Here’s the scenario. You’re grinding away at developing your small business. Your motivation starts to grow stale because you realize you’re spending more of your day worrying about the day-to-day. Answering emails takes over your life and by the time you’re ready to start working on progressing your business, you feel exhausted and unmotivated.
This happened to be about a year ago. I was stuck in a rut and it really started to piss me off. My business was really starting to germinate. As exciting as it sounds, I was feeling miserable. I really had to take a step back and assess the situation. As it turns out, I was spending close to 8 hours a day worrying about the growth of my inbox than the growth of my business.
I needed help. Someone to chip away at the everyday routine so I can refocus and expand. The questions is, how? I’ve hired employees before but, as you can imagine, at the end of the day they end up costing quite a bit. Even for a part time worker at a low hourly rate; I would have to factor in the learning curve, the cost for an office space, the cost for equipment, and the amount of lallygagging time (Scrutinize me all you want! I know employees aren’t robots but I also know employees spend quite a few hours on personal stuff like perusing the internet on the company buck).
I should also leave an astrick in saying, “Don’t hire a hot chick!” Sure, they’re nice to look at but so is lighting a bonfire with a brick of $100 bills for kindling. I’ve had friends that hire solely based on looks. I’ve heard the most miserable stories you can ever imagine. They always end up being super lazy, self-entitled, and mostly unavailable to work because of photoshoot engagements and Instagram selfies.
There is a level of conservatism that an entrepreneur has to procure in order to secure the bag. I was not ready to commit to hiring an employee again.
If you read the book by Tim Ferriss you would think the idea of a virtual assistant would be too good to be true. Well, as it turns out, they are a gift from Heaven to save my sanity and get my head back in the game. I currently employee 2 VA’s. Both serving different tasks. The first handles my workflow. She answers emails, deals with my clients on the daily and handles stuff I don’t want to do like updating websites, research and creating reports, or buying gifts (sorry to burst your bubble but everything I gave in the past year wasn’t me, it was her). My second has one task. It’s to create content for clients.
When you start going over logistics, it seems like a higher hourly. However it is a lower investment over time. The average VA firm charges $35/h. I know the price is a little steep but, depending on the firm you choose, you can find someone that specializes in your industry. VA’s have a very small learning curve because they already have experience in your industry. My VA’s have a web development background. If you’re looking for someone that works in an industry like construction, accounting, or automotive, I’m sure they’re out there.
The best part about a VA is you only have to pay for the time they work! No more worrying about social media surfing on the company dollar. They clock in when work needs to be done and then clock out. Here’a a cool chart by virtualassistant.org breaking down the cost benefit analysis.
I should also add that I am a big supporter of keeping jobs in the US. Granted, I can’t always to that because it’s more financially beneficial to source out work but my VA’s are both located in the east coast.
Please don’t think this is a ball washing piece about VA’s. This is just my honest review and assessment. I’m not getting paid by a VA firm to write this. I just wanted to share some light on hiring help if you are feeling a little overwhelmed. This is just my real live experience and it doesn’t only apply to the entrepreneur. I’m sure some of you reading this can apply this to your career or home life. Think about how much more productive you could be by delegating the stuff you hate to someone that wouldn’t mind doing it. …just think about it!
If you have any additional questions about this or need some recommendations on firms to choose from, please reach out! I got you!