Owning a small business, while an exciting and challenging process, can take up a lot of your free time. You may find yourself working odd hours to stay ahead, or focusing too much of your time on administrative tasks when your attention would be better focused elsewhere. If you find yourself bogged down in paperwork rather than running a successful business, it may be time to look into hiring a virtual assistant.
Let’s take a look at how business owners, or those who work from home, can benefit by hiring a virtual assistant – and how to tell when it’s time to take the plunge.
Hiring a virtual assistant is a good idea if you don’t have the space to hire someone in person – perfect if you work from home.
What is a virtual assistant?
If you’ve ever worked in an office setting, you may be familiar with office assistants, executive assistants, and other office administrators who help take care of the paperwork, scheduling, reception, and other necessities that come with running a business. A virtual assistant is no different, except that all work is completed over the Internet from a remote location, replacing the need to have an office or hire a full-time employee to complete work in person.
Finding a virtual assistant or secretary is a pain-free process. There are numerous online agencies that can connect you to virtual assistants located around the world, or you can use a freelance website to source and hire a virtual assistant on your own. These types of services offer different packages depending on the needs of your business and how many hours you expect to outsource every month, or you can hire an individual, full- or part-time by posting job ads on sites like Craigslist.
If you need more than one person to help, you can look into hiring company secretarial services. These types of secretarial services can provide legal assistance and help you remain compliant with government regulations no matter where you do business.
What type of work can they do?
Virtual assistants and secretarial services can handle a wide variety of tasks, including Internet research, scheduling, taking phone calls, following up with sales leads, booking reservations and travel arrangements, and handling the paperwork that you don’t have time to do yourself.
If you hire a virtual assistant without the use of an agency or service, you may have more options with the type of work he or she can complete. Remember, it’s a good idea to hold interviews if you decide to hire someone without the use of an agency or virtual assistant service.
Virtual assistants can handle a variety of tasks, including research, scheduling, and customer service.
How can I tell when it’s time to hire someone?
When you find that taking care of business paperwork and administrative duties come before your actual work, it may be time to hire a virtual assistant or secretarial service. As a business owner, you may find yourself getting burned out with the amount of hours you have to work to keep up – another good sign that it’s time to hire some additional help.
Ultimately, hiring a virtual assistant is up to you. If you feel like work is consuming your life and taking away from time with your family, hiring a virtual assistant can be a dream come true. Ensure you compare services if going through an agency, or conduct interviews if hiring someone as a full- or part-time employee.
Brian Flax is a freelance writer based outside of the Washington, D.C., area. He is experienced in a variety of topics, including education, technology, and business. Brian holds a master’s degree in education technology and a bachelor’s degree in entertainment business.