The following is a guest post from my VA, Candace Chira. She is friendly, efficient, smart, and a clear communicator. I’d like to hog up all of her time, but, to be fair, I’ll give her the 5 Star Review she richly deserves! Thank you, Candace, for contributing this helpful and high-quality guest post.
Have you thought about using the services of a virtual assistant (VA)? Today’s professionals are finding themselves inundated with workloads that include creating newsletters, writing follow up e-mails, setting up web pages, researching blog posts, designing PowerPoint slides, etc. That proverbial to do list seems never ending, really, making the average workday longer and longer.
Enter the VA. A VA is a highly skilled professional that specializes in providing administrative functions that a traditional secretary might do, but without the cost of having a full-time employee on staff. You only pay for the time you need and so it’s a cost effective solution for getting more done. The IVAA (The International Virtual Assistants Association) defines a VA as such: VAs are independent contractors who (from a remote location, usually their home or office) support multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical services.
Having a person to take care of the work that needs to be done but doesn’t necessarily have to be done by you is a much more effective use of your time. You are able to get back to growing your business by being able to focus on revenue producing activities. This is the beauty of adding a VA to your team. The struggle many people have, however, is figuring out the best way to put the services of a VA to good use.
Doing some prep work before you hire a VA will go a long way towards making sure that you get more bang for your buck. Take a pad of paper and a pen and place it somewhere close by while you’re working. Throughout the day jot down the things you do that could be handed off to someone else to complete. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is this something I could easily teach someone else to do?
- Will outsourcing this task help free up my time?
- Am I comfortable letting someone else complete this task?
Once you finish this exercise you might be surprised to find how many things you are doing every day and week that could easily be outsourced to a VA.
List in hand, it is time to find a VA. Keep in mind that their skill sets and talents can be quite diverse. Finding the right person to support you in your business can sometimes be a bit of a challenge but is well worth your time investment.
The internet is a great place to start in your search for a VA. There are sites that you can go to such as Elance, PeoplePerHour, and Odesk at the onset to find outsourcers. Asking others in your field for referrals is another good strategy because they can give you a firsthand account of how well their VA completes various tasks.
One last recommendation is to start slowly when you find a person that you think will be a good fit for your business needs. Give them a few items on your to do list to start out with to see how well the complete them. Once you are satisfied with their performance you can hand over additional tasks. This will help tremendously in preventing any unpleasant surprises in the event the person is not as skilled as you had hoped.
With the right amount of effort you will be extremely pleased with the extra time you gain from having a quality outsourcer on your team. You will also enjoy additional free time that you can spend with friends, family, or self-care. VAs go a long way towards helping you restore and maintain work life balance.
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