Are you a business owner that could do with an extra pair of hands at certain points throughout a month? You’re aware that it wouldn’t necessarily make sense to hire a part-time assistant at this point in time, but an extra pair of hands is definitely needed in order to keen you sane and on top of your workload! Sound familiar?
Many business owners when they are starting out (or are not quite at the stage of hiring more team members), fall short because they don’t have enough time to get the vital and necessary things done in order to stay afloat. A lot of business owners when they first start out tend to work odd and ‘around-the-family’ hours just to get work completed. This is all well and good and of course complementary that there is commitment and hard work involved – however is it at the detriment of your health, or your family, or your social life?
This is where a freelancer worker or a Virtual Assistant (VA) comes in. A freelance worker is there to suit your business and will work the hours that you ask of them – when they are needed – and nothing more. You won’t be stuck with a huge salary to pay at the end of every month and you are able to stay on top of your finances in regards to paying for what work you need doing.
Here are 4 benefits to hiring a Virtual Assistant or freelancer (rather than hiring an employee)
You’re hiring an expert
Hiring an expert in a given field rather than an employee that may or may not know how to perform a particular task (and who could take a long time to complete that particular task) is a much more cost-effective way of getting a job done. Hiring an expert will give you peace of mind that they will complete a task for you, in a timeframe you specify and to a high standard. This is reassurance that your tasks are completed well and effectively.
A freelancer will have a wealth of knowledge in their given field and will provide a pool of resource for you and your business. One off tasks or on-going projects – you can hire one freelancer that can cover the lot or a selection of workers to complete individual tasks. The decision is yours. This is the way that freelancers and virtual assistants work and they expect to be used for one-off tasks.
You’re saving time and money
Hiring a full time or part time employee takes time and effort. Advertising a position, recruitment, interviewing, awaiting a start date – followed by being required to provide holiday and sick pay plus other benefits for employees. Let’s be honest, not everyone has the time to go through all that and especially if you are just starting out in business. Whilst is may be nice to have someone full time with you to build rapport with, recruiting an employee is not always the most cost-efficient way to spend your budget.
Hiring a virtual assistant has many cost benefits and a freelancer that works from home provides a great cost-saving expense to start with! No office space required. No equipment required. Simply hire your assistant, request the work and receive the work. You will only pay for the work that they are performing on your behalf.
You’re receiving a variety of skillsets
When you hire an employee, you are limited to their individual skill set. This can be great if they have every skill that you require and can be on hand to cover everything you need. However, how much more sense would it make to hire virtual assistants who performed the individual tasks for you. A selection of people, all with different expertise and willing to work together to bring your business together. You will end up with a pool of resources, contacts and connections that you know you can rely on anytime you need a task completed. If you choose to work with a bigger VA company, they will have team of assistants who can manage your workload and although you would be getting a variety of people working on your projects, you’d have one point of contact and one avenue of communication, making the process even more streamlined.
These freelancers could also bring ideas to the table that you had not even thought of, with the passion of growing your business and seeing potential in avenues that you may not have even gone down. It’s a case of a second pair of eyes that are focused on your business success.
You’re also getting flexibility
Most virtual assistants or freelancers are used to working with a variety of clients, all at the same time. They are highly organised people and manage their workloads well. Therefore, you have the ability to call on them whenever you need a task completing. Not working the usual 9-5 but need something completing in an evening? A freelancer will be there for you.
Working with a freelancer will give you way more flexibility than you could imagine and if you’re used to sticking to a 9-5 regime, it’s a great thing to realise that there is assistance for you 24/7.
It works both ways too as often a freelancer has chosen this career to work around other commitments or family circumstances and therefore is looking for a more flexible approach to working. You may be working on a project during an evening and send the required work over to your VA when you wrap for the night. Depending on your VA, you could wake up in the morning to the completed project in your inbox!
Flexibility is key to working with freelancers and as long as you are open with them and keep good lines of communication going, they will do their utmost to provide a loyal, outstanding level of service to you and your business.
Hiring a virtual assistant or freelancer is a sensible move for many small business owners and entrepreneurs who simply don’t have the time, funds or resources of a larger organisation when it comes to employing more team members. Building relationships with VA’s and knowing you can rely on them to complete your tasks at hand is a reassuring thought and a way to be able to let go of the mundane and daily repetitive tasks and go out and enjoy the parts of the business that you love to do.
Why did you start your business? What is it that you want to achieve? Go back to the basics of these questions and get motivated again to push yourself in the direction of your first passion, knowing that you will succeed if you have a good backing and a solid, reliable team behind you.
If you’d like to discuss the opportunity of hiring a virtual assistant, our team would love work with you. We offer a range of services that you can rely on, so get in touch for an initial free consultation.
Any time of year is a busy time for a small business or a budding entrepreneur. With the run up to Christmas it could prove to be an extremely busier time.
