Having a VA changes everything

Having a Virtual Assistant changes everything about how you run your life. Not having to figure out where to go, when to go, what to do, I was able to get on with my life and spend my time either making more money or doing the things I wanted to spend my time on.

 

karen munro

  Commentary by Karen Munro

 

 quoteFor those of you reading this thinking, what the heck is a Virtual Assistant or VA, it’s basically a PA (Personal Assistant) but they are based remotely. So they support you but they are not sitting in the same room or building as you.

Having a Virtual Assistant changes everything about how you run your life. Not having to figure out where to go, when to go, what to do, I was able to get on with my life and spend my time either making more money or doing the things I wanted to spend my time on. I was spending at least 20 hours a week on admin for my business, I wasn't exercising enough, often skipped lunch and my partner and I had no time to cook proper meals in the evening. As a woman in her 40’s, this was not a good road to be on.

 

Sounds good but what about the extra cost?

Okay, let’s say I earn about one hundred pounds an hour. My VA charges me around thirty pounds per hour. So once I hired a Virtual Assistant I easily figured out that I was now down to earning seventy pounds an hour. Not too difficult to work out! But, because I’m no longer doing mundane things like, taking care of social media, proof reading reports and a load of other stuff I would usually have to deal with, I can now spend my time generating more income. So I make more money, while saving time. It’s a no-brainer!

But the best part about it is, besides making more money, I can spend my time doing things I enjoy. I don’t have to worry about, commuting, I don’t have to worry about calling, I don’t have to worry about …..

 

"I don’t want to hire an assistant"

I don’t want to hire an assistant”, I hear you say. Okay, let me put this into perspective. You already have an assistant. Or maybe you already have several assistants. What do you think a personal trainer is? A personal trainer is a specialist who can help you out with an activity. What do you think a lawyer is? Did you ever want to go to law school, so you could deal with legal issues? No! You pay these people to do these things for you. It’s the same thing with a Virtual Assistant. I promise you, that once you’ve hired a virtual assistant to take care of the regular tasks in life, you will never go back. Your assistant can be your life organiser. Let them facilitate finding a bookkeeper, let them facilitate finding a mechanic, let them facilitate finding a person to deal with….

 

So here’s how to get started working with a virtual assistant.

 

I’ve heard people say, “An assistant doesn’t know me, an assistant has no idea want I want…”. Read on…

First up, you have to organise yourself, your preferences. For example: What days of the week do you want to have meetings? What hours do you want to work? Your VA needs to know these things if they are to organise your meetings, schedule social media posts, send out newsletters etc.

Often Virtual Assistants have access to private information. Maybe login information, passwords and so on. Of course you don’t have to give a VA access to critical information - it’s up to you to decide. In many cases a VA can have their own login and password to access various platforms. Alternatively, applications such as LastPass can be used, where your VA can gain access without you having to disclose your passwords. Some clients give their VA their own credit card with limited access, so the VA is able to make purchases, book tickets etc. on the client’s behalf.

Using a VA is basically a sort of replacement for your brain. Your VA will know things like, which restaurants you eat at, who your contacts are, even where you prefer to shop…

 

Create a list

Make a list of the tasks you want your VA to deal with. For example, what things do you do on a regular basis that you simply do not want to do - or have no time for? Make a list and give this to your assistant. Let them deal with it. Take a moment to think about the tasks you keep putting off. Put that on the list.

Let your VA take care of things like scheduling, travel, booking hotels - they know the airlines you like using, the times your prefer to fly, the kind of hotels you like to stay in. Let them do the research and then propose it to you. You can then make the decision and let them get on with it. You don’t have to look for the best deals, or check out if you have air miles, they can figure this out for themselves.

Let your VA handle meetings. When, where and who to invite. VA-UK uses Calendly, a simple, easy-to-use, yet powerful scheduling software, which aims to save time, accelerate sales, and improve service quality. It eliminates the old-school way of using email and phone tags for scheduling appointments, calls, interviews, but there are several other platforms out there to help with appointments.

 

How do I choose a VA and know they’re going to be a good fit?

Once you’ve made a list of a few things that you would like done, send the list to the VA as a test and see how they get on.

Sometimes it may not work out. Just like a first date, perhaps your first job. It takes time, they’re not getting it wrong intentionally.

 

How many hours should I hire a VA for?

I’d suggest initially you start off with a few tasks and see how long it takes your VA and if you’re happy, increase the hours. If all goes well, you can then hire them on a regular basis.

 

How do you train a VA?

Give your VA a little time. They don’t know anything about you. They’ve never worked with you before. Be patient.

Think about documenting your regime before you hire a VA. It will give you time to think carefully about what you want your VA to know and what you want your VA to do. Give this to the VA, it will help them understand you better and what is expected of them.

 

How much does a VA cost?

A good VA can save you time and help you make more money, but “good” comes at a price. There is a direct correlation between someone who is "good" and how much money they expect to receive for their services.

 

And finally...

Remember that the purpose of a VA is not just to free up your time, it's also to bring you peace of mind. It won’t help if you are constantly worrying that the work may not get done on time and to the standard you need. So have a good chat with your future VA, be patient, ask questions, make sure they have what it is you're looking for and you'll wonder how you ever managed without them.

 

Commentary by Karen Munro
15th January 2020

 

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