How to Hire a Virtual Assistant: A Business Owner’s Guide to Outsourcing Virtual Employees
Outsourcing Virtual Assistant
Hiring a virtual assistant is one of the first and most important hires you can make as a business owner. Until you have someone on your team to whom you can delegate specific tasks, you will continue to waste valuable time and energy on activities that do not contribute to the growth of your business.
A team is one of the key differences between a “solopreneur” (someone who is the sole proprietor of their business) and a business owner. A business owner does not do everything on their own. They create systems and hire people to do their work for them. These are necessary steps in developing a scalable business that continues to grow even when it is not working.
Once you’ve hired your first Virtual Assistant, repeat the process to identify additional activities to delegate, develop new jobs in your firm, and employ more team members until you’re only in charge of one function in your firm: CEO.
But, for now, let’s concentrate on finding your first Virtual Assistant.
Benefits of hiring virtual staff
Outsourcing to remote team members can have a huge effect on your productivity and business development, whether you recruit a single Virtual Assistant or create an entire team of virtual employees.
- You don’t need a physical office
Renting a physical office space can be pretty expensive, depending on where you live. Hiring a Virtual Assistant allows you to begin building your team while keeping costs low. The primary cost of hiring virtual staff, except for a few software tools for communicating with and managing your virtual staff, is the amount you pay for their time.
- Virtual Assistants are inexpensive.
Virtual Assistants are a less expensive option than hiring full-time employees. Most Virtual Assistants operate as independent contractors and depending on where they live; their hourly rate may be much cheaper than that of a local employee. A Virtual Assistant in the Philippines, for example, will often cost less than half of what a Virtual Assistant in North America charges for the same jobs and duties.
- You aren’t constrained by local talent (hire the best of the best)
Not every business owner has access to a local talent pool of qualified candidates for a specific position. As long as they have an internet connection, a Virtual Assistant can technically work from anywhere in the world. Not having to hire someone locally significantly increases the number of potential candidates for specific roles.
- Delegation helps prevent burnout.
Delegating specific tasks and responsibilities to others is a significant step toward avoiding burnout. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs believe they must do everything themselves, which is exactly what they end up doing. This results in extremely long work days, a lack of focus, a sense of overwhelm, and little time for other aspects of their lives such as exercise, hobbies, and family.
- Spend more time focusing on your areas of strength.
You can’t and shouldn’t try to be all things to all people. Other people are experts at and enjoy doing every task and process required to run your business (even the ones you don’t like or are terrible at!). Hiring others to delegate tasks allows you to spend more time doing things you enjoy and are good at.
- Focus on high-value and income-generating activities
Finally, hiring a Virtual Assistant allows you to devote more time to activities that add significantly more value to your company than the ones you delegated to your Virtual Assistant. To put it another way, you have more time to devote to activities that have a direct impact on your earnings.
How to choose what tasks and processes to outsource
Every business has a long list of tasks and processes that must be completed to function. Begin by categorizing these tasks and processes to help you decide which to outsource and keep doing.
Every task and process in your company falls into one of four categories:
1. Tasks that you should do: tasks of high value that you enjoy doing and are good at
2. Tasks that you should not do: low-value tasks that, even if you’re good at them or enjoy doing them, are not the best use of your time (These are the most difficult to outsource!)
3. Tasks that you don’t want to do: tasks you don’t want to do but that someone else will
4. Tasks that you can’t do: tasks for which you lack the necessary knowledge and skills
Types of Virtual Assistant
There are various types of Virtual Assistants, and it is critical to understand which type is best suited for the tasks you intend to outsource.
The General Virtual Assistant:
A General Virtual Assistant is the most common type of Virtual Assistant (aka a General VA). A General VA can handle the day-to-day tasks and processes necessary for running your business but is not necessarily focused on its growth.
General VA tasks are typically technical and repetitive, such as managing your emails or travel schedule, appointment setting, data entry, research, scheduling social media posts, content moderation, and so on.
The Specialized Virtual Assistant:
A Specialized Virtual Assistant has a particular skill set and is better suited to owning and overseeing a precise process in your business. They are typically more expensive than general VAs because they already have a specialized skill set and will require little additional training from you.
Customer support, bookkeeping, video editing, Search Engine Optimization, and project management are examples of tasks that are better suited for a Specialized VA.
Outsourcing tasks vs. outcomes:
It is best to outsource specific tasks and processes to a General VA, and you should provide them with training on how to do those tasks and processes correctly.
It is best to outsource specific outcomes to a Specialized VA. A Specialized VA should be more skilled than you are at the particular tasks and processes part of their role (that’s why you hire them!). Because you rely on their knowledge and expertise, it is best to tell them what to do rather than how to do it.
As an example, increasing Twitter followers by 10% per month is a result. Importing a blog post from Google Drive to WordPress, for example, is a time-consuming process. Can you tell the difference?
A Virtual Assistant will most likely not be the only person you hire as your company grows, but they should be one of the first. Hiring a Virtual Assistant allows you to devote more time to activities that have a more significant impact on your life and business.