A virtual assistant is a perfect pair of helping hands to provide your business an extra aid in times like these.
There are many things a virtual assistant could do for you but it’s best to work out tasks or projects take up your most valuable time and at the same time are tasks that could be passed to someone else to ease the pressure from you.
What could a virtual assistant do for you?
- Social media management
- Diary management
- Follow ups and bookings
- Newsletters and email marketing
Check your emails and inbox
How much time do you spend checking back to your inbox and then getting drawn into reading junk mail or responding a bulk of emails that actually all asked the same question?
How much time is taken up by you checking and responding to emails that could be used much more wisely and adding value to your business?
Having a virtual assistant check your emails throughout the day will ease this pressure from you. They can alert and forward you emails that they are unable to respond to without your guidance (perhaps in time they will be able to know how you like your emails done) and send them to you at set intervals during the day, as to not disturb you.
If you spend a little time at the beginning with your virtual assistant, they can set up some template responses so they know how to respond to certain types of emails and not have to bother you.
Social media management
This is often a very time-consuming task for one small business owner, and a task that gets forgotten or left behind when there’s not much time to allocate. This can be detrimental to your business growth as online marketing is a definite necessity if you’re wanting to see your business grown and fit with competition.
If you’re worried about someone taking on this task as you believe that you have the business ‘voice’ and are unsure on the tone that a VA would use, spend time with them initially making notes on how you’d like it to run. A virtual assistant who specialises in social media management is a very valuable tool as they would have gained the knowledge and kept up to date with trends and the latest news…. Social media moves very quickly as is an ever growing market.
You could agree on a schedule that happens daily, agree on the platforms that are to be used and ensure that you’re happy with the content that is being used… But learn to let go and let an expert take this task from you.
You will be amazed at how much time is given back to you by not having this task to think about!
Imagine the scenario – you’ve come to work Monday morning and you know you’ve got a busy week ahead. A quick call or email with your virtual assistant and they could give you a running of order how you are seeing, what calls you’ve got to make and how your day is looking. Simple. No need for you to route through your emails trying to find the address of where you’re meeting for lunch. No need to spend time sifting through text messages to find the number of the new contact you’ve got to ring at 2pm… it’s all there in an email for you.
This process could be done on a daily or weekly basis if you had a VA to hand.
Follow ups and Bookings
Following on from the many emails and calls you get on a weekly basis, your virtual assistant could be scheduling new meetings or following up on enquiries that you’ve received. If you’re a small business owner, you won’t have time for everything. Small tasks like this are easy to pass over. You have the control when all details are passed back to you and you can see what meetings have been booked or who needs an extra phonecall to keep them sweet. But having that first step of the process taken away from you will free up a lot of time.
Email / marketing newsletters
You have a list of customers and potential customers, you have a list of people that have contacted you through social media or general enquirers … So use this list to reach out to deliver more sales.
You know it’s a task that should be done regularly and one that often shows good results – but not having the time pushes this important task to one side. Time for a VA to step in and manage this for you!
Newsletters can be designed, templates made for ongoing communications and then various content added on a monthly or quarterly basis to engage with those potential new sales.
You could ask a VA to set up a sales funnel for you so when someone makes an enquiry, an automatic email is sent to them which is then followed by further emails down the line to keep their interest.
Don’t’ try and do everything yourself. Small businesses or entrepreneurs often struggle with time management and become stressed or worn out from trying to do too much themselves.
All these tasks are jobs that a virtual assistant could do for you.
Here at KJP Creative we offer structured packages to make the process swift, easy and affordable. Pay for the time you need an assistant – that’s all!
If you’d like to find our more, get in touch for a free consultation.
Today I’ve been thinking about how snowed under we can get in our day to day lives, but also when we’re in the office or our place of work. Do you often feel like you’ve got too much to do and that you’ll never get round to finishing all the things that need doing?
Either in the office or at home, everyone gets to the point at some time, where there is too much to do and not enough time!
Well… we need to think about prioritising, managing our time well and getting help if we need it.
In another of our posts, we had been thinking and reflecting on the same thing. This post is geared more towards people in the office but it can be applied to any situation.
On the flip side, you may think that you’re not in need of an assistant…. but you could BE the assistant?
Helping others out is such a rewarding experience and can teach us lessons too.
Is there someone around you that looks to be struggling, someone that may need assistance in one way or another?
Offer your help or guidance, it might make their day!
We’d love to hear your comments if you’ve been in this situation and have been able to help someone else out. How did this make you feel? And more importantly, how did it make the person you were helping feel?
Calling all Virtual Assistants and Online Service Providers….
Have you got more to offer your clients?
Can you up-sell your services and add benefit to both yours and your client’s business?
The answer is YES. You DEFINITELY can.
Whilst at first you may only start off servicing your client in one particular area, this does not have to be the only task you do for them.
