise in a few tasks so make a note of the things you want to outsource and that should help narrow down your search.
Why hire a virtual assistant?
It makes sense to hire someone else to free up time that you could otherwise be spending on activities that actually make you money. Plus it’s good to be able to get rid of the tedious tasks like admin and accounting that can zap your energy and motivation levels.
Virtual assistants can be the more convenient alternative to hiring employees. They can also be handy to hire on a temporary basis if you need to take time away from work or are having a particularly busy period.
When is the right time to hire a virtual assistant?
When you’re ready to grow
You’re getting more clients and your time seems to be going nowhere, sound familiar? Then maybe it’s the right time for you to hire an assistant. There’s only so much you can do in a day and if you want to take on more work, then you’re going to need some help. A virtual assistant is usually a cheaper alternative than hiring an employee.
When you hit a busy period
You might hit a busy spot which may or may not last. A virtual assistant can help take some of the heat off you, especially if your workload changes quickly.
You might think about hiring them permanently if you feel that they would be useful in the long term in managing your workload so that you have more breathing room to take on more clients and grow your business.
When you’ve got a lot going on in your personal life
Maybe you’ve just had a baby or you’re looking after a sick relative, whatever your situation this is a good time to outsource some of your responsibilities to free up your time and also ease some of the stress.
How to get the most out of your virtual assistant
Do your research
You’re going to be trusting this person with some of your work, maybe even client work. If you’re hiring someone to take care of your finances you cannot afford to have them do a bad job. You’re going to need to hire someone with experience who you trust with important responsibilities and personal details.
Learn to trust
Freelancers are often used to doing everything themselves so it can be hard to start delegating and trusting another person.
This might be the first time you’ve hired someone and it’s okay to be a little nervous. However, don’t let that get in the way of your working relationship. You have to let them do their job, as difficult as you might find it at first.
However, providing you’ve done your research and hired a good assistant, you need to allow yourself to trust them to do their job and take a step back so that you’re not breathing down their necks.
Have you ever hired or considered hiring a virtual assistant? What concerns or tips do you have? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!