I would love to say I am fresh out of school and at the start of a career, but that’s not the case at all. I have been in work since the mid-90s, I remember getting my first business support job, then getting another job in London (that’s my hometown) I remember finishing work and heading to the nearest wine bar and having a laugh with my work colleagues.
This is something I get asked often:
‘why would I use a VA and not hire an admin assistant?’
Firstly, there is no right or wrong here, it is what suits you and your business at that time and place, you may find having a VA at the start of your business suits you better, then as you grow and business becomes more fruitful you may find that you need to start employing staff to be in your office/shop, and that is fine too.
There are many stages of business, and there are solutions for every step of the way, so make sure you do your research. You will know roughly your budget and workload, so your options should be clearer to you.
So, let’s take a peep – Let’s get this straight, I am not saying one is better than the other, let’s just take a step back, 5yrs ago I was an employed member of staff, so I have been both, this is just a broad overview of VA vs Admin Assistant, I am not here to tell you one is better than another, there are pros to both as well as cons to both.
Hiring an admin assistant
Having someone based in your office is a plus, there is a huge advantage in having someone based in your office, that presence can be a plus for you and your clients but remember there is a price tag to having a member of staff in your office.
Some of those costs are can be a hindrance to your business:
- Sick pay
- National Insurance contributions
- Holiday pay
- Lost money when the member of staff may not have much work on
- Hiring fees (if using an agency)
But the plus side of hiring an office-based member of staff:
- Someone based in your office for specific times
- Hired personal has set jobs and works solely for your business
Hiring a Virtual Assistant
When you are just starting out or do not have the budget to hire a full-time member of staff, hiring a VA is a great way to get that support without breaking the bank balance. But by no means am I saying that a VA is only suitable for small/medium businesses or start-ups, as 2 of my biggest clients are larger businesses with 10+ employees so that just shows that you can have a VA working alongside your bank of employees.
So, here are some pros and cons to hiring a VA:
- You only pay for the time spent on a task
- You can pay hourly or most VAs will have monthly retainers
- No sick pay
- No holiday pay
- No equipment overheads
- No training costs
- Most VAs have a large network of support should there be a task or problem they need to work out
- Your VA will 9 times out of 10 be located offsite, so this may play a part in your decision
- Your VA will most definitely have more that one client, so offsets their time between their clients
Both work well
Depending on where you are at in your business journey will heavily depend on your choice, as I said earlier there is no right or wrong, having support with your business is key, and how you chose to do it is down to you and your plan.
Small business support
I know a lot of small business owners do prefer to support other small businesses, they like the relationship that you can build with your VA, and that they know they are also supporting another growing business.
For me, I have clients that have an hour a month and I have clients that have 10hrs a month, I also have project-based clients as well as ad-hoc clients.
Work on a plan
Your first action should be to sit down and work out what is keeping you stuck, what tasks are keeping you away from doing what you love to do, you know that thing that earns you money, that thing that made you start your business, so if there are things keeping you away from that, then you need to be figuring out what they are.
You then need to decide which will suit you and your business better. Remember you can hire someone on a part-time basis and you can also have a VA to work on large projects. It is your business you know what is best, and both options work well.
If you feel working with a VA is a viable option for you and your business then get in touch HERE I would love to be able to support you.
Simple answer! Anyone.
To narrow it down slightly, those that run a business and needs help with the multitude of tasks that come hand in hand with running a business.
As we know there are a lot of tasks that are necessary and thankless must do’s in business, and prior to employing someone, you are the one that has to do them all. But as you grow in your business you start to hear the whispers of outsourcing and you learn more about it.
This has been described as the ‘penny dropping’ moment, and this is when people start to realise there is affordable help out there.
There is a level of confusion surrounding Virtual Assistants, and how they work, how you pay them, what they can do for you as well as many other questions. Mix that with yourself and the many excuses as to why you shouldn’t outsource, you will find that you will have reasons stopping you from taking that step, and guess what! This is perfectly normal, it may just feel like you are sabotaging your progress.
There are so many helpful sites out there to help you find your outsourcing solution. There are a couple of VA Societies and associations that can guide you should you have specific needs, for example if you are in the medical industry than for you having a medical VA would be a better option for you, or if you in the legal field than sourcing a VA with legal experience would be more suitable for you. There are VA’s out there that cover most if not all areas, it really is worth looking into it in detail.
Please take it easy when you start working with a VA, you are both getting used to each other and you work, your VA will be learning the ropes and how you have set your business up, they are here to help, not make it more difficult, so talk to your VA openly, holding things or processes back will only frustrate you and hinder your VA, in order for you to get that great working relationship you need to trust your VA and help them help you, and before you know it you gel and things just click.
