How To Decide
A writer friend sent me one of those ‘Saw this and thought of you’ emails which included a link to an article by Sandra Beckwith.
Sandra is an author, writing coach and owner of website www.buildbookbuzz.com.
Offically the title is “Is It Time To Hire An Author VA“ but I thought what Sandra was saying related to everyone not just writers.
What Do You Need Help With?
Pause for a minute, take a step back, get a pen and paper and make a list.
Make a list of all the tasks you do each day for your business or things you do in your home life too while you are at it.
Then give then a score, Sandra Beckwith suggests the following 1,2 or 3 approach:-
1) I love to do this task.
2) This isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it’s okay.
3) If I never had to do this again, I would do a happy dance.
(Love the wording on this one)
Next step is to compare all the items that have scored a 3 against the tasks a Virtual Assistant (VA) can help you with.
What Tasks Can A VA Help You With?
My own blog post ‘Why Everyone Needs A VA’ picked up on 5 key areas:-
1) Diary Management
2) Event Planning
3) Book keeping
5) Social Media/Website management
Chris Ducker goes even further making a list of ‘25 Tasks You Can Outsource to a General Virtual Assistant (GVA)’ including things such as:
1) Email Management/Filtering
2) Following up with clients/customers (sending thank you and other reminder emails)
3) Database building (eg. updating email or contact lists on your CRM)
4) Research on certain topics for blogposts, newsletters or others
5) Taking down minutes of meetings
6) Creating basic reports (reports on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales)
Find A VA That Fits
A bit like any big thing, do some research.
Look at their website or Facebook page, ask around for references, have a chat with the VA.
Tell them about you as well as what you want them to do.
Are you a patient person or do you fly off the handle?
Are you happy for the VA to work it out themselves or must everything be done on your form in brown ink?
Discuss the work needed.
Discuss essential working hours and when others can be flexible.
Agree on how often you will communicate with each other, if there is a time you want them in the office.
Finally agree a price.
Again quoting the article by Sandra Beckwith remember:-
“You’re hiring a professional who adds value to your business. Your VA is also usually self-employed, so they have overhead expenses to cover.”