It’s 9:00 at night, and you’re still working. After you finish the work you’re doing for a client, you need to schedule the rest of the week’s social media posts, balance the books, respond to e-mails, and check your voicemail, which is nearly full.
Almost all business owners and entrepreneurs have been there – when you’re growing a new business, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to tackle your perpetually growing to-do list.
Some help would be great, but you don’t have the budget to hire someone as an assistant, and the workload can be unpredictable.
There is an easy, affordable, and flexible solution and it can be found, like most things, on the internet!
Outsourcing some of your more tedious and time-consuming tasks to a Virtual Assistant might be the answer to (some of) your time management problems.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a freelancer who is hired to work on specific tasks or projects remotely. They may have a specialty, such as copywriting or graphic design, or they may take on general administrative tasks.
Often, they are highly qualified and responsible individuals who don’t have the time or need to work full-time, but want to bring in a little extra money on a project-by-project basis.
Stay-at-home parents, college students, and retirees all make great Virtual Assistants.
Many people make a career as a digital freelancer, completing jobs for a wide array of clients across different industries.
These people enjoy having the freedom to work from anywhere, and the flexibility to take on only the jobs they want to do.
Why should you hire a Virtual Assistant?
The most obvious reason to hire a Virtual Assistant is to save your own time.
As a small business owner, your time is most effectively spent focusing on your specialty, pleasing new and existing customers, building new leads, and developing new ideas.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant can give you more time to do those things, and even make you better at them.
By taking some of the duller day-to-day tasks off your plate, you can free yourself up to focus more of your energy on your passion.
Because they have diverse backgrounds and experience, Virtual Assistants can often bring new ideas or ways of doing things to your company.
Additionally, Virtual Assistants only take jobs that they want to do, so they’re very likely to do a good job. And you don’t have to deal with the pressure of keeping someone on the payroll – you only hire them when you want.
What can a Virtual Assistant do for you?
You may be thinking, “How can someone I’ve never met work for me?”
Believe it or not, there are a huge number of tasks that can be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant, even if they may not be immediately obvious.
Specific tasks will depend on your business and industry, but some common general tasks performed by Virtual Assistants include:
- Acting as a gatekeeper by filtering calls, e-mails, and voicemails
- Data entry
- Graphic design
- Social media scheduling
- Presentation creation
- Online customer service
What should you look for in a Virtual Assistant?
Like a job interview or even a first date, finding the right fit is important when selecting a Virtual Assistant.
In addition to considering their specialties and previous work, it’s important to make sure that a prospective Virtual Assistant has a communication style that works with your own. Some VAs may not want to communicate via phone and only work online – consider if that works for you and your business.
If you intend to delegate time-sensitive projects to your Virtual Assistant, it may be important to you that they are located in your time zone.
Some people freelance because they prefer being able to work late at night or early in the morning; think about whether or not that works for your project.
Of course, one of the benefits of hiring a VA on a per-project basis is that if they don’t perform well, you don’t have to hire them again. This is much simpler and less stressful than making the difficult decision to fire an employee.
Finding a Virtual Assistant who does great work and fits in perfectly with your budget and goals may take some time, but the benefits of building that professional relationship will be worth it for your business – and your sanity!
Where can you find a Virtual Assistant?
There are many websites that specialize in connecting digital freelancers with business owners in need of some extra help.
- Upwork.com has hundreds of thousands of individuals available to work on a per-project basis, and allows you to search based on specialty, region, and hourly rate.
- Freelancer.com lets you review the previous work of Virtual Assistants before you hire them.
- Guru.com has 1.5 million freelancers to choose from, and offers a SafePay guarantee – you only pay when you approve the work that has been done for you.
- Peopleperhour.com is particularly useful for web-related projects.
- Fiverr.com is a leading freelance site that focuses on providing freelancers who can meet your goals and deadlines on a budget.
These are just a few options; there are countless more websites that can help you find the right person for every job you need done.
Try a quick Google search and you’re sure to find a site that can connect you to the perfect Virtual Assistant for you. If you do it right now, you could be saying goodbye to working nights starting tomorrow!