Ok, so let’s say you start off with Social Media Management. It’s a daily task that you do, which takes you an hour a day and that’s what the client expects from you. But haven’t you got so much more you can offer them?
You may not even realise that you’re able to offer more but you have skills and knowledge that can be used to their potential and at the same time – earning you money!
Make a list of all the things that you are able to do. This could be a variety of different tasks: spreadsheets, power point presentations, calendar/diary management, blog post writing, website management, project management, graphic design, photography, … and the list goes on. There are so many things out there that a client may not even have thought of, however these are things that you are able to offer.
Why not have a chat with your client, suggest to have a consultation to see if you can help improve their business, to see if you’re able to offer a service that will boost their gain. There’s no harm in asking and if a seed is planted and you can explain the tasks that you’re able to perform – even if they say no right now, they’ll retain that conversation in their mind and one day in the near future they might actually think it’s something they’d like to pursue.
Dropping a little seed often takes times to grow but it can be something that can be given a little water from time to time to see if they could benefit from what you can do for them. They will never know if you never offer or try so it’s always worth an attempt in offering your services at every given opportunity and if the opportunity doesn’t arise, then make it happen! Regular consultations with your client is healthy and creates a great working relationship. They will learn to trust your instinct and your judgment and perhaps give you more scope and try out more of your services. The more you can do for your client, the more it will lighten the load from them giving them opportunity to free up time to concentrate on other aspects of their business. This will develop a great working relationship and build a bond. It will also build your business and give you more experience and growth. All round a good investment!
I’m a great believer in ’lists’ and seeing things written down in front of me.
So start today.
Write down all the different services that you could offer your client. I guarantee that once you actually start to write them down, there will be more on there than you realise!
Use this list when you make a date for your consultation and suggest the ideas that you have with your client explaining how these new tasks could benefit them and free them up to do other things.
Please share your comments and let me know how this works for you 🙂
It’s the start of the day and you’ve come into the office ready to tackle the tasks ahead of you and to accomplish some of your to-do list. You sit down to check your emails before you start anything else and after some time realise you’ve just spent half the morning going through routine emails and not actually getting on with your day – sound familiar?
An assistant, in this typical situation, would be the best next step for you – don’t you think?
And now I hear you say “But I can’t afford an assistant to work every day, and I might not even need them all the time”. Well there is a solution to that exact problem:
Hiring an “on-site” personal assistant has it’s very good positive points, don’t get me wrong but also hiring a “virtual assistant” definitely has its plus side.
Have you considered hiring a virtual assistant? It’s quite the in thing at the moment as well so you’re not on your own and there are plenty of resources out there if you wanted to research beforehand.
So what are the benefits to hiring a VA?
- No PAYE / Tax / NI to sort out.
Virtual Assistants are usually freelance and will bill you for their time.
- No holiday / sick pay
Virtual Assistants are self employed are not entitled to this.
- No need to set aside an office space / computer or telephone equipment.
Virtual Assistants usually work from home or a set place of work and will have their own equipment.
- A Virtual Assistant is available when your office staff are overloaded and can be on call.
It is usual to pre book a set number of hours per month and these hours can be used as and when you require them.
- And the best point of all: You only pay them for the time they are on task.
A timer can be used to bill each job / project.
So as you can see there are a whole range of benefits to hiring a Virtual Assistant rather than an assistant in house and a VA can be flexible to your business needs and work around the tasks and projects you assign them to.
Next is the question of what tasks you could assign to an assistant. Well if that sounded like you at the beginning of this post, then sorting through and checking your emails on a daily / throughout the day basis would be a benefitting start! Setting out guidelines before you start and handing over instructions on “what to do if…” tasks will enable the VA to get on with the job in hand and then come to you only if there is a problem.
Call answering: If you have a busy office and a lot of the time it is routine queries, why not have the telephone diverted to an assistant. They can answer the call, take the messageand email that to you with a detailed description of the call and their message, if any. Once the VA knows your business they would be able to answer questions and give replies also if you were willing for them to do that.
Diary Management: Do you have a busy schedule? Your diary can be managed and maintained by an assistant and set up with reminders for you to know what your schedule is and what you have on.
Website Management: Updating your website can be a tedious job and depending on what things you have on there, it might be time consuming if you’re needing to update product information etc on a daily basis. Also if you have a blog, typing the post is one thing but laying it all out and formatting it with pictures etc can take time. These tasks can easily be given to an assistant, with you checking the final products once completed.
These are just a few examples of what a Virtual Assistant can do for you, there are many more examples of what they can do. Just think of all the tasks that need to be done, but you’d rather not take time doing them – and these can be passed over. It’s about delegating and letting go, it’s about concentrating on what you are good at and need to do in order to grow your business and letting an assistant take care of the rest.
Thanks for reading… feel free to comment at the bottom, would love to know if you’ve been in this situation or are in this situation and how things are working out for you: until next time!