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!
- 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
VAT quarterly UK
Gross profit for product
Also clarify EXACTLY what records you need and what you DON’T need.
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
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
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
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?”)
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
QUICK ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE NOW
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)
- 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.