Time to hire a VA?

Offically the title is “Is It Time To Hire An Author VA“ but I thought what was said related to everyone not just writers.

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
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?

What Help Do You Need from A VA

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?

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
4) Paperwork
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

Find A VA That Fits

A bit like any big thing, do some research.
Virtalent has a good blog on things to think about such as:-
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.”


Review your VA

After a month, 6 months and a year or whatever timescale you decide meet up with your VA and see what is working, what is not, what more you want them to do for you, and what you want them to stop doing.
Once your VA is set up you  are free to spend more time on the ‘day’ job or spend it with family or whatever you choose.
 A win-win all round.

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