Deena Anreise, the Marketing Manager for Prialto, contributed this post.
Take it away, Deena!
Everyone needs help from time to time, especially small business owners. But how do you know when it’s time to hire help from a virtual assistant?
Nick’s Notes: My answer: “When the pain of inaction becomes too great.”
1.“I Got This.”
Have you fallen into the trap of similarly ambitious entrepreneurs and small business owners who believe that they, and they alone, hold the keys to getting everything done well and on time? Most likely, your thought process swings back-and-forth between “If I work hard enough and fast enough, I can get it all done,” and “No one can get it done better or faster than I can.”
Nick’s Notes: Guilty. Chris Ducker calls this “Superhero Syndrome.”
Typically, you find yourself at a stalemate with yourself and your business’s forward progress. And somewhere in the back of your mind is a voice telling you that ending the stalemate is not only crucial to the growth and success of your business, but essential for your health and the health of your business.
2. More Admin Than Agile
How often do you deal with emails, phone calls, expense reports, invoicing, travel arrangements, scheduling, data entry, client prospecting, and other routine administrative tasks yourself?
If the answer is “more than I’d like to” or “more than I handle high-value business growth tasks” then it’s time to outsource your repeatable, ongoing admin needs to a virtual assistant.
Doing so is inherently growth-oriented, since when entrepreneurs spend the majority of their time doing repetitive tasks, they fail to grow their business. All the best minds in business and statistics report that 80% of your time should be spent on high-value business growth tasks.
Nick’s Notes: That would be an interesting metric to track during my next time audit. I’m probably not anywhere close to that 80% mark, but getting better all the time.
3. Ain’t No Rest For The…Executive
Do you regularly put in 10 to 16 hour days in an effort to keep up with all the work on your plate, yet still fall behind? Do you consistently work weekends and nights? Are you stressed out about your lack of work-life balance?
Nick’s Notes: Hmm, editing this post on a Saturday afternoon…
At this point, it’s not even necessary to explain why answering “yes” to any of the above questions is a sure sign that you are in desperate need of cost-effective administrative help. It should be obvious that you need to spend more time on your core business instead of dealing with admin tasks and putting out fires all week long.
4. Big Ideas Never See The Light Of Day
What ever happened to that exciting new project or that big idea you were so jazzed about several months ago? Wait…has it already been a year since you swore you’d put that plan into motion?
Your valuable, limited time goes up in smoke when you’re buried in busy work. Ambitious small business owners are a goldmine of great ideas. Don’t put off projects that could dramatically impact your business because you’re overwhelmed by administrative tasks.
Nick’s Notes: This is the biggest one for me. It’s the realization that no one else is going to move these new projects and ideas forward except for me. And sometimes that means freeing up some hours to get ’em rolling.
5. No New Revenue
It’s a terrible feeling to know that you are missing out on sales opportunities because your client and prospect database isn’t up-to-date. You likely kick yourself on a daily basis thinking about all the lead nurturing you could be doing if only your email lists were current and segmented properly according to where contacts fall in your sales pipeline.
Data entry into your CRM is a painstaking task, so many of us “accidentally” keep forgetting to sit down and hack away at it. But the next time you miss a deadline to follow-up with a lead, remember this article…and get busy finding a virtual assistant that can help you pull your business forward by consistently getting you in front of the right prospects at the right time.
6. Small Budget With Huge Ambitions
Hiring a virtual assistant beats hiring an in-house administrative assistant when you’re on a small budget, because it’s cost-effective.
There’s no (or low) overhead associated with hiring a virtual assistant due to the fact that there’s no need to provide them with employer wage deductions, vacation pay, health insurance, office space, furnishings, or equipment. Those savings alone are incredibly appealing. What’s more, you won’t need to deal with daunting HR paperwork or training and management.
Nick’s Notes: You’re probably still going to spent some time on training.
Most small businesses can’t afford to pay the necessary costs associated with hiring an in-house administrative assistant. If you live in a metropolitan area like the San Francisco Bay Area, you’ll quickly find that virtual assistants cost significantly less than a regular employee. Plus, it can be very difficult to find an in-house assistant who can afford to work just a few hours a day for you.
OK, be honest. Are you guilty of any of the “tell-tale signs” above?
Instead of asking yourself “why hire a virtual assistant,” maybe the better question to answer is “why not hire a virtual assistant?”
Check out this cool decision-tree infographic at the Prialto blog for more on how to choose the right virtual assistant for your needs.