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July 19, 2019

#340 Hire a virtual assistant (for your existing day job)

Hire a virtual assistant

(for your existing day job)

Preparing to Hire a virtual assistant

Measure before you Hire

Before you hire a virtual assistant, use an app like toggl.com to measure your time usage

Be realistic and ruthlessly honest!

Define outcomes!

  • Business as a whole
  • Next year
  • Next ¼
  • How this tasks feeds those goals – or whether it does actually not contribute to desired goals

Eliminate before you delegate!

If you wouldn’t be willing to pay someone $4 (£3.20) per hour to do a job, why are you doing it at all?

Before you hire a virtual assistant, ask: Does this task need doing?

If it does, can you make it more efficient?

Typical you can hire a virtual assistant to perform


Be VERY VERY  clear exactly what purpose accounts fulfil

Corporate tax return

Companies house

VAT quarterly UK

Management accounting

Gross profit for product

Management accounts.

Also clarify EXACTLY what records you need and what you DON’T need.

Typical tasks

Take receipts photo and upload then VA’s job is to assign to a Xero transaction – category and cost centre. But the feed uploads the transactions – about 40 a month – scan for duplicates

How many hours- 8 hours for 2 months’ worth – feels intuitive

Possible other tasks


Outbound calls – need training – good ROI with right person.

Inbound  calls. Again need training but good ROI with right person.


Inbound and outbound X a day

Customer service?

Sales enquiries – survey or email


This is an EXCELLENT test task.

It will do little harm to the business if done badly (usually).

Done well, it should help you get to tasks you keep putting off that could grow the business.


Amendments for website – web developers will usually do a way quicker job that you unless you have web dev expertise.


Chasing up late payers – another great way to get an ROI

Put together a “bundle” of tasks 

Scan the business for other outsourceable tasks to get to a bundle of 10 hours a week

Super-competent admin – head screwed on.

Where to hire a virtual assistant from


(Affiliate link)

Use American or Philippino – think about timezones

America (lower 48)  -8 to -5 hours behind UK

Philippines 7 hours ahead


Good for micro tasks – another good way to test potential hires.


Good for hiring for specific projects.

I’ve found good Eastern Europeans here (Serbia, Romania for example)

Clarify what kind of virtual assistant you’re needing to hire


Personality type

Eg fast learner


Able to manage upwards (esp in Philippines this is important)

(e.g., if you ask something dumb, they will question “Did you mean that?”)

Skill sets




Look at CV/background

Ratings on Upwork/Fiverr


Get a feel for:

  • Quick on uptake
  • Level of spoken English
  • Ability to think on feet

Hire 3 people for a project or even a task- set Test tasks


Research is really great first task

Book keeping is okay if you give small amount and check

CRM – onboard and train first


Action 1 capture and clarify tasks

What needs doing?

If possible measure your time usage eg with Toggl.com

What doesn’t get done…?

Especially …that could bring in cash

Action 2 define business objectives by area

Eg CRM – to generate warm leads to phone or email

Inbound emails –  convert lukewarm to warm or customers

Outbound calls – convert warm/hot leads to customers

Look at or even make KPIs – currently achieving?

Action 3 Eliminate tasks that don’t contribute

Where are you wasting your time?
What is so low a priority it should just not be done (at least for now)?

Action 4 Look at usual suspect places

  • Upwork – Eastern Europe
  • Worth checking Freeeup esp. if e-commerce related (affiliate link)
  • Fiverr.com
  • Look locally – talk to your network

Sometimes local is best

If you’re wanting to do Sales calls, often a native speaker is your best bet. And if you want ad copy (advertising writing) that actually converts – whether in sales emails, or on sales pages – you really not only need to hire a native speaker in most cases, you need to pay good money because this is not a common skill!

In the end, you need to look at the importance to your future of really getting an e-commerce business launched and – in the future – sold for a good sum; so if you commit to that, you probably need to outsource sooner rather than later.

Also, Check out The Top Productivity App Guide– for ambitious people pressed for time. This guide is broken into categories by livelihood and explains what the apps are and how they can help readers be more efficient.

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Michael Veazey

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