Audrey is a successful real estate investor and mom to two school-age children and a toddler. She works hard to juggle the demands of career and family and wants to feel good about her professional accomplishments while enjoying the relationships that matter most in her life. She wonders how she can take her business to the next level without sacrificing precious time with her family. Audrey often skips lunch, attempts to pay bills while sitting in the school carpool waiting lane, checks e-mails at midnight and her Blackberry is an appendage. There are just not enough hours in the day! She finds herself getting irritated with her husband over the small stuff and admits that she doesn’t remember the last time she went to the doctor for a checkup. And she needs a checkup. Her stress level is at an all time high and she needs to find a way to calm the chaos. She’s even turned away business deals because she’s too busy keeping up with the paperwork in her office.
There is one thing she is always short of: Time. What she needs is what seems to be only within the reach of the biggest celebrities: a personal assistant.
She needs someone who will schedule a doctor’s appointment or research that much needed vacation; someone who will make that dinner reservation or stay on hold to speak to the cable company about the fact that the internet at home has been ridiculously slow for weeks. And, wouldn’t it be great if she could research a business proposal, draft up a marketing plan, and be available to brainstorm a new business venture while at the same time she looks into the details of next week’s dinner party? The woman who has everything needs an assistant that can do anything. I mean, even Wonder Woman needs a sidekick.
Thankfully, that amazing person is no longer only available just to Hollywood elite and the icing on the cake is that you don’t pay her benefits or workers comp.
Introducing your new sidekick: a Virtual Assistant
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a trained administrative professional who can be a partner in your success. Many VAs have left high level executive positions in the corporate world, opting to work remotely and be entrepreneurs. A challenge for most business owners and executives has always been finding a part time assistant who can perform at an exceptional level and who will be around for the long haul. A VA is not a temp who may decide to find “better” work next week but a fellow business professional who is dedicated to succeeding in her business by helping you succeed in yours.
A VA can tackle both personal and business tasks – organize your family vacation, schedule appointments, plan an event, perform research, purchase gifts and supplies, make travel arrangements, edit websites and blogs, format documents, type letters, implement technology, make phone calls, set up a database, follow up with contractors, monitor timelines, scan your business cards and so much more.
What’s the cost?
A VA spreads her work between several clients, utilizing technology to seamlessly and transparently integrate into your business. VAs usually charge an hourly rate that may seem cost prohibitive at first but when you carefully consider what you are not paying for it is apparent that the cost is significantly less than hiring an employee or even worse, continuing to live overwhelmed by an ever increasing workload.
Let’s see. You do not have to pay for a person to fill a seat for 8 hours a day 5 days a week when really all you have is 10 to 20 hours worth of work. Unlike a corporate assistant, you pay only for actual time worked, rather than paying for lunches, water cooler conversations or for someone to fill a seat when work is slow. You are paying for 100% productive time. You will also find that an experienced VA will often handle a task faster than a clerk would in a regular office.
You do not have to buy a computer or pay licensing charges on software just to get an employee up and running.
With a VA, you are working with a business owner who understands that long term collaboration is mutually beneficial. You are working with a qualified professional who loves what they do and has made a career out of it.
A VA can be surprisingly affordable and an excellent return on investment when you calculate how much more time you can spend on income-generating tasks instead of handling the tedious tasks. It’s hard to perform at your peak when you’re spending time on things that someone else should be doing. You can generate higher revenue when you concentrate on your core competencies.
What should I do before hiring a VA?
First, list all the things that immediately come to mind that you’d like to delegate. Then keep a pen and paper handy during a workweek and jot down additional items that are taking you away from what you prefer to do. This will enable you to have a productive conversation with potential VAs about the types of things you would like to delegate. Establishing an effective relationship is crucial, so think about the qualities you would like to see in a VA.
A great resource for finding a VA is AssistU – assisstu.com, where you will be matched with talented, well trained, top-notch Virtual Assistants. Interview several VAs to find one that suits your needs.
So why not take a moment, put the Bluetooth down and consider getting some help from a Virtual Assistant? Your sanity and your kids will thank you for it.