But go slowly, don’t throw everything at your VA and expect them to have it done within 24hrs, be realistic, be kind, if you rush this you will end up regretting taking on a VA and that will then become a terrible experience and its totally avoidable.
So, in answer to my title, who needs a virtual assistant………YOU, I am assuming that you have found this blog via a search asking Google about virtual assistants, so you are possibly at that research stage. If you need help with your tasks, then yes you could benefit from having someone to outsource too.
If you are at that stage, then why not get in touch 😊
Hey everyone, so this week I wanted to run through the 3 biggest habits/reasons that are stopping you from moving forward on your outsourcing task. We all know and I have spoken about in many past blogs that running your own business is amazing yet tough, but we do it as we love it, truly enjoy it.
For me supporting small and medium-sized businesses is super rewarding, I feel I offer one thing, yet my clients tell me I offer them so much more than the task in hand, which gives me an immense feeling of pride and accomplishment.
For one client, not only am I providing business support, but I give her a sense of security as well as having someone there to be your accountability partner, and sometimes that really does help us in business, as we can often talk ourselves out of a good idea, so thrashing out those ideas with someone kind of makes you less likely to sweep it under the carpet!
Why am I here?
If you are running a business, then you will be familiar with things like online marketing, this in itself is pretty much a full-time job, your blogs, your newsletters, your social media posts, keeping up with the latest update and trends, answering your crowd, then you have other tasks, emails, travel arrangements, meetings, diary, creating products or carrying out your services, the list can be quite extensive and daunting.
So why am I here pointing this all out to you, you run a business, you know what you have to do, but I am here to tell you, you are probably the main reason you haven’t taken that step to outsourcing!
Here are the 3 top reasons I hear that are stopping you from taking that leap:
No idea where to start! I have heard of business support and VA’s but when I started looking at the world of outsourcing, it just overwhelmed me!
Firstly, don’t let it overwhelm you, you are doing this to better your business and help you move forward if this is something that is causing you stress then break it down, like with every task you do in business, small chunks are more manageable. Write down the tasks that are keeping you stuck, this is the first thing for you to do, most of my clients said they needed help mainly with their blogs and newsletters, it was something they wanted to do, but was struggling to find the time to either start up a blog and regular newsletter or had trouble keeping it up to date.
My advice is write down the tasks that you feel are keeping you away from the jobs that create your customers and income. Then I would either connect in your local Facebook pages to see if there are any VA’s in your area, or failing that you can get in touch with a couple of VA societies that have lists of VA’s that either match you in location, price range, experience etc. I have listed this here:
I am only a small business, its just me, I can’t justify or afford a VA!
90% of my current clients are solo entrepreneurs! I also have clients that have offices and staff, there is no wrong or right demographic to outsourcing, so don’t feel just because its only you are working from your house you cannot outsource! Secondly, most VAs cost around £20-35ph, as well as monthly retainer packages, you will find that most VA’s offer a standard of 1hour a month, and if that is what you need then that is all you need to purchase, do not feel that it is too small to ask for. In that hour most VAs will be able to draft and or format at least one or two blog posts (how long would that take you?) most could source a couple of weeks’ worth of images for your social media, most can copy type several pages documents, most could make an indent on the powerpoint presentation that has been sat on your desk for a month! Stop justifying your desire to progress!
It’s my business, I know how everything works, and I should be able to cope with what my business throws at me!
Ah yes! We have those business owners that will NOT cut themselves any slack and will often be found in the dead of the night or over weekends catching up on EVERYTHING that their business throws at them. Can I just say, yes, it is your business, yes you do know how everything works but that does not mean you have to do it all yourself! And equally yes there are a lot of things that you should be able to cope with whilst running your business, scheduling in posts, re-purposing your content, marketing your blog I don’t feel are those tasks you should be doing!
There are so many solutions out there to help you run your business smoothly, effectively and efficiently, most VA’s are pretty flexible and work around you and your business, you need to stop putting obstacles in your way in moving forward in your business. As I mentioned most VAs can work on an hourly basis with a minimum of 1 hr, use this wisely, outsourcing is vital to your business and your sanity.
If any of this resonates with you, or your business is picking up and you are finding you have fewer hours to do those tasks, then see this as an opportunity to put something in place now, before you do get into a spin that you cannot get out of, book a FREE call with me and we can run through your sticking points.
Mindset – I know that it’s seen as the guff & fluff of business. I know that lots of people would look on and say – ack well, how important can that really be? Why should I waste my time considering my mindset when I have so much other shit to get done?
Woah woah woah…..
I know that mindset is the difference between success and failure. It’s one of the most fundamental things to get right in your business. If you wanted me to list the most important things in your business they would look include MINDSET & ACTION as the forerunners.
If the mind isn’t aligned then the action is irrelevant.
