Highly productive people do not have any secret sauce behind their success but rather they are very good at doing something which other people forget often. It’s delegating. In principle, delegating might sound like a fairly easy step but if you look closer, there is a fair amount of planning that goes into getting it done. This is especially true for heads of start-ups and small businesses.
Why to Hire Virtual Assistants?
In the beginning, it is understood that it is very difficult to let go control of the business at this early stage. Too much of multi-tasking is one of the reasons for burnout among first-time entrepreneurs. It must be understood that anything that does not help your growth directly can be delegated to someone else. You need to place your focus where it matters the most, and let others take care of tasks which are not critical to the business.
Another challenge that start-ups and small businesses face is the problem of cash flow. As an entrepreneur even if you are financially getting help, you sometimes do not have the time, space and resources available to hire that additional employee that is really needed. This is the reason why many businesses turn to virtual assistants. A virtual assistant not only saves time and money but is a financially viable time tested investment for the growth of the company.
There are good reasons why the trend of virtual work is catching up. The first and the foremost is the penetration of technology which has enabled work force to function from almost any remote location. This helps businesses hire a wide range of talent pool readily available from across the globe.
You could be hiring virtual assistants for one of the following reasons:
- You don’t need or cannot afford a full-time employee
- You find it troublesome to complete important tasks
- You need work to be done, but don’t have the luxury of office space
- Your frequent travel requires you to have someone work virtually
- Most of your time is spent in organizing than executing
- You know what tasks to be done, but don’t have anybody to do it
As far as hiring an employee is concerned, it is about having a fit between the business goals and culture. However, if you only need help in doing administrative tasks and have the flexibility of hiring someone virtually, then you should definitely consider hiring a virtual assistant.
Benefits that virtual assistants bring to start-ups and small businesses
Earlier, it was believed that virtual assistants are only for executives. It is no longer the case, with start-ups and small businesses finding obvious benefits. VAs is a big time saver during the growth phase of the company where it doesn’t make fiscal sense to have full time employees. Today, small businesses and start-ups swear by the fact that virtual assistant has helped them in improving productivity, happiness and work-life balance.
The scope of VAs are not limited to personal tasks – start-ups and small businesses use VA’s for tasks like order processing, customer support, bookkeeping, social media, web design and development, email management, marketing and administrative tasks.
Guidance for the Virtual Employee
You have to treat the virtual assistant just like a telecommuting employee. You need to still provide supervision on what kind of tasks need to be done and you need to understand the right fit for the job at hand. There is a need for some level of training, whether you start from small tasks and then give more responsibility or give more direction in the beginning and step back later. In any relationship, it is better to focus on the long term and build trust over time.
As the interaction with the virtual assistant increases you can provide honest feedback to the work being done. After all, the trust factor with the virtual employee is important as well. You can start by providing your password for social media accounts and ask them to manage the social media accounts. When the trust gets established you can follow it by making him/her book vacations using your credit card. The important thing is that your Virtual Assistant is just like any other employee in your office, who needs to be taken care of just like a normal employee and given the due courtesy. The virtual employee helps reduce your workload so that you can focus on the much important things.