I was interviewed earlier this week by Carmen MacDougall, one of the leaders in the UK Virtual Assistant industry. She was putting together a book for VAs looking to build up their client list and wanted to find out how I went about hiring my first VA.
It was more than 4 years ago that I took on my first VA - someone who helped me with my business remotely, without the need of coming to my office or offering an employment contract.
(And no - a virtual assistant is not one of those virtual animated people who pop up on websites to offer assistance as one person admitted to thinking!)
The interview reminded me of the struggle and confusion I felt when I first decided to take the plunge.
You see, I bet we are alike.
You run your own business. And you probably are, like all good entrepreneurs and business owners, a bit of a control freak!
When it’s your business ... your clients, your blood, sweat and tears ... it’s really hard to start handing over some of that responsibility to someone else. Someone who – let’s be frank here – you are not sure you can really trust.
What happens if they send out the wrong email to the wrong person? What happens if they end up offending a new client which results in them cancelling the contract you’ve just agreed?
What happens if they lose all your files and mess up your accounts system?
All over-the-top, drama-queen emotions - yet perfectly reasonable thoughts from a business owner like me and you.
But if you carry on running the business in the same way you are at the moment, you probably know that you are going to drop some balls yourself. Trying to do it all by yourself is guaranteed to result in you being the person who sends out the wrong email and messing up your invoices.
So when is the right time to take on some extra help and hire a VA?
Here are some of the danger signs:
And the reason why I know these danger signs is because I have had them all at some point in my own business. Got all of those T-shirts!
This was one of the big things that I shared during the interview with Carmen earlier this week. By the time I came round to getting someone in to help with my business, I was in such a whirlwind of thoughts and big ideas that trying to explain what I needed help with was tough.
When it’s all in your head and you’ve trained yourself to thinking “it’s quicker if I just get on and do it” – you know you’ve got to slam on the breaks and take the time out to get some help.
Because if you don’t you will only end up suffocating your own success.
So when is it the right time to get a VA?
Before you begin that new project. Before you decide to launch that 6 month VIP programme. Before you launch yourself in to a frenzy of project juggling.
Break off one small part of your business – such as your live events, book project or new product you’re planning to launch - and focus on getting help on this.
If you do, you will find it far easier than trying to get help with that whole mountainous business of yours. And you will have stronger foundations to take on more clients and projects without taking more of your precious time to do it.
It can take 3 or 4 months to establish a good working relationship with a VA but once it’s there, the sense of freedom is wonderful. Knowing that there is someone else to do the things you hate to do and not able to do so you can concentrate on what really matters.
And you never know – you could find yourself working that 3 day week after all ;)
If you thinking about hiring your first VA or you’ve already had your confidence knocked when someone you’ve hired just hasn’t worked out – then join me on Wednesday for a special live and interactive session – “How to Avoid the 6 BIG mistakes when hiring a VA”.
Click here for more information - http://www.CanDoCanBe.com/events/how-to-hire-a-va/
"Karen Skidmore works with small business owners to show them how to build the business model, create the marketing systems and use the right web tech marketing tools to attract more of the right clients to their business. To subscribe to her free email newsletter and get access to practical advice that will move your business forward, visit www.CanDoCanBe.com"
Member since: 2nd February 2012
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