Let’s face it, a boss is a boss because he is good at the things that he does. But then no one is an expert on everything – not even top managers and CEO’s.
And besides, people in high positions are probably paid too much to be doing menial tasks other people can do for them.
And when business owners and managers feel burdened by tedious tasks, they need to hire an assistant or maybe even two.
For job seekers out there, it is not true that jobs are disappearing, some are just moving online.
The best example is the popularity of the use of virtual assistants.
While some employers still cannot get over the need to have a physical employee on their worksite that they can see and interact with, more and more are enticed to try services offered by individual contractors and business process outsourcing companies.
Here’s news for managers who may be looking to hire an assistant: If you are comfortable with having an employee working remotely, hiring a virtual assistant would probably be your best option.
Why? Let’s cite some advantages:
- Virtual assistants are contractors. The rates they charge are all you have to pay. Physical onsite assistants you have to hire based on local labor laws and regulations; plus there are withholding taxes, social security, insurance, maybe even HMO coverage you’ll have to provide. You may end up needing to hire another assistant just to get all that paperwork done right.
- Virtual assistants work remotely, so you don’t need to provide office space and equipment. They also don’t consume office supplies. The small downside you will have to live with is that since they work remotely, you cannot ask them to make copies of documents or to make you a cup of coffee.
- Ending a contract with a virtual assistant is much easier than firing an employee you are not happy with. No labor department worries, even if you hire a different virtual assistant every week to suit different skills requirements.
- You pay virtual assistants based only on the services you need. You need not worry about keeping a virtual assistant busy for a full 40-hour workweek.
So, do you need a virtual assistant? You need to hire the services of a virtual assistant if:
1. You want to be more productive
When you are busy conceptualizing a business plan and get interrupted by some other menial task, your thoughts get sidetracked and you have to restart. You lose valuable time.
Doing a diverse type of tasks over the course of your day, takes a lot out of your productivity whether you realize it or not.
To be more productive, you need to simplify your task list by offloading less sensitive assignments to someone else.
In these cases, hiring a virtual assistant may be the practical solution. Even if you cannot hire an employee to field phone calls full time, a contractual virtual assistant’s services may be availed of on an ‘as and when needed’ basis.
Hire an assistant and then you can hang a ‘do not disturb’ sign outside your office door from time to time.
2. You want to spend more time on your passion
Your passion may either be something outside of the business or your core business activity but whatever it is, a virtual assistant can free up some of your valuable time.
The main thing is to identify the processes which take up a lot of time, and which people other than yourself are quite capable of doing.
In a marketing company for example, the owner (chief marketer) should be spending the bulk of his time thinking of marketing strategies aimed at improving sales.
Virtual assistants may be able to help by answering emails, doing market research, keeping the books, etc.
The business owner would then be free to look for ways of expanding his market or even just to take the afternoon off for a round of golf if he so wishes.
3. You are tired of repetitive tasks
Let’s face it, some people easily get bored by repetitive tasks that almost anybody else can do.
Many very successful people just can’t stand keeping and filing electronic records, for example, or in entering data in front of a computer screen for hours on end. But there are other people for whom such types of tasks are routine – think of data entry, updating software, answering client mails, and listening to client complaints.
These are tasks which must be done by someone; just not someone in a managerial post who has the skills and experience to do more valuable things.
4. Your schedule overwhelms you
As the business grows, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the task of arranging your schedule in an efficient manner.
Multi-tasking is not for everybody, and many studies have shown that people who multi-task on a regular basis are not as efficient as people who don’t.
A task coming in the middle of something else always causes an interruption that can be costly even if measured just in terms of the interruption in the line of thought.
Having a virtual assistant on call to arrange your schedules for you is an easy way to increase your productivity and ease the pressures you face.
5. Your business is growing
A growing business requires more help in certain areas which the proprietor had been able to cover at the beginning.
Examples of these are doing research, sourcing for raw materials, and arranging delivery schedules.
But then in most cases, at the start of a business establishment’s growth especially, the need will not justify hiring full-time help – there just would not be enough work for them to do.
It is at this point where hiring a virtual assistant will be most helpful. Even if you have to pay a bit more in terms of hourly rates, the convenience of being able to pay only for hours actually worked is huge.
6. You realize others could do it better
While the owner of a business may be quite capable, there are just some things that other people may be better at.
A manager of a logistics company does not really need to be the best truck driver there is – he is paid for a higher level of work, and his workers can probably drive rings around him anyway.
Handling irate customers with complete calm and diplomacy is not something everyone can do. Some people are just natural at computers and can work on spreadsheets, data mining, databases, graphs and presentations with ease.
Finding a virtual assistant to assist with things they are better at, or which would be beneath your pay grade to do, reduce cost while improving efficiency.
So next time you find yourself requiring temporary or permanent assistance with some form of task you either don’t want to do yourself or which someone can do better, think about hiring a virtual assistant. It may just end up relieving you of stressful tasks while saving you a bundle.
Need a Virtual Assistant?
If you need a reliable virtual assistant to manage your online presence, I’d love to help!