When Is It Time To Hire Support? Watch For The Signs.
Knowing when to hire support seems easy enough. Most people would recommend hiring when you can no longer do it yourself. Of course, the person would be valuable at the time. However, you would be late in hiring and have already cost yourself a lot of undue stress.
Think about it. You would never tell someone to start exercising after they’ve had to be put on medication. Changing your diet isn’t best after you’ve already taken a scary trip to the emergency room. The best time is before you need it. Preventative maintenance.
The great thing with preventative maintenance is it also takes much less time and effort. Maintaining your weight is much easier than trying to lose 20 lbs. Not to mention the steps are far less drastic and you don’t feel pressure or deprived during the process.
Hiring the right virtual assistant or employee in the preventative stage is the same. You won’t need many hours, there won’t have to be a huge overhaul, and the pressure and stress of taking care of things won’t be rushing and weighing heavily on you. Having the right VA in place before you have the big project due, are about to host a week long retreat, or go on vacation is where you find the greatest impact.
Another added bonus is it saves you money. When was the last time you needed something at the last minute and got the best deal? In fact, most companies charge extra now when you want immediate service. Somewhere along the way, we began to think immediacy is good for business. What happened to planning and preparation instead of reacting and emergency response?
Having your business in the constant state of reaction means your business is running you, not the other way around. You’ve made yourself the highest paid employee. Some clients balk at the thought of paying someone $35 an hour yet they don’t realize how much they are losing in their own time wasted.
Once on a call with a client, we uncovered his time was worth about $800 an hour. He was giving an hour a week to a client who was only bringing in $5,000 a year. He was losing over $40k a year one hour at a time. Now we don’t all make $800 an hour (yet). What is it costing you an hour at a time over a year? Who could you do what you’re doing for less?
One of the biggest hesitations is business owners who don’t know if they have enough steady work to hire someone. They think in terms of 20 or 40 hours a week. Rarely does anyone need a virtual assistant this many hours. It’s a lot! The norm is 5-10 hours a week, 10 being on the high side.
What are the signs which should be making you stop and think?
- You are unable to manage your calendar successfully. No matter what the app or service it’s not as intelligent or capable as you are. Not being able to book appointments or having time for clients to book with you is a problem. When you have no personal time scheduled and can’t even make your routine doctor appointments it’s an even bigger problem. Ignoring how you spend time on your calendar is like ignoring the amount of money you have in the bank. Don’t become overdrawn!
- Every new client has you scrambling. You scramble to get the proposal out, send the invoice, schedule the meetings, and then fit in the work. Did you know this is one of the easiest things for a virtual assistant to do? Did you know you could hire a VA on a project basis to setup a system for you?
- You’re at full client capacity but not making the money you want. Physically you can’t possibly serve another client. Financially, you’re not making enough. You wonder why when the answer is obvious, you’re doing too much of the wrong things.
- Everything you want to implement seems months and years out. One of my favorite questions to ask during the consultation is, “What have you wanted to implement in your business, but haven’t yet?” The answers are always shocking to me. Clients list things like starting a newsletter, organizing their Dropbox, consolidating their articles into an ebook, putting a CRM process in place. All things a virtual assistant can do for you. All things you don’t have to put off any longer.
The signs are all there. If you choose to ignore them you’ll face the consequences later. When you decide to stop, listen, and take action all the signs start pointing in a positive direction for your business. Hire the right virtual assistant at the right time.
Because you can’t do it all yourself….Melissa Smith, The PVA is the bestselling author of Hire the Right Virtual Assistant and host of the Admin to VA Summit. To learn more about working with a Virtual Assistant contact Melissa here.