Written By: Sarah Siegfried
How to Save Time and Earn More Money With a Virtual Assistant
So much work and not enough time to get everything done. We’ve all heard this before, but now that you’ve added juggling your own work from home business to your plate – it’s even more true.
You’ve already outsourced things your cleaning the house to qualified professionals so you can focus on your clients and your family. But there’s still not enough time in 24 hours to do all that you want to do. And if there’s one thing we can’t make more of, it’s time.
Your inbox is full of untouched emails from clients. You might have missed a few client deadlines already. With so much to keep track of, you just can’t remember.
Or maybe you’re missing out on spending time with your kids and being there for their after-school activities and parent-teacher conferences because you’re tied up at your home office.
This is not why you started working for yourself.
You quit your 9-5 because you wanted to spend more time with your family. You promised yourself you’d be there for your kids – and doggone-it, you meant it! Enough is enough. You need to figure out a way to make more time.
The good news is: there is a solution. Have you ever thought of passing off some of your business tasks to a trained professional? Someone who can give you back some of those precious minutes and hours?
Just like you’re giving your clients your all, there’s someone out there waiting to help you.
Someone who enjoys all those little mundane time-consuming administrative tasks that eat away at your time. And honestly, they’re tasks you don’t like to do anyway.
Imagine what your life would be like if they took over your not-so-favorite tasks for you. Imagine how much more time you’d have to work on your business where it really matters and the time you’d have to spend with your family. No more disappointed looks on your kid’s faces because their mommy couldn’t make it to the soccer game, or dad couldn’t watch the ballet recital.
So, who is this person that magically solves your business woes?
An online virtual business assistant.
You might be wondering “Just what is a virtual assistant?” or “How can they help me earn more money and save me time?” Let’s jump right into answering those questions.
How Can a Virtual Assistant Help Your Business?
A virtual assistant keeps you on track so you’ll never miss another important deadline. It’s been proven that businesses who consistently miss deadlines suffer financial losses and struggle to stay afloat.
Virtual business assistants are basically your trained online administrative support. They can help you with things like emails, invoicing, scheduling, phone calls, social media management, business orders, client outreach, events, and more.
When you have someone taking over all the time-consuming tasks needed to maintain your business, you have more time to focus on the things that actually build your business. You’ll become more productive while freeing up time. Or you can use that extra time on things that matter to you outside of work.
So, Exactly What Is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual business assistant is like having your own personal secretary. Generally, they’re someone who works for you virtually (aka via the internet). This means you never have to meet them in person and can have all your interactions online.
Instead of having to work around another person in your home, a virtual assistant will help organize your business from the other end of the computer. You can work on your business in your home/workspace and they will take care of all those tasks in their own space.
Keep in mind, since your virtual business assistant works from home, you don’t have to spend the time or money to set up a separate office or desk for them. They already set up their own home office at their own expense – not yours.
Where Can You Find a Virtual Business Assistant?
I’m going to give you a few sites to help you find your very own assistant. But before I do, I want you to really think about your business needs and who you’d like to work with.
- What skills do you prefer in a virtual business assistant?
- And more importantly, what kind of personality are you looking for?
- What are you not looking for?
- What’s your budget?
- What does their workload look like for your business?
Choosing the right virtual assistant is essential to making your business operations run more smoothly. If you don’t figure out what you’re looking for first, you might end up hiring someone you clash with.
Sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer allow you to check out potential virtual assistants before they even know about you. You can see how their previous clients rated their work and learn more about them before requesting an interview with them.
There are also virtual assistant agencies and companies that can match you up with the right person for you. You’ll tell them what you’re looking for and they’ll match you to their vetted virtual business assistants.
Another great option is to look for a VA freelancer by simply looking for them in a Google search. You can check out their website and testimonials from their previous clients before reaching out.
If you decide you want to hire someone locally, you can simply filter your results to find local agencies or virtual business assistants in your area.
One of the best parts of hiring a virtual business assistant is you don’t have to commit to working with them for a certain number of days. You can give them a trial period to help you decide if they’re the right person for you. So don’t worry, you won’t be stuck with a bad virtual assistant that you just can’t seem to get rid of.
