Entrepreneurs don’t need to work 16 hours a day to make profit and this type of workload seldom makes a CEO sexy, fun or cool. The old days of working around the clock in the office as a badge of honour are done – the pandemic has made that so and work from home is the norm. Launching your start up might make you feel like Jeff Bezos, but in reality, for 99% of us, working long hours from home is simply not sustainable, especially when the kids are vying for attention.
Books like the 4 Hour Working Week have made the concept of hiring a virtual assistant part of the vernacular, and the pandemic has increased the rate at which companies have begun replacing their local staff with off-shore virtual assistants. If a company truly wants to scale it’s business, hiring a great team is paramount and even better if it’s at labour rates much less than a company might pay on-shore. Here are 3 things to do before hiring a virtual assistant.
Firstly, document everything. BruntWork, the world’s leading outsourcing company, uses Loom to record tasks, and suggest adding a company manual or standard operating procedure (SOP) to every task. Writing down each task step by step and providing video to go along with it ensures that entrepreneurs won’t be bombarded with endless questions from their digital assistants, and your virtual assistant can refer to the company manual at any time.
Secondly, work out the tasks that are most easily delegated. While a virtual assistant isn’t going to be able to replace you immediately, over time they can come pretty close. Now that you’ve documented all of your tasks, figure out exactly what to stop doing. Focus on the most important 20% of things, and delegate the rest. A decent VA can manage emails, calendar, customer care, outbound prospecting or social media.
Thirdly, make sure to use a reputable company to hire your virtual assistant. Now that there are a plethora of places to find a virtual assistant online, not all are created equal. UpWork is a freelancer platform but this often attracts candidates that are working multiple jobs. If you want a full-time VA that is solely dedicated to you, use a company like BruntWork that has appropriate screening and recruitment processes in place. Rather than shooting from the hip and hoping for the best, the latter requires a lot less time and training on your behalf, and ensures you’re getting exactly what you need.
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