Should I Hire a Virtual Assistant?

Note by the editor: we all reach a point in our careers that we’ve officially run out of time. Virtual assistants offer a low-cost way to outsource many of the time-intensive tasks we do to a remote contractor we’ve trained to handled these tasks. Is hiring a virtual assistant for you? Ask yourselves the questions below, and let’s find out together.

Is your business ready for a virtual assistant?

You started your own side business and things have been going really well. You’re talking to customers; you’re making sales and you are seeing the profit come in. Unfortunately, you’re also doing everything yourself, you’re working crazy amounts of hours and you have no idea how to scale your business because you are completely out of time. You are what we like to call a solo-preneur. If this is you, it may be time to hire a virtual assistant.

How do you know it’s time?

It will be really difficult to scale if you are running your business alone. You will get unorganized and can easily burn yourself out. When you first start your business, you are doing everything and learning all the different steps and processes to run the business as expected. Most business owners have one of the other: time or money. If you have time, but no money, you need to run all the responsibilities of your business. Soon enough you will start to make profits and you’ll have money, but no time. This is when you hire a virtual assistant 

Where do you find a virtual assistant?

There are a few different ways to find a VA. They can be found on platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork. There are also Facebook groups and specialized agencies. Some virtual assistants have experience and some are very brand new. You will need to interview a few before deciding to hire one. Typically, VAs from an agency come with training in a specific field, skills or software. The agency may also have an account manager that will help you by providing a few candidates along with their resumes and help you with conducting interviews. 

What are the costs and considerations?

Rates for virtual assistants vary anywhere from $4/hr to $12/hr. Depending on your task and the complexity of it, you may want to hire someone with more experience. When you hire a VA with greater experience, education and skills will typically pay more. Most VAs from agencies cost more, but these agencies also provide you additional services.

Most agencies offer support via an account manager that will help with interviews, training and will help with any issues that come up along the way. Agencies will also help you with payroll. If you hire a VA on your own, you will also need to set-up a service for time tracking and payroll and possibly conversion of your currency. You may also want to use software where you can monitor your VA’s productivity and make sure they are staying on task. Hubstaff.com is one company that will provide this service.

What task can a Virtual Assistant (VA) do?

Virtual assistants can be used for many tasks. Many are used for out-bound marketing and to perform repetitive tasks on different software. There are a variety of different skill sets out there and their expertise can vary. This is where interviewing plays a big role.

My virtual assistant works 20 hours a week. 4 hours a day Monday – Friday. Here are the tasks my virtual assistant performs in my Vacant Land Real Estate Investing business:

  • Outreach to off-market property owners via SMS – 200 leads per day (1,000 per week)
  • Outreach to off-market property owners via cold calling
  • Following up with property owner leads coming in from direct mail (snail mail) campaigns
  • Organizing leads and opportunities within my Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool
  • Initial due diligence to determine if the property has any red flags or issues
  • Providing warm/hot leads to me for review. Making initial offers to sellers based on my recommendation
  • Building property sales listings on my Quality Vacant Land website
  • Random other tasks and keeping everything organized
  • Continued education via YouTube and articles to improve business knowledge

How do you set up your VA for success?

You cannot expect your virtual assistant to hit the ground running. It is your responsibility to train them to be successful and an asset to your business. You will need to document all of your processes and create standard operating procedure (SOPs) and scope of work (SOW).

As you go through your daily tasks, make sure to document them in Word or any other software. Lay it out in an easy to read and easy to follow bulleted format. Review your procedures and make sure they make sense. Also, make sure to create videos of your processes. Record your computer screen as you do certain tasks. Make sure to dictate the process as you are working on it. A great software for this is Loom Video. Create a library with all of your procedures and videos for your VA to refer to. Make sure to give them enough time to learn and get familiar with everything before they start working.

Create a way to stay in contact throughout the day and have check ins to talk about expectations, issues and suggestions. I like to use Slack to keep in communication throughout the day. We have a few channels based on the topic of conversation. I provide list of my daily tasks here for discussion each morning. We have a zoom meeting at the beginning and end of each work day. In the morning we talk about expectations for the day. In the afternoon we talk about what went well, what didn’t go so well, how we can improve tomorrow. We also discuss the events of the day and of any potential leads that came in the door.

Conclusion

Do you think your business is ready for a VA? If you have tons of time and no money, you will need to run all aspects of your business. When you start making profits and are unable to scale or have no time to handle everything, it is time to consider getting a virtual assistant. I recommend the book “Who Not How” – by Dan Sullivan. He teaches you how to scale and not try to figure out HOW to do everything, but rather WHO can help you get it done.

Please feel free to message me anytime to discuss further. I am happy to help! Stay HAPE career family!