*Pro-tip: Once you’ve chosen someone, I recommend passing off a few smaller tasks or projects to see how they do and to help you decide if they’re a good fit for your business. Then, once you’re familiar with each other, you can dive into the bigger projects and responsibilities.
Where Can a Virtual Business Assistant Help You?
Think of how much more time you’d have if someone did all the repetitive tasks for you. You could save hours each day. You’ll get back all the time you’re currently spending on emails, bookkeeping, phone calls, social media, etc. by simply hiring someone to take care of the work for you.
You can even find a virtual assistant that specializes in your specific business needs. Do you need someone who knows the ins and outs of a specific platform for your business? Look for an assistant that specializes in that platform or who’ is willing to learn it. Want someone to take over just one specific task? Find an expert that will do it even better than you’re doing it now.
What if I’m Not Ready to Hire a Virtual Business Assistant?
As a business owner, you’re in charge and get to decide what works best for you and your business. It’s totally up to you if you want to hire a virtual assistant. But outsourcing tasks that you don’t have time for will save you so much time and is definitely worth a try. If you decide a VA isn’t right for you, you can simply tell them you no longer need their services. You’re in charge.
If you’re not ready to hire a virtual business assistant, don’t think you’re up the creek without a paddle. In today’s world, we have so much technology available to us. There are many tools that can help you stay organized and even automate some of your tasks.
Be sure to look into helpful tools for your specific type of business. There’s a list of organizational tools that’ll help you with administrative tasks below.
- Boomerang for Gmail – preschedule when you send emails to your clients. You can write the email during your normal business hours and schedule it for later. This works really well if you want to write your client an email at 5 am but don’t want to send it so early.
- Google Calendar – Sometimes the tools right under your nose actually work the best. You can add events to Google Calendar and set reminders that go to your email or phone so you don’t miss a deadline.
- Monday – Make a list of all of your to-dos to help you stay organized and on task.
- Finances – Sites like Intuit and even Google Sheets are among the variety of tools to help you keep track of your income and expenses to make tax time and managing your finances easier.
- Smarterqueue – If you use social media for your business, you can schedule posts ahead of time and even across multiple platforms.
- Calendly – Send your clients a link and they can schedule a call with you. You can adjust the settings so your clients can only schedule calls at certain times or x number of days before the call. This really helps you make sure no one is booking calls outside of your normal work hours.
This is not a complete list, but a good place to get started. With most of these tools you can set them and forget them – they’ll do the work for you! Plus, if setting up all of these tools seems like too much for you, consider hiring a virtual business assistant for just a few hours to help you get everything up and running.
*Pro-Tip: Batching tasks can help you get them done twice as fast. Want to take care of those unread emails? Set aside one or two hours each day to blast through your emails all at once.
“I’m Sold. What Now?”
So you’re ready to start saving your business time and start earning more money – here are the next steps you can take to find your virtual business assistant:
- Define what you’re looking for: Answer questions like, “What are my business needs?”, “What sort of virtual business assistant do I need?”, and “Who would I like to work for me – what characteristics should they have?”
- Start looking for your virtual assistant: You can use a virtual assistant agency, Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, etc.
- Start off small: Once you’ve found a virtual business assistant, give them a task or two and see how they perform. (Hint: If you don’t like their work, just repeat step 2 and find someone new.)
- Amp-up the workload: You can pass on more and more responsibilities to your virtual assistant or give them everything you want them to do all at once.
- Reap the benefits: Sit back, relax, and watch how your virtual assistant frees up your time and earns more money for you and your business!
That’s it. It’s as easy as 5 simple steps.
What Are You Waiting For?
You waiting is only costing you more time and money. Don’t miss another important family event or client deadline.
Although hiring a virtual business assistant for the first time can seem intimidating and scary – because your business is your baby! – once you find the right person, you really won’t regret it. You can save time and money by investing in this valuable resource that can help your business baby grow.
- Sinek, Simon. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Penguin, 2009.
- Forbes: How A Virtual Assistant Can Help Your Business This Year, published September 9, 2020
- Reuters BMJ Innovations, online January 7, 2020.