It’s a HUGE decision to hire a VA, and I don’t want to downplay that at all. The advantages VAs bring to the table, especially if you’re hiring for skill set, temperament, and character, however, will be ten-fold what you initially anticipated.
When a client decides to hire a VA, I see initial reactions like an increase in stress (because let’s be real, onboarding anyone into your system takes work), followed by immense relief. When traction happens, minor changes fuel incredible momentum for faster growth.
You’ll see changes in the way you work. When I hired my own VA, I started seeing tasks I didn’t “have” to do. Formatting blog content, for instance, drives me batty. I’m not an HTM whiz, nor do I want to be, so when my VA said she loved WordPress, VOILA! One task that took me an hour now takes her 15 minutes.
I’m saving time and ultimately money, by outsourcing a necessary task to someone who could do it faster (and with more enjoyment!) than I could.
When clients bring on a VA, they start to change the way they think about outsourcing. Small tasks, like scheduling appointments, to large tasks, like developing an email marketing funnel, all become fair game. Working alongside a VA clarifies which tasks you keep, and what your VA should be doing for you.
Ultimately, it changes your support structure. You move from “the island” of entrepreneurialism to camaraderie. You aren’t in this alone anymore. Not only do you have a help mate, you have (in many cases) a friend – someone along the same journey as you – breathing fresh life into your business.
Things that were once only ideas now become finished products. Visions become executable and you see momentum. Traction. And that is the beginning of a beautiful business.
So Who Exactly Should Hire A VA?
This is a tough question because unlike a lot of talking heads you’ll hear that tell you “we can work 12.5 hours in a week and call it good” – (therefore ANYONE should hire a VA!) – for many entrepreneurs, that’s simply not the case. They aren’t generating revenue in their business and hiring a VA is often a catch-22.
Entrepreneurs may need the help, but they can’t afford it. Without help, they can’t generate revenue. This can be frustrating and defeating for many clients. Money spent on a VA could instead be spent on marketing or coaching. Frankly, sometimes entrepreneurs just aren’t ready to hire a VA.
Here’s How I Gauge When Someone Is Ready For A VA:
If you don’t have an idea for a business yet but you know you want to leave corporate, you’re not ready for a VA.
If you’ve got negative cash flow in your business and an already-high overhead, you’re not ready for a VA.
If you’re going through VAs like water because they just don’t “get” you, but it’s really the fact you have no firm grasp or vision on what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s not time for a VA; it’s time for a coach.
Initially, bootstrapping is often the way to go until you can confidently say you’re ready to hire a long-term, collaborative support VA. There are many recourses available to “get started” with virtual support. Sites like oDesk and Fancy Hands can take on small tasks, while giving you a level of comfort that your time (and money) is well spent. You can find a diamond in the rough on these sites, too. Just know it takes time and energy to sift through the thousands of folks on these sites.
However, if you’ve got a business plan and need help with the “how” of making it a reality (you don’t have the foggiest idea how to set up opt-in pages, or maybe you have the content to create an opt-in, you just don’t have the skills to build one), I’d wager a VA can help you reach the next level in your business.
If you have a program, product, or service already generating revenue – even minimally – but are overwhelmed by the work it takes to launch, spread the word, or grow your business to the next level, it’s safe to say it’s time to offload tasks to a VA.
If you work well with others, understand delegation is necessary for growth, and are truly ready to “let go” of some key pieces of your business to free up your own time and energy to do what you do best, you’re ready to hire a VA.
The best clients are those who can communicate effectively. They may not know all the jargon, but they know what they want and how to work well with others. These visionary and communicative clients, be they speakers, authors, marketers, coaches, eCommerce owners, pastors, doctors or lawyers, make the best type of clients for a VA.
So which category do you fall into? Are you ready to see how a VA can help your business (and your personal life) soar to the next level? Let’s get talking.