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4 steps to get ready to grow your business with virtual assistants

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A common misconception about being an entrepreneur is that working 16 hours is sexy, fun, or cool. Labeling this as a badge of honor is something that should be avoided. During the first two weeks as an entrepreneur, you might feel like you were Elon Musk or Steve Jobs as they built their empires, but in reality, for 99% of us, working like that doesn’t work. just isn’t sustainable.

Like many before me and many others who will surely come after me, I fell into exactly the same trap. I worked tirelessly from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, wearing every hat of the trade you could imagine.

It wasn’t until I got to the point where I was no longer able to see friends and miss family dinners that it became a real problem, and I knew things had to change. That’s when I decided to hire my first Virtual Assistant (VA). Fast forward nearly 8 months and a team of 3 virtual assistants later, it’s safe to say this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If this is your first time bringing in a new team member, it can be scary. You don’t know if they can do things the same way you do, or you fear they will make mistakes. Believe me, I’ve been there. But if you really want to scale your business, you need to have a great team. If you don’t know where to start, here are 4 things to do before hiring your first virtual assistant.

1. Document everything and establish standard operating procedures (SOPs)

When I say document everything, I mean document everything. All the tasks you do day to day, use an online tool like Loom to log the tasks and add them to what will become your new best friend: your company manual or standard operating procedures (SOPs) . Writing down each task you perform step-by-step and providing a video to accompany it ensures that you won’t be bombarded with endless questions, and your virtual assistant can refer to the company manual at any time.

Related: Hiring virtual assistants is the ‘new normal’

2. Determine the most delegable tasks

From the start, your virtual assistant cannot replace you. However, over time, with careful training, they can come close. Now that you’ve documented all of your tasks, you need to figure out exactly what you don’t want to do. Typically, if you follow the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule, you want to focus on the 20% most important things and delegate the rest. Depending on what you do, your role may be to take sales calls, send proposals, and create content, while your VA manages your emails, handles clients, conducts outbound prospecting, or manages your social media accounts. The list is endless of what you can ask them to do – it’s just a matter of being clear about what you want them to do and what you don’t want to do.

3. Find your virtual assistant

Now, there are a plethora of places to find a virtual assistant online, but not all are created equal. There are many places that offer unskilled, untrained virtual assistants, and just the ones you don’t want to use. Personally, I used UpWork, a freelance platform, and Outsource Monkey, an outsourcing agency. UpWork is great because you can see virtual assistant resumes, previous work experience, and track everything on the platform. The only downside is that UpWork takes a 20% cut of what you pay your VA. However, using a company like Outsource Monkey makes life even easier, as you receive a fully trained and qualified virtual assistant who specializes in the area of ​​the business you want to hire for. Rather than shooting from the hip and hoping for the best, the latter requires far less time and practice on your part, and ensures that you get exactly what you need.

4. Training and monitoring

Last but not least, there is training and follow-up. Ideally, you want to spend some time with your virtual assistant at first, training them on everything you’d like them to do. Ideally, progress gradually, starting with the easiest tasks until they are fully proficient, then move on to the next task. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your VA. Once you’ve left them in the wild, you want to make sure everything is tracked. Not just their hours, but also any KPIs or goals you have for them. This way, you can monitor and track your business growth and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Related: 17 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Potential Virtual Assistant

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