Equally, a great mindset and no action isn’t going to get you results either.
They could together hand in hand. Without the ability to align, to believe and to achieve a passively good mindset then you are going to constantly be buffering up against yourself. You will go out there – all hell for leather and hustle your little butt off BUT then you’ll keep hitting a kink in the road and it will totally throw you off. You will end up with your head in your hands, questioning your abilities and your worth.
MINDSET IS IMPORTANT!
Without getting your mindset right you will keep stalling your progress.
Let’s just beat down the additional steps that I would deem as important in your business too;
Mission – what are you here to do
Who Are You Here To Serve (looking at commonality in your crowd)
Message – what are you here to share with them
Visibility – that ridiculous marking bollock word that’s all about being seen and showing up. Essentially it means are you actually sharing that message, are you doing the shit you need to be doing, are you serving your crowd?
Service – go serve the pants off your crowd.
Anyways – back to Mindset. Self-talk has the most ginormous impact on your mindset and the self-talk fairy can hideous and be consumed with her chatter. I have found that the less “proof” you have of any particular situation or circumstances the louder and nastier that chatter can be. What do I mean by this? Well, making progress in your business is always about taking the next step, it’s always about doing things you haven’t done before and being ballsy enough to show up and do your thang (no matter what) and as soon as we step into unknown realms this brings us questions about self-worth, about whether we can do it and the self-talk fairy dives in with all the reasons you shouldn’t do it, all the reasons you should stay safe and all the reasons why you will fail.
Now, when we have evidence paths (prior experience of similar situations) we are able to shut the self-talk fairy up and slap her down with ease because we can call on evidence that it will be ok.
If we have no evidence then she can have a field day and leave you doubting EVERYTHING.
My big advice
Is to start to bring together an Evidence Base – I would suggest that you grab a notebook or open a file within an app on your phone (something that you can have to hand all of the time) and start to right down the evidence of the things that you’ve done well, the stuff you’ve achieved, the times you’ve felt scared but dug deep and come out of the other side, the stuff you’re proud of, the feedback you’ve had from your audience, the goals you’ve smashed and used it as a good old big up of your self. It might feel very ego-centric BUT the idea is that it will allow you to bash down the self-talk fairy with ease when she get’s started.
Let’s turn our attention to mindset when it comes to outsourcing things in your business. I know that you’re going to say;
I can’t afford it
It’s easier for me to do it than show someone else how to do it.
It’s something that “big” businesses do.
I have a little reframe for you when it comes to outsourcing. Look at outsourcing as an investment. It’s an investment which allows you to free up your time. The time that you free up should be, initially, used for money-making activities. You can then get a return on that investment at the outset and therefore this will show you that that investment is truly worthwhile.
You can do this all by yourself but you don’t have to do it alone AND you won’t be able to do it at all if you burn out.
Mindset work isn’t guff & fluff and it isn’t lame!!
Here’s the thing – if the mind ain’t aligned then the action is irrelevant. So just “doing” isn’t enough. You need to have the mind aligned with the action you are taking in order to achieve the very best results.
Flip it the other way – the mind is aligned but no action is taken will result in no progress.
Mind + Action = Results.
An aligned, positive and connected mindset is necessary AND action is necessary.
Emma Holmes is the Proud Owner and Founder of Rebels & Rockstars: a hatchery for entrepreneurs with soul.
Helping heart-centred and soulful entrepreneurs to build ridiculously big businesses is her vocation, and she still pinches herself sometimes, that this is actually her job. (She used to be a lawyer who loved living in corporate land, but when mummy guilt arrived, she challenged herself to a new adventure.)
Emma’s also an outsource cheerleader and a spiritual but practical kind of soul. And she is definitely not scared of a challenge. (She set herself the biggest challenge of her self-employed life in 2015 – to grow a £100k online business without using the ‘tried-and-tested icky sales techniques’ that £100k biz owners usually resorted to.)
Her 2015 success story has since been put to good use (many times), and Emma is positively thrilled to have helped her clients with some pretty amazing online launches – 18k income in one day, launches of £54k+ in sales, and a 30K in 30 days project are just a tiny snapshot of her clients’ achievements.
But what makes Emma beyond ordinary is that she has her own interpretation of business success, and it isn’t about totting up your bank balance. She knows real, long-lasting business success is about creating a sustainable business you love, which grows naturally, fits around your lifestyle and family, and enables your authenticity, and sparkly personality to shine.
As well as being a real-life human blogging machine, Emma has also been featured on That’s Manchester TV and BBC Radio. She’s written for Business Rocks, Freelance Parenting, Fresh Business Thinking, Talented Ladies Club, and MeMeMe.
In a nutshell, she’s proud to be a square peg who doesn’t care about round holes and fitting in boxes. And she encourages her clients to do the same.